Corraling a mess

I’m almost embarrassed to show the “before” picture to you, but it really shows how badly this project was needed.


The Coat Closet of Shame

It was a serious disaster, and it needed some way to organize all the crap that was inside of it. Plus, I was a little nervous every time I reached in for a seldom worn pair of shoes that I was going to find another “mini tarantula”:

OMFG!!!! This is the biggest spider I've ever seen in a house!!! #minitarantula #nosleepformetonight

A photo posted by Sew Sarcastic (@sewsarcastic) on

And as you can probably imagine, that didn’t appeal to me at all. So, while organization won’t eliminate spiders, it at least gives me a better chance of seeing it before I grab it, know what I mean?

Anyway, this was a pretty quick project, and while I tried to use up some scraps, I didn’t have enough 1×12 lumber to do that. But, if you have some scraps of it laying around and need some shelves of your own, here’s the basic concept.

  1. Determine the maximum width and height of the shelves, less theΒ wall/floor/doorΒ trim you’ll need to clear. I measured the width of the closet wall I planned to use, and then gave about 6 inches of clearance between the top shelf and the bottom of my coats. The shoes will take up about 3″ of that, depending on style of shoe, so keep that in mind.
  2. To determine how many shelves you’ll get from those parameters, measure your shoes–I wanted the bottom to be boots, so I measured my hubby’s tallest pair, added an inch or two for clearance, and marked it. Repeat with other shoes.
  3. Then I just cut the boards, screwed them together with pocket holes, and slid it into place. I may go back in and add some tiny L brackets to hold it to the wall (the little silver ones that are 1″ by 1″ would be sufficient to hold it if you have particularly fluffy carpet or uneven floors.)
  4. Admire.

As you can see, I didn’t put a shelf at the bottom, that would have been a waste of lumber. But isn’t it so much better than before? I think this cost about $20 in materials, and I spent probably an hour on it (which includes disassembling/trimming down/reassemblingΒ the whole thing because I actually cut it too exact and it wouldn’t clear the wood trim on the floor–Grrr!!!) If I lived closer to an Ikea, this might not have made as much sense to build, but since I don’t…

My shoes are so much happier now!

Spring Cleaning Fever

It seems like everyone in the northern hemisphere is spring cleaning–probably in hopes that spring will hurry up and get here. Or maybe that’s just me. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I was cleaning the shower today and not having much luck with the much beloved method of using vinegar to break down the hard water residue, even though I went to the effort of cutting a string of paper towels in half, soaking them in the vinegar, making a “rope” that I shoved in the offending crack, and waiting patiently….no dice. Then I remembered the one thing that worked really well on my basement toilet (it doesn’t get used very often, so it gets the hard water ring)…it’s a bit unconventional, but…


I ran a bead of it along the crack at the bottom, crossed my fingers, and let it do it’s thing. Even though I didn’t take a before picture of the orange and mildewy ring that was in my shower, I will show you what it looked like after I let the toilet bowl cleaner sit on there for about 10 minutes, and rinsed it off.

This *used* to be the worst corner--now it's clean!

This *used* to be the worst corner–now it’s clean!


One thing I wanted to make sure to note for everyone is that I DID NOT use the cleaner anywhere near my metal fixtures, I don’t know how it will react with the metal in them, so better safe than sorry–unless you are looking for a good excuse to get new ones. πŸ˜‰

No, Lysol didn’t suddenly sponsor a post or give me anything, I just was very happy with how this worked, and thought that maybe someone else had a similar problem. As for me, I’m caulking that crack tomorrow, I just needed to get it cleaned out good first. I wish I would have done it when we remodeled, but you live and learn, amirite?

Guess I’m gonna need to go shopping…

The Great Sewing Room Cleanup of 2013 is finally complete. The last thing I wanted to do before I quit was to organize the fabric wall. As you might recall, it looked like this: 😳

Before *eek!*

You might not know this, but there was fabric that I’d forgotten I even had stashed in there, and it was difficult to fit the extras that were previously on the floor in there, but I managed. In fact, after doing some folding, and rolling and better stacking, I think I have some room for a few more pieces of fabric!



