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Fabric Management
Time to organize the fabric
Elnoramarie

Elnoramarie  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/29/13 12:15 PM

I have a week's staycation and plan on tackling the sewing room. Actually I rebought fabric I (again) realized I already owned. I need fabric organization suggestions. I have a good size room with access to closets w shelves. Do I organize by color type season age??? Overwhelmed and overmessy. Help!

lelliebunny
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Date: 7/29/13 12:24 PM

the best way that i have found for me is to organize by type of fabric and then by color.

if you were going to make something, what is the first thing that pops in your head? if it is oh, i'd like to make a something for fall, go with season first. if you go with the first thing to pop in your head, you are more likely to be successful because it wouldn't be as frustrating to remember how it is all organized.

good luck!!

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it doesn't matter what type of sewing you do. you are sewing, and sewing is good.

PattyE
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In reply to Elnoramarie <<


Date: 7/29/13 12:25 PM

That's nice...I'm on a 2-week staycation as well.
I tend to organize my fabric by type.
Half my fabric is on rolls and half is folded on shelves. The more delicate things (silks, metallics, rare, etc.) I roll.
I guess you should decide how you use your stash. Do you look for fabric based on color first, or type, etc. That will determine how you should organize, I think.
Enjoy your time off!

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Stash: 172.5 yds. @ 12.27.14

AngieRose

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In reply to Elnoramarie <<
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Date: 7/29/13 1:42 PM

I like to organize fabric by color, and theme. For instance "blender" fabrics, children or novelty prints, Asian fabric, 30's fabric, civil war prints, batiks, stripes & dots, solids and etc.

I use Comic Board backers I buy on Amazon and wrap my fabric on those so I can store it vertically. My small sewing room is on the northeast side of the house. I have two small corner windows and no fading. This is just a small section of fabric in my sewing room. I also have some fabrics stored on shelves and in a lateral file.

-- Edited on 7/29/13 1:43 PM --

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Angie Rose
2008 Babylock Ellisimo
2013 Brother DreamWeaver VQ3000
Bernina 1090
Singer Featherweight
2009 Prodigy Quilter Long Arm
http://timberhillthreads.blogspot.com

ConnieBJ
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Date: 7/29/13 2:18 PM

I was doing really well with piles on the shelf till I saw your photo Angie! Now I've got to know- what size are your boards?

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Connie Bontje

http://www.couturesmith.com
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Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

AngieRose

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In reply to ConnieBJ <<
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Date: 7/29/13 2:56 PM

Hi Connie,
The boards are 6-3/4 x 10-1/2 BWC Currant Comic Book Backing Boards.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SB3786/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

While some fabrics may overlap the actual boards, I have most of the fabrics folded so that the bottom of the cardboard is resting on the shelf with the overlapping fabric slid to the top.

I fold the fabric selvage to selvage, then fold in half again. Lay the boards down near the far left edge of the folded fabric and start smoothing and flipping (rolling) it onto the comic board as tightly as you can. The I make a flip over the last edge and put a straight pin in the fabric to keep it on the board. Similar to what they do in the fabric stores. I use the comic boards for a yard or more. Otherwise I keep smaller cuts in containers on shelves or roll around carts.

-- Edited on 7/29/13 4:03 PM --

------
Angie Rose
2008 Babylock Ellisimo
2013 Brother DreamWeaver VQ3000
Bernina 1090
Singer Featherweight
2009 Prodigy Quilter Long Arm
http://timberhillthreads.blogspot.com

AnneM
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Date: 7/29/13 5:45 PM

This is what works for me:

I have all my fabrics entered into a little spreadsheet with:
- an arbitrary number
- type (challis, jersey, twill, windblock, or less informative descriptions like cotton)
- fabric type (silk, cotton, polyester, etc)
- base color
- knit or woven
- description
- width
- length
- cost per yard
- date aquired
- total cost
- source
- target use
- if it is pre-washed
- if I've taken a picture of it
- location

I try to take a picture of all the fabrics I have. I put them on my computer, with the picture named with that arbitrary number from the spreadsheet.

Then I have some bins in my sewing room, labelled with a letter. I put in the spreadsheet the number of the bin where I put the fabric. (Before I had the bins I had drawers but used basically the same technique.)

As for how they are sorted in the bins, I start with knit vs woven vs linings & muslin. Then within that it is primarily dictated by what fits where, but I try to sort by function or fabric type: is this a boucle for a jacket or cotton shirting? Is this a slinky knit or a sweater knit?

If I have a project in mind, I tend to use my spreadsheet first to narrow down which fabrics hare enough yardage for that project, then check out the pictures, and last go pull out the actual finalist fabrics to made the final decision. Then again, sometimes I just open up a bin and flip through the fabrics to see what strikes me.

Having them on a shelf is wonderful for viewing, and you have the closet door to keep the light out so you won't get fading (if you don't have a door you might want to put up a little curtain to avoid that). I like the bins, though, only because it keeps fabric from tumbling down. Of course if you have nice boards like AngieRose that would solve that problem! In that case, your location would be a shelf number (1 through whatever) instead of a bin number.

You can also take little swatches of each fabric, & write on the back in marker the corresponding number. That is certainly more tactile than the photographs. The numbers will let you look up in the spreadsheet exactly where you have them stored.

------
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

lyndle
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Date: 7/29/13 6:33 PM

I'm very low tech - I always meant to get around to photographing my stash but I haven't yet. What I have done is stored it in plastic bins by fabric type (merino knits, other knits, bottom weights/ linings, dress lengths, scraps and trims etc). I've cut a swatch of each fabric and stapled it into a notebook with notes about type, length and whether it is washed, and the number of the bin it is in. I like being able to flick through and feel the fabrics.
Shelves would be great though! And I love the vertical wrapped system. I'm just unlikely to have the space or organisational skills to achieve it.

If I lived in a place with very defined seasons I'd probably subdivide my fabrics by type within season. I think 'what you think of first' is a great rule!

Sharon48
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Date: 7/30/13 1:09 AM

I need to organize my growing and growing stash as well. All of your suggestions here are really great ideas.
Thanks!

------
Sewing is a passion, so relaxing and calming!

Babylock Ellisimo Gold
Babylock Evolution
Babylock Melody
Viking 190
BLCS-2 (I know, I know - but had
to have it!!)
Babylock Embellisher
Singer 401A

lyndle
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Date: 7/30/13 1:21 AM

Oh also when I buy fabrics online I try to post the pics to a pinterest page, so I can look there for inspiration when I'm bored. Really all my organisation strategies are designed to a) prevent re-washing washed fabrics and b) encourage me to substitute stash fondling for fabric shopping :-)

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