Sewing Spaces: Kristin of k-line's room is as pretty as she is. November 16, 2010 15:57 5 Comments

Oh my. In fact, oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my! Kristin of k-line has only been sewing for a year. A year! I feel totally deflated. Yet inspired. There is hope for me. Somewhere. Somehow. But. Enough about me. Enough about my lack of dedication to learning the craft. (Just do it, Denise! Do it.) Let's go see the stitching area of a dame with the pluck to go the distance. And how.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

I have a "sewga" room — a place I used formerly only for yoga practice (it was zenlike and empty) — which is now shared with my sewing paraphernalia. It isn't huge, but it works very well for its purposes. I am extremely grateful for it.

What do you like best about your sewing area?

Oh, I like so much. It's got great natural light (though not much in the way of views). It's got lovely hardwood floors and a mirror that makes me look skinny :-). I love my table with my machines. I just got these new organizer bins with a wood top that are quite cool and useful, IMO. Oh, and it has a door!

What would you change about your space?

Ha! Well, I'd give it a fantastic view. And I'm working on better task lighting (mine sucks) and a functional chair. I would, of course, love for both of these to be very chic. So it's taking a while.

Kristin_iron How is your space organized?

Within an inch of its life! Well, I use the wooden cupboard for my fabric. The bins for notions and props and my special pattern filing system (stolen from Victoria). I like everything to be very straight, too. What I mean is, I can't stand it when things are off grain. So everything is lined up.

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

I have a stash, and I'd have a store if I could justify it. How I love fabric. All the potential in the universe exists on its surface. My deal with myself is that when I can't fit stuff in the cupboard, I stop buying. So far, so good. But it's close.

How are your patterns organized?

Oh, I have this great system which I mentioned at some length in a blog post. Here's the synopsis: I have a binder containing a pattern index which relates to clear plastic envelopes, also in the binder, that store pattern paper sleeves. The actual patterns are stored in my special storage bins. Index numbers link the pattern to the clear envelope to the index sheet to the binned pattern-content envelopes.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

Oh, I guess my last answer goes with this question too. The pattern contents are archived in the storage bins, after use. So far I haven't exceeded the amount of space in those.

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

I wish! I want one of those fancy made-to-measure ones that cost hundreds of bucks, but I'm still paying off my new serger :-) I think it would be very useful to be able to drape. I love sewing with stretch fabrics and knits and using drape styles.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

My dining room table. I use a rotary cutter and self-healing mats. It's not an optimal system. I need a mat that fits the entire table. Haven't got that yet and, truly, I have no idea of where I'd store it —  but I couldn't leave it out.

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

I find this to be one of your most fascinating questions, Denise. How can I choose? I'm going to go with my rotary cutter, because it's so much better than scissors, IMO. Mind you, I've only ever used scissors once, so I could be making that up. Of course, I am indebted to my machines.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

A decent machine — which need not break the bank or require Ebay scouting skills. I use one from Wal-Mart (not that I like to plug Wal-Mart, but my point is that it's a really reliable machine, and I got it for 200 bucks). Knowing what I know now, I might have tried to find a great mechanical machine second hand — like one from the '70s. But mine works very adequately. I did add about 100 bucks into the machine in presser feet and gizmos.

What kind of machine do you use?

I have a Brother CE5000. (I also have a Singer 185J, theoretically manufactured in the '50s in Canada, but I have my suspicions. I've looked into the serial numbers, and I think the shell was actually imported from Scotland. . . . My MIL gave me this one, which was her sewing machine when she got married. It's a tank — beautifully made and, now that it's refurbished, it works excellently. But I'm a bit intimidated by it still. Oh, and it doesn't do anything other than a straight stitch. So if I'm working on a project that needs multiple machine functions, I tend to stick with the Brother.)

What do you like about the Brother?

It's knowable. And it was easy to learn on. And it sews nice stitches — even with knits, which I understand some machines don't play nice with.

Do you like your serger? If so, why?

Oh, YES! I love this question, because I just got a serger, and it's a Babylock Imagine — the ne plus ultra. I feel a bit like a fraud for owning such a beautiful machine with my level of talent and experience, but I will grow into it. I swear!

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

I started sewing Nov. 1, 2009, and, at first, sewed at the dining room table, sewga room notwithstanding, until the early new year. It took me a couple of months of sewing in a communal space before I felt comfortable enough to cloister myself. I also didn't know if I'd have the fortitude to continue. But here I still am. And my room is definitely a work in progress.

Later this week, I'll chat with Steph of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World. And. And — are you sitting down, dear readers — I'll share what I've been up to. Can you wait? I know it's hard. I do. But try. OK?