Design Your Own Ultimate Sewing Room Contest

C O N T E S T       H A S        E N D E D ! ! !

ultimatesewingroom

Can’t believe I forgot to mention this!  Have you entered the Fabric.com / Craft Stylish Ultimate Sewing Room Contest yet?  There’s over $7,000  in prizes!  Prizes include:

FabricComGiftCard 

Fabric.com Shopping Card Value – $1,500

Baby Lock

Baby Lock Ellure Sewing Machine Value – $2,499

Reliable Corporation IronMaven

Reliable Corporation IronMaven™ J490A Value – $399

Reliable Corporation C81 - Vacuum & Up-Air Pressing Table

Reliable Corporation C81 – Vacuum & Up-Air Pressing Table Value – $499

Fabulous Fit Dress Forms Pro Series® Misses Regular Form

Fabulous Fit Dress Forms Pro Series® Misses Regular Form Value – $687

Sylvia Sewing Cabinets Model 810 work table

Sylvia Sewing Cabinets Model 810 work table Value – $1,099.95

American & Efird

American & Efird Mettler Thread 28 Spool Gift PackValue – $82.10

Threads magazine

1-Year subscription to Threads magazine Value – $32.95

Threads Fitting DVD Series

Threads Fitting DVD Series Value – $99.95

Threads Industry Insider Techniques

Threads Industry Insider Techniques Volume 1 & 2 Value – $59.90

The Best of Threads DVD-ROM

The Best of Threads DVD-ROM Volume 1 & 2 Value – $99.90

Here’s the Official Rules.  Hurry–the contest end December 31, 2008!

Here are the two sewing room designs I entered:

The_Domestic_Divas_Sewing_Sanctuary_lg

The_Domestic_Divas_Sewing_Hideaway_lg

Design Your Own Ultimate Sewing Room NOW!  Check out the sewing room gallery to see what others have created.  Creating a sewing room online is so simply—really.  Go do it now!  You never know if you’ll be one of the winners, KWIM?

lisa

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SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE – PART VII – SEWING ROOM DESIGN

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A PLACE TO CREATE

Whether you have an entire room dedicated to your creative space, closet, guest room, under a staircase, hallway, garage, basement, attic or corner of the kids’ playroom–claim your space!

Nothing is more frustrating than having to drag out your sewing machine and supplies every time the creative bug strikes.

ROOM PLANNING SOFTWARE

Start with a plan by first accessing your needs.  Sewing rooms are as individual as the sewers who use them.  One who sews ladies’ garments will have different sewing needs than one who quilts or sews home decor.

Smart Draw Free Trial

Better Homes and Gardens’ Arrange-A-Room

Jordan’s Room Planner

MyFloorPlanner.com

Room Planner

Icovia Space Planner – Design Edition

Free Furniture Templates

Raymour & Flanigan Room Planner

COLOR

colorwheel

Choosing Color

Selecting the perfect color for your sewing room is a personal choice.  I chose Pink accented with Black and White.  I had originally planned on using Brown to accent the Pink, but decided against it as it is much easier to find Black and White items to coordinate. 

Sherwin Williams’ Color Visualizer

Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer

Pantone’s Paint Selector

Sewing Room Color Ideas

Bella Dia’s Sewing Room and Alicia Paulson’s Romantic Portland Sewing Studio

Magda’s Black and White Sewing Room

House on the Hill’s Little Sewing Space

I Mess Around’s Bright Blue Studio

Happy Zombie’s Inspiring Sewing Room

Melissss’ Craft Room

Jessica Griffin’s Pink Sewing Room

Creative Little Daisy’s Pretty Studio

Elneenya’s Terra Cotta Red Sewing Room

Jenni Apple’s Deep Red Sewing Studio

Syrommet Mitt’s Yellow and Green Sewing Studio

Dog Child’s Pink Studio\Sew Pixie’s Sewing Room

Pink Present’s Sage Green Workroom

Squeaky Monkey’s Orange Miniature Sewing Room

Chalet Girl’s Bright Pink Sewing Room

Amber’s Aqua Craft Room

Quaint Handmade’s Soft Pink Sewing Room

Dharma Lemon’s Retro Green Sewing Nook

Jigabug Baby’s Butter Cream Sewing Room

Liquid Paper’s Dark Gray Studio

Crafty Intention’s Aqua and Red Studio

Lucky Lola’s Bright Pink Sewing Room

FLOORING

Whatever you do, don’t install carpeting if you can help it.  Carpets hide pins, needles and other little sewing notions.  Use flooring that is easy to care for such as concrete, hardwood, vinyl or tile.

