Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Messy Organization

When a sweet little girl wants to come over to learn to knit, crochet and sew (and maybe cook a little, too), it's time to clean your workroom.   (I say, don't let people know how messy you are until after they decide they like you.  Then it won't matter as much.  I hope.)

This was my sewing area before:

Ugh.  I needed to get better organized before our lessons.

Actually, I like to organize.  I organize and organize and organize, but them things get busy and I get too many projects going at once and I make a big mess and then I get frustrated because I can't find anything.  I know they say creativity is messy, but so is frustration.

So this is what I did -- I sewed up an organizer thingie:

It's not perfect, but it works, and all my tools are close at hand.  There are pockets for scissors, bobbins, sewing machine feet and all the things I need when I sit down to sew except for a cup of tea.  I tied my mom's little stork scissors to some cool measuring-tape ribbon (that was tied around a stack of fat quarters from Crimson Tate) so I would always have them handy.  And I sewed up a little scrap bag to have close -- I toss threads and scraps toward the trash can across the table, but usually miss.  There is a sleeve on the back for hanging the organizer from a curtain rod.

 And, of course, I didn't make up a pattern or write down my steps.  Awesome, pin-worthy craft tutorials are not really turning out to be my thing.  If you want to make one of these, just come over and we'll work it out together.

I did, however, want to share one thing.  Part of my problem is that my sewing tools get covered with stuff.  Fabric, patterns, stuff.  I thought if the pockets in my organizer were clear, I could find my stuff better, so I decided to use some clear vinyl.  And I wanted to bind the edges of the vinyl pockets so that the scissors wouldn't poke through.  So here are my vinyl sewing tips:

1)  For a huge piece of cheap vinyl, go get a clear shower curtain at the dollar store.  I wish I could say this is my original genius idea, but I'm pretty sure I read it somewhere else.

2)  You don't want to pin the vinyl, but these little clips work great:
Regular old paper clips would work, too.

3)  And since the vinyl will get sticky and not move too well under your presser foot, a simple solution is to put some tissue paper under the vinyl as you sew, then tear it away later.

I ended up moving the bulletin board to the workroom door, hanging up my mom's thread holder, and moving the washi tape to the basket where I used to keep my thread.  I folded fabric, picked up pins, swept the floor, took apart the vacuum after I clogged it with thread and dog hair, finished sweeping and generally gussied up the joint.

I think I can be much more creative in a neat space.  At least that's what I've been telling myself.


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