Organizing sewing clutter? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-20-2010, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I have tons of fabric, thread, notions, etc... But I can never find what I need! It's overwhelming, and I'm don't sew as much as I would like, just because it's a hassle to find what I need.

Does anyone have any tips?

Welcoming our twins :: born February 21, 2009 at 33 weeks! :
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
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#2 of 6 Old 12-23-2010, 11:46 AM
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I have a clear plastic bin that I folded all my larger fabrics into and stacked them so I can see what is there w/o opening the bin.  A smaller container holds the smaller fabric scraps (which I basically just pull out and dig through to find what I want).  I have thread in a clear plastic shoebox.  Bobbins used to be in the clear bobbin containers, but they all fell out and I have a mess of thread that is waiting for me to organize it again. :)  Needles, pin cushion, and other odds and ends go in another clear plastic shoebox.  

I use the top shelf of the armoire in our dining room to store my sewing stuff, and a drawer in the buffet, since I usually sew downstairs at the dining room table.

Laura- Wife to Jose, Mami to Adela (9/02) reading.gif, Lucas (2/04) REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, and Ray (10/10) baby.gif.
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#3 of 6 Old 12-23-2010, 06:50 PM
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I got a bunch of small clear plastic bins for my daughter's toys and sorted them by theme.  It worked great for keeping the mess minimal and for picking up, so I did the same for myself. I  have three medium sized clear fabric bins (two that look like they are about the size for storing a ream of 8.5x11 paper and one that is about 1/3 as big again), a small bin for my thread and other notions, and a tiny bin with dividers for my tiny notions, needles, thread cutters, etc.  I also have two small jars, one full of elastic, and one full of ribbon.  Everything but the fabric packs neatly into my sewing basket.


I also have a laundry basket full of less desirable fabric that I am crafting through by the 31st, then selling as a lot on craigslist.  If it doesn't go in a week, I'll donate it.

DD1 6/2009 DD2 5/1/2013-5/5/2013 (HIE) DS 3/2014
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#4 of 6 Old 12-26-2010, 03:09 PM
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I have small bookcases I put on their sides to make cubby holes that I store all the fabric in. Then I got a bunch of divided plastic containers from the 100 yen store to store all the notions in. I also have a couple rolling carts I store projects I'm working on and Serger thread (since that doesn't fit any containers). The machines still have the plastic covers they came with (I'm thinking of making nicer cloth ones) and they get stored on the top. The patterns go into page protectors and then go into a notebook. Right now I have them separated adult and child. Soon though I'm going to have to separate them better since I have quite a few patterns. I also have a sewing box I keep everything I'll need out with me. Right now it has: white and black thread, regular and ball machine needles, safety pins, buttons for the project I'm working on, sewing machine feet, a ruler, fabric scissors, regular scissors and an iron on I got for something for my daughter that I'm hiding until I use it (if she found it Id lose it).


I need to find a better way to store all the yarn and knitting supplies Ive accumulated. My husband (love the guy but he aggravates me at times) loves to get yarn when he thinks it would be nice for something for the girls.. BUT Im a SLOW SLOW knitter so one skein of yarn can last me for months. I probably have 20 waiting to be knitted into something. They are nice though so I know I will use them, time is the issue. 2 kids and one on the way, moving and all that means I don't have much time.


ETA: With the exception of things my husband buys for my crafting everything bought is for a purpose. Sometimes it doesn't fulfill the purpose (like I bought quite a bit of fabric to make myself some nice nursing clothing, then got pregnant so its still sitting there) but I very very rarely get fabric just because I like it. We move soon and Im going to go through and look at what I have beforehand. Some I know Ill keep, others I probably will get rid of before the move. No use dragging things along you don't really love.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#5 of 6 Old 12-26-2010, 06:52 PM
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I sort them by fabris type, most are kept in bins. 


My mom quilts and has tons of quilting scraps. We sorted them by color in plastic bins.

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#6 of 6 Old 01-04-2011, 09:21 AM
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Those thread racks with pegs for each spool are fantastic. 


For me, tools do well in a sewing box. I got a jewelry box at goodwill with drawers sized for scissors, and a top that's deep enough for pin cushions. Sort of imitating this style of sewing box.


Ribbons are in individual compartments in a sort of bead bin. I have four and they stack well and let me see what's available at a glance.


Fabrics are my bane. Right now they're tucked into a variety of large plastic totes, which keeps the fabric dry and are fairly easy to look through, but just aren't that conducive to really knowing where things are, or putting things away, or anything.


Ooh, like her system:

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