Fabric, glorious fabric. We stash yards and pieces here, there, and everywhere.
Closets bursting with bags or stacks of fabric? Maybe they are still in the shopping bags from the store. Or, you have everything nicely folded and organized in plastic bins.
Take a second and think about your fabric. Is it hidden out of site? Is it rolled up in the linen closet, boxed in the garage, or maybe you have all your ducks in a row and it looks as pretty as a peach.
Heck, maybe you're not a fabric hoarder and none of this pertains to you.
Eeep! I'm a fabric lover. I love feeling it, buying it and then trying to decide what to make with it. Hi, my name's Annette and I'm a fabric addict/ hoarder/ stasher.
Cue the audience: "Hi, Annette."
Stash busting projects are always my go-to for gift giving. Use what you already have on hand. All that fabric took precious time to shop for. Use it, if you can. If you can't use 40 yards of fabric on one gift, then make sure it is accessible to you and stored properly.
Do you prewash your fabric? I'm guilty of not doing this. I'm ashamed to admit it too. There's nothing worse than diving into a sewing project and spending time and energy making something, only to find that it doesn't fit after it got washed.
So, I have started washing my garment fabrics right when I buy them. As soon as I get the fabric home, I launder it. That way, everything gets preshrunk, clean and ready to be transformed! I do not prewash cotton fabric if I'm making non-garment items, I prefer the stiffness of the fabric while sewing. I should probably wash everything, but.... hey, I'm not perfect.
I also collect vintage machines that I find pretty or unique. I'm a hoarder of all things sewing.
I'll save my collection of vintage sewing machines for another post though.
I am lucky enough to have a whole sewing space. It's not a room, just space. I share my sewing life with workout machines, game consoles and the computer. The computer is okay to stay though, I use it daily. Some day I'll have a huge She-shed (or bedroom) and it will be decked out in all things sewing. One can dream, right?
Let's get back on topic.
After my fabric is washed and dried, I'll hit it with the iron. No, not literally. Get rid of those pesky wrinkles and you'll have an easier time folding.
I buy 2 yards or more when shopping for garment fabric. 2 yards is a good amount to make a skirt or most tops like my Rita Blouse. The fabric is usually 60" wide as well. Fold it together lengthwise (hot dog), then again so you have a really long and narrow piece. Now, this depends on where you'll be storing your fabric so my particular method, might not work for you.
Take a wide quilting ruler that is 5" wide and use as a template. I've seen some people use comic book dividers, narrower rulers, etc. Use what you have on hand or make your own object out of cardboard. I then "roll" my fabric over the ruler and get the size I want. I store my fabric in IKEA shelves in 2 stacks. I can see everything I have. Yay!
I often find random fabric from the remnant section at my craft store. Friends and family who know I sew, give me bags of fabric and notions as well. I wash those pieces and fold what I want, donate what I don't want.
I'm constantly going through my fabric stash to donate as well. Things go out of style. You might be over that fairy cotton print you planned on making something for little Suzie with- who is now 30. Life is a cycle and change is good. Donate what you don't want. It'll make room for new pretties. Yay!
I keep my smaller pieces in baskets or pieces that are leftover from previous sewing projects. This helps remind me that
A. I've already sewn with this fabric, so I just like that particular fabric.
B. This is an odd piece so don't try and make a shirt with it. Use only for small projects.
Fabric scraps go in my big glass jar. These are where the tiny pieces the size of my hand go to die. Anything smaller, I toss in a bag to donate.
Leave a comment down below if you know of places that take scraps of fabric. H&M does, but that's the only place I'm aware of.
I organize other fabrics that I don't reach for on the daily, in a more discreet way. I do have an Etsy shop and sell handmade items. I used to make custom baby items, so I have minky, fleece, and flannel for that. I keep those fabrics folded nicely, but hidden. They take up a few drawers that I can pull out and find what I need quickly.
I also keep felt pieces in a drawer, less organized but it works.
If you'd like, take it one step further and organize fabric by type. Store knits together, quilting cotton, etc. Or store by color. Whatever makes it easier for you and gets you sewing will take loads of stress off your shoulders. Sewing is supposed to be fun! And fabric storage should be too. ;)
Leave me a comment of how you plan on storing your fabric. And, where you donate scrap fabric.
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.