Bulletin Boards

I like bulletin boards.  I have several throughout the house. I’ve found that they are invaluable for corralling things at least temporarily and over-time do little damage as say compared to multiple applications of double-sided tape or thumb tacks.  In my Stash Room

North Wall above the Wall Pockets
North Wall above the Wall Pockets
West Wall
West Wall

the bulletin boards are handy places to hang frequently used tools (like my rotary cutters) and also things that need to be kept handy (and not lost) for the current or even next project.  Things like pattern pieces or the perfect-for-this-jacket shoulder pads. Unfortunately these things tend to accumulate. As part of the cleaning process I removed everything from both boards.  Then I was aghast at how ugly the boards were.  So I rough cut and dipped in starch two pieces of the fabric I was planning to use as binding.  After my bulletin board fabrics dried, I starched  and dried them a second time.

I cut them to final size using the rotary cutter with the pinking blade.  They still didn’t feel stiff enough but I wasn’t sure how much effort I wanted to invest. At this point the chosen fabric didn’t WOW me.  It looked dark. Maybe too dark for the room. But I proceeded because none of my fabric stash looked as good with the fabric of the Wall Pockets (which were already trimmed and bound with the same fabric.)  I pressed the cut, pinked fabrics carefully and then reinforced the wrong-side edges with interfacing from a 1″ roll I bought from Pamela’s Patterns  and can’t remember why I purchased.

I put the fabric up on the bulletin boards using push-ins so I could remove them just as easily when I find the ‘right’ fabric.

North Wall
North Wall 3′  wide, 22″ tall

 

West Wall 22″ Tall, 18″ wide , which IRL looks more like this:

When finished, I think I like them. It helped that I removed, filed or discarded most of the stuff that was up on the boards.  I have no doubt there will be another accumulation and another clean-up in my future.  But right now, I’m thinking more along the lines of adding some ribbon around the edges.  Cover up the pinking and the almost-fits look. I have to admit, the fabric actually makes the room look brighter.

North Wall
North Wall
East Wall
East Wall

Buttonholes

The Wannadu Jacket is a soft flowing shape.  It’s a large shape, perfect for embellishing and since I’ve used the pattern before excellent for trying new-to-me techniques.  In addition to painting the buttons (which I didn’t originally intend to do), I also wanted to revisit a button closure technique: attaching a cord to a finished edge.

The first time, I worked with thing round elastic. It was fussy and I didn’t do that good of a job. This time I worked with a cord formed by cutting my fabric 1″ wide; folding the cut edges to the center and then folding the folds together. Like you would do for bias tape. I attached the cord starting at the hem on the left side (the button side) up and around the neckline using a the rail road stitch. Well I think of it as a rail road.  It’s one or two stitched forward then one to the left, back to center, one to the right back to center and repeat. There are no zig zag’s.   I marked the position of the button holes with chalk.  I would stitch 1/2″ away from the mark. Make a secure stitch.  Slide the garment up under the foot just under an inch and then start the rail road stitch up to the beginning of the next buttonhole. Where I would again secure, slide forward and stitch some more.  After the final buttonhole, I stitched all the way to the hem joining the cord and the folded edge of my garment.  Finished it looks like this

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Which open up nicely for buttons

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and closes around the button beautifully

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My issue is with beginning and end the cord attachment

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I can do it neatly, but not perfectly

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I’d really like the hem edge to be perfectly level.  It’s a button/closure technique I like and will use again.

 

Wannadu Jacket Buttons

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the buttons.  Despite my large collection -the result of my own collecting, collecting of my mother, sister, aunts and gifts of unknown origin– I didn’t feel I had a suitable button for this project.  Nothing would do.  I spent some quality time on my tablet at Etsy looking at black buttons.  When I ran across these

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at radishka.  I immediately visualized these with gold brushed across the raised surfaces.  Though I searched for another few hours, I couldn’t find anything close.  I purchased determined to add my own gold paint of which I have a few to select from

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Also a few paint application tools

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beyond the normal brushes.  I decided to use the Luminere Gold and the medium-sized roller.  I started by poking some holes in waste foam and settling the button shanks into the holes.

