Sewing spaces: Elaray's room is another organized creation. December 15, 2010 14:22 10 Comments

You, dear readers, have spoken. A resounding majority of you want to see more Sewing Spaces. And that makes me very happy, because I do as well. Yes indeedy. They inspire me. They do. 

I do have another trick or two up my sleeve. I will do more Channeling Catherines. And. I do have another new series that will debut this week. And two more new series coming up soon. Very.

100_1932But now, let's open the door and peer into Elaray's sewing room. Elaray authors the blog Another Creation. I so enjoy reading it. I do. So. Got your beverage? Ready. Set. Go.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

Yes, the smallest bedroom in my house is my sewing room.

What do you like best about your sewing area?

I like the fact that I have it!  I don't have to share the room with any other activity.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I sometimes have to use the sewing room as a guest room when family or friends visit.

Machines What would you change about your space?

I would love to take up the carpet and have hardwood or laminate floors.  It's much easier to sweep up pins and threads than to schlep the vacuum cleaner up the stairs.

How is your space organized?

The room is so small, some type of organization is mandatory! Given that I can't get rid of the bed, there are few options for furniture placement.  I have a Horn cabinet that holds my sewing machine and serger.  Most of my supplies are stored in a bookcase.  Because the room is so small, everything is within three steps of everything else.

Stash-1 If you have a fabric stash, how do you impose order?

Sewers who have a "real" stash laugh at my measly little stash.  I call it a "queue". I seldom have more than eight unsewn pieces of fabric.  I honestly don't have room to store fabric.  I keep my fabric in two little bins in the closet of the sewing room.

Burda mag storage
How are your patterns organized?

This is where my Sewing Related OCD really shows!  I use Burda Style Magazine patterns almost exclusively. I made an index of the Plus sizes from each issue.  I download photos and line drawings from the French website (since the demise of the English website) and put them into a word-processing document.  These pages are arranged by month and kept in a binder.  This may sound like a huge task, but keep in mind, I only use the plus-size patterns in each issue, so the job was doable.  The magazines are kept in pocket files and stored next to the index.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

I built a simple box/drawer that fits on the bottom shelf of the bookcase.  I store my patterns there.  I put all patterns including traced BurdaStyle patterns in plastic pattern storage bags and arrange them by garment.

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

I don't.  I know it would be very helpful in fitting, but it would be a constant reminder of how out-of-shape I am.  My self-image issues are way too deep! ;)

What do you cut out your patterns on?

I'm very proud of the cutting table I designed and built!  I used a hollow-core door as the table top and sawhorses as legs.  The table straddles the twin bed that must stay in the room.  I'm able to take down the table when I need to use the bed for guests.  Last summer, I made improvements on my original design so that the table can be disassembled and reassembled by one person — namely ME!

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

It's hard to name one most helpful tool.  I use a compass to add seam and hem allowances to Burda patterns and that simple tool has proved most helpful. I use the edge stitch foot on practically every garment I sew.  I also love the large and luxurious wrist pincushion (from Susan Khalje's online store) I recently splurged on. 

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

A good pair of scissors!  Threaten to stab anyone who uses your sewing scissors on paper — and look like you mean it!  If a beginning sewer chooses to use a rotary cutter, I recommend as big a cutting mat as is practical. 

Are there any books you recommend for the novice sewer?

The Sewing Book by Alison Smith is very good.  It covers just about everything and has hundreds of clear photographs illustrating each step.

What kind of machine do you use?

I have a Bernina 430 that I love!  It's definitely not the top of the line, but it does everything I need it to do.

What do you like about it?

The 430 is basic without lots of bells and whistles, kinda like me!  It suits my personality.

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

I don't think I could sew without my serger.  I have the Babylock Evolve.  Eight threads make it a very versatile serger.  I like the look of serger-finished seams on the inside of a garment.

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

I claimed a dedicated sewing space when I moved from an apartment to my house.  It's been a work in progress for over twenty-five years!  I first had a "sewing area"  in a room that served as an office, guest room and sewing room.  After major renovations (due to a house fire) I moved my office to the basement and set up my current sewing room.  I'm currently dreaming about using my daughter's larger bedroom as a "new-and-improved" sewing space when she graduates from college and is on her own!

Don't forget to enter the Crepe contest. If, that is, you haven't already.