Monday, June 4, 2007

Keeping track of fabric/projects

Does anyone else keep track of their yardage in/out? I started doing it informally last year - just kind of mentally judging whether I'd made parity or been off-balance each month. But after New Year's, I started keeping track for real in a spreadsheet I got from someone on PatternReview. It's an Excel file that is set up to keep track of yardage used, yardage purchased, and yardage donated/sold. The yardage used and purchased sections have space to enter the $$ involved, fabric or item description, and the pattern used or intended, as well as the date of purchase or finish. It's almost addicting to see the numbers add up! For instance, I am amazed to see that I've sewn nearly 85 yards of fabric so far this year, and I'm a little frightened to note that I've purchased 126 yards so far. (Note: I have not entered any of the fabric purchased before this year, though it is included in the yardage sewn. You just have to decide where to start keeping track and go from there.) Because I've donated 14 yards, my net fabric gain for the year is currently 27 yards. I am working on sewing that down, though! I have nine yards cut and waiting to be sewn, and I have some birthday deadlines looming on another six yards. Of course, who knows if I'll be able to keep myself from buying more before then! :)

As far as finished projects go, I keep more detailed records in simple wordprocessing files. I start a new one every year, and I just record each finished item under the month it was finished, and I make notes on the pattern and fabric used, as well as any pattern changes I made. For example, I can go back to see what length and width of elastic I used, as well as how far I turned the waist under for a casing. This has been very helpful when sewing infrequently for certain people! And I generally take pictures of my finished projects, so I can look at them again later to make sure that I don't use the same fabric again for that person.

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