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I knew I wanted 5 buttons on my jacket which left me with 1 to test (ruin). I squeezed out a little paint on a cleaned foam meat tray

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and rolled the roller through it a few times to spread the paint and pick it up on my roller.

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Then rolled across my test button.  To my utter shock, my first test was perfect. Exactly what I had envisioned!  It took several more dollops of paint and I needed to hold the buttons in place using a latch tool

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I needed the cotton swap to remove paint in the few spots where I was too zealous with my application.

I let the paint dry 4 hours,  moved the buttons and foam to the top of an opened paper bag, and sprayed with an acrylic sealant.

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I let the sealant dry for about 8 hours. Not really sure because I sprayed; let it set until bed time; when I ran downstairs and gave the buttons another spray.  In the morning they were dry and beautiful.

Totally pleased with the end result.

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They compliment the jacket just as I imagined and were lots easier to create than I expected.

 

PS I think I paid $8 for the buttons. 49cents is a pipe dream from long ago. Shipping was USPS First Class and took about a week.

 

Quick Shout Out to WordPress…

… who has tremendously improved their photo hosting.

Yes Photobucket was up to no good again today. Although I could load pics without signing in 30 times, it was sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.  I allowed for the fact I uploaded 12 pics at once. Really should that take 30 minutes? and then should it take another 15 to get to “My Bucket” so I can acquire the link? (Which usually takes another 1-2 minutes, sometimes longer.)

Not much of a patient person, I decided today was the day to test WordPress’ photo hosting. The last time I used them, they too were horribly slow and the process of acquiring a link was many clicks away. This was 6-8 years ago back when I first changed to WordPress for blogging. At the time Photobucket was lightening fast and I thought the two were complimentary.  Wordpress for blogging, Photobucket for photo hosting. This has been true for many years.

I don’t know why, I only know that  my Photobucket transactions have been taking longer and longer.  Right now, each action requires telling them I don’t want to pay whatever-it-is-they-want-to-charge.

Amazon Cloud was quick and easy.  Thought I’d found a winner except that my links would disappear in 48 hours. I mean the code wasn’t even in my post.  How’d they edit my code?

WordPress is today’s hero.  To be fair, I only loaded 1 pic at a time. Each pic took less than 5 seconds. The Link? Not to worry, just press the ‘Insert Into Post’ button.  What an improvement!

 

Love it WORDPRESS.

Wall Pockets

Replacing the Wall Pockets

was the major impetus for *Pimping-up the Stash Room.

I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years.  Actually had my fabric for over a year.  Bought the Quilt Hanger about 6 months ago.  The first set was intended to suffice for 6 months to a year, at most.  8 years later, they were looking quite bedraggled.

I knew I still wanted these pockets. When first sewn, I anticipated working at the North end of cutting table and placed the pockets on the North wall of the Stash Room for easy access. It worked brilliantly, other than my tendency to put other furnishing in front. (I removed everything and replaced with short items. The ”space” is occupied so I won’t be inclined to put something taller, yet the item in front doesn’t block my view or access to the sewing notions inside my pockets.)

I wanted something very sturdy.   Something that would keep its shape. So the base is almost like a quilt with a backing of upholstery fabric,

center layer not of batting but heavy interfacing,

and a top layer.  The top layer resembles a sun print.

I know it isn’t a true sun print because it’s a commercial fabric that was available on a bolt and the selvage has those circles for aligning print colors.  I didn’t have a big enough interfacing piece (the finished pockets are 40″ wide and 42″ long) to cover the entire base. So I cut and arranged what I had to fit the base. Then stitched the interfacing to the base. Added the top layer and stitched it to the base. Completed the pocket strips and added them to the base. Added binding all around the perimeter before cutting and stitching to the base 3 quilt hangers. (1 to hand the Wall Pockets, the other 2   hold yard sticks which help keep the whole thing flat against the wall.  Without this support, the Wall Pockets would droop and curl. I know this, from experience.)

I knew a purchased something wouldn’t be satisfactory. Those pockets are shaped for shoes and such. Whereas the pockets I hung on the wall are built for typical sewing notions.  The new Wall Pocket has 17″, 8″ and 3″ deep pockets.

