You have spotted this beautiful pattern but don’t know which fabric or yarn to use to make it? Perhaps you already have one that would perfectly do the job, somewhere in your stash. But to find out, you would have to open that cupboard, then that box, then… And even then, you bought it so long ago that you can’t even remember its exact composition and weight.
Isn’t it at times like this that you dream of having a slightly better organised sewing corner? What if we offered you a solution that would take up little space and allow you to:
- Better manage your stash of fabrics and patterns,
- Find inspiration more easily,
- Make better use of the fabrics and yarns already in your cupboards,
- Plan your sewing projects,
- Follow your sewing projects step by step,
- And to keep a valuable record of them afterwards.
As you will have understood, this month we are meeting again for a rather specialised subject, but which is adaptable to all forms of creative activities, from sewing to ceramics, via embroidery or painting. Since all these activities have in common the management of a certain stock of materials, the planning of projects and the keeping track of them.
Materials needed to organise your creative projects (in this case, sewing):
- An Archivio or Tesoro storage box,
- Some foglietti,
- Some dividers,
- A stapler,
- Paper clips, Parisian fasteners or glue,
- A pair of scissors,
- A pen,
- And of course: your fabric or yarn samples and your patterns.
We recommend that you use white fogliettiso that the colour rendition of your samples is the more accurate possible.
Estimated time: depending of the vastitude of your stash, between 1 hour and a whole afternoon.
Create a fabric guide or fabric library
Let’s face the truth and start by taking stock of all the fabrics or yarn you own (be brave, don’t be ashamed! ;)). To do so, we will make a memo card for each of them.
Start by cutting a small square of about 5 x 5 centimetres in one corner of your coupon or, if you are making this library for your knitting projects, cut about 50 cm of yarn and fold it over four times and tie it in a knot. Attach this sample to a foglietto using your preferred method (glue, staples, paper clips, Parisian fasteners…).
Then, for each sample, write down the information that seems most useful to you: composition, weight, quantity in stock, date of purchase, brand, care instructions, etc. Repeat this procedure for each of your fabrics or yarns.
You will then have to classify these samples. To do this, define your main criteria when selecting a fabric: is it its composition, its weight, its colour or something else? Then use the dividers to create these categories in your box.
If you have a lot of samples, you can also set up a double or triple reading system. If your main criterion is weight, you can put three or four main weight categories on all the left-hand dividers. If your second criterion is composition, you can write the different materials on the central dividers (to be repeated for all the “weight” dividers), and so on.
Keep track of the patterns and designs you like
While it would be complicated to make fabric cards without fabrics (unless you order samples specifically for this purpose), it is very easy to build up a pattern library including patterns you don’t already own.
You can do this in exactly the same way as for your fabric cards, by replacing the sample with a drawing or photo of the pattern that you have printed out and then cut and pasted onto your pattern card, including all the important information.
In order to distinguish between patterns that you already have in stock and those that are on your wish-list or potential shopping list, you can add a symbol on your card indicating whether this pattern is already part of your collection or not. You can then make a pattern library out of it, in the same way as you made your fabric library in the previous step.
Finally, as with your fabric cards, you can also classify your pattern cards into different categories. The first that comes to mind is the type of garment, but you can also classify them by designer, level of difficulty or even season!
It’s up to you to decide, depending on your desires and the quantity of fabric and pattern cards you now have, whether you want to dedicate a box to your samples and a box to your patterns, or whether you want to group everything together in the same box.
Don’t forget that you can also print the visual of your patterns, or a fashion silhouette, directly on your foglietto cards. You will find all the explanations on how to print on your Foglietto memo cards in our dedicated article.
Mix and match: how to plan your knitting or sewing projects for the year
Our little memo cards have already shown some of their advantages in these first two steps, but here comes the most creative and fun part…
Now you can take out your pattern and fabric cards and mix and match them together. Foglietto allows you to have an overview of your stash of fabrics and patterns at a glance and thus to easily test pattern/fabric combinations. As you will have all the necessary information in front of you, you will be able to easily check whether the length of the fabric you need for a particular pattern corresponds to the length of the coupon you have in your stash, and whether the weight of your fabric corresponds to the weight recommended by the pattern.
Don’t hesitate to create a moodboard of your sewing projects by hanging your fabric and pattern cards with pictures of your inspirations and your ideal colour palette that you will have printed beforehand. This is the perfect method if you are in the process of making a 100% me-made wardrobe or if you are embarking on the Make Nine Challenge.
If you don’t want to or don’t have the space to make a moodboard, you can keep your fabric-pattern associations with a paper clip and then in your box, creating a special “sewing projects” section with a divider.
Complete each project with Foglietto: list of purchases, memo of changes made to the pattern, your opinion, etc.
It is then up to you to imagine what other information could be added to this fabric/pattern combo: the list of necessary purchases (Our to-do list cards will be perfect for this!), a small memo card summarising all the information you have contributed to the pattern, a history of the versions made in each fabric or pattern, your general opinion on the pattern, etc.
We’ve also come up with some other useful information that you might want to keep in your boxes, alongside your fabric and pattern cards. For example: measurements, colour palette or clothing preferences for each person you sew for. Or memo cards for particular techniques, button or ribbon cards, pattern cards for your knitting (our checkered cards are particularly useful for this)…
There is no limit! And you can easily adapt this concept to any of your creative activities. You can have one box dedicated to your fabric samples, another to your yarn samples, another to your ceramic projects, another for your paintings, and so on.
Archive all your sewing projects
What to do when you have finished sewing? You have two options.
You may decide to return your fabric card to its place immediately, and do the same for your pattern card. You may wish to attach a ‘changes’ card to the latter. You can hold them together with a paper clip for example. In this case, you can add a note on your fabric card, indicating that you used it on this date to make this pattern.
Second option (our favourite!): you can create an archive of your completed sewing projects. To do this, simply create a duplicate of your fabric and pattern cards. You will store the first ones as described in the first option, while the duplicates will constitute a new archive box dedicated to all your sewing projects already completed (or ongoing, or abandoned… again, there is no limit!).
You can organize these sets of project cards by type of garment or by recipient of the garment, if you sew a lot for others. This way you can remember exactly which garment you have sewn for whom. Again, include your changes cards, buttons cards, etc.
In a word:
Having a well organised stash of fabrics and patterns is now within your reach! Planning your sewing projects and making the most of the fabrics you already have in stock is possible with an archival box, some foglietti and a little time on your hands. In any case, we are convinced that this is the first step towards a more responsible and thoughtful sewing and wardrobe.
In summary, step by step:
How to organise your sewing projects?
- Create your fabric library: using Foglietto cards, create a fabric card for each coupon you have in your stash,
- Build your pattern library: do the same for all the patterns you already have in stock and for those you would like to sew,
- Mix and match: combine your fabric cards with your pattern cards, make different tests and create a moodboard of your sewing projects.
- Document your sewing projects: complete your fabric and pattern cards with a list of necessary purchases, a memo card on changes made on the pattern, but also keep measurement cards and colour palettes for all the people for whom you regularly sew, button or ribbon cards, etc.
- Archive your sewing projects: keep a valuable record of all your sewing to remember your fabric and pattern combinations and all the sewing you do for others.
Launch of Foglietto's corporate offer
Foglietto is the first office supplies brand dedicated to visual management. It is a complete agile solution to manage your various projects on a daily basis. The unlimited flexibility of an analogue solution such as Foglietto allows it to easily adapt to all sizes and types of companies, from freelancers to large groups and start-ups, while its great modularity gives it a natural affinity with the innovation, R&D and IT development sectors.
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