Organizing Tips | Episode 35
In this episode of Sewing with Threads, the magazine’s editors offer organization tips for keeping your sewing tools and supplies tidy and accessible, and for improving efficiency when performing a range of sewing-related tasks. They also confess to some less-than-ideal habits and admit that tidiness is not always their top priority when sewing.
We invite you to share your organization ideas in our online Forum.
Store fabric for easy access
Sarah uses vinyl garment storage bags (found in the laundry aisle at her local grocery store) to protect her fabric and keep it visible. These can be stowed under the bed and it’s simple to see the contents and slide them out to grab fabric. At about 22 inches wide, they nicely accommodate folded yardage.
Jeannine favors vintage luggage for storage. These older suitcases have a charming appeal and come in a matched set, so they look attractive while hiding lots of fabrics, trims, and other supplies.
Carol’s secret shame is her stratified fabric organization method: She keeps her newest fabric on the top of the pile, and older pieces gradually sink to the bottom. This makes it easy to grab materials for her latest projects, and provides a welcome surprise when she uncovers yardage that has been aging near the bottom.
Corral small items
Clear plastic or glass containers, such as jars with firmly closing lids, are helpful for storing smaller items—buttons, zippers, marking tools, and more. You can see what you need, and they often provide a decorative touch to your sewing space as well.
The editors recall a method shared by Ruth Ciemnoczolowski for joining all her zippers on a wire ring, which is stored in a jar. To select a zipper, she pulls out the ring and removes the zipper she needs.
You can find great drawer dividers in food packaging. Oreo cookie trays are a suitable size and shape for many notions. If you like compartmentalized organizing boxes, looks for ones with ridges in the lid to prevent small items from shifting between compartments.
Carol suggests rolling elastic or other trims on a cardboard tube so all varieties are accessible at once. The extra efficiency improves your state of mind as you approach a sewing project.
Improve your efficiency
Learn how the editors use painter’s tape, shower caddies, cork boards, poster paper, and ceramic tiles to cut and sew more accurately and with fewer stops and starts along the way.
Jeannine advocates leaving your worksurface clear at the end of the day. You’ll feel more inspired to dive into a project the next time you go to sew. She also reminds us that, to free up space and time for tools and materials we love, we should give or throw away items that don’t work for us. Yet there can be value in keeping some things. Find out what the editors like to keep handy in their sewing spaces, from unusual and specialized notions to small remnants.
Photos by Sarah McFarland, except where noted.
Today’s episode is brought to you by our friends at Baby Lock, who are excited to offer you a chance to win a dream sewing room this holiday season. Enter to win your choice of a Baby Lock Solaris 2 sewing and embroidery machine, or a Venture multineedle embroidery machine and qualifying Koala studio. You’ll also receive a Madeira thread assortment and a variety of Klassé needle packs.
Visit BabyLock.com/holiday-guide to enter to win today.
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