Monday, May 30, 2011

Ten Years of Sewing Notes and Records

In May, 2001, I was inspired by a discussion by Robbie Fanning, editor and delightful writer of The Creative Machine Newsletter, to start keeping written records of my sewing projects.  Now this is the antithesis of my chosen personality style...often described as "ready, shoot, aim" or "I'd rather apologize than ask permission" or perhaps I'm just undisciplined and unfocused:-)  All those things still being true 10 years later, this was a great decision.  Here are my notebooks....yes, undisciplined, chaotic and disorganized but a heck of an improvement over trying to keep all these notes and ideas in my head.  

These notebooks are my own personal Patternreview (which in my mind was an outgrowth of those online Creative Machine forum discussions.)  Now that we can so easily take pictures, post reviews, keep a blog, these notebooks might seem a little outdated, perhaps like a picture of a rotary phone.  But like a rotary phone, they still work.  

I like seeing the progress I've made.  Sometimes it's in my choice of patterns....those first entries are full of Sewing Workshop patterns which were interesting to sew but which I seldom wore.   It also is a record of weight loss that I was undertaking at the same time...early in those years I worked slowly through a spiritual program to lose 25+ lbs and for the first time in my life  have stopped struggling and have maintained that loss for nine years.  And of course it is a terrific record of how my fitting skills and fabric choices have both improved.   Lots of early disappointments because I didn't want to sew with my "good fabric" which already meant that the garment outcome would be limited.   Getting fitted with a new bra about half way through those years led me to the recognition that I needed a FBA, not just more body circumference.  Even though I am blogging now, I still like to post small fabric samples and a few notes in these booklets as well as do some creative doodling.    

How do you keep track of your sewing projects?

design sketches before cutting or sewing

First projects, 2001
most recent entry last week
Hope all my USA friends are enjoying a wonderful memorial day holiday.  Our church service yesterday featured two members who spoke about deploying to and from Afghanistan in recent years and their spirtitual and emotional preparations for entering a combat zone.  Thank you to them and all who serve and who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  


  1. I also use a sewing notebook &, like you, got the idea from Robbie Fanning in the Creative Machine Newsletter. I miss that newsletter!

    It's great to have a written history of my sewing. Mine dates back to 1997 and I love going back & reading it.

  2. What a fabulous idea! I never kept notes. Pictures were not always taken of me in me-made items. Most of my sewing over the decades remains solely in my head. I'm a little sad about this, but I suppose I'm making up for it now with the blogging.

  3. This is very fun to see. How much has blogging changed things, or more specifically, computers and digital cameras. I keep some notes scrawled in a notebook because it's portable, but my "official sewing records" are in an excel database and the photos are organized on flickr...

  4. I've kept a sewing notebook ever since I bought my first Bernina 20 yrs ago. You know that Swiss precision and record-keeping...

    I do have my measurements going back to HS and college. That's over 25+ of data.

    Want to start a meme and photograph our sewing notebooks/journals and post links here?

  5. OK, I posted pictures of my sewing notebooks, dating back to 1994.

    I hope others post their notebook photos and provide a link in the comments here.

    Let the sewing notebook meme begin!


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