HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR FABRIC
Have you ever been in a space or time in your life and felt like you were in a maze, with no way out? That’s how I felt when I stood in my sewing studio, looking at all the fabric, wondering how in the world I would bring it into order. Where would I start? How would I categorize it? Should I create a recording system or not? How much of it do I really need? Will I ever use it all?
These were the questions that flooded my mind as I pondered the task before me. As with the patterns in last week’s post, I wondered, “how did I get here”? I needed to answer this most important question before moving forward, because I was aware that knowing the “how” would be crucial in helping me to discontinue the behavior. So I thought back to when I first started sewing.
I used to purchase patterns and fabric only for what I was planning to make. That’s when it hit me. I already knew how to sew with a plan, because that’s how I started out in the beginning. So what happened? When did I lose my focus?
Fast forward to 2015, when I returned to sewing after a 20+ year break. Blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – SOCIAL MEDIA!!! The sewing community exploded before my eyes, and I wasn’t ready for the aftermath. Never had I seen so many amazing women creating such incredible garments. I wanted in, so I joined them.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the series, when I discovered the term, fabric stash, I had to have one because it seemed like the cool thing to do. AND…that’s where I lost focus. So, here I am, with 204 pieces of fabric (after my purge), most of which has been sitting for over a year–and I continued to buy. That’s not okay with me anymore. It’s time for change.
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR FABRIC
After you’ve purged all fabrics that no longer fit with your future sewing plans, you’re ready to organize. We’re likely dealing with different size work spaces, so I’ll show you how I organized my space, and then share some options for smaller areas. Let’s get organized!
STEP 1 - GATHER YOUR FABRIC
Bring all your fabrics together into one area.
STEP 2 - CATEGORIZE FABRIC
STEP 3 - MEASURE & CATALOG FABRICS
Stash Star Fabric = FREE = 3.6 Rating
Fabric Stash = $2.99 = No Rating
Cora = $6.99 = 4.4 Rating
Using the apps above, you’ll be able to take photos of your fabrics and record lots of information to help you stay organized.
STEP 4 - STORE FABRIC
Depending on your storage source, you will need to decide if you want to roll or fold your fabric—I did both. Slinky fabrics are easier to roll and they won’t come apart when removing other pieces if you tie them with ribbon, string, or yarn.
Follow the steps below to prepare your fabric for the storage unit of your choice.
Measure storage unit
Fold/Roll fabric to fit storage unit
Layer fabric by type and color into storage unit
SMALL SPACE OPTIONS
Arrange pieces inside fabric storage cubes and place on closet shelves, tables, floors, cabinets, etc.). CLICK for cube purchase details.
Stackable Plastic Drawers are perfect and can be placed in rooms, closets, under tables, etc. CLICK for similar units. I couldn’t find the same ones online. These are many years old.
Do you keep your fabric scraps? The pile below was stored inside two plastic drawers, like the ones above, with the exception of pieces that never made it there. I rarely use the scraps and when I look at this pile, all I see is more clutter. It had to go, so I used a bunch of old shopping bags and packed it up for donation. I must admit that I did take a couple of pieces back after packing up. Hahaha!
BEFORE THE PURGE
If you keep and use scrap fabric, I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below. How do you store the scraps? The small amount that I decided to keep is stored in one fabric cube at the cutting table.
FABRIC CONTROL PLAN
Now that the fabric collection is decluttered and organized, we must implement a plan to prevent it from growing out of control again, and to ensure that we stay focused and intentional with future purchases.
Here’s my FABRIC CONTROL PLAN
1. Shop My Fabric Collection
For every project, I will shop my collection first. If what I need isn’t available, only then will I add it to my fabric shopping list. The goal is to reduce the size of my collection to the point where I will only need one bookcase for storage, or less.
2. Create a SWAP Fabric List
I’ve created a folder on my phone to include fabrics I need to help build my daily wardrobe, and for upcoming special events. I WILL ONLY ADD TO THIS LIST IF NECESSARY!!!
3. Avoid Fabric Sale Temptation
I will only shop fabric sales and use mailer coupons when there are items on my Shopping List. Joining the masses at the sales and forcing myself to use that coveted 60% off coupon + an Extra 20% off your total purchase (including sales items) is a behavior of the past.
Now that my fabric is organized and easy to access, I feel great walking into my space. A clutter-free space makes room for great creativity.
So far, in the Series, we’ve discovered our personal style, decluttered our wardrobes, planned our first month of Sewing with a Plan, and decluttered our pattern and fabric collections. Now we’re ready to pull it all together.
Be sure to join me here next week, as we end the Series by planning our first project from our 1-Month Sewing Plan. You will need to complete Step 1 in the Series before moving on next week.
Do you already have an organized fabric collection? I’d love to hear about your system. Please share in the comments below. If you don’t have a system, I hope you have received encouragement to start today. Let me know what you think below.
OTHER BLOG POSTS IN THIS SERIES:
Thanks for stopping by,
Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES!
(DISCLAIMER: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission on qualifying purchases. All opinions in this post are my own.)