Stash Interview ~ Jennifer Ladd

on February 16 | in Interviews + Profiles, Sewing + Quilting Tips | by | with 54 Comments

Did you see Jennifer’s fantastic tutorial for a Fat Quarter Handbag? You can find Jennifer at the Jennifer Ladd shop, and here as a board member too! Have you answered our stash interview questions? Have you added a picture to the Fabric Stash & Storage pool? Here’s what Jennifer has to say about fabric and her stash:

SMS: First of all, what do you usually sew?
Jennifer: I am usually the happiest when I am sewing bags and purses. I’m a bit of a purse addict, myself, so I satisfy my cravings by making bags and then selling them in my shop so I can make more! I also sell my handmade baby booties, baby bibs, and burp cloths in my shop – I love imagining the babies who will be wearing my creations and I try to put extra love into each piece for them. And I always find extra time to sew as much as I can for my daughter. I make her dresses, and since she loves to dress and undress her baby doll dozens of times a day, I make matching mini-dresses for her doll, as well. I make her stuffed animals, tote bags, slippers – whatever I can to show how much I love her.


SMS: When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)
Jennifer: I love fat quarters – they are the perfect size for most of the projects I sew. They are inexpensive so I don’t have to feel guilty that I am spending too much money on fabric (of course … it does add up … but it just SEEMS better, mentally!). I love to use a lot of different prints in my projects, so fat quarters allow me to experiment with lots of different fabric designers without having to commit to lots of yardage. And since I like to keep my sewing room as neat as I can, they are the easiest to store.

SMS: Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
Jennifer: Impulse. I love to work with beautiful fabric, so when I see something I love, I always buy it. That way, I always have a beautiful fabric stash on hand to inspire me.

SMS: Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?
Jennifer: I do like to pre-wash. That way I know my project will hold up to all sorts of wear and tear once it is finished. I usually wash it as soon as I get it, so I’m ready to sew as soon as inspiration strikes.

SMS: Do you iron it?
Jennifer: Always. It makes such a difference to sew with a crisp, clean piece of fabric. I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) sew without my iron.

SMS: How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)
Jennifer: I tend to sort by color. I love opening my sewing cabinet and seeing the beautiful groups of color jump out at me – it fills me with happiness every time!

SMS: Do you have any special folding techniques?
Jennifer: I try to fold all my fabrics into similar-sized rectangles. This makes it easier to stack them on top of each other without them all falling into a big mess. I also try to fold all the raw edges in so they do not fray (and so my stash just looks neater!).

SMS: How do you store your fabric?
Jennifer: I have a large cabinet where I stack my fabric into similar piles (usually based on color, sometimes based on designer). I have learned, though, to keep each pile pretty short. If your stack gets too large, you will inevitably end up needing the piece that’s on the bottom and the hardest to get to!


SMS: What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?
Jennifer: Whenever you are buying fabric (especially online), look through the whole store before you check out. Chances are, if you like the store’s style, you will end up finding many great prints that you might not have been searching for originally. And you can usually save quite a bit on shipping by buying a lot at one time.

SMS: When do you say enough is enough?
Jennifer: Hmmm… I haven’t yet. But as long as I continue to sew, I will have fabric coming in and fabric going out, so it all balances out eventually. Or maybe I’ll just have to buy a bigger storage cabinet.

SMS: What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?
Jennifer: I love making so many different types of bags that I usually like to use my stash on some sort of purse. The bigger pieces usually end up as shoulder bags. The smaller ones will be clutches or wallets. If I have fabric scraps, I like to pair complimentary prints together and make small, lined pouches – they are quick and easy and fun to make. Lately, I have been using some of my stash on matching dresses for my daughter and her doll – they are a great way to use my fabric, and I always love the result (ANY fabric looks so cute on my daughter!).

SMS: What’s your definition of the perfect stash?
Jennifer: Big. I actually get a little nervous if I don’t buy fabric for a while. I love having a large stash of beautiful fabrics to choose from, and I hate the thought of opening my fabric cabinet some day and not finding something inspiring to work with. I keep my stash well-stocked to prevent such a disaster.


SMS: Do you have a current favorite print in your stash?
Jennifer: It is so hard to choose, but I love a Japanese print by Echino with scooters. It reminds me of the millions of scooters I saw every day in the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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54 Responses to Stash Interview ~ Jennifer Ladd

  1. Amaze I have to say it is good. Even composing that submit ought to have taken you a seriously prolonged time. With thanks for the work!

  2. Danielle D says:

    i love the scooter print fabric as well.
    so, i’m just a sewing novice, but really–people iron before sewing?? ugh. i hate ironing. prewashing i can see, but i really despise ironing.

  3. Delilah says:

    Wow! I only wish I had a stash like that! I’m getting there, but definitely jealous! 🙂

  4. Bethany says:

    What an amazing stash! Being a rookie stash builder, seeing all of these big beautiful ones has given me something to aspire to!

  5. Jackie Sue says:

    wow, love the stash!!!!

