Cutting Straight Strips

I have always struggled to cut long straight strips with my rotary cutter. If I only need to cut about 6″ or so I’m fine but any longer than that even with using my blade up against a quilting ruler I struggle to keep things straight. I know many of you are already fans of Karen from Just Get It Done Quilts and would know about this tip that she shared in her video “How To Cut Straight” which if full of useful ideas to help you cut straight and accurate.

When cutting long strips with a quilting ruler and rotary cutter it seems the key thing to ensure you cut straight is to have pressure all the way along the ruler so that it stays in place and doesn’t shift as you glide your rotary cutter along the edge of the ruler. I place my hand applying pressure on the end of the ruler nearest me (the first 6″) but after that as there is no pressure on the ruler and it is slipping across resulting up with drunken sailor cut strips that are wider at one end. By placing something heavy on the ruler like a hand weight or a tin of food it will hold the ruler in place on the end away from your body.

I tried this idea out when I was cutting the PUL fabric for my Umbrella bag. Even though I had multiple layers of slippery PUL my ruler didn’t shift about and I got a nice straight cut. It is such a simple idea and it really works. We had a spare hand weight lying around so it wasn’t something I had to go out and buy. By chance I sorted out my linen closet which is near my cutting table so it is even easier for me to grab the weight off one of the shelves in there for when I need to use it.

Now that I know about this tip it will be something that I will be doing again in the future whenever I need to cut long strips of fabric. 

Cassiy

Me Made May 2022

Each year the amazing Zoe from “So Zoe What Do You Know?” hosts the challenge of Me Made May (MMMay) It is a challenge where participants for the month focus on their handmade wardrobe and see if there any areas they are lacking. You can read all about the challenge here. Each person sets their own challenge for the month in relation to the me made clothing they own.

The last time I did the challenge was in 2019. In recent years I’ve culled a lot of the clothing both me made and ready to wear that I was no longer wearing anymore. To be honest it wasn’t until this week that I decided I would take part this year. I’m not in the mood to post daily photos on social media of my outfits and I don’t think I have clothing hidden away that I haven’t worn in recent times. To work each day I wear at least one me made item as I no longer have any ready to wear skirts and the only ready to wear pants I have are gym tights. Listening to the Check Your Thread podcasts series ran on Me Made May changed my mind. In her blog post and in the podcasts Zoe reminds everyone Me Made May isn’t about posting photos (you don’t have to) or that is ok to set yourself the same challenge you set yourself in the past. The main thing is that for the month you are more conscious of the clothing you are actually wearing and finding any gaps in your wardrobe that you need to fill.

With that in mind I’m setting myself the challenge of going through my wardrobe looking at both my me made and ready to wear clothing and accessories. Yes I know the focus is on me made items but I still have tops and jackets which are ready to wear which make up my wardrobe so I’m including those. There are some items already that I know I can pass on such as knitwear that I just don’t wear. I know I need shorts as I was thinking recently I have none so by next summer I need to make them. I want to do a stocktake of my entire wardrobe to see what I still have and what is needed.

I’m actually looking forward to the challenge now. I might even start it early by looking through a drawer or two before the month even begins. I’m just going to relax and go through my wardrobe when the mood arises and I have the chance. My wardrobe isn’t huge so it will all get looked through by the end of May.

Cassiy

Minerva Voucher

Last year Simona from Sewing Adventures In The Attick hosted a blogiversary giveaway and I was fortunate enough to win a £20 Minerva voucher. If you are not familiar with Minerva it is an online craft shop in the UK. Predominantly it has all things sewing but there are some other craft items and patterns too. There range of fabrics is amazing!

My voucher was valid for 12 months and to be honest it took me about 10 months to decide on what I wanted to get. I spent many hours looking at different fabrics and patterns, my phone was littered with screenshots of ideas. Did I want to some Liberty fabric? Should I get a knit or woven? Should I get fabric or notions? How best could I spend it to get maximum value? One thing I did discover is that to use the voucher you entered the code number supplied in the discount code section during checkout. If the shop is running another promotion for discounted fabric or patterns which requires you entering a code to get the discount you can’t use your voucher at the same time as you’re only allowed to enter one code during checkout. Just a tip for anyone shopping there. 

