First off, Happy New Year everyone!
If you indulged in any of the festivities that involve ringing in the new year, perhaps you made your dress for the occasion. Or perhaps you are considering turning over a new leaf in your wardrobe and beginning to think of alllllllllll the great sewing patterns/outfits that you’ll be able to tackle this year. I know I am!
You would probably agree that most of us seamsters have an issue with having an overabundance of fabric at home. I’ve actually managed to keep my fabric stash pretty minimal, but I have over 200 sewing patterns in my collection so obviously I am NOT opposed to buying a pattern on sale! I often get excited about a new sewing project, but the idea of sifting through the large moving box that houses my patterns is a headache in itself. Maybe for you it’s just easier to buy new project fabric at the store since you really don’t recall what material, nor how much yardage of it, you already have at home.
Been there. Sick of that.
Well, I’ve figured out a much easier way that we will all be more organized and happier stitching divas in the new year by simply using two things that you already have – a smart phone and the Pinterest app.
Let’s start anew, shall we?
1. Using your phone or digital camera, take picture of the front envelope of each pattern that you own. For existing fabric you have in your stash, take a picture of the print. These pictures will become the pins for your new boards.
2. On a piece of paper, write down all of the categories you’d like to describe each pattern or fabric. For the fabric, you may choose to categorize by color/print (ex. florals, neutrals, ethnic, etc.) or material type (ex. cotton, polyester, wool, etc.). For sewing patterns, you may choose to categorize by brand (ex. McCalls, Vogue, Colette Patterns, etc.) or clothing type (ex. Dresses/Skirts, Shorts/Pants, Outerwear, etc.). These categories will become the names for each new ‘secret board’ that you create.
You can also create a “wishlist” category for the sewing patterns that you plan to possibly get in the future. If you are anything like me, you have a few pics already saved in your phone of snaps you’ve taken while sitting at the table looking in the pattern catalogs!
3. In your personal Pinterest account, add a new ‘secret board’. Using the categories that you’ve just listed for yourself, name each board accordingly. Be sure to add an underscore before each new category name (ex. “_Florals”). This will help ensure that the boards remain listed together and will be much easier to spot them from your existing boards you’ve already created.
If you are going to add boards for both fabrics and patterns, I would suggest creating all categories for patterns with a single underscore and all categories for fabrics with two underscores to keep them better separated. (Ex. “_Florals” verses “__McCalls”)
4. Begin uploading your pictures to save as new pins! It’s totally up to you how you’d like to describe each pin. For sewing patterns, I organized them by garment type and put the pattern number in the description box. As for the fabric, I’d suggest writing as much as you know in the description box. For example, known fabric type, stretch/no-stretch and remaining yardage.
5. After all of your uploads and descriptions are complete, be sure to select the board cover image for each category. This is an optional step, of course.
Iphone screenshot examples of my sewing pattern collection.
So this may be a cute idea and all, but WHY do this, you ask? Let me give you a few reasons.
- You can actually plan a future sewing project away from home now because you have all of your patterns and all of your important fabric stash information now in the palm of your hand and on-the-go. ISN’T THAT AWESOME!?
- Doing this can potentially save you some cash. I am guilty of buying a pattern that I already owned simply because I couldn’t recall if I had previously bought it once before or not. Haven’t you purchased new project fabric before only to realize there was suitable fabric that you forgot you already had at home? Yeah me too.
- Going to a sewing retreat or meet-up? This is an excellent way to “share your stash” with new friends, or show off your rare pattern finds in your collection without having to pack said collection.
- Are you a designer meeting up with a potential client or simply planning to sew a project for a family member? Quickly and easily cue up your existing pattern and fabric collection on your phone and easily start sharing your ideas.
So now there is a convenient way for you to organize your entire current sewing life at your fingertips. However, it doesn’t stop there. From now own, let us all vow to make sure to make certain things become habit when you go to the fabric store:
When buying new patterns: Make it a habit to immediately take a picture of it and file it away on your Pinterest account.
When buying new fabric: Take a picture of the bolt and fabric, note the date (if that’s important to you), note yardage purchased, and the type of fabric. And for the love for all that is good in the world, WASH YOUR FABRIC WHEN YOU GET HOME. It takes the frustration out of trying to figure out years later, ‘ has this fabric been pre-washed yet?’. Just save yourself some time in the future and put your mind at ease and wash it per the care instructions NOW.
I make sure to take pics of all fabric on the bolt before I take it to the cutting table so I have the fabric type and proper care instructions. I pin these photos for my future reference!
So that’s it you guys! Taking a few hours to snap photos and upload to your Pinterest ‘secret board’ will open a brand new way of keeping your stashes organized in a useful, yet very modern way. I’ve been doing this for the last couple months, and it has been such a help to me.
I hope this helps you to start your new sewing year right! Happy pinning! xo