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My Sewing Room

My sewing room. My office. My studio. Whatever I call it, here she is. It’s so nice to have my own space and now, two years since we moved here, I think it’s pretty close to done. Of course I’m always adding new bits and bobs and shuffling small things around, but the bones are in place I feel really good about my own little corner of our home. I though it would be fun to show it off! Starting with facing my sewing table. I often have another machine (or two) up on the table but you’ll almost always find the Pfaff I bought in high school and my old serger. Both are due for an upgrade, but they still work. I was pretty excited about finding this drawer set at the thrift store. A quick coat of yellow spray paint and it’s good to go and great for …

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How I Organize My Fabric

I have a rather large fabric stash (580 yds when I counted at the beginning of the year). I’m not ashamed. It makes me happy and inspires me. I love having a whole wall of fabric to pick from any time I want to sew. The vast majority of the fabric has been gifted to me or came from the thrift store for $2/yd so it also helps me to sew frugally. However, I also like to be organized and a stash like this certainly needs an system if it’s going to stay organized! I’ve toyed around with various organizational systems, both physical and digital, and have finally settled on a pretty dang simple method that works well for me. I really wanted to find a digital solution that I loved, but there were always flaws. If it was a digital system without photos (like an Excel spreadsheet) then my …

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How I Organize My Zippers

I love organizing things, but sometimes great organization solutions are slow to appear. I think I’ve finally hit upon a pretty dang good one for zippers and I’m excited to share it with you. My zippers were formerly all housed in a nice labelled tupperware together. The problem was, I accumulate zippers since I pick them up at the thrift store and to find the right color/length zipper, I’d have to dump the whole tupperware on the ground and sort through the zippers one by one. And then I reached a point where I had too many zippers to fit in the tupperware so it barely closed so the zippers were constantly spilling and it just wasn’t a good situation. I had a flash of genius (if I do say so myself) that allowed me to easily and visibly organize zippers by type and size. To organize your zippers in the …

How to Sew a Knitting Needle Holder for Circular Needles

I’ve tried a bunch of different ways to organize my circular knitting needles and have never been completely happy. My mom just gave me the rest of her knitting supplies which caused my circular needles to explode out of their most recent not-quite-good-enough configuration which precipitated some emergency sewing of a circular knitting needle holder as I’ve been working hard to get my studio more organized, not less! I really like the solution I came up with. It’s pretty similar to my double-point knitting needle holder with a slightly different configuration. I used some treasured fabric that I bought in Japan when I was in high school – about time I used it! To make the circular knitting needle holder you need: 2 rectangles of fabric 2 pieces of ribbon 2 zippers longer than the length of your fabric tailors chalk (I love chaco liners) straight edge Cut 2 rectangles of …

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My Sewing Pattern Storage

I hoard stash pretty much anything related to sewing. Patterns are no exception. I’ve been through a few different sewing pattern organization systems but I think I’ve finally hit on one that works well for me. It’s systematic, thematic, and allows for both easy perusal as well as easy growth (because, let’s be honest, I’m constantly adding new patterns to my collection). I store all my patterns in storage systems meant for storing comic books – cardboard boxes, tagboard backers, and plastic sleeves – and it works a charm. (This is not my original idea. I know I got the idea from another sewing blogger, but I can’t for the life of me remember who!) My organization system goes deeper than just “boxes”, so I thought I’d share in case it helps or inspires anyone else. Since I have a lot of patterns, I have them organized into boxes by type …

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Button Storage

I know not all sewists accumulate large stashes of sewing supplies, but I certainly do. Buttons have always been something that have stymied me a bit – how do I organize my button stash so that it is functional? I’ve stumbled onto a solution that makes things both organized and pretty, so I thought I would share! I have purchased almost none of the buttons in my stash – they are the sort of thing that I have inherited from friends and family (including from a couple of my grandmothers). Accordingly, they range from single buttons to sets of more than a dozen. I divided my buttons out by the number of buttons in the set, since I hardly want to dig through all of them if I know I need many of the same button. I put together one jar of single buttons, one jar of sets of 2-5, …