Finally I decided the best use for the voucher was to get a printed paper pattern. I chose the Montrose top by Cashmerette. In Australia there are a few shops that sell printed Cashmerette pattens but most of the time when I buy them I just buy the PDF’s as they are cheaper. The reason I wanted the paper pattern is that it is a woven top and I think once I get the fit right I can pattern hack it. It will be easier to do this with a paper pattern as opposed to trying to keep my taped PDF pattern together neat whilst I’m not using it. 

I had already warned Mr StitchNSew that I was most likely going to go over my voucher amount. He didn’t care as I don’t have a fabric budget and I’m not on a fabric buying ban. I’m just trying to be thoughtful with every dollar I spend. I did go over the voucher slightly as I chose a couple of metres of cotton lace. It is 75% cotton 25% nylon. My aim is to one day make the Montrose out of this fabric. Full confession after I submitted my order I was slightly worried about the fabric choice. 
1 – Would it be too scratchy with the nylon? 
2 – Is the colour too scrub top blue?
I’m really sensitive with fabrics so not being able to feel it first was a gamble. After years of working in theatres sadly your colour choice does revolve around work even if you don’t intend on wearing it there, I guess it is the same how some people won’t wear things that remind them of their old school uniforms. I’m very happy to say that when it arrived the fabric was lovely and soft. The colour with the black mesh overlay is very subtle and doesn’t remind me of work.

A big thank you to Simona again for my voucher. It allowed me to purchase from a shop that I wouldn’t normally buy from so it was a special treat. I’m not sure when I will get around to making my first top or using the fabric but in the meantime I can pat the fabric!

Cassiy

Heart Card

I have never been a card maker, paper craft just isn’t something that has interested me. I’m not a big card giver either. I generally just buy cheap $1 from the shops. In recent years I have been struggling to get nice cheap ones particularly for kids.  After reading How To Sew Sustainably I was inspired to make my own using fabric scraps.  

After some research it seems fabric cards are popular these days. Most people are cardstock as a base and put the fabric on that. I wanted to make a card to go with the Special Knitting Bag. I didn’t have cardstock in my stash so I decided to upcycle a grocery box. There was a print on one side of the box so I used two pieces of shantung to cover it. The only down side to the cardboard was I couldn’t write on it as it must have some sort of coating or was too thick so I had to place white paper against the cardboard to write on.  

Using my sizzix big shot I cut out 3 different size heart motives from the leftover lace. I placed the hearts on top of each other and hand stitched it to the shantung by doing a running stitch through the centre heart.  I folded the fabric over the cardboard print, placed the white paper against the underside and stitched it in place using a 4.00mm stitch length. This was a little tricky trying to get it all flat as the fabric was bulky and perhaps I should’ve cut the fabric to size after I had attached it to the card.  

I will be honest this card isn’t the neatest of finishes. I enjoyed making it. I tried out some ideas and found out what worked and what didn’t. I love that I was able to making a matching card and it has certainly given me ideas for the future. 

This post almost didn’t happen. All the photos I took on my camera weren’t usable but I was lucky to still find a couple I had take on my phone. Just a little advice if you are wanting to take photos to use in something special if possible take them using 2 different sources and don’t delete them until you know for certain you have the special photo you need. 

Cassiy

Craft Set Up – Sewing Machine Cabinet And Trolley

In January 2021 I wrote out my big master plan on how I wanted to set up each one of my crafting areas. I said I would give updates on how I was going or after I finished an area. To recap I divided my craft spaces into a series of areas and I asked myself the following questions 

  • Current – What is currently going on the area?
  • Plan – What is my plan for the area?
  • To Do – What needs to be done to change from current to plan?

