Monday, January 17, 2011

Fabric Organization

With the craziness of sewing Christmas gifts, my fabric stash got out of control for two reasons: 1) After I finished each project, I basically just threw the leftover fabric on my tiny desk and it quickly became a few 3-foot piles, and 2) I have a problem with needing to get to a $35 total on so I get free shipping.  Why wouldn't I want to pay for more fabric than pay for shipping?  It's a no brainer to me.  Unfortunately, our house is at capacity for storage and I have very little room to keep a fabric stash, and what stash I have is always hidden away in a filing cabinet so I always forget what fabric I already have.

My first step to organization involved finding an appropriate place to put small fabric scraps.  I found a really cheap sewing one-a-day calendar at Barnes & Noble after Christmas, and on January 13th, I came across a pattern for a soft basket by Star Dust Shoes.  I spent some of Saturday and Sunday whipping this up, and it is perfect for me to keep by my machine and throw small scraps in. 

To remedy some of my fabric stash issues, I only used fabric that I already had.  A while back, I found this toile in the remnants bin at Joann and I snatched it up.  I have always loved toile.  Does this mean I'm an old lady at heart?  Here's a close-up of one of my favorite parts of the fabric.  Too bad it's hidden on the bottom of the bag!

The inside liner and handles are made from a medium weight muslin that I had for who knows what reason.  The inside called for quilted cotton, so I quilted some batting in between two layers of light muslin.  How resourceful!  The basket was quick and easy to sew up, even if it was a little smaller than it looked in the calendar pictures (and probably smaller than it looks in my pictures).

This morning, thanks to having off for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I tackled the actual stash.  Up until this morning, I had folded all of my scraps into the larger left over pieces of fabric, so I had to go through each folded piece to find the scraps.  I then separated the fabric into a few piles: small scraps, medium scraps, leftover fabric (bigger than a scrap but had already been cut into), and never-been-cut fabric (I'm ashamed to say that this pile was much bigger than I originally thought).  Here's the organized mess, along with the yarn for the afghan I'm knitting.

Then I got to organizing.  All of the small scraps went into the soft basket that I made.

All of the medium scraps went into a random basket that I found in the closet.

The yarn went into a crate.

And as much of the leftover fabric that I could fit went into the filing cabinet in the closet.  Some of the never-been-cut fabric I bundled, tied string around, and labeled so I knew for what project I wanted to use the fabric.  The rest of the never-been-cut fabric I had no idea what I originally intended to use for, so it just got stacked up in a pile.  The next time we go to Ikea, I'll pick up a rolling cart that can fit in the closet.  I think this is the best option to get the fabric off the floor but also be able to see the full stash if I need to.  Right now, this unsightly pile is what I'm dealing with until we get to Ikea.  At least I can get to my computer now!


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