Tag Archives: organising

puttering into coincidence, fabric stashes & joy

anticipating a holiday weekend of sewing

This was supposed to be about receiving fabric for a weekend of three blissful days spent sewing.

Except the fabric didn’t arrive, it rained all weekend, and I hardly sewed anything.

So have been feeling a bit… fraught trying to account for lost time, feeling guilty, but clearly (in hindsight) just needing time to putter.

So I caught up on chores, read blogs and sewing videos. I enjoyed The Fold Line’s Sewing Summer Trends  and tried hard to find something to suit my summer heat & humidity ~ absolutely can’t be doing with anything tight. It was nice to hear what’s doing on the high street s of London.

speaking of hiding – decided to get this duster out and try to remember how i’d meant to piece together a sleeve & front after packing it all away some….. 2 years ago?

Then had to check out Hila, over at Saturday Night Stitch. There were two videos I hadn’t seen. Goody!  It was great fun seeing what she’s up to, and her industrious stash sort-out made me feel curious about what might be hiding out in my own.

Before watching Hila’s video on organising her stash, perhaps I should give a little heads up: Hila’s stash is sooo luscious I get mega fabric envy and want to move to (or order from) N. Yorkshire’s shops. So hide your plastic, Ladies!

(If any of you Lovelies think you have a huge stash, you might be surprised. However, she has FOUR Little People and a Hubs she sews for.)

I also caught up on the blog over at The Confident Stitch (TCS). (No, I didn’t order more fabric!) In fact, reading one by Kate (owner of TCS) on tidying up fabric stashes she mentioned a book. It reminded me that Hila had, too.

Being in procrastination mode, that was enough of an excuse a reason for me to spend time reviewing both and confirming it was the same book: Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. Has anyone else read it?

Now being firmly in exploratory mode after finally putting my unmade heavy winter fabrics back into stash, I grabbed a white plastic sack of fabric I’d bagged up for donating months ago. That’s how I discovered some dark green fabric I’d been hunting for pillow coverings. Dub – what was I thinking when I piled it in there?

It was the ending of Hila’s video that really inspired me, because also in that bag I found a lovely summer cotton sheath I’d totally forgotten. I loved the slightly heavy cotton fabric, but hadn’t gotten it made up into something practical enough to wear in summer heat.

I decided to spent the evening ripping it apart. I’m determined to remake it into something wearable – probably a simple top. I’m also going to take time to enjoy my fabric stash.

As Hila explained about her fabric, “What is this life if we can’t stop and feel the joy in fabric?!”

 

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fabric updates

the green collection
1 & 3 are silk
4 & 5 rayon viscose
2 is a blend with slight stretch

I was contemplating where to begin sewing The Green Collection (left) when everything halted for the move.

Unpacking led to relocating bits & pieces used for packing, which led to…

Deciding I really need a casual green duster to accompany numbers 4 and 5, currently thought of as dresses. Which led to…

Ordering some swatches from Vogue Fabrics, two-thirds of which are to hand and none will do… which led, whilst awaiting swatches, to. . .

vogue swatches Lt to Rt:: double knit, cotton gauze, 2 rayon viscose

Making more order amongst heavier fabrics (a.k.a. winter), which led to . . .

Me realising I’m not sewing heavier fabrics because the climate’s too hot to wear them.

Ooohhhhh.

Oh me oh my.  Horrors! 😱

Does anyone else buy impractical fabric??

my very appropriate penguin copy

books
Am delighting in the latest Durrell volume, My Family and Other Animals, because its lyrical, hysterical, and utterly charming.

     “We had agreed that we would not invite a lot of people to the party; we said we didn’t like crowds, and so ten guests, carefully selected, were the most we were prepared to put up with… Having unanimously decided on this, each member of the family then proceeded to invite ten people. Unfortunately they didn’t all invite the same ten…”          From “The Enchanted Archipelago” chapter.

Am wending my way through Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series, watching each episode after reading the book, and using both as antidotes for summer heat.

Finally have gotten a copy of Julie Summers’ Home Fires and couldn’t put it down. Although quite different from the PBS programmes, a very enlightening read!

 

off topic: reducing photo file size for online use

is this a big file or a little file? compare them!

is this a big file or a little file? compare them!

Perhaps because yours truly started with the old Apple iWeb in ’08, before progressing to WordPress blogging, I discovered early on there’s a little program called iPhoto that comes pre-loaded on Macs.

Its less technical than Photoshop, so a quick and easy way to alter photos before publishing on whatever platform you use. And it sits on your platform, not someone else’s (under someone else’s idea of “security” 😉).

 

One of the handy-dandy things it can do is reduce the size of your photo file. I went hunting for this because I was a mite concerned about on-line photo theft. Yep. Even way back then.

Smaller photo size means photo quality is also reduced. Not a good thing if you want to print an enlargement, or to re-use a stolen pic in huge highway signage (it’s happened!).

  • Smaller file size = Fewer potential thefts/mis-use.
  • Smaller file size = Doesn’t bulk up your online storage (i.e., your WordPress Library).

My current WordPress Library capacity = 8%. That’s eight.
Notice any quality issues with my photos? There’s a tiny test up top for you!

I discovered, and continue to use, an easy method for decreasing MB photo files into under 100 KB photo files that look just as nice on-line. And yes, all the huge files of photos are stored off- and/or on-line, depending on age & whether or not I choose to archive them.