For my sewing machine cabinet and trolley which sits next to my cabinet here is what I had to do to sort out that area

Sewing Machine Cabinet 
Make a dust cover for machine, sort what I want to keep in the side shelves/bins. Remove half finished projects and craft supplies 

Trolley 
Buy clips for side of fridge to make a magnetic notice board. Remove all items and sort into different areas. Put items away in other areas that don’t need to be on it. 

I had honestly thought this was the one area I had finished. Ok admittedly it was still a little messy but it was done. I had made the dust cover for the machine. I had gone through and put all the little spool holders and accessories back in the storage bins on the side of the cabinet. I had brought clips and was using them for the magnetic noticeboard on the side of the fridge next to the area. The trolley I had kind of gone through and sorted out. I’d removed some of the UFP’s.

Although the area was “finished” it just wasn’t working for me. I had to move items about to get other items. Things were getting bumped as I moved them. In my buttons post I mentioned finding Karen from Just Get It Done Quilts. Aside the from the decluttering challenge videos she did this year she has heaps of videos about setting up and organising your sewing areas. Some of her ideas I had done without realising like creating a triangle between your sewing machine, ironing board and cutting table. One idea that struck me was working out your zones. Zones are the places you keep your items and how easy it is to access them from your sewing machine. Zone 1 is the most used items that you can reach with one movement, zone 2 is items you reach for in 2 movements such as opening a drawer or moving one item, zone 3 are things which you do 3 movements to reach etc. My brain got thinking. What are my most frequently used items and what storage space did I have to put them in? I set about going through the bins of the sewing machine cabinet and trolley pulling out items and rearranging things. Zone 1 I had already established as I have a hanging tool caddy which holds my thread snips, tweezers and unpicker.

What items left the area

  • Empty spools
  • Broken tools
  • Tweezers (5 -10 pairs)
  • Knitting related items
  • Spare pins 
  • Unpickers 
  • Thimbles
  • Battery powered lamp
  • Fabric scraps
  • Spare containers
  • Thimbles
  • Random tools
  • Inserts for cabinet bins
  • Random spools of thread
  • Bag of walnut shells
  • Notepads
  • UFP’s
  • Embroidery needles

It turns out in the cabinet and trolley I had a lot of items I didn’t need. Some were broken or damaged. I couldn’t believe the amount of tweezers or unpickers I had. Some items were sitting there waiting to be put away such as the spools of threads. Some unfinished projects had just been dumped there. I decided the trolley was only going to be for sewing so I removed all my knitting stuff (rulers, blocking pins, yarn butler) Mr StitchNSew was the big winner scoring heaps of craft tools and rulers even a lamp. The items that I removed from this area but kept got rehomed in the spare room. From the cabinet bins I decided to remove the insert trays that came with them, they were spool holders and a divided compartment. I don’t put my spools on the holders as my spools are tool long and you can’t swing the bin back in to close it with them. The I had nothing fitted in the divided compartment. I have kept the inserts but they are now in the spare room.

What Stayed And Why?

Cabinet Bins –  The bottoms bin has my sharps container (old rotary cutter blades, needles, pins) a container of empty bobbins, tray of half filled bobbins, hot hemmer and my finished project tracker (I will come back to that) The hot hemmer is there partly cause I can stand it flat but I do frequently use it. In the bins that swing open I have spools of threads for current project and most used colours, spare rotary blades (again cause they fitted the space), overlocker finishing needles (for weaving in my overlocker tails), safety pins, strips of tear away stabliser (used on sewing the start of some items) On top tray I have my cleaning brushes, presser foot adapter and attachment key. 99% of the time I have my walking foot attached to my sewing machine and the main foot adapter is removed. The bottoms bin is what I would call my zone 2, I frequently use them and it takes me about 2 actions to get the item. 

