Sunday, July 31, 2011

Infinity Scarf

























Karen of  Sew Many Ways is hosting "Make a Gift on the 25th". Participants Procrastinators agree to make a gift on the 25th of each month, then show n' tell on her blog. True to form, I was late to the party and made my gift on the 30th. :)

I used Karen's tutorial for my scarf.  It was a quick and easy project. I made mine longer and wider than Karen did, because my fabric was sheer and very lightweight. It turned out great.

Click the button below the post to see what everyone is making.  Next month I swear I'll try not to procrastinate!

In other sewing news, I am taking Sarah Veblen's Bust Fit course on Pattern Review.  I made up a muslin today of a bodice with princess seams.  Somewhere between the tissue fitting and the muslin sewing, the side front panels became too big.  I don't know how I did it, but I will investigate it in a couple of days when I get back to it.  I have some more pressing things that need my attention these next couple days.

Thanks for stopping by,


Andrea



sew many ways

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Injured Reserve, A Cooking Edification Plan, and a Sewing Book Review.

It's been an event filled week here, with a paucity of sewing, unfortunately. I'm thinking about sewing, though!

Yesterday I began a Bust Alteration Class on Pattern Review. It is being taught by Sarah Veblen, and has been great so far. Lots of good information, and Sarah is great at answering questions. I have decided to put my wrap dress on hold and work on a shoulder princess seamed top. Sarah suggested that would be the best fit for me with my particular challenges. So I've picked a couple out and will post on that soon.

One of the events keeping me out of the studio is this:












My assistant is most unhappy about this development, as it means she does not get to make her usual morning neighborhood rounds. Oh well, this too shall pass.

I wanted to share a project that my girlfriends and I are working on for one of our friends. We have a dear friend, Denise. She is a wonderful person as is her husband. I've known them for years, as her husband and I went to school together. Denise and I and several of the women involved in this project all sit on a development committee for a charitable organization, so we get to see each other often. We know each other's families, our kids have gone to school together - some still do - and we all look out for each other in different ways. Denise and the other ladies brought food to my family and checked in with my daughter and her teachers when I was away taking care of my mother in her last weeks of life. We are all like sisters to each other.  We are each other's chosen sisters.

Anyhow, back to Denise. She cannot cook, beyond making toast. Her hubby has crazy work hours, and can't always be there to cook, so they eat out a lot. She truly wants to learn, so we have accepted the challenge with pleasure. We had her make a list of dishes her family loves, and we will begin with those.

So here is the plan. We will get together periodically, cook a meal together to show her how it is done, and giver her all the recipes. We will make enough to have the girls over, and enough for her to take home to her family. I'm really looking forward to our first Cooking with Denise Girl's Night. Someone will bring the wine, and we will all clean up together.

The next part of the plan began today. I will be periodically making cooking videos for Denise, mostly with easy dishes and crock pot dishes. She specifically requested crock pot ideas because once school begins, life goes one hundred miles an hour, and she is away all day some days. Denise does not know that I'm doing the videos - that's a surprise. Today my daughter and I made a video of us making Chili. It seems strange making Chili when it's anything but outside, but since the knee is on the fritz, I'm hanging out in a well air-conditioned house. Lauren makes a mean beef stew, so I will have her tape that one.

Part three of the project will take a little longer. All the girls are collecting their family's favorite recipes, complete with notes for Denise. We are putting them all together in a recipe book for her, and we will each also get a copy. This is a surprise for Denise, and we hope to have it done for Christmas.

Part four: Organizing Denise and Bobby's kitchen. This falls under my purview, and I can't wait. I love to organize, and love to shop. Denise sent me pics of her kitchen tools, pots, pans, etc. We have some serious shopping to do. I see a post on kitchen organization in my future!

Now for a book review:

While I have been laying low this week, I've read another sewing book. I picked up a used book from Amazon, POWER SEWING STEP BY STEP, by Sandra Betinza. I really enjoyed this picture heavy book with well written explanations of techniques. Some techniques were new to me, some weren't, and some I've done, not knowing they were 'official' techniques. It is a book that I plan to keep on my studio bookshelf for reference. There are some techniques that I may not do often and want a refresher before I dive in. Unfortunately, the book had some missing pages, so I will be returning it for a refund. In the meantime, I ordered a new one from Tauton. My only criticism of this book is that some of the clothing styles in the book are outdated. This is not a deal breaker, though, the book is well worth having on the bookshelf.

