Crafting diary – organising your makes for the future

Crafting diary – organising your makes for the future

If you know me at all, you’ll very quickly realise I’m not a particularly tidy person. I seem to make my studio messy simply by looking at it, so for me to be writing about organisation is very funny.

After the holiday season, I normally feel a lack of energy and creativity; I just want to burrow in my duvet, forget the world exists, and survive on tea, books and naps (plus chocolate). I call it Wintering, and this year was no exception.

If the body is sluggish, the brain sometimes has ideas, however. I’d been wanting to keep track of my sewing projects for a while. A sort of diary, if you will, where I could look back and see what I’d made, how I made it and my thoughts of the process.

What do you know, I actually found the energy to start it and I’m here to share some pages with you. Maybe this will inspire you to do the same for your crafting of choice (or maybe you already do?)

An open page from a sewing diary on a desk, with some decorative items around it.

I’d been saving fabric samples for a diary, which I kept in a neat pile, edges pinked to avoid fraying. I’m surprised I never lost them or forgot what the fabrics had been turned into!

Each project has its own page entry. The one above is for my first Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated. I start out by writing down who I made the item for, what type of fabric I used, where I bought it, etc. As I progress with this I’m sure I’ll come up with more useful information to add.

Another page of the sewing diary, with fabric samples and a drawing of the project I created

Here is Metamorphic Dress number two. I just had to share this because the fabric is one of my favourites of all time. If you read the note in the lower right, you’ll notice a comment about my mother ruining the dress for me by pointing out it looked like a servant’s uniform. (It does. Don’t tell her I agree. I still like it!)

This type of diary is meant to jog your memory in the future, if you ever want to know when you made something, or what could be changed should you ever decide to revisit the same pattern. I actually have a little detail to add to this particular one to improve fit in the future…

Two photos of a yellow Kochi jacket on a sewing diary page

I also decided to print a few images so anyone else who looks at the diary can have an idea of what I’m talking about (I might also forget in the future so this is also for me). This page says I made a Kochi Jacket (now renamed Luna) by Papercut Patterns but that won’t help if you don’t know what it is, right?

A photo of two women wearing the same model of Arthur Pants, next to a printed drawing of Rupert Bear

Saved the best for last. For Christmas my mum wanted a pair of Arthur Pants. She bought the fabric in Portugal and what do you know? It was the same as mine! She thought it was hilarious.
We got told our outfit was reminiscent of Rupert Bear… I had no idea who Rupert was, but now I do, I want to make a scarf out of the remaining yellow fabric for an extra laugh.

Do you keep a crafting diary? What do you include in it? Any suggestions on how I can improve mine? Let me know in the comments section.

25 thoughts on “Crafting diary – organising your makes for the future

    1. Thanks, Lyn! There’s always something I’d do differently if I’d ever made the same garment again, so I think this will be a great source of information. I’ll admit I’m also a bit chuffed to see how many things I’ve managed to make so far 😀

      I love that photo too! 🙂

  1. Love this idea. I can also use it for my paintings and record the colours used, reference photo, etc. Just wish I’d done it sooner!
    Thanks. Brilliant

    1. Exactly, Aprille! It goes for every craft/art form 😀
      Better late than never, I’m sure you’ll love looking back and reading all the info. Thanks for reading ^_^

  2. I love the idea of keeping a diary Leonor. I have never done it but it makes perfect sense! Love the patterns and thanks a million for the links – spent a few minutes catching up on some pattern porn (pp for short). Love the trousers and the fact that both you and your Mum choose the same pattern and material – classic! Yes, do make the scarf – you will give Rupert a run for his money.

    I am relieved to see that I am not the only one who has spent January in a creative rut – nothing is occurring to me in the line of creativity and in retrospect I probably should have gone under the duvet and hibernated. Roll on fabulous February (ff for short lol)

    1. Thanks, Helene! It took me forever to start because I didn’t know how to begin, what info to add… plus, being always afraid of “messing up,” I thought I’d hate the way I was doing it. Then I finally got off my brain wheel and went for it. I’m very glad I did 😀

      Glad I could enable your PP 😉

      January is so exhausting, isn’t it? It’s right after Christmas and it’s cold (well, Northern Hemisphere at least), it’s not an easy month. Let’s welcome FF!

  3. I have never tried to journal my creations but this post came at just the right time. Going to start with this today 🙂
    I would love to know what pattern is used for those pants! Love them!

