How to store fabric scraps
If your fabric scraps make you want to scream, I’m right there with you. Every time I think I get a handle on them, it’s all chaos again.
I like a divide and conquer strategy with fabric scraps.
First dump them all out. This will be chaos. Deep breath!
Fold the useful stuff
Fold everything that’s big enough to use. You can cut small pieces of cardboard for tiny mini-bolts or roll your fabric.
For every piece you have, first fold the raw edges to the center. Then make a tight little roll. Tie it up with a fabric tie or foldover elastic.
Hanging shoe organizers can be a good way to store tiny fabric bits. I have this floor shoe rack that also does a good job when I remember to not stuff it!
Sort your little fabric bits by color. If you have several really small pieces, maybe store some in jars. These ribbing remnants kept getting stuck at the bottom of my knit scraps basket.
Cull the small weird bits
Divide out any pieces that are too small or awkward to make something from. Ask yourself:
- Can you make bias tape out of it?
- What about cutting it up for stuffing for stuffed toys?
- You can also donate scraps to quilting groups or see if there’s a recycling center in your area that will take fabric scraps.
Make rainy day scrap kits
The last thing I like to do with scraps is cut them up into small projects for a rainy day. My church makes a lot of 7 minute zipper bags for charity sewing. On a day when I have a little time, I’ll cut the outside and lining for several zipper bags. Add a coordinating zipper, and you have a little kit to make up at any time.
Ways to sort your fabric
Up to this point, we’ve talked about several different ways to store your fabric, but let’s add another layer of usefulness and sort your fabric.
Pick a way to sort your fabric that makes sense to you.
I’m a visual person, so sorting by color makes 100% sense to me. If I can zero in on the color I’m looking for, I can easily go and find the right fabric in my stash in seconds. Ditto my colored pencils, closet, shoes, etc.
If you don’t think in color, here’s some other ways to sort fabric:
- fabric content: wools, cottons, silks, etc.
- fabric type: linings, knits, wovens
- yardage: big rolls, small rolls and everything in between
Some fabric stash apps
There are some fabric stash apps that can help you keep track of your fabric stash. I know good old Trello is a favorite for Helen of Helen’s Closet. She uses it here to keep track of her pattern stash, but the same principles can apply to your fabric.
Cora is another fabric stash app. Take a pic of any fabric in your stash and enter in all the details like fabric type, yardage, colors, content and weight. The cool thing about this is that you can customize filters to find a fabric that you’re thinking about right on your phone. I can see this being a great little tool the next time you’re fabric shopping.
So hopefully by now you’ve got some good ideas about how to store fabric. How do you tackle organizing fabric in your own sewing room?
More things to make your sewing easier:
- How to start sewing with a plan (hint: it’s never too late)
- 16 tips to better online fabric shopping
- 15 ways to make time to sew
- Sewing efficiently: Your Ultimate Guide
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.