(I can already tell that I should have made one of the 3″ deep pockets 5″ deep.) These are good depths which hold my tools securely with enough visibility that I instantly see what I need and ~very importantly~ things can’t hide and be forgotten.  (i.e. I rediscovered a number of notions when I took the old pockets down and shook them out.)  Each pocket is formed by a long strip that is bound on the upper edge in a contrasting fabric.

Note about the Hanger Kit

.

NoSeeUms Purchased from Nancy Zieman comes with complete instructions and the following hardware

That orange thing is a level.  The instructions are complicated:

filling both front and back of the single 8.5×11 sheet. You don’t have to use the screws. I did or rather DH did because I know the pockets can get quite heavy.  I did find parts of the instructions confusing because the illustration didn’t match the equipment.  I think they simply lifted the pic and some text they thought was generic and would be easily understood. We did, after all, figure it out and the hanger works nicely.

Essentially the hanger is a short curtain rod (the kind without bend ends) and two clips that attach to the wall. The short curtain rod is threaded through the fabric quilt hanger attached in my case to my Wall Pockets. The curtain rod  then it sits, even through layers of fabric on to those 2 clips.

FINISHED, HUNG AND FILLED

 

*I know someone will object to the term, “Pimp”.  I used to think of myself as considerate, thoughtful, tactful.  But I’ve reached the point of asking “Is there anything I can say that won’t offend somebody?”   I think the answer is “no”.  No matter what I say, someone, somewhere will say their feelings are hurt and accuse me of being something terrible. So, I’m saying what I think, in common language. I feel regret if you are offended, but the only way I can’t offend anyone is say nothing and that would mean not blogging. Ummm being silent, won’t that offend someone, out there.

Weights and what to do with them in the Stash Room

I use weights to hold my pattern pieces on top of fabric.  Picked this habit up, oh 20 years ago.  For one thing, favorite patterns get damaged when they are pinned repeatedly.  My adoption of the rotary cutter to do the majority of my cutting sealed the deal.  I do find it much more convenient to slide my weights onto pattern tissue and then slash away at the fabric.

I’ve collected a number of weights over the years. My first were heavy ceramic with felt on the bottom. Man I hated when those things dropped on my feet. Eventually 2 managed to find their way into oblivion i.e. I don’t know what happened to them but I don’t have them anymore.  DH found me a couple of interesting rocks. One is naturally formed into a heart. Another I swore was a chocolate lump. I mean I tried to take a bite out of it.  It looked that much like chocolate.  I also like to collect those slices of rocks which look like jewels to me

I needed a place to keep all my weights. A place close to my cutting table.  Last year I made an FSL basket.  Used 15″ long strips of grosgrain ribbon to form the handle.  That worked so well, I made another basket this year — because my collection of weights won’t fit into a single small basket.

This basket is also FSL done on the Viking Ruby (last year I used the Brother PE770).

I added green straps same length as the previous basket. Green because I wanted to see at a glance which basket I’m picking up.

The baskets sit on a glass serving dish

because, well most of the time I want both baskets.  If I only want one basket, I can pick it up by its handle. I love glassware.  Particularly fond of this one with its rose pattern.  I’ve had it for a few years and keep envisioning a printing project….. I’d really rather not it chip or otherwise damage the plate, so this year I added a doily to cushion the baskets. It was another FSL project. I felt like I was making pizza slices.

Need 8 to form the whole doily, which are zig zagged together at the SM.

Both baskets sit on the doily on the plate

which sits on the shelf between my tape dispenser and a small set of drawers which contains notions.

I love having the second basket and the doily. But something I really loved was the feeling I was sewing while cleaning the Stash Room. Yeah the machine keeps stitching thousands of stitches while I’m sweating in the other room.  Then it takes only minutes to complete a lovely project by sewing the pieces together at the SM. But it’s such a relief from the drudgery of cleaning. A real mental lift.

Stash Room is Done, Done…

but maybe not all the way done (more on that in another post).  I’ve been working off and on to straighten and freshen the Stash Room since about the middle of August.  I feel like I’ve been working on this forever instead of a mere 4 weeks.

