New year, new space

I know, I know, it’s well over a month into 2017. But I’m not moving fast these days, both physically and in terms of crafting. For those of you  who are just tuning in, my sewing room is becoming baby #2 (aka Padawan’s) room. We’re finally getting to the point where Hobbit is starting to sleep through the night more consistently, thank God! But that means we also don’t want to have another little guy in the same room waking him up at this point, and vice versa. (Even though he’ll really be spending his first few months in the bassinet in our room, since the less walking I have to do for late night feedings, the better.) Anyway, the point is that I’ve officially gone from a sewing room to a sewing nook in our closet, with my fabrics and less frequently used supplies moving to the basement. And clearing this room out has sucked up a lot of the time in which I would otherwise be making things.

img_4632

Ignore the crappy lighting, since I can’t do anything about it, but here’s the new space! My machines live at the wall that is shared with our actual bedroom, and Doug drilled a hole for a power strip so I could plug everything in. My must-have supplies are in an IKEA cart that tucks nicely under my skirts and dresses. And nearly everything else is in a large downstairs closet that connects to the finished part of the basement.

And look, new machines! I finally have gotten the Janome coverstitch machine set up and tested, and I think this is the beginning of a much more beautiful friendship with my knit projects. In addition, my mom generously passed one of her extra sewing machines on to me, so I have a newer Bernina to play with! While my old machine has more decorative stitches, this one actually has that lightning bolt stretch stitch, and a machine light that functions. Both of which have been handy already. (Let’s be honest, decorative stitches aren’t something I’ve used much  since my teenage years anyway.)

Along with the rearranging, I’ve also been trying to declutter as much as I can stand to, including being really honest with myself about project leftovers I can’t find a use for after years/free fabric people have dumped on me that isn’t my taste/etc. I’ve still got some work to do on scrapbook and miscellaneous craft supplies, but here’s a sampling of what I’ve managed to let go of. (Understanding that I’m a pack rat by nature, and the thought of doing that Konmari extreme declutter horrifies me.  So this is huge!)

  • 65 yards of fabric, which was well over 10% of my stash. (The Stashbusting Sewalong group is trying to collectively get through that much this year, so yay team!)
  • A stack of scrapbook paper that was around 5″ tall. That’s a lot of paper. (This actually  went to my best friend, who uses it for a particular item she creates for an annual craft fair at her church.)
  • A bunch of stickers, including several unopened packs that were clearly from the 90s. Sandylion, anyone? (Too obviously girly for me to save for the boys, since my one naturally gravitates towards things like trucks and dinosaurs and safari animals all on his own.)
  • Most of my really cheap-feeling acrylic yarn/yarn with alpaca, since my skin has made it very clear that wearing any animal fibers against it for longer than 20 minutes is a no-go. (I did keep some cheap acrylic for kids’ crafts, and one alpaca yarn for some boot toppers, since it’s a versatile color and I’d be wearing those over jeans or leggings.)

And, for the sake of catching up, here’s a quick summary of everything I sewed in January.

Cake Espresso Leggings Since it was the only thing on my #2017makenine list that is actually wearable for me at the moment, I made another pair of Cake Espresso leggings, this time in a grey ponte. Technically, I made two, though I finished the second this month. Unfortunately, the second pair is currently unwearable– while this grey ponte from my Christmas haul had a four way stretch, the teal that I used for the second was more of a two-way stretch. As a result, at the risk of TMI, I can’t get them pulled up enough to fully cover my backside. I do have enough fabric left over than I can add some length there, but I’m going to wait until after the bump to try them on again and make sure that’s not the only issue. But I’ll probably just unpick the folded-over waistband and stitch on a new one to give me the coverage I need to be comfortable wearing them. I did get to play with my new coverstitch for both of these, so that was fun!

The rest of my sewing was rather utilitarian. Part of rearranging the closet to accommodate my sewing machines was needing to figure out what to do with our dirty laundry, since our washer and dryer are two floors down from our bedroom. So I recycled one of my old handmade curtains into two new laundry bags. Having something that closes is definitely a must, since one of our golden retrievers is a total kleptomaniac and our socks will be all over the place if he gets a hold of them.

