Last year, I responded to an online posting by a woman claiming to have a large quantity of vintage fabrics available for sale. When I showed up at her house, she had, literally, HUNDREDS of yards in fabric and trim. She also had a pile of factory folded women's patterns. The deal was $75 with the stipulation that I had to take it all. I didn't bat an eyelash. I handed her the money and had Michael load the car. We filled the entire hatchback of our Prius.
At home, I had a few cuts of fabric, nothing remotely resembling a fabric stash (especially compared to the yarn, HELLO!). I spent that whole weekend sorting and burn testing my treasures. To my extreme delight, a large number of pieces were cottons and linens. Even better, there were several yards of each piece. I washed, dried, measured, labeled and neatly folded each cut before stacking it in my cubbies.
If I had stopped then, there'd be no need to go on. Of course, I didn't. I bought Fabric in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. I took advantage of great online fabric sales. And, I went shopping with Meg. And, on none of these occasions did I use the same care I had previously. I just kept stuffing fabric into storage cubes.
I've pulled fabric from my stash to make some projects (1, 2, 3, 4), but I still buy a good deal of project specific fabric; I think that has a lot to do with the fact that there's never been an easy way for me to see what I have.
I thought my storage system was pretty ace. I had incredible storage cubbies (built by my talented in-laws) equipped with storage cubes to maximize containment capability, but something was missing. I couldn't figure it out.
Then Gertie, that lovely lark of a sewing angel posted photos of her sewing room organization. It made so much sense. I knew then that I was going to play copycat. The concept is brilliant. And, it looks really pretty. At least, I think. But, I'm also the sort who think balls of yarn are spectacular home decor.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to get this project started. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd imagined. It did, however, take a good deal of time. No joke, I invested a good 8hrs (+) sorting, measuring and folding.
In the process of sorting, I was able to clean house a bit. There are a couple pieces of fabric I know I'll never use; they deserve new homes. There were also little bits of left over fabric from projects past that I had to acknowledge, didn't need to be held on to. I pared it down to seven cubes. It's so nice being able to quickly see everything I have available to work with. Thanks to Gertie, I think I now have a functional fabric stash.
Before I wrap up. I wanted to show you some fabrics from that haul last year I never got around to blogging. There are about a dozen different fabrics labeled Peter Pan Fabrics, Inc that I find particularly interesting.
From what I can determine, they're cotton. They're also incredibly light weight and semi-sheer. In addition to being printed, they're textured. The lines, or in some cases, grids are raised.
I've tried to do some research online to see if I could find more information about them, but there doesn't seem to be a lot available. Based on what I was able to find, Peter Pan Fabrics, Inc. did file a series of copyright infringement suits against several clothing manufacturers, starting in 1960. And, it appears, they may still produce quilting cottons today.
I've found some listings on Etsy and Ebay selling fabric boasting the same maker's mark, but they're all flat finished, and heavier. I'm pretty positive these aren't quilting cotton, but I can't say for sure. Is there a name or classification for textured fabrics like this? Do you have similar fabric in your stash? Do share! I'd love to know more about them.
Part 1: Trims
Part 2: Sewing Patterns
3/21/2013 03:00:35 am
This is by far the most impressive part of your organization quest thus far! It looks like the best method to keep everything neat and protected while still being able to see where everything is. Those little cloth boxes are ridiculously expensive though, I've thought about buying some several times but seeing the price tag for just one of them makes me walk away every time.
At my local home depot, they were selling the model cloth boxes I used in a 2-Pack. I think it might have been a promotion, but I got 2 for the price of one.
3/21/2013 05:39:02 am
I swear I used that same fabric in the last photo to make an easter dress for a little girl one year. Probably early 1980's. These are not quilting cottons, they would be for garments.
3/21/2013 10:48:30 pm
I love the storage system you've chosen - so bright and pretty. Thank goodness you saw Gertie's tip. I can't answer your fabric question, but I do like those Peter Pan prints.
3/22/2013 01:39:10 am
You're killing me. This looks fantastic! I guess I really will be reorganizing my yarn stash this weekend. : )
3/22/2013 06:19:22 am
Your organization looks wonderful! I have things in tubs... tubs on the floor of my garage, tubs in the rafters, and tubs under the Pool Table. I really need to get organized. SIGH... ~Laurie
3/22/2013 02:00:16 pm
Wow, I am so impressed! You did an incredible job and everything looks so pretty and colorful. I need to come up with something similar for my yarn stash.
3/23/2013 05:21:35 am
Looks like cotton leno from late 60s, early 70s. Wonderful stuff to sew and wear.
3/27/2013 01:41:15 pm
can that be a leno weave? it looks like some that i've made summer shirts from.
3/29/2013 12:55:01 pm
Your fabric stash looks great! The fabric you asked about is some type of textured voile,used for clothing not quilts. I'm pretty sure I have a halter maxi dress my sister made in probably the late 70 s still hanging in the closet!
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