Downsizing sucks

The cold, harsh reality is that, after 20 years here at Chez Gigi, I am going to have to move into a smaller house sometime in the not-very-distant future. That’s really not such a bad thing because this house is way too large for one person. It’s wonderful having so much space – sewers do love to spread out – but the maintenance is killing me especially since I now have to do a lot of things myself. The Boyfriend is a big help but he has his own house to maintain.

This realization that I needed to purge my possessions came to me after I helped my son get settle in his new townhouse. After I came home exhausted and covered in paint The Boyfriend asked if I thought all of my stuff would fit into a place that size – it’s very spacious for a townhome but the answer was “no way”. In fact, I believe I laughed.

So, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I have to make some serious decisions about what is essential and what is not. We all know that the fabric/button/pattern/notion/thread stash is essential so that’s pretty much staying. I already purge those collections once a year of things I no longer love and I do sew a lot.

I won’t get started on the machines because I’m liable to cry. After much serious consideration I have admitted that I could part with two of my industrials. That still leaves me with a pretty large herd but I will address that later on.

I’ve already gotten rid of about 50% of my sewing books over the past two years, mostly books that I had outgrown years ago. I’m not willing to part with most of what is left.

Which brings me to The Vintage Pattern Collection. I love my vintage patterns! It’s not a large collection but I have some really, really special ones that I just enjoy looking at. To me, they are little works of art that I keep hidden away in a file drawer protected from the elements in their little acid-free storage bags. Honestly, I am one of those people who believes things should serve a purpose, be useful. I don’t keep things just for the sake of it and so cannot really explain the vintage pattern obsession. As a rule, I don’t keep things for good, I like to use and enjoy my nice things. So, I made the (painful!) decision that I would only keep the vintage patterns I thought I might actually use and part with the rest. If you collect vintage patterns, you might want to check out my Ebay listings.

I know they will all go to a loving home so that does make it easier. Next up on the auction block will be my peculiarly large collection of contemporary Fiesta vases, pitchers and candlesticks. And I am questioning why I still need dinner service for 32 but at least I am down to one set of dishes.

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Filed under Patterns, vintage, This and that

15 responses to “Downsizing sucks

  1. Summerset

    Lord have mercy! I almost hyperventilated looking at your auction list. Wow, you have some wonderful patterns. I might not win any, but it can’t hurt to try!;)

  2. A lovely collection, I’m tempted but trying to hold off for the Fiestaware (oh boy, will minimalist DF love that!!).

  3. Oy, the pain! I like my vintage patterns for the inspiration they provide and also the dreams they bring on about a well-dressed society…

  4. Gigi, I have no plans to move, but my husband’s and my possessions are taking over our house. We have lived in our house for twenty-six years, so there has been a lot of accumulation. We have recently begun cleaning out. I understand how hard it is to part with collections, obsessions, and things, but in the end, you will be able to breath easier with less to think about. It’s called simplifying our lives, and once things are gone, we usually don’t miss them or regret giving them up. As for house maintenance, smaller means less, and less is better (and more time to sew!).

  5. Kitty

    Sometimes it can take up to 24 hours for listings to appear.

    You have some beautiful patterns, good luck!

  6. subversivesewer

    I can empathize. When I moved to FL I had to give away at least 60% of my possessions.

    On a lighter note, I LOVE Fiestaware (I have a set of plum dishes I use daily) and hope to give some of your collection a home with me if/when you list those on ebay.

  7. Candyo/Nikki, is that you?

  8. Barbara

    Gigi – so sorry you have to make changes in your life – especially shedding beloved items. I also had to do that 15 years ago and while it was painful,like you, I knew many of my belongings were going to good homes. Sigh. Still not easy. But, I am now a home stager and totally agree with Marilyn B. Less is More. You’ll feel organized, uncluttered, unencumbered and able to really enjoy life without extra stuff! Wishing you the best!

  9. Gigi – I remember when you bought the I Love Lucy pattern…can’t believe it’s now on Ebay! *sigh* I totally understand the downsizing thing…I did it a few years ago because I just don’t want to move again once the kiddies finally leave me! Good luck with the transition!

  10. You should have a look at – they cover this sort of stuff in a very easily approachable and nearly Zen way. And they just downsized their house recently so there’s a ton of posts just about that.

  11. Oh my, I do understand your pain. The patterns you’ve listed are stunning, and hopefully will go to other homes where they will be treasured.
    You do know the price the most recent Schiapparelli went for, right?

  12. Olivia

    Patterns don’t take up that much space in relation to total possessions so you should keep them!

  13. Oh Gigi, I wish I lived closer – I’d buy your machines and keep them at the studio where you could come and visit them whenever you liked! :(

    I love love LOVE that Charles James pattern, but it would sit in my stash and never get made, and I’d rather see it go somewhere that it would be appreciated. Good luck on the downsizing!

  14. Linda T

    Oh the pain of downsizing! I am getting psychologically ready to do this also. Unfortunately hubby is not quite on board yet. Good luck and hang in there. I am sure it must be worth it.

  15. Dilly

    Wow, those patterns are lovely – it must be a wrench to have to get rid of them… Would you consider shipping to the UK?