Tips for sewing clean up needed.. and time saving tips.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, this seems like such a silly thing, but it's going to be a big deal in my little world very soon. In my business, I sew.. a lot of cutting, and a LOT of serging. So.. that means a LOT of mess. Until recently, I was working in the breakfast nook in our kitchen where there is linolium on the floor.. so it was just a quick wisk of a broom and everything was cleaned up. Now, my new sewing space is being set up in a carpeted bedroom. This wouldn't be a big deal except all the thread and fabric really clog up our vaccum .. a windpro if that helps.. quite quickly and I have to spend half an hour each time cutting trrough all of it on the brush head if i don't want to burn the motor up. I know this seems like a silly thing, but any advice from sewing wahms that work on a carpeted area would be much appreciated...

Also..while I'm at it..if you have any time saving tips .. sewing, packaging, general business.. post them here. I'm not all that new anymore, but I'm still having trouble getting into the swing of things and not wasting time on little things.. like keeping organized or getting sidtracked.


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#2 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 03:00 AM
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Our sewing machine shop sells the neat little catcher things for sergers. It's a piece of fabric that goes under the machine with a "bag" attached that is right where the cutter is on the serger the bag has something in it that makes it stay open(cardboard?) Sorry for being so Technical :LOL :LOL :LOL
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#3 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 03:14 AM
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OK, I'm sure I'm not the norm here, but I'm a little anal about cleaning while I sew. Every snipped thread goes in the trashcan, which sits right next to me. I have a scrap catcher on one of my sergers, the other I push back so the scraps fall on the table and they get whisked into the trash. If I drop a pin, I stop and find it immediately: I sew in bare feet and have been stuck with one too many pins to chance finding it later in my toe

When I cut, all scraps go into the trash or a scrap bag. The only thing I have trouble with is terrycloths, so I put my cut pieces into plastic bags and try to shake the fluff off into the bag as I pull the pieces out and I sort fo scrape my fingers over the carpet to remove most of it after I've been cutting or sewing it to cut down on what the vacuum has to find.

I do most of my sewing production style. I cut all the basic parts in mass quantities (mostly to not have to store big pieces of fabric) and keep each thing in a different bag for each size. So I have a bag for burley soakers in each size, a bag for lining in each size, etc. My sewing room is only for my machines, everything else (cutting, snap press) is on the dining room table downstairs. Sicne my son does not like me to sew, but doesn't mind me cutting or doing other work at the dining room table, I end up with lots of time to get organized this way and then I can make the most of the time I have to sew when he's in bed. It's also horribly hot and stuffy in the sewing room right now, so I can do a lot downstairs where it's cooler

I've found that printing out what I have and what I need has made a HUGE difference. When I was doing custom orders, I'd list everything I was making and then I could see that I needed X more large linings for these orders and needed to squeeze an extra cover out of this fabric for that order, etc. Once I had a good system down, I'd save everything as a template and just update it when needed. I do still spend more time on organizing than sewing, but that's partly because I like it better sometimes and because I do not sew when frustrated, but can do mindless spreadsheets when I am

I hope that helps!

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#4 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 10:11 AM
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I keep a LARGE garbage can right next to the serger adn put scraps in there every time I finish sewing
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#5 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 12:14 PM
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I have hardwood, so can't offer any advice there.

What I do is when I take an order, I print out an invoice and slip it under my pile (in numerical order in a clipboard file). I also have my entire client list in there with order numbers and whether they've paid, whether it's been shipped and whether it's a trade.

I also fill out the client's address on an envelope and slip that under the work order.

I update it maybe once a week; and just scribble in details as I go. I have 1/2 dozen orders up on my sewing desk at a time; and the next 1/2 dozen clipped above my cutting table so I can glance at them and plan ahead a little. I cut all the pertinent parts for each and pile them on the work order. I scribble add-on details to the order as I go on the work order (bringing it with me to the puter too).

when I finish each order (before de-fuzzing), I move the work order to the dining table, plied on top of the envelope and work order. I de-fuzz each order as I print out the invoices (reflecting order changes that I've scribbled as I went) and then put an invoice in each envelope with the order (just started doing this; I used to only send email copies ) seal it and put it in my PO bag.

I have done primarily custom orders thus far, I cannot wait to start doing instock stuff!!! It's so time consuming changing out thread colours etc. and moving from task to task, product to product.

At the end of the night, I blow out my serger and sewing machine, put away whole fabrics and pile up cut pieces, put thread away etc. I wipe off my tables and sweep.

As I cut, I have several crates I have lined up under my table for scraps; cotton fleeces and jerseys, poly fleeces, woolens, cotton wovens, and hemp scraps. That way, I have easily accessible scraps for pad making and appliquees. Anything smaller than my smallest pad just gets tossed straight into the trash unless it's nice wool or fleece for an applique.

I use containers with handles (like that shelf in your tool box, kwim?) and I have scissors, marking chalk, measuring tapes, my awl, pencils etc all in one, and in another I have pins, needles, safety pins and other sewing acessories. I can just lift em up and place them wher I am working instead of havning to go and get a safety pin, or chalk, or I forgot this or that...I've stuck sticky magnet on the inside of this one so my pins are easily acessible.

that's all I have time to post for now, the girls are almost done breakfast LOL. (It's 8:13 am here, not 11 )

hth some

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#6 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 01:26 PM
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How about getting one of those old fashioned sweeper things (you know, the push ones with the long handle that everyone's grandma used to have) There's no motor to clog, and they work pretty darned well! I saw one at Target for less than $30 a few weeks ago.

My best piece of advice regarding shipping is Saves tons of time at the PO, now my mailman takes all my stamped packages at the front door
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#7 of 7 Old 07-17-2003, 02:01 PM
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Yes, I was going to say a carpet sweeper!! My kids love to use one of those!!

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