Mary, Mary quite contrary has storage issues...

Bloggers, Bloggers, beyond compare(y).
How is your fabric stored?
In drawers and boxes, in cupboards and trunks,
Or on lovely shelves all in a row?

For no apparent reason that nursery rhyme popped into my head while thinking on storage issues, so it seemed an appropriate means of asking you how you store your fabrics and ribbons. I think I may be in the market for some new storage soon as my fabric is becoming cramped in its current house.

It is kept in these cupboards in small plastic baskets ordered by colour. I like that once the basket is out I can pick out a fat quarter easily without disrupting a whole pile in the way that imagine it might with shelves...but it's annoying to have everything out on the floor while I'm trying to maybe shelves are the best thing afterall.

I would love to know whether you have cupboards or drawers, deep drawers or shallow drawers, open or closed shelving and what things irk and please you about your chosen storage method.

Ian is opposing the need for new storage on the grounds that he would miss seeing all the things hung up around and on the mirror when he walks into our room...but it's just too small to keep it the way it is.

Here's the inside. Yes, it looks utterly chaotic, I know. The piles of fabric on the top level go back two deep...which makes getting to anything at the back very frustrating and impossible to keep tidy.

Really I would like something antique to store things in...but in the absence of just the right thing being out there I have been looking at the Ikea website. I quite like these drawers, perhaps with different handles on them, but wish it was a little bit wider to make more use of the space. I love these shelves with sliding doors, but they are too wide for my alcove, or perhaps this tall dresser with a mixture of open and closed shelving...that I would be too short to reach easily...

I would love to hear your fabric storage issues, thoughts or suggestions...happy or glum. I dream of having a dedicated sewing room...but know that storage is probably still a troublesome issue even when in possession of a whole room, as it's all relative. Hmmm.

Oh and the ribbons: the pastel coloured edge-stitched grossgrain was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law, while the velvet and sari-style ribbons came from my sister. Aahhhh. Ribbony perfection.


p.s. In case you find yourself in a similar quandary I thought I would share the Flickr groups that I've just found: Operation: Sewing Room Organisation, as well as this group called Fabric Stash & would seem that most people have more than 141cm of storage space to work with...but as it's completely dreamy to look at the fabric stashes of people who make the time to fold their materials so beautifully...well, one can only feel happiness, rather than envy. Swoon!

p.p.s. I typed too soon. I now see that true beauty can exist in far less than 141cm...have you ever seen an arrangment more lovely!


  1. What lovely ribbon! I really like all the storage pieces you were looking at, but I like the shelves with the sliding doors best. My fabric is all stored in small clear totes and stacked in my closet and under my bed and in my hall closet. I am afraid my closet in my bedroom is a quiet crowded. I should probably post some pictures of it. The bad part is when I am huntin for a certain fabric I have to sometimes take out alot of the totes to get to the one I need. I did number my totes and put small samples of each fabric that is in each tote on a little index card and put those cards in a metal box. That makes it easier to find a certain piece of fabric. I don't have to go searching through each tote looking for it. But now I have quiet a lot of new fabric and no room in my closet for more totes! I really have got to go something! There is hardly any room in there for my clothes. Of course I don't have many clothes as I would rather shop for fabric then clothes anyday!
    Have a Blessed Day,

  2. I nearly bought myself that lovely box of grosgrain, but couldn't quite justify it. Lucky you!

    I worry about fading and so keep my good fabric in a hanging sweater organizer in the wardrobe, behind closed doors. Less dust too.

    Ribbons are a total tangle in two manky boxes. Not recommended.

  3. Florence, I like seeing my fabric, especially as my sewing is few and far between. Our house is a mass of fitted furniture, which I hate aesthetically, but find very useful too. It was there before we moved here, and only some was painted white. I will not suggest it to you, you have too much taste, and when I get my sewing room this year, I will have an antique thingy just like you...when we em ...can think what would ...good. Quite

  4. Oh, those pink drawers are divine - sadly I have no room for anything like that - and most of my stuff ends up in carrier bags and boxes in the corner of my bedroom and then I get cross when I can't find anything.