To remind you of where I started, I  want to share a few “Befores” which look a lot nicer in  pics than IRL.  For one thing,  I can’t take pics of the entire shelves– like floor to ceiling kind of view.   My cutting table blocks the view!  I’m not showing the yarn ‘Befores’ because a) yarns were stored on the very top of the shelves which are not pictured; and b) some yarns were stored in the Sewing Room.  I dont’ think I even shared the Yarn Clean up in which I assembled all the yarns in the Stash Room sorting and culling until all that is left are yarns I know I would like to wear and are worth my knitting time.  When finished, my yarns occupied the tops of 3 Shelf Sets instead of all 4 and part of the Sewing Room closet.

When looking at my photos, you may notice a kind of disconnect. That is my lack of photo skills.  I took multiple pics from different angles and then tried to  merge the photos together.  So if something looks, not quite right, well it’s my fault.

I turn East to walk into my Stash Room. On the North Wall was:

My serger threads, embroidery hoops; what I fondly refer to as my Wall Pockets directly below a bulletin board. In the North East corner is Shelf #1– and it was full from floor to ceiling.

On the East Wall

Shelf 02 and 03 which contained the majority of my fabrics organized by color.

Not pictured, the South Wall was and is occupied by a huge closet in which  DH’s off-season clothing, our luggage and some misc stuff reside.

Onto the East Wall

which hosted yarn, embroidery stabilizers, threads and supplies; my current project and on the bottom two rows, my pattern collection.

Many hours and days later, I can now walk through this door:

amazed at the changes.  North Wall:

In addition to organizing the fabrics, I’ve replaced my Wall pockets and covered the bulletin board. The filing cabinet has moved. In it’s place is the low slung shop vac because the shop vac does not interfere with the pockets.

East Wall:

Fabrics are now organized not only by color but separated into pant and top fabrics. I’ve changed my focus from strictly color to how I would use the fabrics in garment collections by grouping  the prints with my personal neutrals: Black, Navy and Seal Brown.

West Wall:

Not too much visibly changed here.  Other than the patterns, everything was touched, cleaned and reorganized. That is, if it wasn’t donated. At one end of the shelf is a step ladder and some boxes for DH.  At the other end my small file cabinet containing Burda pattern inserts is sitting.  Hanging on the very end of the shelf are my basic blocks for woven and knit tops. This small bulletin board was also covered. Have to confess that most of the contents of both bulletin boards was sorted and discarded. That’s not really bad. The bullet boards were really designed to be a temporary holding area for things I wanted at hand for the current project. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have cleaned them up at the end of each project like I do for patterns and fabrics.

And looking into the Center of the Stash Room: my Cutting Table viewed from the East Side, North (or end on) and West Side

I really spent some time culling the stuff that made it under the table and into the plastic drawers.  Time well spent as I can now easily locate basic lining, interfacings, lingerie fabrics and shoulder pads. Oh forgot!  I keep a small arsenal of tool just for me. DH can only borrow my hammer, nails etc if he asks first and returns immediately. (It’s enough if he returns to the top of my cutting table.)

I did not cull sewing patterns. Although I could go through them, I think I’ll put that off until next year because I just culled patterns a few years ago.  Otherwise, every item in this room was touched; dusted; evaluated and assigned a place or donated.  I donated 7 very large boxes (18″x36x 20″ or thereabouts).  I released things I haven’t/ don’t use  including two small diameter rotary cutters, a plastic Miter template and a ruler with so many guide lines my eyes cross when I try to use it. Many other notions as well as fabrics and yarns made their way to Good Will (Yes already gone).  Some donations were easy to make.  Like I realized I was not wearing those stiff 1980 corduroys.  That’s why they never get chosen when I’m making pants, vests or anything else. Home Dec fabrics from 3 hours ago. Gone. Like that. The major ?furnishings? (shelves and table) stayed in place. It’s an arrangement that has worked for me for the last 11 years. I did move about the small filing cabinet, my dress form and the shop vac–several times.  I was looking for an arrangement that fit the room and fit the way I work.   I moved one small box (14″x20″x18″ or so) of stencils to my Sewing Room closet which holds my other art work supplies.

I was surprised and delighted with how much floor space I have. It’s so much easier to get around in this room. So much easier to find things. My shelves are no longer packed so tight I can’t remove something without needing to clean up a fabric avalanche.  It is a great feeling to have this room this clean.

