Peppermint’s New Sewing Expert Commits To Shopping Her Fabric Stash…

We are beyond thrilled to introduce Peppermint’s sparkly new Sewing Coordinator, the lovely Laura Jackson. Based on Gubbi Gubbi land (the Sunshine Coast), Laura is a wearer of all things bright and homemade and the master of all matters stitchy and crafty. This multi-talented human (she is also our People and Culture expert) is our go-to gal for pep talks, project inspiration and sewing conundrums. So, if you’ve got a question, we reckon she probably has the answer; send it Laura’s way at

In her first article for Peppermint, Laura tells us about an encounter with a pattern designer that sparked a year-long shopping challenge… 


I recently met a wonderful pattern designer who told me that she doesn’t have a fabric stash; instead, she buys material specifically for each project. Let me tell you, I had a physical response to this news. As someone who has a heaving stash of beautiful fabrics in her studio (see above), I just couldn’t fathom how this fellow sewist was able to walk past aisles and aisles – and trawl through pages and pages of websites – filled with colours and textures without accruing a little pile of treasure for her future self to sew.

Trust me, I know this new friend has the right idea. When we buy for a specific project, we purchase the amount of fabric we need, which leads to fewer kilos of textile landfill – and let’s face it, that’s something we should all be striving for.

Which got me thinking, could I possibly commit to a year of “shopping my stash”? That is, only using fabrics that I already have in my studio? 

Being blessed (cursed?) with some healthy self-belief and a can-do attitude, I was quick to commit to the challenge… sort of. When it comes to new ideas, I have a tendency to be a bit gung-ho – I lean in just a little too hard. Over the years, I’ve learned that going cold turkey isn’t always the path to success. As a performance coach (my other career!) I know that sometimes smaller measures will get you closer to where you want to go. So, what does that look like for this “shop my stash” mission? 

The first rule is that I have to dig through my collection before I consider other fabric sources. If there’s something that suits the pattern I plan to sew and it’s the right size, then – ding, ding, ding! – we have a winner! If not, my next step is thrifting. If I see something I love in an op shop, if there’s fabric up for grabs on a community noticeboard or if I find a treasure at a destash market, I can buy it. 

Gifted fabric is another exception. If my mother-in-law happens to give me the 1970s baroque gold bedspread that’s on the downstairs bed in my husband’s family home, then I can accept it and turn it into a coat (come on, Enid, hook a sister up!). If I’m given new fabric for a Peppermint project, I’ll take it. And if I’m sewing for a specific event or occasion, there’s some wiggle room in the rules there, too.

While this might read like a rather long list of loopholes, my mission ultimately comes down to being more intentional about what I sew with. So many of us are trying to be more present in our daily life, to buy food and nurture our relationships in a more considered way, why shouldn’t we extend that thinking to our crafts?

So, I invite you to join me as I embark on a year of shopping my stash. Who’s with me? Tag your Peppermint sewing pattern makes with #PeppermintShoppingMyStash and we can celebrate a year of thrifty, sustainable projects together (who knows, you might just find yourself in our next instalment of The Stitch Up!).