Showing posts with label sewing room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing room. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Prayer Kneeling Pad

Update:  Rather than a new separate post, I am posting about prototype #2--the more successful one here.  I was not happy with the give of the foam sold at Joann's even with the addition of the  heavyweight Pellon.  After Kyle left, I decided to try making one with an ordinary garden kneeling pad cut down to size.  Yes, he could drag along a plain garden kneeling but, but doesn't this look better?

The garden kneeling pad I used had a handle as in an oblong hole at one end.  I cut off the handle section making the pad about 16 inches long.  

Final consensus is that this one is the winner for several reasons. 
  •  First, it is more comfortable to kneel on for an extended period of time.
  •  Second,the all-round sizing works better.  The extra inch of width makes it easier to kneel on while the loss of length was not any problem at all.  The loss of depth makes it less cumbersome.
  • Third, this is a tightly woven denim which works well for sewing and longevity.
  • Last, it is lighter and easier to carry in his backpack.
As Pam mentioned in her comment, you could put some hardware on for a carrying strap.  I had mentioned that to Kyle, but he nixed it.  He will be tossing it in his bag and didn't see a need.  I almost wish I had gone ahead and done it with this new kneeler.  I think he would have found a removable strap to be handy at times--maybe even for hanging it up when not in use.

The minister son apparently gets stuck kneeling on hard surfaces for extended periods of time.  I don't know about you, but for me having a guy in the family ask you to sew something is highly unusual.  To encourage that, I got this done pretty quickly-- for me.

I like to refer to this color denim as minister black.  I don't know what Joann's calls it.

It is 15x10 inches which was just enough on the long side for him.  Do men have man-spread when they kneel??  Without having had him kneel down for measuring, I would not have known to make this 15 inches wide.  It just works for him.  Might try 16 inches the next one.

We had some foam cushions around to help choose the thickness (high density from Joann's).  He thought three inches was too much, but I would have wanted the three inches.  He choose the two inch thickness.  I added squares of the heavy-weight Pellon product used in bag-making over the top and bottom of the foam.  The Pellon is soft and gives a nice flat top.  I might add a layer of batting over the Pellon next time to soften the edges, though.

The fabric is a black denim from Joann's.  I used this on the advice of a store clerk and wish I had gone with the other heavyweight fabric with a tighter weave as I originally planned.  The edges of the denim unraveled like crazy without serging.

The two main squares of fabric were 16x11, and the zipper was long enough to go around the sides about a third of the way. I cut a three-inch strip for the side without the zipper and two-inch strips for each side of the zipper.  After sewing these two strips to the zipper, I cut that strip to three inches.

Look at that nice fold for hiding the zipper ends.  Remember to put on the no-zipper strip first.  Then it will be on top of the zipper says the person who did not do that and made some seam ripper work.

Zipped up, finished and ready for Kyle to take back to Minnesota on Saturday.  Oh, doesn't it feel good to finish a project?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sewing with Joann's Shopping Bag Fabric

Finally getting around to using this fabric purchased long, long ago.  As I said a few posts back, this is the same as the fabric that is now being called Oly Fun.  Here's my first reusable grocery bag from Joann's shopping bag fabric.
Straps are too long.  Will have to fix that.

I'm pretty sure my grocery bags are gonna be prettier than yours---and yes, I am bragging.  I used a ready-made shopping bag for  measurements.  That worked well except that I picked up the wrong bag to measure for handles.  These are a bit too long.

You have to press the bag to get sharp, easy-to-fold corners.  (Not too hot!  Fortunately it peeled off my ironing board and pressing cloth easily when experimenting last week.) Without pressing, it balloons out when open and doesn't fold well.

My bag before pressing--the pretty one--next to the ready made used as a pattern.

Once pressed, it is easy to fold back up for storage and seems to hold the creases well.

Nicely pressed and folded.
 I serged the seams although the fabric doesn't unravel. I think I'm still trying to justify my serger's existence for something other than sewing up the edges for fabric for prewashing.

Yes, those are nicely serged seams!

I like this stuff.  I know it will wear faster than other fabrics, but other fabrics don't stand up for easy filling at the grocery store like this does.  It cuts easily, sews easily, and is only $2.99 full price for a yard of 60 inch wide fabric. Then there are always those Joann's coupons for 40 or 50% off.  Can't beat that unless you have a mismatched set of bags with all kinds of company logos on the front--which is what I am presently using.  Looking forward to finishing a few more of these.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ribbon Storage Solution

While some of my ribbons come on nice spools that are easy to store like these,

ribbon bought by the yard just gets folded up and taped.  I've been buying a lot of ribbon by the yard lately (because Sandra of Sandra Sews is a bad influence on me.)

I was hanging the by-the-yard ribbon over regular hangers, but trying to get one out usually resulted a more than a few others cascading to the floor.  Enter these pants hangers with those nice holes on each side for organizing!  By the way, if you need to separate ribbon by food groups--cupcakes, lollipops, mushrooms, orange slices, and ice cream, in addition to dots, stripes, sports, chevrons, animals, baby stuff, flowers, solids, Fleur de lis, and miscellaneous, you might be a hoarder.  Not that I have any PERSONAL experience with that kind of thing.
See those lovely holes--five on each side.
While the sides on these hangers close tight, the center doesn't.  They do close enough to keep the center ribbon from moving about too much, though.   Perfection would be having these holes and whole length of the hanger clamping tight when closed. If you find those hangers, let me know.  