 

Amazon Cloud is a bust..

for photo hosting.  My pic links are good for about 48 hours then they just fade away. OK, I’m not sure what they do.  After 48 hours there isn’t even any code within my post.  I could speculate why Amazon doesn’t want permanent links but I’m not.

Though I’ve never gotten another response from Photoshop, I also no longer need to login multiple times.  Unfortunately upload and accessing metadata (pic links) is still a very slow process and they still are aggressively pursuing paid support as in me pay them.   As I still have other options, (anyone heard of One Drive? Dropbox?  And oh yeah, WordPress hosts a limited amount of pics as well),  I haven’t signed up for anything.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who responded and kept me posted on the visibility of my pics.

I have a couple of posts I want to share. So for now, I’m blowing off Amazon Cloud, uploading to Photoshop and will be testing  my other options.

Officially Started: September Sewing Room Gussy (2nd Attempt)

Note:   This is my first post in which all the pics are hosted in the Amazon Cloud.  Please leave a comment if you have any issues viewing the pics. ~ TIA

I’ve had several comments that my pics are not visible. Surprising because I had 2 people check and verify they could visit and see pics before I published it for everyone else.  I’ve been absent (lots of fun at an Embroidery Class) and don’t know exactly when the pics quick being visible. Not only are they not visible, but the code isn’t even in my post. How does that happen?  So I’ve corrected my post for the first 2 pics only;  once again inserting the needed link and verifying that my pics are publicly available.   I’m doing my best to make this work because Photobucket may have fixed the multiple login issue but they are still the slowest site  I visit.  I’d like to have an alternative in case Photobucket goes south again.

I’ve mostly worked with my fabric stash in bits and pieces. After other projects were done.  When straightening was needed. That kind of working at it.   On Aug 31, I put my entire effort into arranging the fabric stash.

I not only refolded and restacked but changed my stack organization and culled fabrics. I still have my basic Black, Brown and Blue shelves. However instead of the overflow going from one shelf to the shelf below, it now continues horizontally onto the next set of shelves. I.e Black fabrics are arranged with solid pants-fabric stacks, followed by tops and then prints with black. Next to that are 3rd layer fabrics (jackets/coats, vests and sweater knits) and finally Under 2’s (fabrics less than 2 yards in length).

Repeat for Brown and Blue

Accent colors are arranged  mostly in rainbow order, on  Shelf 01  (Pink/Yellow Cream)

and below the Black Brown Blue on Shelf 02 and 03. Other than the Red shades and tones, my accent colors need only 2-3 stacks. Apparently, I’m very good at either a) not buying accent colors or b)sewing them quickly

Either way, the finished shelves above are very neat.

I tackled the drawers next. Yes I have drawers too.  Linings and lingerie type fabrics tend to be slippery.  The shelves will become a mess through the action of gravity. Yep real, actual gravity in the stash room.  Fabrics sitting on top of a slippery lining will respond to the forces of gravity and slide down until they leave the shelf and land on the floor and usually take several other fabrics with them. For this reason, I bought drawers. Plastic Steerite Drawers that I always meant to replace with something good but 10 years later are still doing the job they are supposed to do.

Albeit, messily

I decided to roll the linings like I did the interfacings.  I’m wanting 2 things out of this exercise. Yes I want my drawers to be neat but I also want to be able to find the lining that best works for the project.  So I rolled, rubber banded and then placed into drawers based upon weight: knits, transparent, light/medium and heavy.

I left the lingerie fabrics in the same chest as before which is the same as the interfacings.  While I was rolling I also culled anything with fading, stains or I admitted, I just didn’t like. I also found a few light weight ‘sweater knits’ (still annoyed at having been sold transparent fabric for sweater use).  I moved them back to my dress fabric stacks. Having struggled with them last year, I know what to do this year.  The end result is I have an empty drawer!

Which is especially good since I’d like to replace this particular chest. It is wider than the others but just doesn’t hold together.  I’m forever tearing it apart and pounding things back in place.

Last I turned my attention to the muslins. I culled anything dark.  I decided there was no sense in making a muslin if I couldn’t see the wrinkles in the pics.   I also pulled out a couple of nasty feeling polyesters and some stiff cotton, linens.  The remainder was sorted into 2 stacks, bottoms and tops; also putting like fabrics together i.e. ponte, stretch, woven.  I have at most 4 of each fabric type which results in two  nice neat stacks of  test -garment fabrics.

