Shop Talk: How I am storing my fabric…

fabric storage

This past weekend was spent decluttering, re-working, and purging all sorts of things from the studio. There were two reasons for this:

  1. It was a disaster! I am a total hoarder by nature and it wasn’t so awful, but it was pretty chaotic. When I am working on tons of things in a small amount of time, my clutter tends to take over by having piles starting to appear here, there, and everywhere. I actually work best with just a few piles here and there, minimalism is not something that I am good at. My desk was overflowing with stacks of all sorts of notes, swatches, and notions. Pattern pieces were in different statuses all around. Fabric was everywhere. Which were prime targets for kitty Bentley’s revolving nap time location. Cat hair is a magnet to new fabric… 😉
  2. The other huge factor is that now that Hancock’s is closed it only leaves Jo-anns for local fabric shopping (there are few others around our area but they primarily carry quilting cottons). Now our Jo-anns is not huge, so the apparel selection is not super awesome, but in a pinch I can usually find something. Hancock’s was more of my go-to since they had more apparel fabric even though their customer service was less than stellar. So I am going to be doing a lot more online shopping. In turn, I am going to need to get better at pre-planning pattern releases and coordinating fabrics to go with them. Ordering fabric well in advance is something that I am already starting to work on. The whole studio re-do really centered around one big thing… how am I going to store all my incoming fabric?

After much thought and talking it out with my mom (because who else is going to tell you, you’re just going to do it the way you want anyways), I figured out a new game plan that would hopefully do the trick and keep the cat off the fabric in the process. I set to work moving the entire studio around (I will do a little tour next week) and have ended up loving the new storage system!

fabric storage1

The main fabric storage is on two book cases. All wovens are on the left book case (fabrics that are more than 4 yards are on bolts and stacked the side) and all knits are on the right with the bottom shelf reserved for a few oddballs. I also have a few tubes with fabric rolled and more knit bolts (it’s for making knit muslins) stacked to the right. All the fabrics on these shelves are in general 2+ yards. I go through knits faster than wovens it seems, but I think I probably buy at least a 2 to 1 ration of wovens to knits. The baskets have swimwear (yes, I have swimwear patterns in the works) and intimate fabrics and notions.

fabric storage2

After taking care of that, it became obvious that all the scraps or larger leftovers were causing a ton of chaos in my stash under my cutting table. My solution: plastic tubs (totally my mom’s idea) and learning to let go of some of the stash. Here’s the thing it totally sucks spending lots of money on fabric and then getting rid of it just seems crazy. Right!? Well, I had to put my big girl pants on and just suck it up and clean it out. I went about creating a system that will hopefully work for me. After a quick survey of the types of things I had in my stash; I broke them into categories and used a tub for each one:

  • Flannel
  • Fleece
  • S  (my step-daughter)- Fabric leftovers that have enough to make garments for here or that she can learn to sew with.
  • Baby- things to make for baby gifts smaller leftovers.
  • Special Occasion
  • Home Dec
  • Quilting Cottons
  • Fat Quarters/Charm packs
  • Quilting Cotton Scraps

If it didn’t fit into those categories it was in the leaving the studio pile. In the crates: are things like interfacings and battings. I also have 3  drawer bin (on the other side of the cutting table) where I am keeping bias tape in one drawer, zippers in the middle, and buttons on the bottom. I still need to get the labels on the bins but overall the system is about a million times better than it was before. As an added bonus it is keeping the cat off all the fabric, not that he is real thrilled about that.


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