Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Something's Gotta Give

A recent post by Cidell has forced me to confront a looming problem. Cidell, enterprising young woman that she is, photocopied "At a Glance" pages and organized 60 copies of BWOF on what she called a "lazy Sunday" (hardly!). My problem isn't organizing my BWOFs, but a related issue – storing them. I have reached the point where I have no more room for BWOFs.

Currently, I have 5 years of BWOFs stored in plastic expandable files in a bookcase. The index to these issues is conveniently on the same shelf. But, the shelf is now full and I have few options.
  1. Limit my BWOF collection to 5 years. This is a practical solution. Ann Rowley, a respected BWOF user who posts at Stitcher's Guild, keeps only 2 years of BWOF back issues. She says she wouldn't buy garments that were more than two years old, so why would she keep BWOFs that are more than two years old? This position makes perfect sense. But right now, I can't bear the thought of getting rid of even one BWOF issue.
  2. Get rid of other sewing books to make room for more BWOFs. I tried getting rid of little-used sewing books by having give-aways. In six months, I've given away only four books. Not good enough. My local library accepts donations, so this option holds promise.
  3. Store additional BWOFs in another area of the sewing room. The very small closet in the sewing room is full and not a viable option. There is barely enough space in the closet to hang works-in-progress. Besides, I already have back issues of Threads Magazine stored in the closet.
I vowed to keep sewing paraphernalia within the confines of the sewing room and not let it spread to other areas of the house. My fabric collection is limited to two plastic bins on the bookshelf. (A larger stash is totally out of the question.) It's obvious, even to me, these steps I’ve taken so far have been insufficient. The solution is clear. I’m going to have to “man up” and get rid of lots of stuff. For example, I have a volume from the Singer Sewing Library – Sewing Update 1988. Do I really need to keep that one? My immediate plan is to continue to slowly get rid of seldom used books until I'm strong enough to do a full-scale purge. It’s going to be like waxing unwanted hair. Sure, it’s painful, but it only hurts for a little while.


  1. Hi - regarding the BWOF issue - how about keeping the magazines themselves for something like 2 years - and for everything older - just keep the pattern and the small "instruction manual"?


  2. It pains me that the solution to your challenge is to get rid of additional sewing books...cause books should be treasured, adored and yes even loved! So my question is do you have any available wall space? Maybe 2 shelves from IKEA to store the treasured Burda collection?!

    I have real collector issues - cause I have BWOF monthly from 1998 and then a few scattered issues between 1995-1998, and all of them reside with me. Yeah, *LOL* I guess I have real collector issues if you think about that fabric closet!

    Let us know what you decide to do!

  3. I, too, am subject to every shrinking shelf space. I wish that Burda would digitize their patterns and offer them on a CD or available for download as they do with their freebies. As Threads will apparently be offering their archives on a DVD, I will soon be able to move those off my shelves.

  4. My Burda collection is nearing 10 years old but I don't think I can part with any just yet. Even sewing one item...or intending to sew one item...from an older issue justifies keeping them. I'll get ride of my 5 year collection of Martha Stewart Living magazines before I'll get rid of any Burdas!

  5. Hi. I saw Cidell's posts, too. Sounds like a long journey. I hope it will bring back some good sewing memories. I guess, like anything, it's easy for things to collect, and next thing you know, it's out of control. Wish I could help....Take care and take one day at a time. :-). I enjoy reading your posts. You always have good titles and your writing style is very organized.

  6. I admire your excellent organization and general neatness, but only two small bins of stash? Tell me how you manage to do that!? I am with Carolyn, can't you add some shelving? I have BWOF going back to 2000, with some issues for 98 and 99 and I can't bear to part with them either. I do have more room, but Ann Rowley is probably right, am I ever going to make anything from them? A dilemma for sure.

  7. Someone gave me two years worth of BWOFs and she just had the instructions and patterns. But, no editorial pics.

    Ive got mine in the Ikea things now, but I'm going to switch to magazine holders.

  8. Girl...your sewing literature is SO much more organized than mine!

    Need to DO something about that. I really need to keep the patterns I traced from my nieces 5 years ago....LOL? No. Out they!

  9. You're already more organised than me! You should see the mess that is my sewing room. I have two wardrobes, a bookshelf, a bed, a sofa and three chests of drawers all filled and/or covered in fabric, books, patterns and unfinished objects. I can only dream of being as organised as you!

  10. hummm! Getting rid of sewing stuff. Oh it's so hard to do. I have threads magazine that I will never get rid of, quilt magazines that I've not looked at in years and some that are not in publication any more. The thought of getting rid of them...oh my! And the books and fabric! OH DEAR!

  11. Oh dear, how can you bear to part with any of your sewing 'stuff'?! The idea for a couple of extra wall shelves or to just keep the line drawings/instructions and the pattern sheet would be my first choice - if you only kept the colour mag for the past two years and then the insturctions/booklet for the previous 3 - would that give you enough space to not have to get rid of anything? Good luck with whatever you decide - hope there aren't too many tears when you have to say farewell Lol :-)

  12. I don't know about your letting go of some burdas- I have been impressed reading on here that you sew mostly from them. I would investigate going higher even if near the ceiling with shelves or some other inaccessible place like a high closet shelf or an underbed storage box. There are some really nice storage solutions available now- I have been looking as I am packing up a daughter's bedroom and redoing some closets. One of the large closets in her bedroom has a second upper shelf just below the ceiling where I am putting some of her medical notebooks,maybe you could put one of those narrower second upper shelves in a closet. Even if it is out of the sewing room they would be occupying space that is not being used. I have some of my sew beautiful and creative needle magazines on the second shelf of my bedroom closet- I got rid of some stuff I had up there that I did not want. I have to go get a step stool to get up there so not like I use the space anyway. I feel your pain as I have been getting rid of lots of stuff and cleaning out closets just not ditching sewing things. Lol!

  13. Hi Elaray:

    First, thank you so much for you kind words on my most recent post. I really appreciate it. :):):)

    It's so sad to think you have this problem. This is one tough dilemma for sure. The books.... please don't get rid of! Those are treasures, and you'll likely miss them. The vast majority of the books I have I inherited from mom, so they're treasures to me. I'm so glad she never let them go. :)

    I'm with everyone in the idea of keeping the patterns and instruction manual for the older issues of Burda. That's the most important part of the magazine anyway.

    I hope it works out. :)


  14. Every time I've let a book go--there was some reason I wanted it back. There must be a better way to find space!

  15. I say keep everything but store them somewhere out of sight. 10 years from now you can look at your oldest books/mags and find something that is in style right now, with just a few tweaks. If you love something, keep it!!! Or you will regret it! Or you can find a collector and make oodles of money later!