Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Confessions of A Fabricaholic

If you've been reading along for any length of time, you know that I LOVE fabric.  To some it's an aspirational goal, to others I'm obviously using my funds wrong and to some people it's a headscratcher. Then to those who love fabric as much as I do, my fabric collection is a lovesong.


I haven't talked about fabric purchases much on the blog lately. Some of it's because I haven't felt like it...though I've still been buying. But it's the end of the year and alongwith recapping my Top 5's (those will be coming up soon), I wanted to talk a little about my fabric collection. Especially since my fabric collection means as much to me as the sewing does. 

In September I shared some new online fabric resources for National Sewing Month. There were several new to me online fabric sites and I have spent time pursuing their sites then purchasing from them. So I thought I would show some of the new pieces that have come to visit Casa de Sewing Fanatico. 

Now I know I work in the midst of the NYC Garment District and I do purchase local too. However, for many of you visiting the District is a special trip, but you can sit at home and thumb through online internet sites. Truthfully, I sit at home and thumb through internet sites too!

So here are a few purchases I've made recently especially after the amazing Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales:

LaFinch Fabrics ~
A Liverpool knit (used in the Rivermont Dress, a dotted chambray for a shirt
and a polyester crepe for a bow-tie blouse)

Blackbird Fabrics ~
A floral rayon poplin and a dark floral sweaterknit

Smugglers Daughter ~
A dark denim cause I'm always buying denim now!

District Fabrics ~
Love the packaging from District Fabric

An embroidered velvet

I have to admit to finding this one on Instagram and purchasing it by calling the store.  They were so helpful and sent it out quickly! I highly recommend following their Instagram account and seeing their lovelies.

Emmaonesock ~
A rayon printed twill

I also bought a few pieces of fabric from Stylemaker Fabrics ~



and 5 yards of white cotton interlock from Organic Cotton PlusThe Stylemaker Fabrics and the cotton interlock were purchased during the Black Friday sale.

There have been a few purchases from Chic Fabrics and Metro Textiles, in the Garment District too, but I've officially made my last fabric purchases for 2017. It's time to stop gathering and to start sewing. I don't know about you but at the beginning of every season, I need to do a gathering or a hunt of fabric for that season. I need to add a few new pieces to the collection to get the creative juices flowing. These pieces may or not be used during this winter season but they do encourage my sewing mojo and inspire me to start new sewing adventures.

So how about you?  Do you need fabric to kickstart your sewing mojo?  Or do you have a lean fabric collection? Maybe you're like me and believe that you should own as much fabric as you are capable of storing? Finally, did you indulge in the Black Friday sales? I know different strokes for different folks but as I said at the beginning of this post I love fabric and it makes me happy!

I may have another outfit post before the Christmas Break but I'm not sure. I am sewing but due to the holidays and everything going on, I may not have a photographer until the New Year. 

As I mentioned above, I will be discussing my Top 5's in another post soon and maybe a wrap-up post of this year and my goals for next year.  

...as always more later! 





49 comments:

  1. I have a lot of fabric on hand, but this year I've entered all my fabrics into Evernote, with amounts and descriptions and photos, and that's really helped me focus better on what I have and what I still might want to purchase. I'm doing the same for all my pdf and print patterns, and I find it's worth the effort.

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  2. I'm okay with having as much fabric as I can store in the dedicated cupboards, but not more. I'm not allowing myself to buy extra boxes as I know any mess in my sewing room will influence my productivity in a bad way. Overflowing cupboards = fabric buying stop.

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  3. I have enough fabric in my stash to keep me busy for a year but no time for myself with all the brides...one day...one day...for now I get a real kick from watching you perform magic with patterns and gorgeous fabrics. Wishing you much success with these new beauties!

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  4. I have a fabric stash that I love so I completely understand yours. To me, being surrounded by my beauties serves as a bit like therapy. I can go into my sewing room, touch fabrics, dream of what they will become and get lost in my own creative world. I look forward to seeing what you will create. Karen

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  5. Love your posts Carolyn. You are so honest. I too love buying fabric and patterns. When things start to bulge too much, I say "No more till I have thinned the stash." After maybe 4 pieces, my eyes roam again and a few more pieces are added in. I loved your September list of on line sources. I have a new fabric love, Style Maker fabrics, and Michelle is in my state so the packages come very quickly!! I love that! And I would not have found them without your post. Quick question. Where have you bought your favorite pieces of denim? I would like to have more in the stash but sometimes when I get them I am disappointed. Thanks again for sharing about yourself and your creations.