I also have been playing around with a more old-fashioned paper planner this year, since writing things to do out seems to help me remember better. The particular one I purchased is a print-at-home, and one of the major perks for me was having lots of note pages so I can treat it like a bullet journal, and therefore have all of my lists of projects to work on and books to find and whatnot without having to write out my calendar every month. But my binder was boring, and I needed a way to keep my pens with it, so I used up most of some leftover quilt cotton from an apron that I made several years back to make a cheery cover for it. (The button is part for looks, and part to keep it closed in a way that Hobbit hasn’t figured out how to get past yet! He’s starting to figure zippers out, so that was a no go.)

My sewing this month has been pretty slow so far, since I wasn’t able to sit down in the closet cave for over a week. But hopefully I’ll at least finish what I’m currently working on before this month is out! I’ve got a few things that I’d really, really like to finish before Padawan makes his appearance, since I have absolutely no idea how much luck I’ll have in getting both boys sleeping at the same time for awhile. Wish me luck!

Advertisements

March Stash Diet Update

It was a slow month for me, mostly due to going back to my second job/agreeing to hem that prom dress. Which is now DONE, aside from pressing the hem. (Which I’m honestly considering skipping, since the fabric is cheap poly jersey and I’m afraid of melting it!) But I still made some progress.

Sewing totals:
Total projects completed: 3 (the Robson coat, the bibs, and one more last-minute project that I’ll show below), though I at least started my Shieldmaiden March costume. Even if I didn’t get past the cutting stage.
Total fabric out: 17 yards (including 5 given away for Sew Grateful week)
Total fabric in: 2.5 yards. I went to Joann’s the other day to get some notions, and ended up buying some stretch denim– I had a credit for number of pieces used up, it was on sale, and I do legitimately need some jeans. Also, the only denim I had that isn’t the metallic leftovers from the TARDIS skirt was non-stretch, and I think I’m going to need a little more give in my jeans.
Difference: -15.5 yards. It’s going down!!
Total stash left: approximately 322 yards. Which is a lot closer than you’d think to what I said the February totals were, but I had that Excel issue to blame for that.
Pieces of fabric completely used up: 4, plus 2 given away. That makes 11 for the year so far, and 2 more before I have another fabric credit.
Patterns used: 2, since I’m not counting in-progress stuff until the month it’s done.

Knitting totals:
Total projects completed: 1 (a scarf)
Total yarn out: 100 yards, plus whatever I’ve done on WIPs.
Total yarn in: None this month… I probably should have done this in February, since I did buy several then for the next Craftsy class.
Difference: I can’t really accurately assess this, since I didn’t do the math…
Skeins of yarn completely used up: None, though I am SO, SO close with the yarn from that scarf.
Total stash left: I added it up again, since I’d never added in the February purchases, and I’m now at approximately 21,859 yards. Yiiiiikes.

So, this last-minute project… I already mentioned that Doug and I were spring cleaning our house this weekend. We made a Target run after we finished up so we could get a few new things for the house–he hated the shoe rack I brought with me and wanted a more stable one, I needed to get some mailing envelopes so I can send out swap patterns, etc. One of the things we agreed on was to get some new living room curtains–there’s 2 layers there, and our dogs have this habit of looking out the window and jumping up to hit the windowsill anytime people pass out front. So the sheer ones got torn. I’ve hated the outer layer from day 1–it was this ugly colonial-type blue that didn’t really go with the pale green wall color, but the thing that really bugged me is that the tops had horizontal pleats, one was pleated further down than the other, and one curtain was shorter than the other! (#sewcialistproblems, am I right?) I had the thought that morning, and mentioned it to him, that I should just make new curtains for the kitchen sliding glass doors and move the kitchen curtains to the living room, since I’d bought the fabric to do so before we got married and it would save us some money. He agreed, so after we got home, I knocked out a new pair of curtains in about 3 1/2 hours.

Kitchen curtainsThe top is the curtains that have been there since I met him, the bottom is the new set.

I’m not a fancy curtain person–I’d rather let the fabric print do the talking than deal with pleats and gathers and whatnot. So I kept these super-simple. They’re unlined, folded over at the top to make a casing for the curtain rod, and the other 3 edges hemmed. Literally all I did for cutting was fold the piece of fabric in half length-wise, cut it, and then finish the edges. So not the most exciting project from a sewing standpoint, but my kitchen looks so much happier now, and the living room looks warmer, and it was a really satisfying project to finish for something so simple. Plus it knocked 5 yards out of my stash just like that, even though I’m not counting home dec fabrics towards my new fabric allowances, and cleared a nice chunk of space off of my shelf.

