Fabric Organization

24 Jan

I sat down to finish a project tonight {and I finished it! YAY… pictures to come!} and I realized that my fabric is a giant mound of craziness. CRAZINESS. I have gotten a few hand me down boxes from grandmothers and mothers, and each time I have just thrown it in the sewing area. Then I’m excited to get started on something random, and I rummage through such boxes, spilling them, throwing the random pieces about. There are so many tiny pre-cut quilt squares all over my sewing area, I just simply felt overwhelmed every time I thought about organizing it.


Anyway, tonight, I thought of it, and decided I should get started. I did! I started it, but about half way through I realized I really just realized I don’t know the best way to organize fabric as a clothing sewer. Quilters organize their beautiful quilting cottons (perfectly squarely cut) into color stories. Just like The Cottage Home, she makes children’s clothing, but uses mainly cottons.

But what does great fabric organization look like when it’s not just cotton. When it’s jersey knits, poly blends, cottons, cotton blends, and the mysterious fabrics that come along with inheriting other people’s fabric stashes?

I would love to know how people organize their fashion fabrics! Please give me some pointers, links etc to help me get the ideas flowing! I need inspiration!


17 Responses to “Fabric Organization”

  1. Teri January 24, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    Mine is folded in a way I can count the folds and I know how many yards I have of said fabric, 4 folds equals 1 yard. Then it is all stacked by color famly on wire shelves in my sewing room closet.


    • sew20something January 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      That is really smart! I will have to experiment and see if I can fold it by yards! I really like that idea.


  2. laurahoj January 24, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    I just have mine folded on shelves. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoj/8409694945/in/photostream


    • sew20something January 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      I think that’s about how mine started out before I got a few more donations and didn’t incorporate the new ones into my stash correctly. Really I need to get better at folding and refolding as I pull out the stacks of fabric to work on a project. Thanks for the link, very helpful!


  3. Kat H January 24, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Mine is stored in plastic crates – the sort you can see through and that stack well on top of each other. I sort fabric into the crates by type (knit or woven) and by season. E.g. a crate of woven fabric suitable for winter. On the outside of each crate, I have a list of what is in it – a short description of each piece of fabric and how much there is of it. Then when I use a piece, I just cross it off the list.


    • sew20something January 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Ohhh, seasonal seems like a really good plan. I think I’ll have to adopt that into my system, as we really do have the full spectrum of seasons here in Ohio. I often end up sewing out of season because I’m not organized enough to find appropriate fabrics!
      I did already get my knits separated into their own section, that’s about as far as I went last night {also got the flannels and fleeces sorted}.


  4. stirandstitch January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    this is a great question – thanks for asking – i’m learning a lot from the responses!
    at the moment, i have a lot of piles…i’ve sorted my fabrics by weight/type (home dec, cottons, knits, etc), all folded inconsistently. i have a special pile for fabrics i’m dying to use, and another for smaller scraps that i can’t toss. fortunately, all of the piles fit on the trusses that supoprt my sewing table, so it looks relatively tidy. i’m still looking for the perfect solution!


    • sew20something January 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      It’s looking like piles is the option of choice. Maybe a perfect solution doesn’t exist?! Honestly, anything would be better than what i have, so piles sound pretty great to me! I do love your system of having a pile of fabric your dying to use! Love that!


  5. soisewedthis January 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I don’t have a huge fabric stash, so i just have them folded on a single shelf in 2 piles – “cotton” and “not cotton”. If it gets larger, I’ve seen people who roll their fabric and it looks pretty cool that way.


  6. Cul de Sac January 24, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Imagine when your fabric stash comes from clothing… Yep! A nightmare lol! I just make piles on the wardrobe shelves… And i sooo want that pink dresser!! With the nice fabrics inside, of course!


    • sew20something January 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

      I know!!! Isn’t it pretty??!! I did make two bins full of ” refashions” to be some what organized! I honestly don’t think there is much help for those!


  7. twotoast January 25, 2013 at 3:36 am #

    Oooh! those fat quarters look gorgeous. I am a big fan of Ikea furniture in my sewing room. I have seen the ‘Benno’ CD racks for fat quarters, and may have to get a white one . . . . I currently keep most of my fabric in one of the white ‘Expedit’ units – all nicely folded . . . well, it is right now, so I may have to get a few photos to share!


    • sew20something January 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      I would love to see photos!!! Please do share! We don’t have an IKEA very close, not too far away either, but it would take a lot of planning in advance on my part. I have always wanted that full wall ‘expedite’ type shelf that has the attachable table. I think that would be perfect, but alas, out of my price range 🙂


  8. Redd's Threads January 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    I bought two basic wooden utility seeking units at Ikea, and have my fabric sacked on the shelves by color, then type. So I start with reds angld go through the rainbow, with each color sorted within the color by fabric type. I can see the edges of each at a glance, which is helpful when I’m digging through my pattern stash! I almost always buy in 3 yd cuts, so I know how much I have of most things. If I buy more or less, I label it with a piece of masking tape.


  9. Redd's Threads January 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    That should have said shelving units, not seeking! Forgive my iPhone autocorrecting!


    • sew20something January 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

      Lol, I totally got it! I feel like I might need done more shelving if I want it to be totally available. Your system sounds really solid, though!


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