Spring Clean Your Sewing Space #4

Spring clean Your Sewing Space big button

Now it is time to welcome one of my best blogging buddies, she is wonderfully talented, is the source of so many creative ideas, and she makes fun of the way I spell. Say hello to Lauren from The Thinking Closet :D

Lauren thinking closet

Greetings dear Made With Hugs & Kisses readers! My name is Lauren, and I blog over at The Thinking Closet where I share about all things crafty, including my adventures as a beginner sewist. Here’s a photo of me the day when I first met my new Brother (Brother sewing machine, that is). I was so excited, I thought I might burst! Can you tell?

My new brother CS-6000i sewing machine

I met Hannah within my first few weeks of blogging last fall, and I quickly determined that she was one of the sweetest people I had ever met…not to mention one of the most talented when it comes to working magic with a needle and thread. Am I right or am I right? Talk about inspiring!

When Hannah generously invited me to be a part of her “Spring Clean Your Sewing Space” series, I leapt at the opportunity to join in on the fun. In fact, it was just the motivation I needed to come up with a new organization system for my fabric. My “system” (if you could call it that) was starting to look like three mini-leaning-towers-of-Pisa. See:

Fabric Organization by The Thinking Closet

But how to solve my problem?

I stared. And I stared. And I stared some more. And then like magic, I had an ah-ha moment. The solution lay before my very eyes.

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

That’s right. I would file my fabric!

I had seen it done before by the amazing Karen from Sew Many Ways

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

File Your Fabric | Sew Many Ways

..and I knew our file cabinet needed some major spring cleaning anyway, so I cleared out the bottom drawer and set to work.

I used acid-free Pendaflex file folders that I already had on hand, cut them down the middle, draped my folded fabric over top, and loaded up my bottom drawer with files of fabric. Just. like. that.

Filing Your Fabric | The Thinking Closet

Of course, I had to organize them in ROYGBIV order….

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Pretty nifty, huh? Sometimes I just open that bottom door to stare at it. Sigh.

I stacked my felt and burlap up in one of the metal cubes and placed small scraps in my Tupperware drawers. Since the top of the filing cabinet is freed up, my Brother is no longer relegated to the floor. {Poor guy.}

Filing Your Fabric | Before & After | The Thinking Closet

And in case this method is not for you, I’ve rounded up a collection of fabric organization methods to help add to the inspiration. Be prepared for ideas both practical and eye-catching. Ready? Steady? Here we go!

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Isn’t this hutch just gorgeous with the colorful stacks of fabric and mini suitcases?

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Stacks in a Hutch | All Sorts

How about this reclaimed dresser without drawers?

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Dresser Without Drawers | Cameras & Chaos

Here’s a great idea: create mini bolts of fabric using comic book boards.

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Mini Fabric Bolts | That Girl, That Quilt

Or use a Billy Bookcase for larger bolts like Lisa did.

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Billy Bookcase Organization | Home & Away with Lisa

Don’t these white canvas bins give off such a fresh, clean spring feel?

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Canvas Bins by Color | Holly’s Street

I own these exact wire basket organizers! What a great use for them.

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Wire Basket Storage | Caitlin Wilson

And look how high they can go!

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Wire Basket Stacks | Rethink Design

Neatly folded fabric in clear storage containers just pleases the type A in me.

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Clear Storage Containers | Film in the Fridge

The same goes for these clear Tupperware drawers that are just the right width.

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Clear Drawers | My Fabric Obsession

Or how about storing them in letter sorters?

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Letter Sorter | Jamie Diersing via Design Mom

Imagine how fun it would be to open up a closet door and finger through fabrics…like choosing an outfit.

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Fabric on Hangers | 6th Street Design School

Love how this curtain rod method would stave off wrinkles!

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Curtain Rod Method | Craftaholics Anonymous

For scraps, why not roll them up and display them in a basket?

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Fabric Scrap Baskets | Periwinkle Pincushion

Or stack them artfully in an apothecary jar?

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

Apothecary Jar | Prudent Baby

And with whatever system you choose, think how much MORE organized you would be if you downloaded these free fabric brochures to keep track of what you have using swatches. The teacher in me hearts this method.

Dear reader, what fabric organization method inspires you the most? Or if you already have a method that works, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

And if there are any beginner sewists out there (like me!), feel free to pop by The Thinking Closet to check out these tutorials just for you:

Or if you have a hankering for a Wood Pallet Sign Tutorial, The Menu Planner to Rule Them All, or 10 Tips for New Bloggers, I’ve got you covered there, too!

Thanks again, Hannah, for allowing this novice sewist to crash the expert sewist party. It has been a joy to share these ideas with your lovely readers.

Happy Monday, everyone!

This is Lauren, signing off.

As usual, don’t forget to grab a button if you are thinking of joining in and Spring Cleaning your own Sewing Space. Send in a picture or a link to your blog if you do :D

Spring Clean Your Sewing Space
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58 comments

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Love seeing your beautiful face over here, Katherine! Thanks for popping by. If I know you, I’m sure you’ve got a slew of creative fabric storage solutions up your sleeve, as well.

