My 110 Creations Notebook

For planning my 2014 sewing projects, I bought a copy of 110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook. I saw the review for this book on Lauren’s blog and had to have it. (Thanks Lauren for bringing attention to this neat book!) I love notebooks. I love lists and planning. So this was high up on my lists of organizational tools!

I’m using mine for planning personal sewing projects only, not new pattern designs or tutorial projects. This notebook is just for fun! It’s for the things I wish to make but because they’re not tied to work and deadlines, I forget about them. Or I see my original inspiration sketch and think, if only I’d made time to make that instead of just wishing I could!

This will help give me direction when I have a bit of sewing time and want to make the most of it. Sometimes I get so excited that I have free time that I don’t know where to start.

My thoughts: it’s hard to see the drawings on top of the model sketch. So I put a post-it note on top of the body and drew around it. This makes it easier for me to see the garment apart from the body!

110 creations, my post-it tip

I tape or staple swatches next to the sketch, because often fabric is my main motivator for a project.

my sewing notebook

I think this book will be even more useful as it fills up, as I’ll be able to look back through past projects to see zipper lengths, thoughts while sewing, even changes that I made on the fly. Things that may not seem interesting enough to include in a blog post, but would be useful to know next time around.

I like the idea of getting away from the computer completely when I sew. Sometimes I stop over at the computer to make notes for future blog posts, and then get distracted from sewing. A real paper book is going to be better for productivity, I can keep it at my sewing table and make notes in it for later.

I’m not a hundred percent in favour of the label ‘sewist’ on my book. Funny enough, even though we use it commonly on sewing blogs, it still feels like a pretend word. But then again, there really isn’t a perfect word for what we do, based on all the discussion in the comments this post: Sewist, Sewer, Seamstress: Which Do You Like Best? Too bad the term ‘sewer’ isn’t as clear as ‘knitter’ or ‘crocheter!’

And look, even a needle change record! Better than my post-it trick.

record when you change your needle

Do you keep a notebook for your sewing projects? Any tips to add?


51 Responses to My 110 Creations Notebook

  1. autumn January 24, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    aha! i had seen her review, too, and i think this sort of thing is great, but then i’d get nervous about commitment – like, i REALLY better finish those projects, LOL. and i do agree having a paper book on hand will help speed things up, rather than waltzing over to a computer. i lose a lot of sewing time when i waltz over to my computer, for real – checking in on things gets in my way.

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Ha! I can totally relate to that feeling. Like, now that I wrote it in the book, I have to make it! I also lose sewing time when going to the computer.. I just meant to check one thing, but then there is email and comments and all kinds of distractions.. must keep focused!

  2. Les Mademoiselles January 24, 2014 at 6:15 am #

    Nice idea to organise everything! I do it in the same way, but for the projects I finished. I write down what I have to do better or draw what I adjusted to the pattern. If I want to make something for the second time, it’s so easy to have the right adjustments already.

  3. sewlittletime January 24, 2014 at 6:17 am #

    i’ve just bought the same one! kind of wishing i had the smaller one so i could keep in my handbag but i think it will be really useful (and much cheaper than a fashionary). i like the idea of being able to keep lots of notes on what you did and the changes you made,. really helps when you come to blog about it. i also hope it will help me get organised in buying notions i need to finish a project. it’s so easy to forget things if you don’t get to a fabric shop too often.

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Yeah, I agree, this is a bit large of a size to take around with you everywhere. But! You can always take a photo of the page, if you’re going to the store and need to pick up supplies. I’ve done that when I don’t feel like writing out a list, just take photos of the pattern back or my notes.

  4. Stacy G January 24, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    I’ve purchased this clever notebook as well and LOVE it!

  5. Jennifer N January 24, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    This looks like a great planning notebook, I may have to pick one up,

  6. Beth B. January 24, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    Thanks for the shout-out Tasia! I’m glad you’re enjoying your book! I just wanted to let everyone know that since Lauren’s review, I’ve lightened the figure drawings, so it’s easier to see the garments on top. You can read about the update here:

    • Nissa Ramsay January 24, 2014 at 7:52 am #

      OK, it’s ordered – seen a few blogposts about this – looks exactly how i’ve been trying to organise my sewing notebook! I ordered the fashionary but too scared to really make use of it, need something more ‘work book esq’. Think I’ll add in to mine what I should include in blog post or who else’s blog made me think of making something

      • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:10 am #

        Ha, I’ve done the same thing with my fashionary.. I ‘save’ it and want to keep it looking nice, not scribbled on. :) This is definitely more like a workbook!

        • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:10 am #

          Also good idea to note your inspiration too!

