Friday, July 1, 2011


I'm curious about the habits of other people who sew/craft/knit, etc. Do most people have multiple projects in the 'actively working on' category? Or, do most people see one project through start to finish before beginning another?

Those around me know that I typically have multiple projects going on at one time. It's just the way I roll, and it works for me, or at least I like to think it does. In fact, my reading habits are similar. Currently I am reading Devil in the White City, Fit for Real People, and a book on my iPad (that I downloaded FREE from my local library system using an App called 'Overdrive' about nutrition. Perhaps I have ADD tendencies?

Anyhow, sometimes working on so many projects leads to disorganization in the studio, which I don't care for. Clean and organized = peaceful and satisfying for me, and I find it increases my productivity.

If you have several projects happening at once, how do you keep them organized? Well, I've been working on a system to solve that issue, because I don't like projects piled around the studio. Also, the studio serves as a guest bedroom, so I need a solution that makes it easy to accommodate guests.

For large projects, I have two large, rectangular, wicker baskets with liners. For large projects such as redoing a room, I put everything I'm using for a protect, ie, fabric, ribbon, thread, pillow forms, etc, in one basket, which I can then stash under my sewing table behind the curtain I made to hide that area.

Recently I moved this out of the center of the room, because I was always tripping on my assistant.  She likes to stretch out while she is "assisting".

For small projects as well as mending that needs done, I picked up some small, white, rectangular bins from Ikea. They were about $7.00 each, and are the perfect size for smaller projects such as an item of clothing, a bag, or just a pattern paired with the fabric for which it is intended. For example, in one of my bins, there is a skirt that has the hem pinned, with the hem tape and thread included, as well as a pair of DD's shorta that need mended, and a shirt that needs a couple buttons reattached. Perfect bin to grab when we want to watch a movie, so I can keep my hands busy. I also keep handy a small hand sewing kit that I put together in a little tin. In it I keep needles, thimbles, button thread, thread wax, snaps, those little sticky patches for my fingers for when i hand sew, small scissors, etc. It's grab 'n go ready.
Three of the 'project bins' on the daybed in the studio.

The small bins are small enough to stash under the worktable, under the bed, or on the closet shelf, so it is easy to keep things tidy in the studio.

 We also have lots of art supplies that both DD and I use when the mood strikes - Prismacolor markers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, drawing pencils, paintbrushes, and paints. The paints are stored in a plastic ArtBin case that fits nicely in a cubby in my desk. For the pencils, markers, and brushes, I found small, inexpensive, metal paint buckets at the paint store to hold these items. It makes them easy to carry, easy to find, easy to store, and easy to put right back where they belong, in their individual little cubby hole. The cubbies that store these are repurposed from back in DD's younger days, when they stored her toys & stuffed animals. I'd rather have built-ins, but these are working just fine, and at no extra expense.

Love looking out the window when I sew.  I watched as a new house was put up directly across the street, and now I'm watching the pool construction.

The steamer has a rather permanent spot in the studio bathroom, but when company comes it goes into the closet. The ironing board stays up almost all the time in the studio also. I use it most days, not only for sewing, but because I like cotton, rayon and linen. A lot. The ironing board gets stashed in the closet also when guests come.

One of my favorite bloggers for her organizational style is Karen at Sew Many Ways. I am in love with her sewing space!

Everyone has an organizational style that works for them. What is yours like? What is your favorite way to organize you sewing/craft room? I'd love to hear your ideas and see your pictures.

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Oh Andrea...........way too neat and organized for me. I also work on multiple projects and I try to keep them in fabric bags rather than bins since I can usually take some of my projects "on the road"If my work area was as neat as yours I'm afraid I would kill anyone who dropped so much as a pin on the floor. Every few weeks I re invent the bags as I finish a project. Crystal must be a really good assistant

  2. LOL, I admit to liking neat surroundings, but I really have let my hair down over the years. And see that picture of the workspace with the curtain? That's Crystal's favorite place to hang out, but I filled it with plastic bins of fabric. :o} Guess I need to do some sewing to make room in her hideout. She is a sweetie, our Crystal.

  3. I am currently reading a book about creativity called Art at the Speed of Life. It encourages you to work on multiple projects at the same time and,best of all, don't clean up. The stuff you leave out from one project could be the spark you need to start the next.
    I don't know if the book has helped with my creativity but it sure makes me feel better about the condition of my workspace.

  4. Well, Janlynn, I'm good on the first part. I leave the ironing board out, does that count? ;)

  5. Another multiple project person here, definitely! I'm trying (and mostly far....) to hold my sewing projects down to no more than 3 at a time. I know the potential for disaster (and UFO's) if I let it grow beyond that.

    I'm also a fan of bins & wicker baskets. The downside of my sewing room is how tiny it is. I have a whole room, but it is tiny (about 9x10). AND it's an attic room, with slanted walls, so space is very precious.

    I do need to find more bins for smaller projects - your post is a good push to make that happen - I need to dig through the basement & see what I can find to repurpose up to the sewing room! I'm still working on getting things organized.

    Oh...the other thing is, I let everything overflow when I'm mid-project. No such thing as daily cleanup....ain't gonna happen. But when a project ends, I clean up everything, so that I can start fresh.

    Great post, btw!

  6. Thanks, Jill. I saw in your post about the pattern organizing a closet that looks like it was built into one of the angled walls. Our house up in PA had a great attic room, being a Cape Cod style. It had lots of storage space that was accessed by little doors cut into the walls. There were several angular storage areas behind this walls. Perhaps you have hidden potential in your attic?


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