Sewing spaces: Vintage inspires Lady Shelley's stitching. Indeed. June 16, 2011 02:04 2 Comments

Shelley is a vintage seamstress. Totally. She only uses vintage patterns. Is that cool? Yes, indeed. This New Vintage Lady has been kind enough to show us where she creates. I'm excited. Aren't you? Of course you are. I know it!

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

Alas, I don't. My sewing space is the table in my kitchen nook. The area beside it I have made my sewing storage area.

What do you like best about your sewing area?

In most of the other places I've lived, I had to cut my fabric on my drawing table. Now, I can cut it on my kitchen table. That makes me very happy.

What would you change about your space?

I wish my sewing had its own room.

How is your space organized?

Not very well. I have my boxes of patterns on the floor beneath an industrial shelf. I keep my thread in one box, my vintage notions (well, most of them) in another box, and odds and ends in another. All my sewing books and reference are on a shelf above the boxes. My button stash is a whole other story.

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

My fabric stash is my entire hall closet. It has six compartments. The bottom one is all my scraps and muslin and sheets for mockups. The second shelf is my 'work' fabric. Denims, wools, cords and the like. The next are excesses from projects cut neatly and bundled. Those make for great two-tone projects. The middle shelf is reserved for cottons and light silks. The next one is reserved for linen and vintage fabric. The top is for my synthetics and odd fabric too large to store in its appropriate place.

How are your patterns organized?

My patterns are sorted roughly by year and placed in marked boxes.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

Each pattern is counted for pieces, and a note saying if something is missing is placed with it. I trace off all the patterns I use, and the tracings are stored with the originals.

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

Onda is my duct-tape dress form.

Do you find Onda helpful?

She can be a drama queen, but she is monstrously helpful in fitting.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

My kitchen table, after I have traced them off.

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

My snippers. I LOVE those things. Cutting tails of thread or chains on a serger with your sewing scissors dulls them quicker than necessary. My snippers are small spring-loaded clips that I always grab right after I sew a stitch.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

Scrap fabric, a midrange machine (around $200-$350), good thread, glass head pins, an iron and board, an X-Acto knife, a good pair of sewing shears.

What kind of machine do you use?

I have a Singer 5932T.

What do you like about it?

It was my mother's.

Do you use a serger?

I have a five-cone Singer serger from the '80s that I love.

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

Few weeks. I planned it out when I moved in. :)

Do you love the pictures of her mother and grandmother from the 1940s and 1950s? I do. Shelley likes to have vintage things around her when she sews. Now. That is one fabulous idea. Truly.