The GREAT De-Stash Challenge

I've been buying a lot of fabric lately. I have plans for all of it. Truly, I do. The problem is, I'll never get around to completing those projects if I keep buying more fabric for new projects. So, I have decided to declare a state of emergency and start The GREAT De-Stash Challenge. 

Destash challenge 425
The challenge:

1. Organize the stash. You'll keep buying fabric if you don't really know what you already have.

2. Use only fabrics from your stash or your repurpose pile. 

3. Decide the length of time or the amount of pile you'd like to reduce. 

I'm choosing to use 50% of my stash before buying more fabric. That's A LOT of fabric. I mean, A LOT. This is going to be difficult!

Care to join me? Do you complain about your fabric buying habits but continue to buy more? Maybe it's time to start using what you have! Before you head to the store for that "one piece" you need to complete a project, maybe you'll see that you have something in your stash that will complete the job just fine! If you'd like to take the challenge just leave me a comment! I've made some buttons if you'd like to post about it on your blog. Feel free to grab one


  1. Sandy says

    I’m a quilter. I have literally tons of 100% cotton fabric. I doubt if I could use up 50% of my stash in my lifetime. Right now I’m more than half way through a huge reorganizing project. Fondling fabric is fun!

  2. says

    Wow! You and I must be on the same page. . . I was thinking of starting a ‘Fabric Fast’ myself. I can’t seem to stop buying fabric! I just LOVE it! ;0) I will be joining you. . .
    Brown Paper Packages

  3. says

    Hi, you think the same like me. I love buying fabrics. And I have ideas for every fabric. Sometimes more than one idea. The next fabric market in Hmaburg is in September and want to go to it. So I must minimize all these wonderfull fabrics. And than I can buy new fabrics.
    Now I join your mission and I hope I´m strong enough buying no fabrics until September and using what I have.
    Greets from Germany! (Sorry, my English isn´t so good)
    Maria from Schildis Welt

  4. says

    I am totally in. I didn’t realize how much fabric I had until very recently when my husband and I consolidated office/crafting spaces to make room for our first baby. Now he knows how much I have and has given strict instructions not to buy more until I’ve used some of it up (I’ve ignored this several times already, I found fabric on clearance at Ben Franklin with robots on it!). But I’ve got to get motivated to get rid of some of this stuff.

  5. says

    I’ve been working on this for almost a year now – but it hasn’t gone too well. Maybe I need some inspiration and support from other sewists doing the same thing. Count me in! I’ll definitely put up a button on any blog posting that features projects I’ve made with my existing fabric stash. :)

  6. says

    oh man! Good idea. I keep telling myself to use what I have, but then I have to make a quick trip to the fabric store for something and end up buying some cute fabric as well. . . the never ending cycle.

  7. says

    Glad to see from the comments that I’m not the only one “suffering” from this particular problem. Since I just stocked up on adorable clearance fabric from and went through the arduous task of properly folding all of my stash I will admit that I’m feeling a little horrified by all that I’ve accumulated. Not sure how much sewing I’ll get done as life’s looking a little hectic at the moment but rest assured that when I do sew I will undoubtedly be using something from my stash.

  8. Brittney says

    I’ve been trying to do just this but then I go to a yard sell or a thrift store and can’t pass up the great deal. Having 4 girls it’s hard to not have something to sew in mind when you find cheap fabric. I will join in. I do have to say that the people at Jo-Anns must be missing me cuz I can’t remember the last time I was in there.

  9. says

    After many, many weeks of constant sewing, my studio is a WRECK. I’ve been going through, getting rid of scraps (well, putting them in a bag to take to a craft/supply swap). I have a lot of fabric from back before I knew about high quality fabrics that I need to shed. I’m planning on putting them in the yard sale we’re helping with this weekend.

  10. says

    I think I’m in…I’ve been trying to do this on my own with some success on using my scraps but less on just using my stash. I’m a quilter and you would not believe how much fabric I have!

  11. says

    Not letting myself buy any more fabric until I actually finish my to-do list for sewing…sigh…I guess that means I have to use up all that allocated fabric, too. Great idea…

  12. says

    OK, I know this has been going on for some time, but I just found it through a friend’s blog. I’ll join this challenge. In fact my fabric was totally organized until we moved and then… *** BAM ***… moving in the winter with plastic totes filled with fabric…. not such a good idea.
    Well, I have been organizing again and have been using what I have to build stuff, but it will probably be a LOOOOOONG time before it looks like I made a dent. You see, I worked for years and several different fabric store and that means a lot of bad habits.
    Only thing I shop for now may be fiber fill or batting or thread/buttons/notions etc. I have many of these things so I don’t always go, but sometimes the color of the bias just isn’t quite right or the thickness of the batting isn’t as heavy as I would like. Otherwise…. NO MORE FABRIC!
    Thanks for posting the suggestion and I’ll try to follow through. It will take longer than a year.

  13. says

    So awesome just found your blog and I just organized every piece of scrap fabric I own. i would love to use 50% of my scraps also so i’m on the making wagon with you :o)

  14. says

    Fabulous idea! I really NEED to participate and stop buying fabric for a while! Gotta go sort out the stash and see the % I have to commit. Thanks for having this challenge!

  15. says

    This sounds like a Fabric Anonymous meeting or something and I feel like I should join. “Hi, my name is B and I’m a fabricholic.” I already knew that, but I’ve already told myself that I was going to do this, so why not with everyone else?

