my sorting technique is unstoppable

I did it! I finally, after being in this house over a year, finally organized my fabric. I’ve been collecting fabric for years and years, many of those years being hardcore thrifting years so I’m a little embarassed and very overwhelmed by my fabric collection. That really got out of hand fast! (extra points for id’ing movie quote) So I’ve been determined to get it under control. I just stuck up on how to sort, by color, by size, by type – vintage, japanese, designer, etc and I finally nailed it down to this. First, everything is by color..

Then it’s by size, medium and large pieces in their own stacks

and small pieces in their own shelves

Then I got ambitious and sorted the other side of the closet. I finally let my japanese prints get out and mingle with the rest. All cotton print went to the print side of the closet with the heavy canvas weights staying over here and hanging with other decorator weight stuff.I also left a little stack of japanese novelty prints sitting in front staring at me, reminding me to use them before I buy more!

The solids even got refolded and color sorted, as did the wool felt.

I think this is going to be so great. I feel like I’ve never really had a workable system. I can finally see what I have and don’t have. For example I can stop buying wool felt apparently. And having it all separated by size will be so helpful. If I’m looking to make something for Phoebe I don’t need to mess around pulling out tiny quarters and scraps that will do me no good. And if I’m making something tiny I’ll know where to look first. Only problem now is I don’t want to mess it up by actually pulling stuff out and making anything.

I’m feeling very accomplished. Not only did I tackle this monster, but another big project I’ve been working on is just about finished. I’m hoping tomorrow or the next day to put up the Kit, Chloe & Louise pattern in the shop *and* it is going to be PDF so if you’ve been waiting patiently (tapping your fingers and looking at the calendar counting days til Christmas) get ready, you could be playing with your new doll this weekend.

71 thoughts on “my sorting technique is unstoppable

  1. Lil' d says:

    Wow. I’d have to kick a kid out of home to have a fabric collection like that. Actually, I think my husband would be the one to go, as he’d be the one complaining about it…
    What a great collection.

  2. Kerstin says:

    It looks very neat and in fact inspiring. I can understand that you are afraid of pulling out something… because it could create a mess. Eventually it will happen. I have the same problem all the time. But I love the colours of your fabrics and the arrangement is plain, but still nice to look at. Good luck with it!

  3. peanut says:

    That looks so lovely. It makes me want to go home and sort my fabric into piles I can see (right now it’s all in labeled boxes). It must be so inspiring to sit in a room where you can see all your fabric (and know how much of each thing you’ve got).

  4. Chrissy says:

    First of all, I’m overwhelmed and totally envious of your fabric stash. Kudos to you for sorting through it all and getting organized!
    Secondly, I’m thrilled to know that the new patterns will be up soon. I’ve been a tappin’!

  5. sally says:

    Thank you for sharing how you sort. I’m looking to start doing this myself since my fabric collection has got a little out of hand. Like you I never know what I have. So I decided I have to get things under control. I’m thinking I probably will use your technique. Also I’m totally looking forward to the new doll pattern. I can’t wait to try it out.

  6. amanda says:

    What a lovely stash! Once I’m done with all the moving stuff, I will be organizing my fabrics too. And hopefully all the yarns and trims too. Can’t wait to get my hands on the doll patterns!

  7. Melanie says:

    It looks so nice! I wish that was my thrifty supply storage! I started sorting my little cabinet, mainly by type. I put my favorite vintage on their own shelf, so I don’t forget which ones they are.
    I’m glad to see you’re going to have some new things. I’m polling my niece to see what she might like for christmas.

  8. Katie says:

    This is why it might be a good thing that you have never entirely got in to knitting, with a fabric stash like that I can only imagine the size of the yarn stash you could acquire! Your house would certainly be well insulated that’s for sure!

  9. Nancy says:

    oh i love organization
    i am so bad at it but
    i am trying
    i love that you did it by color and then by size as that is so important
    i hate always having to look for the right size piece so if your really wanted to go crazy you could have a note saying how much each piece is

  10. jess says:

    You are an incredible organizing wonder!
    I tried this with my stash, but then it all went to pot and I let the kids get into it.
    Someday I aspire to this kind of organization.

  11. Amanda says:

    You have inspired me to organize my fabric! I’m so excited about the Kit pattern! I would love to spend the weekend sewing her!

  12. Lindsey says:

    First, thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful fabric!! I recently reorganized my sewing space and looking at pictures like yours is inspiring.
    Second–I am SO EXCITED that you are getting ready to publish those patterns. I’ve loved and admired the dolls since you first showed them and am really looking forward to making them for my daughter and the daughters of two of my good friends. Yippie!!

  13. Sue says:

    Oh my goodness!!! The colors are yummy and the fact that they’re all folded and stacked so beautifully make me feel all warm and fuzzy :) Lucky girl!

  14. Beth says:

    Wow, what a collection! I am sure sorting through it you were able to find some fabric you havent seen in a while and maybe get some inspiration to use it!

  15. shannon says:

    Hooray! We have to stay at the farmer’s market till 3 this Sat. since it’s a eco-fest as well, but I’m sure I’ll be up late doll making! I have three girls who will be very happy next week. :)

  16. Joanna says:

    You see, I think the problem is that you have just too much fabric. If you ever need to weed any of it out…
    But seriously, I am in awe of both all that lovliness and the exquistie neatness of it all. Good job!

  17. Evelyn says:

    maybe a give away is in order…?
    *modesty has never been my best*
    we are all looking in wonder really!
    Good job on the Great clean up!!
    (wipes drool…LOL!)

  18. shannon says:

    oh wow wow wow! I’d been trying to figure out the best way to sort my stuff, and after seing your pretty stash all folded by color I think that is perfect.

  19. Jill says:

    wow! Looks great, now if you can keep little curious hands away, it might stay that way awhile! I have similar paper collecting impulses. Can’t get enough.

  20. Pretty Jane says:

    Wow, I am so on the same page! I got a bug up my behind one day about straightening and organizing the studio, and got so carried away that all I have are “after” photos to prove just how much work it was. But my productivity tripled (at least!) and my budget thanked me–I was SO sick of coming home from the store or getting a package I’d ordered and three days later finding the exact same thing in the stash that I didn’t know I had… Feels so liberating, yeah?? And the ROYGBIV thing–crazy soothing. I have my faves in an Ikea sliding drawer thingy and looooove it!

  21. blabby says:

    I’d love to see a picture of the whole deal – how you’re storing all of that and the amount of space it’s occupying. I think my own stash is smiliar, but it’s hidden shamefully away in plastic bins that are a headeache to get in and out of. I’d love to see what kind of “footprint” your fabric makes.

  22. Fiona says:

    I would do almost anything for that stash – makes mine look so paltry and bland. Can you keep it neat and tidy as well as make it all neat and tidy once in a while?

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