Clearing the Home Headquarters! – Sewing Room Makeover

Clearing the Home Headquarters! – Sewing Room Makeover

Hi All!

Second post of the day *does victory dance in head*!!

So the past couple weeks that I was sick (I am better now 😀 ), I left my apartment to the warm comfort of home and my mom taking care of me- which meant a lot of time spent in the home headquarters sewing room. A room that until very recently looked like it belonged on an episode of hoarders… but through some determination and organization, my mom and I managed to make it inhabitable again and ready for all of our new sewing endeavors! So I thought I would give you a little tour and show some of my favourite parts and generally allow you to nosily look through my stuff like I like to do with other people’s stuff lol.

(sneak preview of my Islander Sewing jacket in background!- post coming on Thursday)

The biggest challenge to our sewing room is definitely space- it is a corner of our unfinished basement (think cement floor & duct work overhead) that is shared with a hot water tank, water softener, washer&dryer, a fridge, 2 freezers (mom has a food freezing addiction) and the furnace…. so not really one of those super posh big open spaces to work with, but alas, I will take what I can get!

First order of business was organizing the fabric stash on our shelves. This was a challenge- as I have a huge stash of fabric that I inherited from my grandmother, who was a seamstress/fabric hoarder. This shelf contains a large amount of the fabric at home.

I decided the best way to organize this was by type of fabric- based on what you would use it for- so when you have a project in mind you can just go and check out the shelf with those types of fabrics instead of searching through all the shelves based on fiber content or design.

So the top shelf is denims, corduroys, and some woven wool types. (kind of like jacket/purse stuff)

Next is all the ‘Home Dec’ fabrics to use for seat covers/ pillows/ curtains etc. 

Next is my fav- fashion fabrics ranging from cotton to linen, crepes, rayons and some knits, all intended to be used for clothing

Next is kind of more of a type- on the left is all cotton velvet (with the velvet side in), and on the right is a bag with really nice fine wools that my mom and I bought and are waiting for a perfect project!

Now this bottom bin is full of wool, mostly light jacket weight, but there is some boiled wool in the bottom and other slightly heavier jacket weight.

Now above this shelving unit I have stacked all of our bolts of fabric, which range from a collection of satins, to poly linings, and wool plaids, with some denim.

 The other shelving side is not quite as full- containing mostly knits

This very disorganized top bin contains all swimwear- because there really is no way to keep swimwear folded, and the two bottom bins contain other stretch cotton knits and very slinky fabrics that cannot keep themselves folded lol. – Also under this in a larger bin (not pictured here) is a huge amount of sweats type fabrics, like fleece, flannel and stretch cottons to make sweaters, pjs and leggings.

These shelves hold pretty much all the sorted fabric- although I am slightly embarrassed to say that I also have more than one large piece of hanging silk velvet, that our very large bolts of denim, canvas, flannel and cotton underlining are under my bed upstairs, and that in my apartment I have upwards of 10 bolts of fabric, along with under bed bins and tubs of fabric….. *Hi, my name is Erin and I have a problem*….. anyways

Between these two shelving units is a short filing cabinet filled with patterns- mostly vintage- and I may or may not have some in storage too..

 On top of this cabinet is a very well cushioned basket for my dog to lay in while I sew- perfect petting height when I am at my sewing machine- and he likes to just chew on his little frog.

That is when he isn’t sitting directly on my lap like he seems to enjoy while I’m sewing 

Now moving on to the desk! The wall above the desk is the thread/inspiration wall! And yes, there are two home-sew Berninas, which, with my Bernina at my apartment and the industrial brings the total to 4 Berninas… I think I have an addiction…

This is where all of our threads go (except for some serger thread) and my cork board where I pin sewing inspiration!

Yes – you saw right, in the bottom right corner of the cork board there is indeed a picture of my grandmother riding a camel.., which may or may not be my favourite picture of all time

Below this pic is space for some bead trims, vintage pin cushions, our seam binding collection and a very essential hammer (sewing women are tough women) 

And to the left is a shelf that contains serger threads, sewing machine oil, sewing magazines/ manuals and little organizers with sewing machine feet, needles, snaps, studs, hand needles and all manner of other things (can you tell my mom has an addiction to labels?) – And hanging on the unfinished wall are yard sticks, curved rulers and a fly swatter- nobody likes a fly…

 Then there are the desk drawers- which I can proudly say are organized AND that only 5 of the 6 drawers are actually occupied! leaving a little wiggle room for future!

Inside drawer #1 we have: elastics- narrow elastic, wide elastic, clear elastic, fold-over elastic, lace elastic….. my mom is really into elastics….

Inside drawer #2 we have trims & ribbons- lots of lace, lots of velvet ribbon, lots of kinda 70’s looking stuff 

Inside drawer #3 we have zippers (organized into the sadly separating, truly invisible and regular varieties), also in this drawer we keep velcro, interfacing and the glue gun stuff.

