For forever, my fabric has been sitting (*somewhat* folded) in a heap on my bookshelf
Okay, it’s a total mess.
I just don’t know what I have anymore! 1.5m of silk chiffon gets buried under 3m of double knit, my interfacing is all wrinkled (and you can’t iron fusable interfacing!), and there’s a pile of lining that has fallen out the back of my shelf an is on the floor.
Not too terribly inspiring, is it?!
So, I figured since I basically want to live in a fabric store, why not make mini bolts out of my fabric that will fit in my shelf! So, perhaps I will shop my stash before I shop the shops (well, it’s a hope anyways) :P
Now, what to use as a bolt… Fabric shops often give away their old cardboard bolts, but they’re way to big for my shelf. I’ve seen some folks use comic book boards, which is an interesting idea, but I want something sturdier.
So, I went to Spotlight and found large sheets of poster board. You know the ones with the hollow bit in the middle? From one big sheet ($7 for one) I made 6 22cmx26cm rectangles that fit nicely in my shelf.
To demonstrate how to fold the fabric, let’s use 2m of nice quilting cotton. Fold the fabric in thirds so that it’s about 5cm shorter than the height of your board.
Place the board close to the end and wrap one end around the board.
Then (the funnest part) tightly wrap the fabric around the board like a bolt and secure with a nice pin.
Now do this to all your fabric and BEHOLD YOUR FABRIC LIBRARY!!!
I’m now living in my sewing room in case you’re wondering where I am
This was a great exercise not only for the organization, but it gave me a chance to get reacquainted with my stash and to neaten all the edges. This is huge, folks. I’m now in the habit of not putting fabric back on my mini bolts unless it has a straight edge. Nothing worse than having skraggly bits all over the place or trying to find the straight grain on a jersey knit because you cut of the selvedge!
How do you organize your fabrics readers? Any tips for the rest of us?
**Kelly over at the Simple Sewist had an excellent point – make sure that your shelf is well out of the sun, as your fabric can fade on the edge that is exposed…never thought of that! Thanks!
**Another reader, lakaribane also had some concerns (she’s a trained museum tech!). ”I like the concept but as a trained museum technician, I worry about a lot of things for your: sunlight, the pin, the nature of the plastic of the board. If your sewing room is very humid the pin will rust, if it gets direct sunlight, the exposed edges might fade. Maybe for the To Be Sewn Next list?”.
**A great tip from reader Emilyannfrances! ”I sometimes get lucky and get a leftover cardboard tube from the fabric store I shop at. They just give it to me. I use this to roll the cut out pattern pieces of a current project. I then wrap an old cotton sheet around it and place it on top of the 3 filing cabinets in the room. I don’t have a stash so I can’t say if this method works for others but it will keep a current project from getting wrinkled or full of fold lines. Just make sure to dust off the cardboard bolt before using.”
I’m thrilled at all the feedback and it got me thinking. I’m not too concerned about the pin rusting (since Perth is uber dry), but the nature of the plastic is a good one…I don’t keep them stored for too long like this, but if you do, you may want to use the acid-free comic book boards since they are archival. I was thinking I may want to put the fabric in a box on my shelf as well to avoid fading.
Relax and Enjoy,