best way to organize/store fabric? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-16-2004, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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someone help
my 'craft room' looks like a dump! my sewing machine, serger, fabric, pins, elastic, spools of thread, aplix etc EVERYWHERE (meaning on the floor!) :

whats the best way to organize it? shelves? a dresser with drawers?

right now i have a plastic bin/organizer deal that has 3 clear bins stacked one on top of the other but its mostly empty and anyway dont think it would fit all my fabric (when did i ever get so much? )

i plan to make this room my craft room/dd's play room but gotta move this stuff so i can see the floor

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#2 of 10 Old 07-16-2004, 12:22 PM
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I use clear plastic bins like sterlite (sp?) and sort by type, whatever makes sense to me. These are suppose to be ok as far as outgassing etc for archival use, but do allow for sun fade so need to be stored away from strong lights and windows. This is only a worry if you are like me and you buy more fabric than you have time to sew. I then stack these on shelves. I wish I had measured the shelves before I bought the boxes, I would be able to use my shelf space better.
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#3 of 10 Old 07-16-2004, 01:08 PM
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You're going to love this. There's a series of articles here, all about organizing sewing and craft rooms.

Some other cheapie ideas too:

If you have closet space in this room, you can fold and hang some of your larger pieces of fabric. I really like the way this looks in my sewing room. It's so easy to flip through the stash.

I also have those cardboard shoe organizers that have lots of little cubbies. I keep smaller pieces of fabric (diaper cuts, fat squares, scraps, etc.) organized by fabric type in the little cubbies.

I have a rolling 3-drawer plastic cart - first drawer gets notions; second drawer gets thread, bobbins and presser feet; third drawer stores the patterns.

I made a large "portfolio" with a couple sheets of foam core to store my pattern tracings. Many times I laminate the tracings of frequently used patterns or templates so they can't be folded or easily stored. The portfolio keeps them nice and flat and organized.



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#4 of 10 Old 07-17-2004, 11:22 PM
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I use a rolling toolchest from Sears Hardware (Craftsman brand) to store all my notions and equipment, as well as one of my two machines (regular or serger). Unfortunately, they don't both fit into the cabinet on the bottom at the same time, but I can store whichever I'm not using at least. Not only is there plenty of room for all my goodies, my machine, and whichever patterns I'm actively using at any given time, it *locks* to keep everything safe from toddler fingers! Here it is:

I use open shelves for storing fabric, so I can see what I have at a glance.

The only thing I don't have well organized is patterns, I"ll get to that eventually
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#5 of 10 Old 07-18-2004, 01:38 AM
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I haven't read the suggestions in the link above but I have been getting bolts from hancocks or joanns, cutting them in half and putting my fabric on them...I think once I get it organized it will be a lot easier to find than digging through my big 'ol plastic containers..hth and if you come across something not mentioned, please let us know *LOL*
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#6 of 10 Old 07-18-2004, 02:30 AM
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i got a cheap large shoe storage unit from target and use it for all my yarns, and stacked old fashioned wooden boxes above and beside them for my fabrics, and have a lot of baskets and little boxes stacked in the larger boxes/shelves for sewing notions.
good luck!!
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#7 of 10 Old 07-18-2004, 07:39 AM
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I have 3 huge rubbermaid storage bins for fabric, and a large toolbox from Sears for all my notions (since I don't have a sewing room yet, this makes it easier to set up and take down my sewing stuff).

I like the idea of hanging fabric -- I may do this once we move and I have a dedicated sewing space.

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#8 of 10 Old 07-18-2004, 12:34 PM
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i guess part of the question is - what do you have? someone who is a garment sewist would have yardages (possibly large); someone who is a quilter would have smaller pieces; some folks live by fat quarters which are easy to store, others dont

somewhere i read that getting foam core boards adn cut them so you can wind up your yardage like they do at a fabric store. in theory, if you cut them to be about 9 inches wide, you could estimate yardage too

i myself have five rolling buckets that stack on each other (they are the naughty plastic but they work). i separated my knits into one, flannel into another, wovens etc. the problem became that i have a bucket of mixed from purchases

i took a corner off each one and put it on an index card so that when i went to a sale, i could try to match with what was at home (yeah right LOLLL) i got frustrated with all these fabrics that never matched

my quilt fabrics well.. there's more chaos there. i put the FQ's into a dollar store box (plastic with holes) and then new acquisitions pushed me out of that box and i didn't have a plan for that

in terms of the etc's of sewing, i use plastic pencil boxes and separate. all the measurers in one; my needles in another; sewing machine catridges in one; the problme i ran into was when it came to travelling, i had to take 27 different pencile boxes so i ended making a general one with two packs of needles, two measurers, some pins -- so i could grab and sew

for my patterns i copied what they do at sewing stores. i have my envelopes all sorted by mom, kid, crafts in ziplock bags and then the patterns are in ziplocks in numerical order. so when i go to a sale, i can look at the patterns for inspiration of a fabric and also have a clue on yardage. if i find a fabric that i think is a great skirt for my dd i can look at any skirt pattern i have and get a guesstimate of what i'd want.

oh yeah, i completely forgot - one the best things for organizing sewing stuff? TACKLE BOXES!! really. i have one for my threads that i love and i just read on one of my other lists that a woman just got one that she loves too. those and tool boxes. usually you can fit scissors into tool boxes easily. dh's beware - we will raid the garage! LOLLL
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#9 of 10 Old 07-18-2004, 02:53 PM
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terri~ you rock! wanna come over to my house and organize withme? Just kidding... but I am enjoying all these ideas! My fabrics are more than over-flowing from a big box! help!

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#10 of 10 Old 08-27-2013, 11:21 PM
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i have a closet that has random shelving that doesn't work well for any sort of fabric storage.  Plus a lot of my fabric is recycled clothing.  So I have kind of stalked a car wash for when they tossed out their 30 gallon and smaller plastic barrels.  I cleaned them out after cutting the tops off enough such that they can "hinge"  I laid them on their side and put my items in categories into each one.  then I can seal up the end by hingeing it back into place and locking it with a bungee. 

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