Trolley 
Bottom shelf – Pressing ham, sleeve roll, wonder clips, darning mushroom
Middle shelf – Sewing machine feet, machine needles, marking textas
Top shelf – Measuring tapes, pin cushions, hand sewing kit, thread catcher, ruler, camera
Hanging bins – Most used tools in first bin, scissors, marking tools, pressing tools, random craft tools

On both the trolley and cabinet I have avoided if possible stacking items on top of each other so I don’t have to continue moving things. Once I start stacking things I start just dumping things and the chaos starts. I haven’t crammed it full for that same reason. All items are within reach so I can take them out but importantly put them back. I mention my laziness frequently on here but if things aren’t easy to get out and put away I don’t use them or put them away correctly. I hung a grabbing tool off the trolley so I do drop things I can pick them up straight away instead of just thinking I’ll pick that up later. 

On the side of the fridge is my magnetic noticeboard. Last year I had my finished project tracker clipped up there in a plastic sleeve. Each month I had a page to write all my completed projects on. In my laziness I was only writing things down at the end of the month as I was switching pages over. Yep I was too lazy to unclip 2 clips and remove it from a plastic sleeve each time I finished a project. I would forget what I had finished and would scroll through Instagram looking at the photos I posted for the month. As a result I think I missed out on a few projects as I wouldn’t always post them on Instagram. By moving the tracker to my cabinet I can just grab it and write each project as I finish it. On the noticeboard I currently have my magnetic pin cushion and a note with what size to cut scrunchies. I’m going to dig out my pattern for wildlife rescue pouches and put it here too so I cut out pouches from fabric scraps as I’m cutting out projects.

The area around my sewing machine is finally working for me. Everything is within reach. From the spare room I found my plug in lamp that I can use if I need extra light, that sits at the side of my sewing machine near my power board. Between the fridge and the trolley I can stand up my cutting mats if I need to shift them off my cutting table. With the trolley not overflowing the cutting mats can stand flat now. The entire area just looks better so I’m not getting stressed by looking at the mess. I know what needs to be there now and what doesn’t so if something does get placed there I can address it and put it back where it should go.

Cassiy

2021 Craft Year In Review

I thought I would wait until 2021 had actually finished before doing my craft round up for the year. For the first time in 2021 I kept track of all my makes (well most of them anyway) Final count was over 100 items which included when I made multiples of some items but it doesn’t keep count for all charity items I made (pouches, beanies)

Hmm if I had to sum up my 2021 crafting in one sentence it would be “The year of pants” For the first time in a couple of years sewing dominated my crafting for the year and in particular pants sewing. Long pants, undies it was all about covering my butt. The pants sewing frenzy came out of a need for items as I had none or the ones I had were becoming unwearable. We did have a coolish winter and I’m glad I had long pants to get through it. Our summer so far seems to be on the cooler side so I’m still wearing long pants at times. All fabrics for my pants came from my stash so it was good to use some of it up. I enjoyed trying out different undie patterns to see which is the best for me. You wouldn’t think it but there are subtle differences between the different patterns making each one fit and feel a little different, I always thought undies were just undies. My final winners seem to be Scrundie’s and Frisky’s (yet to be blogged)  I will make more of them this year. 

The majority of my sewing in the first half of the year was to complete my Sewing Bingo Card. I did enjoy the challenge for the most part. It certainly did help get in and finally make projects I had been meaning to do for some time and finish off projects I had started but put aside. As I mentioned in my wrap up post about it I did learn this year that challenges like that aren’t really for me, I’m too self-competitive and need to finish the challenge regardless if I’m enjoying it or not. Sewing for me is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, if I’m not enjoying it then I have to stop doing it. That is my mantra each time I sit down at the sewing machine but also my long term view of it. 

If I had to pick an overall favourite make for 2021 it would be my train case. It was the first item I made all year and one of the most used. This pattern really confused me at first but I went ahead and attempted it being pleased with the end result. In fact one of my last makes for 2021 was another train case which I will share at some point.

Sustainability became more of a focus in my sewing the year. Reading Wendy Ward’s book certainly got my brain ticking with ideas so has listening to the new Check Your Thread podcast. I shopped my “stash” first for supplies before buying any additional items. I was more conscious when cutting pattern pieces out to reduce waste, I looked to use up scraps and off cuts in projects first before cutting new fabrics. Even stuffing toys I used up yarn and thread scraps mixed in with the hobby fill. I have unpicked old items to use in future muslins and kept notions to reuse such as zips. All the unpicked threads and old fabrics have gone into stuffing items. For some people unpicking store brought items might seem a chore but I have actually found it fascinating as it has given me an insight into of the items are made. I hope to continue making more sustainable sewing decisions in the future. I know at times it is going to be harder to make sustainable decisions on some projects but the important thing is that I’m more aware of my actions and try to do what I can.  