  6. Stacy says:

    ohh, if my stash could look as neat and nice…

  7. Tammy :) says:

    This is very inspiring. I know I should invest in a stash, since I spend weeks looking for fabric for projects whenever I start one!

  8. Kara says:

    Thanks for all the stash interviews. I always want to buy more fabric after reading each one – they are fantastic!

  9. Mary Ann M says:

    I could organize my stash – and I know it would look very neat– until my next project!!

  10. Kim says:

    that was great, now I don’t feel guilty about buying fabric that I don’t have an immediate use for.

  11. Deb says:

    Wow what a great stash and a great interview. I wish my stash was that big.

  12. Rose in Arizona says:

    Oooh, lovely stacks of color. The reds really pop. The scooter print is so cute. Love the handbag tutorial too.

  13. Megan says:

    Very nice!

  14. Shellyfish says:

    Jennifer’s got a cool, easy style and I love it! I really enjoy reading these interviews!

  15. Emily says:

    If only my stash was so big… I mean I don’t think I can really call mine a stash yet…. In due time!

  16. Beth PRince says:

    Sigh. So many beautiful things. Sometimes I feel like my stash is like my closet– stuffed full yet nothing I’m looking for! Never enough! Never!

  17. Maple says:

    I am a new comer to this blog, but I love all the inspiration already!

  18. Regina says:

    Great feature! Love the gorgeous fabrics that Jennifer uses!

  19. Libby says:

    Beautiful fabric and I love your bag tutorial.

  20. Helena says:

    Nice stash. What I”d like is big stash too.

  21. Pam says:

    Jennifer has some great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I’ve got the same scooter fabric on the top of my stash! I used a piece to make a pillow. Originally I planned to patchwork a pillow together, but I loved the print so much that I just took the easy route!

  23. Deb says:

    I enjoyed reading the interview with Jennifer. Her stash shelves are beautiful!

  24. Mel says:

    Wow! I loved reading this interview. My husband has been building me a cabinet for my stash. The problem is – my stash keeps getting bigger and my cabinet doesn’t. 😉

  25. Tina says:

    I wish I had such a good lookin’ stash!

  26. Kate M. says:

    I also have the stacking-too-high-need-hardest-to-reach-bit-of-fabric. Must. Make. Shorter. Stacks.

  27. Kay says:

    Fun interview!

  28. Kathy says:

    Beautiful. Not only would I love that stash – but the time to organise it like that. Makes me want to sew sew sew again. Keep up the good work.

  29. Mam says:

    Love the variety of the different fabrics.

  30. I’ve really been enjoying looking at everyone stash. They have been so colorful.

  31. Gretchen says:

    I’m swooning here! What a great stash!

  32. Mary says:

    All these stash interviews are making me envious! I told my husband that compared to all these ladies my stash is small. He doesn’t seem to agree…. 🙂 I keep dreaming about my own sewing room. One day…

  33. Kandra says:

    Do you think that if I show this article (and the others about stashes) to my hubby he’ll understand when I bring home more fab fabrics?! LOL

  34. JaneR says:

    That was an excellent interview…you got to love a gal who will show her private stash to the world! I think that scooter fabric (are those Vespa scooters?) would sell really well now that they’ve been featured on SMS!!!!

  35. Suzi says:

    So neat to see how everyone stores their fabrics.

  36. I’d have to agree…Fat Quarters do make for more “guilt-free” shopping!

  37. Suzy says:

    Wow! And I thought I had a lot of fabric.

  38. lesley says:

    beautiful stash, looks very inspiring.

  39. Karen says:

    I’m building my stash, and find myself having trouble using items in it…hummm…

  40. Clara says:

    That stash is awesome. I wish mine was so organized and pretty.

  41. Toby says:

    wow so much beautiful stuff!

  42. Jennifer says:

    My kind of girl – favorite kind of stash is a big one!

  43. Megan says:

    Lovely. I am glad I am not the only one to buy fat quarters to feel like I am spending less. *grin*

  44. Michelle Lyn says:

    Oh wow I really like the blue scooter fabric… I wish I had some of that!

  45. Miya says:

    Sure this may seem like an out of nowhere question, but am dying to know where Jennifer gets all those purse handles! I have searched for them online and in stores, would like to buy them in bulk, as I’m guessing she does??

  46. stacy smith says:

    I like that she says a perfect stash is big. It means I am getting close. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Valerie says:

    I’m really loving these ‘stash interviews’, it’s so much fun to peek into other people’s cupboards 🙂

  48. naomig says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous collection! Very inspiring.

  49. Jamie says:

    I love your style and all of the colors you choose!

  50. xue says:

    I enjoyed reading this interview – thank you. Ha! Ha! I totally understand what Jennifer means when she says that she gets nervous if she doesn’t buy fabric for a while! I get that way too so I tend to have a good stock, at all times possible.

  51. Anya T. says:

    Great interview. Thanks.

  52. Katie says:

    Every stash interview makes me green with envy!

  53. Alissa says:

    Wow! I wish I was mini so that I could roll around in that cabinet!

  54. alisha says:

    I like Jennifer’s style. The definition of the perfect stash: big. 🙂

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