Do you ever feel like you don’t know where to start?

Since finishing my Freemantle Coat refashion, I haven’t done any sewing. I have thought about sewing a lot – it does occupy quite a lot of my brain! But this leads me to sometimes get a bit overwhelmed. I would like, one day, to have an entirely homemade wardrobe, but there are so many things missing currently that I often feel like I want to make about 20-30 things simultaneously. Then I don’t start anything, because I don’t know what to make first. Do you ever feel like this?

Patterns
If you follow me on instagram, you’ll have already seen the above photo. These are all the patterns I have bought, intending to make soon after buying them but then they go into my stash and I have yet to make any of them. And then I bought the 2 Grainline ones yesterday. I also went through my stash recently and counted 33 different lengths of fabric that I have – some of which were bought with specific projects in mind, but now they’ve been there so long I’ve either forgotten or changed my mind.

I’ve recently been feeling rather dissatisfied and overwhelmed by the state of our flat, which hasn’t helped my general mood or ability to make decisions on what to sew next. Living in London, the flat that we can afford is very small – 2 rooms and a tiny bathroom (the kitchen is one wall of the sitting room). Unfortunately we’ve been here 3 years now and both of us (The Boyfriend and I) buy books and dvds fairly often, so the amount of stuff we have is growing so the space feels like it’s shrinking! Also, when we moved in, I didn’t sew, so I don’t really have anywhere to store my growing stash of patterns and fabric (and wool) so it just feels like it’s in the way. I’m hoping we’ll move soon (possibly away from London), but in the mean time I decided to sort out my wardrobe and drawers in an effort to not feel quite so overwhelmed – especially when I want to make new clothes all the time!

My clothes did start off tidy, but they had become a bit of a mess! These are the before pictures (sorry for the blurriness!):

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My drawers were so full, they pulled the ones above them open!

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And this is the inside of my wardrobe, which has one cupboard with shelves in where I keep my knitwear and hats and scarves.

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You can see all my pashmina-type scarves on the coat hanger on the right, below.

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One of the things that precipitated me having a clear out was the fact that my friend had done the same and brought me some of the clothes she was getting rid of, in case I could wear any of them or refashion them if they weren’t wearable as they were.

The pile on the left is to refashion, the pile on the right is fine as it is and the pile in the middle was to go the charity shop.

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I’m assuming by now you’ve heard of the Konmari method, which came over from Japan this year due to the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, being translated for the first time? I’d seen this YouTube video and read some posts about how good the method is. I keep meaning to buy the book, especially as I’m in a ruthless mood at the moment! I figured I could make my wardrobe and drawers neater.

These are the after pictures – ta da!

These are all my vest tops and t-shirts with short sleeves – it’s so much easier to see what’s in there, and it doesn’t take that long to put things away like this now it’s all sorted.

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This is the second drawer, which now fits my pajamas as well as long-sleeved t-shirts – before it had been half the short-sleeved t-shirts and the long-sleeved ones, but now I’d got all the short-sleeved ones in the other drawer, I had more space.

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My jumpers, cardigans and scarves and stuff haven’t really changed that much, just been tidied again. I try to keep jumpers on the left and cardis on the right so things are easier to find.

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This is now the shelf above my wardrobe – getting rid of the pajamas from here meant there was room for all my pashminas, creating more space in the hanging part of my wardrobe.

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This doesn’t look that different, but there is a bit more space to get things in and out.

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I have a box which I keep current projects in, but I don’t have any at the moment – I’m between things, since finishing my coat. So I used that box for all the future refashions:

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And this is the pile of things I took to the charity shop this morning!

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I think I’m going to try to do a one in-one out system when I make new clothes, as I don’t need even as many clothes as I have, let alone more clothes! Slightly in my defense, I’ve had some of them for years and years, and when I have a clear out (I’d had one only a couple of months ago) I do take things to the charity shop so they get another life with someone else.

Today I’ve started an online catalogue of all my sewing patterns and fabric, which will hopefully make me even more able to make decisions about what to make next. Do you ever go through phases where you can’t make decisions? Do you also tidy/ sort things out/ move furniture around when you feel like that?

I bought a new camera!

…and loads of fabric!

Since my old camera’s demise a couple of weeks ago (it was old when it was given to me and I’ve had it a number of years, so it had a good life) I was starting to obsess with buying a new swanky camera, which would make me an excellent photographer over night….I’m pretty sure that’s how it works! My friend who I made the Polaroid Camera case for is a photographer and when I gave her the case, we agreed she would give me a photography lesson in return. We did that a couple of weeks ago  so I learnt about exposure and shutter speed and ISOs and things and then we went into John Lewis to play with their cameras. And the guy in there ‘helping’ us made me, if anything, more confused. Then I looked online and became even more confused so eventually on Friday I went into Jessops (for those not in the UK, Jessops is a camera specialist chain) and I wandered around and found 3 cameras in my budget by different brands (NIKON, Sony and Panasonic) so I asked which one I should get and the staff were super helpful and listened to what I wanted the camera for and then said ‘The Panasonic is probably the best one for what you want it for’. Which was pretty much what I needed – when buying something expensive, technological and which I don’t understand, I find I very quickly get paralysed by choice so I needed a nudge in the right direction.

So I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 and it’s very pretty!

CameraI’m still figuring out how it works and all the things it does, but I did manage to take some photos of the fabric I bought in Goldhawk Road after I bought the camera….because, you know, I hadn’t spent enough money already!

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I had bought some of this before, but not washed it so I had a mammoth laundry session and then photographed it all. The new things are the denim-ish blue cotton drill at the bottom (which will become either a dress or skirt, I haven’t decided yet), the navy blue poly-cotton 3 from the bottom (which will be to make a muslin of a shirt for The Boyfriend) and the brown spotty cotton (which will become a tea dress.

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Again only some of this is new – the pink stripey cotton, which is really soft and lovely (and will become a Grainline T Shirt) and the cotton fourth down (which is a present for someone). The others I already had and some of the fabric from both photos was given to me by a friend at work, so this doesn’t represent as much money as it might at first appear! I think it’s safe to say, though, that I won’t have to buy any more fabric in a long time. I probably still will though…….You gotta have a stash!