Top 5’s of 2013, part 4: Knitting and other craftiness

Because those things deserve recognition, too, right? So here’s all the things that weren’t sewing clothes.

Top 5 hits of 2013: 
IMG_0538
1. The Branching Out mitts that I knitted. Look, I did colorwork! And they’re soft and cute and from a pattern I already had on hand. And I used the yarn in a fairly timely fashion, so win all around. I did have a bunch of this yarn leftover, but I’m actually using the leftover blue in a current project, which I will blog about when I have more to show for it.

2. The “Project Life” scrapbooking system. I started playing around with this during the summer as a way to try to stay more on top of my scrapbooking and document newlywed life. For those of you who don’t scrapbook, the basic concept is that you can get these kits with pocket page protectors, cards that fit into those slots, and then you just add your writing and photos and you’re basically done. Most people seem to do one spread a week. I’ve been doing more of a system of add stuff as I have photos for it or things I want to write down, occasionally mixing in more “traditional” scrapbook layouts, and go on a more month-by-month basis. I can’t say I’m caught up, but it really is making it easier to scrapbook on a more regular basis–it’s so easy to just grab the stuff, sit in front of the tv, and see what fits where. I’m also able to use some paper and stuff I already have, just slicing it down to size. I haven’t showed too much of that on here, so here’s a sampling of some things that I’ve (mostly) already gotten done!

Scrapbook Layouts, 2013

It’s not all pocket pages, obviously. The top two show what I’ve been doing when I have a “real” scrapbook page on one side–I’ve been making my own cards here and there to coordinate with whatever the main page is. The bottom left-hand corner is a finished page, from a concert that I went to over the summer with two of my closest friends, the bottom lowest right is one of the straight-up Project Life pages, though with a few additional filler cards that I made or printed myself, and the one above that is an in-progress one from the honeymoon. Yes, they’re all Instagram pictures of a little plastic TARDIS. Doug and I were having fun with that! I just need to print out the captions and paste them on, and then that spread is done, and same thing with most of my honeymoon pics. I’ve only gotten stuff through the end of the summer mostly done at the moment, but I’m still feeling much better about this particular hobby than I have for a couple of years!

TARDIS shoes!3. Geeky shoes. My bridesmaids and mom got a huge kick out of our mostly Whovian shoes for the wedding reception! And I have occasionally worn mine since, though not recently since it’s been wet and icy a lot lately. Not the best scenario for painted canvas footwear.

Roheline cardigan (in progress)4. It’s nowhere near finished, but I’m going to add my Roheline cardigan. This is what it currently looks like. I have a long way to go, but once I got past the initial trouble with starting it, it’s been a pretty easy knit, albeit slow. I think my stockinette knitting is starting to look pretty nice and even, which is why I’m calling this a win, even if it’s still in progress! And now that I finally understand what it means by “wrap and turn” on the short row sections, the top will look even better.

5. Making things for others. Yes, this includes sewing too, but I tend to often be selfish in my crafting, and I did make more things that were gifts for other people this year. So that makes me feel pretty good.

Top 5 misses of 2013:
IMG_0509
1. The scarf I knitted for Doug near the end of last winter. It was successful for stashbusting, but he hasn’t really worn it at all so far this winter. This isn’t a criticism, because he does wear the hat I knitted for him in 2012 all the time! He just doesn’t get as cold as I do.

IMG_05132. The bedroom curtains, to some extent. They do block more light than the blinds do alone, though it still can get way more bright than I like in the mornings. They’re way shorter than I would have preferred. Note to self: Next time, be more generous with curtain yardage estimations.

3. Jewelry-making. Mainly because I just didn’t take the time to do any this year. Note to self: must start playing with beads again, because I have way too many of them not to!

4. Home decor crafting in general. I meant to do a lot more, but once again, time management and I didn’t get along so well, and I only got to the bedroom curtains.

5. Honestly, I can’t come up with a fifth thing, because that more or less encompasses everything I made this year! So let’s just say the time factor and leave it at that, since having more plans than I finished was a running theme this time around.

