The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Hello all, I'm in the process of trying to organize all my sewing stuff and I can't seem to find a system that works for me. I live in a small apartment that I share with my husband, 19 month old son and 2 cats, so space is not a luxury we enjoy. I have turned a small hall closet into a craft closet (I also smock, scrapbook, dabble in photography and do home decor type stuff) but I still have all my patterns and extra fabric in my son's closet. Usually I'm all about organization, but with my growing sewing stash and a list of sewing things I still want to get, I'm a little overwhelmed. I don't like trying to get re-organized every few weeks. I feel like I'm not able to get things done as fast as I should or done at all.

I know organization is something we all do in our own way, but I'm hoping some of your ideas will solve my mess. 



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Great idea! and that's an easy, cheap and fast way to do it. I'll have to give that a try!

I have each set of buttons in a little ziplock bag in a big container that is divided in thirds.  All my large buttons go in one third, my smaller buttons that I have lots of in the other, and any med/small buttons with less than 5 in the last third.  And then I have one more sandwich size ziplock in the last third with all my 'orphan' buttons. It really cuts down on the time searching for them, because I generally know how many and what size I need, so only have to go in part of the container.

I also have my Grandma's button collection, which she obsessively organised, so I keep it separate and only go searching in it as a last resort.  Look at how amazing her storage was:

Wow! Your Grandma was very organized. My Granny is the exact opposite. Even at it's best her sewing room looks like a tornado just went through it. She's the type that you get Christmas presents either for your birthday or years down the road because either she forgot she bought that for you or she lost it for a little bit. Got to love her though, she keeps us on our toes.

The button collection is amazing! What a wonderful way to remember her. I would be so afraid to use any of them. I don't think I would do them justice.

Good luck with your organising! I like to re-do all my creative stashes from time to time and have yet to find something that works for me long term. One thing I have found that works though is to fold each fabric into a long column, then roll it up and tie with a piece of ribbon or leftover scrap. That way they're easy to stack in the cupboard, they take up less space, you can see every thing clearly and if you want to take one out from the bottom, you don't have to refold everything once it falls off the shelf! :)

I'm also considering a new sewing desk that involves an IKEA table top and those little 4-box bookshelves they have... Hope this helps!

I love that fabric idea! It's suppose to be icky outside again tomorrow so maybe that can be a project that Henry can help me with. He loves playing with fabric, sheets, towels, anything that he can hide under.

Thanks for the great idea!

And write the length/width of the fabric and the fibre makeup on it, so you don't have to unroll it anytime you want it!  

I did do that!! I'm so surprised with myself that I remembered to do that.

thanks that is a great tip!

I will for sure be pinning how much fabric I have on each roll. That's a great idea. I've had to kind of hide the buttons from Henry right now. He thinks it's funny to put them in his mouth, but stringing some on floss and having some for him to play with later is a great idea for the future. Right now he is really into my ribbons. He loves throwing them around and trying to get the cats to chase them. Right now I have a few paper bags with all my projects in them. They are starting to get a little ratty and are a little to easy for Henry to get into. I like the zip lock bag idea though. Those are always on hand and easy to throw in the closet when I'm picking up.

Thanks for all the great ideas!!

First, with limited space, you will have to keep tight control on your stash so it does not grow past your ability to store and access that.  It can be hard with all those great fabric sales!  Go by project-- just get the stuff for each project as you go.   Also, it might be a better thing for you to find a basic pattern set that you can then change for different types of garments.  Plus, with a 19month old, you need a way to keep everything together and inaccessible so he doesn't eat pins or get access to your fabric scissors.  There are plans somewhere on the net for a sewing cabinet that can contain everything but pull out for when you need to sew.  It is from the 60's or 70's.  I suggest you pick a spot in the livingroom/diningroom or near kitchen for it so you can work on a project while keeping an eye on the rugrat, dinner, laundry etc.  Also, far enough from his room so you can sew while he naps or sleeps at night and the machine won't wake him or your husband.

I uploaded the file/pdf.  It was a free pattern.


One of my new year's resolutions was to organise my tiny sewing space, and while researching I came across some great storage solutions - see my pinterest board (click here) - especially useful was the fabric board rolls idea: I basically took a bunch of stiff cardboard I had lying around from unused boxes, cut the sides down so I had a number of same-size pieces, and then used those to roll the fabric around.  I also made some about half the size for the smaller scraps of fabric I had.  Now all my fabric is easy to stack and looks beautiful all in a row.  I forgot to record the lengths though, oops!  Came across some other good ideas though, like making some storage that can hang from the back of the door with lots of pockets in, or using picture frames to pin / hang useful items and ideas.

You can listen to this podcast for free on your computer. This is my fav podcast about sewing, and this particular issue is about organization in sewing. Love it!


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