Organizing Fabric Remnants

Above, an excerpt from the 1952 book “Sewing Made Easy”, by Mary Lynch.

Over the weekend I did a bit of destashing of bins and bins of fabric remnants that I had let pile up in my craft shed and barn. I will be filling up my Suburban with the unloved fabric to donate to The Legacy in Sebastopol, one of my favorite shopping spots. Most of the fabric I saved is vintage and it desperately needed organizing.I like to roll and cigar-wrap my remnants, but rarely take the time to do that. On Sunday, I designed some wraps to print out to motivate me to get ’er done. And of course, I made them for you, too. For free PDF downloads of the wraps to print out, click HERE for the shorter ones and HERE for the longer ones. I will keep extra wraps on hand in my sewing nook to wrap remnants as I get them from now on.I cut along the margin edge of each sheet to remove the white non-printed section (so when the bands overlap, the image blends onto itself,) then cut between each graphic to make the strips.Before rolling my fabric, I measured each and wrote the dimensions on the label of the wrap.I placed a 12-inch piece of tape on the table as a folding guide so that all my rolls would be uniform in length. I folded each fabric piece to that width, folded back the raw edges and jelly-rolled, folding in the end raw edges before finishing the roll.I wrapped the roll with the band and secured with clear tape.I’ll be storing my remnants in vintage non-smelly luggage.

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109 Responses to Organizing Fabric Remnants

  1. #1 - Andrea - Faded Plains says:

    How sweet of you to think of us :o)

  2. #2 - Amy @ Living Locurto says:

    This is great and I hope someday I will actually do this:-) Right now, my little piles are folded neatly under my bathroom sink… of all places!??

  3. #3 - dollcloset says:

    Great idea! It looks so tidy & organized – unlike my current setup. =P

  4. #4 - Eclectic Oddities says:

    You have to be the most organized person I've ever seen! Those remnant wraps are ingenious!

    You'd think that after 50 plus years of sewing and working retail fabric stores, that I would have thought to do my remnants that way too.

    Thanks for adding another 'to do' item to my list…JK…. something to do when I have nothing else to occupy my hands..lol.

    The printable strips are wonderful, and I thank you for allowing us to share in your organizational abilities!

    Judith

  5. #5 - duet letterpress says:

    organization at its finest! how nice!

  6. #6 - J. Christina Huh says:

    Fantastic idea!

  7. #7 - The Redhead Riter says:

    THAT is such a fantastic idea!!! When I see your postings on something like this, I think, "Why haven't I thought of that?" LOL Actually, you have me brainwashed…every time I see a little bird, I think of you!

    Have a lovely day!

  8. #8 - PamperingBeki says:

    How cute!

  9. #9 - Crafterella says:

    What a super idea, thanks for sharing the wraps with us, now there is no excuse, except maybe lack of time.

  10. #10 - Nadine says:

    Wow – very organized! It looks so nice tucked into the vintage trunk. Thank you for sharing!

    ~Nadine

  11. #11 - Lynn says:

    What a GREAT idea! As I worked in fabric/crafts sales for more years than I care to remember I know your idea is one of the best ways to organize and store your fabrics! THANKS so much for sharing the wrapper with the rest of us!

  12. #12 - rushton family archives says:

    I'm so impressed!

  13. #13 - LindaSonia says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing LindaSonia

  14. #14 - Happy Nester says:

    What a wonderful idea & as always thank you so much for sharing.

  15. #15 - Diane of Crafty Passions says:

    Looks so organized I love the idea !
    Diane

  16. #16 - DeeDee says:

    Now how did you know I needed something like this…I love them thanks so much…DeeDee

  17. #17 - Creative Crafter UK says:

    What a great idea – I wish I could be as organised as you! I love your remenant labels.

  18. #18 - NicNacManiac says:

    Fabulous idea!! So organized, sometimes you really just have to take some time and get you stuff together. It certainly helps later on when you are looking for a particular item. Thanks so much for the lovely tags wrappers. My life is becoming nice and neat, thanks to you!!

  19. #19 - Domestic Designer says:

    Great idea! thanks!

  20. #20 - Kathleen says:

    Everyday I look forward to your blog, and what new idea or creation you have for us. Thank you so much, this is a great idea, and my fabric rolls will look so nice. Hugs, Kathleen

  21. #21 - Julie Bouésso says:

    OMG – this would be a dream set-up! I am not sure I'd have the patience for it though… Maybe around x-mas – I get to relax & play catch-up usualy around that time of the year. Great idea! Cheers, Julie

  22. #22 - Natalie Jost | Olive Manna says:

    reading the other comments I just want to say DITTO. DITTO. DITTO. :D Awesome, thank you for sharing too!

