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SUSAN KHALJE | Sewing My resolution: Get that studio shipshape



Published: Sat, January 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



As the fabrics pile up in my studio, as disorganization reigns, I thought it might be time to make a baker's dozen sewing-related New Year's resolutions:

U Either sharpen or dispose of unwanted scissors. I have countless pairs, some of which are far past their prime. I've already donated a pair or two to the kitchen for household tasks, but some of those have got to go. Too many is not better.

U Make sure all loose pattern pieces in my studio have been returned to the proper envelopes. I'm pretty good about that, but every now and then I find a few stray pieces, and nothing is worse than taking the pattern out of the envelope, only to discover that the pieces you want aren't there.

U Organize sewing notions properly. I have a number of baskets in which I store zippers, trims, snaps, hooks and eyes, elastic and so on. They're not in any particular order, but they should be -- I know I've wasted time and money buying duplicates when I already have what I need buried somewhere.

U Have a look at all the fabrics I have, as so many of them have been forgotten. I buy relatively little fabric, and I like to think I remember what I do have. What a surprise when forgotten treasures, which really should be put to good use, are discovered.

UHave my sewing machine serviced. I did some machine-basting the other day, and I noticed that the tension wasn't quite what it should have been; time to fix things before they get worse.

U Get a new cover (and a few spares) for my ironing board. Not only does the cover require replacement, the underlayers need to be beefed up and straightened out -- I hate a lumpy ironing board.

U Start with a clean studio, which means vacuuming as well as tidying up. I'm amazed at the dust and lint that accumulate; the only way to deal with it is a thorough cleaning.

U Check supplies of the fabric staples that I like to have on hand: muslin (for trying out patterns), silk organza (my favorite underlining), silk crepe de chine and silk charmeuse (for underlinings and linings). I use all of these regularly, and I hate to run out.

U Throw away all tape measures that are too stiff or don't have both inches and centimeters. Students occasionally leave supplies behind at my sewing classes, and mostly they leave tape measures.

U Buy new beeswax. I use beeswax to strengthen thread, especially when I'm sewing on buttons. My piece of beeswax is drying out, and covered with lint. Time for a new one.

U Take down all magazine tearsheets pinned to the walls of my studio. Some have been there for years -- inspirational, but time for a fresh start.

U Go through my file of sewing-related catalogs and get rid of outdated ones and duplicates.

U Go over the bookshelves to rediscover books I've forgotten I have and find books that would be happier elsewhere. I'm always passing along pieces of fabric. I should do the same with some of my sewing books.

Scripps Howard News Service




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