1 December 2007

Putting Out the Welcome Mat

On Siticher's Guild a while ago, some of us were joking around that we could go on a tour of the world, hopping from one seamstreses home to the next. And, although I love the concept of visiting all the wonderful women I have met through SG, I am realistic enough to realize that a trip that takes us throughout all of the US and Canada, to Europe, Australia and beyond is probably not in any of our immediate futures. So, I thought I'd invite you all into my inner sewing sanctum. Welcome to my stash:


Ever wondered what 780 meters (that's around 860 yards for the Americans in the crowd) of fabric looks like? Then, read on...

(caution: the following pictures are graphic evidence of addiction and single-minded obsession - not recommended for the sensitive viewer)

This past weekend, I got it into my head that I had to reorganize my fabric stash. I had been storing woven fabric in a guest room closet and on one side of an armoire, as well as all my knits on the other side of the armoire. I also had three large boxes of fabric right near my sewing machine (which resides on my dining room table until I can find a better location for it). I decided I wanted to consolidate all my fabric into one or two areas.

Next thing you know, I was off to buy a sturdy wire shelving unit. After helping my husband put it together and inserting it in the guest room closet, I started to sort my fabric. I was in organization heaven!!

I now have all my wovens (and a smattering of knits) in the guest room closet, sorted by warm weather fabrics (cotton, linen, rayon) and cool weather fabrics (wool crepe, wool gabardine, wool tweed, wool knits, coating weight fabrics, jacket weight fabrics, bottom weight fabrics, velvets, laces, silks). There is also a section for corduroy and bottom weight denim and cotton. If you look closely, you may recognize some of the fabric - acquisitions from Timmel, Fabric Mart, Textile Studio, Lucy's, Wazoodle, Emma One Sock, Sawyer Brook, Thai Silks, Fabricland, etc. At the bottom of the shelving unit are boxes containing my vintage patterns, BWOF and Jalie patterns. The rest of my "modern" patterns are in three drawers of a filing cabinet in the basement.

In one half of the armoire , I have rolled and stuffed the remainder of my knits. The knits include cotton interlock and jersey, as well as rayon/lycra and and few poly/lycra fashion knits. There is also some microfleece and stretch velvet.

I only have one small box of fabric near my sewing machine now, which holds the fabrics that are next on deck. This pile of fabric used to be taller than me, but most of it has been transferred to the closet now.

Although this reorganization really consolidated much of my fabric and patterns, all my notions (buttons, zippers, interfacing, trim, thread) are still spread out all over the house, in any nook or cranny where they will fit neatly and unobtrusively. My husband and I are hoping to build a new home in the next couple of years. And, let me tell you, I really look forward to having a dedicated sewing room. Then, all my fabric, patterns and supplies can be stored in one room, easily accessible. I swoon just thinking about it!

So, my friends, that is the tour of my fabric stash. So, c'mon, confess to me - how much fabric do you have? Do you stash like I do or do you buy specifically for each new project?

25 comments:

Faye Lewis said...

WOW!

Nancy K said...

Oh my goodness! I am impressed. Especially with how neatly you have your fabrics folded. This is a serious comment and not at all catty as it may seam. I always have problems folding neatly and I resorted to plastic bins as my piles always fell over. My question for you is do you have this all indexed?

Rosemary aka fabricfan said...

Wow, that was so much fun, made my day. I enlarged al the photos so could have a good closeup look. I tend to stash although that is mostly because I don't get around to sewing it.

Summerset said...

Wow! I bet that now that it is all organized you feel much better. I tend to buy for immediate projects or for next season's projects when the fabric is on clearance. Lately, though, due to some "influences" from the internet, I've been buying fabric that I really love and putting it away for the right project, whenever that will be.

Vicki said...

Thanks for a peak inside! I am a stasher. I don't think I have as much as you, so I had better get shopping..lol!

I think you need a certain amount of "collection" so that if you just want to create you have lots of options to choose from. Often you can't find what you want in the stores so if you have sufficient fabrics at home that you love you will always have something to whip up when the urge comes upon you.

Sewfast said...

I am a stasher from way back...I love to buy fabric that speaks to me on sale and am crazy about remnants...you never know what they might end up becoming! Thanks for sharing a view into your stash and congratulations on great organization. Mary

marty said...

My fabric is stored in a cedar chest in the attic plus some bins in the attic, the bottom of our armoire, and 8 rubbermaid bins in the living room plus on the sofa, the chairs, and anywhere else that will hold a bag. I've never counted up how much fabric I have. My hubby thinks that I could open a store with all that I own. Like you, I look forward to the day that I will have a dedicated sewing room.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Well since I've already shown pictures of my collection, I can only pat you on the back and tell you what a wonderful job you did organizing it.

At one time, my collection was organized by season but I found that organizing by color is more to my liking. If I want brown in summer or fall I know where to find it.

