I just received my LoveSewing newsletter today. In case you have not heard of this: it is sent out by Denise Wild who is one of our Janome Dealers in Toronto. She has a sewing cafe/studio set-up. I subscribe to her monthly newsletter.

SO glad Denise is having a great summer where one of the things she is doing is cleaning her house. I am trying very hard to do the same: put away clutter, de-clutter (toss/thrift store/sell etc) + ongoing tidy up in my sewing room. I am trying hard to be disciplined to put AWAY all the bits & pieces I use on each project as eventually I have no working surface left, nor can I find anything!!! I am feeling pretty good as it is working better than in past messy sewing room times.   So, as you will understand, this part of the LOVE SEWING newsletter caught my eye:

Organizing your notions

Stephanie shares her tips on keeping your sewing items sorted


Dear Diary,

A button on the floor, a pile of pins behind my sewing table, bias tape everywhere. I may love to sew, but I hate to clean up. Hate. It’s too hard, too time consuming, and it takes me away from precious time sewing.

On the other hand, trying to find all my pins, buttons that match, threads that complement my fabric, well, that takes up time too. How’s a girl to sew something pretty when everything is so chaotic?

I like being organized and I like organizing—but the maintenance of organizing? I’m not a fan.

It’s taken me years to come up with an easy system to organize my sewing items, and even with a few things in place, I’m still not 110 percent sure where everything is. But, I am about 85 percent, and that’s pretty good, right?

I find that trying to collect, wrangle in, and streamline the small stuff is the hardest. But I recently found a few items to help me organize some of the smaller accessories and notions that seem to clutter my sewing table. If you can, try and find these three items to help make your sewing days more pleasant!

  1. Magnetic Pin Bracelet. I saw this in a magazine. It’s actually for bobby pins, but imagine the ease of just using this to zap up pins and needles that are scattered on the floor just by running the magnet over the area? And then you attach it to your wrist and voila—your pins are there ready for you to use.
  2. Safety pins. Okay, this should have been a no-brainer for me a long time ago. Why not invest in some small safety pins and thread them through matching buttons to keep them in place and all together? Yes, you could keep those extra buttons from new clothes in their little baggies, but those are so slippery and hard to contain. One box, a bunch of safety pins, and you’ll have buttons for every project.
  3. Coloured Tea Tins. Why not throw your yellow threads and bias tapes in the yellow tin; your red ones in the red tin; your blue ones in the blue—um, you get it right? Sure, clear jars can do the same thing, but this is prettier and hides the messiness!

Here’s Liz’s tip of the day: I use plastic & glass jars  which line up in a book shelf.  And have also found those little sets of plastic drawers work really well for small items – I’m talking about the kind that are quite small: maybe 5 drawers stands about 8-10 inches high, maybe 6 inches wide. Would be great for jewellery too I guess. I have it pushed to the back corner of my sewing table. Great place for seam rippers, hand sewing needles; elastic bodkins, hot iron cleaner tube, etc


About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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