Sewing Vloggers

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

So much happening!

So much has been going on in the studio the past couple weeks.  I've gotten on the post holiday declutter/re-org bandwagon in my sewing space. I've reclaimed the area from under the stairway. It was a catchall with everything from joint compound to Christmas decorations underneath filling its two large shelves. 95% of that is gone to better homes and it is nearly all sewing now. My patterns have been culled and re-org'd and my ancient pattern boxes, still functional, have spiffy new graphics to cover up the messy old lists of what was inside. That info no longer applied with all of the purging been done over the 30 years I have owned these boxes. They have served me very well, still holding together strongly despite being stuffed to the gills at times. This is my very un-complicated, highly functional method of organizing my patterns. I sort by type. Period.  Why would I sort by company if I really want to just look for a pants pattern or spend time enjoying  blouse designs? I want to make that top again. Was it a McCalls or a new Look?  Why would I remove envelopes, corral them into binders, put the guts into separate manila foldsers which still need to be organized in some fashion and then require a two part brain maneuver to find anything?  I can see the day I can no longer search for a pattern and someone finds all those binders and do you really think they would go looking for manila envelopes to match them up to?  Why would I take valuable sewing time to imput data into my phone and look at tiny thumbnails when all I have to do is walk over and grab a box? The simplicity here is what works for me, so easy to find and browse.  Whatever works for you is fine, too. Oh, I have tried those other systems. 

I am doing this big clean up now and also hope to paint and tape sheet rock and do some major decorating later so this is a big project. My  sewing may slow down for a bit but I will take you along the journey. My next move is to do my layout on graph paper and finalize that.  

This is the re-do of threads and BTY trims. The left lazy susan is all my serger threads. Right is all my 100% cotton threads.  The blue cutlery tray holds all my fine weight threads. Underneath, on the sides and around the back  are all my general sewing threads, organized by color in clear plastic thread totes you can't see.  In the big red tote is my large collection , fills the tub, of Paternayan wool embroidery yarns. I use those a lot in repairs and mending.  The two boxes in the middle are solid oak, weigh a ton and have lovely DMC logos on top under the spinners. They are very vintage and part of my legacy from my dear sewing friend,  Ima, who I have mentioned here many times. The spinning baskets were made by my Amish friend in NY, love them. 

I decided to take my interfacings and similar and move them from a big trash bucket to these lovely baskets, again, made by my dear Amish friend in NY. Don't they look lovely? They help hide the water tank for now. I plan to get some wicker screens to help that eyesore later. 

There is lots more to do here, lots.  Hubs is on board and being very very helpful. We will move the cutting table and do a bunch of work and he is excited. It won't happen overnight. Goal is to get this done before garden time. Fingers crossed!!!


Did you know Joann fabrics is now carrying 100% cotton lawn? I live near a "super" Joann. It is very clean and well managed and has , not all, but some knowledgeable staff. Remember I live in quilt, not sewing country. Anyhoo, I went in a couple weeks ago to pick up a pattern and low and behold this lovely cotton lawn was in with their "premium cottons" . I figure there were about 80 bolts including about 20 solids. Some of the prints reminded me of Nani Iro designs which I am sure was intentional. The quality is impressive, so extremely soft and lovely, beautiful colors and co-ordinates. I bought enough to make a lovely blouse for next spring when I get to it. I know this isn't in all stores but if you get a lot of "premium cottons" in your big JAs, you may be seeing this.  They were all set apart but with the premium cottons and a great price, I thought. Gorgeous. 


And what is this winged thing she doth seweth? You tell me! I am so frustrated with this pattern but I will get into that when I go do the review. I had to walk away and that is why I went full bore on the re-org. See those two wings. They were stitched together at the back seam as directed to make a shawl collar. Guess what? They are four and a half inches short of making it around the back neckline. All dots and marks match.  No pieces missing. She screams and curses! I did get back to it and made it match with the addition of an interfaced  bias piece where needed. More later. I can't walk away from a Pendleton wool jacket. 


Another great find for the sewing room I would highly recommend. It will literally "glow" you away. 

A couple of weeks ago we went to visit our daughter. We have the code to open the garage and walk right in. When we opened the door is was like walking onto another planet. I had never been in a room so bright. It was like being on the beach in the Caribbean at high noon. What was going on? The light was pure, clear and white, like the daylight bulbs that I use in my sewing space but so much whiter and brighter. You had to see this to believe it. She told us she got them at Home Depot. A couple days ago we were there and the lights  were there and on sale for buy one, get one free and we did. We put one in the garage and one in my sewing space. Just amazing. I will have to take pics but haven't had the chance. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND these LED lights. You can adjust the fins to direct the light. At first you will not be able to look at them but after a small bit you won't even know the lights are there. But the room, you just won't believe.....brightest, purest light I have ever seen. Yes, they are ugly, but dang, they are great. The "after" picture on the box is accurate.  Happy sewing.......................Bunny


  1. I commend your pattern organization but I'm wondering where you put the multiple-garment patterns. What if you like the blouse and the pants in a pattern, where do you file the pattern? I keep an excel list of all my patterns but I'm with you on the manila envelope/binder thing.

    Thanks for the light info; I can certainly use one or two of them and will go to Home Depot when I can dig out of today's snowstorm.

    1. I think your storm is headed our way, 6-10 inches tomorrow nite! I have two boxes for co-ordinates. There aren't many in there at at all. I have a handful of TNT patterns. They get copied to oak tag and have a special place where they hang on the wall. They get reused all the time.

  2. I feel the same about pattern organization. So much of it is complicated, pricy, time consuming. This is what’s worked for me for years: I have them arranged in two rows in two drawers of an antique dry sink. They flow left to right, front to back, top drawer to bottom drawer. They flow in a logical sequence: Knits, knits/wovens, wovens. Within each group they are arranged by tops, bottoms, and wardrobes (more than one garment in the envelope). After that arrangement is outerwear, swimwear, menswear, and finally accessories and crafts. Within each grouping, pattern companies are grouped. This system works very well for me and no containers are required.

  3. I remember those pattern boxes! I May have had one years ago, then I moved to plastic drawer bins and now have bins under the sewing/cutting table. Yours made me nostalgic! And I’m glad my closest Joanne’s is more than 60 miles, because I DO NOT need any more fabric! In a de clutter season myself.

  4. Yes, some of those systems can get to be a hobby of itself. Sort of like buying fabric stash & tools can be its own hobby.
    I do my patterns like you do, organize by garment type and in those same type boxes. Well except they're all full so more are precariously perched on the shelf in front of the boxes. But I do keep a spreadsheet of pattern numbers as it's saved me from buying duplicates. Far easier to search on that while reading blogs or looking at the new offerings on line than rooting through the boxes.
    Nice work on claiming the space under the steps, can't wait to see what you do with the rest of the room!
    I'd be tempted to trash that jacket, but Pendleton wool?!?! Nope, after appropriate foul language, I'd take the time to figure out a fix too. I suspect you not only saved it, but have turned it into a feature.


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