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FOs and UFOs and Wherein I Finally Get My Patterns Organized

posted by Kendra on

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In my absence from blogging, I received the lot of 50 vintage patterns I won on Ebay, plus a others that I have been buying here and there. My current count is 228?! Yikes! Thankfully, I started organizing my patterns as I went along, so I haven't had to overhaul a system - just buy different storage containers.

To stay organized, I keep a list in Bento (the Mac version of FileMaker), a database program that I can sync to my iPhone and iPad. Ideally, that keeps me from buying duplicates. Of course, that doesn't prevent me from buying the same pattern twice during the same shopping trip, something I did recently. No amount of organization can help me there!

I finally ended up buying cardboard file boxes from OfficeMax - basically 1/2 size file boxes with an attached lid. I pulled the instructions and pattern out of the envelope and put them in a quart-size Ziploc bag with the pattern number/line drawing on the instructions facing out. (Or, if that couldn't be done for one reason or another, I wrote the number in Sharpie on the bag.) Those are filed by number in the boxes, generally 1 group of numbers (e.g. 1000-1999) to a box. Some have two. It depends.

The pattern envelopes are in sheet protectors and organized in 3-ring binders by type (dress, top, bottom, etc) for my own set of pattern books. I have a complete binder of nothing but dresses - that would be the bottom one of the stack. I also scan the front and back of the envelopes so I have them for my pattern database. It's easy to buy fabric for a project when I have a scan of the envelope in my iPhone with notion and fabric information and yardage.

As for the sewing things I've been working on, the quilt is more of an "NFO" - nearly finished object - than a "UFO" or unfinished object. I just have the binding to hand stitch. There was a bit about not having matching thread, and then a lot of working late and not getting home with time to do anything.

In the meantime, I have finished a couple more Sorbetto tops. I will have 4 in the end, which may seem like a lot, but I'm making them out of a variety of fabric and I'm sorely lacking in the in-between dressy and casual top department. I have one more to go, then I'll move on to something else.

Most recent:

Next fabric (pre-cut! just needs to be sewn):

After thinking about it for several months, I finally broke down and bought the Colette sewing book. I have random holes in my sewing knowledge, and this definitely helped fill some things in. One thing I have started is a sewing notebook - right now it contains a list of sewing projects for this summer and for next fall/winter. Hopefully it will keep me from getting too overwhelmed...or from forgetting that really cool idea I saw last week...

I've also been trying out something I read. Somewhere. Cut a bunch of projects out when you're in the mood to cut. Then when you want to sew (and not cut), you can! I tried it with the two Sorbetto tops above. It's been nice being able to walk in and just start sewing and not have to futz about with the cutting and the ironing and the pinning and, and, and.

So when my mom tells me, "Well, you better get sewing..." I am.

email: kendrabork(a)gmail.com

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