Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sewing organisation: Fabric and Patterns

When I started sewing I was gifted with my husbands Grandmothers stash. It has some beautiful fabric and when she bought fabric she always got matching lining and buttons! But it was all kept in plastic bags that when they had moved was shoved into boxes with mothballs. Plus I have built up a bit of a stash myself since.

So I wanted to organise it all a bit better, and to help stop me buying more fabric that I already had. I searched a lot for different organising ideas, tried a digital storage method and a sewing app for my iphone but they didn't really work that well and the app was a PITB. I came across this from Gigi Sews blog and since its such a fantastic idea I went and got some binders and typed up a fabric cataloguing sheet and since then each time I buy fabric I wash it, dry it and write it up.

Index of fabric

Catalogue sheets

I did try stapling the swatches in, but then I found kids glue sticks work really well (I use Tarzans grip, but any glue stick is good)

I follow Gigi's pattern organisation ideas as well, keeping all the pattern envelopes in a binder sectioned off into catagories like jackets, dresses, etc and all the pattern pieces in a large manila envelope with the pattern number wirtten on it and kept in numerical order. I trace all my patterns so its great to have a big envelope that it can all fit into.

I keep the binders in my bedroom (my sewing room is in my back shed) and its nice to get an idea for a project and then be able to check for a pattern and see how much fabric I have.


  1. How brilliant - guess you know what I'll be doing this week now!!! My patterns are just currently stored in giant boxes from Ikea, in no particular random order. Makes for a surprise each time I rat through them.
    Can I ask, in your pattern folder, did you organise the sections in categories similar to that of the major pattern companies or create your own categories???

  2. Yep, I organise them into catagories, like tops, jackets, dresses and use folder dividers to keep them in order :) I try to print copies of the line drawings for any patterns I download as well.
    Good luck with it, once they're organised its a lot easier to see what you have and what you don't (its helped me stop buying double-ups of patterns!)

  3. Such a great idea! Did you see the free printable fabric catalougue sheets on Sew Weekly, too?

  4. Nope I hadn't seen them, thanks! They're a lot nicer than the ones I've been using, lol!