In case you are wondering, yes, I do think I may have gotten a little carried away buying ribbon, but I am USING the ribbon up.   My rubber ducks, on the other hand, now they might be a problem.   

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is it possible to keep a sewing room neat?

I mean when you actually USE it?  Here is my room in August.
I could even keep the door open without worrying that someone would see it!

So neat!
A place for everything and everything in its place.
 I swore it would stay this way.  Photo from this lovely October morning:
I really wanted to make this photo as small as possible, but I'm hoping that publicly shaming myself will encourage me to get it cleaned up.
I only made a few baby things!  In the process, I had to tear through every piece of fabric I owned to decide which ones to use.  Then I discovered a ton of fabric that had snuck into the stash without being washed.  I long ago promised myself that I would wash all fabric as it came into the house so that it would be ready when I needed it.  I have no idea how all that unwashed fabric got on my shelves.  I'm blaming Brian.  The mess I will have to take responsibility for mess.
Hints on keep sewing rooms neat would be appreciated.  Maybe I can get Pam of Threading My Way to set up a Link Party for this!  If you have not visited Pam's site--that would just be crazy cuz if you sew you HAVE to have found her site, but if not check it out.  Never-ending link parties in all kinds of sewing categories that I often turn to for inspiration.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Inexpensive Way to Keep the Sewing Machine Pedal Foot From Sliding

As I sew, the foot pedals slowly slide farther and farther back until I'm forced to go crawling under the tables to retrieve them.  Consequently, I've been lusting after what the Keepsake Quilting catalog calls the "Pedal Betty" forever.  The catalog price on that sweet little device to solve my problem, however, is $27.99 to $37.99 depending on size. 

While staring at this remnant of Grip Stop fabric I bought at Joann's,

I decided to try a much less expensive solution that worked out really well!   I sewed two squares of the fabric of the size I wanted wrong sides together, flipped so that the grippy dots would be on the outside, and top stitched around the edges.

These are the serger and embroidery machine pedals

and these are for the two sewing machines
 Joann's charges way too much for the fabric IMHO, but coupons and/or remnants bring that down.  I paid about $4 for the piece I got and have quite a bit left over for other projects.

Also happening in the sewing room:  I'm trying a new configuration for the sewing machines.  The sewing tables are now back-to-back away from the wall rather than against the wall individually.  The thought is that I will be able to put the serger and the embroidery machine on the floor for extra space when machine quilting.  The back table should provide support for the heavy fabric as I'm sewing. Well, that's the plan. We shall see how that works out!
Yes, that is fabric stored under the table.  I really have to stop buying fabric.

This furniture moving does count as housework, right?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making More Room on the Sewing Table

I pinned an idea for using one of these clips to hold an iPhone charging cord.  That worked out really well, so I thought I'd try the clips for holding some of my sewing table clutter. 

And, there you have it!  Neat and convenient.  Lovin' it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Last Two Machine Covers are Finished!

Two posts in one day!  I'm going to have to go on vacation more often.  It's increasing my productivity.  So, this is the embroidery machine cover. 

I had to use 3 pieces of heavy stabilizer in the front, back and top for this one.  Because the top of the machine is shorter than the bottom, the material needed something extra to stay square.

Another embroidery design from the Embroidery Library.  I do love their
designs.    Don't blame them for the color choices here.
 I was just picking and choosing anything I liked.   

After the reaction I got from the clerk at Joann's when buying the fabric for the next one, I feel I really must explain it first. Yes, I did use organza (or is it organdy??) for the serger cover.  I wanted something lightweight that would not weigh down the metal piece holding the threads.  

I serged two pieces of organza  together and used binding to cover the edge.  Only mistake was using Dritz binding.  As it turns out, the inside of the Dritz binding is not uniform like the outside.  I wanted to put the binding on by sewing a hidden stitch on the back edge by machine and turning it to the front to hand-sew that side.  The inside raw edges of the Dritz were wildly off.  There was no way to lay the binding on evenly without a straight edge. I ended up just folding and sewing which never turns out well for me.  Now I remember why I make my own binding.
And another design from Embroidery Library.  One of the
bird designs would have been too heavy in stitches for
this fabric.
 These two new ones plus the two regular machine covers here

equal one whole project completed!  It only took me about thirty years to finally get around to covering the machines.  I don't believe in rushing.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taking Mistakes in Stride

When I finished the second sewing machine cover today with this lovely design from The Embroidery Library
and set it on the machine next to the first one, something was definitely wrong:
Yup, that first bird, on the right, was heading in the wrong direction.  The good thing about my easy cover design is that I could just flip it to the other side and redo the embroidery design there.  I did own up to being on the lazy side yesterday, so I'm sure you knew I was NOT gonna start over from the beginning.
Much better this way, and no one but my blog readers and me will know about the little mistake on the back.

