Monday, August 16, 2021

Puttering and Decluttering

I've been puttering in the sewing room this past week, mostly on non-sewing, organization type stuff.  I'm waiting for a pattern and fabric to arrive that I ordered from Etsy for my nephew's quilt.  I'm still rehabbing my left finger/hand and not up to free-motion quilting just yet, so it felt like a good time to tidy things up in the sewing room.

 I finally (FINALLY!) put away all the thrifted shirt fabrics that had been stacked on the corner of a sewing table for years (yes, YEARS!).  Of course, in the meantime, I'd added more shirts to the pile.  I think I was afraid they wouldn't all fit back into the large three-drawer rolling cart they came out of and that I'd need to rethink storage (or, you know, make a quilt or three), so I put it off and put it off.  But lo and behold, they all fit into the drawers just fine, and I was able to roll that cart under my sewing table and free up some precious floor space.  Woo-hoo!  

Then I sorted the rest of my mask-making supplies and put them into a much smaller, shoebox-size plastic tote.  I'd been using t-shirt strips for the mask ear loops, so whatever was left of the t-shirts got cut up for dust rags.  That felt good, too.

I hung some 12-inch cork squares on my wall.  Another long procrastinated on project (again, YEARS) that took me all of 15 minutes to do.  Why do I procrastinate on these things? I wondered.  I was never going to have the "perfect" spot for them, so I just stuck them to a "good enough" place on the painted concrete wall of the basement.  Now I finally have someplace to pin things (pattern directions, sample blocks).  I was skeptical whether the adhesive would hold to the concrete, but I slapped them up anyway and if they fall off, they fall off.*  They were doing me no good in the package. (*Unfortunately, between the time I started writing this post a day or two ago and now, they did indeed fall off the wall...wah-wah-wah...but at least now I know what doesn't work, I guess?)

I also decided it was time  to deal with the vintage '60s or '70s fabrics I've been collecting over the past 10 or so years.  They'd been just sitting on a shelf, waiting for who knows what.  

Was I going to sell them? Make something with them? Donate them to the local community theater for costumes? Drive them back to Goodwill?.  

I love the neon bright colors and wild patterns, but they're all synthetics/poly and not something I'd be able to quilt with.  

Call me sentimental, but I wanted to remember them after they were gone, so I draped them on my headless mannequin, Dolly, so I could take some photos.  On a lark, I posted them on Facebook where a friend fell instantly in love and asked if she could buy all of them!  I told her she could have them for the cost of postage.  

So I packed them up in a large flat-rate box and shipped them off to North Carolina.  She's already received them and is so excited.  That makes me happy!  Another thing that languished for years on a shelf, but is now finally moved on to a fellow vintage fabric aficionado.  

I think there is something about clearing out and making space for other things or energy.  That sounds kind of woo-woo, but for me I know that when my clutter/stuff/disorganization threshold edges toward its upper limit, my creative mojo takes a dive.  Clearing things out gives me a more balanced feeling and like I'm making space for creativity and new opportunity.  Does that resonate with you, too?  

Where things kind of ran aground was when I was sorting through old many vintage patterns from my mom and other relatives, friends, and those I've picked up at thrift stores and garage sales.  In the past, I've shared some with other sewers whom I've met through blogging, and I've sold some online.  At this point, I was just taking stock of what all was there in the bins and drawers that I might want to do something with to whittle down the collection.

(Glad I missed out on this "fun fad.")

Well, that ended in a case of the giggles!  The more I looked, the sillier some of the old patterns struck me!

(1970-When dressing like a naughty nurse in junior high was all the rage.)

Thank goodness some things have "chubby sizes" for girls (or "husky" for boys).

(Always a good idea to read the fine print...)

(Ah, the 1960s, when fat shaming was all a part of growing up.)

Culturally and societally, this was the water I grew up swimming in.  Now I look back at some of the stuff that was "normal" and have to laugh, or, in some cases, shake my head. 

(Never fear, this one has plenty of breathing room...and pockets!)

I remember thinking I looked more like the "chubby size" pictures in the catalog, and I was heavier than my older sister growing up.  But mom just worked her magic when she sewed the same pattern for us, and they fit each of us to a tee.

Anyway, I didn't make any decisions on what to do with the patterns at this point.  I'll have to revisit them again another time.  Would you be interested in seeing more of them in future blog posts?  Let me know in the comments.

As far as my nephew's quilt, I took stock of my low-volume and other neutral fabrics and came to the conclusion that I really didn't have that much to work with.  Browns, beiges, grays, etc. are few and far between in my stash.  

Waverely Quilt Kit via Etsy

I did some looking online and found a cool quilt idea that came as a standalone pattern or a kit; ultimately, I decided to get the kit.  I really liked it just as it was shown, and I think it'll be perfect for him.  I've always wanted to make a Storm-At-Sea quilt, so this will give me the chance to check that off the bucket list.  


  1. I love that neutrals Storm at Sea kit that you have ordered! The 60's/70's fabrics are great fun to see, not such fun to sew with in many cases. Many of those vintage clothing patterns seem familiar to me.
    I agree with what you said about needing to clean up/clear out sometimes. I seriously need to do that soon!

  2. First of all, Simplicity 8805 was a favorite of mine - I think I had three different dresses made by that pattern! Next, they make a wall adhesive sheet for putting up backsplash in the kitchen - super sticky, and I know because I put up a backsplash with it, and it still hasn’t fallen off the wall months later. You might give that a try!

  3. I remember going through my and my mom's old patterns. What a fun and head-shaking occasion that was! Love the Storm at Sea kit you picked.

    1. Thanks Evie. Glad you can relate. What did you do with your old patterns? The kit arrived today, woo-hoo!

  4. Those fabrics are gorgeous! I’ve no doubt the NC recipient was thrilled. And OMG on the pattern notes. “Not for chubby girls.” And yet we are surprised today at how eating disorders abound. I have never seen a Storm at Sea done in those shades. How cool! I;m glad your finger continues to improve.


  5. I'm not sure whether it is the clean space that increases the motivation level, or whether the motivation level that increases the cleanliness of the space. It is a circle - both increase the other. That storm at sea is beautiful! Iam sure it will make a great gift.

  6. Why do we procrastinate? I am one of the club members too. We do it because we get a rush when something is due and we need to get it done, "Now".


    1. Hi Paula, yours was a no-reply-comment, so I can't email in reply. I think there's a lot of us in the procrastination club. I don't get a rush from waiting until the deadline, though. Funny enough (and this TED talk IS funny), I saw this today on YouTube. He has an interesting take that seems to make sense to me!

  7. Clean spaces always give me enthusiasm. When I was a young mother I would clean the kitchen and it made me want to bake. So I would make cookies or bread and then the kitchen was messy again. I love all that vintage fabric. I have a big container of polyester double knit, the stuff that never wears out. I don't know why I keep it. I got rid of my huge collection of vintage patterns a couple of years ago. I still reminisce about those old patterns, good memories. I enjoyed your post today.


I welcome your comments! Thanks for taking time to leave a note!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...