Consider an anti-fatigue mat next to your cutting table:

antifatique

Wearwell’s Anti-Fatigue Mats

KEY INGREDIENTS

SEWING WORKSTATION

sr9

There are dozens of ways to set up your sewing machines.  I use an L-shaped desk and a sturdy folding table for sewing machines and sergers.  Figure out what fits your budget and go from there.

Depending if you have one sewing machine or several, you could set your workstation up against one wall, in a U-shaped or L-shaped configuration.  Here’s some sewing workstation ideas:

koala

Koala Cabinets

magicboxstudycraft

  Horn Sewing Cabinets

hornregal

Horn’s Regal Multi-Height Electric Lift Table

 arrowcabinet

Arrow Cabinets

perfexion

Perfexion Tables

slyvia

Sylvia Designs

roberts

Robert’s Fine Sewing Furniture

sullivan

Sullivan Furniture

delta

Delta Cabinets

deluxe

Deluxe Tables

cuttingtablesouthern

Totally Furniture’s $99 Southern Enterprises Sewing Table

southern

Southern Enterprises’ Sewing Cabinet

joanntable

Joann’s $139 Sewing Table

Other Joann’s Homespun Sewing Tables

sauder

Sauder’s Craft Armoire

OMG…is this the ULTIMATE Craft Armoire:

workbox

The Work Box™

hirshdeskwdrawers

Hirsh Craft Storage Stand with Drawers

pneumatictable

BALT Pneumatic (Adjustable) Workstation

adjustablefoldingtable

Adjustable Height Folding Table adjusts from 22″ to 32″

foldtable

Folding Table

CUTTING TABLE

clean

My current cutting table is an old conference room table I acquired from my husband’s old office.  It was a little too low, so I raised the table legs using adjustable bed risers (see below).

Minimum Width – 23 inches.  Ideally, 36 inches would be sufficient as it equals the length of folded decorator fabric.  However, 60 inches would be even better as you could spread most fabrics open.

cuttingtablenew 

Minimum Length – 36 inches (1 yard).  72 inches would be ideal for most.  However, if you work with larger lengths of fabric, purchase the longest cutting table you can fit in your space.  My new cutting table (pictured above) is 4 feet wide by 16 feet long–the big industrial type  table I need to transition from home sewing into apparel manufacturing.

Minimum Height – 34 to 36 inches.  Ideal height would be the at 2 to 4 inches below your waist.  If you’re under 5′ 3″, you might be comfortable with a table height of 32 inches while if you’re closer to 6′ tall, a 38 inch height would be great.  If you need to raise your cutting surface, use:

bedrisers

Adjustable bed risers which raise the cutting table 3.2 to 5.2 inches more or

bedrisersxtall

Extra Tall Adjustable Bed Risers which raise the table up to 8 inches higher

Kathy of Pink Chalk Studio used PVC pipes to raise her folding table from 28 inches to 36 inches…how clever!

cuttingtableorg 

Cutting Tables

regalcutting

Sullivan’s $99 Cutting Table

arrowcutting

Arrow Cutting Table

robertscutting

Robert’s Cutting Table with Storage Drawers

saberpowrpax

Saber’s Pow-R-Pax Industrial Cutting Tables

alvincraftmaster

Alvin Craftmaster Hobby Station adjusts from 0 – 30 degrees

What about that big freezer chest?   Surely it would make a great cutting table. You could add a sheet of plywood to the wall mounted with piano hinges…and add a latch hook to keep it from knocking you in the head when digging in the freezer.  Or if you’re not that handy, you could just put a large cutting mat on top of it.  LOL!

If you have a handyman around the house, enlist them to build a custom cutting table for you:

diybuildtable

DIY.net’s Build Your Own

PRESSING STATION

 

tablecover

Sullivan Ironing Cover for Cutting Tables

bigboard

Nancy’s Notions’ Big Board

Here’s a bunch of iron board cover tutorials:

Vain and Vapid’s Design Studio Details – Ironing Board Makeover

U-Hangblog’s Super Easy Iron Board Cover

Feed Dog’s Cover for IKEA Ironing Board Tutorial

Innovative Sewing’s Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

Instructables’ Fabulous Ironing Board Cover

Marma Daisy’s New Ironing Board Cover

Purl Bee’s Ironing Board Recovery Project

STORAGE

jumboorganizer

Jumbo Organizer

moragadrawercaddy

Moraga Drawer Caddy

miniworkbox

Mini Workbox™

ScrapbookCart

Container Store’s Scrapbook Cart

pinkjuxta

Container Store’s UMBRA Pink Juxta Drawers

robertsstorage

Robert’s Storage Caddy

fabriccollection5

Metal Storage Cabinets from Staples

ssarmoire

South Shore Armoire at Staples

whitebookcase

Simple White Bookcase under $50

For lots of ideas on how to organize and store your supplies, check out:

Custom Cabinetry

Wall cabinets are available in several heights and widths. The height(s) you choose depends on your ceiling and whether your design includes a soffit. Wall cabinet widths range from 9″ to 48″ with adjustable shelving.

