I've taken one sewing class. It was Home Decor Sewing, I took it my second to last semester of college, and wish that I would have taken it much sooner.
I had a great teacher, whose name escapes me at the moment, but along with teaching me how to operate a serger, and sew a mitered corner, she also instructed me on how to make a handy dandy inspiration book.
One of our class assignments was to make a design book that cataloged all of the different sewing techniques and stitches that we learned. We also had sheets full of fabric swatches so that we could keep track of the different types of decor fabric.
We were required to include a few sheets with fabric swatches to compare fabric textures and colors. Another page included a color board which contained swatches of some our favorite colors that would work in harmony in our home.
In addition to our swatch and sample pages, we were to include some inspiration photos. This process basically involved perusing the pottery barn catalogs, and ripping out our favorite images. We tore out sheets for bed coverings, table linens, window coverings, and pillows and shams.
We also included some pages with our favorite design elements, and storage and organization ideas.
I think that creating a design book is a great way to organize your inspiration, but also a great way to reference the new skills and techniques that you use.
I'm thinking of starting a new binder that includes different stitches and functions that are available on my sewing machine and serger. I know that I am not using them like I could be. Spending some time to work my way through the owners manual would probably be a great exercise. I should also start an apparel binder, full of different types of apparel fabric, hems, and clothing construction skills.
How do you organize your sewing information and inspiration? I'd love to know.
I apologize for the fuzzy photos, all of the sheets were in clear plastic sleeves, and I was too lazy to take them out.