Monday, January 28, 2013

Perfectly Organized Patterns and Projects

Are your pattern envelopes stuffed full of multiple sized patterns?  Do you have pieces of various patterns strewn in different places?  When you want a specific pattern can you find it?  What do you do with all these bits and pieces that won't fit into that paper envelope?  I have the solution...perfectly organized patterns!

I used to stick all the sizes and original pattern envelope and instructions into a ziploc bag.  That at least kept everything in the same place, but then when I got ready to do a particular size, I had to weed through all the different pieces to find the correct size.  That was until I met Gail Doane  this past summer at Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion.

Here is what you do:

First, you'll need paper folders with the metal duo-tangs in the center, page protectors, a label maker or marker and either masking tape or painter's tape and your pattern.

[caption id="attachment_289" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Supplies needed for pattern organization.[/caption]

I purchased purple folders because that is my favorite color and I use it as my logo and theme color for Ney Ney's Stitches.  You could use different colors to distinguish between boys patterns and girls' patterns or yoke-style patterns vs. a bishop style pattern, etc.

[caption id="attachment_292" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Labeling the folder.[/caption]

Next, create a label with your label maker or a marker and tape to represent the pattern you are filing.  Here I'm using the famous Pascale from Sew Beautiful.

[caption id="attachment_293" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Labeling the page protectors.[/caption]

The next step is to count the number of sizes the pattern provides and add one to it.  Each size will have it's own page protector and the additional protector is for the original pattern/envelope and instructions.     For my Pascale pattern, I had sizes 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.  So I had 5 page protectors that I labeled with each size in my pattern and left one page protector blank to store the original pattern.

[caption id="attachment_294" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Filling the page protectors.[/caption]

Then put the page protectors into the folder with the blank one first and the numbered sizes in sequential order.  Slip the original pattern and instructions into the first, blank page protector.

[caption id="attachment_295" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Adding multiple sizes to the folder.[/caption]

You will be able to see the pattern information without removing the pattern from the page protector!  Then place your multiple sizes in the correct page protector.  As I work on a particular project, I trace the size I need and store it.  The organizational freak in me want to trace all of them at once but I don't allow myself to do this if I'm working on a custom order or a timeline.

I started adding a post it note tab with a label on the "open edge"  to make it easier to find in my file cabinet.  (sorry no pics of this step)  The folder either goes to the file cabinet for storage...

[caption id="attachment_297" align="aligncenter" width="199"] File cabinet for storage.[/caption]


or into my project boxes for production along with all the necessary supplies for that project. (yes....they are purple too!)

[caption id="attachment_298" align="alignleft" width="300"] All supplies for a particular project.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_299" align="alignright" width="300"] All supplies for a project stored in my purple boxes.[/caption]














Thanks for reading!  Hope this helps you organize your patterns and projects!


Sew Happy,




Monday, January 21, 2013

Sew Organized

For those of you who know me already know that I love to organize!  My workspace has to be neat and tidy before I concentrate on my project at hand.  This characteristic can be frustrating when deadlines are due and "cleaning time" isn't optional but can be beneficial in that I always know where my stuff is!  That is one of my pet peeves (I really don't have that many, lol) to need something and not know where to find it!  I'm very blessed to have space.  Two years ago I decided the unused "pool house" would become my studio.  I moved out of a spare bedroom and haven't looked back!  I love going out of the house where there is only a space to create!'s blog is a tour of my sewing room that has morphed and will continue to change as I see fit.


This is what you see as you enter my sewing heaven.  I have an old kitchen table covered with a grid board to protect it and both machines handy.  My new (anniversary gift) Brother that can be embroidering and my "old faithful" Bernina to keep me occupied while waiting on the embroidery!

My current project is spread out on the table with the purple box nearby to store any trims, threads, cut pieces and patterns when not in use.  You can also see Maggie's dog bed purposely placed near my feet to keep her happy while we sew.

[caption id="attachment_264" align="alignleft" width="590"] My sewing table.[/caption]


Just recently I added the cutting table area with a plastic table that was sitting in the garage.  I also took bed risers that were used a couple of years ago in my daughter's dorm room to raise the height of the legs so cutting while standing or perched on a stool was comfortable.


