March 21, 2012

Fabric galore!

This past weekend I stopped by the Michael Levine Loft in the fabric district downtown where they sell their "leftover" fabric for $2.50 a pound! I got about 30 yards of fabric for $20! At about 75 cents a yard, I feel much more comfortable about the sure fire possibility of messing up a pattern.

Here are some pics:

March 09, 2012

Sewing Area Revamp

For awhile now I've been decently content with my sewing area.  We do the best we can with the space we have and I'm blessed to have a bit of space in the house and in the garage for all my sewing stuff.  There were a few frustrations that I had:  1)  All of my fabric was in bins and most of it was in the garage so unless I dumped it all out in the living room I really never knew exactly what I have and would often end up buying something then finding out later that I actually had something at home that would have worked just fine.  Also somewhat annoying when I would have the motivation to sew something during the girls' nap time but would have to spend the whole time going through fabric in the garage.  2)  It was very difficult to keep clean.  There was a lot of stuff in one small space and a lot of stacking, bagging, binning, etc. to keep it all organized so if I wanted a zipper, for instance, I'd need to take 3 boxes down to get to the zipper box and when I find I have a few minutes to sew I'm just not going to use up those minutes putting everything back where it belongs.  3)  It took up a lot more space than I wanted.  My sewing area is in front of our sliding back door and would often overspill block part of the door.

All of these things are small and not a huge deal to work around so I have left it the way it was for awhile, in the meantime dreaming up what I would do if I had the time/money to change it.  I was impressed by this idea that I saw on Pinterest:

I think it's cute that the person who originally did this actually considers that amount of fabric an "addiction".  Anyway, last weekend I was given several tubs of fabric from someone who didn't have the space (ironic, I know) so my hand was forced,  something had to be done because I was using up all my allotted space both in the house and in the garage.  So I ran my idea by the Man, got the go ahead and started working... and I mean working!

I wish I had taken some before pictures but honestly the undertaking was HUGE and really had to be taken care of immediately and on top of all that I had a sick daughter and a sick husband at home for most of the week so pictures weren't really on my mind.  But I'm so pleased with how it turned out that I thought it would be fun to share the after pictures at least.

I got a tall bookcase from Target (I wanted to go to Ikea but with the sickos it just wasn't going to happen and I really couldn't wait) and instead of using foam core I just used cut up diaper boxes since I have a ton of them at any given time.  Here's what I ended up with:
I can't even tell you what an improvement this is.  The amount of window we have now, I can't believe how much brighter the room is.

 And I'm really thrilled with the organizational part of it.  It is so helpful to be able to see all of my fabrics at once.
 Since I work with so many different types of fabrics I  labeled them individually so that I just have to pull one out and I know instantly what kind it is and whether or not I have enough of it for a certain project.  I also added info like whether it's dry clean only or if it's been washed before.
 Some other details, ideas and helpful bits that I am really excited about:
 All of my fabrics that are under 1yd but not quite scrap worthy I've put into drawers.  Sometimes what I'm making needs 1/2 yd for contrast or if it's something for the girls I can get by with less than a yard so it's helpful to quickly see what I've got.
 A "catch-all" bowl (on the left) for little things that need a temporary residence (like a zipper I've cut out of some shorts before throwing them out but still need to be seam ripped)
 A cute gift box makes an excellent holder for my favorite go-to patterns.
 A carpenter bag (aka tool bag) is a great place to store my current project and to take it with me to a sewing night I just add whatever tools I'll need to the pockets on the sides.
 Utilizing every available space!  Under the high chair are my travel bag, ribbon bin and actual scraps bag.

 I'm so happy with how this turned out.  I still have a few bins in the garage--mostly winter fabrics (not necessary now as we head into summer) and some clothes to upcycle.  Both of which I'll just bring the whole bin inside when I'm working on those specific things.
I still wish I had a place to keep my sewing machine out all the time but this will definitely cut down on my set-up time.  And now that I'm finished cleaning I can maybe finish my dress!
Happy Sewing!

March 01, 2012

First Skirt... DONE!

So, I (Kristin) sewed my first piece of clothing this weekend in a skirt-making class taught by Adrieanna (the main poster on this blog). It was so fun and the class went great! Adrieanna picked up our patterns when they went on sale for $1! She knows where all the deals are. :) Here's my fabric after some cuts:

The edge that will be "gathered:"

Below are two marks for the elastic, which was the most annoying part. It took a while and my hands started to cramp, but it looks awesome:

And the finished product!
This is Sandra laying out her pattern:

The sweatshop! Adrieanna and Shirley were such good, patient teachers!

Monica, modeling her honeymoon skirt:

Sandra's skirt matched her top!

Shirley has been sewing since she was 12!

Veronica didn't quite finish during the class because she took the extra time to do some cute pockets! But she did finish it later that evening:

And Jaime showing off her masterpiece!

This is Adrieanna wearing her super hot knit mini dress, posted about in the blogpost below... And check out those heels!

I love your new haircut, Anna! And we had the privilege of the adorable Olivia attending. Danger, she will suck you in to wanting kids, she's so precious:
It was such a wonderful day of sewing!