  1. Amy Mayen says:

    Great post Lauren! I’m in love with the dresser, minus the drawers. I wish my fabric was out where I could see it. I know what u mean about opening the drawer and staring at your fabric. I talk to mine. It’s a sickness!

  2. larakrjacobs says:

    Oh my! I love this post, it actually has me itching to go and try some of these ideas – but which ones??? Well done on an awesome collection of ideas! xxx

  3. ClaireE says:

    Genius! This is by far the best idea for fabric storage I’ve seen. If only I had room for a filing cabinet…. I love the other ideas though and I’m sure I can come up with something that works well.

    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      I’m in the same position, I really want to give this a go but I have no filing cabinet. I am on the look out though! It would be fun to see how I could jazz one up to match with my sewing room xxx

      • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says:

        I’ve actually had “jazz up file cabinet” on my to do list for a while now (though not in those exact same words…but the same idea, for sure!). In fact, I nabbed that white file cabinet at IKEA with hopes of one day painting it or covering it in pretty paper or something. That’s definitely a project for down the road….

    • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says:

      Don’t give up on that dream, Christine! I can just see you taking your Decorum DIYer designs to a whole new level (DIY curtains, DIY chair slipcover, DIY duvet, DIY shower curtain)…not to mention the cute dance costumes you could create for Miss Claire!

      • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

        Oh I agree with Lauren, don’t give up on that dream at all! Just think, learning how to sew not only gives you the brilliant ability of making clothes for yourself and others, but it the perfect excuse for starting a fabric hoard! I will admit that is part of the reason I sew, I just can;t help myself when I see pretty fabric :D

      • Decorum DIYer says:

        You are just the best! Yes, yes, I could take over the world with a sewing skills. (Would you believe I have two sewing machines – still in their boxes?)

  4. fromlondonwithlove2011 says:

    Love it! I don’t have a spare filing cabinet, but excellent job using what you have to make what you need!!! I *did* however, fall in love with the canvas bins with the colored labels. I will be bin shopping ASAP. I need some major motivation to keep up the craft room migration. Thanks, I’ll definitely be following this series!

      • fromlondonwithlove2011 says:

        YES! Even better than that… the Goodwill Stores in middle Tennessee have a big sale the 1st Saturday of the month. Ready for this?
        ***50% OFF EVERYTHING STORE-WIDE!***
        So I take $20 and go buy $40 worth of amazing finds once a month. It makes me insanely happy, and I’m just 2 weekends away from the next one!

      • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says:

        Um…you have me seriously considering a move to Tennessee now. I LOVE Goodwill! And 50% off everything once a month? How amazing is that?! Love your thriftiness, London. Keep me posted on your finds!

  5. Kristine says:

    Absolutely FABULOUS!!!!!!! You have just solved two problems I have had! 1. What to do with an old metal filing cabinet ( need to figure out how to paint it now, any ideas?) and how to organize my fabrics! Wow, what a great start to my Monday…thank you so much for your brilliance!

  6. Cindy says:

    Clever, Clever, Clever! I happen to have a filing cabinent that isn’t getting much use…

    One question though, how big were the cuts of fabric that you put on the file folders?

  7. Alex says:

    Gorgeous! All of it! I need to buy a house just to have a room to craft in b/c that’s just not happening here. Love the filing cabinet idea Lauren!

    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      Hehe! That should be top priority when you do buy a house I think!

      I ran out of room inside my house and so have resorted to building outhouses in the garden to use as a sewing room, but even then it is not big enough. Once you allow yourself space for the sole purpose of crafting and sewing, the next inevitable step is to fill it full of things simply because you have the space until next minute, you have ran out again! xxx

    • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says:

      Thanks, Alex! And yes, it’s true – - as we’re planning to start looking at houses with hopes of becoming homeowners in 2014, I’m definitely putting in my request for a craft room. At least, until it’s taken over by small children. And even then…they just might have to sleep in the closet. :-) Kidding! (Sort of.)

  8. MainerChick says:

    Awesome post. Wish I sewed. I tried my hand at a small quilt, but haven’t really done anything since. (tried to knit but it’s not my cup of tea)

    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      The best way to get into sewing is to of course start with something simple but also something that you are so desperate to make that you know you wont lose interest or give up! I jumped straight in at the deep end when I started sewing with quite a tricky dress and although it didn’t work out exactly right I really enjoyed it and I was motivated to keep on going!
      Sending you creative vibes so that perhaps you will be inspired to find your sewing side xXX

  9. Midsommarflicka says:

    Like I already said on Laurens blog – this is such a cool idea, which I need to remember for the time I’ll have more and more fabric pieces… :)

    Love, Midsommarflicka

  10. Carla says:

    I just need someone to organize me. I get so overwhelmed. Now I do have the canvas bins and have most of my fabric sorted so I guess I’m part way there but there’s still lot of debris going on in my office/sewing room.

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