Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.


Hello fellow sewers,

About a week ago I was inspired by a new book I bought while in L.A. about pattern drafting. I thought "this book really simplifies the techniques. Lets give it a whirl". So I went down into my sewing 'Dungeon' all excited and motivated to get started...... until I looked around. The room was a disaster. There was not one inch of space that was free of clutter. There were notions, fabric, patterns, books, paper, etc. everywhere. There was barely a clear path on the floor. My inspiration flew out the window. Not even my sewing machine was in the room. I had moved that upstairs weeks ago. And as I looked around the shambled room it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks - I AM A HOARDER OF ALL THINGS SEWING!!! The odd thing is that I am the very opposite in every other aspect of my life. I hate clutter and regularly clear out cupboards and closets throughout my home. SO why was this room so out of control and full of a million things. The truth is, my ambition was greater than my time and my patience in learning was lacking. I had also acquired a LOT of fabric from friends and family who did not sew and wanted to see their stashes go to a good home. So what is a girl to do??? Clean house of course.

It took me 2 days to complete but I was able to get rid of a little more than half of my fabric and notions. I decided to sell the fabric in a garage sale fashion and donate whatever was left after that. I ended up making 80.00. I am happy to announce that my sewing room is completely organized and clean ( I will post pictures soon)..... and my sewing machines are back in their proper home. While cleaning I also found that I had bought many notions and books which I had never used or read. I found that I had been buying all of these thing to make my life easier but had never taken the time to use them. Just like my sewing machine and my serger. I have amazing machines but again, I have not even touched on all of the things that they can do. SO now I have made a promise to myself - I will dedicate 2 hours a week minimum to learning something new and to mastering my machines.

So I am pleased to announce that I am no longer a sewing hoarder. I am looking forward to creating many new projects in my sewing room and curbing my spending on this craft as I remember how much stuff I had accumulated that I did not need.

If you can relate, please let me know. I would love to hear your comments and stories :)

