Hi all! I’m Kim – the gal behind Sew and Tell with Mama Eggo. I’m excited to be participating in the GYCT Sizzlin’ Summer series on organization! Today I’m going to share with you how I store and organize my (way too large) fabric stash!
Since I mainly sew custom clothes (some quilts and other stuff…. But the majority is clothes) I tend to buy decent yardage of each fabric – not just a fat quarter or half yard. As I have found to be true with anyone who works with fabric – I *may* have a slight addiction to buying the stuff, most often without a real plan!
So…. I needed a GREAT system for storing and organizing my fabric! In one of many trips to Target, I stumbled across some fun colored Sterilite stacking baskets. They looked like a manageable size – not so big that they would hold FAR too much and get out of control. When I got them home and tested them out I was even more excited to see that they fit my cotton fabric perfectly!
Curious about the storage boxes I use? I found them here – at a website called Neatly Smart (not affiliated with them…. And maybe you’ll find them elsewhere for an even better price?!). They are the Sterilite Large Stacking Baskets.
See how perfectly the fabric fits in the boxes?
I promise it's suuuuper simple to get your fabric to fit into the baskets. Here goes!
I pre-wash almost all of my cotton fabric (because when you're sewing clothes, you really want the shrinking to happen BEFORE the garment is made, not after!) - but if you don't, that's fine, too (and yours will look even crisper than mine does).
I take the fabric and fold it in half, wrong sides together, selvage touching selvage (like it would be folded when it comes off the bolt).
Next I fold it in half again, so that the original fold touches the 2 layers of selvage edges. Make sure to smooth out the wrinkles!
Then I take my 6" ruler (how handy... something I have laying around all the time!), and I place it about 2"-3" from one edge of the fabric (I always place it near the uncut edge of the fabric if it's one I'm re-folding after using / cutting it.... that way the cut edge is on the outside and you're aware of any wonky cuts / random squares cut out of your piece of fabric - it's not hiding in the middle of the little roll you're creating).
Next I fold that 2"-3" chunk of fabric over the ruler.
Then start rolling the fabric - flipping the ruler over - until you reach the end.
Now you just slide the ruler out - and you have a nice, pretty little piece of folded fabric.
Find where you want to put it in the baskets (when I'm being REALLY good, the fabric goes from light to dark within each color - in ROYGBV color order through the 8 or so baskets I use.... but that's pretty rare!), and then you just need to get it in there.
It helps to not have your baskets TOO stuffed. It can get to be a pretty tight squeeze!
I usually pinch the "top" of the folded fabric (the very last fold before the raw edge) and place it so that the top of it is level with the fabrics before / after where I'm filing it away.
Then I push down with the other hand, guiding the folded piece in between its two neighbors. Smooth any wrinkles / bunching - and wah-lah.
Your fabric has found its new home - and you can see all the different pieces making it easy peasy to find when you need it again in 10 minutes! :)
As I mentioned above - I use around 6-8 bins for my cotton stash (sometimes more, rarely less), then I use one for satin / silky fabric (not as nicely organized), one for fabric I'm destashing, and a few for ready-to-ship items for my shop and pre-cut fabrics (jelly rolls, charm packs, etc.)
My larger yardage pieces go on bolts - stored below the baskets on the AWESOME shelving unit my dad custom made for me!
I suspect these baskets would fit on LOTS of other pre-made shelving units. I have used this system for over three years now and just love it. I got lucky that the first system I used really is a perfect fit for me! I know lots of people are fond of comic boards, etc. - and I haven't tried them so I really can't speak to how they would work for me - but I love that I only had to invest $60ish in baskets (which I use in other places in my house, too!) and they work for things other than fabric.