How To Keep A Record Of Your Sewing Projects

Are you looking at how to keep a record of your sewing projects?

I don’t think I have met a fellow sewer that hasn’t admitted they have a couple of projects on the go or unfinished ones. I am actually terrible for this, I start something with such enthusiasm and then something else crops up and I have to abandon or come back to it later.

Later comes around and I have lost the enthusiasm and I just don’t get back into it. So then obviously some other project and fabric catches my eye and the visious circle starts again.

There is however a way to stop this from happening or atleast keeping track of what you have started and what needs to be finished. I am going to go through a number of different ways in which you can organise your sewing self and keep track of your sewing projects.

Use A Notebook

One of the most popular ways to keep on top of your projects is to use a notebook. Write down your project, pattern number and any other details you want into your book, add the date you started (or don’t if you want to ignore how long you have abondoned it for – I don’t blame you).

Keep in small details of the project and notes about what you were aiming to do or wanting to achieve. Write down everything that excites you about this project, add images or pictures along with drawings and anything you think is relevant.

I also used my notebook to create a fabric swatch book so I could log my fabrics and use it as a reference tool to learn more about different fabrics.

That way when you go back through your notebook you can look at how that project made you feel when you first started. That in essence should help you ffel excited about it again and hopefully help you finish it. Add in a section for what is left to do if you are having to stop half way through.

Use An Application

There are a tonne of apps that are both for phones and desktop that help you get organised and document files, images etc. They are mostly used for people who work for themselves, work at home and for work.

You may have seen the adverts for apps such as Monday.com and more. Well these are all really useful digital formats of documenting tasks, projects and creating a log.

I am currently using Notion for my work but I have slowly used it for pretty much everything I want to log and keep record of. It is easy to use and you can create pages, tables and graphs (though I don’t need the graphs).

Many of these apps are free to use or are a small one time cost to download to your phone or laptop.

Other apps that are just as great and I have used are Airtable, ToDoist and ClickUp. I use mine to compile a to-do list, sewing patterns log and files dump area.

Use A Bullet Journal

Though bullet journals are pretty much a version of a notebook they have a wide range of ways they can be used. The base of the bullet journal is dotted pages which gives the user much more flexibility for what they use on each page.

There is a whole fandom of people over the world using bullet journals for pretty much everything you could think of from wellness and fitness to plant and gardening to sewing and cleaning.

You can use this as a design base, brain dump or even to keep track of your sewing projects. If you like keeping your notebook spontaneous and flexible these are perfect. You can add colour to the pages to help distinguish your drawings and ideas or keep it simple in pen or pencil.

I used to use one for work mainly but would often jot down notes about ideas I had and what I wanted to achieve in my sewing space. You can allocate pages or just use it as you think of ideas and plans.

Pinterest has a number of ways to help you get started on different layouts or where to buy them. Also don’t be afraid to stick in fabric samples and write down pattern numbers and alteration notes.

Create A Filing System

Another system that works really well is to create a type of filing system. You can either use a filing cabinet, boxes or bags to hold the unfinished projects, that way they can be stored well and without damage or loss of pieces and documented.

Place the project in a box like a shoebox for example and place a note on it of what it is and what needs to be done to finish it.

This works really well if you are simply taking a small break due to family time, work or something unexpected has arisen. I like the idea of keeping the project in a box or bag as then you can keep everything together from the pattern, notes, pieces, fabric and matching colour thread.

Create A Shame Box

This is probably my worst idea but I have done it to myself and honestly it is working. I have a huge box under my desk of any and all projects I have started but not finished.

I have to look at it everyday and each time I get chance to do any sewing I will choose something from the box. If I pick something up and it doesn’t bring me joy or no longer is what I want to create, I will take it apart and place the fabric back into the fabric box to be used on something else.

It is the harshest way to get back on track with your sewing projects but it may be the way to help you organise through what you already have to move on and make space in your sewing room.

Create A Project Shelf

Similar to the filing system you can create a space within your sewing room or house that is home to ongoing sewing projects only. The space will only be allowed to hold on going sewing projects so you can see what exactly you have and where they are in your home.

This is great if you do a lot of client work along with your own personal work or just get peaks of high orders etc. Here you can create a sort of production line of which is due first and work your way through the line.

You can add labels to the boxes or bags or add stations of “cut out, needs sewing, needs hemming” etc. You can create different stages of sewing so you could do much of your sewing in one block, ironing in another block and then finishing in another.