Standard base cabinets are 34-1/2″ high and 24″ deep, and range in width from 9″ to 48″, increasing in 3″ increments. Base cabinets are available with full-height drawers, door and drawer combinations or full stacks of drawers.

Tall cabinets are 84″, 90″ or 96″ high, range from 9″ to 36″ wide, are 12″ to 24″ deep and include a toe kick area. They’re available with doors or a door and drawer combination.

Prices vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, type, hardware and installation.  Consider shopping home improvement stores for the best prices on cabinets and countertops.

CHAIRS

Don’t skimp when it comes to your sewing room chair.  Your back will thank you!

taskchairblack

Black Leather Task Chair under $50

potterybarnchair

Pottery Barn Swivel Chair

checkerboardchair

Checkerboard Chair

globaltaskchair

Global Task Chair

Design*Sponge’s Office Chair Upgrade Tutorial

Turkey Feather’s Desk Chair Cover Tutorial

LIGHTING

Lighting in a sewing room is one of those things which is constantly overlooked.  Yet, it is one of the most important elements in designing a sewing room.  Although there are several different types of lighting, the two most important types in a sewing room are:

Ambient Lighting, also known as General Lighting, provides overall illumination.  This type of lighting is created by using recessed lighting in the ceiling, table lamps, chandeliers, track lights, and other ceiling fixtures.  Ambient lighting radiates an even amount of light in the room.  If you are using fluorescent bulbs in your overhead lighting, check out the “sunlight” replacement bulbs to give a more natural light.

Task Lighting directs light just where you need it.  Desk lamps, ceiling pendant fixtures and track lighting are considered task lighting fixtures.  Task lighting performs a specific activity.  Consider an Ott Light in your sewing room for true color.

BONUS INGREDIENTS

DESIGN WALLS AND INSPIRATION BOARDS

anthropologie

Design Wall

A Design Wall is a wall in your sewing room or work area with a felt, flannel, or similar fabric to which your quilt pieces will stick.  Sometimes this will be permanent; other times it consists of this fabric tacked to the wall.

You can easily make a wall to plan your next quilt or garment.  Here’s some great ideas:

The World Wide Quilting

Quiltmaker’s Building a Design Wall

Get Creative’s Make Your Own Design Wall

Jan Myer’s How to Create a Quilting Design Wall

Linda P. of Moonlight Quilters’ Portable Design Wall Instructions

If you don’t want to make your own, you could just buy one:

Block Butler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cheryl Ann’s Portable Design Wall

Inspiration Boards

ideaboard1

You can also make an Inspiration Board (aka Idea Board) like mine above.  Simple use some spray adhesive to attach fabric to a cord board and use some decorative trim to cover the fabric’s raw edges.  Here’s some other tutorials:

Not Nigella

iHanna

Charity Grace

Fresh and Vintage

Martha Stewart’s Framed Bulletin Board

Martha Stewart’s Homasote Bulletin Board

Make an Inspiration Board from Associated Content

Inspiration Boards on Flickr

DRESSFORMS AND MANNEQUINS

divaisin

Consider adding a dressform or mannequin to your sewing room.  Not only can you use it to size garments, but it can be a decorative element for you to display your unique trims and lace.

Dressforms are available in canvas, wire, wicker and even paper mache.

victorianmannequin

Wicker Dressform

wiremannequin

Wire Mannequin

Make Your Own Dressform

THE LITTLE THINGS

aprilpin

It’s the little things that make your sewing space your own.  Don’t be afraid to re-purpose household items and antiques to decorate your sewing room.

sr14

Bowls, baskets and other containers make great organizers and add your personal touch to your room.

sewingroomsigns

Have fun with wall art, paintings and other items to hang on your walls.  You could even use decoupage letters to spell SEW or CREATE.  What about a huge pair of scissors?  Check out these neat sewing room silhouettes.  Or what about a vinyl zipper, a humorous saying, or some vinyl dressforms?

vintagesewingbox

Be sure to shop flea markets for vintage items to complete your sewing room.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

BOOKS

quiltingspace

Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space

quiltspaceplanner

Perfect Quilting Space Planner

dreamsewingspaces

Dream Sewing Spaces

yourcraftspace

Organizing Your Craft Space

wherewomencreate

Where Women Create

creativeperson

Organizing for the Creative Person

scrapbookspace

Organize Your Scrapbook Workspace

organizedinspiredscrapbooker

The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker

organizationtipsforscrapbookers

Organization Tips for Scrapbookers

homeworkspaceideabook

Home Workspace Idea Book

Homestorageideabook

Home Storage Idea Book

cabinetshelves

Cabinets, Shelves and Home Storage Solutions

REAL SEWING ROOMS

A List of Over 100 Links of Sewing Rooms

Sewing.org’s Behind the Seams Sewing Rooms

Pictures of Sewing and Quilting Rooms

Now get moving!  Although it’s a work in progress, you can create the sewing room of your dreams!

