Saturday, October 29, 2016

Taming of the Stash

The Sewing Room...the space in my home which serves as the center for almost all of my creative activities.  The thing is there is more than sewing that goes on in there.  I dabble in various "crafty" activities - sewing, jewelry making, yarn crafts, candle making, glass cutting, etc.  Additionally, my Sewing Room serves as the hub for managing the affairs of my home. To achieve maximum efficiency, I often re-examine the zones of this room to see if I can make better use of the space.

The closet in my Sewing Room once had sliding doors which I found to be inhibiting when trying to see the contents stored within.  Several years ago, I removed the doors and used them to construct shelving in the closet to store my fabric collection.  At the time, I decided to use Steralite storage drawers to contain, categorize and protect the various lengths of fabric in my stash.  While it did a great job of protecting them from dust and light, I did find the drawers to be somewhat limiting in capacity.

As a result, I hung the lighter weight fabrics on the closet rod which took up the entire hanging space.  I installed a tension rod in front of the hanging and drawer space to hold ongoing and upcoming projects, but as you can see, they blocked my ability to take visual inventory of the stash.  I knew I had to make a change.

While recently browsing through images on my Pinterest feed, I saw this photo of the fabric storing method blogged about on I Always Pick the Thimble, and I started thinking about how to make better use of this space.

I removed the fabric from the storage drawers and measured the width and depth of my shelves.  With about 22-inches of capacity, I determined that I could get two fabric stacks per shelf if I folded each length about 10-inches wide.

Please ignore the tape residue on the back and shelf walls.

I set out to fold and categorize all of the lengths of fabric in the closet, and found I was able to house almost everything on the shelves that was once hanging as well as stored in the plastic drawers.

The fabric groups I had challenges in storing were my tricot knits, laces and linings as well as miscellaneous fabrics I had on hand.  I was able to set up a new "shelf" above the hanging space to hold the tricots and laces...

...and placed two drawers below the hanging space to hold the linings and miscellaneous stuff.

I was then able to free up the hanging space to hold ongoing projects, and store rolls of netting in cylindrical tubes.

Sometime next year, I plan to paint the closet's interior and exterior to better coordinate it with the decor I've been incorporating in my Sewing Room.  Until then, with the time spent reorganizing my fabric stash, the closet storage is much more efficient and looks appealing with the curtains open or closed.

I really enjoy reading your comments, so please share below on how you store and organize your fabric stash.

Be blessed!



  1. Darn you, Aisha! I was fairly happy with my organization simply because I was able to stick everything into one closet. Now that I have looked at your fabulous arrangement, I have to add "Re-organize fabric closet" to my To-Do list. Probably a good opportunity to get rid of some things that have acquired along the way but know that I will never use, move them on and give someone else the opportunity to actually put them to use. Thanks for the kick in the rumpus!

    1. I totally get you - I thought my Steralite drawers were doing it for me, too. But then I saw all this "wasted" space on each shelf and the inspiration image on Pinterest really moved me into action. I believe in the therapeutic benefits of purging stuff, but I also don't want to "gift" any of my fabric, so I had to re-evaluate the system. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts - I truly appreciate it!

  2. Gosh, Aisha, you've got me so excited about getting my sewing studio done. We recently moved into a new home and my new space is a blank canvas, waiting for some love. I'm focusing on our living space first, then I'll tackle the studio. I can't wait to organize and decorate. After seeing your post, now I'm certain I want to re-design the closet to fit my storage needs. Thanks so much for sharing your space. You're really inspiring me.

    1. How exciting to be setting up your studio from a fresh slate! I always get a kick from seeing how others layout their creative space... I'd love to see how things are progressing - please share!