I’ve been sewing for 20 years, and 10 years ago I worked at a fabric store, so I’ve been collecting fabric for a long, long time. I still have scraps from my first sewing project languishing in my scrap drawer. I have whole cuts of fabric I vaguely remember buying from Fabricland when it was on sale and apparently went through a polar fleece phase. There are metres and metres of it in my closet.
And then the patterns. At the time I worked at Fabricland, we were given free patterns from the pattern suppliers. Every month we could choose 1 free pattern from Burda, Vogue, Simplicity or New Look and McCalls or Butterick. Four free patterns a month! And there were occasional pattern sales for $1.00 or $2.00 which we all dove right into. I worked there for almost a year, which means I had lots of time to amass a collection.
Being a naturally organized type and hating disorder in my work space, I needed to tackle the fabric and patterns. Last year I organized everything well and felt good about that, but I still needed a database of some sort to keep track of everything. My inspiration came from Ravelry’s yarn database organizer. Item / fibres, purchase details, description / measure, and a photo. Nice and easy. Then for the patterns, same deal. Company, details, suitable fabrics / pattern in mind, and a photo.
This system also helps me to keep track of any PDF patterns I have that I may not have printed off yet. For now, I'm organizing it by garment type like my actual patterns are, but I may change it around and organize by company.
My patterns are cut and folded to fit into these letter-size folders. The folders fit into the Banker boxes and the Banker boxes fit quite well in my IKEA Expedit case.
The fabrics are mostly hanging up on pant hangers. The fabrics I'm going to work on next or just bought and am waiting for inspiration for hang in my sewing space on single hangers, and everything else is on four tall hangers in my fabric closet. I'm trying very hard to destash and work through it all so that I don't have to take over Itsa's closet, but it's not going well. For every piece that leaves the closet, two new ones move in. Sorry honey, Mama needs more room for her fabric. How do you feel about using dressers instead of your closet?
And there's still all that fleece. What on earth did I buy 10 metres of penguin fleece for? And why did I lug it across Canada with me? I must have been a very strange 20 year old.