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      Thanks Beth! Good to know, thanks for leaving a comment here so everyone else knows too!

  7. Emmely January 24, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    I use a notebook to record what I do, it has completely blank pages so I can write and draw whatever I like in it. I try to write down what I do each day that I sew, which pattern, what size, fabric, needle, threadcolour, which stitch and what kind of changes I made while making the item. It’s really useful because I can now look back at certain projects to see what I used there and look up things that I usually don’t remember. I have to remind myself though to write things down immediately.

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      That’s a good idea to note needle, thread colour, more of the technical notes. Smart!

    • Zena January 24, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      I do something similar. I started with an artist’s sketchbook (5.5 x 8.5) and now use a B6 graph paper notebook.

      If I’m using a commercial pattern, I keep notes of needles, tension etc. If I’m not using a pattern (mostly re geometry-based items), I also sketch the item with finished dimensions and cutting dimensions (including SA), fabric layout, calculations, date of design, date completed (if applicable), details of assembly, whatever. If, after use, I think of a modification for a future make, I’ll note it down as well.

  8. Sarah January 24, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    Love the post-it-note idea as well as the book. I think I may buy one and then all my ideas won’t be on pieces of paper everywhere. Love your blog too.


  9. Carol January 24, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    I just purchased one!! I need organization due to the RTW challenge I’m in. I’m all over the place at the fabric store and I like Dress Barn for inspiration but I always forget things. It will be nice to have a reference!

    thank you!!!!!!!!

  10. Jenny January 24, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Getting one now – thanks!

  11. Diane @ Vintage Zest January 24, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    I actually have a post-it on my computer for all of my ideas, but this looks so much nicer!

  12. Jen January 24, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    I have a problem with the word “sewist” as well. (Audibly reminds me of “fashionista” for some reason, an over-used made up word).

    The main problem, I think, is the act of label oneself. I don’t call myself a sewist and (in another part of my life) I don’t call myself an artist either. Rather, if asked, I usually say “I make art” and similarly, “I make clothes” or “I sew.” Seamstress may be a little better because it describes the activity somewhat – making seams – but it sounds like a job title. Still, I think I will not try label myself, but only the activity that I’m doing…

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Oh yeah, fashionista! Not the worst, but not a great word either. I really dislike word hybrids, like chillax and jeggings or the man ones, murse and manny. But that’s just me! I’m a language prude :)

      I agree, I say I like to sew, or I like to knit, sometimes I say I’m a knitter, but it depends on the context. It’s complicated for a simple hobby isn’t it?

      • Joanne January 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

        Ugh. I just read an article about meggings–which kind of makes me think of being mugged by men in tights. I agree, I just say I like to sew, then it’s kind of open to sewing all kinds of things, whereas ‘seamstress’ seems to imply just clothing, and for money. ‘Sewist’, for some reason, makes me think of some sort of militant belief system.

        • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

          Meggings! Nooo.. stop the merging of words! :) It does sound more like muggings.

          Sewist as a militant system, that’s funny. Sewist like conformist or atheist. Sewist as opposed to nudist. :) It’s interesting the effect our words can have!

  13. Sally January 24, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    I love my 110 crations book but it annoys me that you can’t see your drawings properly because of the printing. I would never have thought to just stick a post it over it but it is such a great idea, I’ll be doing that from now on. Thanks for the tip!

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:07 am #

      Glad I could help! I had the same thing. I drew on the first one and thought ‘hm. I can barely see that.. how can I fix it??’ I might almost prefer a blank space to draw in.

  14. Debbie January 24, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Really interesting book – a definite must get. I like the idea of a check list at the bottom (piping, lace etc) as I often forget about that in my haste and then it’s too late!
    With regards to terms, not thinking straight I actually read ‘sewer’ as where the water waste goes! It’s all a matter of pronunciation! For myself, I tend to think of me as a ‘clothes maker’ even though I make plenty of other things too. I don’t like gender specific terms such as ‘seemstress’.

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      Yes! In that post I wrote, I used an image of a sewer with ‘sewer’ written on it, as that’s what I think when it’s written out as well.
      I like the checklist too, it reminds me to think ‘do I want piping?’ even if it hasn’t crossed my mind before!

  15. catherine January 24, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    I really like this idea, it starts as inspiration and a way of planning and organising sewing. I would find this very useful as I sometimes find, when I have free time to sew, I’m so excited I almost panic and don’t make the most of it. The notebook then becomes a journal. I can imagine looking back in a few years and remembering sewing the garment and also what it was like to wear. Thanks Tasia and Lauren.

