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We Interrupt This Blog

February 14, 2009

To give you something sewing related. Hee hee!

Fabric and pattern purging

Today I spent the majority of the day sorting fabric and patterns. I had four large bins of fabric still in the garage after bringing in my favorite fabrics and storing them in the cabinet in my sewing loft. I have been determined to get rid of everything I no longer want or need.

This is the keep pile. Actually it was a bit less than this as I was able to close the lid.


I also sorted through all my patterns and have 72 patterns that I’m getting rid of. Here are the bins that are full of fabric that’s leaving my home one way or another.


The bin on the left is all scraps. Some of those scraps are unfinished projects from circa 1985 that I never got around to sewing up and so I removed the pattern pieces and tossed the fabric in the bin. Not only do I not have the same body as in 1985, but I don’t like the styles for me.

The middle bin shows all the patterns plus under those are nice pieces of fabric that I will measure and sell. There are some cottons originally chosen for scrubs, some home dec fabric, and some apparel fabric that left me thinking, “What was I thinking?”.

The bin on the right has pieces of fabric – some over a yard – that I’m giving away for free. I’m not sure how to offer this all up. I think I’ll take pictures and add a page to this blog so if you’re interested, you can email me and we’ll work something out for shipping, etc. If you are local (greater Seattle area) email me and we’ll set up a time for you to come take a look.

A little reflection about my sewing habits

IMG_8502Look at this pattern. I purchased this in the mid 80s and chose it for a nice business suit. I cut out the lovely sage green linen-type fabric, cream lining, and never sewed it up. I carted that bundle around until now, still never sewing it up. It may or may not be back in style, but that skirt, with pockets, just is not flattering on my body any longer.

I also had patterns that I cut out for my daughters when they were little – as in elementary school or younger – and my oldest is nearly 30. I never sewed it up and hung onto the stuff thinking, I’ll sew it for my granddaughter. I never did.

I think there were nearly 10 or 12 unfinished projects that I unpinned and separated.

This process was very enlightening to me. I realized the following things:

  • I’m very good at coming up with great ideas, even starting them, but not so good at finishing them if I get interrupted.
  • My tastes have changed over the years as has my body awareness and things I used to think would look good on me don’t anymore, so there’s no point in keeping the fabric or the patterns.
  • I must have had a mentality of feeling like there would never be any more where whatever it was came from so I’ve kept things that baffle me today as to why I’ve kept them.  (Does that make sense?) That bin of fabric scraps is the biggest indicator of this mentality.
  • There really is some usefulness around the guideline of “if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.” There are some classic, high quality fabrics that I’d not include in that rule, but see the second bullet above. I might adjust it to a two-year rule, perhaps. See? There I go again…

New guidelines for me

I’ve given myself some new guidelines from here on out regarding my sewing and fabric purchases. Note that these are guidelines for me, not hard and fast rules. That means that more often than not, I will try to adhere to these, but I’m not going to be rigid and feel horrible if I make exceptions for myself.

  • I won’t buy the fabric if I can’t sew it up in the next six months, or less. Ideally, if I can’t go home and sew it up within a month, I’d better not purchase it. There will always be another sale, another deal, another fantastic fabric that I can’t live without.
  • If I can’t finish the project within a week or two, I won’t start it. That means I won’t cut out the pattern pieces, I won’t cut the fabric, and I will wait. I can’t even count how many pattern pieces, cut, that I put back into envelopes today.
    • A good example of this is the doggie beds I’ve started for my brother. They’ve been half finished on my cutting table for two weeks now. I really want to be done with them, and it’s good they are huge because I can’t really start anything else without getting them out of the house and I’m more than ready to start making something for myself.

So, there you have it. An enlightening day, as well as a lightening day.

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when I have the fabrics and patterns listed here for giveaway or sale.

  1. February 15, 2009 7:45 am

    Ah, clutter, I know thee well. I took a very short seminar once on clutter busting and there were only 3 steps:
    1) Pick up the clutter
    2) Feel ______ about it
    3) Throw it away
    Steps 1 & 2, not too hard. It’s that 2nd step that’s the doozey! We worry and fret so much about stuff – I spent money, I might use it, I can’t just throw something away, etc, etc.
    In my current sewing room active re-org, it’s feeling good to let some of that stuff go!
    Doesn’t it feel great?

  2. February 15, 2009 8:21 am

    It does feel good Jean. I’ve taken a sort of new-agey approach to it as well in that the “stuff” isn’t doing the universe any good if I’m hoarding it when someone else could be doing something great with it – such as knitting hats for chemo patients, sewing blankets for preemies, whatever. It makes getting rid of the clutter so much easier and makes me feel like I’m doing something good for someone, somehow.

  3. February 15, 2009 3:00 pm

    when purging sewing stuff, think about donating it to the local high school or middle school….if they still teach sewing. our schools do and they are very appreciative of fabric, patterns, notions. doesn’t matter if the patterns have been cut. some students cannot afford to buy patterns & fabric for their projects.

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