Author Archives: stacy

Transformation

For the past week I’ve been talking about my sewing room overhaul and (thankfully) over the weekend I am done. The only thing I can say is that this looks like a complete transformation. I’d like to say that it hasn’t looked this good since we’ve moved into this house (11 years ago), but I’m pretty sure that it didn’t looks this good even then!

I wouldn’t be any fun if I just talked about it and didn’t show you the end results… so here’s some before\after photos of what it looks like now.

Before\After Bookshelf Overhaul

I started with the easiest first, the bookshelf. I took the photo after I had already removed all the Burda (Ottobre, Knip Mode, etc.) pattern magazines (I had about 200!), but you get the idea. I also removed some books that I no longer use or needed.

Before\After Rack Cleanup

This rack was the second easiest cleanup. It had a number of magazines and patterns that I use regularly as well as buttons and toys.

Before\After Sewing Table

With the thread on the wall and out of the way, this left a lot of room to organize my sewing table. I removed some extra pincushions that I never move and cleaned up the WIPs that I had piled on the table.

Before\After Sewing Stash

This, by far was the hardest part to go through in my sewing room. Part of it was the sheer volume of what I was working with, but also because it seems as if all my fabrics told a story (I talked a bit about this on Friday). But once I got started, it was easier to let go and what I have kept are the things that I will use at some point. I even had enough room in there to store accessories for my Cricut, rolls of fabric, and put a few of the bulkier materials on bolts. I’m calling this an impressive feat, if I do say so myself.

Before\After Cutting Table

Last, but not least is the “Cutting Table,” but I’m not sure that it’s actually been used as a cutting table in YEARS. It became a warehouse for WIPS, fabrics, projects… you name it. I also found myself stashing more fabrics in a basket underneath…. it was just a mess. After going through the fabrics, clearing up the projects and removing the clutter, I now have a workable table again.

And there you have it. This took longer than any sewing project that I’ve tackled in recent years, but the reward is huge. I’m vowing that I will not add any fabrics for several months (unless they will be used immediately), I will keep the room clean, and I will never let it get this out of control again! With that said, it’s time to get back sewing – it’s so much more fun to do when you have a workable space!

I’m Doing It

I figured I have procrastinated enough…. I have finally started tackling the sewing room. After going through YEARS of Burda and Ottobre (with a few KnipMode, Patrones, and Japanese pattern magazines thrown in), I decided to tackle the hardest part – the stash.

The fabric extends past the doors and up the wall, too, which the photo doesn’t really show.. don’t judge. LOL I decided to tackle this by making piles: “Definitely Keep”, “What Was I Thinking”, “Scraps”, and “Maybe”. Of course, it’s now too late to turn back because I’ve started making a HUGE mess.

The most recent fabric purchases made it into the “definitely keep” along with fabrics that have been earmarked for particular projects, good “basic” fabrics, and prints that I just love. I also sorted them into knits and quilting\home decor cottons (which aren’t shown above).

The bulk of “What Was I Thinking” seemed to be bundle purchases. You know how Fabric Mart does those fantastic deals for suitings, denim, fashion knits, where you got 10+ yards of material for a great price? Yeah, I loaded up…. then didn’t make a dent into sewing them. Other pieces were largely fabrics that were either impulse buys or designs that just look dated now. I also went through a “silky print” phase because I had YARDS AND YARDS of that kind of material.

I keep a lot of remnants. If it’s a quilting cotton, I kept it because there are sometimes little projects that call for contrasts or a fun print (or maybe some day I WILL make that scrappy quilt).. or sometimes I’m just testing out a pattern and need something on hand to see if my measurements were correct. I also tend to keep knits as well with the idea in mind that I can make a fun pair of underwear, some contrast sleeves, etc. With that said, my “Scrap” pile was out of control. I wound up with 2 trash bags full of cotton scraps that I donated to a friend that is taking them to the quilting ladies at her church (I hope I see some of those pieces in something some day). As for the knits – if it was around a yard, I decided to donate it. I will say that I kept a handful (about 5 or 6) prints because I still have ideas, but otherwise the bulk is gone.