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

      This is me exactly “I sometimes find, when I have free time to sew, I’m so excited I almost panic and don’t make the most of it.” I want to make the absolute most of my sewing time, so much that it stops me from actually making progress! Hopefully having a notebook helps us make progress and sew, and limit the amount of panic. Save the panic for the really important stuff, like running out of bobbin thread mid-buttonhole! :)

  16. Victoria January 24, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    When I went to school eons ago, a sewer was something that carried waste from your house to the sewage plant. I think “sewer” as used to refer to a person who sews is indeed a made-up word.

    • Tiffany January 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      Haha! I agree!

  17. Ginny January 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    I use a spiral ring notebook made from graph paper. That way I can draw in any design items to scale. Not so important with clothing made from patterns but very helpful when I am quilting or reupholstering furniture.

  18. Virginia January 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    It looks like it could be really useful for you, but I know I’m one of those people who would buy it and never use it. :-(

    • Tasia January 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      True enough. The notebook thing isn’t going to be useful for everyone, it all depends on your style of planning.. or even if you like to plan at all!

  19. Austragirl January 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    I never heard the word “sewist” until I started reading North American websites. Growing up in Australia, we say “sewer” pronounced so-wer. It’s only now writing it down that I can see the potential for confusion with waste disposal tanks!

  20. helen! January 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    I just got one! I’m with Virginia about buying it and not using it, but sewing is one of my focuses this year. Sew, I’m going to use this as inspirational organized reference. Thanks for sharing!

    I don’t mind Sewist that much. Artist, Sewist, it is a form of art! Sewer seems too mechanical and then there’s the waste aspect.

  21. Sox January 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I have pondered getting one of those books. I, too, am distracted when I get near a computer.
    And as for terms, I don’t know who came up with ‘sewintist’, but it cracks me up and I like it. I also like the looks I get when I use it with non-sewing people.

  22. Jennifer January 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Gee Tasia, the note book with the croquis is a nice idea for showing your flats! Using post its for your flats is genius! I think if I am going to do this, I need to make a customized croquis, that resembles my body, that way it shows how the design is going to look on me.

    As for terms to describe the members of the sewing community, perhaps soft engineer would be a better and more accurate term.

    • Beth B. January 25, 2014 at 6:23 am #

      Hi Jennifer! This is Beth, the author of A Sewist’s Notebook. I wanted to let you know that I do offer custom figure drawings in the book. Please contact me at if you’d like further information!

  23. Violeta January 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    I put “sewing enthusiast” on my fun card (instead of my rather dry “business cards”, I give out my “fun cards” to friends).

  24. Kat January 24, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this! I made some pattern spec sheets not so long ago, but this is in a book form! Hopefully I can get it in Oz!

  25. Hazel January 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    I’ve just started mine too and using it in a similar way to you. I think it’s such a great way of recording all your makes and already love using it!

  26. Shannon January 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    OMG! So awesome! Just ordered!!!

  27. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) January 25, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    I quiet like the word Sewist myself. Sewer sounds definitely homemade or can be mis-read as sewer (waste drains) and steamstress just reminds me of prim & proper teacher of sewing, were I think sewist has connotations of being creative and adding flair to the craft of sewing to create unique quality garments. So it is a bit of each to their own and the experience each person has with a particular word, I think.

  28. Hannah January 26, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    This looks like a nice idea for new projects, at the moment I just draw things out in a notebook and scribble labels and ideas all round it.


  29. Aussiegirl January 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    What a fabulous idea – have just ordered one! (And yes, they seem to deliver to Australia, Kat.)

    As for the terminology – maybe “dressmaker”? I too can’t abide “made-up” words!

  30. Neeno - Sew Me Love January 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    I want one!! Going on my wishlist:)

  31. Alessa February 9, 2014 at 2:39 am #

    It does look like a handy tool, and so pretty! I really like your idea of using sticky notes for the sketches!

  32. Ellie February 11, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    I bought one of these based on your review and just spent a very satisfying afternoon filling in the first few pages with the ideas from my pattern stash. I feel very happy now, so many of my ideas have been solidified and have made notes about the fabrics i need – now i will be ready to look for the fabrics i need in sales. it also gave me a chance to look at the gaps in what i am planning to sew and update my fabric and pattern wishlist.

    i got the updated version with paler outlines, and i can verify that they are pale enough that if i make the lines of the dress very firm and colour in the dress they fade into the background and let me see my sketch. as someone lacking drawing skils this is fabulous.

    great recommendation, thanks very much.

  33. Maymunah October 29, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Hi Tasia,

    I love this book too and really considering getting one. The only thing is I also have pictures to go with my drawing and can’t see anywhere I would put this on the page.

    I would love if you could please share your ideas on how you plan your new pattern ideas and tutorials. Thanks.


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