Sew, What's New?

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

My first Sew What's New blog post!! I suppose it's fitting that I post about getting organized. I'm not naturally organized. Are you?? Okay, so I'm not organized, but do love being organized... and I love "thinking" about getting organized. Even more than that, I love spending $$$ getting organized! It's a real thrill actually.

I don't have a sewing room right now (kudos to everyone out there who has one!). Whenever I sew, I have to drag all my fabric from the disorganized fabric piles, down from the attic and into the kitchen. At that point, I take over the table (and one corner of the kitchen for, well, ....many days, let's say).

If I'm working on a project like a stuffed animal, I grab all the fabrics that I might want to work with, which is usually at least 4 different kinds, then when it's all said & almost done, I hate to put them all back up because I might want to sew more "later". I say later because after all that plus the family fun, I run out of steam and want to go relax!

I work part time so I get home & do house work (and internet *wink*) then I help the kids with homework and make dinner, then we hang out as a family, then I get tired and run our of sewing motivation so the fabric hangs out in the kitchen another day! I have such a fabulous husband that he never says a word about it. I give myself two to three weeks, tops to intrude on the kitchen before I boot my own self out.

I've had this current pile for about three weeks now and that right there is nerve wracking. I got so sick of looking at that pile in the corner that I went to Wal-mart to get a few clear plastic bins. I loaded the kitchen fabric into one of them - What a relief! I'll hike the other two bins up to the attic "soon" and be so pleased to have the fabric monster under control...maybe.


How do you guys get & stay organized??

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Comment by Laurie on October 27, 2009 at 12:19pm
Believe it or not, I use to be organized. I've changed sewing rooms 3 times in the last 14 years and each time, I would dutifully organize fabric by colors in drawers. That hasn't happened in the last 6 years or more. I've got more fabric than I could ever use in 10 lifetimes and it's scattered all over my sewing "loft". Now, my biggest problem is remembering where I last saw a particular fabric that "I know I have". Seems the more I try to use up my old stash so I can buy new, I just never seem to make a dent in it!!!
Comment by Anita Edmonds on October 24, 2009 at 10:32am
Organized? Not even remotely, unfortunately . . . I've been sewing since I was 13, and am now pushing 60 rather closely, and I have the fabric to prove it! Seriously, though, I keep it all in [ahem, several] plastic tubs in the hall, except what I'm using. My theory is that seeing it everytime I go down the hall will prevent me from buying more . . . which isn't working so far. It doesn't help, either, that my mother is nearly 80 and doesn't sew anymore, and is busily transferring the contents of her attic (where she stores her fabric) to my house, regardless of whether I have room for it or not. And it's vintage stuff (in fact, a lot of it belonged to my grandmother), so how am I going to turn it down?

I do have a couple of tips, however: thread is stored in those clear plastic thread boxes you can buy at Michaels (and probably other places, but that's where I got mine). They stack, and I keep them where I can see what colors I've got before I buy any more. Also, all those little sewing things? Bobbins, pins, point turners, chalk, and so on—all those are in a couple of fishing tackle holders I got at WalMart. They're the flat ones with many little movable dividers and a handle on one side. I also have a couple for my embroidery thread and buttons.
Comment by Birdie on October 18, 2009 at 7:39pm
Vickie - it's good to know I'm not alone... too bad I don't have a free drawer to use. If I did I sure would take it! I bet I'd exceed it's boundaries in no time though. I just have to get better at this organizing! I had to laugh at your "fabric fix"! It is a sickness kind of, isn't it?

Caffeinlover - I actually only have a Kenmore sewing machine :( I'd love to have a serger though! Then I might be REALLY dangerous - who knows... : P
Comment by caffeinelover247 on October 18, 2009 at 4:03pm
I see a serger in the picture. Which one do you use?
Comment by Vickie on October 18, 2009 at 3:23pm
Hey Birdie,

Thanks so much for sharing about this. I too am not organized by nature but I love getting organized. It's really something I have to work at. I'm thinking that maybe you could hijack a kitchen drawer or part of a closet for your "current" projects. This might make you feel better about imposing on the family and give you more motivation to finish if you don't have to go all the way into the attic. I have done this and I find that I can just get a little "fix" of my fabric by just opening up the box and touching it for a few minutes. I'm sick with it, I know...... =)
Comment by Birdie on October 16, 2009 at 6:27pm
Great tip...quit buying so much fabric *L* I like it!! So neat, so tidy! Congrats on staying so organized. Some of my problem is that I have to use fleece and as you know, fleece is bulky! My other problem is that I frequent charity shops. So often, they have vintage fabrics that I find SO hard to resist! I know that if I don't get them then, it will be gone.

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