Monday, 13 March 2017

Fabric storage

After buying some fabric last week I spent the weekend updating my fabric log so thought I would take some photos and share with you how I log and store my fabric.

I start by making a note of the fabric size (selvedge width and metres I have)
I lay the fabric out on the floor folded in half (selvedge to selvedge, right sides together)
laying the fabric flat for measuring
I then fold the fabric around a piece of plastic. These are pieces I have pre-cut to the size of both my fabric shelf and fabric boxes. I know other sewers use comic boards which you can buy from various places. I use the plastic as I can get it free from where I work and can cut it to several different sizes depending on what I need.
I put the plastic in the centre and fold each long side in.
plastic section in the centre of the fabric
fabric folded in on each side
Once both sides are folded in I then fold the fabric along the length of the plastic (short end) until I end up with a rectangle of fabric.
folding along the length
Once folded I put the fabric into a bag (if it is going on the shelf or is delicate) otherwise I just secure the end using either a pin or magic tape.
I then add a number to the fabric (or bag) using a piece of magic tape.
The number on the fabric corresponds to the fabric log binder that I have which holds all the information relevant to that fabric.
bagged and numbered
The fabric then either gets put onto my fabric shelf or into one of my fabric boxes (which I seem to be outgrowing)
these are the boxes
This is an old photo of the shelf - there is a lot more on here now
 The log I have is just in an A4 2 ring binder. I use a sheet by Sew Weekly blog
I have a sheet per fabric type and then just add a sample and all the information I need to use said fabric. I add the numbers so that if I pull a fabric and have several of a similar weight and colour I know which one to refer to in the log.
fabric log sheet
close up showing the information I log
I have a small Filofax that I use index cards in that has a simplified version of the information that I take with me when I go fabric shopping so that I can refer to what I already have or match up a fabric to one I already own.
I also use evernote to log all my fabric so that if I am out and have an impromptu visit to a fabric shop I can still see what I have

I am going to be doing a spreadsheet so that I have an electronic tracking system, this will include photos of the fabrics and also photos of anything I have made from each fabric so that I can keep track of past fabric/project combinations but have not done this yet.

I also use this method to log all of my lace and trims just using smaller pieces of plastic

I hope this has been of some use for those of you trying to organise your fabric.
I will do further post on how I use evernote and when I get around to doing the spreadsheet.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Machines - sewing,embroidery and overlocker

I have always had a fascination with sewing machines ever since I started watching my nan and then sewing on my own toy one when I was about 6-7 years old.

I also like to research machines - especially when thinking about buying new ones.
I like to see what other sewists think of them, how they work, etc as well as trying them out at various suppliers. Big shows (like at the NEC) are good for this as there are normally a few different vendors with different machines all in one place.

I thought as there may be other people out there who can't get to shows and need to purchase online and who would like to see other sewers views I would do a series of blog posts on the various machines I have.

At the last count I had 10 ( I think haha) machines so I have a few to go through.
I have a couple of older singer machines that I haven't tried to sew on yet so they will come last in the series so that I can try them out.
I also have one I inherited from my Nan when she passed away so don't tend to use this one.

The machines I have are;

A Toyota mechanical machine - this was my first machine which I have had about 20 years.
Brother 500D embroidery and sewing combination machine - this was my first embroidery machine which I have had about 10 years.
Brother 950 embroidery and sewing combination machine - this was meant to replace the 500D (oops, I have both still) - I have had this one about 7 years
Brother Innovis V5 - this is my newest machine which I purchased in the summer (2016)  - this was to upgrade from the previous two machines due to the embroidery hoop size. I have however decided to keep them all as they will come in useful as my business gets busier and I need more machines.
A Toyota overlocker - I think I have had this one about 12 years.
Brother 104D overlocker - I got this one at the end of last summer (2016) as my other one was so old I decided it was time for an upgrade - one with easier threading!!!

Hope this is something people will find useful and you join me on my machine journey.
Please leave any thoughts or feelings on your own machines in the comments.
If there is any sewers out there who would like to write a guest post for the series then please contact me.