Now, for complete disclosure, I did discard a few scraps that weren’t big enough to keep (probably about 2 yards total–they mostly were really small scraps), and I opted to donate a few pieces that were of the “what what I thinking?!?!” variety (probably around 6 yards). However, I probably added about 10 yards of fabric that had previously been on the floor, so I’m calling it a wash. πŸ˜‰

We’ll see how I like the rubber band method as I try to use the scraps, I tried to keep from bundling anything too tight so as to avoid major creasing. For the aesthetics though, rubber bands make my remnants look much more organized and possibly more likely to be used!

I hope that these pictures will inspire you to take on that resewlution of clearing the sewing room. And while you do that, I’m going to do some fabric shopping–mustn’t let that precious shelving be wasted!! πŸ˜‰

My shame…

First off, I want to say that yes the coat is completed. *HAPPY DANCE!!!!* But, you don’t get to see it until I get some cool modeled pics of it. Seeing it on my dressform just doesn’t seem to do justice to the sheer amount of effort that I put into a simple coat. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Thursday when I can convince the hubster to take pics over his lunch break. πŸ™‚

Before I move on though, I just have to show you the amount of ripping out I had to do before the project was completed (and this was just the hem!!) My son kindly allowed use of his hands for the photo shoot. πŸ˜‰

Lots 'o Thread

Oh! And guess what came in my mailbox yesterday?!?!

IMG_0178 First Sewaholic

If you guessed my first ever Sewaholic pattern, you’d be correct!! I bought the Alma blouse pattern, and didn’t it come in the sweetest little package? πŸ™‚ I’m really excited to start on it, but first, I have to get to the shame I alluded to in the title.

One of my resewlutions this year was clean up the sty I call a sewing room. It’s terrible. So, here it is at it’s worst. (NOTE: I was attempting to use my brand new Flickr account to post the pictures, but I haven’t figured out how to do that, so I guess you’ll just have to click the link and watch the slideshow there. 😦 )

See what I mean? It’s just awful. It was such a pain to not be able to find the seam ripper I put down 5 seconds before. And don’t even get me started on the “treasure hunts” I’ve had to go on if I ever dropped anything into that pit of filth!! So as you can see I’ve also got some pics of it after I’d been working on it for a couple of hours. I’m pretty proud of my progress so far! πŸ™‚

Well, if I’m going to get to start on the Alma blouse tonight (fingers crossed!) or even tomorrow I’d better get back to it, things always seem to slow down after the kiddo gets home from school. πŸ˜‰

The Great Sewing Room Cleanup

Woo. [/sarcasm] It’s that time of year again, the sewing area must be cleaned. My fabric haul from a couple of weeks ago still isn’t put away, I had pulled some denim off the shelf and pre-washed it (also a couple of weeks ago) and it’s wadded up in a pile on the chair, my spiffy new rivets are still in their envelope somewhere in the pile on my cutting table, and I have a pile of muslin on the floor that I really need to figure out what to do with….

Basically what I’m saying is, there can be no sewing until I have space to do it. Pray that I don’t suffocate under a fabric avalanche whilst trying to get organized.

Oh! And today, we brought home three new plants to stash around the house. We now have a Croton named “Flame” (my name for it, not a species name), a Gold Dust Dracenia named “Spot” (again, my name for it), and a Kalanchoe “Ingrid” (and that is the variety name). Ingrid is in the sewing room window, Spot is in the main room, and Flame is in our bedroom. May they live long happy lives, even if that means I am not allowed to even look at them.

Money Saving Tip: Clorox Anywhere

I had recently run out of Clorox Anywhere (love that stuff!), and decided that though I love it, I wasn’t willing to shell out the rather exorbitant price for it. So, I turned to my friend “Google”, and searched for it.

Lo and behold, I found a recipe for it. πŸ™‚


1 & 1/2 Teaspoons of bleach
22 oz. of water

I reused the bottle that my storebought version was in, and it looks as though the “recipe” author did as well. Way cheaper than buying a new bottle since you likely have a $2 bottle of bleach around anyway. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps you!

Ew. Just ew.

