“Just Curious”

In my early years of sewing, I was able to store everything I had in two small boxes:  one for tools and one for material.  Decades later, I am definitely past two boxes!  My current sewing room is an 11’x12’ bedroom that is not a dual purpose space.  I take up every inch of the room and closet, floor to ceiling!  I also store fabric in other closets around the house, but we won’t talk about that now.  Because space is at such a premium, I am always looking for ways to maximize that space and store fabric and other necessities in different ways.  I currently use plastic bins that are 66 quart for storage that is out in the room.  The room contains a large number of such bins and I can honestly say I know what is inside every one of them.  My curiosity was peaked today after watching some online videos on fabric storage.  None of what I saw online fit my collection of material, but I thought I would see if I could look at things a bit differently to change things up a bit.  My questions:  would rolling my fabric like spa towels take up more or less room than laying it flat in my bins?  Could I get more fabric in each bin thus eliminating some of my bins to use elsewhere?  Would the fabric be easier to locate and remove from each bin?  Pulling fabric out of the bins that is far down the bin tends to turn into more of a game of Jenga, with all the fabric on the verge of falling all over the place!  Let’s see what I found out. 

First, a sewing room tour! This is the room as you walk through the door.
Your view as you turn to the left around the room.
Continuing to turn to the left. Did you notice the blue doors on the left? Yep, that’s the closet. All the bins in front of the doors need to be moved to access the closet’s treasures. Although the effort to get into the closet is great, so is the reward!
This is the side of the room that holds most of the notions for my sewing endeavors.
This is the “older machine” part of the room. There was once a time when my sewing cabinet took up more room than my fabric and notions storage!
This is the 66 quart bin I used for my experiment. The fabric it contains is all for garments with yardage running 2 to 4 yards per piece. In this picture you see the fabric stored as I always have stored it: folded pieces laid one on top of the other.
The fabric, when removed from the bin, measured almost three feet high! Now that’s a new perspective for me. How far would my fabric go if it were laid end to end? Down the block…down the street…to the next town? Ummm….
After rolling the fabrics, I had two left over….
…so I rolled up the pink fabric and laid the blue fabric out flat. That answers the question as to whether or not the fabric would take up less room in the bin if it were rolled. Every piece that came out of the bin went back in, but it is a little easier to see each individual fabric now that it’s rolled.
To avoid cracks in the lids of my bins, I tend to slightly over fill them so the top of the bin is pushed up from the base of the top. This way, when the bins are stacked….
…the heavy bin on top seats the lower bin’s lid and all is supported. No cracked lids!

I hope you enjoyed my little experiment. Since everything that came out of the bin went back in, I think I will leave the other bins alone. No real gain will come by redoing all the bins at this time. I may change a bin at a time to the rolled fabric as I access a new bin. Oh, FYI: my knit fabrics did not roll particularly well and the best rolls were done with woven fabrics of no more than 3 yards. What will you discover this week? Happy Sewing!