Sewing dominated my year but when I wasn’t at my sewing machine I was still knitting and crocheting. I’m really pleased with my Virus shawl but to be honest I didn’t really wear it, no real reason I just never got around to it. I’m hoping to get more wear out of it in 2022. I enjoyed knitting my big Adventerous Wrap (yet to be blogged) which seemed to fly off my needles. I learnt how to knit cables and how to put life lines in on ribbing so my knitting skills grew just that little bit more. Each month I used the pages from the Ultimate Sewing Planner by Ruby Jam to document down items I made and the pattern used. This came in really handy and helped me keep track of what I actually made. I remember gifts that I made but I lose track of items I make for myself/Mr StitchNSew or for around the house. I will continue using the planner each month just out of curiosity to remember all that I make including my charity makes which I don’t always list.  

Each year I ask myself this question in terms of my gift making. If you’re not familiar with my blog I make the birthday and Christmas gifts I give to immediate friends and family. For the first time in years I felt really organised with my gift making and therefore I enjoyed it. At the end of 2020 I wrote out my “to make” gift list and with the exception of a couple of Christmas gifts for friends I stuck to the list. My first gift was actually finished late December. I gave myself plenty of time to plan out my supplies, do any prep and actually make the gifts. There was only one gift I was cutting a fine line to finish. Around October I planned out my 2022 gifts with the exception of 1 or 2 Christmas gifts for friends. In this past week I have already gotten the majority of the birthday gifts made so that is a huge start on my gifts but it will also mean that my “finished” count will be lower in 2022 as they were all counted in my 2021 makes.

Making for charity was something I continued this year. I have found somewhere local to make beanies for and have a stash knitted but haven’t donated yet. It made a dent in my yarn stash, towards the end of the year I was able to get some good quality yarn for half price to replenish the charity knitting supply. I made a few items for our charity bags and will continue again this year.

It’s the start of January and I don’t know where my crafting is going this year. I don’t want to be making just for the sake of making as that defeats the purpose of sustainable making but I do want to keep crafting as that is important to me. A conundrum of wanting to try ideas but justifying if I actually need it. With making so much in 2021 I still have loads of projects to blog about so I won’t mention when I made them unless it is relevant or ties the items back to an overall gift.

Happy New Year
Cassiy

2021 Charity Bags Dropped Off

November 19 – 28 is the collection dates for bags to be dropped off at Bunnings for Share The Dignity’s annual “It’s In the Bag” campaign. If you aren’t familiar with Share The Dignity they are an Australian charity whose aim is to stamp out period poverty providing sanitary products to woman and girls in Australia who don’t have access to them. The work with a lot of homeless and women’s refuges. Just before Christmas each year they run their “It’s In The Bag” campaign where people are encouraged to put together a bag of essential items that will be passed on to women and girls who need them. Whether you make up 1 bag or 50 it will help out a female who has done it tough this year and needs a smile around Christmas. The charity is nation wide and in recent years teamed up with the largest hardware chain store in Australia to be a collection point for the bags. A roster of volunteers pick up the bags from Bunnings through the day to be distributed to the different charities who need them.

As luck would have it the week of the collection dates was the one week all year that rain was predicted every day in Sydney. Our local Bunnings is about a 40min walk each way (longer coming home as we often get Maccas and have a picnic in the park) Looking at the weather forecast Saturday morning we decided to risk it loading up the back of Mr StitchNSew’s wheelchair with our bags. Luckily we made it there and back even squeezing in a picnic.

