My stash tally has proven to be very useful. A quick glance at it before hitting "place order" on a cart full of goodies often is enough to pare down my purchase, or cancel it altogether. It's also handy when I am thinking about a potential project and whether I have anything suitable on hand. And most useful, I have found that tracking my purchases (and deleting them from the list after they have been used) has allowed me to see what I use quickly and what tends to collect dust in the stash tubs.
What I have found is that cotton knits (especially those with lycra content) don't last long at all in the stash. I guess I like sewing knits even more than I thought I did. Wovens, however, linger on and on when I am not doing much sewing for myself. I have a number of larger shirting cuts that are earmarked for projects for myself, and once I drop a few more pounds, I hope to use those for some new Lisette Traveler shirts and tunics. When I'm not sewing for myself, I tend to sew wovens for the kids mostly during the warmer months. Basically I should not buy any more woven fabrics, but I can pretty much always justify purchases of knits.
I was very happy earlier this week to have a stash. Natasha is in her ballet school's performance of the Nutcracker this week (dress rehearsal is tonight!) and she needed a robe to wear backstage. I hit up some brick and mortar retailers looking for one, but there were no little girls' robes to be found. Everything online was more than I wanted to spend, so finally I gave up and decided to sew one. I used the free Sleepy Robe pattern from Melly Sews, and found a yard of this drapey cotton rib knit in my stash. I didn't love this fabric at the time of purchase - and I would not have bought the fabric if it had not been 100% cotton and only $2.97 a yard - but now I am glad I did because nothing else I had stashed away would have worked as well.
The pattern comes in four sizes. I sewed the 5/6, which as you can see, is really roomy. Natasha is skinny but I would say that the 5/6 fits more like a 7/8 - the sleeves are much too long too. But it was a quick and satisfying sew. And it's cozy and will do the job, and should fit for another two years, so that's something.
This is also a case where I like the fabric sewn up so much more than I liked it on the bolt. I love the play of the stripes cut in both directions. I should have bought more of it ...