I pick up the box of fabrics I call ‘Art Fabrics’.  These are usually small cuts of fabrics I plan to paint or felt and at least pretend I’m artistic.

I discovered that I had two new stacks, 1) the fabrics I set aside for summer shorts and 2) the white/cream fabrics I bought especially to be contrast collar and cuffs.

The rearranged shelf:

On the top row: muslins, then art fabrics and to the far right DH’s camouflagea he hopes  dreams I will sew.

2nd row: pens/pencils then a box of folders and stationary supplies followed by accent peach and red fabrics.

3rd row: accent fabrics of peach, pink and rose

4th row: white collar/cuff fabrics, jeans fabrics, accent yellow and cream fabrics.

Bottom row: the styrofoam container for my Brother Embroidery Arm and Hoops.

I culled each step of the way. In fact, I insisted I at least cull fabrics I didn’t like.  All of my old corduroy fabrics are gone. I had several.  They take up lots of space on the shelves. I no longer like to wear the old corduroy fabrics.  I’ve gotten accustomed to varies ranges of stretch. Those 20-30 year old fabrics are very movement restrictive as in straight jacket-esque.  I thought I might want to make jackets. No they’ve sat another 2 years in the stash without even been considered.  Truth is, I no longer makes suit sets (jacket and pants) because I no longer wear suit sets. I’m retired.  When you retire you clothing needs change.  I found I can be business appropriate with a nice pair of pants and a neutral 3rd layer. That’s whenever I need to be business appropriate.  Mostly I am casual (but not cow chasing casual) and one step nicer which to me is casual coordinated. Or should it be casual put together. Accessorized casual?  Whatevs, I don’t need to dress in formal attire or suiting.  My cull resulted in 5 boxes (only 4 shown) destined for Goodwill.

This time through (I’ve straightened, organized and culled several times in the last 10 years), I felt no great relief nor guilt.  I’m just carrying out a necessary task. I straighten my fabric shelves throughout the year. But generally it’s one or maybe two shelves — not the whole shebang.  Having them all straightened at once is really nice.   I’m hoping the new sorting order (bottoms, tops, prints, 3rd layers, Under 2’s), will spur some creativity. Although creativity as taken a hit this year as I struggled with fit and taken up pattern drafting.

An immediate benefit of this organization is being able to evaluate ‘my stock’. I can tell you, I shouldn’t buy anything with Brown in it.  Just skip the browns for at least the next 6 months. I’m well stocked in every brown category except the Under 2’s.  Generally my Under 2’s are the remnants from other projects.  Black has even more fabrics and a generous accumulation of Under 2’s. My Blue’s have only a few Under 2’s but are well stocked with pants, tops and prints.  While anything black or brown should immediately be ignored, I could buy a carefully curated Blue fabric.  I was surprised at the state of my accent colors. Definitely have an over abundance of pink/rose/peach and red. But these are my favorite neck-side colors. Still it would behoove me to lay off purchasing these for the next 6 months, too. I was surprised to find that I had olive, forest, teal and purple pant fabrics. All relatively new, too.  I think it stems from a time when I tried to dress in one color, head-to-toe trying to make myself taller (and thinner). Now I’m older and while I still care, I also know that what I am is what I am.  In the future I’d say I should not stash, greens, or purples at all.  They do tend to go in the stash and marinate for a long while.  At least the black, brown and blue’s only rest briefly.

If I can have a goal, as relates to the Stash Room, it would be this:  All my knitting yarns on Shelf 01. All my fabrics on Shelf 02 and 03.  Other things needed in the Stash room (Embroidery threads, stabilizers, patterns etc) On Shelf 04. I can tell you right now that I’m going to be wearing a lot of Brown in the fall and Black this winter. I will not promise to sew exclusively from the stash. I know from experience that I will need something.  If I need something not in the stash, I’m going to buy it. Hopefully, only it.

 

Well I’m off.  While the fabrics are stacked neatly, I still have much more to do to spiffy up this room and I havent even started on my Sewing room.