Friday, May 10, 2013

58 "Sew" Organized!

This gal recently got a sewing machine {like almost a year ago recently}, and has only used it once or twice because there is a bit of an intimidating learning curve.  But my intentions are good and I just need to have my hubby take the time to teach me.  Yep, the guy can sew, and I think it's sexy. 

The two times I used the machine, involved traveling to the homes of friends to help with their spaces.  In doing so, I found myself carrying a slew of items in random packages.  I needed to figure out just what I would need to get by in most situations, and a better way to store everything in one happy spot, vs. tossing it all in a random bag.

I was scouring some local shops and I stumbled across a box.  A super fabulous box made out of pretty wood, with a built-in storage tray.  I knew, it would be mine, oh yes, it would be mine.


Seriously, how stinkin' cute is that?  It reminded me of a box I had as a child.  I instantly fell in love.

When it comes to sewing, I am no expert on the subject, and I really have no clue what one truly "needs" to be stocked with to take on sewing projects, but I took a little poll on Facebook and I picked up the following items to get me going:
  • Seam ripper
  • Extra bobbins
  • Measuring tape
  • Needles
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors

Looking at the new box, I knew it was the perfect solution to my sewing supply dilemma.  So I started filling up all of the dividers inside the box with the supplies.

{the one cubby on the bottom right is filled with extra pieces that came with my machine}
The dividers really keep everything nice, neat and divided, so it doesn't become a jumbled mess in-between uses or when traveling for a sewing date.


The hem tape is my cheater safety net for sewing.  Gosh I adore that stuff....

The coolest part about the box, is that it has two layers!  Tada!  A large open area below the divider, so I can stash away the bigger things too!


It is such a great spot for the longer, bulkier items, like my scissors and pedal. 

While the lower half is being accessed, the upper tray tucks nicely into the cover, keeping everything in reach during a project.  Or so I would guess. 


I just love it when things work out in the game of finding storage.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but I definitely think I hit the jackpot finding this sweet little box.

To finish this little organizing project off, I added a cute little vinyl embellishment to the cover.


Anyone else been playing the storage lottery lately?  Hopefully you hit it big too!

What are your favorite sewing tools and why?  Help a newbie out!

58 comments:

  1. Super cute! I definitely need to make something like this! :)

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  2. This is SEW cute!! Great find and I love the vinyl embellishment!

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    1. I know! I wish I could add vinyl to my basket. Maybe I'll find another way to embellish it. :)

      And here's my post (from today!) about my own sewing basket, which is somewhat organized. :)

      http://vintagezest.blogspot.com/2013/05/sewing-basket-organization.html

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    2. very nice. sewing boxes often utilize the inside of the lid, as well, usually for scissors, and maybe for a thimble or something, or even sometimes a pin cushion. you can easily make your own little pin cushion to go there. if you can attach a little piece of plastic or something sturdy to slip your scissors in, that could be handy so you save space in the bottom compartment and also so they are easy access. just a thought from a life-long seamstress (of sorts). :)

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    3. Oh yes! A thimble and a pin cushion! Both basics that completely slipped my mind! Thank you!

      xo,
      Jen

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  3. Hi Jen! I've been sewing for many years, and I love it! My mom taught me, and it's one of the few things I have in common with her that my other 5 siblings don't. I bought a sewing tackle box that I use to move my supplies around, even if it's just from the shelf to the table. It's so useful I even bought one for my mom. A few things I have in mine that I noticed you don't have in yours is a smaller pair of scissors for cutting threads, a metal ruler that comes in handy for small measurements like hems, and a fabric pencil. I would also recommend a bobbin storage box. As you sew with more and more colors of thread, those pesky little things can get out of hand. I also keep a spool of white and black thread in there, because I use those most often. The best advice I could give you about sewing is to just keep trying. The worst thing that could happen is you mess up and have to rip a seam. Good luck!

