Sewing spaces: A legal eagle and a talented sewista. It's not fair! November 28, 2010 11:30 4 Comments

TIM11556 (379x640)I am sure Kay, The Sewing Lawyer, is the most fashionable female in the courtroom. Her clothes are lovely. They are. Don't you crave her safari-style jacket? I do. And her space is so organized. (Yes, Kay, I do call that organized! Absolutely.) And her blog is so informative. I always learn something when I read it. And one day — one day — I'll put that knowledge to use ... I promise.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

I do.  I have taken over the third bedroom in our bungalow.  It's small (8'x10' approximately) and crammed and usually looks like a tornado just ripped through, but it's all mine! 

What would you change about your space?

I appreciate having my own space, but I don't love the space I have.  If I could start from scratch, it would be about twice the size.  It would have a low window,  which I would face when sewing. I would love enough space to have ALL of my stash and books easily accessible.  I would like to have my computer in there, too.  Maybe when my son moves out permanently I'll take over his bedroom, too — I've already got my Singer 127 treadle machine in there.

How is your space organized?

"Organized" is not the word I'd use.  I have my sewing machines on an L-shaped desk top which sits on two two-drawer filing cabinets.  My cutting table is on the window wall.  My ironing board is between the cutting table and my sewing desk, with pressing tools in a cupboard next to it.  There are high wooden shelf units on the fourth wall.  Basically every inch of wall and floor space is occupied!

DSCN1764If you have a fabric stash, how do you impose order? 

Much of my fabric stash is in my sewing room on deep shelf units in plastic Rubbermaid boxes.  However, my fabric stash is taking over the rest of the house, too . . . There is a large cupboard in our bedroom that's pretty full, and two underbed storage boxes from IKEA.  Oh, and there is also fabric in the linen closet, and some in the basement.  I think I have a problem.

I try to store the fabric by type i.e. cottons, wool, linen, knits.  I keep a record the size and content of each piece as well as where I got it and what I paid.  However, I don't try to record the location.  Between my binder of swatches and my loose filing system, I can usually remember what I have and find it without too much searching. But occasionally, I am surprised to find something I had forgotten about.

How are your patterns organized?

My patterns are crammed into a two-drawer metal filing cabinet.  They are filed in hanging folders by garment type, i.e. suits/separates, coats, dresses, tops, pants & skirts.  However, I desperately need more pattern storage!

I have my Burda magazines archived, sort of.  I scan the covers and line drawings, so I can browse through them on the computer.

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

>My husband and I made a duct-tape double many years ago.  She is tremendously helpful to check fit and proportion.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

My cutting table is  a hollow-core door which sits on table legs from IKEA at a good height.  I have a cutting mat on top and only use a rotary cutter.

DSCN1827 - Copy (480x640)What is your most helpful tool? Why?

I think my iron and ironing board are the most valuable tools I have because having a great iron makes everything look so much better.  I have a Consew gravity feed iron and a Reliable ironing board with a built-in fan to draw steam and heat down and out of what I'm pressing.  It's great for tailoring with wool.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

The absolute basics are a good sewing machine, a good iron and a good pair of scissors. 

What kind of machine do you use?

My main sewing machine is a Pfaff 2042 which is about eight years old.  I have a Featherweight which I often use for topstitching (heavier or contrasting thread colour).  I recently bought a Singer 127 treadle machine, but so far haven't used it for garment sewing although I have used it to construct muslins.

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

My Pfaff 4852 (five thread & coverstitch) is about ten years old.  I use it all the time — to finish seams (two-thread overlock), construct stretchy garments (four-thread overlock), and occasionally for rolled hems.  It is not difficult to switch to the coverstitch, which I like for T-shirt hems and neck edges.  The serger really makes my garments look more beautiful, inside and out.

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

I've been in my sewing room for about 10 years and it's still a work in progress . . .

First Sewing Spaces stop next week: Patty, The Snug Bug. She has a cute lil canine pal, and you'll be able to admire him in her room. Adorable? You bet. Her sewing space is rather cute as well. Absolutely.

And don't forget to enter my celebration giveaway. If I do say so myself, it is fabulous! And I would not lie to you. I would not.