Finally, in the interest of not leaving projects unblogged, here’s the handwarmers I actually finished to wear to my retail job.

work handwarmersIt’s honestly not my best work–I messed up the very easy stitch pattern here and there because I was in a hurry, and the yarn is pilling very quickly, because my job is hard on them. The stripes don’t match up, and I don’t care, because I just wanted to get them done–though I did do a surprisingly good job of getting the thumb gussets to match the stripes without even trying! But they’ve been keeping my hands warmer than they would have been on their own, especially during October when I was still mostly sitting at an outdoor register. This is how I was wearing them then:
handwarmers
Yes, those are other gloves underneath. Along with a hat, a scarf, long underwear, at least 2 other shirts, and a 2-layer sporty winter coat. Incidentally, one of the main reasons I still want to sew a new winter coat rather than just use this one, other than fashion, is that the inner layer is fleece, and I’ve found that it’s really, really difficult to pull that on over my sweaters and blazer jackets, on the occasions that I forget to bring my “real” winter coat with me to switch to before I go do my teaching!

Aside from a couple of secret projects that I won’t post until after Christmas, and a few in-progress things, that pretty much wraps up 2013! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate)!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

My most recently finished sewing project is a secret, but I do have some holiday decor to share!

I’ve been trying to keep a smaller craft project at my parents’ house, for when I need to kill some time between my garden center job and my flute teaching. They’re generously letting me continue to do the majority of my teaching out of their house, since I live just over the next county line now. That, and our dogs are insane when they can’t get to where the people are, and I can’t teach with them around until we move to a different house where I can shut them in a room where they won’t destroy everything in it. Maybe. Anyway. Mom is also letting me use the spare sewing machine in her sewing room as needed (yes, she has two set up all the time!), and a pattern that she had, so I made some Christmas stockings!

StockingHey, look, I’m pattern mixing! I wanted something cheery and fun, since December around here is often dark and blah weather-wise, and this funky black ornament fabric really stood out to me. The green stripey stuff is more for my husband, since green is his favorite color and he’s not afraid of the brighter shades of it.  I normally don’t go for rick-rack, but it needed something between the heel/toe and the main fabric, and decorative stitching was just eating the fabric like crazy. So this was a cute solution. And I’m ok with it making these stockings look more “homemade”. (I still refuse to say that other phrase with my name in it. So there.)

Stocking closeupI had originally planned to make the lettering red, but I couldn’t find red embroidery floss in my pile of things. I did, however, find black pearl cotton. So, in the spirit of stashbusting, that’s what I used to embroider the names. It only took a couple of hours one night while watching tv, and some disappearing marker. I’m pretty proud of how legible it turned out, actually!

I’d also originally planned to make a couple of smaller stockings for the dogs, but time is running short. So that can wait. It’s not like we can leave treats or toys lying out like that, anyway. Knowing them, they’d eat the stocking!

WreathI also made this wreath last year, but never blogged it. It’s pretty simple, just ornaments wired to an artificial wreath that I bought at work on clearance. The ornaments have a bit of a story, actually–a couple that I’m friends with has an (almost) annual party around this time of year with an ornament exchange. Last year, when all of the dust from the white elephant-style stealing had settled, I was left with two boxes of cheap baubles in lime and hot pink–another friend had them leftover from decorating his boss’s office as a joke. I didn’t end up keeping the pink one, but I was able to use up most of the green ones on this wreath. So, all in all, a pretty decent holiday decoration for about $2– not bad! Hopefully next year, we can find somewhere better to hang it than from the wall lamp…

an inside peek

IMG_0513I FINALLY finished those curtains! I had a nice chunk of free time yesterday afternoon, so I managed to drag my way through the rest of the lining sewing. They’re just giant tab-topped rectangles, really nothing that exciting to write about. And it’s really not my best sewing job, to be honest. I kind of put myself in a corner on these–the problem is that I’d bought the fabric ages ago, when we first decided what colors to paint the bedroom, but there weren’t any curtain rods at the time. So when we finally bought them and Doug got them hung up, he had to put them higher than either one of us had expected. Which meant that I barely had enough yardage to do all four panels. These have the absolute smallest hem I could do on home dec-weight fabric, and I do think they’d hang better with a deeper hem, but it was either that or buy more fabric. Fortunately, no one will be looking too closely at these except for me. (I’d say and him, but he’s a guy, you know?) I couldn’t get a good shot of the whole room, but it looks the same on the other window.