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    1. Great recommendations!! Thank you! And you are so right, what's the worst that can happen, I need to just do it! I have 101 pillow covers to sew. 😊

      xo,
      Jen

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  4. Super cute! They sell these sewing baskets at fabric stores and they're exactly the same on the inside...small compartments up top and a large one below. I noticed that Hancock Fabrics usually has them 40% off, so I picked one up for myself and one for a friend's birthday. It's helped a lot. The only problem is that the pin cushion is attached to the inner lid. Every time I sew, I think to myself that I need to detach it, add velcro to the back and to the inside of the box, that way I can detach it and put it right next to me when I'm sewing without the box taking up space. As far as my favorite sewing tool, I'd have to go with my disappearing ink pen. Love that thing!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh! Thank you for the ink pen tip! Adding it to my list!

      xo,
      Jen

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  5. Now that is adorable. How perfect.

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  6. I just want you to come to my house, take my credit card, and go bananas.

    No. Seriously.

    www.dysfunctionaleverafter.com

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a good time to me!!! ;)

      xo,
      Jen

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  7. Dang! You scored big on this one. I LOVE the wooden box storage. It's much nicer than the sewing kits in the store with plastic trays.

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  8. Omg! I was JUST going to have a post on this exact topic this Tuesday, because I hadn't seen anything like it yet. Instead, I shared my sewing group's new summer 2013 project.

    I'd go with a chalk wheel instead of a disappearing ink pen, but that's just me. Also, you'll find out that you'll want different sized shears for different fabrics. Also, I love my rotary cutter!

    Anyways, I'll be sure to come back and share my link when it posts. I may just write it up right now actually!

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  9. Where did you find that adorable box? I live in the area and would love to find a cute box like that!

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  10. Adorable box! Where can I find one like it? Also, one of my must-have items for sewing is my pin cushion that goes on my wrist. It's so convenient!

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    1. It looks to me like a tea box, y'know to organize those individually wrapped teabags... at least I received one as a gift very similar. Hope this might help in your search:)... mine has been sitting in storage for years, just waiting for the perfect use! a fresh coat of paint, a pretty latch, and here we go:)

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  11. Hi Jen!

    I noticed some left you tips already, and I thought I'd add my input! I've been sewing forever; my mom taught me when I was young, and I've had plenty of opportunities to mess up and learn! Though I did notice hand sewing needles, I didn't notice extra needles for your machine. It's the WORST when you're in the middle of a project and you have to run out and buy more needles because you broke your only one! They come in all different sizes for the different types of materials you would use and are relatively inexpensive. Definitely worth it to have extras on hand!

    Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I actually do have a couple extra (tucked next to the pins). Wahoo! :D

      xo,
      Jen

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  12. Just curious where you found the cute box...

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  13. Hi Jen:) Three things you may really enjoy having:

    1. magnetic pin cushion...especially good with kids & pets around because you can pick up pins FAST
    2. An acrylic bobbin holder (with little compartments for each bobbin). This way you can avoid having to reload bobbins each time you switch thread colors.
    3. Jean-a-majig (that's really what it's called:). This little thing is a LIFESAVER when it comes to all the creative things you will make for your home. It can be so hard on the tension of your machine to sew from heavy hems to light hems and vice versa:)

    Cute sewing box! Best of luck on your new hobby! Can't WAIT to see the amazing things your create:)

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    1. Oooh, a magnetic cushion is super smart! Thanks for the tip! I will have to look into the jean-a-majig, now you have me curious! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  14. I think that is great. I have a box that my grandfather made for me to put cassettes in (shows my age

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  15. You need thread! where are you going to keep the thread? Oh dear i am so concerned now about the thread.

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    1. Haha, I have a small drawer by my machine that holds different colored threads. This box has enough room to hold a couple when I travel as well :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  16. Thank you for making me feel better about NOT having opened the sewing machine I got for Christmas. I keep telling myself "this weekend". Maybe tomorrow will be the day! Love the box!