lisasiggie2 

SEW Organized Re-Cap and Links for Sewing Studios, Craft Rooms and Scrapbooking Corners

SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION RECAP

sewingroomsigns

Since so many of you crafty gals’ New Year’s Resolutions are to tidy up your sewing and craft rooms, here’s a quick re-cap of my Sewing Room Organization Challenge:

Getting Started

Part I – Fabric

Part II – Thread

Part III – Needles and Stabilizers

Part IV – Laces, Trims and Ribbons

Part V – Sewing Library:  Patterns, Embroidery Designs, Magazines and Books

Part VI – Notion Commotion

OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

lacestorage

Candy Goff’s Managing Your Stash

Dawn Duperault’s Getting Organized, Making Space to Quilt and Storing Notions

Sew Organized

Organizing Tips from Quilter’s Review

How to Organize a Sewing Area by eHow

HGTV’s Organizing a Sewing Space

Masterstech’s Fabric Storage FAQ

Cut Out and Keep’s Fabric Brochure

DIY’s Clever Organizing

Buzzle’s Organize Your Sewing or Craft Room

Heartblossom’s Organizing Stashes

Shari Armstrong’s How to Organize Your Sewing Equipment

Women Folk’s Challenge of Organizing a Small Quilting Studio

HGTV’s Organizing Your Sewing Room for Quilters

Organizing Sewing Rooms from Mrs. Clean

Needleworks Tips and Techniques’ Organize Your Stash

Thrifty Fun’s Organizing a Sewing Room

Get Creative’s Organizing your Craft Room

Home Organizing Ideas’ Sewing Room Organization

NMSU’s Designing a Sewing Center

Quilt Net’s Sewing Room FAQ

Home Decorating’s Sewing Room Plan

Woman of a 1,000 Hobbies’ Sewing Organization

That should keep you girls busy…LOL!

Happy New Year!

With friendship,

Lisa

divaballoon

SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE – PART VI – NOTION COMMOTION©

NOTION COMMOTION

dummies

In addition to your Sewing Room, any of these organization ideas can be used in your Craft Room, Scrapbooking Corner and/or Jewelry Making Studio.  Get creative!

Ok…it’s time to get back to work! We have a few little things we need to still need to organize, so let’s get started.

CLOSURES

There are literally dozens of ways to fasten a garment or home décor item. Get yourself some clear containers or cheap photo boxes and start sorting your closures. Make sure you label each container and stack it on your shelves. Here’s how I divide them:

Zippers

Buttons, Snaps, Eyelets, Grommets, Hooks and Eyes

Elastic, Velcro and Snap Tape

ZIPPERS

zippersteresa

Teresa Franco’s awesome zipper storage idea

You could also organize your zippers with safety pins, but instead put them on a tie rack:

tierack4zippers

Revolving Tie Rack from Harriet Carter

tierack

Wall Mounted Tie Rack

Just bought my husband this motorized revolving tie rack.  Think he’d mind if I borrowed it for my ribbon?  LOL

tierackbrookstone

Brookstone Motorized Revolving Tie Rack

BUTTONS, SNAPS, EYELETS, GROMMETS, HOOKS AND EYES

There are literally hundreds of ways you can organize these small objects.  I store my snaps and buttons in these See n Store magnetic containers:

snapsw

I currently have 36 of these nifty containers and plan to add more as needed.  They can be mounted on the wall or free-standing and in a variety of combinations:

lipper8standing

5 Tin Magnetic Standing Storage at Organize.com

5 Tin Magnetic Hanging Storage at Organize.com

8 Tin Magnetic Standing Storage at Oriental Trading

customspice

Custom Magnetic Spice Racks

kamensteinspice

Kamenstein Magnetic Spice Rack

modular

Making Memories Modular Storage System

If you’re trying to keep costs down, Make Your Own Magnetic Storage Board.  You only need FOUR things to make this quick and easy board to hold your sewing and craft notions:

1 -STEEL SHEET

2 – SMALL METAL CONTAINERS

3 – MAGNETS

4 – GLUE

  • Crazy Glue™
  • Hot Glue

Have your husband or dad drill four holes in the corner of the steel sheet/board for mounting, if desired.

Hang sheet/board on wall or store in drawer.

Glue a magnet to the back of each container.  Let dry.

Stick magnetic containers to sheet/board.  Done!

buttoncontainer

Martha Stewart adds Buttons to her Magnetic Containers

photocontainer

Add a photo to your containers if you’d like.

