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Friday, November 15, 2013

S.O.S - (My) Stash Organising System


 
Some of you have asked me how I organise my stash, so here goes... (before I start, I apologise for the quality of the photos - not sure what happened with them, but I had a long day at work, so I am not going to pursue perfection on the blog post tonight :)  )

 I have an enormous stash - for quite a few years I had far too much on my life activities plate to sew.  I kept meaning to, but I just didn't find the time.  That is why I now try to do a little bit of sewing every day.

So I have amassed quite a bit of stash.  Lots, really.  An amount that could be quite shameful, if I allowed myself to feel that why.

But I don't allow myself to feel that way.  There are far worse things to do in the world than dream of sewing time while stashing for it!

 I have my stash stored in containers in various places in the house.  Most is in plastic containers and some is in a cabinet:

I vow that one day it will all fit in the cabinet, and I will be one of these sewers that buys fabric for an immediate sewing project.   I'm not sure whether this will ever happen, given my past behaviour :)

( I do need to know what I have, and I have started using my stash this year because I can see what I have.  So, along with a few other people who also have stashes,  w blog as www.stylethestashsewalong.blogspot.com. with a goal of decreasing our combined stashes).

In order to keep track of what I have, or for referring to for making a garment, I have catalogued my stash.  I cut a small piece of fabric and stick it with sticking tape onto a small piece of card about the size of a business card.  I buy the cards at my newsagent - he sells boxes of cards called visiting cards. 


I write down the amount I have purchased plus the width . When working with black or navy,  I write down the colour as it can be hard to tell navy and black apart  in some lights.


I sort out my cards with samples on them and put them in some sort of order.


Then I place the cards in a business card holder.    I now have all my fabric information at my fingertips.

I like using this system. I may vary it one day and take photos of my sample cards and store the photos on my mobile phone - that way I would have basic info with my when I shop.  But I really am not supposed to shop at the moment, I am supposed to be using the stash.  And when I do shop now, it's increasingly online - so my little folders are really useful to keep next to me when shopping.

I have another tip for you today - when you cut out a garment, place the pattern, the cut pieces and any notions you need in a basket.

In industry, every machinist has a bundle, so I varied this idea and keep my sewing projects in baskets.

Sarah Liz :)

22 comments:

  1. I don't have much fabric stashed, enough for the next four or five garments for me. I need to buy fabric for the girls.
    Current projects are contained within large stiff paper bags. They get emptied when the project is completed. I don't quilt so don't suffer the compulsion to hoard small off cuts.
    Wonder heat everyone else does?

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    1. Everyone works so differently - and with little ones, certainly your stash situation is also geared to their needs. It's so interesting finding out how everyone works as you say :)

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  2. A basket can be a dangerous thing for me ;), cut the project, put it in the basket and cut another. Before I know it, I need to join Make a Garment a Month Sew Along and vow to get that basket emptied. I'm going to be late with my first garment, but it will get finished. I'm determined!!!!!

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    1. Hi Rhonda - I think quite a few people are familiar with dangerous sewing basket syndrome :).

      Don't worry about joining the challenge until you are ready Rhonda. You have a lot on your creative plate at the moment.

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  3. Thank you so much for going to all the trouble to pull together, write and photograph how you organize your stash so quickly! I LOVE this and have already pinned it to be able to refer back easily. My stash is beginning to build and you think you'll remember all the info on each piece of fabric, but I can't anymore.

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    1. It's a pleasure Lisa - I had some of the photos, so it was more putting it together. If you keep up with your stash, with whatever method you prefer, as you get it, it should save you from getting into too much trouble:)

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  4. I do the basket system too Sarah Liz! I bought a bunch of them from the dollar store and I have a cheapie 3 shelf bookshelf in my sewing room. I can fit 9 baskets. Sometimes the baskets are scattered all over :) I put the pattern fabric, thread, zippers, etc...in the basket. Makes life easier.

    I need to organize my stash. I am already at the point where I have stuff that I've forgotten about or forgot how pretty it is. I have one over flowing tote for bottom weight wovens, one overflowing tote for blouse/dress weight wovens, one tote for knits and I have 3 or 4 cuts of coating material. Then I have a box of UFO's. And two boxes of scraps/material suitable for muslins. Then I have a small box of lining material.

    Oh my. I need to get it together! Lol!

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    1. Hi, yes, this is how stashes start. And they start small and then grow (just like the sewing baskets). And Grow, And GROW. And then you have no idea what you have :)

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  5. We're supposed to organize our stash? well, dang.

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    1. LOL's. Only if it suits you too Mary - the pull out and touch technique works well for some :)

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  6. You are such a neat person! Love it!

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    1. Only with my stash, Faye. There are whole areas of my life that also need a little bit of neatness. I'm working on it :)

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  7. Replies
    1. I tried cataloging my stash...one year... Hmm...what year was that?

      You're quite organized and good at keeping it up.

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    2. Hi Dorothy and L - yes, it took me years to realise I needed to organise my stash. I enjoyed the process (once it was over!).

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  8. I do like your card idea. It would certainly make wardrobe planning a bit easier. What I do now is stand in front of my open stash cupboard and rummage around. To sit down with a cuppa and play around with swatch cards might be a better way, as long as I can keep them up to date. it would also be great for recording fibre content. Sometimes it's hard to remember exactly what a fabric is.

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    1. Yes, some people do record fibre content, care instructions etc on the back of the card. I like the sit down with a cuppa approach - sometimes it's not always convenient to empty the cupboard and rummage.

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  9. Nice Going, Sarah!
    The two fabric stores in my area are pretty bad - (even though it's risky) I tend to order fabric online.

    When I place an order, I print out the page that describes the fabric. Then when the fabric comes in the mail, I put the printed page with the fabric.

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    1. Hi Chris - yes, the online click click syndrome. One has to watch those fingers, they have a way of hitting the keys so easily :)

      What a good idea keeping the print out to put with the fabric.

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  10. My stash is huge too, but it makes me happy not shameful - so many beautiful projects still to come. I used to do a little swatch of each fabric, but now I take a photo of each and have an excel list of the measurements, this way I know how much fabric I have (900m and only half way through counting...)

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    1. Kristy, what a wonderful stash, and as you say, full of future wonderful possibilities - I wonder though how/whereyou store it :) The photo/excel idea is a great idea.

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  11. Those storage containers look like my stash. I just had to buy another one this weekend. My stash keeps on multiplying...guess I need to get busy. Like you organization!

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