Help! My Fabric Is Taking Over!

Sewing stuff just won't stay put.

As you can see the one thing I haven’t managed to organize in my latest round of de-cluttering and simplifying is my sewing stuff. I’ve cut back on the amount of fabric I keep around several times and have that down to a pretty manageable two large bins but what do I do with the following stuff:


  1. Buttons, zippers and snaps: I keep a pretty good selection around and I really dislike having to dump the button box every time I need to find four matching buttons.
  2. Ribbon and bias tape: I use a lot of bias tape on Su’s dresses and aprons and once you take it off of the card it comes on it just seems to tangle around everything. Ditto for ribbon.
  3. Velcro: I keep the little Velcro buttons on hand for doll clothes as well as regular Velcro and the glue backed kind. Also several widths and types of elastic.
  4. Interfacing and Lining: Somehow I never can find these even though I know I have them. The interfacing is particularly vexing. It gets odd shapes cut out of it which makes it hard to fold and if it won’t fold it won’t stay flat which makes it harder to work with.
  5. Patterns: Probably my biggest irritation. I have many different types of patterns many? copied from friends and family which means that they don’t fit nicely into envelopes that can then be placed in a file drawer. Also I use the same collar pattern for all of Su’s dresses with collars, which means that that piece is with whatever dress pattern I used last.
  6. Other notions: rick-rack, bits of fabric I’m saving to use as trims, shirring elastic, extra and specialty thread
  7. Needles, bobbins and sewing machine accessories: they don’t all fit in the machine case.
  8. The sewing machine: I’d like to set it up on my desk and just leave it there. I’ve had that arrangement before and I did a lot more sewing when I could sit down for ten minutes and sew without having to set things up.
  9. Scissors, rotary cutter and cutting mat: these need to be easy to get to but not easy for the children to get to (Su used my sewing scissors to cut slits in one of S’s ties the other day).
  10. Other sewing/craft supplies: Knitting stuff, needlepoint stuff, kits I have for the children.

I think that’s all of the sewing stuff. Here’s the space I have to work with:

Sewing closet, which also holds linens

Sewing Drawer in my credenza: it is legal file sized.

Ideas? Looking forward to your comments.

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2 Responses to Help! My Fabric Is Taking Over!

  1. Jeannine Uzel says:

    Hmm… I’m a great tidier but a horrific semstress! (if that’s how you spell it!). I really reley on the plastic rolling cabinets you can find at target for supplies- you know- 3 drawers and little wheels on the bottom. Plastic see through so you remember what you stashed. They have these bead organizers that work great for buttons. I also have found paper towel holders at good will ( the wooden ones with the dowels) that work great for ribbon and ric rac. Good luck and happy sewing!

  2. K_Steinmann says:

    I think paper towel holders would fit in my drawer too. Since the sewing room doubles (triples?) as the schoolroom and office I’m really trying to minimize what is “out” (visible) during the times we’re doing school…K

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