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

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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Frugal and Convenient Thread Storage

I've been working away on the sewing room which IS almost finished, but I thought I'd show what I did with my thread.  My thread storage started out on one of those hanging things with dowels-- pretty, but the thread got dusty.  When the collection outgrew that rack, I upgraded to plastic boxes that would keep the dust out.  When the boxes increased five boxes requiring a constant and frustrating shifting of the stacked boxes to find what I wanted, I knew it was time to make another change.

 Until I can afford one of those incredible wood cabinets, here is my frugal but convenient thread storage solution.

 It's a Sterlite and I paid $14.  The four shallow drawers work well for all the smallish spools and the tall bottom drawer has my large cones of thread.  My old boxes had inserts with dowels for the thread which I was able to reuse in the drawers.   Otherwise I was going to line the drawers with that rubbery shelf liner to keep things in place.  I have so many spools they pretty much hold one another up.

I even marked the colors on the outside!!  See those nice little rectangles of color?

The first label on the top drawer is metallic for my metallic thread, but it doesn't show as metallic in the photo.  The last one is stripes to designate all my strange threads-- plastic, button, upholstery, that kind of thing.  The rest signify the colors in the drawers and the sides they are on.

So much easier to find what I'm looking for now.

I used my ever-helpful Xyron Magic Sticker Maker and EK Success Photo Labels paper punch along with scrap paper in the appropriate color.
Just slide labels into the back of the sticker maker:

And twist the knob to turn them into stickers:
The paper punch has 3 different size labels which will be nice for labeling the rest of the sewing room, too.  The sewing room is almost done--really.  I'd say I will have it up next week, but I remember how that worked out with the master bath.  MAYBE next week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sewing Room Closet Door Decals

When  I decided to paint the closet doors in the sewing room white to match the trim, I wasn't prepared for the rather massive expanse of white I ended up with.  It looked a bit like a giant movie screen as you can see here.

Since I've been wanting to try vinyl wall decals, I thought I'd get some for the doors.  Here's the result.
I love it!

This was my first experience with wall decals.  I was a wreck when I unfurled the whole thing.  It looked daunting!  I feared that I was in over my head and would ruin it.  The actual process turned out to be easy.  The only downside was that all the leaves had to be put up individually.  Still,  I managed to finish it in four hours without any assistance.   I'm looking forward to trying a few more of these--without the individual leaves, though.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stashing the fabric without spending a fortune

As part of the "Use Your Crap Challenge," I needed to be able to see what crap I needed to use.    I cannot show you how the stash looked to begin with because it would take too many pictures--it was all over.  (Not to mention that I would die of shame if I posted pictures of the mess.).  Now, I can show it off!

 and this:
Lessons learned from past attempts are that you HAVE to have dividers or the stacks will fall over as you rummage through.  You also cannot stack things too high.  It makes it sooo difficult to get at the stuff on the bottom.

Taking out the wire closet organizer was not an option--too expensive to replace it right now.  Fabric or plastic cubes would have been nice, but at $5 a pop at the very least, that was not happening.  Instead, I folded large pieces of fabric over hangers, used corrugated storage boxes small enough to fit  between the shelving to hold fabric and serve as dividers, put in a hanging cloth piece meant to hold sweaters, and used plastic containers on the floor. 

Yes, I know the cardboard storage boxes are not acid free. I'm planning on that being encouragement to succeed at the goal of USING the fabric rather than just looking at it.

Let the sewing begin in earnest.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What happens when you mix candles and pin cushions?

I've made a number of pin cushions from simple cloth to the ornate teacups variety.  But I really like the gritty stuffing in the plain old traditional tomato pin cushions.  I am convinced that gritty texture keeps my pins sharp.  Unfortunately the tomato pin cushions are so light weight that picking out a pin sometimes resulted in picking up the entire pin cushion, too.  I also have a near obsession for scented candles, so I had a few left-over glass tops from jar candles sitting around my sewing room.  Hmmmm.....Voila! My new favorite pin cushion was born.


I used a hot glue gun around the rim of the inverted candle top and sat the lovely but lightweight, store-bought pin cushion on top.   It kind of spins if it is sitting on a wood surface, but I like that.  It prevents me from sticking all the pins in one area.  You could put some felt or silicon cushions on the bottom if you didn't want the spinning. 

Wandering into a Yankee Candle shop can be an expensive trip for me.  Their vanilla lime scent is my new favorite.  Adirondack Candles has some amazing scents as well, and they last forever.  Their Adirondack Lodge scented candle is on my permanent wish list. Adirondack candles are harder to find, but you can check them out online here.