  23. #23 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    YOU are so clever! Your thank you package is on its way…by snail mail but on its way..blessings
    Sharon

  24. #24 - Christie Cottage says:

    I just want to come and spend a week with you. Check out all your awesome items and go to that incredible flea market with you.

    Me and probably 1000 other people!

  25. #25 - Kim says:

    That is pretty nifty. I love the idea and will have to use it. Thank you for the free downloads.

  26. #26 - Ruby says:

    Thank you so much for your generosity!

  27. #27 - Carla says:

    You can't imagine how timely this is, as I am reorganizing and purging my fabric stash. Thank you!

  28. #28 - GrannySmithGreen says:

    Gracious, you are just to cleaver, creative and organized. Want to come over to my craft room?

  29. #29 - bonniemomof5 says:

    What a great idea. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. It is muchly appreciated.

  30. #30 - Meghan T. says:

    ok you are just amazing….simply amazing…I have never seen anything like it or met anyone like you. I am so jealous….I wish I were your neighbor.
    Love all your ideas and I would love all those remnants…..so darling! Wish I didn't live 2 hours away! :)

  31. #31 - Mel says:

    You are sooooo nice!!
    Love them and am going to tell my sewing buddies!

  32. #32 - Atelier Conti says:

    Ooh! I love the organization Cathe! It sure makes life so much easier. Your blog is delicious!

  33. #33 - Esther says:

    That is such a lovely idea and thanks so much for the wraps. I really need something that works for smaller pieces and this looks such a good idea.

  34. #34 - My name is PJ. says:

    You are the goddess of creativity and organization! You never, ever, ever cease to amaze. I found some old apothecary bottles and bought them (online). They're the kind you have to empty of their content and soak, then clean with denture tablets…How should I label them? I have the option of buying vintage labels (vintage, but filled with writing), or creating labels with a simple drug or herb name. So I ask myself, "WWCD"? (What would Cathe do?) :)

  35. #35 - Randi says:

    Thank you…this is just the kick in the pants I need to get my fabric sorted out and organized. It's super nice of you to share these with all of us!

  36. #36 - Elaine says:

    Thank you so much! I have been sorting my stash – again. This will be a lovely way to get it to a more usable state.

  37. #37 - Lucy says:

    have another nickel Cathe, because seriously – I don't know how you do it! So organised! Perhaps it's time for me to tackle the attic full of remanants now.

  38. #38 - Carly says:

    Thanks Cathe! I feel so much better about my supplies and more motivated and creative when everything is all pretty. You're a gem!

  39. #39 - Luci says:

    What a great idea, if I ever get organized, I'm using this!

  40. #40 - handbagaddict says:

    Great idea!!! Thank you!!!

  41. #41 - Karen says:

    How'd you know I needed to organize my fabric? What a great motivator you are! Did I miss it, or did you also tell us how to get vintage luggage non-smelly? Karen

  42. #42 - xashee's corner says:

    thank you so much for sharing! :) have a GREAT day!

  43. #43 - Linda says:

    Hello, i referred your creations on my blog. You can see them on http://paneamoreecreativita.it/2009/07/etichette-per-ordinare-le-stoffe.html
    I hope you like it.
    hello, linda

  44. #44 - Marie Plocharz says:

    What a clever idea and it was so kind of you to share. Thank you.

  45. #45 - bklyn jenny says:

    this is an awesome idea. thanks for sharing!

  46. #46 - JS says:

    This is wonderful. There are two closets in my tiny San Francisco closet, and one is completely filled to the brim with fabric. Organizing would take a long coffee-fueled weekend, but I can see it would be well worth the effort. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  47. #47 - Rachel@oneprettything.com says:

    These are awesome and SO CUTE! I love them! Thanks sooo much! I'll be linking.

  48. #48 - Junie Moon says:

    This is a brilliant idea and your timing is perfect. I want to de-stash and give to an organization for use in charitable projects. Your idea(s) work great for giving them the fabric pieces in a presentable way but useful as well with the labels. Thank you so much.

  49. #49 - hellesbelles86 says:

    I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you for all of these goodies! Oh and also mention how jealous I am that you're in NorCal close to Sebastopol. I spent most of my childhood in Santa Rosa and I miss the west coast even tho I was also from Missouri where I am now.

  50. #50 - Missie/Crafting with Cat Hair says:

    Brilliant! I've been going through my stash too, so these will come in very handy. I think I'll use them on my yarn also! Thanks :)

  51. #51 - Lindsey says:

    What a great idea! I love the photo of all of your pretty fabrics in the luggage. Beautiful!

