I am trying to coin a new phrase to describe some of the pieces of fabric I am finding in my stash.


The new phrase is singular or singularity. When I look at a piece of fabric and I see it made into only one specific item, that fabric has singularity, or is singular in function, as in it has only one purpose in my mind. When I look at a piece of fabric and I can see multiple items made from it, that piece does not have singularity. Now, this phrase is very user specific. What I see as a singular fabric, may not be a singular fabric to you and visa versa.  And, a piece of fabric may change its singularity status over time depending on how many times I run across it before making something with it.

While digging through the stash, along with finding the already cut out sleepers, I found a box marked “baby”. It contained baby printed knits that I have collected over the years to make sleepers with. Much like the already cut out sleepers, for whatever reason, these fabrics have just never made it to the cutting table and to the sewing machine. But it was now time for that to change. So I pulled out 4 pieces of fabric, and decided it was time for them to leave the stash and be made into sleepers.


One of the hardest parts of sewing fabric that has been collecting in the stash, is determining if the piece of fabric I have selected is what I want to use to make the particular project I am working on. Or, would that fabric be better suited for some other item later on. As I looked at the first piece of fabric I had pulled from the stash, the Tweetie Bird print, I could only see a sleeper being made from this fabric. This piece had a singular purpose to me. It has singularity. Yes, it could make a tee shirt, or a onesie, but the feel of the fabric, the weight of the fabric and the amount of the fabric, to me, said it needed to be a sleeper. And nothing else would seem right to me.


The next piece a fabric pulled from the stash is a baby fleece printed with animals in stocking caps and scarfs. It is probably not a singular piece of fabric to me, but it is close. It has been stored away for several years just waiting to be made into a sleeper, but it could make other items as well, like a baby fleece jogging suit or a toddlers fleece jacket or even a small baby bunting. Because of the small amount of fabric that I had left of this piece, it became a sleeper. As I sewed this sleeper together, I regretted my decision to make this fabric into a sleeper. It is a heavy piece of fabric which made a heavy sleeper. If the baby that ends up wearing this sleeper lives in a cold climate, they might need this sleeper, but even then it might be too warm. So, this fabric was not a singular piece but due to its size and print, it was limited in it function for me. The decision to make it into a sleeper was easier, but maybe not the best choice.


The third piece of fabric that I pulled from the stash has even less singularity than the second piece, but it is still limited in its function to me. Again, it was originally purchased and stored to make baby sleepers, but as I looked at the little cars on the nice interlock knit and at the amount of fabric left in the piece, I could see other things made from this piece, like kids t-shirts, onesie’s, baby rompers and so on. Since the sleeper pattern was already out, and the print is not suitable for embroidering on, and it is what the piece was originally purchased for, this piece became sleeper’s too. I had enough fabric to make both the smaller size, 0-3 months, and the larger size, 3-6 months out of it. The singularity of this piece of fabric was not as defined, which made it harder to decide what I should make from it.


The last piece of fabric pulled from the stash has no singularity. It is about 3 yards long and the floral print could be worn at any age. Even though it too was purchased and stored to make baby sleepers with, it could make girl’s shirts of any size and style, many different baby items, and there is even enough fabric for me to make a shirt, if I would ever wear white with purple flowers. I doubt that I would make myself a shirt from it though, since those color’s are not what I usually choose to wear. As I laid the fabric on the cutting table, I could see many different things made from the fabric and several different designs embroidered on the fabric. So, I decided that it was not time for it to become sleepers quite yet. There may be another purpose for this fabric later on, and I wanted to give it some thought before I started cutting it up. I am not going to return it to the stash, but leave it in out so I will have to look at it often and decide what I want to make from it.


So, ultimately, I hope that by defining the fabric in the stash based on its singularity, I can keep the stash better organized and keep the sewing going.


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