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Tips & Techniques > Bundles and Stash

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Posted by: Nancywin
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Posted on: 8/31/06 11:55 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 6 people   
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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!

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kaitlin said...
I wish I were organized enough to do this. It makes so much sense. I had an employer once who went one step further by putting the fabric over a hanger under a cleaners garment bag and attached to the hanger a zip lock bag to hold the notions and so forth that went with this fabric. I was in awe. I have mine in boxes and spend more time looking for everything than sewing. Karen
8/31/06 12:47 PM
Nancywin said...
What a great idea, Karen. I've been looking for some kind of storage where I could put it all together. I didn't think about hangers! Of course, now will I ever actually do that? I hope so, but hope floats...
8/31/06 2:34 PM
OP Gal said...
Great alternative to the binder method. I'd be interested in knowing where you get these bundles of "free" fabric.
9/1/06 9:50 AM
Nancywin said...
At you get a free bundle if you purchase $20.00 or more. You get another bundle if you purchase $80.00. They also have bundles for purchase. I purchased the rayon bundle for $20 and got over $100.00 worth of nice fabric. You can see what I got on my blog
9/1/06 10:25 AM
OP Gal said...
Nancywin: I just purchased a sueded silk bundle, a cotton bundle and some other things totalling $80, and received a 12 yard super bundle. We'll see if what I get is as nice as yours. I'm so glad you wrote the tip. You should get a referral fee from them. :-)
9/3/06 12:15 PM
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