Dewey AND Boolean

I’m well into the planning and procurement of materials for my studio renovation. I have paint for the dresser drawers and doors, information on paint primers for old paint and painting over vinyl, corkboard for the design wall and a room layout plan. And because I am:

a) a glutton for punishment;

b) think too much for my own good;

c) slightly obsessive;

d) all of the above;

I headed over to the Domestic Diva for the low down on organising one’s sewing room. Dear reader, I took notes and made lists.

Which led me to more thinking. The Diva offers two ways of organising your fabric – by type or by colour. I can organise a bibliography any which way you like: alphabetically (well, duh), by document type, source, reference type etc. I can set you straight on points of grammar (and I probably have). I have spent hours happily organising hundreds of articles. Give me options on organising my fabric and I go to water. And now I know why.

I couldn’t make up my mind between a Dewey decimal system for sorting or a Boolean search function for finding. How could I possibly sort fabric by type and consequently miss out on serendipitous textural combinations? If I sort by colour, how will those surprising yet effective colour combinations leap out? And what about my yarn stash? Like any good contemporary library, I need both systems.

A Boolean system for the spontaneous project: go with colour with fabric in boxes so that it may be easily moved around for colour combining. Put yarn and fabric together for textural variation.

A Dewey system when form follows function: patterns sorted into garment categories, embroidery designs, needles and hooks, notions and haby all labelled and in their place.

And a table in the middle to bring it all together.



  1. innercitygarden said,

    January 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Well, as someone who has personally observed your frustration at not having a texta handy to correct the spelling of graffiti in a pub loo, I can see why you’d find the shortage of Proper System a problem.

    I suggest the collection management solution – number each piece of fabric, number each shelf, and keep a database telling you which shelf each bit of fabric is on. Hey you asked lady.

  2. froginthepond said,

    January 23, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Funny you should mention shelf numbering – I’m going for a shelf colouring solution. Each cupboard door will have a different colour according to my chosen fabric groupings. If nothing else, it will overcome my problem of forgetting about stuff that I can’t see.

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