6 January 2017

Stashbusting Sewalong 2017: January theme - Sewing Organisation

I know I'm a bit behind in blogging my 2016 makes. OK, make that a LOT behind, but 2017 is a new year, and to kick off January, I am hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong, with the theme of "Sewing Organisation." I'm determined to get myself organised for this year, and I hope that some of the links I have later in this post can help you to get organised too. If you want to find out more about the Stashbusting Sewalong, be sure to join our Facebook Group where all the action happens.

With the end of year craziness that inevitably happens each and every year, it's great to take some time out at the start of a new year, and think about your sewing plans. I like to give my sewing studio a bit of a clean up, and take stock of what I would like to sew in the coming year. Having gotten myself a non sewing related job near the end of last year, my sewing time evaporated overnight. This has made it even more important to get organised to make time to fit any sewing in at all, but more about that later in the post.

The first thing that I do to get myself organised is to have a well managed sewing space.

Not everyone can have a dedicated sewing space, but if you do, it's so much easier and more relaxing to sew when you know you don't have to pack everything up just so your family or flat mates have somewhere to eat dinner. I am fortunate to have a dedicated space that was built to my requirements. My machines have permanent places, and all my supplies have a home that I can (usually) find them in. I have a half written blog post about my sewing studio - watch our for it soon. I've just taken the photos for that post, so I'll be finishing it up to share it with you for the Stashbusting Sewalong this month.

Stash organisation.
One of the things that the Stashbusters group talks about a lot, is what we have in our stash. How many metres do we have, how many have we bought, how many have we used? If you don't know what's in your stash to start with, how do you know what you want to make? I've tried a few ways to keep track of what I have, but usually just end up searching through my fabric when an idea strikes. I'm about to embark on a thorough count of my stash, so I'll probably do a bit of reorganising while I'm at it, and maybe even try to implement some kind of system so I don't have to recount my stash each time I want to know how big it is!

Here's what I tried to do last year, but this is also as far as I got with my entire stash. It relies on cutting a little sample, and if I don't have an odd shaped piece or a scrap to begin with, I'm loathe to cut into my piece of fabric.

For those who use an iPhone or iPad, the Cora app will help you keep track of your stash without the need for cutting samples or having paper to write things down on. Since I'm an Android girl myself, this isn't currently an option for me to use. If you're in the same situation as me, let Helene, the developer know. She has a survey that you can fill in here to let her know that you are interested, and add some feedback too.

To help you be more mindful about the fabrics that you have and how you use them, Helene is also hosting a giveaway during the month of January. She has some different goodies to give away each week during the month. Head on over to her blog post about fabric resolutions to find out more about how to enter, and what she has on offer.

What to sew?

Now for the fun part. What do you want to sew with all that stash? Are you a slap dash sewist who makes up whatever they feel like whenever they feel like it, plans constantly changing every time you see a new pattern or unique piece of fabric, or finished garments not coordinating with anything else in your wardrobe? If you need help with your planning, you might want to consider a more wholistic approach to your sewing, and make use of a wardrobe planner. And once you know what you need to fill those wardrobe gaps, or just grow your wardrobe, a sewing organiser could be your new best friend to keep track of all those plans. Here's some links to help you out.

Free wardrobe planners

UnFancy wardrobe planner

Blank Slate Patterns Wardrobe Planner

Anushka Rees Wardrobe Planner

And to help you plan your sewing projects, here is a free downloadable sewing Planner

Escapades in Sewing

and a few different printed ones that you can buy

110 Creations Sewing Notebooks

Colette Sewing Planner

plus, a sewing calendar that you can download and print for yourself

Thanks to Crystal from Sewing Vortex for doing all the research and sending me these links. She has some examples of her 110 Creations Sewing Notebooks in use in her post from December.

I like to fill out a costing sheet for everything that I make, but it relies heavily on being bothered to fill it out, usually after the fact. I could of course do this the other way round and use it as a planning tool though.

But, how do we make the most of our sewing time?

LLadybird has a post that is often quoted as an example of how to maximise your sewing time with the same 24 hours in a day that the rest of us mere sewing mortals have.

I don't really have anything to add to what Lauren has said about making the most of our time. I think swapping Candy Crush time for sewing time would help me. Although we are all in different situations, there's some good tips for all of us in Lauren's post.

Plans for organising myself in 2017
So, what do I plan on doing to get myself organised for the year ahead?

Firstly, now that I've finished cleaning up my studio, I'll publish my blog post about it. I'm joining in the Group stash count for the Stashbusting Sewalong. We're going to count up a communal stash total, and then try to reduce it by 10% over the course of the year. I counted a lot of my stash a few years ago when I first joined in with stashbusting, so I'm hoping it won't take too long to finalise the count. The only fabrics that haven't already been measured are those that I considered to be "work fabric". Now that I have cut back on client sewing though, I don't think I can justify having fabric that isn't my personal stash (with some minor exceptions), so I'm going to count it all and see what I have (eeek!) I won't know if I can achieve a 10% reduction unless I know what I have in the first place!

Most of my stash lives here
When that's all out of the way, I'm going to look through the (many) lists that I keep making of things that I'd like to sew, and prioritise my sewing, pull out the fabric, and put it together with a detailed sketch of what I would like to make with it, or a pattern if I already have it. That way, when I have time, I can just pull the top thing off the pile, and get to work, whether it be making a pattern, cutting and sewing a toile, or getting right to it and starting on the actual garment. Of course there will be reshuffling of priorities during the year, but at least I'll have a plan, where currently I have none.

Keeping track of my stashbusting efforts:
Purchases and sewing
I'm not going to set myself any unrealistic goals this year. My list will only have a few items to start with. I'm planning on re-evaluating when seasons change, and leaving myself sewing time to add items that fit the Stashbusting Sewalong themes.

Speaking of which, the themes for the rest of the year have now been decided, along with hosts for each month. Happy sewing!
February - Vintage Heather BMarch - Learn a New Technique JudyApril - Dresses LeilaMay - TV / Movie / Novel inspiration SarahJune - Feared fabric or pattern CrystalJuly - Deep Stash EmilyAugust - Using Trim / Embellishments ElizabethSeptember - Tops KatieOctober - Christmas gifts or decorations Sue and Sonja
November - Knit Fabrics RosemaryDecember - Scrap busting Heather D

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. I've organised my fabrics first and now starting with my patterns and sewing magazines. The hardest part will be the organisation on my laptop.