Piles of various fabrics, with text box about London Fabric Destash Swap

DESTASH EVENT hosted by Olive Road and Stash Hub

20th January 2024

A huge thank you to Sarah of Olive Road London, and Yvette and Doug of Stash Hub for organising such an amazing event! 

On the 20th January 2024 at Craft Central at The Docklands London, a fabric swap event was held to enable sewers to donate their unwanted sewing supplies, as well as gaining other's unwanted treasures! There were fabrics, sewing patterns, and all sorts of haberdashery bits in abundance!

Not only was this event great to have a clear out of fabrics I was never going to use, as well as gain new fabrics I never knew I needed, it was a wonderful event to meet other sewers. Since the pandemic, a lot of our lives have changed, either in jobs, in location, or both. Personally, I started this shop and work mostly on my own, and a lot of my close friends moved out of London. So this event was a great social, meeting other sewers in similar situations, and discovering how other people got into sewing!

I donated a lot of my personal fabric stash on this day, and managed to squish it all in a trusty blue IKEA bag. Each piece was labelled with the measurements and its composition. Metres of unused beautiful fabrics I knew I would never make anything with, seeing as they had been in my stash for the past 20+ years! Seeing people taking my fabrics gave me such a sense of joy, knowing that someone else liked the fabric and were planning on making something with them.

Like many other attendees, I vowed to leave the event with less than I took, and luckily I did just that! Although I did take 5 pieces away with me, and only wanted to take a maximum of 2. Mainly because I already have so many sewing projects lined up, but the fabrics were too gorgeous to pass up!

The image Bag of various fabricson the left shows the bag I left with. Inside the bag are the following:
- A 1.5m length of grey boucle wool. Thinking a short Nova Coat by Papercut Patterns perhaps?
- A 1.2m sheet of blue boiled wool (I later met the donor who told me it was a blanket they had in their stash for about 20 years, but it's not a colour they wear, and so they felt ready to donate it). Planning to make the Solvi Jacket by Vanessa Hansen Studios from TAUKO magazine issue 4.
- A 3m length of Viscose Crepe in a gorgeous skiing print. Thinking for a shirt dress, maybe the Reeta by Named Clothing.
- A 1.3m length of green/brown woven wool. I immediately knew I wanted to make a mini A-Line skirt with this fabric, the pattern which is an old and trusted self-drafted pattern.
- A 2.7m narrow length of upholstery jacquard. Was also thinking another mini A-line skirt, same as above.

With a bit of pattern adjusting, mainly in shortening the finished lengths, I am hoping to be able to make the above listed patterns with the fabric pieces I've gained!

Leftover fabrics not taken by the end of the day were then sorted and donated to community groups and creative charities:

  • Melanie Keane: Refugee sewing and dressmaking workshops in Surrey
  • Stitches in Time: an arts and education charity based in the old Limehouse Town Hall that run sewing workshops for all levels and also a clothes mending service.
  • Lots of community sewing, knitting and craft groups run by local people
  • Sew Amazing: sewing machine repair business that uses plain cotton poplin and calico to test the machines
  • The Big C Craft Emporium, Norfolk: sells sewing and craft supplies to fund its Cancer charity (all the leftover haberdashery and most of the fabric was taken to Norfolk)
  • Very small fabric scraps and damaged pieces were sent to textile recycling.

What a wonderful fun event to save fabric from landfill.

Be sure to check out @oliveroadlondon for beautiful vintage fabrics and sewing inspiration, and also @stash_hub - a brilliant app to organise your fabric stash and projects!

Now washing and prepping my new fabrics ready to get making. Can't wait to get sewing and sharing!

Photos: Marine @ A KIND CLOTH, and Olive Road London


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