Additional magnetic board tutorials:

aimistruespice

Amber’s DIY Spice Rack

lowesmagneticboard

Lowe’s Magnetic Board Tutorial

Other clever storage ideas:

solution

Solutions Station Set

deflectocarosel

Deflecto Revolving Clear Storage at Shoplet.com

DrawerCabinet

Drawer Cabinet at Shoplet.com

bank

Button Bank

jarsmm

Making Memories’ Jars

glassjars

Economical Glass Jars by the Case

ikeajar

Fancy Jars

storagetins

Storage Tins

artbincompartment

ArtBin 24 Compartment Slide ‘n Store

sortables

Making Memories’ Sortables

carouselorganizer 

Carousel Organizer

snaporganizer

Snap or Button Organizer from Stacks n Stacks

60drawer

60 Translucent Drawer Unit

beadtower

Bead and Embellishment Tower

Bubblebox Organizer w/36 Compartments

36 Compartment Bubble Box

You could also use a rail system installed on your wall:

railsystem

Rail System

and add the coordinating wire basket and/or containers:

wirebasket

Wire Basket

I absolutely love my Deflect-o Tilt Out Storage Bins.  They are my favorite storage system in my sewing room:

KEYCHAINS2

These bins come in all different sizes to suit your needs and lock together.  They can be mounted on the wall or placed on a shelf:

deflectobins

Deflect-o Tilt-Out Clear Storage Bins at TheNerds.com

Deflect-o Tilt-Out Clear Storage Bins from Staples.com

provodrawerz

Provo Clear Mini Drawers

ELASTIC, VELCRO AND SNAP-TAPE
With all the different sizes and applications, it is easy to accumulate a large “stash” of elastic. I sort my elastic into three stacked storage boxes:

Thin Elastic (includes elastic thread)

Foldover Elastic and Decorative Elastic

Waistband Elastic

Here’s my pink leather boxes (once again from Home Goods):

elasticboxes

My Velcro and Snap-Tape are stored in similar leather boxes.  Any type of storage container, box or drawer will work:

cdbox 

IKEA CD Boxes

glisplasticboxes

GLIS Plastic Boxes

ikeaphotobox

IKEA Decorative Boxes

interlockingboxes

Interlocking Clear Containers

clearshoe

Clear Acrylic Stackable Storage Drawers

smallorganizerdrawer

Small Organizer Drawers

towerorganizer

10 Drawer Tower Organizer

storagecube

Foremost Modular Storage Drawer Cubes

You can cover these drawers with either fabric or paper and then use decoupage to seal them:

woodendrawers

IKEA Wooden Drawers

You can even make erasable labels on each drawer:

eraseablelabels

Erasable Label Tutorial

MARKING AND CUTTING IMPLEMENTS


spinner

Are you constantly trying to find your favorite scissor or disappearing (literally) marking pen? A great solution is to find some type of utensil caddy which can be placed on your cutting table and then moved next to your sewing machine when needed.  I found this great revolving caddy (pictured above) at my local Home Goods store.

Check out your local office supplies store in their desk accessories aisle for lots of good ideas.
In this type of caddy, you can store:

clip_image004
Prior to getting my neat revolving caddy, I used to store all my extra marking pens, scissors, tube turners, etc. in leather containers (also found as Home Goods).  For the items I don’t want to keep on my cutting table, I use one of these nifty Tupperware Utensil Caddies:

tupperwareutensil

Here’s a few more organizers to consider:

HSNCaddy

The Caddy at HSN 

deskrubbermaid

Rubbermaid Rotating Desk Organizer

storagespinner

Donna Dewberry Storage Spinner

ToolCaddyGrabbit

Grabbit Tool Caddy

cabelarotatingtool

Cabela’s Revolving Tool Caddy

cuttercubby

Cutter Cubby

supplycaddy

Portable Supply Caddy

caddy

Table Top Caddy

caddy

Economical Caddy

brushcaddy

Tool Holder

pinkutensil2

Utensil Holder with Adjustable Dividers

shabbyholder

Shabby Chic Utensil Holder

If you don’t have the space on your cutting surface or it’s portable, consider hanging your cutting implements on the wall:

perfboard-improvements

Plastic Perf Board

EZ Wall Organizer

metalrailsystem

Metal Rail System at HSN

pegboard

Clotidle’s Peg Board

wallhutch

Wall Hutch

wallpocket

Wall Pocket

Tip:  The height of your cutting surface is so important as to avoid an aching back.  I use these under the legs of my table:

bed-lifters-320717zz

Adjustable Bed Risers

 RULERS

rulerholder

I use a wire mesh letter holder from my local office supplies store to hold my rulers at the end of my cutting table.  You can easily organize your rulers by either hanging them or standing them up like I do.  Here are some ways to do it:

