Thursday, January 8, 2015

Trying (AGAIN!) to Get Organized

It's impossible to work on projects when you can't find anything. When all the components are somewhere in this mess but you can't find them anywhere. When you know you have that thing but damned if you can figure out where it's gotten to. Lately I've really been missing sewing, and it's hard since my patterns were really disorganized and my fabric stash was a mess. The last few days I've been working on getting that better organized. Hancock Fabrics had pattern boxes on clearance (interestingly, they more or less match the hat boxes I bought from them on clearance a couple years ago), so I bought a bunch of them to organize my pattern library. It's not huge by any definition, but I left myself room to expand as my ability increases. So now I can lay hands on patterns quickly and easily, and ok, fine, but that still meant my fabric stash was a horrid mess. I didn't even know what all I had, since some of it was given to me by Mom, and some of it I'd had for ages.

I decided the most sensible thing was to sort out the things I knew I had projects for first. This fabric is to be made with this pattern (with a slip of paper with the pattern number and intended view), etc. etc... I have a bin-full of skirts and hats and a bag (with a matching hat). I'm not even sure how many; I didn't count, and honestly, I'm a little afraid to. The bag on top is material for a skirt for my daughter. Not in the bin are bags with fabric to make a skirt for a friend of mine, and two more for me. I have to remeasure her, and myself, since we've both lost weight, and I want to make sure they fit properly!

In addition to all of that well-intentioned and organized insanity, I also went through the bins of fabric under the basement stairs, so I could get a better handle on what I had, so I knew what I could play with once I finished the projects in the bin. [insert hysterical laughter here] I decided to sort by color, and grabbed a bunch of empty milk crates (they were handy) and lined them up on the floor and started sorting things into them. I quickly realized I had way more purple than would fit into a crate, so I dumped out a large bin and put the purple fabric in that, and pink soon followed. (I was astounded at the volume of pink fabric I had, truly!) Once I got the colors sorted, I started sorting within the color by fabric type, into gallon-sized zip-top bags, e.g.: sheer fabrics, satins, lining fabrics, velveteen, velour/stretch velvet, cotton, etc. So if I want purple velveteen, I can find purple velveteen. I only managed to finish this with the purple, not yet with the pink. I ran out of good storage options for the other colors, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, other than watch the sale ads and see who wants to sell me exactly what I want the cheapest. I did managed to separate out a bunch of small-patterned and juvenile cotton prints to use for doll clothes, and put those in a a drawer neatly labeled "Fabric for Doll Clothes."

* * *

I can't remember writing a specific post about my sketchbook, and looking back through old posts, don't find one now... Anyway, a while back, I had the idea that if I used a sketchbook and sort of "downloaded" my brain onto those pages, I'd sleep better, because the ideas would be out of my head and on paper. It only sort of worked. Putting down an idea that's nagging me leaves room for new ones, so some nights I still don't sleep well. I've had to get out of bed to find paper, prompting my husband to suggest leaving a sketchpad by the bed.  I had to draw a hat idea on a paper napkin in the car because I couldn't find paper and I had to sketch it right now, which led to us going on a quest to find a small sketchpad I can carry on my person at all times.

Also? I hate sketching with a pen.

With my reawakened millinery passion, I thought it might make more sense if I kept a separate sketchbook with hat stuff in there. That way I could also include images that inspire me, so that when I'm not in front of my computer (it happens, occasionally), I still have those visuals. I also included a little pocket with images of all the hat patterns I have so that I can reference those easily when I'm sketching or looking for design ideas.

I have transferred the hat ideas from my "main" sketchbook to the hats sketchbook, and have started adding new ideas. I haven't added the napkin sketch; I'm pretty sure I can do a better job with pencil and a decent reference photo.

The good news is, that even if I complete all my projects in that bin (yeeeaaahhhh... that's gonna happen soon), I have plenty of fabric and ideas to keep me busy for the foreseeable future. All my husband has to do is throw some food down in the basement once in a while, and I'll be fine.