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Sourcing and Sorting Fabric for Projects

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Sourcing fabric for sewing projects.

There are a few main sources to collect the raw materials for sewing projects. If you sew, you will already have definitely realized that you have lots of small scraps of fabric. In this case the journey will be easier for you. Clothing from your closet or close family that you were thinking of getting rid of is a wonderful source of fabric. Another source is charity stores, op shops and the recycle industry. If you have access to the textile industry, they will be very pleased to let you have their offcuts.

Fabric remnants
Remnants from various quilting and sewing projects

Organizing your fabrics You need to organize your fabric scraps so that you will actually use them in new projects. The scrap pieces should be organized into types of fabrics, woven fabrics, men's button down shirts, sheeting, and any woven clothing of a lighter weight, cotton, linen, polycotton and jeans. Organza, silks and chiffons and stretch fabrics, cotton knit, lycra and spandex.

They should then be sorted into a range of sizes and stored accordingly. The system that works for me is to organize by seasonal colors, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Winter fabrics in platic box
Winter colored fabrics stored in a plastic container

While sewing, keep containers at the ready for different size scraps for different types of projects. Very small ones for mosaic, longer thin strips for wave, strips for strip piecing, squares and rectangles. Anything smaller than that goes to a mix remnant pile with remnants of batting to be used for stuffing for dolls and pillows. Hardly anything gets thrown away.

You could start by storing them in small recycled, stitched fabric bags, made from an old sheet or curtain. Tie the bag with a strip of the color inside and group the pieces together by size with safety pins, and then moving onto shoe boxes. Glue a piece of fabric from the relevant color family onto the front of the box so it is easy to tell what is inside. As your collection grows, because it will, believe me, you can move on to larger cardboard boxes or plastic containers.


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