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Comment by Ma'amster on July 26, 2010 at 11:31pm
I'm so glad I'm not alone. My sewing room is in a corner in the kitchen. My husband laughs when he describes our kitchen to people..."my wife is probably the only sewer that has a fridge, stove and microwave in her sewing room..." BUT, I also have rubber maid totes throughout the house loaded with material AND an 8 ft long by 3 foot wide cutting table in my entrance way. (My hubbie wants me to figure out what we can do with this table as we are unable to open the front door all the way right now and can not open the coat closet. And to top it all off, today I bought MORE fabric and MORE patterns...where am I going to put these??? LOL Have a great day everyone!!
Comment by Fran(grami) on July 25, 2010 at 4:53pm
Hi to all again, I wanted to update you on the problem I was having at my apartment, re: hoarding. I found out it was the maintance man. He saw all my projects out, my bedroon is also my sewing room. He was there to test fire alarms, but he made the assumption because my room had two sewing machines set up, two sergers, four in progress projects--and snipitts of material all over, that I was a very bad housekeeper and had a fire hazard and what ever else he thought. In other words, he snoped where his nose didn't belong. Reported this, with a few too many embellishments, to our manager. They called in the big guns from the home office. My friends all thought this was the "stuppidist" thing they had ever heard of. I got a "clean" bill of health as it were. This had been a big, misunderstanding. this after I got another 5 years off my life, from fear. thank all of you for getting back to me, I actually cut out many of your blogs about hoarding (sewers know what we do). Now I can bring back all the stuff I hid at my sons home and put in my storage space I rent. Back to what I love, sewing, crafts etc. and the heck with what others think. Well, almost the heck.
Comment by Colleen Scott on July 12, 2010 at 1:06am
I did it again. I gave in to a frenzy of buying. But I think I came out on top this time. I went to a tent sale of old patterns, and books and such. Heard a little voice of reason in my head saying -'Now you know you don't have much money to spend - don't buy any thing you really don't like." Well, when the patterns are a quarter and the books are a dollar and videos are only 1 dollar, well, I certainly do love a good sale. I got $165 worth of patterns for $4, $158 of books for $11 and 2 videos that had been $20 a piece for $1 a piece. But now I am hopelessly hooked on Ribbon Embroidery and Embellishment - the topics of the videos. Any one have little scraps of lace, special yarns, special thread, small beads, small old mother-of-pearl buttons or older colors of embroidery floss that you find you want to pitch when you start to declutter, anything tossed my way as I grovel would be greatly appreciated.
Comment by Melinda Sarpal on July 11, 2010 at 8:09pm
I am so happy to have found so many friends on this site that make me feel better about my crafting. I see now that it is not a hoarding problem but rather the consequences of just being creatively gifted.
Comment by Fran(grami) on July 11, 2010 at 7:33pm
Thank you Ramona, No there is no reason, but I think when I asked our building manager to have cars moved out of our parking spaces, people park here to attend church next door, I think she got very cranky and made an issue of it. Soooooo=That may have ruffled her feathers. She likes to be told nothing.
Comment by Ramona Kuhn on July 11, 2010 at 7:27pm
If only people could just mind there own business. Our "STUFF" is not garbage. We own our home and got comments about my hubby's stuff in the yard is considered junk and we consider it all collectables. Stuff is not garbage and that doesn't make anybody unclean or a hoarder. You have the right to quiet enjoyment when you rent a property. Unless there is a reason - they have no right to make any decision about your life.
Comment by Fran(grami) on July 11, 2010 at 4:59pm
Holy cow, I found you again, I have been asking my fellow friends and sewers how to get back to this terrific blog. Never have I seen such honest comments and such funny situations about what other people may call :(hoarding of fabric, which I prefer to call never the right color, pattern, size or whatever. This means go out and get more, isn't that the meaning of "He who dies with the most fabric win's" ? Well be careful if you live in a small apartment, the kind where you have inspections,inspections should be announced, but they do the inspection under the guise of checking something else when you are out, then sending a letter from management that calls you a hoarder and full of clutter, then scaring you half to death calling in big guns to do a check. Naturally it's from their apartments home office, they will be just a little bias, don't ya think? This was the first time in 10 yrs. that this happened. It was just my bedroom, but she didn't understand two sergers and two sewing machines. All that do different things. Out to work on a project for the elderly so I can make things and give them away, free. I got so scared I started trying to hide things in my off site storage bin, my sons home etc. Then my daughter said, mother stop. your apartment is clean as a whistle and you do not hoard. You have the right to live in a HUD sponcerd home and enjoy your life as you have always done. I have a feeling this is Harassment and discrimination. But I am sure the persons looking at this were not sewers. Poor things. If my vcr worked I would tape a segment of HOARDERS. Now there's a show to watch if you have ever been called an incorrect name.
Sorry this is so long, but thought perhaps someone out there may have had a similar experience. If you have any pertinent ideas let me know, I have my fabric stored on wonderful chrome racks and all boxes labeled, everything folded neatly, made sure bedroom window was able to be gotten out of -all I have to do is swing my 72 yr. old leg up and over the windowsill and out into space til I hit ground. Sounds like FUN FORGIVE THE LENGHT, Hope no manager of this development reads this. Bye for now, If interested, I'll give update. Grami Fran
Comment by Patricia Emery on June 4, 2010 at 9:41am
and it's NOT just fabric and sewing "stuff" in my room... there's also all the scrapbook and rubber stamps, too!!! But what Roseana said really hit me in the head as it IS making me feel overwhelmed and I HATE walking into that room as it's just a wreck and I certainly don't feel CREATIVE in there...
Comment by Melinda Sarpal on June 2, 2010 at 11:47pm
I love that this is not a problem of mine but what I now realize is just simply the way of life for us sewers. In fact I just got a flyer that my local fabric store is having a huge sale starting tomorrow. Will I be able to fight the urge or will I bring home some more treasures. I will keep you posted. I am hoping that the promise to write about it will hold me accountable enough to sway me from buying anything. We will see.............
Comment by Roseana Auten on June 2, 2010 at 11:23am
I relate fully to what everyone has said here. Problem is, getting more stuff doesn't make me more creative, it makes me more overwhelmed. And I find that when I'm spending more money on sewing stuff, it's because I'm not spending time on it. It's not a very satisfying exchange. I've decluttered much of the rest of my life, but not my sewing things — yet. I don't like leaving possibilities behind, either, but clearly I've got too much of a good thing.

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