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Help, I’m drowning in fabric

Sewdreamy | Posted in General Discussion on

I recently moved. In the process of packing, I went through my mountain of fabrics–a lifetime collection, believe me–and eliminated what I thought was all but the best. In the process of unpacking, I eliminated even more. I am now left with a beautiful collection of fabrics suitable for many wonderful clothes, gifts, and quilts for me and my family for at least the next five years. My new house has a small bedroom which I have christened my “sewing room,” in which I have a large chest of drawers–but I am still having trouble fitting in all the fine fabrics–I will have to eliminate even more, it’s obvious. (I have to conclude from all of this that I have been a terrible fabriholic for many years.) I thought I would put out a note to see what sort of solutions for fabric storage others have come up with. Maybe there’s a way for me to keep at least most of what is left without having boxes take up half my sewing room. Suggestions?


  1. kai230 | | #1

    Sew, it depends on if you think you will ever make the fabric into something. I've draped many a chest/table top/chair w/fabric I decided I wouldn't use for its orig purpose.

    Perhaps sucking the air out the bags will give you more room.

    Also, some fabrics make beautiful wall hangings or wrapping material for gifts.

    A garment bag might work for storage if you have extra closet space.

    1. Crafty_Manx | | #3

      I've heard that those "space bags" work well for fabric compression/storage.  I've never used them so I can't offer an opinion on how well they work.

      You could also try those "under the bed" storage boxes.  If you've got a table that you don't really need much leg room under (like a cutting table) you could stack them under there.  Or put them under your bed, as long as you don't mind going from room to room.


      1. swimmer | | #4

        I have quite a bit of fabric myself and I bought some of the ClosetMaid basket stacks from Home Depot.  They hold quite a bit of fabric and I put them on casters so they're easy to move around for vacuuming etc.

        1. marijke | | #7

          Do those ClosetMaid baskets hold a lot of weight?

          I used some of those plastic 3-drawers-on-wheels things and the wheels collapsed under the weight of 3 drawers full of fabric! Right now, I have fabric mushrooming out of 3 very large plastic boxes (3 boxes and a stack on top) in the corner of the dining room (where we never eat because there's always sewing stuff everywhere). It doesn't look pretty, I'd love to get a better system.

          1. swimmer | | #8

            Well, mine haven't.  And they're pretty full of fabric, although I didn't compress it too much since I wanted to be able to open the baskets.  I used the metal wire baskets with metal frames and only the actual wheels are plastic and they seem OK.

  2. Dove | | #2

    I have had a bedroom "sewing room" for several years, and have a small stash to store.  Does your room have a closet that isn't filled up with other "stuff"?  If so, try this: get some heavy-duty suit hangers.  Fold fabric so it fits on bar, and cover with plastic bag.  This way everything is protected and you can see what you have.

    Edited 5/5/2003 6:11:09 PM ET by Dove

  3. rjf | | #5

    The space bags sound good but I'd put a sample on the outside because when you're looking for something in particular, you probably need to feel it as well as see it.                                rjf

    1. nurdot | | #9

      Good suggestion. I would also add specific size of fabric on that swatch, yardage and width.


  4. sewphaedra | | #6

    I started a new storage system last year. I have a tiny sewing space (a closet) with shelves above my sewing machine. I store off-season fabrics in clear bins so I can see them, and the in-season fabrics are stacked on the lower shelf. This forces me to swap them twice a year and re-evaluate and handle them. That gives me ideas. Also I sometimes get rid of things. Maybe my stash is small compared to yours but this works for me.

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