TipStitched Tips: My Project Bag Method

Any time I post a pic to IG or share a video on my sewing plans someone notices my bags. No, not bags under my eyes  -LOL- my clear zip close project bags! So I want to share how I use them and why I can’t live without them.
Project-Bags

You’ll find three kinds of bags in my sewing space

  1. Cut out projects I plan to sew
  2. Incomplete projects I need to finish
  3. Patterns with intact fabric I need to cut

Project-Bag-Close

I already shared how I approach sewing and a big part of it is assembly line-ing the process. I have pattern cut days where I try to cut 2 or more patterns out at once and I have fabric cutting days where I cut do the same for fabric. If I’m feeling particularly efficient I try to select projects that have similar weight, type and color fabrics so I can save time by not needing to change needles and thread.

Bag1
This is a cut out project that is ready to go!

Once I’ve batched cut a few patterns and fabrics I place them in a 2 gallon Ziploc bags. I MUST do this or I will end up missing pieces! If the project requires notions such as a zipper or buttons, I go ahead and put those in the bag as well. This really helps me on the days I know I want to sew because all I have to do is enter my sewing room grab a bag and start sewing!

bag-2
This dress has been cut out and the skirt has been cut, but for some reason it was set aside to be finished later.

This is also a great idea for those of you…ok us…who tend to sew multiple projects at a time or start one project then get distracted by some new fabric or pattern purchase. Just place everything from that project that was already in progress in a bag and then when you are ready to come back to it everything is ready to go. In the past I found that when I would pause and then restart a project I was always missing something. “Where’d I put the instructions?” “What happened to the pocket piece?” “Did I ever buy a zipper for this dress?” If I place everything back in it’s bag, the next time I grab it – whether that is in a couple of days or a several months – I’ll still have everything I need.

Bag-3
I purchased the fabric with this dress in mind so I immediately paired the two and placed them in a bag. I also have the snaps that I will add to this bag.

Lastly, I bag uncut fabric and/or patterns together so that they are ready for my next cut day! This is helpful because when I find myself with time to cut but no plans of what to cut I waste more time gathering the patterns and fabrics than I actually do cutting the fabric. I typically have some type of idea of the patterns I want to sew for any given season or upcoming event so I pair everything together when I think of it. Also if it’s not something I plan on sewing soon, but I’m pretty sure I want to use that fabric for that pattern I’d rather bag them together uncut instead of cut, JUST IN CASE I change my mind before I get around to sewing it. You never know a better pattern may be released.

Now am I always this regimented? Absolutely NOT! Sometimes I am inspired to make a particular piece and I push all these plans aside and make that piece. Other times I sign up for a pattern test with a tight deadline and my previous projects just have to wait. I’ve had projects be an EPIC fail and I get discouraged with my plans and just need a break. Also I’ve over ambitious so I can NEVER get to everything I “plan” and that doesn’t bother me. You have to do what it best for you and I’m just sharing what I do and why in the hopes it can help someone else.

Do you have any tips that help you stay organized? Or maybe that help make your sewing a more efficient process?

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