We put together 3 bags. The last couple of years I’ve set a $20 budget per bag ($60 in total) Our finances are tighter now but we still want to contribute to the campaign. I came under budget by $11 in total. I joined a Facebook group of people who collect for the bags. People would share bargains that they found and that was a really good source in trying to stretch the budget out a far as possible. It was nice to be part of a supportive group who wanted to share their finds with others.

Now to start collecting and making for our 2022 bags. The bags are a never ending cycle, once one year’s are finished we start on the next. I make the bags we donate plus handicrafts that go in them. I haven’t decided on all my fabrics yet but I will in the coming weeks so I can cut them out over the Christmas break. Having the bags made earlier in the year meant I wasn’t rushed to finish everything by November.

Cassiy

Magnetic Wrist Pin Holder

When I was sorting through all my craft tools in 2019 I discovered that over the years I’d gotten so many tools and gadgets. I’m guilty of being swept up in the moment and sometimes the sales pitch at the time of purchase making me believe that I needed said item in front of me. After giving so many items away now I’m only buying tools if I really need them. No impulse buys only items I’ve contemplated for some time. One item I’ve considered for some time is a magnetic wrist pin holder. I have a wrist pin cushion already which I sometimes use but I wanted a magnetic one. The Clover Pin N Stow is the one I decided upon.

Why do you need a magnetic one when you already have a wrist pin cushion?
My pin cushion is handy if I only have a couple of regular pins but if I have a larger needle such as the one I use to thread in my overlocker (serger) tails my pin cushion is too difficult to get the needle into. A magnetic one holds the needle easier and more securely. I can also use it in my yarn crafts. My darning needles and cable needle are metal so they will stick to the magnetic disc. I can either have the holder on my wrist or on the table next to me knowing my needle is safe between uses thanks to the magnet. If I’m honest I will use it more for my yarn crafts. At knitting shops you can buy a similar product but I think it is more expensive than this was.

Between uses it lives on my craft noticeboard i.e. The side of my fridge. I wanted to keep it in an accessible spot that I can easily reach when I want to use it. I didn’t want it to be a gadget that lives on my craft trolley that other things get put on top of or have it sit on a bookcase. From previous experience I know if I can’t easily find the item at the time I want to use it then I tend to never use the item in future and it just becomes craft clutter.

Cassiy

Craft Project Bag

As I was making the storage bag for our stick blender I thought the size would make a great craft project bag. I still haven’t made myself one yet but I did make one for a friend for Christmas.

The pattern I used was my TNT Essential Wristlet pattern by Dog Under My Desk. I mentioned in my storage bag post that I enlarged the pattern even bigger than previously so this is my XXL size. I love the basic box corner shape of this bag and it is super easy to make. On this bag I added top handles for the first time. This was the project I was working on when the ghost decided to sew (so I thought) I normally sew a cross through my straps when I stitch them on to reinforce them and the machine didn’t stop in the corner like I wanted it to. To be honest I wasn’t actually happy with my first set of handles as they were too short plus I didn’t stitch them about 1″ square on to the bag so I took them off and redid them.

My friend likes to knit, crochet and do needlework. In my stash I found some fabric which represents all those crafts. This was perfect fabric for a craft bag! When making bags I like to use a lighter coloured fabric for the lining so that you can find things easier when you are searching through it. In my stash I found some pink and white striped fabric which was perfect as my friend likes pink.

My friend is going to use it as her knitting bag whenever she goes on trips away (cause we all pack ample knitting for trips away) so I’m glad she will use it. I enjoyed making this bag. This larger size in my head I thought would work well and seeing as a finished project I know it will. I have to get in and make my one now.

Cassiy

Unpacked Or Just Things Shoved Where They Fit?

Once again my planned blog post has been pushed aside as another more pressing issue has come to mind.

