I, like many knitters, have small...ish... problems with stashaholism. Most of the time, I have ZERO idea what purpose the yarn I'm buying will serve. I buy yarn, when I travel, as souvenirs. I buy yarn because it's on sale. I sometimes buy rogue yarn to get free shipping... I'm fairly confident, at the moment of purchase, I'll eventually do something with my acquisition. It's not going to spoil. It's definitely the right size. I've never met a yarn I couldn't live with for months...years. (If you're a knitter, you're probably shaking your head in agreement and understanding. It's what we do.)
Like a good little knitter, I very frequently rifle through my stash to plan upcoming projects. Typically, I'll determine which yarn I want to use and how much of it I have, then I'll hit Ravelry and 'filter' my way down to a suitable pattern. There are instances when I see, fall in love with, and specifically buy yarn for a particular pattern. But, my process is usually Yarn first, then pattern.
With sewing. I function entirely in reverse. In fact, I don't have anything close to a "stash" where fabric is concerned. I don't think I've ever walked into a fabric store and been struck by inspiration. If I go to buy fabric without a plan, I'm disoriented; I wander; I leave overwhelmed and empty-handed.
When it comes time to sew. I choose a pattern, then shop for fabric. There's nothing really wrong with this approach, but it does mean I miss the opportunity to load-up during really wonderful sales; it irritates my inner tightwad to know my short-shortsightedness causes me to spend more than I have to.
I've noticed a lot of project forecasting around the blogsphere for upcoming spring/summer sewing... which got me thinking... and ultimately resulted in some organization and planning of my own. A week or so ago, notice of a nice fabric SALE landed in my inbox. With spring/summer in mind, I rummaged through my cabinet and picked out a PILE of patterns I thought I might be interested in sewing sometime soonish and then searched for fabrics to realize them. Here's what I came up with:
Pattern Bureau 2676 and Plaid Rayon Challis
UNKNOWN MAKER 9091 and Grey/White Sateen
Simplicity 4984 and Polka Dot Sateen
Vouge 1220 and Blue Rayon Faille
I didn't buy lining or notions for any of these, but I'm feeling very eager to get started! I hope the excitement sustains until I'm able to make a trip to the store. I am completely aware that, based on the rate at which I turn out garments, this is 6months worth of projects. But, I'm not going to let that get in the way the next time I feel like splurging on a really good deal. Each of these was less than $5 a yard!
How do you plan a project(s)? Does the chicken or the egg come first?