|Have you just received one or more bundles from an online fabric company? Do you have a stash of “mystery fabric”? Do you forget what you already have? Here are some tips to help you get organized.
First, lay out all of your fabric in some organized manner. You could do it by color, but I do mine by type (suiting, knit, sheer, silky, etc.)
Cut a 4” x 4” swatch from each fabric. Measure carefully. Launder the swatches. (I do mine separately in a sink of warm soapy water to check for bleeding) Rinse, dry, and remeasure.
Use a index card, either 3x5 or 4x6 and glue or staple the swatch to one side. You may need to cut down the swatch. If you prefer the binder method, Deepika has created a great template. Check here. Now, go back online and check the site where you got your bundle. I found several of my "mystery fabrics" and was able to note exact fiber content and laundering instructions. It's also exciting to see how much $$ that "free" fabric is worth!
On your 3x5 card list the length and width of the fabric, content if known, noted % of shrinkage, and any other observations
On the back of the card, I write down what I intend to use the fabric for - a jacket, suit, blouse, craft project, whatever. Then I start shopping my pattern stash. One great book is Kwik Sews Easy Sewing. This book has basic patterns with lots of style changes for each one.
Once I’ve decided on a pattern, I note what else I will need to create the garment. Will I need lining? zippers? interfacing? etc.
By using the 3x5 cards, I can now stack these in the order in which I intend to start my projects. You can store them in a card file box, or punch holes in the corner of each card and put them on a ring.
Now I know exactly what’s in my stash and how to best use it. I have ready examples of fabric when I’m shopping patterns. If I see a garment that intrigues me when I’m snoop shopping, I can check my stash and see if I have a fabric that fits. I am not tied to what’s on the card, but by having all the information there, it encourages me to finish one project and start the next!