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    1. Paula - first a caveat - most of the denim in my collection is not for jeans making. I buy denim for dresses, jackets and tops too so I buy all different types from different places. The denim I've bought for jeans is Cone Denim bought specifically for that purpose. However I did get 10 yds of denim from StyleMaker Fabrics that I really liked.

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    2. Love the confessions of all the fabricaholics out there. I've been sewing for my entire life...and have cycled through clothing, costumes, curtains, dolls, etc and finally landed on quilting about 20 years ago. I now teach quilting at our local jail after learning of other similar programs. It took a bit of convincing but now about 4 years later I have to thank all the fabricaholics out there who have donated thousands of dollars worth of fabric....not to mention machines and all kinds of supplies. Thanks to the hoarding instincts of these quilters and their generosity we have donated hundreds of quilts to charities and given some folks who otherwise would never had the opportunity to learn this craft the chance to experience giving back to the community and the joy of creating. So if you ever feel like it's time to deal with your stash look around in your community for places to donate.

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  6. I have been adding to my stash because of reading your blog. I used to buy just to sew the project. Since I am building my stash (and this includes notions too), I can shop my stash whenever I have time to sew. Like you, I love to have the inspiration of the fabric around me now.

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  7. I"m always a bit bewildered when people talk about feeling stress when their stash is too big... I only feel anxiety if I don't have multiple choices of each of my favourite types of fabric! The more the merrier, in my book, because then I won't panic buy something that isn't just right. Thanks for sharing your stash and recent purchases!

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  8. Well, since you asked...When I started sewing, I was quilting and making bags. So, I have lots of quilting cottons in my stash. Then I started getting into sewing garments (I'm still new to this), and my stash has grown in that direction as well. I don't sew very fast. I started feeling a lot of anxiety about not using the fabric and patterns I have purchased. Meanwhile, my mom buys a TON of RTW. I had a conversation with her about "fast fashion" and long story short, we made an agreement. I am not buying ANY new fabric for a year, and she isn't buying any clothing for a year. I started in October, and this season of sales has been difficult for me. I have held out so far though. I feel better and that's what matters. I look forward to buying new fabric after a year, and to see how much of this stash I can sew up during that time. Merry Christmas!

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  9. Once upon a time, I read somewhere that you only really know how big your stash is when you have to move it. I'm here to say, too true!

    My fabric collection is well stored (all in banker boxes), well curated (Excel spreadsheet) and, per promise to DH, contained within the walls of my sewing studio, BUT now that we are moving house...oh my, there is is a goodly amount of fabric.

    But I'm not giving up a single piece - I love all of my pretties too, too much. (Have stopped adding to the collection for the nonce, though!)

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    1. SilverMom - that is sooooo true! Or if a disaster strikes your sewing cave and you have to pack it all up! Yes, know that feeling all too well. Though in both of those instances I used the opportunity to prune out pieces I no longer loved. I also love to give pieces to sewists who come through the cave. It gives me great pleasure to see a piece I gave away become someone else's vision.

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    2. I'll be moving within the year and have begun to de-clutter my home of 35 years. I've made progress loading up my car trunk weekly for trips to charity venues but have yet to tackle my beloved fabric as I want to find good homes for those, like Carolyn, I no longer love.

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    3. We just moved across Canada and I have to say that what I thought was a smaller stash was bigger than anticipated. I didn't give up much fabric when we moved -- maybe three pieces. I did use some to pack fragile items or to stuff boxes when I ran out of towels and paper.

      This home has a huge room for me to sew in and it will not look full ever. The closet has one shelf and rod in it. We decided not to make any changes to it. Instead, I will be buying a rack like you store your fabrics on Carolyn. I was going to go with a lovely Ikea closet but the shelving unit works better as I can store other items on it when the stash decreases.

      I have promised DH and family that I will not be buying fabric for a year unless it is to finish a project. Notions are not included as I had to give away a box full that couldn't be transported due to regulations. I need to replace those containers. But, I am excited to get into my stash and sew. I love it all.