It's time to go eat that Chili!

Until next time,

Andrea

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's a Wrap

Ok, so I've put some distance between me and the darts, and I've calmed down.  It was a great weekend with two separate birthday parties - one for one of my closest GF's who turned the big 5-0.  I'm trailing her, and not by a whole lot.  Anyway, I did some cleaning and organizing this weekend, and I am ready to start fresh on a new project.

I have been wanting to make a wrap dress for a while.  I even have the fabric for it, which will carry me well into the fall season because of the great fall colors.  Fall here doesn't mean coolish days - it just means you begin to wonder if it's ever going to cool off.

The fabric on the bottom right is the fabric slated to turn into a wrap dress.  I have been holding on to Butterick 5593 for a while, looking at it, reading lots of reviews, etc.   Debbie Cook has done at least 2 or 3 successful iterations of this that look awesome on her, here, and here are a couple.  But given the trouble I have fittin' the girls and my narrow back,  I was looking for something with more seam lines or pleats to provide extra fitting opportunities for the bust.

Enter Vogue 8646.  With only 3 reviews on PR, it's not going to be voted most popular, and each sewist had minor fit challenges.  I have read their reviews, and hopefully learned from their issues.  This pattern has a D cup pattern, which already puts it a little closer to the ballpark for me.  Next, it has front shoulder pleats, and without yet cracking the envelope, I am seeing a good opportunity to expand things there.  In my head, at least, it'll help.  Also, 8646 has upper back darts and back waistline darts, all good stuff for moi.

I have convinced myself that 8646 is the winner, and I can't wait to start the fitting process.  But right now I've got to run, I am supposed to be meeting the Mr. in 10 minutes and I haven't left the house yet.  :)

Hope your Monday is marvelous!  Thanks for stopping in today.

Until later,

Andrea

EDITED 7/28/11 to correct Vogue pattern numbers. A

Friday, July 22, 2011

Diabolical Darts From the Depths of Darkness

Seriously, WTH? These #¥€$&!%# darts are driving my crazy.

Now, I realize it has been some time since I've sewn darts. In fact, the last time I made a top for myself, it was back in the 80's. Before I was a mom. Way before. Before the girls grew irrevocably to an obscene size. Back then, I was sporting a D or two, 32 to 34. Add in the fact that the '80's ushered in big styles - shoulder pads in oversized blouses. And don't forget the big hair to match. No problem for the well endowed sewist.

Fast forward a couple+ decades. Those DD's are now GG's (aka I's here in the US), and I just want a few shirts that fit without paying the tailor to retro-fit RTW.


Enter New Look 6483. A nice little sleeveless top in linen. What more could a Floridian ask for in late July? (Well, a pool in the yard, but we're talking sewing here.)

Five, yes, five muslins later, in a range of sizes, I decide that I'm ready to cut my ff - lime green linen. So I cut and sew, rip out and resew, rip out and resew, rip - well, you get the idea. After several failed attempts at making nice darts, I decided the only option was to use two darts on each side. You see, I started with a size 10, and have a 9" difference between my high bust and full bust. The darts were so deep, making it difficult to form a nice dart without 'dog-earing' the end closest to the bust point. The wide part of the dart at the ss measured 3" after it was sewn.

So I did just that on one side - made 2 darts instead of one - liked it, and did the other side. But, WHINE, I didn't like the result. Primarily because, I think, the darts are too close to the bust point on each side.

No pictures. I was done, just too annoyed. I decided it was time to quit whining and have a glass of wine. I'm thinking I need to hang this project in the closet for a while and put some distance between myself and the diabolical darts.

I'm hoping to get some studio time tomorrow to make a muslin of McCall's 2818, a Palmer-Pletsch "Learn to Fit a Full Bust" pattern. It has four views of a princess seam to the armscye, including a variety of necklines. I've sewn a princess seam dress for Lauren, who is a DD, and it was not difficult to fit. My impression is that it's easier to fit a full bust with princess seams. I guess we'll see about that.

For now, I've had my whine and my wine, and it's time for bed.

