Spring Cleaning

I hate cleaning, HATE it. So I’m not one of those people who every year around this time has a big spring cleaning frenzy. But this year, I’m having one of those “throw out everything!” tantrums that I’d previously only heard about. First stop on that is my sewing room. It feels so good to throw away a bunch of scraps and trash that have been cluttering the space for a long time, but at the same time it does feel a bit wasteful to just toss most of it in the trash. I don’t have a textile recycling center near me though, so everything that isn’t a quilting cotton (to one of the quilt stores) or a yardage (to the DAV) is going in the trash. I considered listing some of it for sale on etsy or just IG, but meh. There’s not enough of it to bother with, so it will be easier to just donate it. Things are starting to come together in the sewing room, but it’s a bit of a slog to get through it. I’m determined to finish before I quit and start doing the sewing that I’m suddenly excited about again (seriously, I had hoped that cleaning would help, but I had doubts. Now I don’t.)

Outside of the sewing room is a bunch of clothes and such from the boys–previously, I had kept all my eldest’s clothes to give to the youngest, but I’m quickly learning that the 7.5 year spread is too far for things that have elastic in them. I don’t mind changing out some of the elastic, but honestly, I’d rather just pass it on to someone who can use it now. It’s also nearly time for clearing out some of the outgrown toys–keep a few in a tote labeled for future grandkids, and donate the rest. The boys play with very few toys, I don’t know why I need to keep them all. I’m struggling with whether to let them choose the toys they want to keep, or if I should just do it while they are gone some weekend and hope they don’t notice (they absolutely will–this is just the lie I tell myself.)

I briefly contemplated having a garage sale, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. It seems like a lot of work for not a lot of benefit, and I’m not sure we really have enough stuff to justify it.

Anyway, it took me forever, but here is the finished results of on and off for like 3 weeks. Now I should probably take care of all the rest of the house I neglected in favor of this one room. Wish me luck…

New sewing room!

So I finally got the new sewing room unpacked and ready for use. I know it seems like it’s taken forever (it has to me too), but it’s actually only been sitting here for about two months. Two very busy months at that. If you’re following me on Instagram/Twitter, you’ve likely seen a sneak peek or two, but I thought I’d like to go ahead and show the full thing now that everything is put away neatly and before I started on anything that would make it messy. Vanity, I suppose. 😉

I suppose I should mention, yes, the color is very similar to the old sewing room. Not exactly the same, but pretty close. I did this for two (OK, 3) reasons: 1) I really like the color and 2) I like to stick with colors I already know I like because paint is frickin’ expensive, and 3) I hate painting, so I damn sure didn’t want to discover I hated the color and have to do it again. Except that I would have had to live with it–see #2.

Click to make them bigger–go on, I’m not trying to hide anything. 😉

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the space, the closet is much bigger than the old one and I think the room itself might be bigger. I hate the piss yellow curtains, eventually they’ll be white semi-sheer tab-tops, but for now, piss yellow it is. I love the flooring–so much prettier than the old, nasty linoleum at the old house, but we’ll see if it hides lint as well as that linoleum did. 😉 I don’t think it’s any better lit than the old sewing room though–for a basement room, the old one had amazing light (well, as long as the apple tree wasn’t loaded!). This sewing room is on the top floor, but it only has the one big north facing window, so we’ll see how it is come winter.

Oh, and a little mini tip for you: pegboard is directional. If you hang it, make sure you hang it with the proper orientation or the hooks will come off frequently and/or you might have to bend some to make them fit properly. At the old house I had it oriented the wrong way and had to bend/wrap tape around some of the hooks to get them to stay in. This time I wanted the longer bottom edge for all the danglies and while the hooks were a bit of a bugger to get in, they aren’t going to pull out every time I take something off. I didn’t know this was a thing until I flipped this one on it’s side last week.

Where oh where did my little tub go?

It seems that we’ve lost a few really random things in our move. So far we’ve been unable to locate:

  • An entire cosmetic bag–I had a decent amount of makeup and now it’s lost in the ether.
  • My hairdryer and curling irons. As you can probably guess, whether I like it or not, I officially don’t have a beauty routine…
  • The container that stows away all of my plastic grocery bags that we use to line the diaper pail. This sucks, probably worse than the first two things. Those buggers are kind of expensive.
  • My “sewing essentials” tub. This had my marking devices, seam rippers, buttonhole/eyelet chisels, fray check, one of those expensive Gingher seam razor blade things, and a few other bits ‘n bobs that are kind of crucial to sewing. Not only that, but they’re going to be kind of expensive to replace. 😥

I know that there’s always stuff lost in a move, but we’ve never lost this kind (or this much!) of stuff before.

In other news, the sewing room is nearly unpacked, organized, and ready to go. I’ve got a mess with the patterns, but we bought a “new” (ok, I’m pretty sure it’s older than I am) filing cabinet with like 5 drawers for the business, and I’m claiming the bottom drawer for the house stuff that’s currently residing in the lower drawer of my sewing room filing cabinet. So then I’ll have a second drawer in my little two drawer sewing room cabinet for the rest of my patterns. Yay! 🙂 If I fill that one up, there’s going to have to be a purge, because I want organization this time around.

