Keeping Track of Discovered Techniques

Ever created a craft project, toy or accessory that you made on the fly? What a great feeling to discover a technique that saves time, makes your item look fantastic or easier to construct.

A feeling that disappears quickly when revisiting the same project renders the blank response  “how in the heck did I do this?”. Yes, this has happened to me more times than I care to remember. It doesn’t need to be the next month, sometimes it’s the very next day. Resolving to fix this situation, my mental health is better already.

When I’m working on a new rag doll pattern there are many unknowns such as, where is the best place to start a seam so that it will come together without tucks or wrinkles, or is it easier to put the head on before the legs?

Sewing toys takes joining curves to a whole new level.  It also means working small. The order in which you put things together can be the difference between getting the piece under your sewing machine or having to sew it by hand, something I don’t like to do, unless it makes an ascetic improvement.

My answer is to have a spiral note-book handy at all times. Discovering something important, I scratch out a short explanation with a rough sketch if needed. This page is usually quite a mess. Later I go into a text editor and paint program to have a more organized record, like the image above. A loose leave notebook keeps the pages handy, and enables my tips and instructions to stand up by my sewing machine.

Craft Closet Redo

Sewing closet redo-closet1

closet before

The problems

At first I had the graph paper out, expanding shelves, moving supports seemed like a good idea until I started looking at what I already had, it occurred to me that rearranging was the answer… and plastic bins…..lots of plastic bins.

A sheet of pegboard worked great on that blank wall. I was able to hang a ladder (that folds down to only 1 1/4″ flat), tools that I used, but not that often, plus a place to hang some fabrics like the Kona Cotton for our rag doll faces and bodies.

I use to order it online, spending hours ironing out the creases caused by tight packaging wasn’t my idea of fun or creative. I was glad to find yardage available locally, which I can now loosely hang.


bandAThe wall on the left was perfect for my doll storage, all wrapped in their plastic bags and tucked in, with empty space for more! Wish I could show you pictures from better vantage points but this is one of those closets that’s hard to photograph, trust me, this is 50 times better than it was.

Now I can get back to those new prototype dolls!