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Taking stock of the stash

As I was off work for just over 10 months whilst going through my recent treatment, I had a lot of time on my hands to fill.

For the first few months, I didn’t feel up to anything, but after I finished, I started to potter around home. One thing I did do was start to organise my fabric stash.

This really needed to be done after I discovered that I had purchased, at different times, two lots of the same pink gingham! Yeah, something needed to be done.

Another thing was that I would stand in my sewing room with a piece of fabric in my hand and have no idea as to whether I had washed and/or ironed it. Therefore I needed something to help me with all of the above. Plus I also need to catalogue my huge stash of patterns – paper and pdf.

There are a myriad ways of doing this and there has been a few posts on Instagram recently about this topic; there are a lot of traditional applications that can be used and a few apps for your mobile. I have tried a couple of apps (for both my sewing and knitting) and I have found that they don’t quite hit the mark. I needed something flexible. I also don’t mind paying for something as long as it isn’t too much.

Recently I came across an application that has both a mobile and desktop view that in my opinion, met my requirements – Airtable. I can’t remember how I found it – probably something that popped up in one of my feeds somewhere.

Airtable is like an Excel spreadsheet but not quite. It has lots of options and can be customised. There are different levels of options depending on how much you pay. I originally started with the free plan and then when I was happy it would meet my needs I then upgraded to the “Plus” plan, which is $12 per month.

On my plan I have access to one paid workspace (as well as free ones) and then as many “bases” (or databases) as I want. The image above shows my workspace “Crafts” and then my bases – sewing patterns, sewing websites etc.

And it is in these bases that the magic works. The following image is my fabric base/database and you can see the type of columns I have. (please don’t judge me on the Strawberries on Check and Making Waves and the $$$. I had a day during chemo and my head wasn’t screwed on. I looked at the wrong size, didn’t check the price pm and only after she cut it did the person at Spotlight say something! Oh well).

Who knows what I can make out of 5 metres of pink check with strawberries on it along with 5 metres of blue whales on pink? Face palm.

You can filtered it, attach files and photos and like a spreadsheet it does formulas, so you can see how much you have spent and how much you have.

You also can have multiple tabs within a base, so there is a lot of room for all sorts of information.

The mobile version is great and just as easy to use. It is such a handy tool to have whilst you are out shopping.

You can take photos of things on your camera and upload them on the go.

If I am at home in my sewing room, I tend to take photos on my phone then upload them to either my dropbox or google drive and then attach them to the record via this method.

I then delete the images of my phone so I don’t take up too much space – being an Android I can also attach my phone to my laptop and drag and drop them to anywhere I wish as well.

I am currently in the process of washing and ironing my fabric. I have taped a tape measure to one of my tables to measure the fabric so I can then log it as I go, and I have also created little labels where I write on them whether it has been washed, the width and the length. This helps when I am scrounging through my stash and can see at a quick glance.

So this is going to be a big job. So much ironing and this is not all of my fabric. I do have a small pile of around around 38.5 metres that has been washed and ironed – they just need a home to be placed into i.e. tub.

There you have it. There are so many ways of organising your stash etc but this is the one that suits me best. Yes it probably isn’t the cheapest, but it is the one that I found that has a lot of options along with a great mobile version for when I am on the go.

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Stephanie About Author

Sewing | Knitting | & other crafts

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