JuneTailerRuleYourRulers

June Tailor Rule Your Rulers

QuiltRulerOrganzier

Quilting Ruler Organizer Shelf on Ebay

RulerHolderRack

Ruler Holder Rack on Ebay

rulerholderebay

Ruler Holder Shelf on Ebay

rulerorganizer

Ruler and Mat Organizer

rulerrackcombo

Rulers & Ruler Rack Combo Set

rulerrackclotilde

Clotilde Ruler Rack

rulerkorral

Ruler Korral

Stop your Ruler from sliding on fabric.  I really works:

invisigrip

Quilter’s Review

If you need a paper ruler to attach to the end of your table, here’s a free printable one.  Consider sending this ruler link to those you sew for (family, friends, customers, etc.) to get easy measurements:

Free Printable Rulers

SEWING STATION

There are a few things I like to keep next to my sewing machines:

divabowl

Get yourself a small bowl, container or divided tray (I use a dog dish…LOL) to keep all your necessary sewing supplies next to your sewing machine.  You’ll be able to easily find what you need without going through drawers and cabinets.

Here’s some other ideas:

sewingstation

Sewing Station

junestation 

June Tailor Sewing Station

Make your own Sewing Station:

sewroom

Sewing.org’s Sewing Station Tutorial

Consider purchasing sewing machine and serger cushioned pads (helps with machine vibration) and thread/scrap catchers:

sewmachpad

Pedal-Sta’s Sewing Machine Pad w/ Thread Catcher

clotildethreadcatcher

Clotilde’s Serger Pad and Thread Catcher

sergerpad-lg

Pedal-Sta’s Serger Pad w/ Scrap Catcher

pioneerthreadcatcher

Pioneer’s Serger Pad Thread Catcher at Joann’s

Sew Essentials Scrap Caddy

Joann’s Sew Essential Scrap Caddy

You can also make your own:

kquiltsthreadcatcher

K Quilts’ Pincushion and Thread Catcher Tutorial

image

Kezza’s Pincushion and Thread Catcher Tutorial

SEWING MACHINE / SERGER PRESSER FEET

Do you always find yourself looking blanking at a strange sewing machine foot and wondering what on earth is its purpose? Well, then it’s time to sort through them. I have dozens of sewing machine and serger feet. I use a divided pink leather case to easily store my sewing machine feet. If you label each section, it will be easy to locate the one needed.

clip_image002

I keep my serger feet in a divided leather tray:
clip_image003

You can use a cigar box (decoupage it with fabric):

cigarbox

Cigar Boxes on Ebay Express
or any divided box:

boxmoveabledividers 
Clear Box with Moveable Dividers

blackbox

Small Parts Storage Case

12compartmentbox

Budget 12 Compartment Storage Case

and label it like Mean Jean did:

meanjeanpresserfeet

Mean Jean’s Presser Foot Organizer

You can even use a cutlery tray!
flatwaretray 

Expandable Bamboo Flatware Tray

A jewelry organizer will also work!jewelryorganizer

Jewelry Organizer at Stacks n Stacks

or Jewelry Case

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

PINK Jewelry Case

You can also purchase a great “foot organizer” from your local sewing dealer or use clear baseball card plastic sleeve protectors in a regular binder:

 

sewingnotionscaddy

Home Depot’s Sewing Notions Organizer

pfc3

Nancy’s Notions’ Presser Foot Storage Cases

Or make your own:

presserfootorganizer

Husqvarna Viking’s Presser Foot Organizer Tutorial

presserfeetorganizer

Petit Debutante’s Presser Foot Organizer Tutorial

PRESSING SUPPLIES

Keep a small shelf over your ironing board for your pressing supplies. This would include:

pressbox

I keep two boxes next to my pressing station.  One contains all kinds of fusible tape which I use when I’m taking sewing shortcuts…LOL.  In the second box, I store my small pressing aids such as my Ezy Hem Guide, Iron Cleaner and Point Turner.

tailorboardstation

I hang both my Tailor’s Board and Sleeve Board on the wall next to my ironing board.

drinkdispenser

I purchased one of these Slim Drink Dispensers to keep water (holds a gallon!) next to my ironing board. It saves me dozens of trips back and forth to the sink to refill my iron!

You could also use a mounted peg board with hooks to hang all your pressing essentials.

MISCELLANEOUS SUPPLIES

I’m sure you have lots of other supplies which need to be organized and stored.  The list seems endless…LOL!  Here’s two more great storage ideas I came up with:

First, I re-purposed some doll accessory drawers.  These drawers store my size labels, garment labels, bow-making clips, etc.

pinkdrawers

Next, I came across this neat piano-hinged box at TJ Maxx.

accordianbox

The front cover folds down to reveal my hot fix tool and glues.  I glued a piece of cork board sheeting to the inside of the cover to make a nifty little bulletin board:

insidebox

Since you’re nosey, here’s a close-up of my stickers:

sewingstickers

You can get your own stickers here:

Opinions R Us

Cafe Press

Hope your creative space is finally becoming a place to love to be in–not a dreaded space.  If you have any ideas for additional sewing room organization topics, just email me!

