Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No space? No problem! How to transform your kitchen into a sewing lab

You don't necessarily need a lot of space to sew. Right now, I live in a tiny attic apartment in Granada, Spain, and I manage just fine. The key is smart storage solutions as well as accepting to spend an additional 5 min. before and after your sewing session to set-up and put away your gear.

1) Pick a cupboard or a section of your closet. This will be your "sewing cupboard". In my case, my low kitchen cupboard was always a bit inconvenient for food stuff. Also, it was close to a power outlet for my sewing machine, and offered a lot of light from the window.
Top shelf: sewing supplies, tracing paper, and iron.
Bottom shelf: sewing machine, pedal and patterns.
When visitors come, simply shut cupboard door!
2) Set up your ironing board close to your sewing machine and power outlet.
When you are done, simply tuck away your ironing board behind a door...
and hang your work-in-progress behind that door using a skirt hanger.
3) For folks who don't have enough table space, remember that a couch makes for a great pin board...
and that a foldable table can easily triple your work space.
Important tip: set up your sewing machine close to the fridge so you can easily reach for snacks.
There you go! When everything is tucked away, no one will guess your kitchen is in fact a secret sewing lab!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Moving on...

Thank you to all those who gave me their advice on fitting the Rooibos and who shared with me their experience with the pattern! It made me feel better to hear that I wasn't the only one experiencing problems with it! As great as it is for other body types, I think it's just really difficult for pear-shaped figures.

So, after officially abandoning the project, I seriously needed something uplifting and easy-breezy to focus on: Simplicity 2451.

This is what the muslin looks like. Pardon my wearing it over jeans, I haven’t shaved my legs in 2 months it was very cold in my apartment.

The pattern and construction is fairly simple, so I am really taking my time to construct it perfectly. Also, I’m lining it for warmth and to wear with tights this winter. Lining a skirt with a vent turned out to be fairly tricky, but more on that later.

On the subject of perfecting the construction, I’ve had a major breakthrough when coming across Gorgeous Thing’s post. Readers, I’m telling you, pressing correctly makes a world of a difference! All of the sudden, my stuff looks like couture! (Barely exaggerating. Seriously!) How could I have been unaware of the importance of pressing so long??

You know, it’s not that I didn’t press before – it’s just that I would often attempt to “save time” and press everything at the end. Either that or I would quickly tap my iron on the garment without doing the proper “three steps.” Did you know that “pressing” and “ironing” are two completely different things?

Readers who’ve been following me for a while are probably wondering why Adrienne is churning out so many boring skirts.

“Is she done yet?”
Well, Readers, no, she's not done yet.

Name the three things these skirts have in common
Because I’ve not (yet!) participated in Me-Made and Self-Stitched events, I've never really talked about the wearability of my garments. If I had, you would know that every single one of those skirts ended up either:
a) in The Black Hole (a.k.a back of the closet),
b) donated to Value Village, or
c) being worn by someone in rural Nicaragua as a result of not having been sold at Value Village.

What was wrong with these skirts? I look at the pictures and think “they look OK.”
But they’re not great.

And great (or at least the intent of it) is why I sew.

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