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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > How do you organize your projects? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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How do you organize your projects?
I'm drowning in fabric!
mowse
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mowse
Intermediate
AL
Member since 7/29/07
Posts: 32
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Date: 8/3/07 8:53 PM

I inherited through freecycle a massive amount of fabric and patterns that I totally love. I also have a fabric addiction. I also can't ever seem to *finish* anything.

so I was wondering how you organize things to make sewing more efficient when you have a lot of it to do.

I don't have a dedicated sewing area, so everything is in bags.

I was thinking about having a mass "cut it out" but then I'm not sure if that's going to actually *help*

I also have five children, including a 9 mos old, so my sewing stuff can't sit out unless I want it covered in mystery fingerprints.

any advice?

------
Micki
official sewer, scrapper, diaper changer, nurser, comforter and cooker to five kids! and another on the way!

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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CA USA
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Date: 8/3/07 9:53 PM

My fabric is stored in 30 gallon rubbermaid tubs with numbers on them. I have 3X5 cards with a swatch of each piece of fabric stapled to a card. The card will also have the length and width of the fabric, when and where it was purchased if I can remember and the content. Then the card is put on a ring. When I want to plan I get out the rings and look at swatches.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

Elemenopeo
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Elemenopeo
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Date: 8/3/07 11:40 PM

Sew a little every day - even if you are only sewing a single seam.

Don't precut - kids grow too fast, styles change, etc.

Pick easy, quick projects to get a lot sewn up.

Don't buy more fabric.

This is what I've been trying to do. I had an easier time sewing when my kids were littler. Now they are 13, 10 and 7 and I am busy being a chauffeur all the time. Plus I work part time. But I am determined to make a dent in my stash. It helps that my 10 yr old is starting to sew too and is using some up. I have two machines set up and she uses one. I had a machine set up when my kids were smaller too and never had trouble with it. Keep it unplugged & out of the way a bit, if possible.

------
Stefanie

Marita Kinnula
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Marita Kinnula
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Date: 8/4/07 1:05 AM

Micki,

absolutely, don't precut if you know your sewing time is very limited. Keep only one work in progress, it will eventually get done if you make it your goal.

Organize your fabrics and patterns as well as you can, bins with good closure would be great considering your baby.

...and don't sew when you're tired, you may end up taking it all apart the next day.

Marita

dfsews

dfsews  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/4/07 1:12 AM

I keep fabric in plastic tubs; I cut a little swatch off each piece of fabric and put them in a snack-size ziploc which I tape to the tub. I write a general catagory on the zip bag. And yes, I am aware that they make medicine for OCD; but I like things this way.

aunt saidee

aunt saidee
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Date: 8/4/07 4:24 AM

When I start a new project, I put EVERYTHING: pattern, notions, fabric, in a jumbo ziplock bag. I use this throughout the project, until a garment is at the stage that it can be hung up. The rest of it stays in the bag until I am finished.

------

Have you had your dressaday dose yet today? I'm worthless until I've had mine.

When in doubt, wear red. --Bill Blass

Traveling companion: Janome Gem Gold
LJ: kishisland


teagg
teagg
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/25/05
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Date: 8/4/07 5:55 AM

Another quick suggestion for sewing with littlies around, and needing/wanting to keep the machine out - when you've switched off the machine, also set the machine over to bobbin winding - that usually 'shuts' off the needle sewing aspect... so that if the little two-legged delights manage to plug in/switch on/etc, there is another level of 'security'.
(I apparently managed to move a high level stool, get down a set of keys, unlock and open the garage door, open the car door, find the choke (yes I am that old) and switch the engine on... all before the age of two!)
(my mother pointed out that if I was to do it again, I'd squash the ice cream in the freezer in front of the car in the garage, and would never have it again... so guess what... I NEVER did it again!!!!!!!!!!!)

hth
G

------
G
Sydney, Australia

Bobinator

Bobinator
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USA
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Date: 8/4/07 11:04 AM

Number One, Five kids and you're still sane!!!! Bravo!!! I also use the giant zip lock bags to store works in progress. I really like Marilyn's ideas and plan on using some of them. I love the big storage bins and put most if not all of my fabric in them. I used to be an avid quilter but I do that in the fall/winter so all of my cottons are in plastic storage and labled so I can find what I need when I need it. If I happen to purchase fabric on the roll/bolt that's where it stays and can be stacked up. I have the same bags with fabric as you do and I am slowly working my way through them. You will too. The easy projects get done first and then I move on. I would enlist some of those kiddos to help you "organize" if they are old enough or fill out the cards for you. My mother in law raised six and all helped out! Sister in law had 8 and all of hers helped out when she sewed and boy did she sew! So you can do it!

mowse
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mowse
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Date: 8/4/07 2:00 PM

thanks for the ideas! I think number one, I HAVE to finish the capris, even if they are a nasty butterick pattern. My gramma warned me. She's an expert seamstress and said she won't even buy those at 99 cents LOL

I have ADD, so i think that is a big issue with me starting and stopping. But I am being treated now, so let's see if I can't knock this stuff out.

between sewing and my scrapbooking obsession, it looks like a craft store exploded in a couple rooms in our house LMAO

one of my friends said she'd teach me how to quilt if I could teach her how to read a pattern...so we may have an even bigger crafting problem very soon hahaha

------
Micki
official sewer, scrapper, diaper changer, nurser, comforter and cooker to five kids! and another on the way!

Phaedra28
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Phaedra28
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CA USA
Member since 7/1/06
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Date: 8/4/07 3:32 PM

Space Bags!

When I have a pattern matched to fabric, I put it into a Space Bag, and then just grab and go when I have time. In fact, I usually have three or four projects in each bag -- they're coordinated in that either it's several fabrics that I'll make the same pattern with, or that they're an outfit, or just the same inspiration or season.

Also, Space Bags can go under even our very low-to-the-ground bed. AND into the linen cabinet. AND into the closets. AND -- well, they're all over the damn place, but they do work...

I'll also recommend against precutting. I've got a half dozen projects precut -- some a decade ago. Eventually, some of them will actually be sewn, but not anytime soon. Some I really regret, because I no longer need what I cut out, but would have made something else from the fabric.

Good luck!

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