IMG_0606
And I’m not having to do this anymore, which is how I was attempting to block the light enough that I could sleep. (It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. But the room was still pretty dark when my alarm went off today. It was wonderful.)

IMG_0511The one slightly creative thing I did with these was to make the blackout lining detachable. This was mostly so I could wash them when the dogs inevitably shed all over them, and partially because blackout lining is expensive and this ups the chances that I can reuse it at some point. Of course, this effectively meant that I had to make eight curtain panels instead of four, which is not very exciting at all. I’m going to be quite glad to move on to a different project, even if I can’t quite get back to selfish sewing yet!

So, curtains. Yeah. On a more interesting note, want to see my new sewing/craft room? Okay!

Disclaimer: The majority of the good organizing ideas in here are courtesy of my husband, who thinks that organizing is fun. Which makes me a never-ending challenge for him!

IMG_0592
Here’s a basic overview of the room, in all of its turquoise cheeriness! (I was working on the Hummingbird top when I took these pics, obviously.) I’m pretty excited about that cutting table under the window. It’s actually a fold-down kitchen table from IKEA, with a couple of risers on the legs to make it the perfect height for me to cut on while standing. It has storage drawers on either side of the middle column, the one side is permanently set up for cutting, and the other side can be folded down to make the table bigger or smaller, whichever I need at the moment.  I measured it out, and it should be a good length when entirely opened for anything up to pants-length pieces. That window may get a curtain sometime–I was gifted some fabric to make sewing room accessories for Christmas by my mom, who knows my taste well. But I may not bother for this house, since we’re hoping to move to something a little bigger before any kids come along, and use that fabric to make ironing accessories instead!

IMG_0594
The opposite side of the room. That little table is for scrapbooking and the occasional jewelry-making. I’ve already done more stuff with the scrapbooking than I’ve done in a long time on it–it’s great to be able to leave supplies out!  Again, IKEA table, but this was constructed from things in the as-is section and was therefore very cheap. The shelves above have mostly paper on the lower shelf, and the boxes on the upper shelf are where my patterns live. The bookcase has all of my craft books and magazines, including my Burdas and KnitScenes. Donna hangs out here, too, though she hasn’t seen much use since I got into this room yet. I still need to get this area a little cleaned up and organized, but it’s shaping up nicely.

IMG_0596
Here’s a better view of the fabric storage! I’m proud to say that this idea was actually mine–just a cube shelf from Target (because it was way cheaper and a better size cube than the IKEA ones.) The fabrics are folded around comic book boards and held with binder clips, with pieces of unwanted scrapbook cardstock between the clips and fabrics to help protect the latter. The blue boxes hold some of my yarn collection. (The basket in front is mostly flute music, and will not stay there, once I get the rest of that and a filing cabinet moved down here from my parents’ house.) I have threads sitting on there too, though I need to work a bit on my serger threads, because the boxes I bought on sale specifically for that purpose at Joann’s don’t quite fit the cones. Grr. Anyway, these shelves are pretty jam-packed, so stashbusting is definitely in order!

IMG_0595

I have real sewing furniture! Which was kindly gifted by my mom along with my trusty old Bernina, since this table specifically fits that machine. I’ve since added a mug that randomly cracked to hold my small, commonly used tools like my thread snips and seam ripper. The white board is magnetic (IKEA again) and I’m using it to hold pattern instructions. My serger sits on the smaller table. It also needs a better cover at some point. (My mom made the colorful one on my sewing machine.)

IMG_0593
My colorful closet! The original plan was to put that little scrapbook table in here, and use it as a scrapbooking nook of sorts, which is why I wanted it painted nicely. That ended up not being the best use of the space, so it’s basically a storage closet instead. The rest of my yarn is in one of those bags, the bins hold things like fabric scraps that are too big to throw out/clothes to fix or refashion/musliny things, and then some lesser-used craft supplies are in here too. I also need to do some scrapbusting–I’d really love to reduce the number of bins in here!

IMG_0603

These two are a pretty common fixture in here, too, whenever I’m in here. The lighter one in particular likes to sit basically on top of my feet. So if I ever come back here to talk about a needle going through my finger, you know why…

As for things like the ironing board, that lives in the small linen closet across the hall when it’s not in use, so it doesn’t take up space or block everything in my closet.

