Morning whining basset hounds. No, you cannot go into the guest room. Some people do not want slobbering hounds pouncing on them in the morning. Stop asking.

For the REST of you, let me tell you something you might already know. Folding yards and yards of fabric into 13 x 15″ squares takes a long, long time. Even if you have teeny tiny stashes like me. Like, a whole day. And it’s tedious, no matter how exciting your audiobook.

So yesterday I managed to get the nook (sans cutting table, which remains trashed) into a semblance of order. Before and afters are in order!!

Here’s where we started:

A few days ago I’d gotten this far…


And as of this morning this is what’s going on down there…


It’s totally acquiring the granny-chic style that seems to be my design equilibrium!

The most exciting part of yesterday’s projects was that I folded my main fabric stash to neatly fit in its new home!

Seriously, you emotion-addled basset hounds, this took FOREVER!! I mean, my friends who are staying with me left for a lunch date with their brother and got back at 5:30 – I was folding the entire time they were gone! But it’s well worth it. I like how it looks and since I took the time to make each fabric piece the size of the expedite cubby (13″ wide, 15″ deep) I’m using the space very efficiently. Since I can’t control myself (and someone asked yesterday) here’s closeups of each bay. Lucky for you I don’t have a very big fabric stash!

Starting on the top row, I left one cubby open for my computer, the binder I put class notes in, etc. Then I have my reds/pinks, oranges and yellows.

I considered organizing by type of fabric – at least breaking out the wovens from the knits – and then color, but ultimately, I need the space to be as visually calming as possible, and i’ts a lot easier to look at all the fabric organized by color. My general organization was heavier wovens/woolens on the bottom of the piles, chiffon/voile/silk in the middle, knits on top.

The second row’s order is denim, green, blue purple. You can see how little I like purple, although I think it’s a good color for me!

For the most part, the fabric in this area is at least 1 yard and suitable for garment-making. There may be some cuts in there that are more appropriate to home dec sewing, but most of the teeny bits of fabric are in the cutting table storage as well as ‘utility’ fabric – for making muslins, ACTUAL muslin, white (non-garment) denim, canvas, etc.

Row three is the neutral row – almost all of the darker colors are wool suiting, which I can’t resist but don’t really wear. Oh, Sigh. I broke out the blacks, greys, browns and whites. There’s wool, silk and voile in the white section – you can see how partial I am to white! It’s because of your slobbering hounds and your ever-shedding hair. And again – STOP WIMPERING!! I’m not letting you in that guest room!

The bottom row is the this’n’that row. In the first bay I stashed all my lining fabric – rayon, nasty poly and china silk. Since this stuff is hard to fold I put it all in a picnic basket.

Next I folded all the cloth diapers I have on hand (for making of burpies, of course) into an Ikea bin that apparently is meant to fit in the Expedite shelving! Yay!

The last two cubbies were filled with weird stuff – thrifted sweaters in one and odd white things in the other – sheepskin, burlap, eyelet tableclothes and part of my old prom dress. All fun fabrics to use in projects down the road.

I felt brilliant (undeservedly so) because I had two lengths of super heavy fabric that would have taken up a whole cubby between them. I raided the garage and came back with a bamboo garden pole and an extra broom handle which I used to roll those pieces. I had to fold one in half to get it to fit, but it’s much more tidy!

I have two larger, nice looking woven basket-type wastebaskets. I used one for oilcloth and laminated cotton which is better stored in rolls rather than folds. I also stuck in other stuff that comes on rolls – Swedish tracing paper, a roll of craft paper from the Ikea kids section and super heavy interfacing that’s too thick to fold up to store. You can see the demarcation line here where Mr. Bug will pick up with the acid washing and floor painting!

The other exciting project from yesterday was the organization of the sewing table and FINALLY getting the machines sitting on the table (although not plugged in yet!)

The pegboard got a lot more stuff on it too – I had the two white hanging tins already and realized they’d work well to hold paper and pens. The white plastic bin is from Ikea and meant to go on a towel-rod type thing for kitchen organization – I realized I could hang it on pegboard hooks to stash my bag of silk thread, fray check, elmer’s glue – all that kind of stuff. I have a TON of tins with tissue strips, more pens, sewing machine oil and a bunch of other stuff. I also realized that clothespins make a good way to hold stuff onto the pegboard – right now it’s all pictures, but it’d be nice for swatches as well! I’m not really happy with how cluttered this area looks, so I’m sure there’s another Ikea trip in the future. With so much colored STUFF going in the space, I want as much clean, white storage as possible!

The final swap I made was to clear out the dollhouse of jars of trim and put more fun stuff in it. The raggedy ann my grandmas made me, my favorite christmas ornament, tea cups, a bowl of this’n’that and my toy sewing machine. You can also see my jar of vintage hats and trimming flowers, snoods, stuff like that. If I see things like that for a good price in shops I usually buy them – I LOVE the flowers on vintage hats, although I don’t wear them.

I put the jars with the trimming and buttons over on the Billys. I like them better at this height, rather than in the dollhouse which is above eye level. It’s easier to see what I have, so hopefully I’ll use the trim instead of forgetting I have it!

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