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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sewing Organization

Confession - I have a lot of sewing stuff...and if I don't keep it organized, it will take over my house and it will be hard to know what I have (no shocker, huh?). So, this is how I do it:

Anything I can store in a decorative way, I do. My embroidery thread looks rather charming as wall decor, no? This is hanging in what my husband named "The Scraplab" because it is a small home office on the front of the house...and my scrapbook supplies live here along with my desktop computer and our home files, etc.

My Bernina Deco 340 embroidery machine lives in The Scraplab as well - conveniently beside my PC and under shelves of scrapbook supplies. (I really don't do hobbies halfway...)

I have a folder of my embroidery files sorted by theme and I paid the extra fee for the iconizer in Embird - well worth it so you can easily see at a glance what you have.

On my computer screen is my Google docs spreadsheet of my fabric. I have added image files for as many fabrics as I could and I intend to do that from now on as I purchase fabric. It makes it much easier to browse the stash. The code to add an image in a spreadsheet is =image("http://whatever the url is", 3) . I am linking to a read-only copy of my spreadsheet here. Warning - it's a big file and it is slow to load because of the image links. I like being able to sort if I am searching for a certain yardage or fabric type. I also like that it is in the cloud since I can just take a laptop into the garage with me if need be.


This is a little taste of my garage, aka the fabric warehouse. Oh, we store other things in there, too, but this place has not seen a car in the better part of a decade and probably never will again. I don't care either.

We have this wonderful cabinet in the corner of our living room. It is a major sewing organization spot (although at present, I have a few things not yet put away from my most recent cutting spree). I try to keep some very-soon-to-be-used fabrics on the shelf along with my patterns, books, and magazines.

Amy Butler's Chelsea Bags pattern is perfect for storing magazines. I have a bag for each season of Ottobre since I have every issue I could get my hands on. If it was published in English, I have it. I also have a bag of Sew Beautifuls, one of Ottobre Woman, another of Burdas, Threads, and other European magazines like Knipmode, Patrones, and La Mia Boutique. Not ironically, there is a big bag full of bag patterns.

My envelope patterns are in baskets and bags, arranged by type and split into manufacturer groups as needed. It also helps that I have started using Pattern-File software to track what I have along with image info and other notes. It's a nice visual tool to organize and they should have a mobile app available soon.

I will admit, that sometimes there is a small working pile on a little table between my sewing desk and my couch. My kids know not to mess with this stuff. Under that table is a large storage cabinet with several plastic shoeboxes worth of embellishments - a box of rickrack, a box of lace, a container of piping, etc. There is an Artibin thread box between the table and couch (it just fits there nicely) and several serger thread boxes on the floor under the right side of the desk. Buttons are in zip-lock bags by color for the ones I have gotten in bulk from the Patsy Aiken outlet. I use snap-lock containers for the more unique ones. I keep zippers in their own box and elastic in its own. However, I have had the idea to buy elastic in the sizes I constantly find myself using in bulk. When the cut notions can be purchased half price, find an unopened box of elastic and buy the whole darn thing. It's not that much and well-worth it.

Okay, so my form of organization is not Martha Stewart-perfect. I don't care - I kind of hate Martha anyway. It does work for me and allows me to get a good bit done with minimal frustration. That's the best part anyway - the actual creating. Today was a good creating day: I got the cover dress from the latest Ottobre as well as a Farbenmix frock - Destina - completed.

Happy sewing!

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to see how you're organized - since you get so much sewing done!

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