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I Am Organized

I really like to organize things. I was that kid that had the 100 piece marker set who spent more time pouring the markers on the ground and re-arranging them in the case than I did actually coloring with them. That’s still pretty close to an accurate description of me – I spend a lot of time organizing and arranging things because I enjoy doing so. When my sew-jo is lagging, I’ll pull something off the shelf – like my sewing books – and arrange them in a different order – thematically, alphabetically, by color, by height. The end result isn’t really what matters, its the process. I calm and organize my mind by physically organizing the things around me. And quite often the process of re-organizing makes me look at old objects in a new light. I’ll realize I never read that book on 1940’s fashion or I’ll have …

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Tutorial: Zippered Roll for Double Point Knitting Needles

I know I’m not the only one who struggles to keep certain things organized. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love to organize things, especially craft supplies – for example my bias tape collection is neatly organized by both width and color. But somehow my drawer of knitting supplies is always out of control and one of the biggest offenders is my double point needles (dpns) that always seem to fall out of my regular knitting needle case. So, I sewed an organizer that zips shut to show those dpns who’s boss! To make the pouch, you will need 2 identical zippers, some fabric, and a length of ribbon. The exact measurements are up to you (and I’ll talk you through them below), but for reference, I used 2 – 16″ zippers, 2 pieces of fabric that were 12″ x 32″, and 2 pieces of 28″ ribbon. The zippers will determine how …

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Closet ReOrganization

I have a small closet in my bedroom. And I have to share it with my boyfriend. This has been a point of contention between us since we moved in together, 1 1/2 years ago. We’re both only-children, so sharing space isn’t a strong point for either of us. He thinks that he should get half the closet since it’s half his home. I think he should just get rid of the clothes he doesn’t wear and then there would be plenty of space for me to take over the closet. We had to agree to disagree for the sake of our relationship.

How to Mark a Book for Trade or Sell in Ravelry

While organizing my knitting pattern library in Ravelry, I noticed that there is the option to mark pattern books and magazines as available for sale or trade, but it took me a bit of mucking about to figure out how to do so. I put together this little tutorial to help anyone that might be curious to do so themselves.

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My Stash is Out of Control

As part of my Organize January mission, and inspired by the stashbusting sewalong, I decided to take every piece of fabric I own off the shelf, measure it, organize it into piles, fold it back on the shelf, and make a spreadsheet quantifying my stash. Oh my goodness I have a lot of fabric. I have 254 yards of stashed fabric. Even I will admit that it’s a bit excessive. If I don’t count fabric that I have been given and don’t count fabric that I’ve had since highschool, it leaves me with 100 yards. That’s still a lot. So, I’m putting it out to the world that I’m happy to share my fabric! I’ve photographed everything and listed a description and yardage in the same order as the picture.  So, if anything catches your eye, let me know!!

Thrift Store Scores

Still looking for furniture, I went to the thrift store again on the way home from a not-too-long day in the lab. Guess what I found! The teacups that match the Corelle plates that I found last week! I found a cute little mid-century dresser that fits perfectly in the one little gap in our sewing room/office/guest room. Adam wants a way to organize his office supplies better and a place to set the printer that isn’t the floor. I put drawer organizers in the top shelf. I bought him some expanding folders, but if that doesn’t work for him, I have ideas about how to turn the bottom two shelves into a hanging file-folder. We’ll see what the verdict is when he gets home and gets used to it. Finally, I found this cute basket to hold my butcher paper, yarn swift, roll of buckram, rolled oilcloth, and wrapping …

Stuff Sack for Inflatable Mattress

I’m lucky enough to live in a 2 bedroom apartment, but because I live in San Francisco, the 2nd bedroom is tiny and has to serve as my sewing room, Adam’s office, and our guest room. To make this possible, we bought a really nice inflatable mattress that is comfortable enough that even our parents can sleep on it. Unfortunately, after we took it out of its nylon stuff sack for the first time, we have never been able to fold it back small enough to fit again. Because it hasn’t fit in a sack, it’s been shoved awkwardly from one closet to another, never staying together, and in constant risk of puncture. I decided to sew a stuff sack for the inflatable mattress out of some gifted upholstery fabric in my stash. Not much exciting to share on the construction end – It’s a big rectangle. I serged the …