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    4. Ann - moving or disaster really makes you look at your fabric collection! Congrats on the new home and new sewing space. Hopefully you will share pics soon because your last sewing room was spectacular!

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    5. I will be putting pictures up on my blog when I have it set up. Right now, I need to sweep the floor, pick up stuff and get it out of the room. I also need to buy some furniture and then I will be ready to sew. I do need a cutting table which will be ordered and may not arrive before Christmas. The other items will be bought so I can have the room look neat and tidy. I do not work well in a messy environment. Even when I worked, the environment had to be neat and tidy. Even the filing cabinets. That tells you I am OCD. Not real bad but bad enough.

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  10. I love seeing your fabric collection. I too have quite a stash of fabrics. I find that I get overwhelmed by the decisions of what to make - what if I don't make the perfect choice, then my wonderful fabric is gone. While it is still as yardage, it can be anything in my mind. That is something I need to work on, just take the plunge and sew it, move on if it isn't perfect.

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  11. I don't need to know those people who scratch their heads ( nitpickers united).
    I cherish every piece in my stash, reliving memories of where and how I bought it, even if I stumbled across the amazing bargain at a garage sale. I love traveling and picking up fabulous fabric souvenirs.

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  12. I bought a few items from Cali Fabrics during their cyber week sale. I bought a few brushed poly knits and some fleece to make some wintery items in December and January.

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  13. Oooooo I remember seeing that embroidered velvet come through your IG feed.... it is truly drool worthy beautiful! I love seeing your stash... er collection! Also appreciate how you share your online resources and always love learning from you! :)

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    1. Lisa - I share for a perfectly selfish reason...I don't want the online resources to go anywhere. If we're all aware of them and shop from them, they will stay viable. As I watch the NYC Garment District shrink (for a variety of reasons) I know that in the near future online fabric shopping will become one of the main ways for all of us to shop. So I want to assist that market as much as I can!

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  14. My fabric stash makes me feel rich and I love, like those above, to go in and touch, feel, dream what I am going to be able to do. My button and pattern collection rival the fabric collection.

    Carolyn, I have been reading sewing blogs for about a year now and yours was one of the first and still the first I look at each day. I so appreciate seeing what you sew, you sharing your collection and cave with all of us. Through you I "discovered" other blogs. Thank you again for all you the good and positive you put out there. Adore you. Jean

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    1. Jean - you are very kind! I'm glad I was a gateway to other sewists' blogs and am thrilled you are still following my sewing journeys. Also, yeah to our fabric collections!!!

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  15. I have a big stash- not quite as big as yours, Carolyn! I also have the leftovers from when my dress for work was more corporate. That fabric is so beautiful- and was so expensive- that I hate to part with it. I will find a new way to use it. I also have a huge stash of quilting cottons to make bags and such. I find that part of the stash is easier to sew down because I make a lot of gifts from it. I also give away some- things I later decide are the wrong color or not what I need. These go to the local high school and college fashion programs. I love to see them walking down the aisle in their yearly fashion show! Right now, I have been buying basics to fill in wardrobe gaps. I am going to make ponte pants- pull on and zip front- that I can wear to work.I haven't made pants in years, but now I have a pattern that fits! And sweater knits for cardigans. I am also taking a break for buying for a while. I want to see if I can sew down the stash a bit more. I plan on retiring in 6-7 years and I don't want to have to move all this fabric!

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    1. As much as I donate fabric to the high school sewing programs, I cannot part with the office job stash. The washable good stuff (when my goal was a stylin Miyake suit I could wash at home) is still there (some of it is from the 80s). I have curbed my "it's ONSALE!!!!!" mania, and only visit District Fabric when I have a particular idea in mind. I still have the gooseberry digital linen (that YOU MADE ME BUY - no, you didn't but you know what I mean), waiting for the right time and the right shirt. I do have too much impulse stuff from the last few years of getting a real paycheck. My issue at the moment is that I am also storing my sister's stash. I am sewing her a stack of things which should whittle it down a bit. She said hopefully...;)

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  16. Clearly you love fabric. Your tastes are much more eclectic than mine and I marvel at how you turn such an eclectic collection into a cohesive wardrobe. I am more inspired by fashion then the fabric(though I do have what I consider a moderately large collection) I have been making a lot of basics and really need to up my game with a statement piece or two. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your sewing.

