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Unread 10-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
Ichigogami
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Organizing your Costuming Stash

I know for sure that my costuming takes up a big area of where I live, and right now I'm doing a fabric inventory based on Crafty Staci's Inventory system, I'm in love with it and I'm hoping it will keep me organized for a while.
http://craftystaci.com/2012/02/01/fa...entory-system/

How do others keep track of things and what has helped you stay organized throughout your cosplay adventures

This deals with Storing Supplies
Storing Fabrics
and
Storing costumes
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Last edited by Ichigogami : 10-02-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
myalchod
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Most of my fabrics are solids, so I don't catalogue them by swatching. What I do instead, however, is (a) box them in terms of some thematic (my silks and wools go into one box so I can limit what I need to worry about with moths, my linings are in another, my cotton prints in a third, etc.), and (b) keep a spreadsheet (that includes, among other things, width, yardage, fibre content, colour, and any project I have in mind). Depending on the fabric, it's either folded in my linen closet, folded into a plastic storage tub of some size, or stored on a bolt or roll in a particularly convenient downstairs corner.

My notions are a bit more disorganised, but I'm working on getting them into a couple of smaller plastic bins by my craft desk. Patterns go into a file and also have a spreadsheet. I started another spreadsheet for threads when I realised I kept buying duplicates. I think the only stuff that's not by my craft desk or my cutting space are the dyes and fabric paints and associated supplies, which live on the shelves over the washing machine where they're most often used.

... I do like my spreadsheets. XD And storing them online means I can get them from my phone if I'm at the JoAnn's an hour away and trying to remember if I have enough black thread or not ...
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Unread 10-02-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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I have a condition called S.A.B.L.E. ... Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy...

I purchased horizontal filing cabinets second hand, all lightweight fabrics more than one yard in length get sorted into hanging files and by color. There are a total of eight drawers like this.

drawer1 by Penlowe, on Flickr

Thick, heavy or specialty fabrics go in big bins, mostly by type. There are six of these.

fab3 by Penlowe, on Flickr

Notions are in labeled plastic shoe box sized containers on an Ikea Billy book case (tall standard width). Ribbons are sorted into six of the same type bins by color. The book case has eight shelves all but two of which are full of these boxes.
Patterns are in the larger portable hanging file plastic bins from Walmart. I have six of those plus about two shoe boxes worth of overflow.

Here is the machine corner, threads, tools & a partial vier of the notions book case. This is actually a year ago before I filled in more bins.

studio1 by Penlowe, on Flickr
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Last edited by Penlowe : 10-02-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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COMMENTARY: While that little book is really cool, it's way too OCD for me. I would rather open the drawers and mill about while thinking about it.

Just for fun, and to make you all feel super clean and tidy, this is the last time I did a major sort & purge. Yes, that's AFTER getting rid of fabric. You can see my cutting table there too (well sort of). I built it with the help of my dad for under $100.

fab1 by Penlowe, on Flickr
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Last edited by Penlowe : 10-02-2012 at 07:25 PM.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
char99char
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Penlowe...I am in awe! Love it!
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Unread 10-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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I'm jealous of anyone who keeps a clean sewing area. I'm one of those people with organized messes. It looks like a total lack of organization, but chances are I know where everything is. This doesn't mean I don't want a pretty and organized area, it just means I suck at it. Since I'm moving frequently right now (live half with a friend and half with my parents until I can get a job, and then moving to the job, and then hopefully (finally) moving to grad school for next academic year), I don't want to invest in actual drawers or bins because it's more space-efficient during moving to condense it all into as few boxes or bags as I can.

Someday!

I do have two bins of scrap, one is large yardage scrap and one is smaller yardage. Active projects get stacked in the hard-to-reach (and thus not otherwise used) corner of my sewing table.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
ShinobiXikyu
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I don't have a stash that big, nor am I super-organized, but I've got a pretty good system for my Mom's house and my apartment. My sewing notions, small things like felt, beads and trim, and some shapewear items, I keep in a dresser drawer at my apartment, and embroidery floss is organized by colour into plastic boxes with plastic slots to make squares for each section. Costumes are either at Mom's house (most of my big and fancy ones are) or hung in garment bags in my closet. Footwear is in the bottom of the closet, and wigs on the shelf on the top. At Mom's house I have a box for notions, and a small dresser and big twenty-gallon plastic tote. Fabric goes in the tote (which is clear plastic so I can see how far down it is),costumes go in the top drawer, scrap bags, mockups and pattern envelopes are kept in the second, and the bottom drawer holds normal things for the most part. The sewing machine stays in a corner of the living room (it used to go up in the attic but the wild temperature swings and the treacherous staircase put an end to it) and I work on the kitchen table/floor. Props kind of go wherever they can, but I don't usually use big ones. I also mounted one on my bedroom wall.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There is a vibe here that says "We're in this together! Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way." <3
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Unread 10-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by char99char View Post
Penlowe...I am in awe! Love it!
there are some advantages to being old...
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Unread 10-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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I don't have a workroom, living as I do in a one-bedroom NYC apartment with my fiance. What we do have is a costuming closet. All of our costumes are hung up neatly, and below them are stacks of shoeboxes and tupperware with fabrics. On the back wall of the closet, we installed a bunch of those tension clips you're supposed to hang brooms or mops or something on, and we use those to hang up all our props. Finally, on the side of the closet right next to the door, we installed some shelving and have all our notions, threads, paints, etc. in little plastic stackable boxes on the shelves. So far, this system has been working well and making good use of not a lot of space.