    I know, I Know a better system is required and you have inspired me to come up with one!

    Will keep you posted - and may steal some of your ideas ;-)

    April xx

  5. I'm sorry that have very little to help you with in terms of organization - I, too, am looking for help in that department. Right now, my craft supplies area looks as if a bomb detonated. Looking forward to what others are offering as suggestions.

  6. Hi Florence,
    the flickr link is so organised. I am sure you would be able to achieve something like that. As for me i have far too much fabric. I think if you have a small space you must only have fabric that you utterly love in it... oh maybe that's a good idea anyway, though some of my least favourite fabrics have found their time and have been used. Too much of a hoarder me i'm afraid. I will view your new storage area with great interest as i feel you have the capacity to achieve a really beautiful and bijou haven for your fabrics.
    with love to you Ginny x

  7. How timely is your lovely post, Florence. I had just challenged our Brisbane Etsy group, BrisStyle, to drop everything, pick up their cameras and take shots of their work areas. No cheating, no shuffling errant piles of fabric behind doors.

    I can't believe how tidy some of them were - my sewing room won the Messy Trophy hands down. But your story has given me the urge to lift my act ... soon ...

  8. I hear you! I pass by lovely blogs who show their dedicated work rooms or work spaces and i'm so envious. I have to work on our dining table which isn't ideal if i have a long project or several ideas i wish to complete. Our table can be overun by craft for days! And as for storage! I'm very organised but i struggle with deep cupboards too. I have bits in pots, which i put in little drawers, which i put in cupboards! I may be overdoing the storage! Good luck. I'll pop back to see how you are getting on.

  9. wow, that pink chest of drawers really is a thing of beauty! I have a fear of hording so my storage solution won't bee too helpful, I keep my left over fabrics from projects in a stackable clear box. If I could overcome my fears I love old drapers units, with a drawer for everything and you can also see all the fabulous colours too.

  10. oooh! I have that Ikea cupboard with the sliding doors, and so do some other bloggers I have seen. It is wonderful and I love it ... could you find another spot for it? It really is just the job. x

  11. I've had fun perusing your blog. Thanks so much. I love the underwater scene on the glass door. Beautiful to look at. Linda

  12. Hello Florence. Like Ginny, I have too much fabric to be able to have it quite how I would like. It works well in neat bundles for the lightweight ones, but the thick furnishing weights tend to form huge ungainly piles which annoy me ...a lot. I have long shelves which are very functional but could do with some soft paint (if I ever get time) and as I have a glass roof in my sewing room I panic about fading and spend far too much time re-folding to avoid faded edges! Still, the light is wonderful to work by. xx

  13. Hi Florence,

    I love your cupboard that you keep your fabrics in. You gave me inspiration to do a post on my blog site about my space that I craft in. If you are interested feel to have a peruse!!!

    I have always fancied those old drapers cabinets, it looks so pretty with all your fabrics init. Oh well a girl can dream! Lol.

  14. I have a big storage problem for "haberdashery" items - i have a special cupboard just for all my bits and pieces but its now in baskets underneath as well - my ribbon is in dire need of a storage solution!
    Lesley x

  15. I have cupboards and drawers andshelves and baskets ..but usually I have bags all over the floor.(I know you are a very tiry person and would not countenance that)

  16. What a truly beautiful blog you have! Pink is my fav colour lol. Looking forward to reading more. Niki xxx

  17. I'm with craftydiane. The majority of my fabric is stored in a pine wardrobe in clear totes. I took the doors off the wardrobe because I like to see my fabric and I have it some what colour sorted and fabric type.i.e. I have a fleece box and one for tuling. Next to my wardrobe I have two small sets of plastic drawers stacked on top of each other with a drawer for each colour. These work well because the drawer is small and handy to pull out and you can see in, but not really the sort of thing you'd want in a bedroom.
    The pink drawer is a hobby in its self to sort and fold and make it look lovely. I'd be more than happy to accomodate that in my bedroom!
    Good luck and let us know what you decide

  18. my stash is cardboard boxes in the wardrobe. lucky I'm not a snappy dresser.


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