Containment

Sewing is messy. Am I right, or am I right? As such, I continually look for ways to contain projects these days. Here’s one such idea that I’ve found very useful. I’ve been on a bit of a shoe buying binge lately. So shoot me! For some reason, I just needed shoes (like a hole in my head!). Especially shoes that were flat and less stiletto style and that could actually be worn on a daily basis. My whole Everyday Wardrobe thing, you know.

Anyway, shoe fetish aside, I procured two perfectly sized shoe boxes to hold sewing projects that I’m working on. By sewing project I mean the whole shebang: the actual project/cloth/pattern pieces, the sewing pattern and special tools I’m using for the project like special chalks, ribbons, buttons, tapes, etc. I’m constantly misplacing things like that and I can waste an inordinate amount of time looking for a said button. Freak!!! If I had a nickel for every time I lost something – in my small sewing room, no less – I’d be able to pay someone to organize stuff around here! Sheesh! It can be terribly annoying, but when you have it all contained, well there you go.

Like I stated, I have two boxes because some projects are bigger than others. I have a pretty regular sized shoe box, the one you see here and then I have a knee-length boot size shoe box that can hold bigger projects. The bigger shoe box was especially helpful with my man’s winter coat. I kept everything for that coat in that box and it was so easy to just open it up and find everything in there. Easy to clean up too. Like when I need to quickly get my table ready for some other thing I’m doing, all I have to do is throw everything back in the shoe box and then I have containment. It also can make projects portable. When I’m working on a project somewhere else, I can just take my shoe box with me – albeit people think I’m off my rocker a bit, but big deal.

Kind of seems a little silly, but seriously, this idea has saved me from loosing many odds and ends lately and I just had to share. Do you do anything like this? How do you keep all the bits and baubles for one project together?

By the way, the project you see in the shoe box here are some coral pants that I was working on. I know, coral pants. They turned out to be pretty awesome! I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the finished project – I know I have.

  • Mainelydad - Oh my, I wish I could be that organized, but it’s just not in my DNA. Fortunately I have one of the world’s smallest work spaces, about 5′ x 10′, so it’s hard for things to get hopelessly lost.ReplyCancel

  • jillyb3 - I was just thinking about project organization over Christmas. I have a nice lidded basket at my sewing station to keep track of my current project, but I always struggle with what to do with the projects in the wings. I usually buy fabric with a project in mind, so then I have the thread, notions, and pattern to keep with the fabric, but no good system to do so! Then I am frantically looking for the notions when I am ready to sew. The shoebox idea is a food for thought!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Cool! I do this too!! Only i use bags so i can hang them ;) ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - This is a great idea! I use bags to hold projects or future projects together, but they don’t stack tidily like shoeboxes do, so I may have to make the swap. I lose stuff in my small sewing room CONSTANTLY (well, to be honest, I lose everything in my small apartment and used to misplace things in my closet-sized dorm room, so it’s not a big shock, but…).
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  • Rebekah - OK, now I’m regretting about telling my sister to stop hoarding her shoe boxes!

    This is how it usually happens with my sewing projects: I leave the sewing room and use a large table in another room to cut the fabric pieces, interfacing, etc. I pile all the pieces onto a large rotary cutting mat I have and use that as a carrier to move the pieces to the sewing room. I place the mat on a specific, small table that is just to the right of the sewing machine. Now, I typically go straight to the construction because I am all excited at this moment in time, but for whatever reason the pieces wind up being untouched for weeks, I move them to a 2 gallon plastic bag. I REALLY try to avoid doing this because for me: out of sight is out of mind and once in the plastic bag, I will not get to them for months.

    And we all know what happens when months past. . . How does this thing go together again?! :) So if you do find yourself storing works in progress, I suggest to include excessive amounts of NOTES!ReplyCancel

  • McCall - Love it! I have long been an advocate of repurposing boxes from purchases for organization. I am a bit uptight though so I cover them with pretty contact paper so they look a bit nicer, and, if the corners & other stress points get wrapped with contact paper, the whole thing is more durable.ReplyCancel

  • Leith - I use ziplock bags to put my patterns fabrics and all notions in. I then stack these in a basket and pull them out when needed. My current WIP gets put back in the bag at the end of every session. It is a great system as you get everything you need for that project ready and keep it all together. Love the coral pants!!ReplyCancel

  • Barny - Amazing! yes I use alot of shoeboxes and also boxes from cider – I use duck tape and cut off top and tape down sizes for extra strength.

    Do you label your boxes? For boxes I don’t want to damage and perminantely mark I use masking tape to label.

    Only problem with this is when I get lazy and forget about a project or two and bits of my kit are missing in all my project boxes!

    BarniclesReplyCancel

  • Raphaele - I’m a big fan of shoe boxes too! I always have several projects going on at the same time so I have several boxes sitting at the top of my shelves. It is just too handy, for the reasons you stated. I also use plastic food container with lids for smaller projects.
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  • Jaime - I like to use shoeboxes- or any other type of box for that matter. But I like to cover them with pretty fabric first! One of the easiest ways to do that is gently take the box apart, cover one or both sides with fabric glue (or spray adhesive) and then glue the box back together. It lets me use fabrics from my stash that I like, but would probably never use.ReplyCancel

  • Kessem - This is a cool idea, especially since I stop project in the middle tons of times and have the leave the area clean after I sew, I’ll definitely think of doing this next time!
    Also, the name on the box “Miz Mooz”, if you connect the words together it means “to feel up” in Hebrew. That’s ones sassy box you got there! lol
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