I'm going to get this. I am.

Until tomorrow,

The Busty Blogger

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Picture of the Day

'A picture is worth a thousand words'.

I enjoy photography, and have lots of pictures hanging our on my hard drive getting dusty.  So, I thought I'd post some here on occasion when the mood strikes (or when the sewing is slow...).  No promises that they will be the best quality - some were shot with my phone.  

First, since figuring out my personal FBA has been foremost in my mind lately:


Ybor City




















A few pictures from summers past when we spent them up north.  Miss those northern summers!

Niagara Falls from the Maid of the Mist


Polar Bear, Erie Zoo

North Pier, Lake Erie,  Erie, PA

Sunset on Lake Erie, Erie, PA



And last, but not least, our little Crystal.  Is this sweet, or what?  She loves her babies.

If you should find yourself needing a 'palate cleanser', there it is.  Sorry if you're kitty folk, dogs rule in this house.  They drool too, but y'know - you take the good with the bad, right?



Not much sewing for the last couple days, but they have been otherwise productive.

Have a wonderful day!
Until later,

Andrea





Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fabric Haul, and the FBA revisited.

In my last post, I mentioned I needed some 'me' sewing. To that end, I visited this great little boutique fabric shop that is literally 5 minutes from my house. I go there when I want something extra fabulous. I was definitely in the mood for extra fabulous. :D Thank you,Myra, for reminding me about Marisu's extra fabulous fabrics.

I picked up 5 cuts of fabric. The first two are draped on Josephine. The top fabric is for the top I am currently working the FBA on, and the light grayish sheer underneath is for the lining. The top fabric is a grayish brown, more brown on the surface and more gray on the underside. It is a very lightweight, drapey woven made of silk and cashmere. Yum! I bought this specifically to go with a gorgeous brown linen that I bought last year from Marisu, and with that, made both slacks and a skirt. The slacks I love and wear often. The skirt is a wrap, and I have yet to wear it because I don't have anything to go with it. This new fabric in a sleeveless, simple tank, perhaps with a sash at the waist, will be just the thing. Since I got a lining fabric, no need for facings.


In this next group of fabrics, the two on the right are for me. The green linen is for another simple top, that will go with my browns, my white linen slacks, and my black linen skirt as well. The other fabric in my pile - the colorful one, also with a wonderful hand - that is intended for a sleeveless wrap dress. It's a little deviant from my usual solids, but I have been trying to climb out of my box lately. I really love browns, and I don't have a brown dress in my closet.

On the left are two gorgeous rayon and polyester fabrics with the most fluid drape - just a great weight and feel. (Myra, if you're reading, go get yourself some - the price was fantastic!) The red cut is neat - it has a subtle black weave running through it. The red and blue are for skirts for Lauren that I'll make next month before school begins. The girl likes her skirts.


On to the FBA part.  Skip this if you just wanted to drool over pretty fabric.  If you are interested in my eureka moment as pertains to the FBA process, well, by all means read on.

The pattern I'm altering is New Look 6483 that I had in my stash.  I want to do the sleeveless, square neck view.

In order to make tops and a dress for myself, I absolutely had to figure out this FBA thing. I posted before that I've been reading every resource that I could find - FFRP, all the PR posts, and  Debbie Cook's very helpful compilation of FBA resources. But I was missing something in my attempt, so I started a thread and posted pics on PR asking for help.

After sleeping on it and looking at/trying on my first muslin a few times, I read where one commenter on PR wrote something that turned out to be my missing link. I felt the bust shape wasn't quite right, so I pulled out the dart and side seam on one side, deepened the dart, and - OMG - the front and back sides were even! Before, they were uneven, and I thought I just needed to lengthen the back to match. Wrong! When the FBA is done properly, the side front length matches up to the back side length, which is what the PR commenter wrote. I feel like I had this great epiphany! I went back to FFRP and skimmed it again to see if I was missing that. It doesn't spell that out. Maybe it should be intuitive, but being so new to the FBA, I needed it spelled out in black and white.

I sure miss my body of my younger self. When I was in my early 20's, I could whip out a pattern with no alterations, and have it fit like a dream. Thank God for the experts who teach these alterations!

