Monday, January 30, 2012

A Home Dec Project: Mail Organizer

It seems like I haven't gotten to any fashion sewing in a very long time! That will have to change :)

With my daughter moving back in and our little home being tight on space we really had the need for a mail organizer. I looked about at some at the office store and they were just all so blah and ugly.

I decided to make my own to hang on the wall just inside my sewing room from the front foyer. The space is perfect for it, the key rack is next to it and the dog leashes hang below.

I based my design loosely off a project in the book One Yard Wonders and from an article in the UK sewing/crafting magazine Making.

It measures 23 inches high by 13 inches wide and each of the 3 mail pockets measure 6 inches high and 13 inches wide. I added grommets to the top for hanging.

The base/backing is stabilized with a piece of peltex and heavy duty iron on interfacing. Each pocket is stabilized with heavy duty interfacing.

When i sewed the pockets on I pushed in the seam at the top opening by 1/2 inch to create a little pleat for rom for the mail.

Since this fabric is busy already with lots of neat details printed on it, I decided to leave the embellishments to a minimum and just did a gold leaf foil initial for each of the three pockets. This way we all know whose mails goes where!

Keeping my fingers crossed that this nifty addition keeps the mail from ending up all over the house :)

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Felted Tablet Cover and doggy toy

My future son-in-law is an architect student and he uses this cool little Wacom tablet that he draws on directly into his laptop.

He has been carrying it around in a flimsy wrapper, not giving it much protection at all. As a thank you for all his help on my sewing room I made him a new cozy for his equipment.

I took an old felted wool sweater that started as a mans 2X, I cut the sleeves and the zipper neckline off. Cut out 1 piece as a rectangle and the 2nd piece included the shape of the armholes to make the included fold over flap. The flap was not completely symetrical but I decided that it gave the project character.

The lining was from fabric from my stash and is antique books which he happens to have a great fond for so it worked perfectly. I added an interior pocket to slide the cords into.

To dress the project up a bit while still keeping it manly I added a touch of embroidery around the upper edge.

The finished size of the project is 9x11.

With the leftover sleeves I made an octopus inspires dog toy for Holly. She loves to steal my scraps and usually just leaves them around the house but she really like the felted wool so I made her a dog toy for her to play with.

Another awesome thing about these 2 projects: they cost me NOTHING to make :) all stash projects! Woot, woot!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tabletop iron/press board

The only piece of equipment that I have been missing for a long time is a portable small press board. Something that I can use to whip out my iron and use for small projects and just quick things that don't need the full ironing board.

I did a little google search to see what ideas where floating out on the web. I had an idea in mind but wanted to see if there was something better...

I had an old piece of 1/4 inch plywood that I have used at various times for crafts. It measures about 16 x 17 inches.

How did I put it all together?

I took my supplies
- 1/4 in plywood
- an old bath towel
- some of that silver coated ironing heat shield fabric
- fashion fabric, quilting fabric from my stash
- staple gun
- Aleene's fabric bond to anything glue

I laid the towel on my table folded in half and pulled it tight and staples it to the back of the board. Trimmed it
Next put the fashion fabric face down, the ironing fabric face down and the towel covered board over it and repeated the stapling while taking some extra time to make the corners nice and neat.

I then measured the opening on the back added 2 inches, hemmed it all around and then spread glue on the wood and under the hem area and smoothed the piece on.

A super easy project that has added a very needed piece of equipment to my cutting table. Best part of all... I didn't spend a penny!!! Everything was in my stash. :)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Introducing my NEW Sewing Studio!!

I am so very excited, thrilled and happy to share with you my new sewing studio!

Due to my daughter moving back into the house we decided to play room switcheroo. What we initially thought would be an easy transition turned into utter chaos for weeks, more like 2 months!

What we ended up doing was moving the den/office into my old sewing room thus freeing up that room for my daughter to move back into (it was her old childhood bedroom) that meant that my sewing room had to move downstairs to the laundry area. This area had prior been an ugly mostly unused doggy area. After TONS of work. Removing a wall, replacing the floor, new trim and new wall on one side plus 3 gallons of paint and weeks of work the area has been completely transformed to my new sewing studio. There are still a couple odds and ends that need done like hooking the dryer up through the crawl space instead of the window and I need to decide on lighting needs, i'm thinking track lights.... But they will get there!

