Monday, April 18, 2011

Are You a Messy Marsha or a Clean Christine?

Lets start with a simple scenario. You want to start a new sewing project, so you gather your materials and proceed to go to your sewing room, sewing desk, or in my case, the dining room table. When you get there do you have to throw heaps of stuff in the floor just to find somewhere to cut out your fabric, or are you greeted by a neat and tidy work station all ready to go? Do you know exactly where your scissors are to start cutting your fabric or do you need to gather a search party to find them? When you're finally done sewing are all of your sewing tools back in the places, or does it look like a tornado has just spun through the room?
Just as everyone has their own unique taste in what they sew, it seems that everyone has their own style when it comes to their sewing space. Some of you could make Martha Stewart and Bree Van De Camp jealous with your impeccable sewing spaces where everything has a place. Some of you, on the other hand, myself included, keep your sewing space in such a state of disarray you need both the Clean House and Hoarders teams to come in and rescue you.

It seems that there are so many books, television shows, and products being marketed to help us become, and subsequently stay, organized. But, do we all need to be so organized? By all accounts my sewing space is messy, messier than I would ever keep my bedroom, but I don't mind it.  The media, and many popular reality shows like the ones I mentioned above, would try to have us believe that  messiness is a problem. Name one t.v. show that says, sure your house, or sewing space in this case,  is a bit cluttered, but that's not a problem? Personally, I can't think of one. Society, as a whole, would like us all to believe that being hyper organized somehow makes us a better person and that an organized life is a happier life. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that if you enjoy a neat and organized space that you have bought into the media hype of organization. Some people do work better in a neat and tidy space where they can find everything easily, and that is perfectly fine because that is what works for them. If you are a Martha Stewart in your sewing space that is great, and if I ever see your sewing space I will most likely ooh and ahh over your perfectly organized rows.

However, I think that is is quite plausible that some sewists keep their spaces neat and tidy not for themselves, but because they don't want others, such as guests in their home, to see their sewing mess. They don't want to be perceived as messy, which is very tied to the word lazy in so many of our minds, even though they are not always synonymous.

So, readers, I have a few questions for you. Are you a messy Marsha or a clean Christine in your sewing space? If you're messy, do you ever feel pressure to clean up and become organized? If you're clean, do you ever wish to just be messy, but don't for fear of what others might think? Or, lastly, do you just enjoy organization and prefer to keep your space that way? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts!


  1. Some interesting thoughts about the media depictions & judgments about extreme messiness....and extreme cleanliness. I like to cover both bases lol!

    Actually, my sewing room tends to reach utter chaos mid-project, but I like to breathe deeply and calmly in between projects, so I tend to put everything away & get re-organized each time I finish something. (but I will never, ever, be Bree clean!)

    Part of what I do professionally involves recognizing and working with the different ways we create and deal with 'clutter'. Some people really are uncomfortable (physically, emotionally....every which way-ally!) in a crowded space, and other people cannot WAIT to get out of a house that's so neat & clean & bright it doesn't look lived in. Neither person is 'right' or 'wrong''s just who they are, and doesn't need to be changed....but it is helpful to acknowledge our differences, and know that it's OK. :)

    There are, of course, people who could benefit from some clutter-clearing, and others who could benefit from letting a spot of dust sit there for awhile, but that's another matter.....

    hmmmm.....more than I meant to type, but there you have it ;-D

  2. Interesting post. I'm sort of in between the two extremes. I'm a messy sewist, with things strewn about everywhere, especially when I'm working on a project or two. But it can drive me batty to have it so messy, so I'll clean everything up. That usually means I go through cycles of messy patterns and projects EVERYWHERE and who the heck knows what happened to my 4 pairs of scissors, to super tidy with everything in it's place. But I'm more inspired to sew when it's tidy, so the cycle starts again.

    Someday, I will have a dedicated sewing space, and stop taking over living space with my obsession. :D

  3. Messy Marsha. Big Time. Because time spent cleaning or straightening is a precious rare moment of free time I could be sewing....

  4. I think I'm somewhere between the two, but I do enjoy the sewing process more on the days that I'm a clean Christine. When I'm a Messy Marsha, I spend just as much time looking for what I need as I do actually sewing! :)

  5. I would love to be more organized when sewing, because I've noticed I have difficulty concentrating when I have trims wrapped around my ankles ... but I'm messy by nature and I have learned to deal with it :) Messy Messy Marsha.

  6. I'm naturally very messy but have been married to a neat nick for 18 years so have gone his way to keep the peace. Every once in awhile I fall off the wagon again.