You’ve seen how I organize my enormous stash of patterns. But what about fabric?
I will admit, my stash is bigger than I’d like it to be. In spite of fabric swaps, donations, and finally getting rid of a lot of the useless leftover scraps I’d been holding onto, I have a lot of fabric. 12 boxes of it, to be precise.
I could conceivably use the same method I use for patterns with my fabric, but I don’t think it would be ideal. That’s because:
- Fabric isn’t as resuable. The sewing patterns can be used over and over, but the fabric can be used up, so things cycle in and out more frequently.
- Fabric is tactile. I often make decisions based on how the fabric feels, so swatches are a must.
My old method
Years ago, some of you might recall the method I came up with for storing it in boxes and attaching swatches to the outside.
This worked fairly well, but it wasn’t perfect. When I found a swatch of fabric that looked like I might want to use it, I’d still have to root through the box and figure out how much I actually had.
It was also hard to flip through all my swatches, because they were attached to the boxes where the fabric was stored.
I needed some tweaks.
My new swatch system
I decided to keep the swatches in one place so that I could look through them all at once. Instead of attaching them to the storage box itself, I’d just note the location of the fabric.
In addition to the swatch itself and location, I wanted to keep track of how much fabric I had, how wide it was, a short description, and any other relevant information.
I created these simple little hang tags where I could note the yardage, the width of the fabric, a short description, and attach a small swatch. The hang tags are strung onto key rings that I hang on my tool rack.
Whenever I want to browse my stash, I have a neat little library of swatches to paw through.
Make your own swatch tags
Want to try it yourself?
All you need is the hang tag template (see below for the free download), scissors, a hole punch, some hole reinforcers, and key rings. You’ll also need a way to attach swatches to each tag. I used a stapler.
Print as many tags as you like. I printed mine on a cream colored background, and I think they look particularly nice on colored paper. Cut them out with scissors. You don’t need to be too precise about it, just cut the lines away.
Punch a hole in each at the top, and group them by location onto keyrings. So everything in box 1 is on one ring, box 2 on another ring, etc.
If you don’t want to keep it in boxes, you could just as easily number your shelves or other areas. Or just write down the location if you like.
Cut a little swatch and staple it to the tag, and fill out the info.
Label each box or other container or shelf. I just used a piece of washi tape, nothing fancy.
That’s it! The only trick is keeping the yardage on the tag up to date if I use part of the fabric, or remembering to throw the tag away if I use an entire length.
This has made it so much easier to use what I have instead of letting it languish unseen.
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How do you organize your fabric? Any tips to share with the rest of us?