So there you have it! I’m excited to see what comes out of this space!

I’m dreaming of a blue craft room…

Production on the dress has come to a pause. It’s partially because my schedule has suddenly exploded with things like having to work multiple Saturdays in a row again (boo), things I’m playing my flute for (yay!) and various social engagements, all of which conspire to keep me out of the house for multiple evenings. It’s also partially because the only table in the house that’s big enough to cut this thing out on is completely covered in gift-wrapping stuff, most of which is not mine and therefore I have no control over getting it cleaned off. So I don’t think I’ll actually get it cut out before Christmas, but before the end of the year seems like a pretty reasonable goal. I hope. The good news is that the muslin is dissected, though I do need to press it. Between that and some Craftsy/reading research on the underlining, since it’s been awhile since I’ve done that, hopefully that will be enough to keep me feeling productive while I wait.

https://i0.wp.com/distilleryimage11.s3.amazonaws.com/94ea79d2f54711e1973e22000a1e88a7_7.jpgIn the meantime, I’m now about 6 months away from getting…. *drumroll*…. my own sewing/craft room! I’ve been collecting inspiration on Pinterest for a few months, and the room is already painted. (I thought I had a picture of it, but I don’t yet–it’s a very cheery aqua color with a creamy yellow on the doors and inside the closet. It’s such a happy-looking room, and I think it will be wonderful to create in!) My beads and most of my jewelry-making supplies are also already down there, and now super-organized thanks to my fiance. I also have this table from Ikea, which folds out to make a cutting table large enough to cut the legs of pants out, and therefore should serve most of my purposes.

The biggest question at the moment that still needs to be answered is how the heck to store my hundreds of yards of fabric, I figured I’d show a couple of the things that are inspiring me right now.

Marie over at A Stitching Odyssey  recently did a sewing room makeover, and I absolutely love the look of her fabric cubicles. It’s a pretty nice way of keeping all of the different types of fabric together! Gertie did something similar, but with a whole bunch of canvas boxes.  Which is a nice way to keep the dust out, but I do kind of miss seeing the fabric!

I saw this closet craft room thing on Pinterest awhile back. Doug suggested that we make the closet into a little nook for my non-sewing crafts, like my scrapbooking and jewelry-making. So we’ve got a little table in there, and some shelves. I’m really looking forward to having a place where I can just leave layouts sitting out and work on them as I’m able– I think it will do wonders for me actually getting pages done, since the biggest deterrent for a long time is that I have to drag stuff out every time I want to scrapbook, and my sewing machine is always out. I’m thinking that if I get an office chair where I can adjust the height, I can use it for both that and my sewing table.

There’s a bunch of little things that need to get figured out still–where to put my pattern boxes and various craft books, what to do with my fabric and yarn, where to keep all of those various notions like threads and scissors and the like, etc. But I am rather looking forward to getting it figured out and seeing how it comes together!

What about you? How do you like to keep your fabrics and the like organized?

midweek musings

  • I’m trying something new with my sewing this week, in the name of just getting something done, darnit!! So I’m just trying to do one sewing-related task a day. Yesterday, I got my real jeans all cut out! Well, the wearable test, anyway. But they’re denim. (Monday, all I got done was laying the denim out on the table. But it’s one less thing I had to do yesterday, so it still counts!) I actually have enough left that I just might be able to squeeze out a pair of shorts, after The Dress. Which is good, because I have been seriously hurting for a lack of shorts that fit this summer, denim or otherwise.
  • I really need to get my remnants and scraps better organized, so I can find cooler pocket fabric next time. All I could find in the 5 minutes before Craft Wars started, that I was certain I had enough of to cut all of the pocket pieces, was a solid. Oh well….this is still basically only a test.
  • The wedding is 10 months from today! Which brings me to…
  • I have a plan now for all of my wedding dress fabrics! Except for the green bit. But at least I know where to order from now. Bonus– I discovered that the Dharma Trading Co. fabrics, while not a good color for the outside, don’t change the color a bit as underlinings and linings. So I can save myself some money there!
  • Since I’ve got that part figured out, other than purchasing, my mental energy during the slow times at work has been far more occupied with sewing rooms. That’s right–I’m getting my own sewing room! My fiance is rather generous, isn’t he? I’m thinking of going with a turquoise & coral color scheme–something really bright and happy, so I’ll feel energized and creative! So I’ve been pondering various solutions for how I’m going to fit all of my fabric, my sewing machines, a cutting table, all of the other various tools, my yarn, my scrapbook stuff, and my beads into one room. It’s a good thing Doug likes organization challenges, because I am a walking one…

