The Blue Gardenia

Sewing Spaces: She has gobs of room for pins and needles. Really. October 22, 2010 14:27 5 Comments

Today, let's visit the studio of Summerset, she of the Pins and Needles blog, the  sewing room the size of a stable, and the kitty who likes Starbucks.

And there's more. There is. She also owns  a gorgeous interpretation of vintage Vogue Couturier 167, which she's wearing in the pic. And which she made with her very own talented hands. Isn't it lovely? And isn't she? An emphatic yes to both.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?


What do you like best about your sewing area?

I like many things: The light is good because of the windows. It is centrally located to where the family spends most of their time. It is nice and cool in the summer (we do not have air-conditioning).

What would you change about your space?

I wouldn't change anything about it. It is exactly what I wanted.

How is your space organized?

I have a closet along one entire wall that stores most of my supplies, shelves to hold the rest. My ironing board is underneath the window so that I can see out and is adjacent to the sewing table, on which I can have multiple machines set up at one time. I also have a design wall and cutting table directly opposite the ironing board.

Studio (2)
If you have a fabric stash, how do you impose order?

It is organized by color and by my cats, which means that there are now groupings of color amongst the nests they've created. The really good fabrics (silks, etc.) are stored in bins away from the cats.

How are your patterns organized?

First they're divided by either modern or vintage. Then they're grouped according to type of pattern: adult, child, home dec, etc. They're stored in clear plastic bins that are the right size for patterns. All of the Burda, Patrones and other pattern magazines are on the shelves. Traced patterns from those magazines are stored in ziplock bags in a plastic bin. I go through those every once in a while and discard patterns that I won't use again.

Are your patterns archived?

I don't archive patterns.

Studio (3)
Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

No. Mine is a generic "petite", which still isn't small enough in the shoulders to be truly useful for fitting. It does give me a general sense of the overall garment and proportions.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

I cut patterns on either my cutting table or the floor. I have enough space in my studio to cut on the floor, if I've got a tricky layout or am short on fabric and need to see everything laid out first.

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

My little Fiskars scissors for snipping threads. I call them my "clippy scissors" and am on my third pair now. The children know that I need those to sew and don't dare take them for any reason. They're small, can be locked closed, and have a nice point for getting into small spaces and clipping threads close.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

Good scissors, pins and hand-sewing needles. You can never go wrong with spending money on quality basics that you will use all the time.

Studio (4)
What kind of machine do you use?

I have a Janome 4800QC.

What do you like about it?

It can sew just about anything, and I have sewn everything from chiffons to leather and beyond.

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

Yes, I have a Janome 1100DX. I like it because it makes working with knits very easy, and some wovens, too. It gives a nice RTW finish, plus some durability for the clothes I make for my children.

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

I've been sewing in the same space for almost 10 years, although it did not look the same at the beginning. About six years ago, I was tired of the carpet, poor lighting and ugly wall color, so I decided to do a total room makeover. I knew exactly what I wanted, since I had been working in a less-than-ideal space and had been planning for a few years what I'd like to do with the space. To start the room makeover, we removed the carpet and just left the concrete floor; I painted the walls a pale grey and all the trim white. We installed new lighting and shelving, got rid of the ugly closet doors, and I built a design wall. I also installed a closet shelving system to store fabrics and embellishments.

Tomorrow, I'll announce the winner of the Oliver + S giveaway, so be sure to drop by. And next week on Sewing Spaces, I'll be a voyeur in the sewing spots of Erin of A Dress A Day and Audrey of SewTawdry. So. Get ready to press your nose against their windowpanes.