Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018 Sewing Projects - first quarter

I'm participating in the 2018 SWAP which is in progress at Stitcher's Guild. When I should have been sewing SWAP garments, I was fixated on sewing coordinating garments.   My favorite garments so far are a top from Lekala 4633  and Louise Cuttings Relax a Little Skirt which is OOP.

The fabric came from Metro Textiles. Tee sponsors a trip every year and I basically lose my mind and buy a bunch of fabric.  Each year I have the fabric mailed home. It's not that expensive. I'm not dragging a bunch of fabric around NYC. That would be exhausting and keep me from having room to carry around more fabric.

The fabric is a medium weight knit and was a joy to sew. I thought I only had enough fabric to make the skirt but I had a big scrap left. I got creative and cut the top on the cross-grain. This made me a happy woman. One of my goals is to use the entire piece of fabric and not return leftovers to the stash. Scraps are donated to a fellow ASG member.

Lekala 46333 needed a few changes -  narrow shoulder adjustment, rounded back adjustment and I had to raise the neckline. It is too low for work. I've made 4 versions out of this pattern. I need to remember to add 1/2 inch to the center front. I'm going to add cap sleeves to the next version. I hope that this is going to become a TNT pattern. 

The skirt is an easy sew because the directions are excellent. Louise Cutting has the best directions for her patterns. I've made this skirt several times. I've lost weight and the first skirt is too big. It is in the giveaway pile. The second skirt is part of the swap. I plan to make a lot of skirts out of this pattern. It works great for skirts for work when I don't want to wear pantyhose.

I have managed to finish 5 swap garments using a black ponte knit from FM. 3 bottoms are done - slim leg pants, pencil skirt and RAL skirt. 2 sleeveless tops are done - one from Lekala 4633 and one PMB draft. Everything needs a trip through the washing machine and dryer before I can take pictures. Hopefully, this will get done next weekend.

I'm currently working on two skirts from a black floral print from Another pencil skirt from PMB. The pattern for the second skirt comes from Pam Howard and it is called the Flirt skirt. It has a fishtail hem. The pattern matched across the back seam until I had to remove 2 inches. I have a few more garments that I need to add to the blog. Another goal this year is to document my sewing on this blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Back to Blogging - Updated Sewing Room

Ejvc started a thread about fixing up your sewing room for the month of September on Stitchers Guild. This year August was devoted to getting ready for September - Pimp Up Your Sewing Room projects. I was reading the thread and realized that I wasn't sewing much because I was dissatisfied with the sewing room. It was cluttered and disorganized. I'm a little OCD about certain things and stuff sitting around in my room makes me out of sorts. I decided that I need to clean, re-organize and fix up my sewing room. I've been working on the room in bits and pieces and I think I'm finally done.

I started in August by getting rid of a lot of stuff that I was holding onto just in case. I haven't missed one thing I tossed or donated. By organized the threads and buying a parts cabinet, I was able to get rid of three storage containers that sat under the table. The printer was originally in the bedroom but printing did not work when DH was sleep. I had to buy a new laptop when DGS knocked over a glass of water and fried my old laptop. The Janome 500e is my latest toy. DH and DS talked me into buying it. I need to sell the 300e. We just never bonded.

This is the long table holding the Janome babies. The embroidery machine and the coverstitch. Under and to the right of the table are containers whch hold way, way too many patterns.

There is a shelf above the table which holds the sewing threads, coloring books, markers and other small stuff. The small containers came from Walmart. I found a couple in the store and tried to order them online. I ended up sending DH to a store and he bought all that they had. The containers were out of stock the last time that I tried to find them. I have six empty ones left. DH made me a happy woman. There is a strip of LED lights under the shelf. 
I ordered the 6-quart containers for the serger thread from Walmart on-line. Each color has a separate container. Next to the serger threads are my books and magazines. 

To the right of the long sewing table is the pressing area.
I bought some new pressing tools - shoulder stands and point presser from Gaylen and Jay. They have a B&B in PA that I hope to visit soon. 

The flat point presser came from Angela Wolf but I don't see it on her website now. A new gravity feed iron joined the club. All of these purchases forced me to get the shelves organized above the ironing table. I had stuff stuck in baskets and bins. It was frustrating. The white magazine holders helped get the paper off the tables. I have a small basket that holds the pressing cloths. The three drawer cabinet holds strips of tricot interfacing in different widths. Cup hooks under the shelf hold scissors, thread nippers, and clamps  

To the left of the long table is a short table that holds the sewing machine and serger.

I tried to have live plants but this is the only one that has survived. You would think that I learned my lesson when I killed my husband's cactus plants several years ago. The window gets great morning light.

To the left of this table is the cutting table. These is where it gets interesting.
One night I decided to put some pattern boxes on a shelf. The next morning, the shelf was hanging off the wall and everything was on the floor. There are big holes in the wall. Plus I lost important storage space. I was devasted. These are lathe and plaster walls. I realized that the plaster is separating from the lathe and the entire wall needs to be replaced. In the middle of the winter, there is no way that I'm going to let them tear up my sewing room. I had some red paper that contractors use to cover new floors. I glued two sheets together and then used mod podge to cover them with old pattern paper. At the end of the table are two containers with interfacing and the other two hold WIP. Everything that I need to draft, alter and cut out patterns is in this area. The only thing that I need to add is some Crayola washable markers. On the shelf above the door is the light colored interfacing. 
I had to be creative when figuring out how to store my scissors to keep them out of the hands of a very busy two-year-old DGS. He carries the ottoman around the room to climb so he can touch stuff. Plus the magazine holder was from the stash. The scissors that everyone can use is on the top. Everything else is off limits especially my Kai scissors. My favorite cutting tool is the Kai rotary cutter. 
Under the cutting table is a store display cabinet that holds
various notions and trims. I found the cabinet on Craigslist several years ago. I need to find a specialty glass company so I can replace the cardboard. In the meantime, I'll cover the cardboard with something attractive.

Everything is organized. Each sewing machine has a pair of scissors and a magnetic pincushion. Everythin that I need is within reach. Each notion has a permanent home. At the beginning, I had to forced myself to always but stuff back when I'm finished. Now it is a habit. I can clean the room in fifteen minutes.  My sewing mojo came back as the room became more organized. When I sit down in this room, I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed. My sewing mojo came back from vacation as the room became more organized. I'm done.