The Blue Gardenia

Sewing spaces: Visit Sewaholic's room and share her addiction. October 1, 2010 10:00 5 Comments

Her name is Tasia, and she's a sewaholic. She admits it freely, anonymity be darned, right on her blog, Sewaholic. Does she sew in a spot befitting such an addict? Absolutely.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

Yes, I do! I'm lucky to have an entire half-of-a-room for sewing. I love it!

What do you like best about your sewing area?

The view. I get wonderful natural lighting if I sew during the day, and in the evenings, the sunset is absolutely gorgeous!

What would you change about your space?

I'd like the WHOLE room, not just half! One day.

More importantly, I'd like to improve the lighting now that fall is coming. It was perfect for summer as the evenings were still light, so I had the pleasure of sewing with natural light. I've already noticed a change, so it's time to buy some lamps! The last thing you want to find when you wake up in the morning is that your late-night thread color choice is actually purple, not blue.

How is your space organized?

Both machines are on the table, supplies and patterns are on one bookshelf, fabric and books are on the other bookshelf. It's quite simple, but easily accessible!

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

I don't have a ton of order, but I have a few little tricks that help. . . . On the bulletin board I've started literally queueing up my next few projects, with little sketches and swatches. That way, I can see what's next! I know I shouldn't store it like this, but my fabric is folded into a bookcase, so I can see little folds of each fabric. I also carry a little notebook with swatches and sketches and lists — trying to impose order in my mind as well, I suppose!

How are your patterns organized?

By category: shirts, pants, dresses, etc. They're loosely organized, though. Often I find skirts in the dress box. I don't have a huge stash, so it's fairly easy to find things.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

I use IKEA boxes, one for each category. They're stored on a bookshelf in my sewing space. It's simple, but it works!

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

I have an adjustable dress form, who is fairly close to my size.

If so, do you find it helpful?

Absolutely! Not just for fitting, but also to see what things might look like as finished garments. I like to wrap fabric around the mannequin and then take a few steps back. Does this print overpower the little dress form? Is it too loud and scary for a whole dress, and should it be confined to a blouse or smaller item? I like to see how a project might look on a body, and using a mannequin helps me to visualize.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

The dining table. It has extended panels so I can make it double in length. Before we had a dining table, I used to use the kitchen counter. (I'm so glad we got a dining table!)

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

I love that my pincushion is magnetic. Excellent for when you knock it over, and the pins go flying! Just hover over the dropped pins, and they're sucked up into the cushion.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

Buy quality tools! Get a good pair of scissors ­— and never cut paper with them. If you're clumsy like me get a magnetic pincushion, the first time you need to pick up pins, you'll be happy with your purchase!

Some tools you can pick up cheaply: tape measure, seam ripper, rulers. You don't need a lot of tools to get started. Also, I'd suggest getting a sewing reference book. It can be used, new or borrowed, but it helps with learning the basics!

What kind of machine do you use?

I use a Pfaff QuiltStyle 2042. It was my graduation gift when I graduated from university.

What do you like about it?

I like that it's pink. Seriously though, I like that it's reliable. I've used machines where the tension goes wonky, or the fabric gets sucked into the feed dogs, or the stitches skip. It's nice to sew and know that at the very least, the machine is going to be there for you! It has seventy-six different stitches, but I rarely use more than the straight stitch and the zigzag. And the blind-hem foot — I love it! So much faster than hand-hemming.

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

Yes, I love my serger! I bought the best of the bunch, it even threads itself! I hate threading sergers, so I splurged on the self-threading Babylock Eclipse. All you do is poke the thread into a hole and press a button! Brilliant. Besides the easy factor, I love how quickly it finishes the edges and stops loosely woven or shifty fabrics from unraveling.

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

My sewing space was developed for me! The night before, I went on a rant about wanting my own sewing room one day - not complaining, honest! I was out volunteering the next day and when I came home, my guy had rearranged the furniture so I had half the room. How awesome is that - a man that understands my sewing hopes and dreams! After the furniture was moved, it took me a couple of days to reorganize and sort into the boxes. Once the bulletin board was hung, and the power bars set up, I was ready to rock! The whole setup took about a week.

And soon, you'll be able to purchase Sewaholic patterns. You might like the Pendrell blouse. I do. Just the blouse for those days when you're feeling irrepressibly girly.

Drop by Monday, when Sewing Spaces visits Kristine of Just Keep Sewing. Don't forget.