Organizing Your Fabric Stash to Keep Your Projects Rolling

Staying Organized Helps to Inspire

Hey sewing friends. It’s that time of year where everyone starts talking about spring cleaning. Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you cleaned out and organized your sewing room? Have you been collecting fabric for a year and just tossing it in a pile with the rest of your stash? If you’re anything like me, your stash has a little too much fabric here and there and well, everywhere. That’s why I’m going to give you my tips and tricks for getting your sewing room organized.

If you have large clutter, I recommend starting with Pre-cuts because they’re easy to find and already bundled. If you have a bookshelf or closet space with shelves, use baskets and bins to organize. Using my prettiest basket, I start by placing my Layer Cakes (10” Square packs) in the back, followed by my Charm Packs (5” Square packs), but honestly do what makes sense for your collection. The main point is to get your Pre-cuts on display because actually seeing them will help you feel inspired when you have a new project, and you’ll be more likely to use them. I also like to stack my Jelly Rolls (2.5” strip packs that are rolled up) because it not only shows off the prints, but also takes up height on the shelves, which is important for making the most of your space.

The next item I recommend sorting through are the abundance of fat quarters I know you have. Fat quarters are the base of many projects and they need to be somewhere that is easy to reach and sort through. I recommend stackable bins for fat quarters kept at a reasonable height, since it’ll be easier to manage your color groups and find what you’re looking for. However, keep your fat quarter bundles separate since they take the thought out of having to put together colors. These are a great spacer on your shelves and deserve to be put on display, especially since those suckers are expensive!

Now that you’ve organized a good chunk of your fabrics, let's take a moment to go through your patterns. I highly recommend getting Magazine File Holders, as they’ll hold many pages, books, and magazines as well as smaller rulers and templates. The magazine holders help keep my books and things standing up, and keep them packed together tightly, as well as taking up height on my shelf; leaving room for more bins or decoration. If you’ve collected a lot of print out patterns, that is where I recommend getting a binder. I know it’s a lot of work to hole punch everything and insert binder tabs, but once you have it all organized and easy to find, you’ll really benefit from the easy clean up between sewing nights. For the average pattern size, get a small bin that accommodates the width of the patterns, and begin to stand them up vertically in the bin, if you have enough of them. If not, just go ahead and lay them in there.

Lastly, pull out your scraps. This may take a while, but there are a few ways to organize scraps that are helpful for future projects. If you have pieces that are too small to cut into 2.5” squares and you know you won't use them, put them in a used grocery bag and find someone in your local community who might have use for them. If your scrap bin is smaller, you can probably get away with sorting them into just warm and cool tones, however if you have many, I recommend sorting them into individual color groups & neutrals. Any scraps that are funny shapes, go ahead and sit down with a pair of scissors while organizing and cut them into more rectangular shapes, so that they’ll be easier to use later down the line.

There’s not many more tips to organize your fabric stash that I can give you other than to do what makes you happy and feels right to your brain. We are all different and like having our things organized in different ways. What may work for me, may not work for you. I have clear bins for everything, because I need to see what I have to be able to know it exists and plan accordingly, but for others, they may need to have everything hidden so it doesn’t look messy. Ah, one last tip I can give you is to put your current projects and future projects in their own home. I keep my planned projects in a drawer with the pattern I plan on using, and my current projects in clear stacked bins on my bookshelves. Other than that, good luck with your organizing adventure, and I hope you’ve gained some ideas and inspiration.

Thanks sew much,

Hannah Brook


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Published: 5/29/2024

Tips & tricks