    1. Glad I inspired you 😀 The pattern is linked in the post, click on the bit where I mention its name and it should take you directly to the sales page 😉

    2. Actually, I forgot to add a link! Let me correct that immediately. Thanks for noticing! In any case, it’s the Arthur Pants by Sew Liberated 🙂

  4. what a great idea. Journaling is always something I think is a great idea but never do. The blog is the closest I have. I am terrible at documenting my work. The blog has helped a lot with that. Love the Rupert pants.

    1. Thanks, Ann! I do love journaling, it keeps me grounded as I do it and is a great way to look back on how much I’ve accomplished. I’m glad you have the blog to help keep the memories alive 😀

  5. I love your diary Leonor, it is inspiring. I’m glad that you went ahead and started it because it is good to have no matter how it’s put together. Such a wonderful resource for the future and to remember what it was that worked and didn’t work with a pattern. I have done documentation on different projects, mainly for my classes, but I always use those notebooks again for reminders of what I did. And I get new ideas from reviewing what I did in the past. That page with you and your mom is awesome 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ruth. It’s been fun adding to it, and I now want to sew more so I can add to the notebook 😀 A win-win in my books 🙂
      There’s just something about words and things glued to paper that just call to me. I’m glad I’m not the only one! It’s almost like a mix between scratch booking and bullet journaling.

      Thanks, my mum was super pleased with her trousers and that really made me happy 😀

  6. Lyn, I feel like you’re living in my brain. I spend every January, and 1/2 February if I am honest, in that funk. My husband and I, have talked about journaling for organizing, but I didn’t know how to begin. We both have ADHD, which frustrates us even further.

    We just arrived at our timeshare, for 3 weeks, on Hilton Head Island. We brought Porter, the puppy, and some fun crafting projects. It beautiful, and I am still in that funk! (Drives me crazy)
    Thank you, and your other commenter’s, for letting me know it’s not just me. And…thank you for the inspiration, with examples! Brian, just said that’s exactly what I have been thinking of, and reading about in my heart health magazines.

    We have a plan for today: getting a couple of spiral journals, and getting started!
    Thank you 😊

    1. Ha, the Winter Funk isn’t always easily dispersed. I get it! Right now my inspiration is almost nil so I’m taking the time to redesign my site. Funnily enough, it’s sparking something inside and I might be dyeing some fibre soon 🙂

      I think journaling can be great for ADHD, if you’re doing it without putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s supposed to be fun, not perfect. I hope you and your husband got those journals and made some headway!

  7. Leonor – just brilliant.
    Your craft diary is inspirational & your Arthur-Rupert (or is it Rupert-Arthur?) trousers are glorious. I can just see you in them flitting around & you certainly have the figure for them. Incredible that your mum choose the same fabric. A lovely happy memory photo too 😘

    1. Thanks, Antje! It’s a great motivational tool for me, too – I want to add more to the diary, which means I’ll have to sew more 😀

      Those trousers are SO COMFY!!! I’ve 3 pairs and will likely make more. I still can’t believe my mum got the same fabric in a completely different country…

  8. I just LOVE your journal! I do have a book that I use to record the inspiration, size, weight, method etc for new pieces of work but it’s very scrappy. I tend to write/draw in it as I’m working so it gets wet, stained, crossed out……its only for my eyes so doesn’t matter but maybe I will try to be a bit neater in future!
    The photo of you and your mum in the Rupert (Albert) pants is terrific!!

    1. You have a book too? That makes me so happy, Karen 😀 I love the idea of it being full of squiggles and ideas, plus tea stain rings… My diary might get that way in the future as I move along, once I start writing things down as I work on them (and not after), I’m sure it’ll all get much more chaotic!

      I do love that photo 🙂

  9. I love this Leonor. I had a loom for Christmas and I did decide to keep a journal of my progress, so I can learn from it as I go along. My niece gave me a lovely book with handmade paper. Although I’ve only done a few projects so far, I’m recording one on each page, with a sample of the yarns used and their name, where I bought them etc., as well as measurement details etc. I figured that if I want to make another project that’s identical, I will have the info to hand.

    They look so lovely to read through too, I love how you’ve drawn the pattern too. So arty and creative!! It’s a great idea! 😊

    1. One more crafty diarist! This makes me so happy 😀 I hope you get to do lots on your loom and you get to look back on your diary in the future with fondness ^_^

  10. Hmm, never thought of a crafting journal, but it sounds interesting. As an abstract Fiber Artist, I’m all over the place in my work area. Sometimes the projects are embedded in my mind before I set up my materials. Love what you’re doing!

    1. Hello! Sorry for the late reply 🙂
      Isn’t it so easy to feel scattered sometimes? A journal really does help sort things out, it gives our brains a chance to “see” things outside rather than just in our inner world. I hope you give it a try!

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