Friday, March 29, 2013

Organizing Your Fabric Stash (Free Printables)

Over the last year or two, I have developed a little crush-- on fabric.
The gorgeous, high quality, expensive, designer type.
I've delved into the world of online fabric shopping (check out my sidebar for some of my favorite sources), and I'm obsessed with my local quilting shop (I could seriously live there, everything is so pretty).
Oh geez, I sound like a fabric snob! lol.
I really don't spend that much money, but I would if I could! :)

Most of my fabrics used to come from Hobby Lobby and Joann. Overall, I'm super happy with their available selection in fabric. I shop there for everything else I need... interfacing, batting, ribbon, yarn, notions, tools, crafting supplies, I love these stores!
The only thing they don't carry is the type of designer fabrics that I like. Some of my favorite designers are Camille Roskelley, Aneela Hoey, Tasha Noel, Anna Maria Horner, Jeni Baker, Amy Butler, Alexander Henry, to name a few. Once you become familiar with their creations, you will not be able to hold back. At least, many of us can't. I think we're referred to as "fabric hoarders?"

free image available here

Here's the thing...
I feel like I need to explain this to my family and friends, or people who don't understand the fabric obsession. Because I used to be dubious of it too.
The cuteness and quality of the fabric pretty much speaks for itself.
But why the habit of collecting it and keeping it on a shelf?

For me, there are 3 main reasons that I collect fabric.
1. Fabric goes on sale. 
Just like clothing or food or shoes, it makes sense to stock up when you find that its on sale. A yard of designer fabric usually runs $10-12/yard. Generally, I only purchase fabric when its on sale or I have a coupon code. I also gather some fun fabrics for free, in exchange for ad space on my sidebar. **Fabric gift certificates for your sewing loved ones are always a great gift idea!!!**
2. Designer fabric comes and goes.
When a fabric collection is released, only a certain amount is printed. Once it is gone, it really is gone. It's like seasonal items at your favorite clothing store. The fall line is released, but after its all been picked over and put on sale, then clearance, you won't be able to find that favorite jacket again. It's just gone. So if it's your favorite fabric, its smart to snag some before its out of print.
3. Fabric is soooo pretty (and generally better quality).
I love staring at my fabric and imagining what it could be turned into. I don't have the biggest fabric stash yet, but what I do have, makes me very happy. I love having my own little mini fabric shop right in my home. When inspiration strikes, I've got a fun stash to choose from.

So here is the entire point of this post.
Until 3 weeks ago, all of my pretty fabric was being stored in the deep, dark, dungeon that is my basement. It was such.a.mess. There were stacks and piles everywhere. I had unfinished projects all over the place. All that mixed in with my felt, ribbon, yarn, crafting supplies, paints... such an awful mess. I knew that if I was ever going to get any sewing done, I would need to rescue my sewing supplies and get them organized.

(Ummm.... this picture is not watermarked, because I don't claim that this space is mine! Only, it is. YIKES! But its getting better! No wonder I haven't sewn in so long... I could never find what I was looking for)!

Also, my sewing machine has wandered from the kitchen table to a camping table for the last 2.5 years. So not good for sewing, or for family dinners.
I honestly haven't sewn anything fun in months.
It's killing me!

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to turn my office space into a sewing space.
(Why I didn't do this a long time ago is a very good question)!
It isn't anything too fancy, but at least I now have a home for my sewing machine and supplies. I'll be walking you through the space once its all finished, but here's my progress so far.

Before and After
(I didn't snap a picture of the desk, but the computer and printer are gone, and my sewing machine and serger are there now).

For now, I wanted to talk about organizing my fabric.
My friend Ashely recently organized her sewing stash, and used this tutorial from Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots. I decided to try it out too. Maggie tells you how to fold your yardage onto comic book boards. When you're done, it feels like a mini fabric shoppe right in your own house. I love it.

I bought mine on Amazon for about $12. Mine was a package of 100, sized at 7x10.5 inches.

You can purchase them right here:

Once I had everything folded, the OCD in me came out, and I wanted to label it all.
I sometimes forget the names, line, and designer of my fabric.
And I like to remember where I purchased it.
That way, if I ever blog about my project, I can cite my fabric sources.

I began writing all the info on post-it notes, but it was so messy.

