Sewing Tips – Organising your Sewing Projects and Stashbusting

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sewing tips
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My patterns folder

I’m sure many of you can relate, but I have a biiig stash of fabric that is sitting in my room.  And, like most people, it’s because I have a fabric buying problem.

Still recently I managed to (sort of) conquer my stash.  The thing you need to know about my stash is it had everything.  It’s not just fabric I bought, it’s also leftover fabric, scraps, trims, everything.  I seriously just chuck it into this big Ikea bag I bought for storing fabric and pretend it doesn’t exist.

Anyway, recently I finally sorted my shit out and did something about it.  I’m so proud of myself that I want to be bossy and tell you how to do it:

1. Sort your fabric stash

This is this obvious part, but everyone sorts fabric differently and into different categories.  I found that the most useful category for me was to sort fabric into what it would be used for.  I did this by amount of fabric – some looked like I could still squeeze a garment out of, others were way too small for that so they either went into a pile for future facings, pockets, collars, etc.

2.  Match your fabrics to a project

I keep my traced patterns in a display folder and keep each pattern in its own pocket.  It makes it easier to flip through and match my fabric to pattern at a glance.  It also makes it easier to keep track of what patterns you already own.

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For my fabrics that won’t be made into a project, I keep them in a bag labelled ‘facings/collars’ or ‘bias bindings’ depending on what I plan for them.

3. Pop your fabric and its proposed project into a freezer bag

I keep a little memo to myself about what I want to make with my fabric and other notes like whether I’ve prewashed the fabric or not.  I did find that I often went back to my stash and forgot whether or not I had prewashed or whether I ever had a project in mind or not for the fabric when I bought it.

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Dogs with binoculars make the best memos

I still keep my freezer bags for keeping my sewing pieces in after they’ve been cut so I don’t lose a facing or something.  I keep all my work in progress in there.  It’s satisfying to see the number of fabric pieces decrease in a bag as you sew.

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I punch a hole in the bag to let the air out so the bags can be stored flat.

4. Reward yourself with a lolly

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This is arguably the most important step in the organising process.  Don’t forget to snack while you’re organising too.

How do you organise your stash?  I’d love to hear some more tips!

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4 Comments

  1. katrynarae says

    This is genius! I always forget what I intended to do with fabric long after I have purchased it. I just have piles in a shelf and two bins of scraps. My problem is that no matter how small the scrap I tend to want to save it. I need to set tougher requirements I think haha.

    • Thank you! I also have a small scrap fabric saving issue… I recently finally bit the bullet and threw it all out. After the guilt you feel so good decluttering though so it’s worth it!

  2. Aah! It’s really a good idea to keep projects in ziplocked bags!!!
    I store my fabric by first washing it and then folding it and rolling it around a A4 piece of cardboard (the ones you get when you buy a shirt or pyjama) and add an elastic round it. That’s for big pieces of fabric
    Then for small pieces I have a box (and a small shoe box for the smaller pieces)
    And the projects that aren’t finished yet (which are a lot … hehe) I keep them in my green Wicked bag! ^^
    I start to many projects before I finish another one lol
    But I’m most of the time to scared to start one. I find it very daunting to start cutting into fabric not knowing if it’s going to turn out right lol ^^’

    • I used to be scared to cut new fabric too but now it’s not so bad, maybe I just got better at sewing. I like your idea with storing fabric around cardboard!

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