Inside drawer #4 we have fancy threads, and other vintage buttons and really fancy delicate vintage lace and trims from my grandmother.

And finally inside drawer #5 we have ‘home dec’ trims or other large quantities of trims, along with some purse handles.. just cause I didn’t have another place to put them…

I found that after going through so many of our trims and ribbons (and there was a mountain that we ended up donating)- there were so many ends and little bits of pretty ribbons that I squashed all into one bag for inspiration and to get out when I have little projects!

And with that concludes the official tour of the home sewing room- and I feel like even in this long post I missed out on some parts! I realized sifting and sorting through all of our sewing things, that I really does take a lot of things to sew- from patterns and fabrics, to scissors and pins and rulers, machines and manuals– whew–

Anyways I hope you enjoyed snooping through my sewing room- I know I love when other people do posts on their sewing rooms and sewing stashes or shopping hauls – maybe I’m just really nosey lol.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday! and that you have your sewing space under control too!

xo erin

Sew Saturday: Islander Sewing System & my industrial

Sew Saturday: Islander Sewing System & my industrial

Hi All,

So I have been a little MIA here this week, and I do apologize- I have been sick (as you know from my post on Hot Toddies), and I have just been feeling very uncreative and miserable- and not really into posting about it. I have been feeling a little better the last couple of days though, and I felt well enough to start up a new sewing project!

This is one that I’m really excited about- around Christmas my mom bought me a craftsy course ‘Sew Better, Sew Faster’ with Janet Prey who is the woman behind the Islander Sewing System, which is basically all about bringing industry techniques to home sewing- giving you the edge to sew faster and make more professional looking clothes., if you don’t know, is an amazing site where you can buy online courses on pretty much everything crafty from sewing to jewelry making-

So in this course Janet teaches you all her industry techniques and tips through the process of making her jacket, which they send you a pattern for in the mail. And I have been sitting on my pattern for about a month now and I figured it was time to crack it open. I absolutely love the course so far, Janet is a really great instructor, very down-to-earth, and I really like the pattern it is a pretty classic style denim jacket.

Because I didn’t know if I would want to make this pattern in another size, I traced out my size (small) onto tracing paper rather than cutting it out of tissue it came on and then went on to cut out all the pieces and OH MY are there a lot of pieces, 19 pattern pieces to be precise – she calls this pattern the ‘Jacket Express’ but I can tell you it took more than a couple hours to trace and cut all of this out!

As you can see I had to add 2 1/2 inches to the 3 piece sleeve.

I opted to make my jacket out of this denim and, just to be fancy, I decided to do the front and back yoke out of this patterned cotton chintz.

I have started sewing it up- but I’m not going to show you all until it’s done 🙂 Instead what I’m going to do is show you what I have been sewing on- from the home headquarter sewing room!!

The industrial Bernina, this is the machine that my grandmother sewed on when she had her sewing shoppe- it was her pride and joy, and now it is what my mom sews on. I haven’t used it much before making this jacket- but there really is a difference! You can just feel the extra power in this machine- the purr of the motor, the big foot pedal and the knee-control foot-lift so you can have both hands on your fabric when you turn corners! I love it.

And it has really been great for all the topstitching involved in this jacket – it goes through multiple layers of this denim like a breeze!

But that is my progress on the jacket so far- I will be sure to update you all as soon as it is finished, which should be soon since I am sewing faster from this course!

Hope you all are having a swell Saturday!

xo erin

New Sewing Room Tour!

New Sewing Room Tour!

With my first post I thought I would show off my new sewing
room. After recently moving into a new apartment with my sister I finally have
a sewing room! It is so nice to have my own little space where I can have my
machines set up and ready for whenever I am!
Complete with my dress form (dubbed ‘Stella’ by my mom), and
an inspiration board, which I admit is slightly devoid of inspiration at the
moment, that is pending..  I also want to get some artwork up here, my sister is
currently a Visual and Creative arts student in college – and I’m hoping that
she will make/help me make something great to put up there. (HINT KRISTIE!)

I’ve also made some new curtains in here with the help of
my mom (blog post on the making of these curtains is in the works!). The midday the sun beats directly into these windows making it a billion degree
light box in this room- but now that I can manage it with these snazzy new
curtains I appreciate all the light I get!
This apartment also offers an impressive number of closets
and I was able to snag one for all of my sewing swag. – It makes me so excited just
looking at all my fabric together in this closet, thinking of all the future
projects – I haven’t completely organized everything yet, but at least all my fabric off the floor!
I am really loving this organizer because I can see all my bright and patterned
fabrics and remember everything that I have. As you can probably tell I have a bit of a soft spot for bright prints!
Now I feel ready to take
on some sewing projects! Here we go! 
xo erin