So I decided to make a quick printable label that I could fill out, to help me remember all the info about my fabric.

I don't necessarily fill out every detail, but there's a place for everything if I need it.
If I want to brainstorm ideas on what to do with the fabric, I just jot it down on the back of the label.

Then I just slip it in the last fold of the fabric, and place it on my shelf. Now I feel super organized. I can see the fabric that I have.

Print as many as you want, then cut them out (with your paper scissors, of course)!

Please feel free to use these labels!
I hope they will help you.
(While you're at it, I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram).

Download here.

 I am ready to get sewing, finally!!!

If you're ever on the hunt for free printables online, check out this great website called Free Printable. It has worksheets, cards, invitations, and calendars for free. Such a great resource!


  1. Rachel, your sewing room looks fabulous and I can't wait to see it. What a great idea and what a great organizer you are!

  2. I was JUST visiting smashed peas and carrots today to get the tutorial bc of Ashley's blog post weeks ago... and now here you go doing it too! I seriously need to do this-- but I don't have any cute designer fabrics, so maybe it wouldn't look so pretty. I think I just need to do it to GET ORGANIZED. Period.

    glad to see you're feeling better, btw.

  3. I just ordered a roll of 300 labels for my Brother label printer. I vow to make these labels as I'm shopping my online fabric. Genius!!

  4. At the end of last year I purchased quite a few packs of these comic boards and organized my fabric on them. I love it! I have 3 bookshelves and the fabrics look as if they are on mini bolts. I have them organized by color and/or dots and stripes. Having the fabric where I can look at it has really helped me shop my stash for spur of the moment projects. Thank you for the labels, they will be the finishing touch.

  5. I haven't gotten into the designer fabrics yet but I see all these pretty fabrics on people's blogs and love them. My husband would prolly prefer me to not start looking at designer fabrics But my girls would be so cute in them. I love how neat and organized your shelves are.

  6. I love the job you've done on your sewing room! I need to get at mine again, I have been pulling fabrics from my stash and leaving a mess behind. I need to get myself reorganized thanks for the inspiraion.

  7. Wow! Those stickers are such a fab idea! Why didn't I think of that...???

    Love your fabric stash!

    Happy Easter to you and yours….
    hugs x
    Crystelle Boutique

  8. Wow! That is more organized than my fabric will ever be.

  9. Fabulous idea. Wish I had these a while back. I am linking to you in my blog tomorrow.

  10. People don't ask a stamp collector to lick the back of their stamps and use them to mail things so why should they ask us fabric collectors to use our collection?

    p.s. did you know you have word verification on? If you embed your comments and block anonymous commenters blogger filters out pretty much all spam for you and it makes it easier on us commenters :) xx

  11. Ahhh! Rach!
    I love the transformation...pretty fabric, pretty had me at hello! I'm so glad you found my post useful :-) And those printable labels...umm, what a genius, love, love!!!!! You don't know how many times I unroll my mini bolts and think, "dang, how many yards do I have left on here!" a label would totally rock!!!

  12. LOVE the new look Rach! You can come over and organize my space!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

  13. What a fabulous idea those fabric labels are. Thanks!

  14. I love you're philosophy on fabric, especially the little cartoon. Your sewing room looks like a great spot to create wonderful projects. You should find it even easier now that you have everything super organized. Great ideas!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love your new sewing room. I'm currently using a corner of my living room, but it works. At least I can leave my machine out and ready to go. Saves lots of time.

    I bought several of those comic boards back in Jan and have started organizing my fabrics. I'm with you though, the designer fabrics are SOOOOO much nicer and last so much longer. It's an obsession. Perhaps we should all get together and talk about it :) HA!

    So I'm curios, when a fabric you love goes on sale, how much of it do you usually buy for your stash? I've always wondered how people build their stash with "enough, but not too much" fabric.

    Great post, again!!

  16. The new sewing room is looking good and I couldn't agree more with you on the buying and stashing of favorite fabrics. The fabric labels are great. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi! Just popped in from Freshly Pieced to see what you are working on. I am feeling the same way about my space and had been thinking about comic book boards. I appreciate the feedback on them!

  18. Your newly organized sewing space looks lovely! And thank you for the printable tags. What a great idea!


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H