Hello, 2012!

Hi, friends!  It’s been soooooo long since we’ve spoken! I hope that your holidays were lovely, if you celebrated, and I hope that you’re blessed with health, happiness, and humor in this new year.

December passed by so quickly, and although I didn’t post, I made a few things (top secret gifts that I can finally show you!) and I had tons of fun!  I had a blissful two weeks off work to spend with friends and family back in the Midwest, and although I had limited internet access over that time, I’ve been enjoying catching up on your blogs over the last day or so.

I’m really anxious to get back to making things, but I decided to use my first day back in NY (today!) to clean, organize, and otherwise start 2012 as neatly and tidily as possible!  For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a very unorganized person and I tend to accumulate piles of precious treasures garbage that take over my NYC-sized apartment.  I spent the day unpacking, cleaning, and going through my stuff, and tomorrow I’m determined to make my little sewing corner as organized and SMALL as possible.  I have a few ideas for how to make my sewing area neater, and a few new things to show you!  But I’d also like to ask you guys– how do you keep your sewing area organized?  Any tips?  How do you store fabric/patterns/yarn/etc?  I’d love to hear your strategies for combating the dreaded Sewing Area Ooze!

How messy is my sewing area, you ask?  Take a gander if you dare…

See, I wasn't kidding about the piles!

Let’s take a closer look:

Oh, yeah! That's good stuff! Do you like the hockey equipment shoved under the card tables? So classy!

Here’s how I sew:

How could you not feel totally organized and sane working in a space like this?

Wait, what are those things lurking off to the left?  Why, they’re pattern weights!

Delicious, delicious pattern weights

Yikes!  So now you can see why I’m so anxious to change things up a little!  🙂

Next item of business: I’ve decided to take the Seamless Pledge!

I, Sonja, of Ginger Makes, am taking the Seamless Pledge until June 30, 2012.  I will abstain from buying any new clothes until the end of the pledge and instead focus on wearing what I already own or making my own garments.  I want to be more thoughtful about my consumption practices and learn to live with less.

I’m following Gail’s lead and signing on for a six-month period initially.  I’m really excited to do this alongside Gail, Andrea, and the rest of the crew.  How about you guys?  Anybody else trying this?

I’m so excited to start another year of making and blogging, and I’m so thankful for all of you guys!  Your endless help, encouragement, and enthusiasm really energize and inspire me (and very often motivate me to finish a difficult project)!  I had so much fun in 2011, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings and to see all your fantastic makes!  Yay 2012!

28 responses

  1. “Delicious, delicious pattern weights” – loudest laugh I’ve had today! Nice to see you’re doing the seamless pledge as well, it’s my resolution too, but I’m only doing it for the first 3 months and then I’ll go from there. Looking forward to hearing how you go!


  2. I’m so stoked that you’re doing the Seamless Pledge too! Woohoo!!

    Well, here’s how I keep my sewing area tidy: I don’t have one! All my sewing is done on my dining room table, which means that after EVERY session, I have to pack it all away. But I also have a very low tolerance for clutter, and I don’t have much of a fabric or pattern stash. (Yarn is another story, but it’s all in see-through plastic tubs in the guest room closet.) So I limit myself to one sewing project at a time. I think you’re very lucky to have your own little corner!

    Happy 2012!


    • Yay! I’m really excited! I bet we’re going to have tons ‘o’ fun!

      Ooh– I’m glad to hear that you’re able to avoid clutter! You know, I never really thought of myself as much of a stasher, as I don’t buy fabric without a plan for it, but… I do “plan” at a much faster pace than I sew! So I have lots of bags, each filled with the fabric, notions, and pattern for one project, jammed into a closet… blech! I’m hoping to get through at least a few of those so I can clear up the space!


      • Also, I’m hogging up over half the living room right now and coming dangerously close to infringing Man Friend’s sacred TV space (and we don’t have a dining room table)! He’s a great sport about it, but I feel really bad about the mess. 😦


  3. That is what passes for “messy”? Oh dear, I wonder what adjectives would be used to describe my sewing space right now, as I am in the middle of sewing two pairs of trousers and drafting a pair of jeans, sewing tools everywhere, scraps scattered, oh my! I like the idea behind the seamless pledge but I am not much of a clothes shopper so it kinda seems like cheating. 🙂 The only thing I can think of that I need right now is socks and I’m pretty sure I don’t have the patience to knit them….!

    The “delicious, delicious pattern weights” bit made me smile, too. 🙂


    • Wow, trousers and jeans?! I’m in awe of you! Can’t wait to see finished pants!!

      You know, I’m not a huge clothes shopper, either, but most of my purchases tend to be dumb. I’m pretty skinny, and junior’s sizes tend to fit me better off the rack, but I don’t like the styles and junior’s clothing tends to be so cheaply made that it falls apart immediately. I always end up buying stuff because I’ve procrastinated and put off looking for something specific that I need by a deadline (i.e. cardigan to go over a bridesmaid dress or something like that). I don’t really want to buy cheap crap that isn’t produced responsibly and that I won’t be able to wear more than twice without it looking gross.

