Taking a trip to the fabric store is always full of excitement, as you search for just the right supplies for your newest project. If done in a disorganized manner, however, it can cost you a lot of unwanted time, money and even space (e.g. a messy sewing room).
Make your shopping excursions fun and efficient by designating a tote or backpack for sewing shopping trips. Pack your bag with items that will help you stay on track as you shop for your dream project.
Below is my tote bag and the fun trinkets I keep in it. I keep this tote in my sewing studio and only use it for sewing shopping trips.
I love this tote. I got it from Goodwill last year. I love that it has my initial on it, and the pink color automatically brightens my trip.
In every tote there MUST be a shopping list. Here I wrote my list with a fun purple gel pen. I got this floral printed paper for only a dollar at Dollar Tree.
Now this is not essential, but listening to music from your very own playlist can make the trip all the more fun.
A good organizing tip is to have a separate bank account for your sewing hobby along with a credit/debit card and or checkbook. This will ensure that your money for sewing is always available in your tote. If you don’t want a separate account you can always take out a certain amount of cash from your bank account and store it in your tote.
Along with my sewing debit/credit card, I carry my bus pass, a pen, and all of my receipts in this adorable pencil pouch:
I label all my receipts with an initial that corresponds with the project I’m purchasing for. In this picture the V stands for vest, and the W stands for wedding dress. These are two projects that I’m working on at the moment. This helps me to keep track of how much I’ve spent on each garment so that I know how much it’s worth for selling purposes.
The last two essentials are a calculator and a small notebook. If you add up the cost of everything you’re throwing into your shopping cart, you will have saved yourself from unpleasant surprises at the check-out counter.
I use this notebook to jot down the fabric care guidelines for all fabrics I buy. Since care instructions are normally only found on the bolt (which you can’t always take home with you), it’s a good idea to get in the habit of recording the fabric instructions.
I hope I have inspired you to be more organized when going on your shopping excursions. Don’t forget that one benefit of carrying a tote is that you can also use it to carry your purchased items. This is not only efficient but it’s “green” as well.