For those who are not familiar with my previous posts we moved to a new apartment last year. We had no set date so I had us pretty much packed on standby by the end of January and we moved in April. We unpacked all the loungeroom/kitchen stuff pretty quickly (more the work of Mr StitchNSew) which was fortunate as Mr StitchNSew had surgery in July. What took longer was all my craft stuff as only I could unpack it. I have unpacked all but 9 boxes which contain my craft fabrics (non dressmaking fabrics) and the tubs they go in. Saying that there is a difference between unpacking and putting things the way you want them to be to unpacking and shoving things where they fit. My unpacking is the latter of the two. I went through boxes, pulled stuff out and stuck it where fitted. I did get a fair bit of sewing time after work and on weekends done after the move but I never focused on how I had or where I had things set up. The rooms and set up in the new place is completely different to the old place, even the book cases I store things on are different as we completely switched things around and I have different ones now. My yarn supplies are the only things I have sorted but even those still need work. Although Mr StitchNSew tells me I have plenty of time to sort out my craft stuff I know if I don’t address it soon I never will. In recent weeks I’ve done a bit of sewing so feel that I’m on track with my gift making for the year so I think now is the time to focus on sorting stuff out or at least make a start on it.

 

Years ago I brought the book Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter and read it at the time picking up a few ideas. In 2019 I decluttered a lot of my craft stuff including books as I didn’t want to move stuff I wasn’t using. I shudder to think how many more boxes I would’ve had if I didn’t do my mega declutter. I kept this book and read it again. Even if you are not a quilter the book has some great advice as you can incorporate it to any craft. I got some good ideas and now I have a clear place to start.

My craft set up is a little unique to most. Most people’s sewing machine isn’t in the middle of their lounge room and few would have to worry about the position of their cutting table in terms of accessing the fridge or wheelchair path. Not many are lucky enough to have a craft vault (tiny room with built in shelves) either. Some areas in the new place were obvious places for my craft supplies like the craft vault. others seem to have just developed themselves such as shelf on the book case in the lounge. My areas to focus on are

  • Sewing Machine Cabinet
  • Trolley
  • Cutting Table
  • Vault
  • Shelf Nook
  • Chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Study/Spare Room

Looking at each area I asked myself the following questions

  • Current – What is currently going on the area?
  • Plan – What is my plan for the area?
  • To Do – What needs to be done to change from current to plan?

Sewing Machine Cabinet
Current – Has WIPs, random craft supplies, gets dusty, no room to work on projects so I need to shift things around when I sew
Plan – Have the area clear and dust free. Have my most used tools within reach.
To Do – Make a dust cover for machine, sort what I want to keep in the side shelves/bins. Remove half finished projects and craft supplies

Trolley
Current – Sits next to fridge. Has random supplies on different shelves. Some items are grouped together. Can’t easily find things. Things fall. Stuff gets dumped on it
Plan – Have specific areas on the different levels for different things. Use the side area of fridge as a magnetic board for notes. Have it clutter free
To Do – Buy clips for fridge. Remove all items and sort into different areas. Put items away in other areas that don’t need to be on it.

Cutting Table 
Current – The top mostly is clear of clutter. Cabinet space beneath has WIP’s and patterns, some tools. Table is moved about when Mr StitchNSew takes wheelchair out
Plan – Set a limit on WIPs and have them in some sort of container. Use the cabinet space more efficiently. Have top clear of clutter so top can be folded down easy or table pushed easily to access wheelchair
To Do – Decide on how I want to contain WIPs. Remove all WIP’s and complete them or find container to put them in. Check what other items I can store there

Chair
Current – Has yarn and sewing WIP’s
Plan – Use it as a chair to craft and watch tv
To Do – Finishing sewing WIP and 1 yarn WIP, move other yarn WIP to different area. Remove any items from chair

Shelf Nook
Current – Dumped yarn projects that need photographing. Has yarn, hooks/needles from previous projects
Plan – Place for my yarn butlers and yarn bowl. Room for a couple of project bags with WIP’s
To Do – Photograph finished projects, put away items from previous projects.