My future son-in-law building me framed peg boards

the works in progress photo... oh... so much needed to be done!

In order to make this happen I had to temporarily pack up my sewing room into plastic bins and move it to our front room. Nothing like moving 11plus years of sewing and crafting stuff out of one room and into bins. WOW!! I realized I have a lot of stuff. I even found things I did not even know I owned! Craziness.

the HUGE hoard of sewing stuff in the front room

putting everything piled in the front room was a motivator to get the project done quickly!

The good that come out of it is that I really took the time to go through everything I have. And it took lots of time, whew.

For example:
I went through every pattern I owned and probably halved my pattern stash. In addition I cataloged every pattern on my iPad using this cool app called List Master.
I also took the time and refolded every single piece of fabric that I own. That took 2 full days. The quilting fabric is all nicely folded taking up an entire dresser. My fashion fabric I also added to my List Master app with information on fabric type and amount and color. So time consuming but worth it in the end.

I do not think that I need to purchase any fabric for a very long time!

The room was a challenge to plan and work with. There is no closet, 5 doors to contend with and the washer and dryer area. The good part about it is the floor space is almost double what I had in my original sewing room. I originally had thought about buying all new furntiure... but decided that would be wasteful and cost prohibitive. I actually re-purposed all the furntiture. Some was existing in the old sewing room, some I took from my daughter on her move. I only bought 1 new piece and that was a second Ikea desk for 39$. My biggest expenditure was in buying the binders for all of my patterns. that cost me about 120$ for the binders and the pages to slip the patterns into. It was worth it!I now have room to walk around, my butt is not hitting into anything and you can pass by the end of the cutting table without shuffling sideways! I have my sewing machine and my new serger out so they can just be used side by side and the space is no claustraphobic. It is totally my space. It is the one room in the house that i have total say over what gets hung on the walls and what I want out. my decor is an echo of me not just what looks good.

I am feeling so inspired, it's a great feeling. I am very lucky and want to thank my husband and my future son-in-law for all their hard work and help :)

The final result is:

the cutting table: 72 in long by 36 in wide covered by a giant cutting mat. At the end is a framed pegboard with all my rulers and fabric scissors and rotary cutters.  Underneath is fabric and craft storage. the washer and drier to the right have a nice shelving unit with fabric bins on top to keep it neat.

This area has my bookshelves and supplies like buttons, zippers, patterns, etc. on the right wall is a peg board holding quilting templates and assorted ribbons and fun stuff.

my sewing tables. 2 simple and styrdy desks from Ikea that cost 39$ lots of sewing space and room for my favorite machines side by side. and the back door. I hung a small cork board up that holds buisness cards, my favorite peoples measurements, and photos.

this is my thread cabinet, It used to be one of those old small built in ironing boards. I removed th eold ironing board, painted inside and out and added shelves for my thread. Of course i had more than would fit.. so on top the quilting dresser is a thread rack holding my most used colors spools of thread.

My quilting dresser and fashion fabric dresser with a container with rolled fabrics between. this wall has my 'inspiration' board up on it. This is where I put things that inspire me :) I also have a collection of vintage ball jars filled with buttons and my favorite peoples in a frame.

I did manage to fit in a full length mirror. I need to try on all the cool cloths im gonna make and check them out! I also have my big ironing board hanging up on the back of one of the garage workroom doors.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Serendipity Quilt Shop

I found my new favorite quilt shop in Delaware! Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro.

I can't say enough good things about it! My favorite part... The ladies working there. So pleasant, so helpful, so nice and inviting! Great selection of fabrics and notions and patterns.

They had a very nice selection of Sea Shore and ocean fabrics that in the Midwest we don't usually get. As well as some lovely patterns. I left the store with a baggy full of goodies, including some supplies to try English Paper Piecing. Should be a nice project that I can work on while traveling for work.

Pictured below is me on the right and the owner of the shop, Mary.

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Location:Dagsboro, DE