[Sorry I can’t recommend a free programme for non-Mac users, but betcha some Lovely Readers can . . . please enlighten us in the Comments – THANK YOU!]

iPhoto basic: get ‘em in, reduce ‘em, get ‘em out
add photos: Either download directly from your camera or use this command string:

File/Import to Library/pop-up screen to choose which & where files to Import are located/click Import.

[In iPhoto there are organisational choices for how you want to organise your photos. Personally, I organise using Events, which I label by years. There are also options for location & facial recognition, which I don’t use.]

export smaller file photos: Click on photo(s) to download, then use this command string:     File/Export/window pops up & I use JPG/Medium/Medium Size/Use filename/ click Export/window pops up asking for where you want photos to go/click OK.

And that’s how I don’t fill up my online WordPress Library.

Hope it all makes sense, Lovelies, and you soon have all worries behind you!

Please ask questions or provide answers below. And don’t forget to give a guess as to which of the photos is the larger file!

my chaotic pdf pattern storage

organised chaos? 😱

organised chaos?
😱

(To the lovely uninitiated, a pdf sewing pattern is one you pay for, download, print out, and then tape/glue/somehow stick together to form an entire sheet(s) of pattern pieces, which you then cut out before attaching to your fabric, cutting out, and sewing. Clear as mud? Hmm…  Think of NOT waiting 2-3 weeks for a paper pattern from around the world to arrive in your mailbox.)

Yes, we sewers are a bit different, and not just in wardrobe choices. We also buy patterns and translate instructions… but that’s another story for another day. 😉

Sewing pal Jen (aka Let the Sewing Begin) and I were talking the other day. We’re in the same country and time zone. Whee!

I asked her how she was storing her pdf patterns, and promised to send her photos of what I was doing.

See all those odd-shaped pieces of paper hanging where my haberdashery storage shoe boxes should be stacked? In that photo on the left, above…? And the photos below are more, but not visible above ’cause they’re hanging to the left of the above photo. That’s what we were talking about: How do we store those pesky pdf pieces of paper?

Jen said she folds hers up, and puts them and the directions into a plastic bag.

Having already spent our talking time resolving other, more earth-shattering world problems we decided to table further discussion, and I promised to send her photos.

Ah.   The moment of truth.

So that night I took an honest look .  .  .

Then I had a 4-close-up-of-improvementthought… If I’m using clothes pegs, sent by dear friend Ali, for some of the patterns… why not just clothes peg them all onto a skirt hanger or two instead of the metal shelving? Then they wouldn’t take up so much space.

So I tried that (on the left), but quickly realized it was impossible to ~

  • keep pieces from intermingling
  • keep the taller pegs from getting stuck in the metal shelving
  • get a pattern off the hanger without everything falling off

Oh. And then one fell off on its own.  Scratch that idea. Deep sigh.

hmmm... all clippies are NOT created equal . . .

uh … all clippies are NOT created equal . . .

Then I saw those big clips I’d stared using. You know, the ones from office supply shops that take up space in a desk drawer. (over on the right)

But with only 3 of them I couldn’t really do an adequate test. Not with eight pdf’s, and probably at least 2 more  somewhere, which we won’t go into right now.

At which point I gave up for the evening, having taken these photos and deciding maybe it was time to call in Those More Expert.

Lovely Readers, how do you store your pdf’s?

 

Submitted for today’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

sunday sevens

holly in snowSunday Sevens was thought up by Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins. Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do one every week. You don’t even haaave to post on Sunday, although it’s nice. (Sorry I’m late – finishing laundry.)

The highlight of my week was Saturday’s chat with Ali of Thimberlina, who was up in northern England for a family do. We read each other’s blogs so had plenty to talk over. Ta, Lovely One!

Have been meaning to include a wintery photo from last weekend’s snow (still around in small, dirty piles amongst the hedges), so there’s a holly tree viewed from my patio.rock buns

I feel it’s truly Winter weather when I can pull a pan of rock buns out’the oven, but am learning this oven’s a bit hotter than I’m used. (rueful grimace) However, ginger’s still ginger, and I loaded this batch, so they’re still grand eating.

Did a batch of minor mending including adding clear elastic to the shoulder seams of this too wide blouse, gifted from Ms. Karen. I love the corduroy collar, and the sleeves, for once, are just the right length. The body is heavy Indian cotton in great colours for me wardrobe.

shoulder adjustment 1`

Speaking of which… In this bigger place I have a walk-in closet for clothes. It’s probably bigger than the loo in my last place, and 5 times bigger than the closet! Sorted through a few bags that needed it, and did a clean-up. It’s great to be able to see everything arranged by colour!

the cutting tableOn the cutting table is the ready-for-initial-fitting Morris, and a bit of the Grainline Hemlock. It’s a free pattern that I’m toying with, but would change the neckline (smaller). Have a few concerns about the overall baggy fit, so am not rushing… Ali had a great suggestion: Instead of sticky tape, use stick glue.

a rectangular closetred sunset + puffy white cloudsSunday’s sunset was so vivid I had to include it, although not the greatest photo (the zoom on this little camera isn’t good).

Watched the rest of  Greggs “More Than Meats the Pie,” and will leave off with episode 1. Mondays should start with a smile, a cuppa, & a bun from Gregg’s!   😀Cheers, Lovelies!  ☕️