Last time we spoke, I shared how I organize my fabric shelves by folding my fabric neatly. Today, we discuss how I organize it all electronically.
At last count, I had one and a quarter kilometers of fabric (that's about three-quarters of a mile for my metric challenged friends). That's a lot of fabric to track and manage. Although, I probably could list out a good portion of my fabric off the top of my head, I figured I'd go a bit more high tech with the actual cataloging. I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all.
Here is a screen capture of a section of my actual spreadsheet:
The headings for each column (from left to right) read Fashion Fabric - Shannon, Content, W("), L(m), O(m), R(m), Use, Pattern, Fr, Cost, Cost, Cost, Date.
Let me explain the headings:
Fashion Fabric - Shannon
This is a list of all the fabrics in my stash that can be used for me (I have another spreadsheet for fabrics that I use for my hubby). It is a visual description of the fabric (colour, pattern, etc).
I have often thought of adding photos of the fabric (which I keep in a separate folder on my hard drive) to the spreadsheet, but I have never actually needed more that just the written description to trigger my memory of a fabric. So, to date, I haven't bothered with this extra step.
I list fiber content here (silk, cotton, linen, wool, etc) if I know what it is. If I am unsure of fiber content, I either leave it blank or take a guess (all my guesses are followed by "?" so in the future I remember that I was unsure).
Fabric width in inches.
Fabric length in metres. This serves as an indicator of how much fabric is brought into my stash.
Fabric out is how much of a certain piece of fabric gets used.
Fabric Remaining. If I use the whole piece of fabric, the description of that fabric gets grayed out. Also the font used to list the fabric remaining turns from black to red in colour when the value falls to zero.
This tells me what type of garment was made from the fabric (pants, dress, skirt, etc).
This tells me what pattern(s) I used for a certain fabric. I find this invaluable for future reference. Often, when a favourite garment gets worn out and I want to recreate it, I can't remember what pattern was used. This column allows me to go back in time and find out.
From whom did I purchase this fabric (Fabric Mart, Fabricland, Fabric.com)?
Cost, Cost, Cost
Cost of the fabric per length. (for example, $16.99/m)
Cost of fabric per piece. (two metres @ $16.99/m = $33.98)
Cost of fabric piece with taxes and shipping worked in. (include Ontario HST of 13% = $38.40)
The date the fabric was purchased (listed as month-date, so 3-11 would be march 2011). I just started including this information last year. I wish I had done this right from the start, as sometimes it's fun to see how long it a piece of fabric has mellowed in the stash.
I love this spreadsheet. It is so helpful when I need to find 2.0 m of a 45" fabric for a project. I can sort the info by both these criteria and narrow down my choices. Then, it's just a matter of pulling the fabric off the shelf and sewing.
Ahh, organization...my precious...