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  17. I too love fabric and patterns and to dream of what they might become one day. I have periods where I get overwhelmed by my stash and resolve not to purchase. Not because I think I have too much; but when I decide to sew something and don't have what I *want, I get all exasperated over it. (As for patterns I'm 1) just in love with Burda right now and 2) am finally starting to understand tweaks and modifications to get what I want vs buying all the patterns).

    I did not buy any fabric this Black Friday. I chose to visit my son and the flights for my daughter and I were outrageous. Plus I had to feed them for five days :-p But I had very solid winter sewing plans and have everything I need in stash to make it all happen.

    I look forward to seeing what's coming up next! You got some really great pieces there.

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    1. N - I was remarkably restrained this year. I bought fabric from Stylemaker Fabrics and Organic Cotton only. Last year I think I bought from everyone who offered a discount! LOL! But I need to give my credit cards a rest and sew some of what I have...plus I still need to visit you and SR Harris!

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  18. I just wish I had a place to store my stash like you do where I could see it all and organize it. I have too much to spend time entering it in a database. Speaking of your organization: I spy a bright floral in the midst of all that black! Do tell us what’s up with that!
    Love your blog nd seeing what you’re up to.
    Kathy

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  19. I believe you're going to need more purple!!

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    1. Barbara - LOL! Nope have plenty of purple - an entire shelf and I never seem to sew with it. Maybe I will pull a piece out to use now that it's the Pantone Color for 2018.

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  20. I love ,love ,love fabric too ,I'm also a fabric "collector" I have been looking for some good stretch denim and I cannot find it anywhere can you give me a few good sites to find some ? My daughter is in need of new jeans and I refuse to pay $80-100 for a pair of "jeggings when I can make them for her with a perfect fit. I just need the jean material. Thanks so much for sharing your " sites" with us.I always look forward to reading your blog, it makes me happy. Have a happy holiday with your family. Cheri from Auburn Washington.

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    1. I bought Cone Denim - from the Cone Denim website and I know that Blackbird Fabrics sells Cone denim. Also, fabric.com sells a lot of different weights and stretches in denim. All the other denim I've purchased has been for jackets, tops and dresses and require different stretch than jeans denim does.

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  21. I have been gathering fabric like a woman on a mission. I am off work for two weeks at Christmas and plan to make loads of clothes for ME. I have made 9 Luna Lapins with a complete wardrobe for each one, as Christmas presents (I made one and then the requests flooded in) they are gorgeous but I am doll and toy making done. I have found a site on EBay that sells Italian fabric, amazing quality and very beautiful fabrics I have been thrilled with everything I have bought from them. I can't wait to start.

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  22. Your fabric collection makes me swoon. I am a fellow fabric lover; my mood shifts and my blood pressure goes down when I sew. I, too, buy fabric as I see it, because I know it will not be there when I return and I'll regret it. Keep up the good work! Your fabric choices are just incredible.

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  23. Avowed fabric lover here! However I did stress over it's size as I needed to deal with it and a "double" move. All sewing goodies had to go in a storage unit while we home shopped and lived in a teeny apartment.I literally can not sew. And now it will move again as we have finally found our permanent, new home, a couple states away. This all forced me to be brutal about deciding what to keep and I gave away a HUGE amount of fabric, books and patterns. The good news is that it went to a very appreciative group. I have NO regrets at all as we can always buy more fabric and that is the fun of it all. I did keep only my largest pieces of wools, silks and linens. Many heirloom fabrics were passed on. Going through this has forced me to take the pledge, "I will only buy for the current project." I think that attitude will have me spending just as much with my fabric budget but on higher quality fabrics. I am at the point where I would prefer a few yards of forty dollars a yard fabric than lots of "great deals" on lesser quality fabrics. That's the goal with my new sewing digs and I will stick with it! Oh, the digs, Big Space! Momma's happy.

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    1. Bunny - thanks for letting us know what's up with you. I was wondering how things were going. I understand your fabric choices. I pruned my collection when I moved the last time too. Though I'm finally just getting to the point where I need to take a break from purchasing and just sew.

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    2. Bunny! Glad you're still out there. Lots of changes in plans, it seems. Look forward to seeing "La Sewista" soon.