    { Lindsey }
    http://greatfullday.blogspot.com

  52. #52 - maryellenscrafts says:

    Thanks. Love the idea. I have quite a bit a fabric at home I can do this with.

  53. #53 - Laurel says:

    I've googled dozens of different "craft terms + organized" and not found such wonderfully creative solutions to craft storage dilemmas. You make even the process of filing craft leftovers a joyful pastime, and then share your creative genius with people you'll never meet. What a sweetie! Thank you!

  54. #54 - deba822 says:

    I wish I could organize my fabric like that. The best I've done is sort it by color in rubbermaid bins.

  55. #55 - Soul Searcher says:

    Great way to keep yourself organized. Thanks for sharing!!

  56. #56 - whyte says:

    Oh my gosh, look at that candy store in that drawer, what a delightful and fabulous idea! Thanks Cathe!!

  57. #57 - FishStikks says:

    Ooooh, very nicely done and they all look so beautiful all rolled up and placed together like that!

  58. #58 - casserole says:

    These are so pretty!! I organized some of my remnants with paper labels, but mine were just cut out of scrap paper and nowhere near as nice as yours.

    I posted a link to your labels on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/free-printable-wrapper-labels-for-fabric-remnants/2009/08/02/

    –Anne

  59. #59 - Celia says:

    Clever, clever idea!

  60. #60 - Melissa says:

    So simple and yet so brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!

  61. #61 - Jill says:

    I have a lot of fabric and remnants. My mouth is gaping open right now. Beautiful organization. Thank you.

  62. #62 - Sarah Doyle says:

    This is something we can all say – why didn't we think of this before. Thanks for the tutorial. I've added it to my blog – sarahjdoyle.com/2009/08/07/the-very-best-method-of-organizing-fabric-remnants.aspx

    Thanks again
    Sarah J Doyle
    http://PatternsThatFitYou.com
    http://SewingBusiness.com blog
    http://SarahJDoyle.com blog

  63. #63 - Jenni says:

    oh my gosh–these are great!!! such a wonderful idea!

  64. #64 - patstudio says:

    Nice blog. And I love love this idea….what a great way to get and stay organized.

  65. #65 - Emily says:

    OK!! I printed out ten pages of these today and plan to tackle my boxes, and boxes, and boxes of fabric. Maybe…someday…i'll post a pic.

  66. #66 - Pink Rufflez says:

    Love, love, love these!! Thank you!

  67. #67 - Shellie says:

    If you print them on the full sheet labels, you don't need tape. But I wouldn't recommend that for finer/delicate fabrics.

  68. #68 - Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing! This is just what I need to get organized. :)

  69. #69 - Lynn says:

    Wow!

    Just proves the simplest idea is the best.
    thanks I had fun this weekend tackling my stash of fabric remnants.

    thanks

    Lynn Alexander

  70. #70 - Joan says:

    Many thanks for this helpful solution to fabric
    chaos. I'm inspired and plan to utilize your
    remnant labels immediately.

    Joan

  71. #71 - mymebaby.com says:

    What a brilliant idea! I just organized my fabric stash but I didn't label them. I think I'll go back and add the measurements using these labels.

  72. #72 - Karen says:

    What a clever idea! I have been storing my fabric in a wicker trunk since I started living in a travel trailer 9 years ago. Rolling like this would give me so much more room in there. Thank you!

  73. #73 - Roberta says:

    splendida idea…ho sempre un disordine nelle scatole delle stoffe…con le tue etchette – fascette sarà tutto più a posto.
    ciao Roberta

  74. #74 - StudioCherie says:

    I am glad you linked to this on the Etsy forum thread. Great work! Thanks for sharing

  75. #75 - Lauren says:

    Okay, so I've been back 5 times to print these out! They are soooo handy! Thank you so much! I use alot of fabric since I make homemade baby items and sell them on Etsy http://www.homemadebabyshoppe.etsy.com

    Can't thank you enough!

  76. #76 - Sus says:

    Thank you so very much for posting this! I've been losing my mind trying to keep track of my fabrics, and trying to keep everything from getting wrinkled when folded.

    You're a genius!!

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  78. #77 - marysworkshop says:

    Oh, I’m jealous of how neat, attractive and organized your fabric stash is!
    All your projects are inspiring, Cathe, and I really look forward to them.

  79. #78 - 2 little hooligans says:

    these are great! found you from shannon. Linking these up for my fat quarter fridays.

  80. #79 - Christine Marles says:

    Thanks – I found you on Etsy when I did a search in the forums for organizing fabric. Very generous of you and very helpful information and files!