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    Replies
    1. I have been doing the same thing! My stack of projects is building, time for me to get crackin'! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  17. Love your box... I have a cute clear acrylic one that I found in a thrift store... I say buy for a project and see if you do it before you "collect" more accessories... you need thread and a way to display/organize it too! Happy sewing! Kathi

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  18. What a cute little box, and perfect for your supplies! That pink decal is just too cute, too. Have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, Jen! Enjoy your time with your little guys!

    ~Abby =)

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  19. Yay a sewing post! Haha but I know one of the main things I got for sewing that I cannot live without is my rotary cutter and mat - I am in NO WAY a quilter, but it saves time now that I'm making over my room and and cutting pillows.

    My mom also got me this old-style-ish....(is that a word? lol) sewing box that reminds me of yours, just a different color. The contents vary lately, though. But I definitely agree with the tip about the magnetic pincushion - I don't have one yet, but I need one! I have three pincushions full of pins sitting on my sewing table. But one is reserved for my special heart pins :)

    And since I couldn't figure out where in my comment to put these, what type of machine did you get? And you should check out Sew4Home - It's one of my favorite recent blog finds through Pinterest. It taught me so much more about sewing and I've known how for about ten years now...I learned basic things that I shied away from this whole time. I hope it helps you and keep up the awesome blog posts! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the tips! I am off to check out that blog, and add it to my resource list! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  20. You found an ideal sewing box! I love the way you embellished it, too. I get a buzz when I hit on the perfect storage solution for a particular project, it's so satisfying!

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  21. You need more tape measures. There are NEVER any around when you need one! They're the curse of all creative people :)

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    1. I second that. I had two of those cheap retractable ones and my little brother broke one so I had to hide the other one. Too bad I ended up hiding it from myself...

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    2. I believe it! Same goes for our regular tape measures, can never have enough around the home! Kids like to measure things! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  22. Hi Jen! I recently have started to teach myself to sew and I am loving it. I don't know too many people personally that sew, so to make myself not give up on my new hobby I started to blog about it. I've found this has helped me keep trekking on and I've got to say, i'm sew in love ;)

    http://skinnybudget.com.au

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  23. I love this and am happy you are sewing! I've been sewing since I was a little girl. I'm wondering what that purple pen-like thing is next to your scissors? I've never seen anything like that before.
    I second the comment about the rotary cutter and rulers - a straight even seam is a must on the machine. I also keep a roll of green frog tape (that the painters use). It is great for keeping a consistent seam allowance on the machine and if you need to sew a line in the middle of some fabric it is a great alternative to marking the fabric.

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    1. Hi Amy!

      It's a multi-tool: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003W0KWQW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003W0KWQW&linkCode=as2&tag=iheaorga-20, it came recommended by a reader. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  24. This box is super cute -- what a great find! Now I want one ...

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  25. I've been sewing for several years, but more seriously in the last 2 years. I love it! I actually wrote a post a couple weeks ago with my "tool kit" for sewing and recommendations for new seamstresses. There are some things I would just be LOST without! You can read it here if you want: http://nicoleslifeafter20.blogspot.com/2013/03/sewing-for-those-who-think-they-cant-my.html

    Want to know something funny? This post title caught my eye because my Etsy shop is named "So Sew Organized." We were meant to be friends, I can tell. :)

    Happy sewing! =)

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  26. The pink scissors decal is the perfect touch to such a cute little box! It's got such a charming old school vibe, that you'll be able to have it forever and it will never date.

    Now once you become a fabulous sewer, can you teach me? Last time I used a sewing machine was in the 8th grade and I made a terrible pair of hot pink shorts - they can't be my sewing legacy! ;)

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    1. That is so funny! I made an awful watermelon shaped pillow in 9th grade, but I will remember it forever! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  27. I've just bought a sewing machine as well and so far have just got everything stashed in a plastic bag...not ideal. It's good to see how you've organised it - will you let us know how you get on and if you decide to change/add anything?

