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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fabric Organization

What started with wanting to get my son's artwork condensed and organized turned into a weekend full of cleaning out and organizing my office closet where things tend to accumulate until I can't even get in there, let alone find anything.  This closet is a good size and has lots of potential, but I wasn't making the most of it.  I moved my two wrapping carts into the closet because they didn't go with the calmer, more grown-up vibe I was going for in the room.  I still use them quite often (more on that later this week), but with all my mess stuffed onto the floor, I was having trouble accessing it.  Time to get in there and get organized!


It's funny to realize I did a big office closet clean-out almost exactly one year ago and got it to the point in the picture below.  I think the back-to-school time of year causes me to want to dig into those scary places in my home (or just rework areas that need tweaking), so I'll be doing some organizing projects in the next couple weeks.   I got a good start on organizing my son's artwork and that's a huge weight lifted!



Today, I'm sharing how I organized the fabric that previously took up three of the four drawers in the built-in dresser off to the right of the closet.  I realized that I wasn't taking advantage of the height and hanging bar in this closet and that I could free up some valuable drawer storage by taking the fabric out of the dresser and hanging it.  


Of course, first I had to get to work clearing everything off of the floor so I could even get to the fabric in the drawers, and that was a big job!  To hang the fabric, I used small (kid size) plastic white hangers that previously held my sweaters.  Awhile back I switched out these hangers for the huggable kind, but I was storing these in my son's closet.  I'm glad I kept them!  I ended up using 46- the exact number I had on hand!


I simply folded the fabric over the hanger, not being too concerned about how long it hung, as long as it didn't hit the boxes/frames below.  They are organized by color and the "kid" fabric is on the far left.  It made me a little sad to see a couple of patterns I had planned on making something for James and now he has outgrown that fabric before I got to the project.  sigh.  





After hanging the fabric, I had two free drawers. :) I kept one drawer of fabric for batting, burlap, and scraps (but it's a much tidier drawer than before)!  Even though it's "just" two free drawers, I can actually see what I have now.  When the fabric was stored in the drawers, it was difficult to sort through to see what I had on hand. 


I'm not a great sewer, but I enjoy fabric and have used it in these projects: pillows and mudroom bench seat, drapescovered books, lined bookcase and wooden stool makeover to name a few. 


Looking at all my fabric makes me realize: 1) I don't need any more and I should do some new projects with what I have, and 2) I'd like to learn how to really sew.  Like my Grandma who made the pin cushion and scrap holder for me.  Maybe I should look around for a class??  Do you sew?  How did you learn?  And, how do you store your fabric? 



22 comments:

  1. I really want to learn how to sew too! Hopefully I can take some classes in my area soon; but, I've been saying that for over a year now. Oh, how time flies!

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  2. I learned to sew in high school. I took a refresher class at a community college a few years ago. The one near me offers non-credit classes related to different hobbies. If you have a community college near you, you could look to see if they offer classes. You could also check Joanns.

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    1. So good to learn young! We do have a community collage I can look into and also a Joanns nearby.

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  3. I love how organized the closet is! I have the organization bug right now too, and really need to tackle my office closet. I hope it turns out as nice as yours!
    I have also wanted to learn to sew recently, but I can't even sew a button so I'm afraid I'd be biting off more than I could chew! :-) Good luck to you if you do take a class though!

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    1. The office closet was awful, so much better now! Next up is the pantry!

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  4. I love that you hung all your fabric! Mine is in a clear tub. I hate it and can't wait till we move and I have an office all to myself! (Wishful thinking) I learned to sew in school, but I also had a couple of really great teachers throughout the years to help me with big projects. I think Hobby Lobby has classes...maybe. I do know that my small town does and even the library will host classes every now and then. Good luck Megan! Can't wait to see your sewing projects.

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    1. I never thought of Hobby Lobby. We have two not too far away. Thanks Rebecca!

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  5. I started out teaching myself to sew with really simple projects (like pillows) and took a couple of classes that were specifically focused on a particular project, so I had an instructor to help me with sewing a zipper for the first time. With YouTube videos, I found that it's actually very do-able on my own. I love the idea of hanging up fabric to see what you have on hand. I use file boxes and drape the fabric over hanging file folders, but it's flimsier and not as convenient as having in on hangers. I may need to rework my laundry/craft area...

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    1. I did find a great YouTube video for making an envelope pillow, but I'd really like to be able to do a zipper. I've seen the file folder method before, but I wasn't sure if that would work for larger pieces . . .

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  6. That is a lot of fabric! I went through my stash awhile back when in the streamline/simplify mode. My Granny taught me a bit, but I took a class with a couple girlfriends at a fabric stores years ago when my girls were little. I am no expert, but can handle the basics.

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    1. My Grandma can sew anything. I wish I had her teach me when I was young, but we moved to another state when I was in middle school so I didn't get to learn from her.

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  7. I learned to sew in high school, but I haven't sewn anything in a long time. I've noticed that Joann offers classes and I'd like to take a refresher. Your fabric closet looks great, Megan! I hope that you will do a post on the rest of the closet organization with those pretty blue boxes.

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    1. Thanks Barbara! Those blue boxes are from the Container Store. I can post about the whole closet soon so you can see the rest. You're the second person to mention Joanns- I need to check out their website or call.

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  8. I learned to sew from my Mom, who learned from her mother. I think you're on the right track with your sewing. Keep going with your simple projects and expand to more complicated ones as you get more confident. Sewing clothes (start with a basic pattern) can be a good way to learn different techniques. When it comes to fabric storage, I only started hanging mine a few months ago, but it's such a simple way to store it. I like how you've organized your pieces into different sections.

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    1. I would think I could try a baby shift dress or something simple like that?? The only problem with my hanging system is that I'm so short I need a small step stool to reach. It's great to be able to see what I have now though.

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  9. Looks great! I love doing sewing projects too. I took a class at Joanns and the instructor also does private classes here in Houston. Her website is Maureen makes it

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  10. If you have a local fabric store (not a chain but a small business), they may offer sewing lessons - I took my first one a few weeks ago, and it was great! One-on-one and $35 for the hour, which in my area is a bargain for a lesson of any kind. She took me over the whole machine, showed me what all the pieces do, had me do some stitching, and next lesson we'll do a simple project.

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    1. That sounds awesome! With private lessons I bet you'll be learning to sew in no time.

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  11. I LOVE your closet. It always feels so good to be organized... I love that you hung the fabric... such a great idea!!! I buy fabric from Jo-Anns fabric and from Hobby Lobby.. where do you typically buy fabric from?? The Jo-Anns in my area offers sewing classes but I don't think the Hobby Lobby here does.

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  12. Hi Megan!! The closet looks great. Organizing fabric is something I've been meaning to get around to for ages. Maybe it will happen soon! As for learning to sew, I am also a beginner. I really enjoy it and recently came across the website/app "Craftsy". It's online courses (some are free) that you can access whenever you like! I just got started on my first course (crocheting basics) but have already found a bunch of sewing ones I think I'd love! You should check it out!

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