It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Habit Shift - It's All About The Swatches!

First, The Report (on previous Habit Shifts):  Yay Me!   Yes, I continue to do well, and the state of my sewing space is definitely improving!   Habit Shifts to date:

  1. I'm still snipping my threads as I sew :)
  2. Scissors are faithfully being stored - actually, I put them away on the wall SO much that I'm  sometimes wasting steps mid-project going back to retrieve them!
  3. My current-projects-box-for-patterns is a huge success.  All pattern envelopes that are currently being worked on, or under consideration for soon-to-be projects, live in one small box.  (pattern pieces for current projects hang on a rod for instant access)
  4. Thread spools and bobbins have a home, and they Go Home right after they've done their duty!  Well....mostly, anyway.  I could be a TAD bit more consistent on this one....
  5. And most recently, Fabric is being stored.  This one I achieved by finding a place in another room entirely for certain categories, and I also made space for one more set of drawers for fabric.   Fabric that is being worked on has a space (out in the open, but neatly folded) and fabric that is in the soon-to-be-worked-on planning stages has another space.   I can breathe!


For February:  I promised, after yet another "just what IS this fabric?" question gone unanswered, that I would start a system of labeling fabric for content.   Since I'm on something of a new fabric diet, it just isn't fair to try to shift a habit when there isn't anything to do.   So the first step is going to involve Setting An Albatross Free.

Here's the albatross:
All.  Those.  Swatches.   Swatches from the 2 years I was a Julie's Pic member.  EOS swatches.  Sawyer Brook and Marcy Tilton Swatches.  Swatches from here and there.  Most of which, of course, I never bought, and have no reason to keep.   The reason I have kept this small drawer full of swatches is that there are bits of info in there about fabric that I DID acquire, and it's so much easier to just toss in another swatch and close the drawer (quickly!) than to face the seemingly ginormous task of sorting.

So I'm going to sort.  And label.  Get a record system set up for what I have, so that I can easily keep it up when new goodies arrive :).

Not only am I going to do this, I've already started!   I've already found several fabric pieces that I was only semi-right about when I tried to figure out the content  (and of course, the care and feeding of said fabric).  I'm stapling the swatches I have records for on 3x5 cards, and when I use it in a pattern, I will then transfer the info to the pattern envelope sleeve for future reference.

Yes, yes I will :)  (I've already done this to a couple of recent patterns) :)

I even have proof :)   Here are the trash bins after the first round of purging and culling and sorting:


There are still some small mounds of paper and swatches, but most of these are fabrics that I actually DO have in stash:

Another session resulted in most of those swatches being labeled and stapled onto 3x5 cards.  The pages that are left are mostly info about fabrics I have, but I still need to find the fabric and cut a swatch.  A little more daunting, but by Jove, I can do it!!!!

And some proof of a card with pattern info and fabric swatches, living with the pattern envelope.  Damn I'm getting organized!   Scary.....

My sewing room, AND the overflow sewing room/guest room are both neat and tidy and clean right now!   Well, I'm having an overnight guest this weekend, so I kind of had to do that in order to find the futon, but still.....

And you?   Are you still with me?  (you can join any time, you know!)   The secret is to do one SMALL change - for 21 days, or a month.  Don't try to bite off some huge goal, just pick a little shift that you can flow into.  It's amazing what a lifelong difference one small shift can accomplish.

21 comments:

  1. I am! I am with you! Really!
    For this February my goal is to put away scissors and threads. Also I do try to organise my sewing place is such a way that there will be only things which I need for the current project.

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  2. You have been a good girl!
    Are you involved in cognitive behavioural therapy? (Just asking.)

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    1. Thank you ;-) I had to google cognitive behavioral therapy (in other words, no I'm not lol - are you?), but I do know myself well enough to know what works for me. I've definitely had my share of bad habits in this lifetime! ;D

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    2. My aunts are behavioural psychologists, and your approach seemed a bit like their's!

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  3. Ohhh, yes!!! I am still with you, but just not as dedicated as you - still at the 'hide-it-in-the-cupboard' mentality...J

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    1. lol - whatever works, I say. "behind closed doors" has a certain effectiveness ;-)

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  4. I am happy to hear your habit shift program is working so well for you. Have you found your creativity soaring as the clutter diminishes?

    An additional thought for your swatches...keep samples of unusual fabrics as reference for your on-line shopping. It can be a useful tool when reading descriptions, gauging weights, and understanding fabric types.

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    1. Heh - that was one of my excuses for hanging on to all those swatches; using it as a tool lol. I did hang on to a couple of pieces for just this purpose though - I think it's a good suggestion :)

      Creativity soaring? I'm not sure about that, but it sure is more enjoyable to work in a more organized space!

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  5. i'mn sort of in awe of how much good habit shifting is happening here...totally honest! the swatches in particular would overwhelm me. or at least, they do every time i even try LOOKING at my pile!

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    1. That's why it's taken me 3 YEARS to deal with them! And will probably take me the entire month to complete the project. :-\

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  6. Gosh. So many good deeds! I have had to completely tidy up my sewing room as our house is on the market on monday and it had to look good for the photos - and boy, my room is lovely! Rather than throw 'stuff' into drawers and boxes, I put things like scissors, snips, sewing glasses, tape measures etc, etc, in places that make sense, and it is soooooo easy to find things! Who knew!

    I think I will be pinching a couple of your ideas as well . . . . .!

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  7. Tiny bites is how one can eat an elephant! (Not that you'd want to. LOL!) Such lovely organisation you have going there. I'm pretty good - but not THAT good!

    Speaking of tiny bites, do you ever find that if you take too big of a swatch you can't fit the pattern pieces on anymore? That has happened to me more than once so now I'm scared to cut into it. But if I take too small of a swatch then it's useless. Lately I've been taking a photo instead and uploading it to Evernote. I take the real swatch for my notes from the remains AFTER I sew the garment. Working OK so far but I'm not done yet. Much better than the fabric spreadsheet I had that I've been ignoring much too long anyhow.

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    1. lol at the elephant analogy - good one!

      I do fret over taking too big a swatch piece, but I've not had a problem yet. A piece just for records can be small - it's a wash & shrink test piece that I always fret over!

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  8. Oh, you are SUCH a good role model! I am finding my working area overwhelmed again and it makes it hard to concentrate. I am going to start practicing good habits to overtake my "naughty" and lazy ones.

    Camryn

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    1. If I can be a role model to you I consider that an honor!

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  9. I need to put up peg board for sure....always searching for my scissors!
    ~Teri

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  10. Replies
    1. Thank you Rhonda - you are one of the queens of inspiration! :)

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  11. I just found your blog.. and what an amazing job you are doing. .I feel so encouraged to do better.. thank you for sharing.

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