The “maybe” pile was a lot smaller than what I expected. I really went in with the idea that I either love it or hate it. Most of what went into the “maybes” I didn’t wind up keeping.

I’m still not quite done with this. All the fabric is either in bags (a few have been donated – I’m sure they think someone died because there was quite a bit I took in) or still on the floor, not to mention the fact I still have an entire cutting table to sort through. But the hardest part is done. I’m not going to lie, this was a struggle – not just because of the sheer volume I dealt with, but because there is some sort of ‘sentimental attachment’ to some of these materials. As I unearthed fabrics and scraps, I reminisced about what I made with each (I even unearthed material that I had used for a Christmas dress for Taylor when she was 3… she’s 21 now!), so it was a fun journey through sewing time. Now I’m anxious to get things back into place this weekend and start fresh!

As a side note, if you live in Wichita and need some Burda magazines, let me know… I have numerous years worth that you can sort through before I drop them off.

Linky Thursday

I just found out that I’m going to be an aunt again! So of course, I’m on the hunt for great baby items to make. This braided headband is an adorable start, but I’m also thinking I’ll need to make a coordinating knotted beanie, bib, and blanket too!

Wearing layers is the easiest way to keep warm this winter, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice being fashionable either! This Kalinda cardigan isn’t just cute, it has a number of way it can be worn. Need something warm and fuzzy instead? She also has a great Teddy Bear Jacket (for free) on Craftster.

Keep the cold out of your house by whipping up a few of the draft dodgers for your door.

Looking to make a few handmade items for Valentine’s this year? Bernina’s We All Sew has a great roundup of projects including my Valentine’s Treat Bag.

Fleece Fun always has a number of hat projects, but this version is different because they’ve added ear flaps.

If one of your resolutions was to stay more organized, don’t forget about your purse! This tutorial uses a placemat to create an easy-to-sew organizer.

Speaking of organizing, how about the car, too? This divided fabric basket is perfect!

Sometimes I carry so much change it just doesn’t fit into my wallet. Maybe I should carry around one of these adorable puffy coin purses too.

Welt

While I can’t share with you (yet) the project I finished yesterday, I can share with you the awesome welt that I made in it!

Welt Pocket in Fleece

I was seriously giddy when I made this welt because it wasn’t just easy to create, it turned out perfect on the first try… In fleece even! Speaking of fleece, it’s been YEARS since I’ve worked with this fabric and now I sort of remember why I stopped…. oh the bulk! But the end results were totally worth it because the finished project is adorable (and warm). I can’t wait to share with you soon!

Thread

For years, I’ve been using a small(ish) thread rack to hold my spools. It was never really large enough to hold everything (so they just stacked and spilled onto my table) and would sometimes get knocked down because of it’s location. But this weekend I changed all that.

I wound up purchasing a June Tailor Mega thread rack which holds 120 spools and hung it up along with my smaller rack. As you can see, it’s almost completely full! It also keeps my table a bit more free of clutter and I can see what colors I own a lot better (I also noticed they sell a cone rack which may be my next investment… the smaller rack really doesn’t hold these well at all).

But let’s take a moment to talk about those racks. Both come with stands and you supposedly can use them without (which you would assume would be for hanging), but there aren’t any holes\brackets to hang the largest size! I can’t imagine how much space this would take up as a stand (or how frustrating it would be to knock over) and was really disappointed that I had no way to put it on the wall. What we wound up doing is taking off the legs and using them as scrap to attach to the top, back row of the rack, then attaching a bracket to that so it can hang on a nail. FYI if you wind up getting one for yourself and want to mount it!

State of the Sewing Room

I’m not going to sugar coat it. My sewing room is a hot mess.

