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Yesterday it was the turn of my sewing patterns to go through the continuing serious sort out in my craft room. I went through boxes and boxes of them in order to pull the ones I will not use again as they are cut in 18 or 16 and either no longer suit or interest me. Then I got rid of the ‘what was I thinking when I bought this?’ patterns.

(Lots, LOTS of those Simplicity end of season 10 for 10USD deals. We’re all tempted and make questionable choices when that offer is on. Don’t deny it. ‘That would be useful’ you say to yourself. And then it isn’t).

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As a result, I was able to condense several pattern storage boxes. Yippee!

Since this accomplishment is hardly worthy of a whole post of its own, I thought (since Himself is downstairs absorbed in college football taped through the night) I could show you how I deal with my new/A-list patterns. I’d say ninety percent of my patterns go through this procedure so they can be ready to go as soon as I find the fabric I want to marry up with them.

Like a whole lot of us seamstresses, I don’t always buy patterns and fabric at the same time. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of the last time I did that. When there is the slightest chance of fabric being available for purchase, I take my wee notebook that has pattern sketches, notes and lengths so I know what to buy. Generally, unless it is a remnant I really want, I get a minimum of three yards or metres — four if I am likely to make a dress.

I get a lot of my fabric when travelling abroad. The latest bits are from Hawai’i (Maui to be precise) and prior to that Montmatre in the early spring of last year. We’re popping down to the old stomping grounds to see the first of the NFL games to be played in London and I’m planning on spending the Monday after at Goldhawk Road picking up more knits and jerseys.

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Here’s what I do:

  1. Cut my pattern to the size I am now. Plus a bit. At the moment that means 14s which I can take in through the chest and back and add length to the bottom edges.
  2. Stick a post-it with the views I like and any notes re: the fabric to use or find.
  3. Even if I am NOT using a certain view’s pieces, those get cut and put back in the envelope so the pattern in complete.
  4. Scrappy bits trimmed off during step one go into the compost bin.

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I have two two ring binders on the go at the moment: one for knits and jersey projects, one for cottons. I can reorganise them as desired by season, tops and bottoms, separates and dresses. Just depends. Each sleeve looks the same in that the pattern faces front, the pieces are in between and the directions with the line drawings are facing on the back side of each sleeve.

As for my post-its,

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ANY sort of info goes on ’em. Sometimes I have two post-its! (Crazy, right?) If I change my mind about the info that needs to be on them, it is easy enough to swap for a new one.

BTW – ‘TP shirts’ does not stand for toilet paper shirts. Try Thomas Pink. Himself just donated a few more to the cause. Yippee! 

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I made a really good start on the big tub of old Ts and knit and jersey scraps yesterday while it was chucking it down with rain (and Himself was getting soaked through on the golf course). That pile on the floor goes right into a Girl Guide donation bag and the piles on the bottom edge of the guest room bed have their assignments. Two in quite good shape made their way to the Cancer Research donation bag. One especially grungy T will be cut up for silver polishing/dust rags.

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I’ll be putting the resulting refashions over at Refashion Co-op, given that it has been a while since I’ve published anything there and that’s pretty naughty considering I am one of the editors….

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