Sewing spaces: As I said (didn't I?) Lsaspacey's bears examination September 20, 2010 10:58 1 Comment

LsaspaceyHer blog, As I Said, is quirky, inspiring, realistic and fun. She sews. She observes. She shares. Today, she has graciously agreed to show us her sewing space. She has. Is that fabulous? Is that terrific? Yes indeedy. On both counts. So. Without further ado, let's enter Lsaspacey's abode and admire.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

Yes and no. I have areas devoted to sewing stuff but they are not all connected. I have a little square table that should be my dining table but instead is forever covered with sewing stuff. I did cut a protective tablecloth out of vinyl to protect the surface so when I remove that then it is my dining table again. But that rarely happens. I also used the same material to make a sewing machine cozy so at least it is all coordinated. Besides the table though, only my patterns are nearby, then the fabric and notions are split between an armoire on the other side of the living room and three plastic tubs stored in the bedroom.

What do you like best about your sewing area?

I can watch TV in the same room. Well, I can hear it at least because it has a very tiny screen.

What would you change about your space?

I would like it to be somewhere separate where I could hide it from view. Right now, it takes over my entire living/dining room. Also, currently all the patterns I have in my Etsy shop, Dragonfly, are stacked in front of my dining buffet, so not attractive at all. I need people to buy them, hint, hint. . . .

How is your space organized?

I would NOT call it organized, maybe contained would be a better term. I would prefer it all to be in the same area. As it is, some notions, fabric, and my ironing station are on one side of the room and the sewing machine, task lighting and patterns are on the other side. Therefore, all my hand sewing is done on the sofa in between while I watch TV.

Lsaspacey_projects_stash If you have a fabric stash, how do you impose order?

Compared to other sewers, I guess I do not really have a stash. I DO have a lot of fabric, but it is mostly small pieces from past projects that I might be able to use in craft projects. I do have some yardage that I bought for specific projects that I have not got around to using yet, which bothers me. My "stash" is only about nine fabrics and three are interior decorative fabrics. I have only bought fabric just to have it a few times in my life; I usually have a purpose in mind. Luckily, this year, all but one project I have completed came from either free or this stashed fabric. This is something I will continue to do until the end of this year.

How is my stash organized? Well, planned future projects are in the two bottom drawers of my living room armoire, along with the appropriate patterns and notions so that I have no excuse in not making them up when I do get the motivation. Any other fabric is packed in two large Rubbermaid tubs, one under my bed and another at the top of my bedroom closet. Oh, and I have two rolls of drapery fabric that I splurged on years ago that I have no idea what to do with now (these are included in my stash numbers above).

Lsaspacey_pattern_storageHow are your patterns organized?

They are organized by pattern company and not in any particular order. Luckily, I have only enough, a little over 100, that I can still remember what I already own. I hope to keep my pattern stash small since I want to learn how to draft my own patterns and use these existing patterns to make new designs. However, I probably will still buy patterns that are truly unique and innovative like those of Issey Miyake, Sandra Betzina and others.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

If I need to see them all at once, I have them scanned in and sorted by pattern company on Flickr. Otherwise, they are just contained in four fabric bins that I bought to fit a red wire catchall thing that the former inhabitant of my apartment left here. My patterns just barely fit in them, so I hope that I won't need to buy too many more!

Do you have a mannequin made-to-measure?

No, but I wish I did. My dream is to have a Uniquely You mannequin one of these days and a separate adjustable one so I can sew for others. Maybe.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

I have a pattern cutting board that is over 20 years old that I lay on my living room rug. In my last apartment, I would lay it on my larger dining room table, but that setup is too big for this apartment.

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

As Erica B said, that would be my iron! I totally subscribe to the belief that you should press as you sew. It is the only way to gauge accurately what your finished item is going to look like. It's not anything fancy, just a Black & Decker ICR505 for $30. I bought it at Macy's with a gift certificate, and the auto shutoff does get annoying, but it works for me.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

A great reference book! I recommend the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. It is the best! If you are interested in decorative stitching I also suggest its sister volume, the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, which covers embroidery, knitting, patchwork and even lacework. I inherited my copies from my mother, but many older editions are available through thrift stores, Etsy, or on eBay. I also suggest good quality scissors, a thimble and a seam ripper (!)


Lsaspacey_machineWhat kind of machine do you use?

I own a Babylock Companion BL 2100.

What do you like about it?

Even though it is old (15+!) and pretty basic, it has worked well on quality wools, wool crepe, Liberty lawn, chiffon, velour, brocade, corduroy and plain old cotton fabric throughout the years. She has had a few tension problems lately, but I've always been able to bring her back.

Do you use a serger? If so, why do you like it?

No, I do not have a serger. It sounds like a good thing, but I think I can do without. I have sewn knits without one, and if I need it, I always have the elastic or slant overlock stitches on my Babylock. However, I wish they used less thread.

How long did it take you to develop your sewing space?

Um, I don't think I have ever developed a sewing space. I just move in and find a space to sew! It's just part of who I am. There will always be a space to craft and sew.

Wasn't that ever so much fun? Are you as awed by the neatness of her project drawer as I am? Can you say wow? I can, emphatically.

Don't forget to tune in this Friday, when we visit Liesl Gibson's sewing space. As you probably know, you beloved and with-it readers, she authors disdressed. And she is the chief designer of Oliver + S. Again, dear readers, in unison, let's say wow. That sounded marvelous!