Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sewing Room Reorganization Reveal - Finally!

I usually try to make a project-related post on Wednesdays, but I've missed the past THREE all because I've been working on reorganizing my sewing room. I kept thinking I'd get it done in time for the current week's Wednesday post...only to find it was taking me much longer than I expected, partly because my plans kept growing! So first, here's my cutting corner, where most of the organizing happened BEFORE (or right as I started folding fabric since I had one stack done, lol)....

Aaahhh!! (And even uglier with the quick phone pic, lol)
...and AFTER!

BIG sigh of relief!


It all started with a simple plan to cull and neatly refold my fabric stash, which had gotten a little unwieldy as it tends to do over Christmas.

Ya think?

Eeww...I couldn't even close the cabinet door!
Then I started thinking, wouldn't it be great to have a current inventory of all my fabric? I've been very successfully using Pinterest as a way to keep inventory of my pattern stash, and it suddenly occurred to me I could do the same thing with my fabric! I often have clients online asking what fabrics I have available for projects, and this way I can just point them to my inventory on Pinterest. It would also be great to browse for myself when trying to decide what to use for a specific project, especially having the amount there (I often think of a specific fabric for a project but can't remember if I have enough!) This meant taking a picture of every one of my fabrics (not counting scraps), measuring each piece to record the amount, and then folding it with the ruler folding method, which makes it look SO nice and neat! Clearly, all that took much longer than I expected! But it's so nice to see all my fabric looking organized, and to have it inventoried on Pinterest!

The door closes!!! I don't know how long it's been...

Does the sight of this calm you like it does me? I can feel my heart rate dropping...

During my folding process, I had several fabrics which couldn't fold up small enough because they were significant amounts (5+ yards), but I wanted them to be neatly stored as well, so that meant thinking up other storage solutions....(ended up with these great big boxes to keep bolts of fabric in)

...which meant planning a trip to Ikea....which meant thinking of all the other things I could get to organize my sewing room while there! Haha! So I started looking around my entire room and mentally redesigning and reorganizing my space.


First up, scraps! My fabric scraps can so quickly get out of hand, especially mid-project when I don't have time to organize them or refold leftovers big enough to go back in the stash. I got jars from Ikea a while back to keep small scraps in, which worked for a while, but I learned over time because I had to open a lid to put them in, more often than not scraps ended up getting piled on top of the jars instead of inside them! So I was in search of open containers, enough to separate scraps by color, and thought it would be great to use wall space if possible. That lead to these baskets from Ikea.


So that pretty much covered all my fabric storage needs, but while I was looking at a solution for my fabric scraps I remembered how much I love using wall space! So I started looking at what else I could put on the wall. :-)


I put a lot of my packing and shipping materials in a magazine rack...

...and a bit near my cutting table (where I pack up my stuff) in - I love this - an Ikea napkin holder! I already had one of these, they're so pretty, and saw the idea on Pinterest to hang it on the wall and use it as a magazine rack. Then I thought it would be perfect for some lightweight packing materials (stickers, tissue paper).

I just used thumbtacks to hold it up....don't tell anyone!!

I used another napkin holder for my rolls of heat 'n bond, which I use frequently.

I already had some little white hanging baskets I'd used to keep other items I need for packing, strips of wrapping paper, scissors, pens, markers, and tape, they just got relocated. I also stuck some quick push pins on the wall to hang my rulers.

I also added a rod on the wall for some extra storage from Ikea. I love these little rods, $2.99 and a dollar each for the containers.

On my right hand side, I already had two magnetic strips (knife racks technically) which were great for scissors, my rotary cutter, any anything else with metal on it.

Above that, I put a lovely tin sign which can also hold magnets. I have these magnets that needles will stick to from the outside, so I use those to keep already threaded needles for quick access.

I think they're whispering about how lazy I am that I keep threaded needles ready and hanging on my wall...

That's about it for wall storage in my cutting and pressing corner!

On the other side of the room where my sewing machine is, I have my thread rack, and another rod with containers.

I also put a couple small hooks for storage boxes that usually sit on my sewing table. They typically hold binding, a seam ripper, turning tools, etc.

This is a whole view of my sewing area.


The last main section of my room is my bookshelf, where I keep many categorized containers with various materials and projects.

Oh look! There's my third rod on the wall above my ironing board... soI went a little crazy at Ikea. But you can't have too much wall storage can you??
The boxes contain scraps cut and ready to make tissue holders with, separated into categories based on whether they are duplicates of ones already listed, or singles waiting to be created... well as scraps cut ready for decoupaging clothespin magnets, scraps ready to be made into notebook covers, and bookmarks. I also have already cut aprons in most of my major designs, as I tend to cut a lot of one style at once.
The rest of the boxes contain bias tape sorted by color, and random leftover fabric scraps sorted by color (too small to use for tissue holders.) As I go through post-project scraps (what's in the baskets on the wall), I cut what I can for tissue holders and notebook covers, and the rest go into small scrap storage which are then used for clothespin magnets and bookmarks. This tends to work pretty well for me!
Also on the bookshelf are business cards and tags ready to be used, and behind that various office supply type things.


Finally, that leaves all my little containers and jars. If you can't tell, I kind of have a thing for sorting by color, it makes me so unbelievably happy to see things separated by color! That's why I adore stores like Charming Charlie where everything is arranged by color. :-D Because of that I tend to love clear, especially glass jars to sort such things.

A couple years ago I sorted my ribbon into jars by color, wrapping them around those old style clothespins. Problem was, they took up quite a bit of room wrapped around them, and I tended to avoid using the ones on the clothespins because they unraveled so easily and it was kind of a pain to put back. Leaving ribbon on their spools takes up so much room, though, so I decided to just take the ribbon off and roll it on itself. (Reminds me of pincurling, ha!)

This worked wonderfully! I just used a paperclip to secure the end (and sometimes the beginning.) It was almost relaxing to sit and roll them this way, even my husband ended up helping me roll ribbon while we watched TV. A few spools had easy-to-pop-off ends, which just left the middle and that worked great too, mostly for very wide ribbon. It's no worse than using the ribbon off the spool either, so it's less of a pain to put back afterwards.

It does tend to work better with the wider ribbons, with very thin ribbon I often ended up leaving it on the clothespins.

The amount of room this saved is just amazing, I had a whole drawer full of ribbon on spools that fit in the jars with room to spare.

I also have some beads on the left separated into the small Ikea jars (LOVE these!) and I separated my buttons with these as well, which you've seen on my cutting table.

My pretties....

Finally, I used jars various sizes of jars to house my extra thread, safety pins, strips of homemade stay tape, my brand labels, zippers, elastic, and even flowers I use for my hair clips.

So many jars!!!! :-D With things in them!!

Oh! I also have a great use for those magazine files...I use them to store the wrapping paper I use in my packaging, it's great to have right there ready to cut strips from.

The rest of my storage is in the form of plastic and wire bins, one for my patterns...

...and the others under my cutting table with finished products ready to ship, as well as boxes of muslin and interfacing, lace, and various other materials.

And that's about it! That completes the tour of my newly organized sewing room. :-D I'm sooooo thrilled to be done with it, and ready to move onto using it!! I'm so much happier and better able to think and create in an organized space, just looking at it makes me want to get sewing.

I can hear it calling to me....

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