Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eva Dress contest & Sewing Project Organization

Today I thought I would share with you how I catalog my sewing projects and  ideas.  When the pieces start coming together for a project I like to organize them in such a way that I can track my time, ideas and expenses.  I do this for clients as well as my personal sewing.  

It begins with a form I made which was inspired by Roberta Carr's worksheet as found in:
 "Couture The Art of Fine Sewing"

You are welcome to download my form and use it for your projects.  You can find the form here

For the Eva Dress Contest I am planning on making this 1940 playsuit

My plans for these overalls are to use them for gardening although I am seriously haunted by making silk pajamas as well.  
Just Imagine how luxurious I would feel wearing a silk charmeuse playsuit with my Indigo Junction bed jacket?  
Can you say "Mr D'Mille I am ready for my close up"?

Alas the sensible side of me says I need something fashionable and serviceable to garden in.  Which would mean cotton lined linen overalls with some cargo type pockets to carry tools.  I also want to be able to roll the hem up, to keep them out of the water.  In order to accommodate that I will add some straps inside the side seam which will button to the outside side seam.  Not sure yet what I will use for the jacket, which I will most likely need.  A lightweight cotton shirting would  suit as it would protect me from the sun and bugs.

 I put in as much information as I have to begin and then I will add to the worksheet as I progress. 
 Under the Pattern Alterations I make notes about size changes I make. 
 The Design changes is where I list...well changes I want to make from the original design of the pattern.  As I am doing that I will make notes about any special cutting issues I might need to consider and list them under Cutting notes.
I think you get the idea:)

At this stage of the project nothing is written in stone. The sheet serves as a reminder and reference.  I slip the sheet into a sheet protector and place it in my project notebook. When I want to start something new, usually as I am finishing up some other project I will flip through my notebook and see what beckons.   As I finish them I move them to the back of the notebook so I can refer to them later.   Sometimes I think I know what I want to do with a particular fabric and I create a project sheet for it, but I can always change my mind later if I find different pattern or need.   

I like to use these when shopping for additional trims and notions all the info is available and easy to carry along.  Once I start working on them I pin them to my bulletin board for a constant visual reminder.  Currently I have 4 of them pinned and in progress.

Do you have a way you like to organize your sewing projects or would you rather not bother and just dig in?


  1. How organized you are! I finally got my stash under control. Maybe I'll keep going and do this too!

  2. I sew only for myself and close friends/family. I use a 3x5 card with the pattern info, a swatch, date, and any notes about alterations and adjustments. The card goes into a binder sleeve with the envelope. I like your project planning sheet, especially when the sewing project is a job.

  3. I like it - Looks cute!

  4. Wow! I love the organization - what a great way to track projects! I also love the gardening outfit - super cute!

  5. Hi Lynne! :)
    I'm so glad you've joined the 1912 project! :)
    Don't fear - as best as I understand it - all of the volunteers will have the opportunity to test sew as many as 12 patterns, as long as we each blog at least once a month about our experiences. Lots of people will be working on the same pattern - which is a good thing because the skill levels and ambitions of the volunteers vary wildly! ;)

    You can get TONS of information (probably too much) on the official facebook page here:!/groups/150154328429802/
    Have you seen it yet?

    There is also an official blog:

    I'm so happy you are participating too! :)

    All the best,

  6. PS - no, I haven't received my pattern yet. I don't think that anyone has gotten one yet. In fact, I haven't been assigned to a group yet. Some people have been assigend to a group. Janyce is hoping to get all the group assignments out by Friday.

  7. Gwen - Thanks for the additional info...very helpful indeed:)

    Jessica - sounds like you may be a kindred spirit, hope you find the form helpful.

    Mary - I use 3x5 cards to catalog my fabrics as I purchase them which also goes in the back of my notebook. It always amazes me how long I have had some of my fabrics, time sure flies by on you.

    Stephanie - Orgainizing your stash is a great start. Doesn't it feel good?


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