Organising your Fabric Stash!

You might have heard it said that sewing and collecting fabric are two completely different and unrelated hobbies. This might be true – but it shouldn’t be.

All that beautiful fabric you’ve collected over time shouldn’t spend it’s time hidden away, gathering dust on shelves or in boxes. It deserves to see the light of day, to be seen, to be beautiful and useful all at the same time.

Now fabric hoarders beware! I’m here to encourage you to organise your stash in a way that will make it easier for you to use it.

I’m coming at this from the point of view of a dressmaker, but what ever type of sewing you do, knowing what fabrics you’ve already got will save you money because you can use up your stash before buying anything more.

Before you start to organise I would suggest sorting your fabrics and deciding if you want to keep everything. There may be some that you want to sell or give away as it no longer fits with your sewing plans.

Often I find that when people start sewing they buy fabrics that catch their eye without thinking of their suitability or end use. For example you may have bought fat quarters because you loved the prints but actually want to sew clothes so fat quarters are rarely big enough. Or you might have bought fancy fabrics that are not the kind of every day clothes that you make and wear.

You can always sell or swap fabrics on Facebook Groups or sell them on eBay. Charity shops will take fabrics. You might find local craft swaps too as an ideal way to pass on fabrics that you mo longer love.

I give my fabric scraps and bigger pieces that I know I’ll never use to Project Linus. Project Linus are a charity that make quilts for sick babies and children. Find your local Project Linus coordinator here.

Decide how you are going to store your fabric, whether that’s in bags, boxes or on shelves. Be mindful to store fabric away from sunlight which would cause it to fade.

If you’re stacking your fabric on shelves, these Comic Book Boards are useful to wrap the fabric around and keep it neat and visible.

Organise by Colour

This is one of the easiest and most visual ways to organise your fabric and looks pretty too. You will usually find that your stash rainbow is made up of a lot of some colours and less of others. This can help you find out your favourites if you weren’t already aware.

See Pinterest for lots of ideas on how to display your colour coded fabrics

Organise by Fabric Type

This is now I organise my stash. Although believe it or not I don’t actually have that much! I have boxes for each fabric type.

For example:

  • Lining
  • Denim
  • Jersey/knit fabrics
  • Cotton
  • Polycotton
  • Viscose
  • Satins
  • Embellished fabrics

If I need some lining for a project I then know exactly where to look. Or if I want to make a t-shirt, I’ll look in the jersey box. This way works for me.

Organise by Length

So you could have a box for fat quarters or less. And then have areas for 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m etc

This is especially useful if for example you know a project requires 3 metres; you can go to your 3 metre section and see what the stash shop has in store for you!

Organise by Intended Project

If you usually buy fabric with a specific project in mind, but don’t get around to making it at the time, you can store your fabric by intended project. Or if you’ve got a pile of “to-makes” lining up this is a great way to organise.

Plastic zip envelopes are a perfect way to store these as you can keep the fabric with the pattern, thread and another other notions required in one easy to access folder. It will always be easy to remember what you intended to make when storing your fabric in this way.

Organising your stash is a great rainy day project especially during lockdown. It’s also great if you’re feeling creatively blocked or lacking in inspiration as you’re bound to find some fabrics you’d forgotten about that will spark new ideas.

And if you do have a lot of smaller scraps that you can’t bear to part with this is a fabulous scrap busting idea – a Free Pattern for a Floor Pouf.

Let us know how you get on with organising your stash and if you make the Pouf pattern with your scraps.

Love & Stitches

Alison xx