Tag Archives: sewing room

All Clean and Ready to Sew

The Eastern mess before....

My last post was all about getting rid of stash. I mentioned that every surface was covered and the picture to the left shows you the before picture of one side of the room. It had clearly ended up being the default place to toss anything with no clearly defined place of its own.

It was hard to even walk through the room, and that was about all I was using it for–walking through to get to the elliptical machine. You can see that in the second picture. The room is long and narrow, and these to pictures pretty much show the whole space. The mess behind where I stand is just…too much even to show anyone. Let’s just say it was really, really bad.

I had spent way longer than I care to admit just thinking about cleaning it and doing nothing about it. There’s something about the inertia when taking on a huge project. In order to clean up the room, I would have to go through my stash. In order to do that, I would actually have to make decisions. I’d have to get rid of some things. Rather, lots of things. And, in order to deal with this room, I would also need to clean out and organize my storage closet which is in the main hallway of the house. The domino of thoughts would invariably lead to me picking up a project and getting onto the treadmill without actually doing any cleaning whatsoever.

Having a ‘need’ to get something done finally pushed me over the edge and launched me into action last week. There is still the small closet that needs work–but the photo project taking up some space is way more involved than I can even begin to deal with at the moment. I just blogged about some of my particular knitting related cleaning. And now, I’ve got a room that is picked up, organized and even cleaned. There hasn’t been a vacuum in there for…well…a very long time. Now, I get to take the reward of all that time spent organizing and cleaning. Yup. Time to cut into some fabric and get sewing!

Oh…and the results of all that effort:

Makes note to self. “Get rid of the dead plant hanging in the corner.” So, maybe I’m not 100% there, but I’m close.

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Letting Go of the Stash

The stash...or most of it, anyway.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to have Hulda Emilsdottir come over and help me organize my house. She’s probably the queen of the world when it comes to organizing things and getting rid of stuff. At the time, she said something that I sort of brushed aside or just pointedly chose to ignore. I can’t remember the exact words she used but it was something about just having this extra stuff around is taking up space and energy in my mind. She was talking about the boxes and boxes of fabrics and projects that I have…erm…had (more about the change in tense soon) filling my storage closet. Even with them neatly labeled in boxes, just having this stuff sitting there unused and unfinished was taking up some amount of my energy thinking about “one day I’m going to do this or that.” She was right, of course, but at the time, I didn’t want to give up on some of the ideas I had that lived in the physical stash.

OUt of the boxes and sorted into scraps vs. yardage.

Recently, my daughter asked me to help her make a skirt, and I looked around the virtually unused sewing room and went into a state of near panic. I haven’t done much sewing of late, and every horizontal surface was covered with stuff. It had become the room that I ended up tossing stuff in before parties–piles of stuff that should have rightly been sorted and tossed or dealt with but seemed too much to do in the face of forty people showing up. But, even more, there was more stash to deal with. Not fabric so much, but yarn. I had exchanged my passion for fabric into that of yarn. Add to that an impulsive few days on E-Bay, and I just had TOO MUCH STUFF. I went through the closet that Hulda had helped organize and pulled out everything that I needed to just…let go.

I found fabric that I had purchased while working at House of Fabrics, my first job that started in 1984 and only lasted until about 1987 at most. I also found fabric from my stint at the Lake Washington Vocational College’s Professional Tailoring program that I took after being laid off from Quadtek in 1992. The concept of sewing professionally only lasted a short while. The economics of it plus the fact that the fussy work involved was okay when I was poking along for making my own clothes, but working for clients one-on-one was just not my cup of tea.

I also found scraps. Lots and lots of scraps from the many dresses, quilts and costumes I’ve made over the years. I’ve got a pretty tactile based memory, and just touching various pieces of fabric brought projects long gone back to mind. Pillows for my mom’s living room, a fairy costume for my daughter, a dress I loved until it was shreds, a silky bit that was left from my first attempt at a negligee, brightly colored knits from a shirt Bill wore until it was faded into pastels, quilts I made for my kids and other family members…the list goes on.

I sorted through the boxes, pulled out a few pieces of choice fabric that still excite my artistic tendencies and put the rest out for friends to comb through. After a few days of Facebook advertising, and many loads of stuff taken away, I moved to Freecycle. I had several people interested, but found that the request from a mom in charge of a 4-H group with fifteen very interested girls hit my heart just right. I was treated to squeals of delight as we loaded up the back of the ‘taker’s’ minivan. Fabric that I had hoarded with hopeful intent and given up on is now being fondled and dreamed about anew.

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Filed under Memories, Organizing