The Blue Gardenia

Sewing Spaces: Where Erin makes dresses that have no secrets. October 25, 2010 09:04 4 Comments

Erin Have you been eagerly waiting to see the sewing room of Erin, of the ever-so-popular A Dress A Day? I can tell you that this fledgling sewer has been. And how. Erin was one of the first dressmaking bloggers that I discovered. And one of the first to mention my blog. (Oh, what a thrill that was. I still tingle at the thought of it!) Do you have your cup of tea, coffee or cocoa within easy reach? If so, let's take the tour now. If not, get it. Right now. This minute. That's an order. I am impatient to go inside. Absolutely.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

I have a small bedroom in my house that is my combo sewing space/home office. It had built-in shelves and the access for the DSL line, so it was the best option.

What do you like best about your sewing area?

The room gets a lot of light on sunny days. (And there are a lot of sunny days in California. Just not today.)

What would you change about your space?

I could definitely use more square footage and more shelving. I've put up a few more shelves, but it's not enough.

How is your space organized?

Poorly! Books on shelves, fabric in closet, patterns on Elfa shelves, too much stuff on the floor.

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

I threaten the whole collection with reprisals at the first sign of armed resistance. I'm also not above resorting to tears. (I keep the Liberty prints separated to avoid contamination. I also try to refold and rearrange it every couple of months, to "refind" fabrics I've forgotten I bought.)

How are your patterns organized?

They're all in boxes, sometimes arranged by pattern number. Patterns that are "immanent" are either on the cutting table or clipped to the shelf with binder clips.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

I use comic boxes for patterns, which work pretty well.

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

No — I have a JoAnn's standard.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

Borrowed time.

You're so funny. What is your most helpful tool? Why?

I'm very fond of my seam rippers, for reasons I'd rather not go into (emotionally painful). I don't knit, but I find that a lightweight bamboo knitting needle is great for poking out corners and turning tubes.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

A very good pair of scissors, that you never ever ever use to cut anything but fabric. I also like the pins with the colored glass heads — so much easier on your fingers!

Do you keep a sewing library? If so, what book would you recommend to beginners?

I think my sewing library keeps ME. I like to recommend the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing as the most widely available and cheapest, but Ruth Singer's Sewing Bible is better if you can get it!

What kind of machine do you use?

I use a Juki HZL-e80. (Here's my post on choosing a sewing machine.)

What do you like about it?

It has a sparkling personality and laughs at my jokes. Also, it smells nice. (Actually, the tension is very reliable — I hate futzing with tension knobs.)

Do you use a serger?

I gave up my serger a few years ago . . . I don't miss it.

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

When it's developed, I'll let you know how long it took! It's definitely a work in progress.

Erin has a book coming out next year, The Secret Lives of Dresses. You've probably read her enchanting garment tales on her blog. Sometimes, they are wistful. Sometimes, they are funny. But always, always, they are creative. You'll want to pre-order your copy now. If, that is, you haven't already.

Friday, we have an appointment to see Audrey of SewTawdry's space. Don't be late.

But. First. Take your seat, dear readers. Do. Because Wednesday, I'm announcing what may be the very best Sewing Spaces giveaway yet. I am. Are you getting goosebumps? This prize deserves each and every one. And I am not exaggerating. Absolutely not.