05 March 2016

How I Catalogued the Stash

I started sewing in 2004 and since then, I've amassed an insane amount of fabric.  Kyle and Anne can bear witness to the stash running over.  In November 2014, I began the task of sorting, measuring, and recording the details of every piece.  Doing this was daunting and brought up a lot of emotions, but I'm glad I did it.  I now have an accurate record of everything I own and am not so quick to buy fabric - last fabric purchase notwithstanding.  Hah!


All of the fabric is stored in 18-gallon plastic bins and separated by category:  

  • skirt wools
  • coat wools
  • pant/dress wools
  • jacket wools
  • bouclés
  • bottomweights
  • stretch suitings
  • non-stretch suitings
  • lightweight and stretch cottons
  • linen
  • silk
  • denim
  • striped shirtings
  • solid shirtings
  • printed shirtings
  • ITY (less than 2 yards)
  • ITY (more than 2 yards)
  • colored ponte
  • black/white/grey ponte
  • printed ponte
  • double knits
  • cotton knits
  • solid rayon jersey
  • printed rayon jersey
  • activewear knits
Linings:  (rayon, silk, polyester, Kasha):
  • light colors
  • dark colors 
There are also three bins marked "miscellaneous" which contain a mixture of fabrics.  Since I've run out of room in the other bins, I had to combine fabrics until I (a) buy more bins or (b) sew more clothes.
My system is très old-school.  Aside from the single "here's the fabric I bought" photo, I have no other digital records of my fabric.  Instead, I have index cards with fabric swatches.  Essentially, I have the sewer's version of a card catalogue.  
Two plastic shoeboxes are used to hold the index cards on which the measurement (length and width) and a small swatch of each fabric is recorded.

Each of the above categories is grouped on a separate ring with the approximate total yardage recorded on the front.  I try to keep this total updated, but I often forget.

If I remember when/where the fabric was purchased or if the fabric has been prewashed, I include that information as well. 

(skirt wool)
Using the Catalogue
When I'm ready to sew a fabric, I take the index card from the ring, record the intended pattern to use, and the date I started sewing.

(jacket wool; in progress)

Once the garment is completed, I record the finished date as well. 


I also record any information related to sizing, fitting, construction, and mishaps on the back. 

I put all of the completed projects on a separate ring and store them in a metal box.

At the end of the year, I have an account of all of the garments I made (successes and failures) and the fabrics used. 

So that's it!  There's my stash in all of its glory.  Hah!


How do you catalogue your stash? Do you have a digital or paper system?  


02 March 2016

Catching Up

Well now.  Long time, no post!  I only started sewing again in the last week of February.  Life stuff tanked my mojo and sewjo and I didn't have the energy to do much of anything.  Even my sleep was off.  I'm back now...maybe...hopefully...and have some stuff to share.

What's up with that 6PAC?

I had these grand plans to sew a small six-piece wardrobe.  It started out great, but was quickly sidelined by this Simplicity hybrid:

I had problems with sewing the collar stand and setting the sleeve.  I don't know why I continue to torture myself with stretch cotton poplin.  This shit just does not want to play nicely.  I might just skip the sleeves and bind the armholes.

I also cut out another version of Simplicity 1945.  The status?

I actually need to finish this top because I want another black layering option. 

Not doing the PR wardrobe contest.

And I couldn't be happier.  In an effort to try and reclaim my sewjo, I started pulling patterns and fabric to use for the contest.  I got sooooooo overwhelmed that I couldn't settle on a single plan and became completely disinterested.  The pressure of having to compete made me not want to sew.  I was already not sewing and the idea of joining the contest made it worse.  Since scrapping the idea of participating, I've actually sewn two garments and am working on a third.

Another pair of jeans (Jalie 2908).

The first of three new garments is another pair of jeans.  I wasn't even excited about making another pair, but figured since it's quick and easy (for me), why not do it?

Pardon the wrinkles; they're freshly washed and not ironed.

I needed another pair because I gained weight and my other pairs are too tight.  Oops.  The verdict?  Love!  These are comfortable and actually a little too big.  The denim I used has more stretch than I typically like, but that's okay.  These jeans fit and don't cut off my circulation. =)

Another skirt (New Look 6274).

I watched as Kyle (Vacuuming the Lawn) sewed and lined her wool skirt.  For some reason, following her journey inspired me to sew a skirt as well.  Granted mine doesn't have a back vent, but I had to start somewhere.

All I need to do is face the waist.  

Another jacket (Simplicity 2284)

I got this fabric in October on a shopping trip with Anne (Sewing to Soothe My Soul) from a local non-profit art studio.  I never blogged about my haul, but let me tell you I got some GOOD stuffseveral pieces of wool, rayon bemberg lining, silk, and cotton.  I would snap photos, but I've catalogued and stored everything already.  This wool piece was just long enough to cut out the jacket and is sewing up quite nicely.

I need to cut and sew the lining (waaah).

No sewing doesn't mean no stashing.

So far this year I've made two fabric purchases:  one small, one large.  Joann Fabrics had some nice rayon/nylon stretch bottomweight that I thought would be good for these Vogue pants:

I love everything about the seaming and really, really want to make these pants.

As far as the large purchase...

polyester bouclé
polyester bottomweight and suiting
polyester ITY
cotton shirtings
cotton suiting

I bought a lot of polyester this time because I need more washable clothes.  I love wool, but it's not practical to have a whole wardrobe that needs dry cleaning.   

I'm thinking of using the houndstooth to make a motorcycle jacket or lightweight coat.
 photo credits:  Already Pretty (left); Polyvore (right)

photo credit:  baublestobubbles

 photo credits:  pinqueblog (left); thisnext (right)

The scale on my houndstooth isn't as large, but I think it'll still look okay.

Starting from Scratch?  Yep, I still am.

I haven't abandoned this idea totally.  I realized that my sewing attention span is shorter than that of a gnat and I have to go with what moves me.  I am slowly, but surely, adding pieces to the plan and following Vivienne's (The Vivienne Files) suggestionsI'm just doing so when I feel like it.

Non-sewing stuff.

Google is ending Picasa Web Albums.  Whyyyyyyyyyy???  Ugh.  I can't stand Flickr and don't know what I'm going to do.  Google, you suck.

I am Feeling the Bern.  I am more terrified of Rubio or Cruz becoming president than Trump.  Aaaand now I need to shower.   

So that's it for now.  The sewjo is back and I hope to posting more often.



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