I have an armoire for trims, zippers, buttons, shoulder pads, etc. That puts everything in one place and makes them easy to find. I just need to get my TNT patterns & my lining fabrics organized better! But don't you feel so accomplished!

gaylen said...

Shannon - I never thought I was a stasher until I organized all my fabric and moved it around last year. I have 2 cupboards in the 'studio' and the fabrics are all folded and stored by color. I need to have a better selection of interfacings and linings. I still seem to have plastic bins full of whatever stuff under the cutting table though.

Thanks for you good wishes on my surgery. By default I'm taking it easy. I am hoping to be able to get some sewing done while I'm off work (for a month), but not going to push. g

Rachelle said...

I have a wicked case of stash envy!

Mine is pretty small still, only about 200m, and I refuse to buy any more fabric until I learn how to sew. I started buying fabric when I decided to sew my own wedding dress - (aka waste a bunch of fabric over the next number of months, then rush out and buy something off the rack at the last minute).

I just spent the last number of days cleaning up, but seeing your stash makes mine seem very measly indeed!

Lori said...

What an incredible stash, impressive. I have approximately 10 yards of fashion fabric for projects in the near future. I tend to buy in spurts and then sew it up. It is about time to buy!

Sharon said...

Love the stash; love the organization. I'm in the midst of measuring and folding my entire fabric stash so that I will know 1) how much I have and 2) where it's located. It must feel great to have all of that organized! Now you can concentrate on sewing, sewing, sewing

designdreamer said...

Shhhhhhhh! I have a huge stash. I wish it was as organized as yours. I was thinking about getting that very same shelving unit. Is it about 6ft tall, and 4 ft wide?
Great job btw

Theresa said...

I have a very modest fabric collection-for the most part I tend to buy fabric by project-HOWEVER I seem to be buying more fabric-'just because I love it' probably the influence of some sewists that I know. I recently brought some fabric that will be the basis of my winter wardrobe plan-I could not 'not buy it' at the time.

Isabelle said...

Can I come over and play? Please :)

Becky said...

Oh, you're so much more organized than I am.... my stuff tends to go in piles.
I'm kind of half-and-half. I try to only buy things with specific projects in mind, and a lot of what I have in my stash now really is fabric bought for specified things that I just haven't gotten to yet. But then sometimes I see really cool fabric and I just can't pass it up. And I also have some stuff that was passed down from other people-- my mom also sews and runs a quilting group at our church, and sometimes people give her fabrics for making quilts that she can't always use (like anything that's not cotton.) So I do have several large pieces of fabric from that sort of thing. In terms of yardage, I have no idea how much I have.

Anonymous said...

Love the pics of the stash nearly as much as I love reading the blog. Quick question for you - do you do anything special to help protect your wools from the dreaded moths? Just curious.

Tiara said...

Your stash is great! I wish mine were as well organized. I was wondering if you use some sort of folding template to get your folded fabrics to be of uniform width. However you achieved it, it looks really sharp!

Robin said...

Ohhh such a beautiful sight! Lots of fabric and organized so nicely.
My machines and supplies /patterns /books are very organized but I need to do the same for my fabric. Lately I keep grabbing pieces to see if they go with other things.

I am still learning how to put fabrics and styles together. It can be overwhelming! You are very, very good at wardrobe planning.
Robin

Nancy W. said...

I keep my fabric tightly stored in banker's storage boxes ( see http://encue.blogspot.com/2007/10/project-organization.html)and am up to about 18 not counting lining, some pieces hanging in my closet, and quilting fabric. I usually buy with a project in mind, but I have more projects than time to complete them.

Clare said...

Thank you ! My DH now realises that my fabric stash, is a mere baby compared to yours - wow!
Sadly this did not induce him to permit further purchases this close to christmas, despite my arguements that it would be a worthwhile investment. LOL

Tany said...

OMG.... IMPRESSIVE! I tend to buy fabrics for specific projects that I have in mind and only once in a while I buy them and stash them until I find the right project. I have a problem, which is lack of space! All my fabrics rest in two large plastic bins and a small closet... I feel ashamed by the idea of comparing my stash to yours...

Linda said...

Wow! I am impressed. My fabric collection needs sorting. I do sort into storage bins since my sewing room is much smaller than I would like and much smaller than when I lived in Florida.

I store by colors for all my wovens and combine colors in one bin such pinks,oranges,reds,rust. I put all of my knits in a storage bin no matter the color.

I need more storage bins at this time, so sew fabric is stashed under the cutting table in my sewing room or in corners.

007gurl said...

I have way too much fabric all over my house. I have fabric in different closets, under beds and in storage bins and the same thing goes for my patterns and notions. Some day I will have a dedicated area for all of my sewing stuff, but right now I try to organize by color (like burgundies are under the bed), but my organization is nothing to the degree of yours.

Leslie in Austin said...

So impressive--gorgeous fabrics beautifully organized. The "On Deck" box is brilliant. How'd I'd love to shop your stash!