Stash/Project Management

Tim’s accessories are still not done, I still haven’t begun mine, and I’m still sick. My Little Monster’s on spring break next week and that’s going to put me further behind. Begin panic mode… NOW! Sleep is for the weak! …or something.

I have far more ideas than I have time. If I locked myself in the basement, asked my husband to throw me down a pizza once in a while and just sewed for a month, I couldn’t even make a dent in the ridiculous amounts of projects that I have in my head and in my stash.

A few years ago, I really needed to get my stash a little better organized; it was getting unruly. I started putting the smaller projects in inexpensive gallon-size zip-top bags, along with a quick note with what the project was. (Anything too big for a gallon-size bag went into a plastic grocery bag.) In some cases, if I had a specific pattern in mind, I kept the pattern with the project, too. In other cases, if the project was inspired by something I had seen online, I printed it out with some notes and put that in the bag. That way, when I was finally able to get to the project, everything was together, and I knew what it was supposed to be. I set up a shelving unit by my sewing table, and in it are many of my projects. Now, if I want to sew something, all I have to do is grab something off the shelf; it’s right there, handy.

Projects ready to be sewn.

More recently I became rather obsessed with hats, and remnants are perfect for that. I have a lot of remnants… I did some sorting and rearranging in the space under the stairs, and managed to get everything sorted by color, because that’s how my brain works. Maybe you would rather sort by texture or fabric content..? I also have bins of other pieces of fabrics, large enough to be made into something, but don’t have plans for them (yet) that were given to me by my mother who decided she didn’t want them anymore. It’s maybe not a perfect system, but with a limited amount of space since I don’t have a whole room devoted to sewing, it works for me.

Remnants sorted by color.

I gave in a couple years ago and got a sketchbook to jot ideas down, with the idea that if they weren’t in my head, maybe I could get to sleep. (I didn’t work. Writing them down just made room for more.) Since then, I’ve also had to get a small sketchpad to carry on my person (so I don’t have to try to draw on a paper napkin with a ballpoint pen), and two more sketchpads: one just for hats, and another for clothes/costuming. My drawing skills aren’t fantastic, but they’re improving, and this is a convenient way for me to keep my ideas organized, future projects that I don’t have materials for — so nothing to add to my shelf.

Where I download by ideas.

How do you stay organized?