Another plus about the easy cover design is that it sits nicely on the back of my chair when I'm using the machine.

 Two covers down and two more to go.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is how lazy I am

First, despite having had sewing machines for over 30 years, I'm just making my first machine cover.  I've thought about it FOREVER, but always found excuses.  I finally decided that something simple was better than nothing.  This is the result.
Yup.  It's just a rectangle of fabric--not even little ties on the sides.  It's made of duck cloth which is pretty stiff, but I added the two lines of top stitching to make the sides stand out. It hangs more evenly with the extra stitching.

I found the embroidery design at the Embroidery Library.
 See--here's the little Project Runway underneath.

I'm feeling a bit guilty about copping out with such a simple piece.  The embroidery machine did the hardest part with very little help from me.  Frankly, though, I finally realized that it was going to have to be simple or I'd never get around to making covers for the machines.  I have a saying that I use all the time that definitely applies here--it's so much better than nothing.

One down.  Three more to go!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Toy For the Sewing Room

Look what I found at B. J.'s Wholesale Club today! 
Oh, no!  It is not just an ironing board.  It's a wider, shorter, STABLE ironing board that doesn't constantly threaten to send my iron tumbling to the floor.  After losing my faithful (and expensive) Rowenta iron due to a shaky ironing board last year, I've been hunting for a decent board.

The new board is almost 19 inches wide.  While it's shorter than usual by about five inches, it has a sturdy pull-out section for the iron that makes up for the length.  My last board had a skimpy metal piece to hold the iron that broke off within a month.  Note the lovely ripply hanging bars on each side for ironed things.  Also, you can see there is a shelf underneath in the top photo.  The padding is nice and thick, too.
The metal piece for hold the iron cord actually works, too.   I've never had one of those before.
Price of the new toy:  $49.  Considering that the last board cost around $30 and needed extra padding immediately, this seems like a bargain.

I ironed a couple of shirts to see if the extra width would make smaller areas more difficult but didn't notice any difference.  Well, actually I noticed that I could move the shirts around without the iron shimmying even when I left it upright on the board.  Those extra inches of width should also make ironing large pieces of fabric easier, too. 

(As I was writing this, I was thinking that getting this excited over an ironing board may mean that I need to get out more.  That was quickly followed by the thought that I could go to the fabric store!  You know you're addicted to fabric when...)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sewing Room is Finished

Finally.  I can't believe this room is finished.  Lots of work, but here it is.

That high chair is for use at the cutting table when I get tired of standing.  I have one desk chair that I slide between this sewing table with the serger and embroidery machine to the other sewing table shown below with the two sewing machines.  Yes, I know four machines is a bit over the top, but both the machines I use for straight sewing were purchased used and really inexpensive. One is always set with light thread and the other dark so that I can mend things quickly.

I love Craigslist.  That sewing machine on the right was a brand new, still-in-the box Brother Project Runway.  For the $200 I paid for it, I also got a Lutterloh pattern-making system complete with the dressmaker curved rulers, large ruled ironing pad, and yards of heavy denim fabric.   I have a Brookstone back massager on the chair. The cord gets tangled on occasion, but it is worth it.  My new thread storage is in the corner.  I blogged about it here if you want to see what I did with that.

The armoire is filled with sewing/crafting supplies,  Both sides of it have pegboard inserts for hanging things that I use often.   You can read more about making the inserts here.   The big stereo on top is for my books on CD.  I dearly love to listen to them while sewing or crafting.

This furniture set was also a great buy from Craigslist although the rest of the family doesn't agree with me on that. Every last one of them has politely told me it is ugly!   I find it to be attractive in a rustic kind of way and comfortable and cheap at $250 and so much better than nothing.  The tan ottoman was from the Habitat ReStore.  It only needed casters AND it has storage space inside.

My cutting table is next to the chair when not being used.  I blogged about the vinyl closet door decals here.  The large expanse of plain white closet doors just didn't work for me.  The hubster and I made the button wall plaque which I love.  I did a post with a tutorial last week if you want to see it.  Last, a second-hand flat screen television just in case I don't have any good books on CD.

Now I have to put that cutting table back in the center of the room and get to work.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Sewing Room Project Completed: Hanging Space

I hate not being able to find or get at my sewing stuff.  This project turned out to be a great way to get more hanging space for over-sized and often-used things.  My ancient armoire has some nice overhangs at the top and mid section as you can see here.

I decided to cut pegboard to fit in that space.  My lovely husband cut the pegboard to fit  and put small slats of wood on each side to give space behind for the hooks to fit in.  There are four screws--one in each corner--holding the pegboard to the armoire.  You could still do this on the sides of a furniture piece without the overhangs, though. In fact, doing one the whole length of an armoire would be great!  This is the back of one prior to painting.

I painted them brown to sort of blend in.
Here they are all loaded with things that I can easily see.  First one side--
And the other!
You'll note that one lonely pair of scissors on this side.  That's  'cuz this side is closest to the door.  While my children SWEAR they never use my sewing room scissors for paper and other non-cloth things, I suddenly end up with dull scissors.  My hope is that they will grab these already ruined scissors instead of ruining another pair.  We shall see.