    Emily
    x

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  28. Cute sewing box. I had several thoughts for favorite items, but they have all been mentioned at this point. Some new needles for your machine as mentioned in an earlier comment in several sizes is super important. Once you get going on a project, it is a real downer to have a needle break and nothing available to replace it. I hope you get lots of enjoyment from sewing.

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  29. So cute! I recommend a pin cushion (sew up a tiny pillow - great functional beginner project) and check out this blog post (not mine, just passing on a great tip) on how to make little covers out of plastic tubing for you bobbins to keep them from unwinding and turning into into a giant tangled nest. http://starsandsunshine.com/2012/04/16/bobbins-thread/ BEST and cheapest way to keep bobbins tidy and organized on the go EVER!

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    1. That is super smart! Thanks so much for sharing!

      xo,
      Jen

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  30. I think it's cute that you have multiple white and black bobbins (the clear plastic things your bottom thread goes on).

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  31. Here is is a similar box with a carry strap and some additions to the inside lid that you could make: http://www.amazon.com/SEWING-BASKET-CLASSIC-TRIMMED-QUALITY/dp/B008UX1JN6/ref=sr_1_25?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1368455051&sr=1-25

    For those who would like to make a box from scratch, here is an example that could be duplicated in fabric covered cardboard with multiple layers of lift-out trays: http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Print-Sewing-Box-Button/dp/B008GSBYEO/ref=sr_1_14?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1368455051&sr=1-14

    Those shoe boxes from last week could be covered in fabric, trim, and lined with some of your cereal box dividers. You could also start with an actual basket, a tiny suitcase, or old metal lunchbox. Another route would be to find some plastic organizer trays and then build a custom sized cardboard box around them.

    My box is much larger as I have been sewing for about 40 years. It is actually plastic with two lift-out trays and even more space underneath: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Wil-hold-Wilson-Basketweave-Wicker-Plastic-Sewing-Basket-Box-USA-Made-/261214410949?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd19798c5

    If I was starting over today and needed that much storage, I would probably go with a toolbox or fishing tackle box for function, and then work on making it pretty on the outside.

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  32. What a great box!!! Such a perfect size. I need to get ahold of my sewing mess...then maybe I'd actually use the machine more than once!

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  33. *Magnetic Pincusion
    *Machine oil (to lubricate the metal bits - can depend on the machine)
    *little duster tool to clear out the lint in the bobbin area
    *a good pair of shears (as opposed to the regular big Fiskers)
    *trimming scissors that will snip all the way to the tip
    *measuring gauge
    *extra machine needles
    * specialty feet for your machine - like zipper feet or the buttonhole foot

    Basically, most of my notions and tools go into mine, but it's a bit bigger, and has a handle on the side for easy carrying.

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  34. My father-in-law was a major DIYer. He was a mechanic in Aerospace and knew how to do everything. He built a boat, a camper, made a full size indoor pool and he sewed all their costumes.

    I have a new sewing machine and I've had problems sewing with it. It upsets me cause it's brand new. Good luck with your sewing.

    The easiest thing to make are pillows cause all the mistakes can be hidden inside.

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  35. I just got my 1st sewing machine and would love to see a post on an organized sewing table/sewing area. I have everything just laid out right now and need to figure out how to organzie all my sewing notions - help!

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  36. My suggestions would be a metal seam gauge, small thread snips, and air soluble ink marking pen. And from a fellow organizing fan, here is a post from my blog on how I organized my possibly excessive amount of sewing supplies: http://craftycitizen.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/sewing-and-crafting-area/

    As a Wisconsin native, I know there isn't an IKEA there to pick up all the items I used, but I found the Schaumberg, IL, store wasn't too bad of a drive.

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  37. Oh my...the beginning of this post sounded just like me! I've had a sewing machine for about a year and a half and I've sewn two little things on it. It's that darn intimidating learning curve! And then to add another similarity... my hubby sews too! Something he picked up in Home Ec class and hasn't forgotten, since it comes in so handy! He's used my new machine more than I have! Time to get sewin', I guess!

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