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Creating a Swatch Collection
DOGLOVER389
DOGLOVER389
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Member since 1/11/12
Posts: 254
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Date: 3/20/14 8:57 PM

Hi All,

For better or worse, I am starting to accumulate a stash and have been thinking about creating information about the various fabrics I have.

If any of you have created your own swatch collections, I would be interested in knowing the methods that you use.

What do you use to hold your collection(s) (ie: a 3 ring binder, etc.)?

What information about the fabrics do you record?

Do you make notes in your swatch collection regarding the item(s) you created with a particular fabric?

Any and all suggestions will be helpful.



Many thanx,



DogLover389

------
Cut my teeth on a Kenmore 117.58

http://pages.sewing-machine-manuals.com/173/PictPage/1922064294.html

Singer Merritt 9612

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Member since 7/30/02
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<


Date: 3/21/14 3:31 PM

Hi Doglover389. Check these threads out, and see what ideas they give you:

organizing a stash
inventorying a stash
how not to get carried away with a stash
Deepika's fabric chart tip

I used to do swatches, but now rely on pictures and the spreadsheet, and then I pull out the actual fabric to check it. Then I bring a swatch with me if I need to get thread or a co-ordinating fabric.

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

dmh1
dmh1  Friend of PR
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 3/21/14 4:06 PM

I keep a virtual swatch system using OneNote. Originally I was using Deepika's swatch sheets in a giant three ring binder, but since I buy most of my fabric online, it's easier to keep a virtual swatch system. I keep a pic of the fabric, fiber content, yardage, price, and any special laundering instructions (pretty much the whole description from the vendor's website, or what was on the end of the bolt if I bought it in a brick and mortar store). I've also been trying to note what pattern I got it for, that way nothing comes in without an intended use. Once I've laundered the fabric, if there's a degradation in quality or it's not what I was expecting based on the description then I also make a note. Hope that helps.

------
Michelle

SM: Janome DC2013 & Singer Futura Quintet
Serger: Janome Magnolia 7034D
Coverstitch: Singer 14T968DC

kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/21/14 4:40 PM

I got one of these: Swatch Buddy at a quilt shop (I'm not a quilter...), I think it's a nice way to handle this, quite portable...

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

frame
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frame
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In reply to dmh1 <<


Date: 3/21/14 7:08 PM

Oh, this is a brilliant idea!

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

DOGLOVER389
DOGLOVER389
Advanced Beginner
Member since 1/11/12
Posts: 254
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Date: 3/21/14 8:39 PM

Hi All,

Thank you for your replies.

Anne, I have not yet read the links, but how did you know I tend to make lists, spreadsheets and databases to the extreme? "How not to get carried away" sounds like it was written for me. ;)


Many thanx,


DogLover389

------
Cut my teeth on a Kenmore 117.58

http://pages.sewing-machine-manuals.com/173/PictPage/1922064294.html

Singer Merritt 9612

Czedwards
Czedwards
Member since 12/2/11
Posts: 41
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<


Date: 3/22/14 0:55 AM

I use a blank, unlined, acid-free, spiral bound sketchbook. It's about 10" by 10". I cut my swatches at around 2"-3" squares (sometimes larger if the pattern is large, but I don't buy those often) and paste them into the book with acid-free uhu glue sticks. I also add printed (self-stick, address type, Avery) labels with a short description, width, length, content, location in filing system, and any notes I know I'll need. (Printed because I've decrypted my handwriting before.) I organize by color (my palette is limited to 5 colors because I know what I can wear). I've got about 15 pages per color family. When I finish a fabric, I redact the label (leaving it legible for future reference.) This is my third book, but I noticed that when I started the second one, I got REALLY interested in either using or gifting the remaining fabric in book 1 so I only had to carry one book. (Which makes this a way to manage stash, too.) If the fabric stretches or has a reverse, I leave half of the swatch unglued. If it won't glue, I use brads to secure the fabric.

For all that I am a geek of the first water with a serious tech side, I don't handle an electronic swatch book well. (I've used MyStuff on iOS, Evernote on several platforms and a home brewed Oracle IFS implementation on my web server. All worked, but I wasn't happy.) My sewing space has great task lighting but terrible photography lighting, and I do much of my administrivia in the evenings, including data entry. I prefer to have the tactile sensations of the swatch when I'm shopping, and it makes thread/buttons/zipper matching much easier. When I order fabric online, I always get an email confirmation that includes most of the relevant details (length, width, description) so I just copy that into the Avery address label template, annotate as needed, and print. When the fabric arrives, I'm ready to cut swatches, paste and prewash.

I do carry the book when I go shopping, I can look but not buy if I don't have the book with me (because matching) and I do keep the old ones. This technique is a historical one, and future material culture anthropologists may find mine as useful as the ones from the 18th and 19th centuries are for today's researchers. I also keep my notions inventory in MyStuff (buttons, zips, thread) and my patterns, as well as using mostly pdf versions when possible. (I have limited space. It's easier to print and discard one-off patterns that don't make my desert island list than to store them. Plus, having electronic instructions helps.) I also use the label generation as a de facto electronic data set. The label doc lives in the Apple cloud, so if we have a disaster, I will be able to document my stash for insurance.

Establishing the book takes time but maintaining is easy. I also keep a working wardrobe book, in a much smaller version. (I use cutting scraps and the line drawing from the pattern.)

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