Happy Sewing!

lisasiggie

SEW Fearful of Serging

Ok…first let me say this…I’m a proficient seamstress.  I have awesome Husqvarna Viking sergers…two top-of-the line 936s (5 thread w/ coverstitch) and a 905.  And 9 times out of 10, it’s a breeze.  I serge away with no worries.  But there is that one time…you know what I mean…when you’ve got 40 yards of chiffon you need to gather down to a yard.  You’ve worked so hard to ensure all the gathers are just right.  So far, so good.

And then you get the brilliant idea to try a new technique.  You deviate from the original plan.

basting

So I decide to put in buttonhole elastic inside of regular elastic.  Simple enough…or so you think.  You’ve misplaced the buttonhole elastic application instructions, so you make up your own method.  You start by making a buttonhole in the casing.  And then secure the buttonhole elastic in the seam…genius, I think.  But then you realize you’ll have to baste the waistband to the chiffon pettiskirt without catching the buttonhole elastic on the basting line.  So you start basting the waistband far enough away from the buttonhole elastic.  Too far from the buttonhole elastic.  So you baste again.  And then baste once more.  Ok, good…3 basting lines and now it works.  Time to serge it to reduce the bulk of the layers and finish it off nice.

And that’s where the fear of serging begins…

You notice the bed of the serger is dusty.  So you clean it…

clean2

Then you notice your serger has turquoise serger thread on it.

blue

But you need pink serger thread…

change

So you tie off your pink threads to your turquoise threads.  You pull them through…thus avoiding rethreading those darn loopers.

wrongthread

And then you realize you’ve tied off the needle threads and not the loopers like you needed to do.  So now you’ll have to waste another 5 minutes rethreading the upper and lower loopers.

While rethreading the loopers, you notice the inside of the serger needs to be cleaned.

clean

You look over to your work table and decide to clear all the cutter…

table

You put away the 17 spools of thread lying around next to your various sewing machines…

thread

And then you notice the new flannel fabrics which need to be cut into lounge pants for the kids’ Christmas gifts…

flannel

It just adds to the never-ending list of sewing projects you’ll never get done in two lifetimes.  So you decide a little music may help your anxiety…

imove

You look up and you notice the “guilt” sticker on your bulletin board…

sew

So you finally get up the courage to approach the serger with the pettiskirt…

serge1

You serge ever so slowly…making sure the chiffon layers don’t get eaten by the serger blades…

serger2

Whew!  You can breath again…it’s looks like the serger stitches are good…

serger3

The moment of truth now arrives…it seems to have worked just fine.  So now you spend the next 10 minutes trying to pull the buttonhole elastic through the waistband casing…it’s like when you loose the drawstring in your hoodie.  And of course I can’t find my bobkin.  I think I threw it away, because it frustrated me…forever unhooking from the elastic right before I finished pulling it through the open hole in the casing.  Useless tool.  I know use a big safety pin…but it won’t work in this instance.  So I try my tweezers…success!  You now add your garment tag.

finishedpettiskirt

And then you need to sew on the button to hold the buttonhole elastic…

But you then realize the garment tag is in the way!

buttonholeelastic

It’s at this point, you put the pettiskirt project off to the side until another day when you feel like getting the seam ripper out to remove the garment tag…and then starts the fear of seam ripping.

With friendship,

Lisa

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Madeira Thread Plant Tour

Could you see Mr. Diva’s™ face if I bought this?:

madeira

Madeira Ultimate Thread Chest only $615 on Ebay…LOL

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Vintage Sewing Goodies…

During my usual weekend armchair shopping adventure, I came across sooooo many vintage sewing goodies that I thought I’d share them with you (especially since I bought a $200 kitchen garbage can last night and now have empty pockets…no, it wasn’t $200, but don’t tell Mr. Diva™).

simflex

SimFlex Folding Measure

I have one of these (as recommended by my dear friend, Carol JustKiddn) as she saw I was struggling with the spacing of my snaps when making little boys’ shirts.  This neat expanding tool accurately measures buttonholes, snaps, pleats, tucks, shirring and smocking.  It is also useful as a knitting gauge.  Bakers even use it to evenly space cake decorations!

