- Is there an 'ideal' size to cut / store fabric for making clothes?
- Do other sewers have an efficient system in place for cutting / preparing their fabric for future sewing projects?
There are many resources online providing methods of storing fabric stashes in a small living space. The focus of my question is on cutting, preparation, and planning, rather than just storage.
I am starting to build up a large fabric collection, which is a mix of different sizes/areas of material. I have large bolts of fabric (up to 4 metres long), smaller pieces like fat quarters, and also small off-cut scraps.
I started buying longer bolts of fabric when I realised that it can be tricky to follow patterns for clothing when you only have small scraps of fabric available. For example, when I want to follow a pattern for leggings, I need a length of fabric which is at least as long as the leg shape, plus extra length for hems etc. I purchased a few metres of fabric at a time in one continuous bolt for this reason, but have now realised that I am finding it difficult to store, wash, and cut. (One of the reasons I find the cutting difficult is because I have a small work space and the largest flat surface I have is just under 1m square. I have read about other sewers cutting out fabric on the floor, but the floor of my space is not suitable.)
I have considered cutting my large bolts of fabric into smaller pieces to help with storage, and this should also help me with cutting out, because I won't have long pieces of material drooping over the edge of my work space. However, I'm not sure if this is the correct solution, or if this will cause problems later on when I try to sew garments like leggings or trousers.
Edited to add chosen solution:
After receiving several great answers, I am going to use the following process:
- Plan which patterns are going to be used
- Cut lengths of fabric to the size needed for those patterns (eg. 1m, 0.5m)
- Zig-zag stitch the cut ends of the fabric before washing
- Wash the cut fabric pieces
- Cut out the patterns carefully without letting fabric hang down over the edge of the cutting surface
- Store the remainder of the fabric as before, unwashed