Speaking of organization, does anyone have any good tips for storing the tracings they do of pattern pieces? That’s the one thing that my old sewing room seemed to be inundated with–bits of tissue paper pattern pieces that swirled around, got stepped on, wedged under the door, ripped on the ironing board, etc. It takes a lot of time to trace all those off, so I’d like a good way to store them that keeps them intact, but doesn’t require a lot of space/plastic baggies/etc. I think I’m going to do a better job of throwing the ones that didn’t work away though–I used to keep them to retrace smaller pieces on, but it just makes a mess…


Gratuitous sewing room photo/sneak peek.

Gratuitous sewing room photo/sneak peek.

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. 😉

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!! 😉

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. 🙂

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. 😉

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? 🙂 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! 🙂

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. 😉

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.

Strict Fabric Fast

I think I might need an intervention. I got my fabric wall shelving put up today, and it’s full. Literally. I mean, I knew I had a lot of fabric, but not enough to fill 4 shelves that are 4 feet wide and 1 foot high. 😳 To be fair, I do have 4 pieces of fleece and a couple of my storage containers of notion-y goodness on there too, but it’s still pretty crazy. I’ll get a picture of it when I’ve got things organized a bit better, because right now you wouldn’t be able to get the full effect of my hoarding-ness.

So now; I do solemnly swear to buy no more fabric until I have used at least half of the stash currently on the wall.

As a bonus, it was kind of like going fabric shopping today when I was putting that stuff up there, because some of it I didn’t remember seeing before (though I’ve been gifted a lot of fabric that I’m not sure why I kept….) and I have some really pretty pieces that I’m excited to sew up. I wonder if other people feel the same way when they reorganize or purge their stash.

Oh, and cheapskate alert! If you want some of those interlocking foam mats and don’t want to pay the $20+ for them, you can get some that are thinner but still functional (assuming you can deal with the bright colors) at Wal-Mart for $5. I found them with the seasonal cheap kid toys display. They might even handle spray paint if you can’t stand the cheery colors (test it before getting too excited). I’m going to put a couple in front of the ironing board and the cutting table, and maybe even store some somewhere in the kitchen for washing dishes. Something about standing at the counter for more than a couple of minutes is murder on our backs. And so is the concrete floor under the linoleum in my sewing room.

Woodwork for the sewing room

I posted some “plans” the other day for the new shelving unit that is going into my sewing room. Today, I picked up the lumber, cut the boards, put wood filler in all but two of them (I ran out after the stores all closed @ noon… :-(), and sanded all the ones that got the wood filler. I’ve been taking extra care with sanding these even though I’m painting them, because I don’t want them to snag any fabric.

After church tomorrow, maybe we’ll go to the city and get some more wood filler and some primer from big Blue or big Orange. Then I’ll get to try out my new toy–a LVLP spray gun! I got a cheap one last fall to use to paint some bookcases I was building; sadly, I never got to paint them because it got too cold too quickly. 😦 So now, as soon as I finish filling/sanding/screwing together the shelves for my fabric wall, I’m going to prime and paint both bookcases and the fabric wall pieces.

Oh yeah, and about that basement family room? It’s already being put to good use. The kiddo and I played several rounds of basketball yesterday using his basketball goal that’s down there. So fun! 🙂

I <3 Sketchup

I played around with Google Sketchup for a couple of hours last night, and I think it’s probably the coolest thing ever. After a few times of trial and error, I got a semblance of a plan to make my fabric wall, then my son got a bit creative with the color tool. This won’t be the “final” version obviously, since the measurements somehow ended up wonky :-(, but the basic concept will stay the same. I’m thinking this would be a good project to try my first dados on (assuming my hubby lets me buy an inexpensive router, of course). 😉 Otherwise I’ll just use butt joints.

I thought 12″ tall and 12″ deep would be a good size for fabric pieces. That way they don’t get too tall and be unstable, and the depth should be enough to keep them on the shelves instead of falling forward. I thought I could get some inexpensive metal bookends to help keep the lightweight fabrics in line if it became a problem. The space at the bottom I thought would be a good place for rubbermaid tubs and totes that we currently have in the main room, and on top will be a good spot for things that we don’t use very often. If this shelf works out nicely, I’ll let ya’ll know the final draft measurements so that you can build your own to tame your stash. 😉

Sewing Room Facelift, the Finale

I’ll confess that I handled Tuesday’s painting disaster rather poorly. I swore (a lot), pouted, sulked, and then set to scheming. My in-laws call me “the beamer”, because I always seem to come up with absolutely brilliant ideas on how to do things better or just fix stuff in general. (Yes, really!)

Anyway, so I had this idea (just over a year ago) about making my bedroom walls a rich emerald green with a very fine coating of gray over it in splotches to look like fog, which in my imagination looked absolutely fabulous, but with my lack of skills in reality? Not so much. But, I had purchased an entire gallon of light grey paint, and had been storing it ever since–because what else do you do with a partially used gallon of paint? So, I went all “modernistic” and painted the two sheetrocked walls of my sewing room in light grey and left the two concrete ones in the blue color (which looks significantly better on the concrete walls now that it’s completely dry). I actually really like it. It gives the room some color without sucking all the light out of it. The pictures don’t really show up as the right shade of blue on my camera, (keeps getting washed out) so there’s little chance it will show up on your screen like it does in real life.

When it was all blue

This corner stayed the same

Newly grey

Newly grey 2

I’m glad it’s finished, I stayed up fairly late last night working on it, so that I could start moving stuff back in today. I’m ready to be able to walk around down there again! If you are interested in the colors used anywhere in my house, remember to check out the house projects tab at the top of the page. I’ve listed the names and their corresponding projects there. 🙂 It’s more for my reference, but if it helps you, that’s awesome too. 🙂