Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sewing Studio

Welcome to my sewing studio!
Shanni over at Shanni Loves... has been sharing her beautiful sewing space and her tips on making a great space to work in, which was perfect timing as I have moved to a new space just recently....again.

  I think I have had moved sewing spaces more than anyone I know...I have set up "shop" in almost every nook and cranny of this house over the last fifteen years. Let's see how long I reside in this space shall we? 

I'll warn you now...this post is picture heavy...but what's new?

My sewing studio is the only finished room in the basement of our house so I have to walk through the unfinished part to get to my room. I'm greeted at the door with this pretty little sign that a lovely lady gave me. Atelier is french for studio or workshop and that's why I thought.... why not call this space a studio...fancy huh? Yup. And I love it! 

So here you have it...ta da!  It's HUUUUUUUGE! Pinch me!

My work space is set up a little like a kitchen would be....in a working triangle. I can go from my cutting table to the ironing board and sewing machines without any obstructions. I have my sewing machine and serger set up on the same desk and though it's a wee bit tight...it works for now. Ideally, I would like to have another small desk (or corner desk) on the wall to the right for my serger and coverstitch machines.

Because my space is in the basement, I have a ledge on two walls that is perfect for my bookshelf and other goodies. As I look at these pictures...I realize that I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to this room. I don't have a lot of clutter and I really like it that way.

My cutting table is probably my favorite part of this space! It was an old dresser that my son no longer needed and had actually been my husbands when he was a child. We don't like to toss much out in these here parts!!
I painted it with Behr paint from Home Depot in Drumbeat Red. I love this color and the picture doesn't do it justice. I added new library pulls and husband cut and covered a piece of plywood with vinyl, then attached it securely to the top of the dresser. On top if that is a cutting mat that can be cut to size. Husband bought it for my birthday and it is a self healing mat that is also great because slippery fabrics will stay put on it.

I have mentioned before that I pin all of my patterns on a Pinterest board so I can browse my collection easily. When I have settled on something, I can find it in one of these four drawers where they are  filed by pattern company and then in numerical order. Easy peasy!

I keep my threads...the most used ones anyway... in the drawer of my sewing desk. I use small clear trays to separate all my attachments, labels,needles,snips etc.

I painted this old bookcase and it is great storage for all those sewing books and magazines I have collected over the years. 

Once again I hung up this magnetic white board which is indispensable to me. I pin up the instructions and pattern pieces of the project I am working on at the moment. It is also a great place to jot down little reminders to myself.

Here you can see the other side of my cutting table. I left the top over hanging so that I can slide my chair in comfortably. It worked out perfectly.

When we finished this room, it was necessary to put a closet in because we didn't know then what this room may be used for in the future. I'm so glad we did that! I now have a huge walk-in closet to store my stash!! In the picture on the left, you can see that Husband put up a narrow metal strip that I use to hang PDF or self-drafted  pattern pieces with magnetic clips. To the right, are my totes that hold fabric stash and I also hang some clothes that get only occasional wear in here as well.

Vintage patterns displayed on the shelf. The Simplicity 7358 is one I purchased at a thrift shop when I was in high school and I made it up a few times back then. Husband still remembers those dresses and loved them. Too bad they are long gone now...

Every sewing room needs a good mirror! I also like to keep a pair of heels on hand...sounds silly but a dress or skirt looks and feels different when I try it on with shoes.
And who wouldn't love a comfy chair to curl up in?!! Husband sure does love it! He is a frequent visitor when I am working downstairs.

Even though this is a basement room, I am fortunate enough to have a large window that allows a lot of light in and has a beautiful view of the water. Looks like I need to clean that window though!!

There you have it...my sewing studio, as it is for the moment. As always, I have yet more plans for this room. My wish list includes a wallpapered feature wall, a side table next to my chair to hold my coffee (of course!), art work on the wall behind my chair,  and another desk for my coverstitch machine. Always room for improvement right?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Neutral

Well.... here I have gone and made another Simplicity 2444. This time in a Japanese wool that I found in the sample section of my local fabric store. I don't usually go for a neutral palette because they tend to make me look washed out. My hope was that paired with this ivory jacket, it would look okay.

I won't go into the details of this pattern because we all know that I have made it many times before. A real TNT pattern for me. I lined the bodice and shortened the length of the skirt...I didn't have enough fabric so the hem is itsy bitsy! 

Dress:self-made Jacket:Joe Fresh(thrifted) Shoes:Rouge(thrifted) Watch:Guess(gift)

Happy First Day of Fall everyone!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog Hop on Blog Writing

That lack luster title really pulled you in didn't it!? Yeah no...I know. But it just goes to show you that I need help in this area and knew this  blog hop was one I needed to hop on to. Okay okay...I'll stop with my lameness and get on with the post....

