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An Organized Sewing Space - Fabric

Michelle Burke

My motivation for organizing my sewing space started with a new custom sewing table made by my husband and decorated by myself. Putting my pretty new sewing table in the midst of clutter was not a happy thought for me, so it was time to clean up and organize my sewing room! I had most of my fabric organized prior to my recent organizing binge, except for the fabric in this box, in that bag, and on that one shelf in the closet, and . . . you get the idea - I had more work to do. Now my fabric is all organized and visible in a bookcase - it looks like a mini fabric store!

I use comic book boards to store most of my fabrics including quilting cottons and even some of my home decor fabrics. I wish I could say I came up with this fantastic idea, but I didn't - you can find this idea on Pinterest and elsewhere. I bought my comic book boards from a local comic book and gaming store, but I found the same comic book boards on Amazon as well. I use the comic book boards at their full size, but I also cut some in half to use for smaller pieces of fabric. You will also need pins to store your fabric this way. I like extra long pins so that it is easier to go through the multiple layers of fabric.

To put the fabric on the board, I lay the entire length of the fabric on a table keeping the center, lengthwise fold in place. I start by folding that center fold toward the middle of the length of fabric. Then I fold the selvage edges toward the the middle of the fabric as well. I adjust these folds until the fabric is just a little less than the height of the comic book board.

Next I place the comic book board near one end of the fabric and start wrapping the fabric onto the board.

When I reach the other end of the fabric, I fold it under a little bit to make it look pretty and pin it in place. It looks like a mini bolt of fabric!

It is easy to do this with a new piece of fabric, but you can still put fabric that has been cut into on comic book boards, you just may have to be a little more creative with your folding to make it look pretty. 

If I have extra bits of fabric, I fold them into small enough pieces to fit within the larger piece of fabric and place it on the close to where I fold and pin it at the end. Then when I am ready to use the fabric, I find the smaller pieces right away when I am unwrapping the mini fabric bolt. This is nice if I am working on a small item like a Just the Ticket Luggage Tag or a Kristine ID Wallet because usually all I need are small pieces of fabric and then I don't have to unwrap my entire mini bolt!

I generally use the half comic book boards for fat quarters or a little larger pieces of fabrics. I fold the fabric in a way that makes sense to fit it on the board so that only folded edges are exposed. I love these tiny bolts of fabric.

This shows you the difference between the larger, full-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric and the smaller, half-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric. The ring in the picture is 1" in diameter.

This shows you the difference between the larger, full-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric and the smaller, half-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric. The ring in the picture is 1" in diameter.

Although not necessary, it is nice to have my fabric out where I can see it easily. I bought this bookcase from IKEA to store my mini bolts of fabric. I organized them in a way that makes sense to me, by color mostly. I put some types of fabrics (like linen or home decorator fabric) together and I also put collections together if I have all or most of the collection.

The only fabrics that I don't put on comic book boards are the ones that shouldn't be folded like leather, vinyl, cork, and laminated cotton and my fabric scraps. I have cardboard tubes that I have saved whenever I buy decorator fabrics from JoAnns. I will put more than one piece of fabric or leather on a tube and tie ribbon around them to keep them in place.

I have my scraps neatly folded and in stacks by color (we will see how long that lasts) in a storage box that I keep in the closet of my sewing room.

It is so nice to have my fabric stored well and easy for me to see; it makes it that much more fun to put together fabric combinations for different bags! Up next - sewing pattern organization!

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