As of late, most of my WIPs have been home improvement in nature. In my imagination, all the projects I had planned for our new home were finished within weeks of moving. We were completely unpacked, everything had a new place before the holidays, and we were fully adjusted to our new routines and environment.
In reality. All of this is taking a lot longer than I expected. The hard-work is paying off. Transformations are taking place. Things are starting to come together. Still, with numerous projects in various stages of completion, it's hard to feel accomplished and/or settled. So, lately, I've turned my attention to the one area of the house that is guaranteed to make me feel at home.
The biggest benefit of our new house is the space we've gained. It's an incredible difference. Previously, our dining room was also Mike's office and my sewing/knitting room. Since the move, I'm happy to report, there are no longer pins or needles on the table where we eat! Additionally, Mike and I have both gained our own retreats. Even before we completed the purchase of the house, I knew that this alcove in the basement was destined to become my studio space!
When we started hauling boxes in, Mike and I were both genuinely surprised by the volume of supplies I've stashed. See, I've never been able to unpack everything at once before. I've gotten a lot... the majority, in fact, of my fabric and patterns at estate sales. This type of acquisition is most definitely a feast/famine form of shopping. A girl's got to buy it when she can get it, because it's not often an option. If you've never shopped an estate sale for sewing and knitting related goodies, I HIGHLY recommend you do! Crafters have always been stashers, but the general population doesn't know how to value the tools of our trade. As a result, It's been my experience vintage patterns, fabric, buttons, notions, and yarn at estate sales is priced for nickels on the dollar. I digress...
Now that I am able to access all my materials, I want to maintain them in a way that lends itself easily to accessibility. I want to know what materials I have to work with.Formerly, I stored portions of my fabric in a manner similar to Gertie. This method of organization is a fine way to store fabric; it's very tidy and a great way to keep inventory of fabric specifications, but it didn't allow me to see materials or prints very easily. I built from this model and came up with an approach that better suits my needs. To house my fabrics, I purchased an Expedit shelf and workstation from Ikea. In order to keep things aesthetically pleasing, I've been doing my best to fold each piece to the same dimensions ("12.5 x "12.5).
Prior to folding each piece of fabric, I measure both the length and width I have available for use. In cases of mystery fabric, I burn test a small piece to determine the content of the fiber. Next, I use my pinking shears to cut a swatch of the fabric and staple it to a 3x5 index card (Tip: I cut a swatch cutting template from an index card) I write the fabric content, width, and yardage on the card and store them in anindex card file. At the moment, my cards are loosely organized by fabric type. As I continue to fold fabric (which is a complete tease, let me tell you!) I've been adding notes regarding pattern inspiration and ideas. There's even enough room on the card to keep track of any comments I might have after working with a fabric, which may aid in my better understanding the qualities of the fabrics I'm sewing with, and, hopefully, improve my fabric handling and choosing skills for future projects.
This process is incredibly time consuming, but I hope that doing it right once with assure I don't have to do it ever again. In total, I estimate I've already spent more than 15 hours folding fabric. I likely have another 6- 8 hours before I finish. Phew. How do you store your fabric? Are you engaging in any craft organization projects currently?