      Oh, and I love to knit, but dude, you won’t catch me knitting socks! I can imagine myself sweating in some pair of laborious wool socks… Yuck!


  4. I’m very slowly working on cleaning up my disaster area of a space, and it’s way worse than yours. 😦 I have an entire room in the basement to use however I wish, and that’s a lot of space to dump stuff. I’m taking some advice I heard once and spending 15 minutes a day organizing/cleaning until it’s where I want it. It’ll be a while, but once it’s there, I intend to share before and after photos. Good luck with yous! It’s not too bad, though. 🙂


  5. Welcome Back, Ginger. I’m happy to hear you’ll be joining the Seamless Pledge – bring it on! As for getting organized, there are three things that work for me: (1) a shelving unit, where I display my reference books, my stash folded neatly and organized by colour or type of fabric (‘cause I’m crazy OCD like that), and my notions, such as buttons, ribbon, clasps, safety pins, etc., in see trough jars for ease of finding and because I like to see all the colours; (2) one of those cheap-o plastic drawer units which can accommodate a surprisingly large amount of stuff (I keep patterns in one drawer, interfacing and larger notions on the others) and which you could easily fit under the card table; and (3) see through Rubbermaid storage boxes where I keep my yarn tucked away from the threat of moths and dust. I also use canned goods for pattern weights, I just return them to the kitchen once they are no longer needed  Hope this helps. Oh, and will you be showing us your top secret gifts soon?


    • Ooh, a plastic drawer unit is a great idea! I think I would benefit from some shelving, too. And yes, I’ll show you guys the gifts, now that everyone has received them! Pictures coming soon!


  6. Well, I’ve never really gotten a handle on my disaster of a sewing area. I have no solutions! (I use cans for weights, too!)

    That’s a great pledge and a really good idea. It would force me to use up my stash and make pieces that I really need. There’s no article of clothing that I can see myself desperately needing to buy in the next six months. I might just join you guys…


  7. I saw a really neat tip for fabric storage recently (I think it was the Colette Patterns daily email? Or on their blog, maybe?) – instead of folding fabric, they suggest rolling it into neat little stacks that can be tied closed with a piece of fabric or bias tape. My major downfall in keeping my space clean is fabric storage; I just have too much of it! I also saw something last night where a blogger suggested wrapping lengths of lace/bias tape/elastic/whatever around spools of empty thread. GENIUSSSSS.

    I love that pledge and I guess I’m loosely following it… I haven’t bought new clothes in, geez, I don’t know how long. At least a year (thrift stores don’t count :P). And I’m currently on a fabric-buying ban for at least the next six months. Need to pare down my stash quite a bit!


    • Now that you mention it, I really have to make a conscious effort to stash-bust over the next six months! That’s a good idea!

      Love the idea of rolling fabric and notions– I always just stuff them into bags, which I pile in heaps, that I then trip over when I’m trying to dig out a pattern!


  8. Ooh, I’m intrigued by/admiring of this Seamless Pledge. I can’t vow to make my own clothes (although I have a sweet idea for a shapeless tunic, made by cutting holes in a pillowcase), but I like the idea of being “more thoughtful about my consumption practices and learn[ing] to live with less.”

    As always, you inspire me, friend!!! 🙂


  9. Happy New Year a wee bit late! Organizing (and keeping things organized) is an all the time task around here. Everything spills out of my tiny room and into our bedroom/sitting area. I mostly keep fabric in bins, but I just printed out the Sew Weekly fabric cards to keep swatches out in the open so I think that will help a bit. I definitely was laughing when I got to ‘delicious, delicious pattern weights!’ haha! Been there for sure! It stinks when you need to eat one of your weights though…


  10. ha my sewing space used to be in my old tiny bedroom, messy doesn’t even come close, these days its all in a separate room so i can just close the door on the chaos inside – easy peasy 🙂
    good luck with your seamless pledge, i haven’t taken it because i’ve been doing that already, looking forward to hearing how you find it


    • Haha, that’s perfect! I would LOVE to be able to close a door so visitors couldn’t see how I really live (although I doubt that I’m fooling anyone… I’m a pretty well-documented slob… sigh…)!

      Thanks for the well wishes– I’ve really been inspired by so many of you bloggy friends who make a conscious effort to source clothes responsibly, thrift, or make the majority of their wardrobe. I’m really excited to try this out!


  11. I have bins, and then more stuff folded and stacked in a closet. It’s constant to keep it all organized, and every once in a while, I have to tear it all down and redo it. Now that I’ve found those Sew Weekly tags, I should redo my recent organization. And roll from here on, not fold! Man, I roll when packing a suitcase, so the Coletterie post on that was a no-brainer.


    • Agreed– I’ve always rolled when I pack a suitcase, too (I started doing that as a kid after it was suggested as a travel tip in American Girl magazine!) and you can fit things easier and have fewer creases! I have no idea why I haven’t done that with fabric!


  12. Pingback: Featured Pledger: Sonja Beck Gingerich (Ginger Makes) | Seamless

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