I just finished a big project (hi, Dragon*Con), and now I’m looking at organizing and packing everything back up so we can use the table again.
I have a tendency to spread my sewing things out while I’m working. I try to start with everything neat and organized, but while in the process, I’m too busy being frustrated to do anything but let things fall where they may, so that before I’m finished I’m knee-deep in all the unidentifiable sewing crap that seems to come from nowhere. My two cats have a field day with this, naturally; they especially like the fabric piles, which are good for both sleeping and peeing on. I much prefer the former, as it is cute, but both are a little irritating, especially when the grey cat is sleeping on the black velveteen. That’s just not ok.
I mentioned my tendency to freak out over sewing before, but I don’t know that I clarified how much I freak out. I am a champion freaker outer. Blanche DuBois? John Goodman in The Big Lebowski? Mommy Dearest? Amateurs. It goes without saying that being surrounded by chaos exacerbates this. I’m saying it anyway, though, because it seriously exacerbates this. Like, to the power of five. I’m trying to refer back to the directions because I have no idea what to do with the pattern piece in my hands, but I can’t find the directions + I have no idea which pile I put them in + I only have two days to finish this costume + my back hurts + the cat has peed on the satin AGAIN + I’m over budget + where the fuck did I put the scissors = Temper Tantrum, every time. I remember one particular incident involving Elizabethan paned slops with a seriously too-short crotch seam. This ended with me standing in the living room wearing them like Ye Olde Assless Chappes, sobbing and pulling my hair while Indiana Jones beat up Nazis on TV. It was a dark moment, but not anything like a rare one.
In order to avoid this, I’m trying to organize my sewing stuff.
As you probably know if you’ve ever done any sewing, there is a lot of shit involved. Off the top of my head, a project may involve any or all of the following: fourteen different kinds of fabric, a thousand yards of trim, thread to match every conceivable color, five pattern packages that are empty because the pieces are scattered all over the room, pins, pincushion(s), tape measure(s), ruler(s), straightedge(s), tape, marking pencils, , the fucking iron which I don’t need but will need the second I put it away, the seam ripper, needles, thimbles, the damned sewing machine, extra presser feet, extra bobbins, costume accessories I have nowhere else to put, safety pins, the fabric scissors, the paper scissors, the boning scissors, the boning, a bag of receipts I plan to write off on my taxes but will just lose, bias tape, elastic, clasps, hooks and eyes, whatever the hell is in that container, and dozens upon dozens of to-do lists, with renderings and post-it notes and pictures ripped out of magazines. There’s also dinner, and the remote for the DVD player, and a tissue box, and the Netbook, on which I am supposed to be watching yet another “How To French Seams” tutorial but am instead browsing the forums at Westeros.org.
This is ridiculous. None of my other hobbies involve this much shit; not even table-top gaming! I need more shit for sewing than I do for motherfucking Dungeons and Dragons, even if you count all the dice, other players, and pizza slices individually! I hate sewing!
See? I’m getting all frustrated just making this list. Not being able to find things I need is the cause of much frustration, and has directly contributed to more than one breakdown. In the interest of avoiding more breakdowns, and also to keep my home looking a little less like a war zone, I’m going to Organize My Sewing Shit! I’ve experimented with keeping pattern pieces in ziploc bags before, and it worked well. For storage, I’ve got a big set of plastic drawers (they’re purple, hooray!), a much smaller set of plastic drawers, a handful of boxes and tins, and one of those plastic craft organizer things. Surely I can put all my shit together in some sort of organized manner, right?
Some day I’m going to have an office wherein I do nothing but write and sew. I’m going to spread all my sewing shit out and not have to move it when we want to have people over or eat at the table or whatever. Mr. biscuit will only be allowed in to give me praise and cookies, and the cats won’t be allowed in at all. Until then, though, I’m going to Get My Shit Together, and then I’m going to organize it, label it, and put it away, damn it, so that next time I need it, I’ll know exactly where to look.
I’ll let you know how that goes.