Sewing tools of note (10): resealable bags

sewing-tools-of-note

Yeah, yeah, you know this right? Resealable bags are so useful in the sewing room, it’s obvious, but did you know how versatile they are? I particularly like the sturdy zip slider kind (sometimes called Ziploc, a US brand name I believe), for storing the smallest scraps (and yes, I hate throwing any Liberty scraps away!):

projects-stored-in-ziplock-bags

They’re also great for storing partially completed projects, paper patterns, templates of all kinds, and paper pieces for English paper piecing. I use them a lot for scraps of neutral solid fabrics, so that I can keep all those shades of white and cream from becoming totally mixed up… and I keep the smallest scraps of interfacing in them too, because I hate to waste a scrap. It makes sense to label the bag for the neutral fabrics and interfacing, so you know exactly what they are.

g710-stored-in-a-ziploc-bag
My bag of small scraps of Vilene G710 interfacing – too expensive to waste even the smallest bit!

Because the bags are made of sturdy plastic (these are the ones I buy), they will stand on edge, which makes storing them very simple, and flipping through them to find a long forgotten project is really easy too. I have a vintage projector case that I use to keep some of my bags – I love this brilliant excuse for buying gorgeous vintage luggage – and I have my eye on this lovely wicker storage basket for yet more zippy bag storage…

vintage-storage-for-ziplock-bagsA recent discovery is how brilliant these little bags are for thread storage. It is important to me to keep bobbins and spools holding the same thread stored together – I use a lot of different shades of grey and cream, and in different weights, so if I keep them separately, I haven’t got a hope of matching the right spool with the right bobbin. When trying to solve this storage conundrum, I experimented first with this rubber band technique, but I found I could never remember how to do it (had to look it up EVERY flipping time), and also found it was quite hard to unfasten the bobbin without dislodging lots of thread off the spool.

I have looked at all sorts of storage options – these Bobbini are really cute, for example, but they are pricey, especially as I own (and use!) a lot of different threads. They also don’t solve the problem of the dreaded unravelling of thread… Obviously, it would great to have the time to make a rack, like this one at the Creative Homemaker blog, that keeps bobbins and spools together, but I lack the wall space, the time and the woodwork-y nowse, unfortunately.

So I started using these fab little 3.5 inch by 5 inch Ziplite pouches to keep bobbin and spools together. They are so simple to use, it’s easy to see the colour you need when you want it, and thread unravelling and associated tangling (!) is kept to an absolute minimum. The down sides are – you have to buy a lot! 250 is the minimum order from the shop I use (by the way, I have no financial relationship with them, in case you were wondering!), but the price for that number is just over £25 (10p per bag, budget fiends), and they have so many uses. I also use them to store buttons, beads, trims, ribbons, lace, magnetic snaps, bag hardware, and all those bits of things that clutter up my sewing space.

ziplock-bags-for-thread-storage

Sadly, they don’t really look so great – it’s very hard to compete with the Bobbini or that lovely rack, I admit – but I use a homemade fabric storage basket for them, and my work space is happy, colourful and beautifully organised (some of the time):

cute-storage-for-ugly-ziplock-bags

Do you have a sewing use for these practical little bags that I haven’t thought of? Would love to hear about it.

This is the latest post in my series –  Sewing Tools of Note – an eclectic and highly individual series of things that make my sewing easier!

15 thoughts on “Sewing tools of note (10): resealable bags

  1. Hi, I love all your lovely containers! The tiny ziplock bags are a great idea. Not sure how to add photos but I use a small childs hair scrunchie that I buy from tesco and that fits great over bobbins to stop them unthreading and the elastics on a ball from ryman slide through the hole in the bobbin easily and i just wrap each loop over spool of matching thread once or twice and they all go in a box.

  2. Thanks for these super ideas. I’m a fan of the ArtBin Super Satchel with the thread trays included for my thread storage, I put the bobbin on the bottom with the thread spool on top and love that it can be stored on its side to save space. However I’m going to start organising my interfacings and haberdashery in these wonderful bags.

      1. Do you also have a tweed stash? I’m hankering for one, such lovely texture! And I’m very pleased to hear you have a felt stash too 😊

  3. I love resealable plastic bags (although, perhaps, not quite as much as you do!) and also have a thing for boxes and tins. I love that thread and bobbin stand and may just put that on the list of things I want (someone else) to make!

    1. Haha, I think my addiction for putting things in little bags stems from my former career as an archivist…! All we ever did was get things in and out of acid-free envelopes…The thread and bobbin stand is awesome isn’t it… Sadly I think if I drilled into my wall at the studio, it might fall down….

  4. I just love starting up my computer and seeing your name on my mailing list you are amazing. ALWAYS something of interest

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