I use a Pampered Chef lazy susan to store pens, scissors, marking tools, seam rippers, etc on the corner so I can easily reach them from either the sewing table or my cutting table.  I removed the mannequin from it's stand to use sizing my current project.  A wastebasket under the table is handy for scraps.  Painter's tape is a necessity for me--I use it to mark right sides, hold trim together, tape tissue paper together for pattern tracing, taping a quilt backing to the floor and sometimes use it to mark a seam allowance on my machines.  I also put as much fabric as I can onto bolts collected from my local Hancock store (they throw them away) and I have a breast cancer ceramic cupcake that houses the rubber bands I use to keep my fabric neat and my silk pin magnet catcher.

Of course there has to be an ironing area!  It is conveniently located on the other side of the table so I can roll from the machine to the ironing board or over to the cutting table.  Behind me is where I keep all my threads, stabilizers, buttons and snaps in fishing tackle boxes and collection of sewing books.  Note the old ice cream containers that hold velcro, zippers and elastic. (I want to cover them with white contact paper and label them but haven't done it yet )


A basket holds stabilizer scraps that I recycle and all my AS&E and Sew Beautiful magazines are stored in white binders purchased at local office supply stores.


Very important to sewing is yes, of course, fabric.  And a fabricoholic  ( did I just invent a word?) I am!  I'm addicted to beautiful fabrics!  I try to store larger yardage on bolts and less than 1 yard cuts in an old shoe cubby that I keep organized by color family.  Some of the folded fabric I didn't have room for on bolts or just haven't had time to put up yet.  I also keep interfacing a batting in this area as well.  I just couldn't stand my ribbon being mixed up (kinda like some people don't like their food touching) so I separated it into plastic shoeboxes by color.  I cut mat board to fit my shelf size and wrapped all my laces onto them to store on the top shelf.  I recycled a kitchen fruit basket to hold rick rack, bias binding and piping.  You'll see my "naked" pole where my mannequin belongs....Teddy bears are from my daughter's collection when little and a gift from a dear friend while undergoing chemotherapy.


Oh! and yes I love longeberger baskets to store stuff in as well!  Christmas fabrics are housed in this one.  Blanks are on my bottom shelf ready for embroidery!

My daughter's garments and      

Etsy inventory hangs here.

My filing cabinet houses all patterns.


The counter area (which is the kitchen area of the pool house) I use for a desk space, my pleater and my serger.  I used to cut here, but the width of the fabric wouldn't fit flat on the counter and I decided to confiscate the unused table from the garage.

Quilting supplies and templates are stored here.....              
a little music and Scentsy smell.....


coffee and chocolate to round out the day......

and most certainly a place to sit and sip my coffee while smocking or browsing my sewing magazines for inspiration with the help of my faithful Maggie!

Hope you enjoyed visiting me in my studio today!  Next week look for  "how to" instructions on organizing your patterns and all those multiple sizes!  Till next week.....happy stitching!

Renee at

Ney Ney's Stitches

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Welcome To My Blog!

Welcome to my blog!  I'm new to this blogging thing and have had a great friend set my site up.  Thanks Inga!  Since I'm still learning the "ins and outs" of the cyber world, please be patient with me.

For Christmas my daughter sought out my Pinterest boards for gift inspiration.  When I was asked what I wanted, my reply was a simple "thread holder" for my sewing room.  Needless to say, they outdid themselves!


Since my sewing room theme is lavender (a favorite since my childhood bedroom), it is painted with chevron stripes in that color.  Very accurately placed nails (thanks Peter!) give me room for 120 spools of embroidery thread or more if smaller spools are used.  As you can see in my photo, I double-dipped on the bottom for my Dual Duty Coats and Clark threads.

For those of you who know me personally, I'm an organization this new addition to my sewing room precipitated a newly organized sewing room!  After all I had to make a place for my new thread holder!

So my next blog will be about my sewing room organization.  Until next time......

Successful Sewing!!!