I used to cringe when I would go to the cutting table at a fabric store and see the dollars racking up. Knowing as the clerk calculated my total I was spending too much on fabric. I told myself that the purchase was worth it because the fabric was too pretty. And then I would get home, pre-shrink it, and stow it away too afraid to cut into it. Does this sound like you?
I thought so. Well, I am going to share my little secret with you on how I stopped impulse shopping for fabric. Let’s be real we can only fit so many things in our closets and hide so many stacks of fabric from our spouses, partners, roommates, or family. At our old apartment, I stored fabric in our trunks that we kept in the bedroom. They were supposed to be for linens, but when Chris went looking for sheets he found fabric instead. Yikes, I was bad.
Having an office has helped to keep that from happening, but sometimes you may not have that option. So here’s what I do to keep organized and get the fabric I need and want.
- Organize your pattern stash. Yes, I am not even talking about fabric yet. Patterns determine what type of fabric you need. I know you think that is obvious, but I need to say it because in the sewing community we are notorious for jumping the gun. To keep everything nice and neat I use Evernote, which is free to use with their basic plan. Check out my video below on how I organize my patterns.
Screenshot Walk Through of the Tutorial
I know everyone will not be able to hear the audio so I have included a screenshot version for you.
- First, create a free Evernote account.
2. On the left side of the screen under “Notebooks” click the plus sign.
3. Next, type the name of the sewing pattern company in the little box that appears and press continue.
4. Below notebooks you will see “Tags”. Click the plus sign.
5. Then, look at the back of your pattern and locate the fabric suggestions section. Type in the name of the fabric and create. (Repeat this until you have completed the full list).
When you click on “Tags” on the left you should see a list like below.
6. Now it’s time to create our first note. Select the plus sign next to notes then this screen will appear.
7. Place the pattern number in the title section.
8. Next, you’re going to either take a screenshot or copy the front and back envelope image from the pattern company and paste it into the writing section of Evernote.
9. Adjust the images until they are the same size.
They should look like this when you click on the note.
10. Finally, go to the bottom and select “Add tag” and type in all the fabric choices from the back of the envelope image.
That’s it. Now you have an easy way to keep track of your patterns and know what type of fabric you need. If you want to can upgrade your Evernote so that your desktop syncs with your mobile version. I just choose not to because there is nothing better than free dot com. Depending on how many patterns you have this can take 1-6 hours so pace yourself.
Okay, my patterns are organized now what.
- Picture this, you are in your fabric store or shopping online you know what fabric you need because you have the list under your note. You start looking for the fabric you want to use, but it isn’t on sale. What I suggest is adding the links of fabric choices you’ve made to your notes and setting a reminder when holidays come around. Most stores also sell their fabric online so you should be able to complete this step either way. The goal is that you want to be reminded of sales so you never pay full price again. Check out this video below:
Here is a Screenshot Walk Through for Setting a Reminder
1. First, click one of your notes, choose the fabric you prefer to use and then search for it online. If you’re not sure where to start here are some of my favorite stores to shop online.
2. Once you have made your choice copy the URL and return to Evernote. Then, select the “Insert Link” on the top right.
3. Paste the URL under the “Add Link” section. Then copy the fabric description and paste that in the text section.
4. Next, click apply and scroll down to the bottom of the screen. You should see a bell with a plus sign.
5. When you click the bell, select a date and time that is a week or so ahead of a holiday. This way you have time to save your money for the sale.
If you are interested in the fabric from the video you can find it here.
There you have it. I have shown you how to use Evernote. And you’ll never have to worry if you were spending too much money on fabric. If you loved this organization tool make sure to check out my post How to Organize and Save Space in Your Sewing Room or Office.
What did you think of this tutorial? Leave your comments at the very bottom of the page.
Until next time…