Oh well. Here is muslin #2 that I made in a bargain bin drapey fabric. It looks so much better than muslin #1. The fabric made a significant difference in the fit and drape.


I am even happier with the armscye fit in this muslin.  The muslin made from actual muslin wasn't the best representation of the lie of the fabric on my body.  Lesson learned there.

I didn't get pics of the back, but when I made the 2nd muslin, I cut deep seam allowances on the back pieces. The fit is ever so slightly snug across the back, so I will let the SA out a little. I may finish this muslin and use it as a camisole under light tops. I am wishing now that I used white thread in the bobbin rather than black....

Anyhow, I believe I have achieved a good fit for this top, and I am ready to make it in the fashion fabric. So much for a 1 hour easy top. That's 1 hour after the fit kinks are worked out.**  I am excited to get my tops made today.  Better go wash some fabric.

Thanks for reading!  Have a wonderful Saturday,

Andrea








Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Finished: The Memory Foam iPad Case, and Upcoming Sewing Ventures

This was a unique project for a friend that I blogged about here.

I made the case from a memory foam pillow, silky pj pants from my recycle bin, and raincoat fabric from the stash. My friend Valerie and her husband are going on a two week motorcycle trip, and she wants to bring her iPad along. The iPad will ride in a saddlebag, and Valerie wants it protected. She suggested memory foam, and of course that got my wheels turning. I already blogged about the construction earlier, so I won't go over that again.

The case needed some hand stitching for reinforcement, as well as a closure. I used plain black 1/4 in. elastic loops, attached to the back of the case with hand stitching. They slip over the top, one vertically, and one horizontally.

The nice thing about this project was all the hand stitching practice I got in.  I enjoy hand stitching, and like to see those neat little stitches on a project.

It's not pretty or sexy, but rather functional. Valerie is going to pick up some patches in her travels and I'll attach them next time I see her. Sort of like the stickers on old trunks or suitcases.  I think that will make it fun.  Now, if only I could put a memory foam force field around my friends while they are travelling, I'd sleep better.  They do wear all the best gear, and ride safely, but you know - I worry.


There hasn't been any major sewing around here as of late. We've come a long way in getting the folks situated, although we still have much work to do, helping them downsize, etc. But, I am feeling more relaxed and caught up with everything, so now it's back to sewing. :D.

In the meantime, my family and I have all been trying to eat healthy and exercise regularly.  I made so oh-so-garlicky homemade hummus and served it with lentil chips.  I found the lentil chips at Whole Foods, and love them.  They satisfy my potato chip salty/crunchy craving, without the guilt.  :D


This next picture is a hint of my next WIP.  It is not exactly sewing, but is sewing related.  I broke my hacksaw trying to cut these buggers, so went back to Orange and met a nice French guy (employee) who cut them all for me.  When I told him what I was up to with the PVC, he said,
"Oh, I see, couture sewing?"
Haha, I wish I was that good.  Heck, even with high school French classes (way) behind me, I couldn't even say 'couture' as well as the handy dandy Frenchman.  He was most gracious, and now I can complete my project.  Fingers crossed it works out.


As for future sewing, I haven't decided what my next 'me' project will be. There is a gorgeous piece of deep lichen green linen hanging in my stash closet calling to me to become either shorts or a skirt. I really need tops, though, and I'm still in the learning phase of the large FBA that I always need, but heretofore paid a dressmaker to do for me. I have a princess seamed top pattern sitting on my cutting table, and with any luck, that will become a muslin very soon.

Last night I was blog reading in bed, and while perusing  Myra's blog, Simple Inspirations, saw an older post that reminded of an amazing boutique fabric store just a stone's throw from us.  The designer who owns the shop, Marisu, made a gorgeous dress for my daughter in early 2010.  I was unable to sew for her at the time, and Marisu really came through for us.  And of course, Lauren rocked the dress.  ;)  With that little reminder, it is on my agenda tomorrow to go get myself a little fabric love from Marisu.  The perfect thing to kick off my next 'me' project.

In my efforts to improve my FBA skills, I've been reading a couple of fit books, and will review those shortly. I am also signing up for a couple classes. One is an online bust alteration class on Pattern Review, and the other is a bra making course here locally in October, which I'm really excited about.  Even though I like to read the fit books, I am a very hands on learner.  I'm a see one, do one, teach one kind of gal.  I want not only to learn to make a great fitting bra, but I am wanting to make a sports bra as well.  Stay tuned this fall for bra making.

