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Sewing Room Reckoning;

aka: Covid-forced organizing.

Decades of Sewing

With nowhere to safely go, I began the monumental task of organizing my ‘stuff’ in my sewing studio. Fancy name for a small dining room.

While cleaning out every single drawer, cabinet, bin, and closet in my house, I realize my fabric and supplies have leaked throughout the house. I am now ready to admit I’m a procrastinator! AND, I have come the the realization that since I haven’t done it by now (“it” being this or that project), I have made the job of decluttering easier. Revelation!

Two piles:

  1. I’m gonna make this (soon or someday fits here, really!) OR

  2. I got over it, I am never going to make this, so get rid of it!

Being perfectly honest here. It all brings me JOY! So let’s break it down to the project I planned for this fabric, craft supply, or beads (don’t get me started on beads). The plan was to make (fill in the blank), which will be totally fun. But when it’s done, what do I do with it? Do I need another skirt, really? No room for more purses. Etsy sales are slow.

HA! I can put this unmade great idea in the donate pile! Unexpected deep cleansing breath came after this revelation. Of course, things in the donate pile called out to me, and some made their way back into the keep pile, but chalk that up to preventing regret later! I shall revisit clutter again as needed.

Getting Real Here

To call it a sewing ‘room’ doesn’t seem fair, especially to my family. It’s too spread out.

Fabric: 12 large bins, 2 dressers (hey, they’re small dressers) and 3 cabinets. All located outside the ‘room’, cluttering the garage, a family room cabinet, and an outside storage unit. Some will stay, a lot will go bye-bye.

Buttons: If I put them all out on my 3’ by 6’ table, I could not would not count them, maybe a thousand? More? Definitely not less. I came up with a few dozen to donate.

Then there’s rivets, studs, eyelets & grommets, hundreds of zippers. Staying.

And, oh the trim! Mostly staying, some will go.

3 (shoe size) drawers of decorative trim.

2 drawers of ribbon plus one cigar box of 50 yd. ribbon spools.

4 drawers of lovely bias tape made from fabulous tie silk, shantung, vintage linens, etc. For me, custom made bias tape is irresistible. It gets to be piping or binding on something fabulous! It has such a nice way of making a quiet little detail seem so doted on; to catch the eye; to cause a gentle smile. Yup, bias tape lives in 4 drawers, and piping lives in 2 drawers, ready to use. Happy to stay.

Beads: Like I said, don’t get me started. I love beads. They have personality. When you sew them on something cool like a purse, corset, wrist-cuff, they smile up at you from their new home. They won’t miss their thousands of siblings crowded in their storage box(es). Some of them got sewn onto something in clusters, like happy friends on an adventure together. They now get to snuggle next to a completely different bead or a button they hadn’t seen before; they embrace the artful masterpiece diversity created. Ah, beads (Homer Simpson “aahhh”) Keeping some, but lots and lots are heading to a new home.

What did I discover whilst madly culling, cleaning, editing?

  1. I can stop buying those lint rollers and refills.

  2. I am finally organizing my drawers, which took several weeks of course, but I can see the light now! I will be honest and say this took years of good intentions. But oh, the joy of finding a treasure I forgot about because it was, you know, somewhere.

  3. I realize I apparently love making zipper pouches, and count 22 finished pouches in my stash and want to make more!

The Outcome

The big realization came when the long-awaited and extremely time-consuming task of organizing my sewing stuff was nearing completion. I still have lots and lots of stuff to make fabulousness with, and it has unlocked inspiration!!! Everything now has it’s own place. I know where it all is now. I unearthed stuff I saved long ago and welcome it’s resurgence in my studio. I even color-coded and categorized. I am so ready!

While I promise to myself to never let this get out of control again, I am making a project list that seems like a long one. Ooops. But still staying safe at home, I’m ready for the joy of creating with the huge amount of stuff I’m keeping (giggle) and excited to give away the stuff someone else will love.

Back to the room in question to make stuff!! -----Jeanie

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