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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Storage ideas anyone?

I wish I could claim some of the ingenious ideas for my sewing room storage techniques I use as some of just pure out-side-of-the-box-thinking which to me is nothing more than genius!

Here are a few ideas to share that I've read on other blogs or stumbled across....

Pattern storage solutions:
What do you use?  I've tried a four-drawer file cabinet which worked but since it wasn't in my actual sewing space didn't' work quite as well for me as my cardboard comic book storage boxes that are in constant view--yes I am a visual learner.  Can you believe that manufacturer's build boxes for comic books?  I had no idea until another reviewer (sorry, I don't remember who you are or I would give you FULL CREDIT for your genius idea!) posted this on her blog for a storage solution for an abundance of sewing patterns.  I just need to take a few minutes to make cute labels for the boxes!




Next up sewing machine needles: I have to admit to two phobias, one is not related to sewing at all and one is!  I must change the dish cloth I use to wash dishes/clean the counters and tables every time I need to regardless of the last time I used it.  Yes, I know crazy in some people's mind but I hate musty-smelling cloths or the idea of bacteria growing in a dish cloth that will wipe my counters or tables.  How do I deal with this phobia?  I have a LOT of dish cloths and that works for me!
Phobia number two is a fresh needle in my machine for every project.  Now maybe some of you don't think this is necessary but I've had more than one sewing machine technician tell me the best way to prolong the life of your machine is to use a quality sewing needle and to change it regularly.  My tradition is to change it with every new project and along with that task, I also clean the bobbin run and oil the machine.  Too much?  Well, it makes me feel better when I hear my Bernina purr after a cleaning and new needle I think that yes, I too like to be well fed and pampered, enough said no?


If you've read my blog, you know I mainly sew garments but occasionally create a quilt.  To keep my special sewing projects separate, I put my quilting projects in separate containers away from my garments.


For my upcoming garments, that is the ones that I have finally cut out and am committed to, those are stored in individual containers.  I finally decided that I spend too much time at my cutting table deciding which pattern to use for a fabric and 99% of the time I go back to my original instinct.  Just to save time and keep myself moving forward in an effort to reduce my every growing stash, I cut out and prepare the pattern pieces and fabric, put in a container with a lid along with the pattern instructions and those garments are one of the next ones in line I reach for when contemplating what to  sew next.  No over thinking necessary!


I would love to hear how you organize your sewing space!  Do share!
Sue

14 comments:

  1. Sue, I think we function on a pretty similar wavelength :D. I'm right there with you on the clean dishcloth for every use (I admit I'm overly cootie conscious, but I'm comfortable with that personal quirk), as well as a new needle for every project and cleaning my machine after completing projects. I'm very orderly & organized in the sewing room --- guess I should do a post on my sewing space sometime. I want to be able to find whatever I need in a moment's time --- I'd much rather be sewing than searching for notions or supplies. My cut out and ready to sew projects are kept in separate low, stackable rectangular plastic baskets. I also use a lot of those shoe box size cardboard photo boxes for miscellaneous notions & supplies because they're so easy to label and stack nicely on shelves. I believe I can never have too many shelves, or too many drawers in my sewing space.

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    1. Hi Ginny! I wish I could say I am always neat and orderly in my sewing room, as sometimes I let things get messy and then I'm made at myself! I'd love to see some of your storage solutions!
      Sue

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  2. I've suddenly got too many patterns. Many were free with magazines and are a size lower than I need and often too youthful; my daughters are not yet at that stage of sewing, and don't have space. Just yesterday, I bought cardboard boxes from Ikea -they look a touch like the brown magazine boxes you have - and I'm using them to store those patterns. I put them into a freezer bag first, in groups of 3. They will be stored out of my sewing room ready if my daughters ever want them . I also bought a trolley and intend using that for current project/s.
    I try to look after my machines but don't always succeed quite as well as you do. If like to get where you and ginny are so I can spend more time seeing and less time looking for things!

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    1. I hear you Anne! When I let things get too messy as they do once in a while, I get upset as I spend so much time looking for supplies that it cuts into my creative time! I really like your idea of putting patterns in freezer bags! I'll have to try that!

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  3. I've suddenly got too many patterns. Many were free with magazines and are a size lower than I need and often too youthful; my daughters are not yet at that stage of sewing, and don't have space. Just yesterday, I bought cardboard boxes from Ikea -they look a touch like the brown magazine boxes you have - and I'm using them to store those patterns. I put them into a freezer bag first, in groups of 3. They will be stored out of my sewing room ready if my daughters ever want them . I also bought a trolley and intend using that for current project/s.
    I try to look after my machines but don't always succeed quite as well as you do. If like to get where you and ginny are so I can spend more time seeing and less time looking for things!

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    1. Anne, I hear you! I have so many patterns! Those sales at JoAnn's and Hancock's are too much for me! I purchase too many that I never seem to use when those sales occur! I am trying to go through my pattern and fabric stash every six months to determine if I was having a lucid moment when i purchased the pattern and asking myself if I will EVER realistically use the thing! If not, into the charity box it goes! It doesn't hurt nearly as bad if I only paid a dollar for it! Although STILL it is a WASTE!!!
      I will tell you that when I am organized sewing is much more enjoyable!

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  4. I am impressed with how organized you are! Great ideas and thanks for sharing.

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  5. Hi! Here's how I organize machine needles: I use tomato pin cushions. The pin cushions are split into sections by thread--that's how you buy them. On each section, I write a needle size with a sharpie and the needles go into those sections. I have two pin cushions for this. One is pink and it's for ball-point needles and the other is red. Then I don't have to scramble for a magnifying glass to try to read the size on the needle. I also change needles for every project, but sometimes I switch needles in the middle of a project to mend or sew something else and then I want my project needle back in the machine, so the pin cushions are a good place to keep them. I got this idea from Threads magazine. I also use freezer bags for patterns. That way, you can fit your notes, your tracings, and anything else, all in one place.

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    1. Hi Julie! Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas!

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  6. Comic book boxes? Brilliant!!! Heaven knows, I need to do something. My sewing room is chaos. Not even organized chaos. It is starting to drive me crazy, but it overwhelms me. Getting my patterns off the floor though could be an excellent start. :)

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    1. Hi Robin, i HEAR and FEEL your pain! My sewing room was so bad that I spent about 4 solid hours cleaning. I am typically pretty good at cleaning up after every project is completed but once in a while i have a stretch of laziness that just wrecks havoc in my sewing space! Sometimes just putting my patterns away helps immensely and with the storage boxes, this will be much easier!

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  7. Are you my long lost sister? I thought I was the only dish cloth freak. Every evening I hang the used dish cloth and towel in the laundry room to dry and a new one is laid out for the next day...... I am also a frequent needle changer. I have just organized my needles in a 24 compartment clear box (like a tackle box), it makes looking for needles so much easier. I also store all my presser feet in they same type box. Keep organizing, I love to see your ideas. Bonnie @ sewplus.blogspot.com

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    1. Bonnie, you made me smile! I love your tackle box idea and will have to try that! I appreciate your comment!

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