 And so this isn’t an entirely picture-less post, look what came in today! This prettiness is going to be my future kitchen curtain! He already had the bright green on the main wall in there, and really likes it. And I’ve always wanted a sunflower-themed kitchen. So this was the perfect compromise fabric. I wouldn’t be stockpiling home dec fabrics so soon, except I was kind of afraid this one would get sold out before next year. But one accent curtain shouldn’t take me too terribly long to finish up. After The Dress, of course.

Ok, off to grab some dinner and catch up on some blogs, since it looks like all of the rest of you have been way more productive than me this summer!

It’s curtains for me (again)!

Ok, so they took a little longer than I thought. Apparently I slightly overestimated the amount of fabric that I needed, and after I’d already sliced the fabric in half (mostly for ease of ironing the 4 1/2 yards of fabric), I ended up having to chop an extra foot off of each piece! And since I’d already hemmed both raw edges on one of these, I had to hem it a second time after. (Boy, am I glad I decided to check before I started the second curtain!) But they’re done, finally, and it’s good to have one of those projects that’s been hanging over my head since October out of the way.

Added bonus: This will make a much nicer backdrop for having Donna the Dummy model my finished garments!

Curtain call! Act One: Math is not my friend.

So my main goal for this weekend was simple: knock out the curtains for my bedroom, preferably today so that I can use tomorrow to catch up on my homework for my knits class at Pattern Review, and then take Monday (which will probably be my last full day off for awhile, since I’ll be going back to work at the garden center soon and my only student of the day will be on vacation) to do something wild and crazy like sew something that I can actually wear. Simple, right?

Of course not. It’s now around noon, and guess how much I’ve gotten done? The tabs. That’s it. And I did most of that last night. Actually, I’m kind of at negative work done on these curtains, because I basted the tabs onto the curtain fabric and have to remove them all. Turns out that the lining fabric I broke down and bought for them earlier this week is nearly 4″ less wide than the curtain fabric. And of course, I based the tab measurements (which took me a good 30-45 minutes to figure out in the first place, since I had to keep shifting things around to get them about even) on the outer fabric. So now I have to not only rethink my entire method of construction in order to get the tabs even with the edges, but I’ll have to do the spacing math again. Arrrrgh!

(And here tab-top curtains are supposed to be one of the simplest ones to make… I think I’ve officially decided that I do not like making curtains.)

So I’m taking a break as I write this to eat some lunch and regroup. Then it’s back to trying to get as much work as possible done before I meet up with my best friend this evening to go see Alice in Wonderland

I forgot to mention…

I kind of spontaneously decided to sign up for another Pattern Review class. This one is all about dealing with knit fabrics, which really excites me because while I’ve gotten pretty decent at finishing wovens and making them look good, knits are something that’s still a bit tricky for me, even though it’s gotten a LOT better since getting the serger! Especially in things like hemming them, reconstructing them in situations where sometimes there’s different knit fabrics involved (and sometimes even some wovens), things like that. So I’m looking forward to learning about things like when to use the regular machine vs. the serger, what sort of needles I should be using, etc. Plus the class starts in February and ends in early March, which means the same timeframe as when I’m not working at the garden center again yet, and therefore I can probably stay on top of the classwork a lot easier than I could for the skirt muslin class! So I think I’m going to hold off on any knit-sewing projects until after this class. But that’s ok, because I’ve still got bibs to sew (cut out as of last night), a quilt to quilt, and a bunch of curtains to make.

Speaking of knits, I had a really odd dream last night–I dreamed that on Project Runway, the judges were making them include knitting samples along with their finished garments and judging them based on how well they did their knitting, and Michael Kors was saying something about they should be able to knit their own fabric or they weren’t really worth much as a designer, and he also commented about the girl that got cut that she could take some time to sit down and knit 2-3 times a week. And it was making me wonder if I should attempt to take up knitting again! Subconsciously, of course….now that I’m awake, I know I have enough crafty hobbies!