I am fairly certain that photos don’t accurately capture how bad my current area is at the moment, but here’s a glimpse into what I’m dealing with (keep in mind you can’t see the fabric stashed in the closet and what’s to the left as well). I’m sure most of us deal with this from time to time, but I’ve come to the realization that I need to tackle the mountains that are taking over the room…. which means purging, organizing, and prioritizing what I need.

Part of this is due to the fact that we’ll be beginning the process of selling our home (and who wants to walk into this?), but also with it comes the moving part and I realized that I can’t keep all the remnants and that I’ve held onto (because they would make a cute pair of underwear or sleeves or what about that scrappy quilt I might make?).

So I’m walking into my sewing room with the Marie Kondo attitude of “if it doesn’t bring you joy” don’t keep it. There’s a lot of fabric that I’ve been holding onto for quite some time and clearly it’s time to evaluate if I’m ever using it! So, if you live in the Wichita area and need fabric, talk to me before you go to the store.

Linky Thursday

I can’t think of a better way to stay warm this winter than this pretty fur trimmed hat.

Tired of winter? This basket tote screams spring to me!

If you got a new laptop for Christmas this year, you’ll definitely want to protect your investment by carrying it around in a laptop sleeve. Check out this quilted version or this pieced case for some fun options to sew your own!

With the weather getting back to our “normal” chilly temperatures, it’s still soup season here! Make sleeves for your bowls and curl up in front of the fire to eat it!

One of the bigger trends in clothing is the “balloon sleeve.” Learn how to create this look on your next shirt project, with this easy tutorial.

Get ready for more play-off games this weekend by whipping up bottle coozies for the occasion! No embroidery machine? No problem! Whip some up with your favorite NFL team fabrics, instead!

Enter to win a beautiful Japanese fabric bundle from Lecien.

Any cat lover would love this “Cat’s Meow” applique pillow.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve shared this one before, but every time I see one, I think “I need to make this!” – what is it? The Uvita Top.

These fabric heart page markers would make a great gift for classroom treat bags!

Why am I just now seeing this cross back apron by Pearl Soho? It’s so modern and easy to sew!

Trims

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on an upcoming article – which means I can’t show you the whole project. However, I can give you a sneak peek!

One thing I can say about this project is that really mixed up the trims with this one. Generally I’m very “matchy matchy” and like everything to coordinate, but this time around, I changed things up to give it a very kitschy feel… and I like it!

YOKO

Jalie’s free pattern, YOKO

Finally, the first project of the year (that I can show you, at least) is complete! This is Jalie’s free pattern, YOKO, a square-shaped, loose top with a roll-neck and drop shoulders. While I found the pattern pretty awesome, the fabric was not. I wound up using Girl Charlee’s space dye hacci – a very thin fabric that did not “behave” well while sewing (it did iron nicely, but that’s about it). If I had to to it all over again, I’d shoot for a completely different material.

Overall, this was a very quick and easy sew – just 4 pieces, making this a perfect pattern for beginners. Plus since it’s designed to be loose fitting, you don’t have to worry about alterations! I’m anxious to pair this up with a pair of skinny jeans and boots.

Linky Thursday

School doesn’t start again until next week – which means we’re still hanging out in pajamas. If you’re like me, you’re probably needing a few more pairs. Grab this version for free and pair it up with this adorable raglan for a complete, stay-at-home look! (both patterns require you to join Facebook groups to get the free codes).

Have a pair of old jeans you’re just not sure what to do with? Transform them into an overall style skirt.

Don’t settle for a boring journal. Personalize it with a pretty cover (complete with pockets and a sleeve for your pen).

This phoncho wrap looks cozy to wear and whips up quickly too.

Forgot a sewing buddy on your Christmas list? Whip them up a personalized pin cushion.

For the girl who loves ruffles – the Villeta Top (sizes 9mo-14).

Got scraps? Transform them into a pretty new pet leash.

If sewing a tote is in your future plans, don’t go for the ordinary. This one is reversible so you can change up your look whenever you feel like.

This mug organizer is perfect for teacher’s gifts or just cleaning up your office or sewing space.