TipStitched Tips: My Project Bag Method

Any time I post a pic to IG or share a video on my sewing plans someone notices my bags. No, not bags under my eyes  -LOL- my clear zip close project bags! So I want to share how I use them and why I can’t live without them.

You’ll find three kinds of bags in my sewing space

  1. Cut out projects I plan to sew
  2. Incomplete projects I need to finish
  3. Patterns with intact fabric I need to cut


I already shared how I approach sewing and a big part of it is assembly line-ing the process. I have pattern cut days where I try to cut 2 or more patterns out at once and I have fabric cutting days where I cut do the same for fabric. If I’m feeling particularly efficient I try to select projects that have similar weight, type and color fabrics so I can save time by not needing to change needles and thread.

This is a cut out project that is ready to go!

Once I’ve batched cut a few patterns and fabrics I place them in a 2 gallon Ziploc bags. I MUST do this or I will end up missing pieces! If the project requires notions such as a zipper or buttons, I go ahead and put those in the bag as well. This really helps me on the days I know I want to sew because all I have to do is enter my sewing room grab a bag and start sewing!

This dress has been cut out and the skirt has been cut, but for some reason it was set aside to be finished later.

This is also a great idea for those of you…ok us…who tend to sew multiple projects at a time or start one project then get distracted by some new fabric or pattern purchase. Just place everything from that project that was already in progress in a bag and then when you are ready to come back to it everything is ready to go. In the past I found that when I would pause and then restart a project I was always missing something. “Where’d I put the instructions?” “What happened to the pocket piece?” “Did I ever buy a zipper for this dress?” If I place everything back in it’s bag, the next time I grab it – whether that is in a couple of days or a several months – I’ll still have everything I need.

I purchased the fabric with this dress in mind so I immediately paired the two and placed them in a bag. I also have the snaps that I will add to this bag.

Lastly, I bag uncut fabric and/or patterns together so that they are ready for my next cut day! This is helpful because when I find myself with time to cut but no plans of what to cut I waste more time gathering the patterns and fabrics than I actually do cutting the fabric. I typically have some type of idea of the patterns I want to sew for any given season or upcoming event so I pair everything together when I think of it. Also if it’s not something I plan on sewing soon, but I’m pretty sure I want to use that fabric for that pattern I’d rather bag them together uncut instead of cut, JUST IN CASE I change my mind before I get around to sewing it. You never know a better pattern may be released.

Now am I always this regimented? Absolutely NOT! Sometimes I am inspired to make a particular piece and I push all these plans aside and make that piece. Other times I sign up for a pattern test with a tight deadline and my previous projects just have to wait. I’ve had projects be an EPIC fail and I get discouraged with my plans and just need a break. Also I’ve over ambitious so I can NEVER get to everything I “plan” and that doesn’t bother me. You have to do what it best for you and I’m just sharing what I do and why in the hopes it can help someone else.

Do you have any tips that help you stay organized? Or maybe that help make your sewing a more efficient process?