Vault
Current – Some shelves has fabrics by type. Some shelves have craft fabrics just shoved in. Has pieces for my QAYG project cut out or fabrics ready to ironed and cut out. Pattern box has some which I won’t use. Some fabric for gifts later this year are stuffed on shelves. Rolls of interfacing and previous taped PDF’s are in corner. Has some items on top shelf which could be moved to wardrobe. Has washed craft fabrics which have been used in projects since the move. Has box of knit scraps.
Plan – Long term is to measure each fabric and document it so I know what I have. Short term just only have dressmaking fabrics and craft fabrics for future projects on shelves. Have shelves neat and not overflowing. Store interfacing and PDF’s neatly. Have area to sit and look through pattern box.
To Do – Remove items that don’t need to be there. Finish ottoman (current WIP) Move QAYG project to box in study/spare to free up shelf space. Go through patterns and remove any that won’t get made

Wardrobe
Current – Drawers has clothing and knitwear in them. Have to move spare crutch and tablecloth roll just to access anything. Shelves contain knitwear, random craft and fitness items. Has tubs of yarn which is my good yarn. Some hanging frames are broken apart. Has hanging bag of sewing tools and bag of zippers. Finished gifts placed on top of yarn bins. Has box on top shelf of fabrics. and jigsaw puzzles
Plan – Only have the area for craft supplies. Shelves to be organised. Only keep tools I’m going to use
To Do – Sort out hanging bag and cull what I’m not going to use. Find a place for clothing and knitwear in other wardrobe. Cull items from top shelf. Give away one puzzle and do other. Move spare items to storage cage

Study/Spare Room
Current – Craft fabrics in boxes. Old dryer which didn’t get sold prior to move. Has some fitness equipment. Craft supplies on shelves in no real order. Has rubbish not yet taken down to bin room. Has fabrics culled waiting to be offered to friend. Has a couple of boxes not fully unpacked (crafted related and not) Small bookshelf has some study supplies on it but not all. Has mirror which can’t be accessed due to boxes. Bags of stuffing everywhere. Has unused fan in corner. A box of yarn which could be sorted and put with other yarn. Has box of electrical cords. Some items are in boxes but the lids don’t close properly. Have trouble getting chair through doorway
Plan – Have items on shelves neatly and fully accessible with some sort of coverage to prevent dust. Mirror facing out so it can be used. Have craft fabrics arranged neatly in boxes. Have study items all in one area. Have easy access to move chair in and out of room
To Do – Unpack and sort craft fabrics in orderly manner in small storage tubs. Put together printer and move all study items to study bookshelf. Unpack all remaining boxes. Move box of electrical cords. Take down all rubbish to bin room. Sort yarn box and put QAYG project in it. Decide if shelving is needed for craft fabric boxes. Sell old dryer. Sort out shelving and put the most used supplies within reach. Make curtains for the shelves.

Clearly the biggest area I have the study/spare Room. In the old place my craft fabrics were stored in a garage on shelves. Originally my plan was to once again have them on the same shelving in our storage cage but using the fabrics since we moved I don’t know if I want to go down to the storage cage. Yes it takes me about 2 hours to go through all the packed boxes but it convenient having them in the spare room. The storage cage is in a concrete carpark with no seating and bad lighting, reality is I’m not going to want to go down there just to find fabric. Until I know exactly how many small storage tubs I have I can’t look at shelving for them. I’m happy to stack them in the corner for the time being. I am going to sort them properly which I never did before. I have culled some fabrics from them (and culled a heap when packing) but I know there is more I can cull and give away. The dryer is taking up space but until Covid eases off a bit I’m reluctant to have strangers come to our house to pick it up. Once again I will work around it. I move my chair from the study to my sewing table. We used to have 2 chairs but the one in the study was partially broken so we didn’t move with it. Sticking with minimalism I only want one chair as I’m the only one ever using it but I want to be able to move it between the spare room and lounge easily without chipping the walls so I need to move things about a bit.

I haven’t given myself a time frame to get all this done. Looking at things clearly I have a starting point now and clear tasks that I can do when I get a chance. Seeing the tasks broken down makes it less overwhelming. I’ll do posts on each individual areas once I am fully happy with them or maybe even progress updates depending on how long it takes. My craft areas are a mess and to be honest I still don’t know how much I have kept until I sort it all out.

Let the fun begin!

Cassiy