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Topic: organizing fabric stash and projects HELP.Advice!  (Read 946 times)
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« on: February 12, 2009 04:10:22 AM »

Ok so i'm a fabric whore. I have miles of fabric that is currently in multiple piles around my house, in closets, tables etc. I have a very tiny house and need to organize it. I've seen sites where the fabric is all folded and stacked neatly but here's my question. What do you do with the cut pieces?? The pieces that won't fold into neat little rectangles and such. I have a pile of fabric that is just pieces about a fq or smaller that i've thrown in a box. I want to utilitze what i have before i go buying more and more fabrics (which is what I do anyway).

I also have a problem buying fabric/patterns for projects then forgetting about it. I'll pull out 3-4 yards of fabric and be like :what is this for?? Or i'll just buy fabric at random cuts and not have any particular use for it and then after a long while don't know how much of it i have for a project anyway.

Any advice or is this kinda sorta how sewing is supposed to go?


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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009 11:40:58 AM »

Here are my ideas:
In my humble opinion, you will have to cut them into some semblance of a square/rectangle shape to really be able to organize them well.  Circles are okay, but you will still have to fold that.  I can't wrap my head around trying to really organize fabric that is in varying shapes.   And, I know what shapes scraps can take, which is why I always lop off those long strays.

1.  Hang your scraps up on coat hangers.  Decorate a wall with them.  One time I hung a fat sturdy ribbon up on my wall, and I hung scraps on the ribbon, as well as on clothes hangers that hung from the ribbon, with the scraps all clipped to the hangers, or rolled or folded and secured with clothes or hair pins, so I could see them.  This collects dust of course, and invites fading from the sun.... but I'm just brainstorming.  And, it looked sorta interesting. 

Otherwise, rolling them up or folding and securing that with rubber bands, ponys, those hair clips that go snap, ribbon - whatever, will enable you to toss them into a drawer, boxes, on a shelf, or hang from something without worrying about messing it up.  Heck, you might even consider one of those stuffed animal nets on the wall if you have no shelf/drawer space. 

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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009 01:43:20 PM »

I have a friend who is disgustingly organized. First of all, she hangs all of her fabrics in the closet on the kind of hangers you get from the dry cleaner for pants or comforters. She clips the pattern she wants to use for a particular project to the hanger with the fabric.

She also has a binder in which she keeps a sample of each fabric and notes about the yardage, fiber content, and price she paid. Of course, she takes this with her shopping so she can buy coordinating fabric. Like I said, disgusting.

I usually cut off pieces that are still useable into a rectangle so it's easy to fold. The remainder goes into a "scrap bucket." When I need scraps, I just rummage around in there. My yardage fabric is kept in large plastic containers on shelves in my closet. When I want to work on something, I "shop" there.

I remember one particular day when my fabric stash started to take over my life. I sorted them into "keepers" and "I won't use this in the next 10 years" stacks. Then, I called all my sewing friends and told them to come and get the "I won't" fabric. I actually felt much better afterwards.

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009 09:36:45 AM »

I have a large bookcase which I keep my fabric on. I divide it roughly by the size of the piece, and then by color... I fold each pile to about the same size and stack it on the book shelf. One shelf for fleece, on for upholstery, two for cotton... The smaller scraps I fold and put into smaller piles. That way I can glance at the shelf and see exactly what I have. I know if I need a bit of pink fleece that it under a yard- I look on the top shelf, left pile.

Works well for me. I can't put the fabric into drawer or in the closet, because I'm one of those people who will forget about things if I can't see them right away.

Oh- I also have some clear plastic tubs that I use for really small scraps- you know, the bits you might use to make eyes on a toy, or a Barbie skirt, or a yo-yo. Divided up by fabric. Keeps my cats from stealing all the fleece scrappins.

Good luck!

« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009 03:08:08 PM »

I have a really tall cabinet from Ikea that has shelves and glass doors for the top half, and half a dozen drawers for the bottom half.  The larger quantities of fabric are stored in the top (since it's mostly qiulting cottons I organize by color, and it's quite pretty through the glass doors).  To be fair, the vast majority of my stash is no bigger than a yard or two, so it stacks easily.  Oh, and one shelf has the mending on it (which I rarely actually do Tongue ).

The drawers are fantastic for the scraps.  I use one drawer for muslin.  One drawer for small pieces that won't stack neatly on a shelf, but do okay in a drawer - I just fold any which way to make them fit.  One drawer for smaller pieces of velvet and other fancy fabrics.  One drawer with a couple of odd projects, each in their own bag.  One for the really tiny scraps (I just stuff them in the drawer) that I'll use for a quilt someday.

You could also use drawers like this, or stacking boxes or baskets, to contain entire projects - including the pattern, thread, buttons and sundries that go with that specific project.  I do this same thing with my jewelry projects, just on a smaller scale, of course Wink
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2009 04:39:55 AM »

thanks for the suggestions! I acually bought a three drawer rolling cart at joann's friday. The drawers are shallow and I've been pulling out all the pieces that are 1/2yd and smaller and folding them up and stacking them sideways instead of on top of each other so I can pull the drawer out and see everything i have on hand. I have some cubicals that i was using with drawers but I took some out and put some folded materials in it's place. I also took another suggestion and bought some skirt hangers and hung up one set of fabric with the pattern. I was using 2gal ziplocs for projects which didn't stack or anything neatly.

I have a very small space that needs to be organized and is also in my living room so please keep the suggestions coming!


My husband and I co-parent 7 kids. And we like to make different shit. Some of it we sell.  www.etsy.com/shop/80thirteen
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009 04:51:25 AM »

I used this idea

Actually found out there was a comic book store close to my house and picked up the comic book boards there.  This works great.  I can actually see what I have.  Even though my old house is very dusty, the dust doesn't seem to be attaching itself to the fabric  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009 02:25:45 PM »

ive gone from having no fabric(i move alot and most of the time i take only what i can fit) to having a whole closet full of fabric.....im in need of ideas as well. i like the idea of hangers because you can see what you have and pull it out with out a whole shelf full of fabric falling ontop of you.........trust me happens all the time. i tried to do the wrapping the fabric around cardboard but i shop in the scrap bins so all my stuff is in all wierd shapes.......not to mention you still have the trouble of having to pull it out cutting the fabric and then having to re roll the fabric you just used..........idk im so bad at organizing. show me your finished product when you finally get it the way you want!

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