March 2, 2011
I sat down to my sewing machine recently only to be plagued with one problem after another. With increasing frustration, I was closing in on going "office space" on the bugger when it suddenly occurred to me 1) it's Spring 2) it has been quite some time since I have given my sewing space much needed attention. I decided a good spring cleaning was in order and should be written about as well to share my spring cleaning secrets in hopes that you will follow suits without being prompted by problems.
I prefer to start with a general ordering of my sewing room. This means gather piles of fabric from everywhere and finding its home. I usually take this time to prewash fabric that hasn't yet had the pleasure and folding it and ordering it by weight, fiber and color. That way when the mood for a certain project strikes I can just pull the fabric I need and get to work. Washing is done, wrinkles are kept to a minimum and I know that the weight, fiber and color are just right. I do the same for my yarn as well. I keep it in big, clear, plastic bins, out of direct sunlight but so I can still see the pretty colors. I don't prewash it but I do air it out, and reorganize it by fiber, weight and color. This way I can see at a glance whether or not I have enough yarn for any given project.
Next, I like to organize my sewing desk. I start by cleaning my machine. I take the needle and bobbin/bobbin case out and give it all a good swab with various sized paint brushes. I love the paint brush set because you get a good mix of sizes, the brushes are soft and the long handle allows you to get into tight spaces. If the machine needs oil, I add that as well. I check all my bobbins to make sure they are the right size and free of defects. I also take this time to pre wind some bobbins with some of my favorite thread colors (grey, white, black, tan, red and blue). I also go through all my pins, throwing out the old, bent and dull pins and purchasing new if needed. This is also a good time to go through your needles (hand and machine) inventory and fill out any low stock. I like to go through my notions drawer and discard old fluids and purchase depleted fluids like Fray Check and machine oil.
I finish off with filling out my sewing notions draw with essentials that are used with most projects like zippers in various sizes, ric rac, bias tape, ribbons in my favorite colors and anything that catches my eye knowing I will use it somehow.
I get such a feeling of accomplishment once my spring cleaning is done. I usually jump right into a project and am surprised how easily I finish up patterns with most of my work already done.
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