  16. says

    I think I’ll have to join. I live in an apartment with 1 bedroom, a den/kitchen/dining area, and some closets. So my two storage boxes packed with fabric is taking up some space…I’m going to try to get to where it all fits in one box!

  17. says

    I love this. I actually tried something similar called a one bin fabric challenge (I filled a storage bin with fabric with a plan to sew it up). That didn’t work so great but I have put myself on a fabric diet and have not bought anything since May. I am trying to sew all my daughter’s back to school clothes and have entered a 4 month pledge at Wardrobe refashion. I’m on my way to destashing and having some new threads. and

  18. says

    Oh my goodness, i think you have been peeking through the net into my quilt room…i have soo many fabric piles that I started to use them as tables….my friends refer to my room as “the store”….I ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE…HEAR ME ROAR! This should be quite the challenge…hmmm

  19. Jeanne says

    Well I am tempted to join, the problem is I don’t know where 1/3 my fabric is. LOL. we have moved a couple of times. I really do need to go thru it tho and figure something out, maybe I can start with the fabric I can find hey??? LOL. I have a question tho, What if I NEED (OPERATIVE WORD) some new fabric to finish something with the old fabric??? LOL. OK, I give in, I will join too. Lately I have this Thrift Store fetish (Mens Shirts and Vintage Sheets) That has gotten out of control too. So I think I will concentrate on those (Sheets and Shirts) and work on getting 1/3-1/2 of that done before I buy, but like I said I might NEED something to finish, sashing or something small I PROMISE :)

  20. says

    Yeah, so I’ve been debating on whether to take the challenge or not, but I’m going to go for it. I need to get my whole house de-cluttered and I’m going to be a good example to my kids by starting on my fabric stash.

  21. says

    I LOVE IT! I just started a new craft group with 2 amazing friends and I actually managed not to buy fabric for my first project and just used what I had on hand. I am going to make it my goal to only use fabric I have for whatever projects we do for however long the group last.

  22. says

    Just found your blog and have been looking for a focus for my blog :) so I will join in. I have just started organizing my stash that has literally been stashed in boxes so no one would know how much fabric I actually have including ME! Yikes, I have already uncoverd waaaay too much so I will post my first blog and get started.

  23. says

    I have just found out we are moving this month so, no new fabric for me, and I hope to get it organized in the new house. Count me in, I think at least 25% is right.

  24. nicci says

    ok so I have a bin of large yardage of fabric, then the bin of smaller pieces of fabric , then the open bin of stuff that I have plans for and then the drawstring bags ( only 3!) of WIP, oh and then there is the refashion stuff. Destash here I come! only problem being that most of my fabric has been passed on to me and wouldn’t be my ( or my kids ) first choice–can we get some fabric swapping going on here? pretty please!

  25. says

    Oh my goodness! I definitely need to join this wonderful challenge. I have been making scrap quilts for the last several years, but still have many scraps to use up and have yardage that needs to be used too. I’m in!

  26. glenda says

    i am so in i have literally plastic crates full of vintage fabric,suitcases of fabric from elderly aunts,suitcases of new fabric
    i need to destash it all before buying new
    also my repurpose basket is also overflowing

  27. says

    I’m in!!! I’ve already started few weeks ago, but if I make it official, I will hold on.
    So my challenge is… using half of my fabric (what I use to make clothes&bags), which means what fits now in 4 boxes will fit in 2.

  28. says

    I read the title and the first word out of my mouth was “why?” Why on Earth are you going to part with your lovely stash of fabric! Its like my safe spot. lol
    I have this same issue and have to reevaluate my fabric purchases on the way to the cutting counter. I find that if I love it but dont have a project that I will use it in right away(one month), I dont buy it. The fact that its on sale has tricked me into purchasing things way to many times. But the reality is, it will be on sale again, and my day isnt going to end if I dont go home with that fabric(though sometimes I feel like the bolt goes back on the shelf and they are dragging me out kicking and screaming!) lol
    I like someones comment about putting fabric in a bin to use. I think if I threw all the fabric in the bin and clipped the project to it, and didnt do anything but work out of that bin that my fabric buying would be halted, for a week or so anyway.
    I accept your challenge and will blog about it tomorrow if it isnt to late.

  29. says

    I’m late to the game, but I’m taking the challenge too! I have been collecting more than sewing, and need to change that. I’m running out of space, and it’s not good for the budget, either!

  30. says

    i’m even later to the challenge but feel i have been de-stashing for a while now. my problem is buying vintage fabric at thrift shops “it’s so cheap and i’ll never get that piece anywhere else”.

  31. Christine says

    oh how I wish I had the will power to NOT buy fabric. lol
    I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things you are making with your stash :)

  32. says

    I’ve had all my fabric organized for a while now, and I’ve finally begun to de-stash. It’s taking some discipline, because I want to save all my beautiful fabric for the “perfect” project. Of course, some of it I’ve had for years, and I haven’t found the perfect project for it yet. So it’s going to the cutting table! I’ve just started a new blog, so I’ll link up! I should be finishing my second de-shashing project tomorrow, and I’ll put up pics of it and my first one.

  33. says

    It’s a revelation for me. Thanks a lot for this brilliant idea !
    It will be hard but i’ll try my best…
    I can’t go on like that and this project is motivating. My fabric wardrobe is about to blow up =_=

  34. says

    Not to be contrary, Destashing is important, but remember that your buying keeps people working. I worked at a quilt store, and they would not be able to keep 5 people employed if everyone stopped buying!

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