Saturday, April 25, 2015

Notebooks past

Over the years, I've kept a number of project notebooks and sewing diaries.  This blog is one of them.  I'd mentioned in my last post, ever so briefly, that I was putting together a new notebook for my projects.  It has gone hand-in-hand with reorganizing my sewing space and getting a handle on what I want to do.  It is built in OneNote (because I'm a nerd) and is designed to scale as my work changes and grows.

Before I talk about it, though, I want to talk a bit about the prior notebooks I've maintained for sewing.  They range from an old spiral notebook filled with really terrible ball point pen sketches, to formal design line notes from school, to sprawling business management tools.
The oldest of the bunch is a spiral binder dated between 2002 and 2003.  It was pretty carefully organized - it had tape flags for various sections, including book lists, pattern inventories and wish lists, an expense log, lists of local shops and online resources, and a sewing terms glossary.  It is about half full.

There it is.  A spiral notebook.
Yes, I know the contents aren't really legible.  They're only seim-legible in person.  I have terrible handwriting.

The next of the bunch is a three ring binder, which follows the spiral binder closely.  It has sections for a half dozen different projects that include sketches, photographs, notes on the materials, even swatches.  Behind that there is a section with various tip sheets and such, and the binder pockets have what was then-current Jo-Ann flyers.

The photos were of two previous sewing setups - the top at a shared house in Greenwood, the bottom at my mom's house.

Sorry, Blogger is rotating this on me and I am too lazy to fix it.  By the way, the black and orange pants were a big hit, my friend still has them.
Following that, I had a sewing-specific LiveJournal.  No, I won't link to it.  It was started as part of a class, which required notes or a journal as one of its requirements.  I continued to use it after class for sewing projects, though there weren't many of them.

And there's the school stuff.  I took two design classes, each of which generated a big notebook.  I haven't really reviewed them until today - but I'm glad I did.  It's a good reminder about how to research and develop a cohesive line.  Both notebooks contain fashion tears, sketches, notes, swatches, sample stitch-ups.  I will review them a little more before I put them away.  I'm moving in that direction and have said that after I do a few personal projects, I'd put together a presentation line.  These two notebooks are about doing exactly that.

From my Design 1 class at IADT in 2006.

Fabric samples included in the notebook.

Deserving their own mention are the sample notebooks from my sewing techniques classes.  I was ahead of the curve on the classes themselves (many of my fellow students had never used a sewing machine at all) but I did learn, and the sample binders that I made in those classes have been very handy resources that I have referred back to more than once.  I haven't made as much reference to the samplebook from my textiles class, but I have kept it.

Clip art covers and all.

The first notebook is primarily basics - types of hem, darts, you get the idea.

The second book is construction techniques like shawl collars, zipper fly, sleeve plackets.

There is the notebook I kept for Lastwear.  I try not to bang on too much about what I did there in this blog, but since I'm talking about the tools I've used to keep sewing and apparel-making organized, it's appropriate to give it a mention.  It is also a OneNote notebook and stands as the basis for my current notebook.  For those not familiar with OneNote (or EverNote, which is similar, especially if you pay for the premium subscription), it is a Microsoft Office product that allows you to organize... well, all kinds of things.  I'm a fan, to say the least.

The Lastwear notebook had sections largely intended for the management of the business, and not every section got used.  It held sections for people (with pages for each core crew member and for contacts), projects, planning (including a high-level business plan outline, searchable agendas for crew meetings, to do lists, and upcoming events), and production (spec sheets, inventory, and more).  It was shared on the cloud with the other staff members, but I'm unsure if any of them ever accessed it.

The new notebook?  Well.  It's coming along nicely, and I'll tell you about it in more detail in another post.

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