Monday 26 January 2015

Refashioning Stash ~ Organisation...

Today I thought I'd show you how I organise and store my refashioning stash. It's growing at an alarming rate - pre-loved  jeans, t-shirts, blouses, shirts, sweaters. If I don't stay on top of it, the pre-loved clothes will take over my sewing room.

Tips for organising and storing your refashioning stash ~ Threading My Way

I'd love to say everything is neat, tidy and exactly as I would like, but sadly, it's not. Definitely a work in progress. The more pre-loved clothes I accumulate, the smarter I have to be with organisation and storage.

When I first started refashioning, everything fitted into one of the plastic storage cubes in the photo above. It worked well. Sitting under my computer desk, in between two IKEA cabinets, the storage cube could easily be pulled out, unzipped and the contents easily sorted through.

As the stash grew, I bought another cube (from Big W). I'm sure you can see the problem. To access either cube, I have to lift the top one off. It mightn't look much, but it's actually quite heavy. 

Ideally, I'd like to replace the plastic storage cubes, but I'm not sure what with. Another two drawer cabinet would fit, or maybe a large cane basket. 

A tub on my IKEA Expedit shelves houses more of my refashioning stash. This works very well. The tub is easy to slide part way out so I can rummage through the contents. If I had any left over space on the shelves, I'd store more of my pre-loved clothes this way, but the shelves are chock-a-block.

And here's the last of the clothes waiting to be re-purposed. Definitely have to do something about this bag containing pre-loved t-shirts. I am not happy with it sitting on the floor, but I've run out of space. I am determined to keep the pre-loved clothes in my sewing room, so a solution has to be found.

Recently my eldest son brought me a large bag of pre-loved clothes, from a friend of a friend. Apparently the owner of the clothes had been hitting the gym and lost a lot of weight, resulting in loads of clothes that were too large for him.

I've become selective about what I keep. In amongst the clothes were several 100% cotton shirts in excellent condition. These I kept, but the rest I donated to an Op Shop (thrift store).

Normally I would store the shirts as is, but beginning with these shirts, I've decided to deconstruct most pre-loved clothes when I acquire them. If the clothes are going to be used as fabric, I might as well store them as fabric. They take up much less room that way.

Seeing how much room I saved by deconstructing the cotton shirts, I decided to start on my existing stash. First up, a few t-shirts. If you've never cut apart a t-shirt, check out Amy's post on deconstructing a t-shirt for maximum refashioning.

Again, I popped them into a zip lock bag and squeezed out as much air as I could. This was a good activity to do one night when I was too tired to sew or blog.

Bit by bit I'll work my way through my refashioning stash, but I won't de-constuct everything. Sometimes I want to keep elements of the original in the final garment...

Let's hope I can condense my refashioning stash and get everything off the floor packed away neat and tidy.

How do you store pre-loved clothes that you one day want to refashion?

... Pam


  1. Oh Pam, I'm afraid mine is in plastic bags but not neatly stowed away like yours! Another thing to put on the list! :)

  2. I don't usually refashion - I'm more a deconstructor :D If i was going to redo a top or a dress, though, I'd just hang it in the clothes closet in my bedroom until I was ready to work on it - it has tons of space - more than my sewing room, lol!

  3. I have a full wardrobe with my refashion clothes... and it keeps growing! AH!

  4. Interesting post. I try to deconstruct the clothes as I acquire them. But, somehow, I always end up with a pile of clothes "to be deconstructed". lol
    I too store the resulting fabric with my other fabric, on shelves. It's really easier to select the right fabric this way.
    I want to let you know that I just published a post about baskets made with old jeans. As you were my inspiration, I wrote a reference to your blog. Have a good week! :-)

  5. Must be something in the air. I've started to organize too! Maybe it is because it is a new year. Always impressed with your organized space Pam!

  6. Great plan! My craft room needs LOTS of tidying! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  7. Glad to see I'm not the only one with so many clothes waiting to be refashioned! I've given up trying to organise my storage and hope this year to just use them all up. A massive ask, but I'm going to try my hardest, then hope to be at the stage of using things as I acquire them - never needing to store anything for long!!

  8. Oh my goodness, I totally understand. The storage part is the difficult though as I feel that the clothes start to go musty after a while, prolbably due to the humidity. I think that will push me to refashion them even faster! Great post :-)

  9. WOW PAM!! hats of for your determination, i main stored refashioning materials, are left overs from cloth from which i sewed something. Than i have loved clothes. i have overtaken the closet of my daughter`s ex room. now used by her father as working room. i have bags hanging on coat hanger in the Weaving sewing room . baskets in other places, last 2 months i was busy sewing a cotton coat from old jeans + blue cottons. the more i sewed on the coat base the more leftovers i found. The pile didn't look like shrinking at all . I admire your ideas, but i think i would be able to keep those bags in a neat manner, once i open them. the will be untidy again. Well done .. mirjam

  10. I don't sew much and that too dresses very rarely. But I have saved some of my daughter's old skirts to make bags . Fabric storage is real difficult. When I take out one piece, all others get disturbed and they remain like that for a long time.

  11. I have been slowly working on my fabric stash, too. Like you, I have a huge stash and it can be overwhelming and daunting trying to devise ways to store it and, at the same time, be able to find anything when you need it. I enjoyed looking back on some of the recycle projects you listed and was, as usual, very impressed at how creative you always are!

  12. I have to confess that my refashioning stash is in an overflowing linen basket that is threatening to take over the corner of my sewing room! One of these days I will get around to organising it I hope :)

  13. Smart to go ahead and deconstruct some of the clothes to make them easier to store. I'm afraid mine are in a big old pile on the floor of my closet. I really should do something with it!

  14. Made matters worse here by going to yard sales. Then my parents having passed in the last 2 years means I've brought home lots of clothes to make memory quilts for the family. My collection has overtaken a second room. You are on top of it.

  15. You mean there is a way to organize them? ;) My stash are all in plastic storage boxes, stacked up. Not ideal, but only way I could organize them is to use them up!

  16. You're so organized! I wish I could say I'm the same.

  17. Great organization here Pam, i need to take these tips and do something here :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

  18. I've come to think of organization as a fluid thing. We do the best we can with what we have to work with. I like your clear storage idea. One of those things I lot of us are going to be slapping our heads and saying, "Why didn't I think of that!" I have some fabric that always gets jumbled and moved around. I think this it the perfect solution for keeping it protected from cat hair, unwrinkled and organized. Happy to be your newest follower.

  19. I keep mine in a duffle bag that has wheels. It's not an ideal storage solution either.


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