August will bring some back to school sewing for my daughter. She likes to wear skirts, and loves rayon challis, which is perfect for our weather, but the stuff I've been finding is lousy quality. Denimn is not allowed, and I can't pay her to wear khaki or twill. I need to fabric shop for her.  Maybe Marisu will have a little something.  You know, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. ;)

Savings Alert!

If there is one thing I love (besides sewing), it's saving money and getting a good deal.  I found an online site today with promo codes that actually worked.

I've been scoping out the outdoor dining sets for our patio for months, but didn't want to pay full price.  They are all going on sale now at the different stores and catalogs.  A set that I have been eyeing went on sale recently, and I was just about to order it when I went looking online for a promo code.

 I found one on this site:  Coupology

And it worked! So, I got what I wanted that was already on sale, and saved enough to cover most of the shipping cost, which was a significant amount.

I'm so excited about my bargain this afternoon, I just had to tell y'all!

Have a wonderful afternoon,

Andrea

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Closet Organization, Purse Storage, and a Recycling Tidbit

Hello friends, I hope you can bear another organization blog post.  Organization and the act of organizing makes me happy.  "A place for everything and everything in it's place."  It is truly how I like it.  I understand that not everyone does, and that's ok, this is just what works for me.  This way, I don't waste time looking for things, especially when I need to get out the door.

Every once in a while, I spend a little while sprucing up the closets, because they do tend to get messy if you aren't on top of them.

I have a system.  First, all shirts in one area, organized by color, then pants/skirts/shorts/jackets follow suit.  Purses, well, I do have a bunch, so that I will show with pictures.  Shoes:  I like mine stored in plastic containers, with my everyday sneakers, flip-flops, slippers, slides, etc, on the slanted shoe shelves.  Boots I keep in boxes tucked away for the season.  Sweaters get stored on upper shelves for the warmer seasons, and brought down as needed.  Socks & undies:  I am a big fan of sock boxes and drawer dividers.

Pictures say it better.  This is a picture heavy post!

Let's start with the Mr.'s closet.


 Suit coats look better if kept hung on special suit hangers.  It helps to retain the shape in the shoulder, and the line of the garment.
Shirts should be taken out of plastic when picked up from the cleaners.
 Casual shirts are in a separate alcove.
Pants by color.  When I wash slacks, I hang them by the cuff end, but the Mr. takes the majority to the cleaners.  They use these hangers.
Skivvies kept organized using a drawer divider.  Looks like some of his whites were in the wash.
 Undershirts also kept divided.  V-necks on one side, crew-necks on the other side of the drawer divider.  The Mr. and daughter like to use a flip-fold, and they really are cool.

Blurry shot of bottom drawer with PJ pants and boxers.
 Upper cabinet with t-shirts on bottom shelf, then shorts in the middle, 'dressy' t-shirts and sweatshirts on the next shelf.  Sweaters are tucked away on the very top, not shown.
Here is a change baskets and a travel alarm clock on the bottom.  The basket is great for collecting the paraphernalia  that comes out of the Mr.'s pockets.  The middle shelf is a collection of figurines.  They are for some game he never has time to play.
The next shelf is collared golf shirts that I normally hang, but I was out of hangars then.  Speaking of hangars, I like the slim, flocked type.  Of course, all the same color...
 Socks, with drawer dividers.
 Shoes.  I have sachets I put inside the shoes to help with odor, but that's another post for another day.  I also use charcoal packets in the shoe and dirty clothes area to help with odor.
Down at the end of this strangely shaped closet, the Mr. keeps a collection of books that he likes to have handy.



A little mirror for tying his tie, and a couple family pictures that he likes.  Below the shirts are dressier shorts.  It's dark and hard to see, but his tie collection has a temporary home here on the rod.  I have a project planned to build an alcove in his closet for belts and ties.












Onto my closet.  Not quite as many pictures here, because there are a couple things I want to focus on.  Purse storage, and dust covers.


