Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ready, Steady, Sew

The first step in starting anything, I say, is to get organised, although, like most people, I find this sometimes rather tedious and best left to another day.  Unfortunately though, I find it hard to find the things I need, so before I start my first sewing project - a good tidy up is needed.

First, all the patterns were in a filing cabinet, where I flipped through them periodically.  I could never find what I wanted and the envelopes where getting dog-eared.  I would frequently pull them out and put them in another pile to make but never did.  So they would go back into the cabinet and the process would continue.  I thought a catalogue of patterns would be a better way to go, so that at least I could flip through and see everything I have easily. So I put the pattern envelopes in a clear plastic holders, and the pattern pieces in envelopes and labelled them with the pattern company's name (or initial for - so M for McCalls, Butt for Butterick etc, V for Vogue, etc.).  I then put the plastic holders with pattern envelopes into folders and voila! a catalogue.  The patterns themselves in new envelopes went back into the filing cabinet.

New Pattern Catalogue!

As you can see, in this format, you can easily see the front and the back of the pattern for all the information you need about the garment and fabric requirements.

Patterns filed
And easy to find the pattern.  Now all that's needed is an easy way to work out what is in the fabric stash.

Stash as far as the eye can see

I did mention on my previous blog that I had a big stash (and there's more than this as well, but not too much more).  As you can see, each piece of fabric I have in the stash has a small piece cut off .  I attach this to a small white card and write down the details of the fabric - type of fabric, amount, width and so on.  I just found it rather hard to easily see at a glance what I needed - so, another catalogue was made. 

A very neat and organised stash catalogue
The folder is one that is made to take business cards but I could see this use for it!  I have the fabrics back to back, and in total, this folder is holding 160 cards (yes, that means I have 160 pieces of fabric in my stash - and a few more that do not fit into the catalogue.  I really have purchased fabric for sanity - I used to sew all my clothes many years ago, and frustration upon frustration, life intervened - I'm sure you are familiar with this sort of thing.  Different stories, same outcome -sewing gets sidelined.  So, with a good bit of rationalisation, that's only ten pieces of fabric a year, give or take a bit.  With 12 garments a year planned, I guess it will take me as many years to use (especially if I add little bits here and there - but really, my main goal is to use this stash up before it turns to dust - or I do!).

So now I guess I'm one step closer to organised sewing for my January project


  1. WOW so organized. My stash is not nearly as large, but this is a great idea!

  2. Hi Allison, it just means I have had longer to collect one than you :)