A discussion on whether the fabrics that you have in your stash is free or no, and how they should be calculated into the costs of projects over at the HSF facebook group made me think about what I have in my stash.
I'm quite happy with my stash, after I cleared out a lot of it earlier this spring. My stash contains mainly of four categories of fabrics.
1. Leftovers from older projects.
A good thing with leftovers is though that they are usually of quite a nice quality, since for the last few years I have tried to save up and do fewer, but more expensive projects. The HSF challenges have been a good way of reducing this part of the stash, and the reticule in the picture is a good example of small pieces of leftover fabrics that were too nice to throw away, but also too small to make anything big out of.
2. Planned projects that never came to be
This is the dark spot in my stash, and I'm not too happy about it. A couple of years ago I planned to make more "normal" clothes and bought quite a few fabrics to make skirts and dresses out of. Well that has never happened, and I also must question my judgement when it comes to the look of the fabrics. This part of the stash is mostly filled with knits and pin stripes, but in colours that won't be usable for historical projects. Also I don't like working with knits, so I'm not sure when I'm going to make something out of those.
3. "natural fibres"
Since I started with historical costuming I've come to realize that it's always good to have some white/natural linen and cotton around. I always need something to line with, or make a petticoat or chemise. These kinds of fabrics are also great for tusken, jawas, jedis and other Star Wars costumes. This is the one part of my stash that I'm actively refilling, without having proper plans for it. It's usually comes down to me ordering a couple of meters of cotton voile or linen when I order other things from Stoff och Stil, since I love their voile.
4. Given fabrics
A good example of when I was able to use a fabric like this was for these pair of stays. That's a fabric that I feel very connected to, due to family history, but it was great to be able to squeeze the last remaining piece into something that I can use. The outfit that I'm making for myself for my sister's wedding is also a fabric from this part of the stash.
The rest though...
This is not the current state of the stash, I have filled it with some more fabrics and removed some, but I have decided that I'm not allowed to fill up more space than I have here. Except for the "natural fibre" part of the stash I am trying to not buy more fabrics, unless I have a certain project in mind for it, and hopefully that will keep the stash in check so it doesn't start overflowing too much.
In all though I must say that I really haven't got a clue about the value of my stash, or the cost of individual fabrics. Once they are in my stash and up for grabs for non-specific purposes they are "free" in my mind. I have bought these fabrics because I could afford it at the time, so it doesn't cost me anything now. I try to estimate when I'm doing the HSF challenges, but those are just estimates.