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  24. My husband is military, so my life has been moving! I still have a big, big stash; but for this last move overseas, I left most of it in storage. I only let myself take two plastic tubs with me. I love looking at your beautifully color coordinated stash shelves. Only one of my three children is still home so this is the first time I have a sewing room, that isn't in the basement or stuffed into the corner of the dining room. But, oh, to have room to see my stash and not have to rifle through tubs to find something I remember having . . . so many times I gave up and went with another choice and then found what I had been looking for weeks later. Your new additions are such gorgeous choices -- especially the velvet and the rayon twill (how did I miss that on emmaonesock?). Have a beautiful Christmas and cheers to a 2018 full of happy sewing! Thanks for being such an inspiration, Carolyn.

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  25. I love fabric and have a large stash which I sometime feel guilty over. Since I often buy so far ahead that there are boxes of it on the floor. I adore the way that you pop it onto shelves so you can see it at a glance. My stash is all tucked away and I have to take photos so I know what is where! Thank-you for sharing your passion for collecting.

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  26. I too love fabric so much...but alas, I do not have what’s considered a large stash. The reason, I found that it overwhelms me. A few years ago, I was gifted so much fabric. That actually started what you all call a “stash”. Prior to that, I always sewed what I purchased right away. Well, I still have all of those pieces in my sewing studio and really haven’t used a lot of it. You see, I get my inspiration first then I go for fabric (Only occasionally do I find what I want in my stash). I know it might sound a little crazy to some of you...but if I go look at my small fabric stash and try to be inspired, 30 minutes later I’m still standing in the same place trying to figure out what I want to make! LOL! I truly admire your stash and watching others in the sewing community build their stash too! But, for now, it’s a tiny one for me! Looking forward to your year end wrap up!

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    1. Myra - please it's different strokes for different folks! If this works for you and inspires you to sew then that's the way you should roll! Me, the thought of having an idea and then having to take to the streets to make it works gives me the willies! *LOL* The main thing is that we all enjoy the process and our finished garments, however, we get there!

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  27. Your fabric is so beautifully displayed, at least you can see exactly what you have on hand. I've started writing my purchases down in a little notebook now and then leave half a page to jot down pattern ideas for each piece, it's been really helpful for me to remember what I have and it's so satisfying crossing it off! I do love buying fabric, but my storage space is limited and I'm kind of at (well, beyond if I'm honest) capacity right now. However if I can make up a few of my winter fabrics that will free up a ton of space so I might push those projects to the front of my queue!!

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  28. I just catalogued my "stash" in Evernote and have 66 pieces. This includes left overs from past projects that I can eek a pair of shorts out of. I love finding and purchasing beautiful fabrics but I'm one who gets more anxious with every piece I add to the closet. I'm now trying to only buy what I need for upcoming projects. That being said, I did partake in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. I bought a few pieces of denim for an upcoming Jeans binge, a few sweater knits for joggers and sweater dresses and 6 indie patterns including the Morgan and Ginger jeans patterns and the Ogden Cami. I don't know why my 66 pieces of fabric make me so anxious but my ridiculous pattern stash doesn't phase me a bit.

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  29. Like you I am a stasher! I don't have an organized space like you do, I am not an organized person. I really have to get it all together as I will be downsizing in the near future and just don't think I can take it all with me. I have purchased less fabric this year; it is hard not to buy when you see so many gorgeous fabrics out there. I have a lot of gorgeous fabrics in my stash. I will have more time to sew in the upcoming future, so hopefully I will sew more and reduce the stash that way.

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    1. Ha Linda, if having more time to sew will allow you to reduce your fabric collection than I'm losing in a very big way! *LOL* More time has also given me more time to seek out the exotic and different when it comes to fabric AND acquire more. Though I do understand what you're sewing and really am ready to limit my acquisitions too!

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  30. Thank you for providing a photo that I can use as evidence when I tell my husband "See, I'm not the only one!"

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  31. Just found you via Pinterest...first time EVER, have I seen the black metal shelves I use in the same way for stacking fabric. Tried everything else...just gotta plop them on that shelf as I pull/play with the fabrics so much they need to be easy/handy to see/try. Looking forward to learning more from you! [Also just signed-up for your email news using sew@ldianejohnson.com]

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