#TuesdayTips Organizing Your Sewing Supplies | The Marilyn Johnson Sewing Design Studio, LLC

As a sewing Studio, we have HUGE amounts of sewing tools and fabrics that are used multiple times on a daily basis. Therefore, it is very important to keep things organized so that staff can easily obtain the items they need and new interns and contractors can learn where things are quickly. Sure, it took a lot of time to get everything organized but it was definitely worth it in the end and as long as it’s kept that way, you’ll never have to re-organize again. Today’s #TuesdayTips will hopefully give you inspiration and ideas for organizing your own sewing supplies and fabrics.

Sort those buttons!

Buttons, buttons, buttons everywhere. There’s an extra one inside nearly every garment we buy that uses them, they always fall off overtime and end up on the floor, in the cushion of your couch, or in that extra tin you have with your sewing supplies. If have a large stash, why not sort them? I just recently started organizing the buttons by color and size at the Studio.



Our Suggestion:

A small part tool organizer. You can find these online or any home improvement store. Take a look at this one, which has open drawers, and is only $19.87 at Home Depot!



                                           So many fabrics, so little time!

If you’re a stitcher, you most likely have a ton of fabric! More times than not, those fabric lovers just have all of it in a big box, or multiple boxes, in all different colors and prints. Then when they need one fabric, they have to sit and go through it all. Too much time!

The Studio organizes all the fabrics by color and we keep them in Sterilite bins with a label. We also have separate bins for prints. Since we are constantly getting custom projects, we have to go to those bins a lot and having them sorted by color has really saved time. As long as you keep them sorted, you’ll never have to do it again!



Our Suggestion:

We use the Sterilite 56 Qt. Storage Box in Blue and Clear Plastic. You can purchase them for just $6.97 at Home Depot.



All Those Patterns

So you’ve got a ton of pattern envelopes. These are so easy to stick in a drawer and call it a day, but when you have to go back to look for one, chances are you’re going to have to either check the pattern number or photo of each one to find the one you want.

Whenever the Studio gets a new  pattern in, we remove the contents from envelope and put it into a yellow 8×10 envelope. We then label the front of the envelope with the pattern number, the year, and what type of garment it is in a Sharpie. They are then filed in a cabinet by number and by manufacturer.

But what about the pattern envelopes themselves, you ask? We have several different binders by garment type and era. We put the envelopes in a sheet protector and place them in their corresponding category within the binder. This way you can pull a binder, look at each pattern envelope immediately, know what size you have, and then get the number and pull the envelope from the cabinet. It saves so much time and it’s great if you’re creating a custom garment for someone else, they can look through it and decide what they want!

img_3193Our Suggestion: 

File Cabinet (or any type drawer that will hold 8×10 envelopes upward). If you’re a bargain shopper, cabinets are always are thrift stores for under $10.

1inch-1.5inch 3-ring binders
Sheet Protectors
8×10 Envelopes

Thread Mania!

Threads have so many colors that it’s so easy to end up with a million spools. You probably have one rack that you bought to put all your thread on but over time, you completely filled it up and now you’re stuck with a pile nearby.

Since we work with some many threads, we have them organized by color and type. The serger thread is kept in cone thread organizing bins. You can buy these either online or at any sewing and craft store like JoAnn’s. The regular threads are kept in small storage bins and labeled by color.

Our Suggestion:

Clear plathredboxstic serger thread box with lid. Depending on the size, the cost typically ranges between $9 and $25. (Note: If you order online, make sure you double check the size of the serger thread that it holds!)

containerFor regular thread: 16qt containers with lids works great. Just ad a label to each one and sort by color. The best part – you can buy them for only 98 cents at Home Depot!