I started sewing in 2004 and since then, I've amassed an insane amount of fabric. Kyle and Anne can bear witness to the stash running over. In November 2014, I began the task of sorting, measuring, and recording the details of every piece. Doing this was daunting and brought up a lot of emotions, but I'm glad I did it. I now have an accurate record of everything I own and am not so quick to buy fabric - last fabric purchase notwithstanding. Hah!
All of the fabric is stored in 18-gallon plastic bins and separated by category:
- skirt wools
- coat wools
- pant/dress wools
- jacket wools
- stretch suitings
- non-stretch suitings
- lightweight and stretch cottons
- striped shirtings
- solid shirtings
- printed shirtings
- ITY (less than 2 yards)
- ITY (more than 2 yards)
- colored ponte
- black/white/grey ponte
- printed ponte
- double knits
- cotton knits
- solid rayon jersey
- printed rayon jersey
- activewear knits
- light colors
- dark colors
There are also three bins marked "miscellaneous" which contain a mixture of fabrics. Since I've run out of room in the other bins, I had to combine fabrics until I (a) buy more bins or (b) sew more clothes.
My system is très old-school. Aside from the single "here's the fabric I bought" photo, I have no other digital records of my fabric. Instead, I have index cards with fabric swatches. Essentially, I have the sewer's version of a card catalogue.
Each of the above categories is grouped on a separate ring with the approximate total yardage recorded on the front. I try to keep this total updated, but I often forget.
If I remember when/where the fabric was purchased or if the fabric has been prewashed, I include that information as well.
Using the Catalogue
When I'm ready to sew a fabric, I take the index card from the ring, record the intended pattern to use, and the date I started sewing.
|(jacket wool; in progress)|
Once the garment is completed, I record the finished date as well.
I also record any information related to sizing, fitting, construction, and mishaps on the back.
I put all of the completed projects on a separate ring and store them in a metal box.
At the end of the year, I have an account of all of the garments I made (successes and failures) and the fabrics used.
So that's it! There's my stash in all of its glory. Hah!
How do you catalogue your stash? Do you have a digital or paper system?