My fellow Canadian sewing blogger Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow has nominated me for the most recent Blog Hop making it's way around the webs!  Let me tell you...this lady is talented! I so often wish that I could be her neighbor and invite her over for coffee to pick her brain on sewing knit dresses. (Or maybe just bribe her to make me one....no...I'm not above doing such things..) She can whip those knit dresses out like nobody's business! 
Gillian is also a teacher (bless her!) and I'm sure her pupils benefit just as much as her readers do from her gift to write thought provoking posts and posing great questions to get us all thinking and involved in conversation. To go along with her many talents, she is also soooo nice! Point in case...she asked me if I would mind being nominated for the Blog Hop before posting it. How nice and Canadian is that? Thank you Gillian for the nom, how could I say no?

Why do I write?

Umm...because pictures just aren't going to cut it! Ughhh!! Whyyyyy noooot???!! Seriously though... I feel that my writing is only so so and that's okay. I personally love a great picture and when I open a post that has a really long written portion....well it better be funny or informative because my meager attention span and I may not make it through. Fortunately, many of you are VERY  funny and VERY informative so I end up spending way too much time online reading your great stuff! 
 My posts are usually composed of lots of pictures and a little explanatory writing in between I primarily use this blog to document my makes and connect with the sewing community. When I started this blog I didn't realize the wonderful impact that the sewing community would have on me...you guys are rocking my world!

What am I working on now?

Besides a half consumed bottle of Perrier and a cup of cold coffee... on my sewing table I have a couple of projects...a knit dress that is driving me nuts and a black dress. The knit dress is not really as bad as my fear of it is. The black dress kinda came out of the blue for me. I don't usually like to sew staples but I wanted a dress to wear with a cool hat I have. Cool hat needs a cool dress...right?

Picture of pretty thread to give my brain a rest...hehe.

How does my blog differ from other sewing blogs?

I use a lot of dot dot dots..... hehe. That's how my brain works people.... I don't know if it is waiting for applause or laughter or it's just being slow but that's how my thoughts transfer to paper in my writing style. Commas have rules...that I don't know. Dots don't have rules...
That being said....
I love to sew. There's no doubt about that fact. I am a very visual person....I like to look at pretty and beautiful things. I like fashion and sewing allows me to play fashion designer by giving me the freedom to pair fabric with design. I try to create garments that are stylish and wearable but also have my own aesthetic. I also like to thrift and have fun showcasing some of those items here from time to time. I do share with readers the basic details of a make but you won't usually find many tutorials here. My hope is that my readers find lots of inspiration for wearable classic garments.

How does my writing process work?

I had never really thought about my writing process before so when I began writing this post,  I tried to take note while in the midst of it. I realized though that this isn't a typical post for me so I couldn't base my answer on this one. This post has waaay more words than my usual posts do. Waaaaay more!
My typical post begins with pictures of course. I coerce, bribe or beg someone to take about twenty five pictures for me and then I chose the best four or five for the post. I brighten them up, saturate the color on them to make them more true to life and crop a couple for detail shots, then I start to write. (You can read more about my tips for blog photography here.) While making a garment, I try to think about writing the blog post and title, I know even before I start writing that the writing will be more difficult for me than the sewing. 
As I mentioned before, I don't like to be too wordy so I stick to the basics about the project. I lightly review the pattern and share any changes that I made to it.
I shake and fidget a bit, take a deep breath, run to the washroom, pace about, read and reread the post and then quickly hit publish before I change my mind. Why is it always so hard to hit that publish button?
(Note the absence of dots in the above paragraph. High fiving myself as. soon. as. I. finish. typing. this. sentence...there.) (Dang. I almost did it.)

My nominations..

Marrie of Purls and Pleats has a classic feminine style that I just love! I would wear every one of the dresses she makes. Then just when you think you have her styled nailed down, she throws these awesome Thai Fisherman trousers into the mix! Yes..I want those fierce trousers in my closet now!  If all that wasn't enough...the inside shots of her garments reveal that she has impeccable workmanship as well.
This lady has it all going on!

Here we have Lizzy of Sew Busy Lizzy and no... she is not on a holiday in this picture! This is basically her backyard! I love Lizzy's cool style and admire the range she has within it. Her makes include feminine dresses, skirts, knit tops, trousers, jackets and even jeans! I admire Lizzy's writing style and the honest place from which she writes about sewing and life in general.

I had a hard time choosing my nominations and also wanted to showcase Sue from A Colorful Canvas! Sue is fearless when is comes to color and her beautiful cheery self made wardrobe is only outdone by her beautiful smile and attitude! Love this Canadian lady! When I contacted her about a nomination, she had been nominated by Heather already! Great minds Heather...great minds!!

So there you have it! Whew that was a lot of writing for me....

Oh and I just remembered Gillian's Two Truths and a Lie blog hop!! Ok.. here goes...

Can you spot the lie?

                                          1. I can drive a vehicle towing a trailer...even in reverse. 
                                          2.  I was home schooled through elementary school.
                                          3.  I played Rugby in high school.