Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DIY Tutorial: Cleaning Up Your Fabric Stash

As a fellow fabric addict, I have struggled with ways of storing all of my gorgeous finds.
I've tried stacking, boxing, etc.
And none of them worked for me. I still found myself frustrated with the appearance of my stash and I could never find that piece of fabric I knew I had (or maybe thought I had, but didn't actually buy yet..)
One of my sewing friends told me about these handy dandy fabric organizer boards.
We thought they were a swell idea, however, they didn't come with a very friendly price.
So I decided to try my hand at making my own mini bolts with no cost.
You will need a bolt for 45" fabric that is tri-folded.
You can ask for these bolts at your local fabric store. Some places will throw them away, so you can snatch them up for free.
 You can get four mini bolts out of one 45" bolt.
Using a box cutter, cut on the folds and one in the center of the long piece.
 (Where the black lines are in the photo above.)
 By doing so you should get 4 equal sized mini bolts.
Quilting cotton is the easiest to bolt because you only have to fold it in half making it 22" wide.
60" wide fabrics you will have to tri-fold to make them fit on your bolt.
 Then you can begin rolling!
 Keep them looking nice and tidy by pinning the end of your fabric.
And then you are ready to stack them on your shelf!
Simple, right?!
Here is how my shelf looked after I bolted my fabric.
It's like a mini fabric store!

6 comments:

  1. What is your suggestion for fabrics that you've already cut, but don't wish to cut off trailing edges? Do you feel many other types of fabrics will do just as well on the bolts? And does this help take much less space? Also, how many yards do you think work best on these bolts (some of my fabrics are 6 or 7 yards of 62")? I have ::ahem:: a lot of fabric, and need to make more room for other things... or more fabric..

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  2. Love it. Looks professionally organized. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  3. Hi Jenny! Wonderful questions! I wrap my pieces on trailing edges and all! You can pin the end to keep it from coming undone. I use these little bolts for almost every fabric. I generally will not bolt bulky fabric such as a thick sweater knit, fur, or fleece. They don't stay on the bolts very well and take up a lot of space. Generally this does save space! I found that it works best to not go over 3 yards per bolt. Especially if it is 60" wide. For a 60" wide piece you will need to fold it in thirds.
    I clean up my stash primarily to add more fabric. =]
    Have a great day!
    Kaitlin

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  4. Thanks, Kaitlin! I went to JoAnns and asked for their empty bolts (which they were happy to give) and used up all of them last night, before I saw your comments. I will be going there frequently, since I only put a small nick in my stash after about 25 full bolts (100 cut sheets). I have been putting fabrics on that are in excess of 3 yards, and used a full bolt for my thicker fabrics that I have a lot of yardage (like the $1.99 teal knit backed fleece you had a few weeks ago).
    I took a before picture, and honestly i'm slightly skeptical if it will really help the amount of room I have.. but maybe that's because I've been putting >3 yards and slightly bulky fabrics on. But I'm determined to bolt all my fabrics, and I will post an after picture. If anything, the stuff I have done looks SO much nicer and neat!!
    Thanks again for the great idea!

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  5. I do this, too, only with magazine size (8.5" x 11") comic backing boards! They're not as stiff as as a cardboard bolt, but they do the job. Also, since they're thinner, you can fit more in the same amount of space. They're pretty readily available online, or at local comic book stores, and are very reasonable per board (~$9 for 50).

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  6. I use a catalog sort of system: collapsible fabric boxes from IKEA plus an empty scrapbook. I label the boxes, and in the scrapbook I have a page for each box. I stick a small swatch of the fabric into the scrapbook on the page for the box it's in, using a bit of mailing label on which I write the yardage and width.

    Since the scrapbook pages are encased in plastic, I can move the swatches around if need be. And when I'm perusing my pattern collection and get an idea for a future project I stick a post-it next to the fabric swatch with the pattern number.

    The boxes keep the fabric dust-free and prevent fading, and they're self-contained so I can stack them anywhere.

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