In an attempt to introduce some order into my sewing space my dad built me a shelf and attached it to the back wall of my sewing area yesterday.


The wood is actually straight; the wide angle of the iPhone lens is makes it appear curved.

Not even 5 minutes after I started putting things in it…


Clyde always has to check out new things and see what is going on! I heard he was sitting on the table watching my parents very intently while they were putting the shelf up, and when my dad was building it he sat there watching him the entire time. Sometimes I think Clyde worked in construction in a previous life. Meanwhile nothing makes his sister Bonnie happier than “helping” me cut something out.

I was able to get some stuff up off the floor and now I have all of my Style Arc pattern binders in one place. My dad said “do whatever you want to it, I just used some junk wood” so we’re working on adding nails and/or hooks for hanging rulers and scissors and possibly making some sort of extension of the shelf to fit into the corner. He’s also going to hang my thread rack inside one of my closet doors so the cats can’t get at it.

Now I just need to work harder at reducing my stash. I’m at the point where I have enough fabric to open my own store. In my room I have nine 18″x24″ (45×60)  storage containers stacked in various places, an 18″x36″ (45x90cm) footlocker, and 3 underbed storage containers plus multiple boxes and Mood totes full of fabric. Plus more is squished wherever I can fit it, and of course there’s more containers of patterns, supplies, etc. I’ve got a few more boxes in the basement too. Now you see why I struggle making things look orderly in there! I don’t regret most of my purchases though. Many of them were fantastic deals and if I went out to purchase the same thing now I would either not be able to find it, or it would be much more expensive. I still buy fabric, but instead of being something pretty to add to the “someday” collection it usually falls under one of the following categories:

  • I need it for a specific project
  • it is a great fabric in an unusual color (cobalt blue/royal purple/bright pink wool crepe, a vibrantly colored wool coating)
  • It was something on sale that can be difficult to find affordably on a regular basis (lambskin, merino wool jersey, good quality ponte, 4-way stretch fleece, 4-ply silk crepe, silk jersey).

Anyone else attempting to do “spring cleaning” in their sewing area? Is your stash also in danger of turning into an avalanche of fabric and collapsing on you one day? ;)

For my Niece: Jalie 2804

Most of my sewing last weekend was repairing various leashes/collars/harnesses that Sallie chewed. At least it was quick work on my walking foot industrial, and I happened to have nylon webbing in my stash to use as a patch. I also made up a muslin of the Style Arc Lola pants. (Hammered silk charmeuse version is currently in progress!) I thought I would make the Tracy trench but I just couldn’t get into a coat-making mood when the daytime highs got to 72°F/22°C for three days in a row. So in the meantime I decided I would post about a project I did a while ago but didn’t get around to blogging.

Last month my one of my brothers came over for a visit with his wife and two children on a Sunday afternoon. My nephew is 6 and his little sister is almost 4. Over the course of the day they became fascinated with my industrial sewing machine, so I took some cowhide and had them watch me sew that while I showed them how to adjust the stitch length. Then my nephew decided it would be really cool to sew his own t-shirt. I didn’t have anything in my stash for my nephew (he wanted an orange t-shirt) nor a boys t-shirt pattern, so I decided we would make something for my niece instead.

As we were digging through my stash my niece spied this fuchsia stretch lace I bought from Sew Sassy and decided she must have it for her shirt:


Being a stretch lace it needed to be underlined for modesty, so after more digging in my stash I came across a bunch of beige modal jersey. (See, a well-stocked stash is a good thing!)

My niece is quite petite with a 21″ chest so I traced size F, which is the smallest size included in the envelope. I underlined the front and back and left the sleeves alone. Oh yes, she was adamant that it have LONG sleeves.

The kids were surprisingly good and helpful when we were sewing. It was a blast! They handed me pins and weights during cutting and of course asked a million questions the whole time. My niece was not as focused as her brother, but give their ages I think that is to be expected. When I was constructing this on the serger my nephew was worried that I would slice off my finger. Meanwhile his sister would go “faster, faster!” and giggle like a maniac when I went as fast as I could on my Babylock Evolve. As I put it together I would ask my nephew if he knew what each piece was, and if he could point out the seam I was sewing on his own t-shirt. He got it right most of the time.

When I was finished I helped my niece put it on and brought her in front of a mirror. The first thing she said? “It has long sleeves, and I asked for long sleeves!” It completely blew her mind that she had her very own t-shirt made out of the fabric and style she picked out herself. My SIL changed her out of it and put her into PJs so she could just put her in bed once they got home, but she said the entire hour of the trip home my niece was clutching her shirt saying “I love my auntie and my shirt!”

Then, when they got home, my niece insisted on trying it on again. My SIL kindly snapped a photo and sent it along:


The sleeves really are even; she just has one pushed up more than the other

My SIL said they had a great time and that my nephew is very, very excited about making his own t-shirt the next time he comes over.