 First, I wanted to have some purse storage bags like you get with some more pricey purses.  My less expensive purses didn't come with bags, and I like to keep them protected from dust.  I had this very shiny fabric that is not really so hot for apparel, but it is perfect for purse and shoe bags.  I made simple,  rectangular, drawstring bags.  The shoe bags are a little larger, and have a center line of stitching to make two compartments.
 I started with my clutches and smaller bags.



Some of my bigger purses are awaiting their new bags.  I like to stuff my bags with rolled up tissue paper or those plastic, air-filled shipping cushions.  It helps keep them upright.



 This is how I like to keep my dresses, jackets, and dressier separates - the items that I don't wear daily.  It's on my to-do list to make some pretty ones, and use these on the Mr.'s jackets.  These dust covers are a nice weight cotton duck with cotton trim.



And last but not least, the recycling/reusing bit.  You know when you shop at a nice store how they give you nice bags with ribbon or cord handles?  I remove the handles and reuse them.  Some I use for making fabric bags, the nice long ones I use to tie up folded sheet sets after they are laundered (they also get a tag with the size of the sheets), and the small ones I use for loops on clothing or other items I sew.  I PROMISE I'm not a hoarder, but I just can't bear to waste things that are useful.




That's it for today, folks.  Do me a favor, though - please? Don't tell the Mr. that I showed you his skivvies, ok?  {{{Thanks!}}}

Enjoy your evening,

Andrea

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Little 4th Sewing

This weekend I finished Anna's Valance save for a little embellishment yet to be done. I'll reveal that all when the room is done. I've been pecking away at it, but we still have a bunch of life stuff getting in the way. It's very time intensive, and exhausting, and I find myself getting behind on everything. Seriously, everything. My hubby resorted to doing laundry today. He never complains when things get behind, he just helps out. And he works a ton.

This stuff with family involves his folks, and it's all hands on deck lately. It is a complex set of circumstances. I know I am digressing into personal stuff, but I guess I'm feeling mushy tonight. When my Mom was very ill in her last days, my husband did things for her that most sons don't do for their own mothers. It reminded me all over again why I married him. He truly is a kind soul. Anyhow, this too shall pass, as my Mom used to say. We will all feel better when we get the folks settled and feeling better.

Sewing? Oh, yeah, sewing. Well, I had some scraps of Timtex from another project that I've been playing with, so I pulled out my scrap basket and made some coasters. I just pieced together some strips, folded in half, and sewed three sides, measured to the sizes of my little Timtex scraps. Then I inserted the Timtex pieces, folded in the raw edge, and top stitched all the way around.

I needed coasters for my sewing room, and these fit the bill perfectly.

So, there you have it. A little sewing. Very little! ;)

This weekend I also did a bunch of reading. I read most of Fit For Real People, watched Marcy Tilton videos on You Tube, and read lots of pattern reviews, the paper, etc. I love the Fit book, and I'll have to do a review soon. I also posted several reviews on Pattern Review of past projects that I'd been meaning to review. I'm glad to have that done - now I can put those patterns away. I've had them out to motivate me to write reviews.

Whatever you did this weekend, I hope it was wonderful, safe, and you spent it with your loved ones.

Thanks for stopping by,

Andrea

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Season



One of the things I love about reading blogs is 'meeting' people from all over the world.  Even though it's summer here in our part of the world, it's winter in Australia.  So, while they are wearing wool, we are eating watermelon.  

Even in North America, the climate varies pretty widely during any given season.  We used to spend our summers in Pennsylvania.  I miss the coolness of the morning and evening air, being able to sleep with the windows open, watching the kids chase fireflies as evening sets in. 

Here in Florida, it's hot and humid, and we are in the midst of our rainy season.  Of course, we welcome the rain - it keeps us green, among other things.  It's a very different experience than summer in PA, and I find we spend more time indoors in a FL summer.  More time to sew, right?

In the photos above, all the fruit is local.  The melons are from a fruit stand down the street, and they came from local farms.  The grapes and figs are from my friend Theresa.  Her folks grow them organically on their land.  I love where they live - they have an amazing garden, chickens in the cleanest coop I've ever seen, and the extended family members live on adjoining properties.  Theresa brings me organically grown fruit and veggies all year, she is the best!

What local stuff are you enjoying these days?

Thanks for stopping by,

Andrea

Friday, July 1, 2011

Organizing!

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,

Andrea