How to buy fabric for your me-made clothes: a flowchart

How to buy fabric for your me-made clothes - a flowchart made by Workroom Social - sewing studio in Brooklyn, NY

How to buy fabric for your me-made clothes: a flowchart

Recently I took a break from my day-to-day routine at the studio to reorganize my fabric stash. I’m willing to guess that almost everyone who sews has one of their own. These piles/bins/shelves/garbage bags of fabric seem to have a way of growing not shrinking. My own fabric stash had me wondering how I ever accumulated so much fabric, and yet why do I never have the fabric I need?

I can credit my own stash largely to the way I shop for fabric. Although my approach has improved over the years, I’m still guilty of making emotional fabric purchases that result in an ever-growing pile of fabrics that don’t exactly suit my style or needs. This reflection inspired me to create a flowchart outlining how to buy fabric. I included key questions that I consider (and sometimes ignore). I’ve found that having these ideas organized in a flowchart helps me stay on task when I’m otherwise distracted by an overwhelming selection of fabrics in different prints, colors, fiber contents, and weaves.

How to buy fabric for your me-made clothes - a flowchart made by Workroom Social - sewing studio in Brooklyn, NY

I’ve also created a printer friendly, black & white version of the above flowchart for you. Take it with you shopping to help guard against getting distracted by shiny objects!

Just give us your name and email, and we’ll send your printer friendly copy straight to your inbox.

P.S. Want to know when a Workroom Social sewing event comes to your city? Give us your zip code and we’ll keep you in the loop!





  • Love it, and so true!

  • Lady_D

    Great flow chart. I really should find some wall space for something similar. And now I know what I’m going to do with a fairly large piece of flannel that I inherited from a friend. I am not particularly fond of the pattern or colors, but the fabric will be suitable for a muslin, or perhaps even two, to help me work out some fitting problems before I cut the good fabric.

    • Yay!!

      • Lady_D

        And the best part is, 5 or 6 yards of ugly flannel will be useful in that way, but still gone from my stash before long… not just tossed in the trash as I had previously thought to do.

  • Carolyn Norman

    Only you would come up with such an amazing flowchart! Girl I’m impressed!

  • GorgeousThings

    My flowchart is a little simpler:
    Do I want this fabric?
    /
    Yes No——-
    / |
    If I buy it, can I still afford |
    to eat for the rest of the month? |
    / |
    Yes No |
    | | |
    Buy the Don’t buy the fabric
    fabric

    😀