Of course, this doesn't mean we aren't totally messy about it. Right now, as usual, all of our in-progress pieces are scattered all across the apartment. There's a jumpsuit hanging on a kitchen chair, kneepads and ankle bands waiting to be painted on the living room floor, a tail-coat on the couch, comics open to reference shots everywhere...I'm glad my fiance is a cosplayer too - at least he's understanding of the need for mess!
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Unread 10-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
dbchan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eebee View Post
we installed a bunch of those tension clips you're supposed to hang brooms or mops or something on, and we use those to hang up all our props.
That. is. genius. I'm going to look into that. My poor axes have been taking quite a beating.

I'm making an effort to get organized. I have a closet for my costume supplies. I went through my fabric, took a picture of each and marked down how much I had. The pictures are on my computer and the list is taped to the fabric bin. I have a three drawer plastic dresser with paints/adhesives in one drawer, odds and ends in another and things to be mended in the last. Wigs are all up wig heads on a wire bathroom shelf. My ribbons are all stored on a wooden dowel where I can just pull of and cut what I need. Lastly, there's a table where I can keep all of my works in progress, my sewing bin, my jar of paintbrushes. Big things go under the table.
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Unread 10-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #11
Ichigogami
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I think it's awesome all the responses that I've been getting back...as far as my personal stash as I showed earlier..I am doing inventory cards but traditionally because I'm a fashion designer as well I keep all my costume materials divided by weight/type in fabric in the sterilite plastic drawer sets(top drawer- sheers plain, second drawer-laces etc.),I try to keep all the supplies I have for one costume in the same drawer, because it helps keep me from having to redraft patterns or find the small buttons or other things I previously bought or losing things.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 07:23 AM   #12
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Once I've pulled fabric & notions for a project I put it in a grocery sack, quilters have been doing this for ages and I learned a few cute acronyms from them:

PIGS= Projects In Grocery Sacks
UFO= Un Finished Object (usually referring to a project you are unhappy with or had to set aside for another reason)
SABLE= Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy
WIP= Work In Progress

The yarnie community also has KIP/ CIP= Knit In Public/ Crochet In Public

I have a UFO shelf, my PIGS live on my cutting table.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #13
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I got this idea from a tailor friend. buttons are a big deal with tailors, they often are trying to match something unusual so most have pretty awesome button stashes. She shared with me how she organized hers after I inherited my Nana's button box. I've added to it, every time I hit an estate sale and see a bag of buttons for $2-3 I grab it.
At Home Depot they have these boxes for sorting nuts & bolts, WAY cheaper than similar containers at a craft store and heavier duty. It has six pull out bins. Sorted by color, and sizes are only broken down withing black, white & brown which are most common. I separated out real shell from plastic and wood & leather too.

buttons2 by Penlowe, on Flickr

That said : If you need an unusual button, PM me, I swap!
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Unread 10-06-2012, 12:22 AM   #14
Ichigogami
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The nice thing I've found working in a family owned fabric store, the quantity of buttons. dear god so many buttons...@_@ They have a whole wall in the store that is thousands upon thousands....so when I want to find a button, I can usually get something similar to what I was looking for, or change my mind completely!

I also like having the availability of a less expensive table, we don't discount just the fabrics we have in stock, we have a table that's 3 bucks a yard that includes designer pieces, like DK and Ralph Lauren prints, or traditional sateen, even brocades.
Refilling every friday almost guarantees my paycheck has a big chunk out of it for supplies...and within 2-3 months I can have all the supplies for one costume from that table as long as I know what I'm looking for and keep my eye out.

Back to topic though, as far as organization, For all the completed costumes we have a wardrobe in our room that holds all the soft pieces or delicate pieces (Headdresses, electronic pieces, Fabric parts) and for wigs and such, we have 2 walk in closets with shelves built in over the hanging bars, and keep styrofoam heads where we keep the wigs. I try to make sure that we have the ones not hung up in bags like those you can get from bedding, vinyl with zippers, this protects against bugs, water damage and dust.
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Unread 10-06-2012, 08:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
I try to make sure that we have the ones not hung up in bags like those you can get from bedding, vinyl with zippers, this protects against bugs, water damage and dust.
: smacks forehead:
smart! I love that! I know bridal shops will sell their dress bags independently from the dresses too, good for long or bulky garments. So far I'm lucky in that the costumes I'm saving either hang in my closet or were made for my kids, and are therefore small, but I need to bag them... before they play in the fairy wings again and trash them. (don't worry, they have costumes they can play in too, just not the wings I spent a week making).
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