  81. #80 - julie Ann says:

    I so love this down load as I have so much fabric organize.
    thank you
    .

  82. #81 - Christy Martin says:

    Outstanding….this will look so much better than the rubberbands I’ve saved from asparagus. lol

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  84. #82 - Honey says:

    Oh these are lovely and I love how you have stored them. I am excited to do the same with all my remnants. For some reason google isn’t liking me and is having issues with the downloads of both long and short. If you happen to have a bit of time that you simply have nothing to do and are asking yourself…”Hmmm…now what should I do?” Well…would you email your lovelies to me? I and my stash would adore you! :)

    ~Honey @Mondorfment

  85. #83 - Angela says:

    Wow!! Great idea! Thank you.

  86. #84 - lrt40 says:

    I have been able to down load the fabric wrap from either place. Would you please let me know how to get it done. I guess I missed these back on ”””09
    Boy do I need them now.
    Thank you for all your work. Love your blog.
    lrt40

  87. #85 - Joy B says:

    This is such a great idea! Thanks for these cool labels – have to get busy now! My stash certainly needs organizing.
    xoxo
    Joy

  88. #86 - Renee Taylor says:

    AWESOME IDEA (yes I’m screaming) Thank-you for taking the time to post this idea it rules! CHEEEEERS : )

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  90. #87 - Laura says:

    I love this idea, It will make me look so organized. thank you.

  91. #88 - marilyn says:

    Great idea! I just posted a link to this post on my blog today! Hopefully you will inspire others to organize their fabric!

    http://4you-withlove.blogspot.com/2012/03/fabric-stashgetting-it-under.html

    Marilyn

  92. #89 - Cathy says:

    Thanks, Cathe! It’s been raining for 2 days, in sunny California and I’ve spent those days working to organize my fabric collection. I’m done with yardage and scraps. Now, I just need to deal with my remnant-sized pieces. I just printed your wraps and will begin organizing those, too. I’m actually enjoying myself! I appreciate your great ideas.

  93. #90 - Linda McDonald says:

    Thanks so much for making and sharing this free pattern. I’ve been wanting to “file,” categorize, or something with all my stash. Right now, they are dumped in plastic bins that I don’t have room to store. Hopefully, this will help to minimize the room needed. Fabric stores use this for their remnants, so why not use in our homes.

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  96. #91 - derrow@bellsouth.net says:

    Great idea

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  98. #92 - Betty Zotta says:

    I love your ideas, and would like permission to post your site on my site that is not doing anything yet. Please let me know. Meantime, thank you for the organizing tips. I intend to use them right away.

  99. #93 - Betty says:

    You are a doll! I love your idea of rolling fabric and the labels.

  100. #94 - Linda says:

    I have so much fabric to organize and have been looking for a good way to do it. This is a wonderful idea, thank you so much for the printables. Rolling fabric/clothes takes up much less space. I always roll my clothes when traveling and when I go to thrift store bag sales. You can get so much more into the suitcases or bags. I wonder why I never thought of rolling my fabirc and labeling it.

  101. #95 - lois says:

    THank you for the strips to put around fabric bundles—-thank you thank you thank you. I love this idea. Im from Southern Mn just in case your wondering where your mail is coming from–If possible-send me emails and to any new blogs you post! I live your ideas

  102. #96 - Jamie Honley says:

    These are awesome, and you created these on a whim on a Sunday!! I wish I had your brain, I could come up with a lot of things thank you!!

  103. #97 - Mel says:

    Dear Ms.Cathe, i’ve been rolling my fabric remnants for a while now but never bothered to mark them. It is so much easier now to identify which roll is suitable for my next project when i made effort to mark them like you had suggested. Thank you so much for sharing…
    Sincerely,
    Mel

  104. #98 - Joyce says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am in the process of moving from my temporary room into the Design Studio my husband created for me. This will really help me stay organized. thanks for sharing the handout of the strips!

  105. #99 - Sheryl Stephens says:

    I love these wraps for fabric. I will be using mine for sure thanks

  106. #100 - HALLAREN says:

    THANK YOU FOR THE IDEA AND THE DOWNLOAD.
    I HAVE SO MANY BITS OF FABRIC THAT ARE NOT JUST TINY SCRAPS. I OFTEN WONDER WHAT SIZE, WHAT THE YARDAGE IS.
    THIS, WITH LOTS OF STRING QUARTETS AND DWIGHT YOAKAM, WILL BE MY HOLIDAY WEEK PROJECT.

  107. #101 - anna spina says:

    fantastica idea grazie

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