I have a dirty little secret. See, we’ve lived in our house for 2 years now, and the basement bathroom has always been a little bit gross. And by a little, what I really mean is a lot gross. (Hey, it’s the basement and we have a tight budget–don’t judge!) I mean, there’s the horrible radioactive green paint on the walls, which matches oh-so-fabulously with the pinkish-beige plastic tiles that are the backsplash for the sink–somebody really loved those fugly little tiles. And the formica! It’s dorky little leaves on a white background that 1970 has been calling me about wanting back for the last two years…they must’ve got my number from the last owners… πŸ˜† Then we have the “almost” shower that is really some laminated chipboard glued to sheetrock with no caulking around the bottom so that it has rotted the walls out halfway up…..

And then, there’s this:

You’ll notice the arrow pointing to an exceptionally disgusting part. Here’s the funny thing about that though….the whole bowl right up to the water line used to look like that. I’d tried everything from Comet to Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner to CLR, to those copper scrubbies–nothing–and I mean nothing even fazed that weird scale-y stuff with mildew growing on it! 😯

Well, nothing until this:

This little miracle is called an Earthstone and my hubby found it at Walmart (link is for Amazon though). This little doo-dad is worth every cent and probably more. It is going to save my from buying a new toilet! Hooray! It’s muscle-aching work, but it’s coming off, which is just incredible. Who says that “green” cleaners don’t work?!

So if you have some lousy water like we do, I recommend giving this thing a try on your porcelain and maybe even your tile to get those yucky scale marks off.

Tabby’s feet!

When I was cleaning the sewing basement (because it’s outgrown the room :roll:) I discovered a box that held Tabby’s feet! They had been missing for a long time, so long in fact, that I began to think I’d only imagined that I had them. I’d been looking online for the multi-slotted binder foot and the ruffling foot, but they weren’t really in my budget, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that I really did have them.

Believe it or not, I actually have pictures that I wanted to post with this post to show them to you because some of them look pretty cool, but Picasa is being stupid (won’t show my pictures or let me link them for some reason), so I think I may need to find a new picture provider. Maybe I’ll try Flikr–that seems to be what everyone else who sews uses….

Slackin’ on the job

Yep, I’m guilty as charged. I should have posted pictures of my husband’s finished Christmas shirt (which I still haven’t gotten the snaps for… 😯 ) but I haven’t. I should have started (and finished) the other shirt for him that I couldn’t possibly complete before Christmas, but I haven’t. I should be working on some stuff for baby shower gifts, but I’m not.

Why? Because I’m disorganized. My sewing area looks like an F5 tornado blew through it. I can’t find anything in there–not my rotary cutter, not my pin cushion, heck, if I didn’t *know* that the mountain of stuff had a table under it, I’d probably be wondering what happened to my cutting table. So I’m working on it….it’s a slow process though, using that area as a dumping ground for all sorts of non-sewing stuff has kind of thrown my usual mess into complete chaos.

One of my resolutions for 2011 is to stay on top of organization in my home and sewing room by doing little bits every day. 5 days in and I’ve already blundered that one. 😯

Housekeeping Tip #1

I hate cleaning floors. H.A.T.E. doing it. I don’t know why; my hatred is completely irrational, and I know it. But there’s something about sweeping floors feels like the BIGGEST waste of time. However, I also know that they don’t clean themselves, *sigh* and there’s very few things more disgusting than little crunchies under your feet or discovering something sticky as you walk across your kitchen. So, I like to invest some time and effort into a good floor wax. Why? Because it makes cleaning up messes (and if you’ve got a toddler or baby, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about) SOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier. So seriously, go to the store and purchase a good quality wax–extra emphasis on the GOOD QUALITY part. πŸ™‚

I used some day before yesterday called Trewax, and while it works great in the bathroom (two coats), my kitchen flooring (a unique laminate click flooring) already has some scratches in the wax from our dining chairs (they are wheeled chairs). However, using an old mop (or a new cheapie) makes the application of this stuff easy-peasy, and it only takes 30 minutes to dry enough to walk on it. I’d recommend it for your bathrooms and other areas where you have actual vinyl/linoleum. πŸ™‚ Happy waxing! πŸ˜›