pointpresser

Vintage Point Presser / Clapper

pinkscissors

Vintage Pink Scissors Set with Unique Needle Threader

buttonsizer

Vintage Brass Button Sizer

clothmeasurer

Vintage Cloth Measurer

ribbonpulls

Vintage Sterling Ribbon Pulls

buttonhole

Vintage Buttonhole / Thread Cutter

sewingboxtravel

Traveling Sewing Box

pintray

Humorous Needles and Pins Tray

pinkingtool

Vintage Pinking Tool

buttonmaker

Vintage Button Maker Kit

zipfix

Vintage ZIP-FIX fixes Broken Zippers

pleatmaker

Vintage Pleat Maker

smockruler

Vintage Smocking Ruler

spoolwheel

PINK Merry Spool Wheel

shearssharpener

Vintage Shears Sharpener

sewingplanter

PINK Plastic Sewing Machine Planter

childbluesewin

Vintage Child’s Sewing Machine

childpinksewin

PINK Vintage Child’s Sewing Machine

childpinksewin2

PINK Vintage Toy Sewing Machine

It’s always seems I find the BEST STUFF when I need to cut back!!!  So feel free to bid and buy…and send any of the above to me (only kidding…NOT).

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P is for…

Pattern Punch

aka Rabbit Ears…aka Bunny Punch

patternpunch

Pattern Punch 

Pincushions

pinmomo

My dear friend, April (aka momosclothes) absolutely has the most beautiful pincushions around…I have 3 and want more!   Get one here:

Momosclothes Pincushion on Etsy

Here are some other neat pincushions:

pintooth

Toothy Pincushion on Etsy

pinmushroom

Little Mushroom Pincushion

pintomato

Tomato Pincushions

pinstrawberries

Pint of Strawberries

pincupcake

Cupcake Pincushion

pinpumpkin

Pumpkin Pincushion

Want to make your own pincushion?

Stickin It to the Pincushion Tutorial

How About Orange Pincushion Tutorial

Craftlog’s Square Pincushion Tutorial

Instructable’s Emery Pincushion Tutorial

Pink

You all know how much I love PINK…well, look what I won on E-bay yesterday:

pnkthreadcaddy

a vintage PINK sewing thread caddy!!!

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HGTV ARTICLE…ORGANIZATION INSPIRATION

Look who got a mention of HGTV’s website…
HGTV Organization Inspiration

There’s a quick SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE Re-Cap:

Part I – Fabric

Part II – Thread

Part III – Needles and Stabilizers

Part IV – Lace, Trim and Ribbons

Part V – Sewing Library: Patterns, Embroidery Designs, Magazines & Books

Now you are probably thinking to yourself there is no way I can tackle my sewing room…there’s just so much stuff everywhere.  Well, then perhaps I should show you how it all looked when I first got started…

The Sewing Dungeon

organize15.jpg  organize91.jpg organize81.jpg

organize11.jpg organize5.jpg sewingroom10.jpg

fabricswap2.jpg 000_0837.jpg 000_0836.jpg

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The Dining Room

dining6.jpg dining3.jpg dining2.jpg dining1.jpg

So now do you understand why I had to take this sewing room organization thing seriously?  LOL.  If I can do it, anyone can!  Don’t be discouraged…take one step at a time and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying your new creative space!

Happy Organizing!

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SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE – PART III NEEDLES, PINS AND STABILIZERS©

SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
PART 3 – NEEDLES, PINS AND STABILIZERS

OK girls…time to move onto Part 3…
NEEDLES, PINS and STABILIZERS!

NEEDLES
Divide and store your machine sewing needles by size and/or type. In the past, I have used clear divided Tupperware™ storage wedges for my needle storage and labeled the different plastic wedged-shaped containers as follows:

needles.jpg

  • 70/10
  • 80/12
  • 90/14
  • 100/16
  • Specialty – metallic, topstitching, twin needles, etc.

However, since I now buy my needles wholesale by the dozens, I had to get something larger for my needles. I found this larger storage carousel at Staples:

needlestorage1.jpg

Here’s a great article from HGTV on the different types of sewing machine needles.

There are many different clear divided storage containers available to store your new needles:

12 compartment Carousel Storage Wheel

Tupperware 6 wedge Carousel

17 Compartment Storage Box

Plastic Storage Bin Container Tray

Clear Plastic Storage Boxes

Plastic Storage Case

6 Slot Locking Storage Box

Craft Mates Locking Storage Box

Another great idea for new needle storage is to use a small photo album with clear divided pages. You could also use clear trading card dividers and put them in a binder. You could easily find a photo brag book in the Dollar Store!

Check out this Diva one!

Princess Brag Book

Here’s a cute Leather brag book:

Leather Photo Album

Trading card sleeves:

Trading Card Sleeves

More Trading Card Sleeves

USED NEEDLES / NEEDLES IN USE

Use an old-fashioned tomato pin cushion to temporary distinguish the current needle in your machine and your slightly used needles. Using a black marker to divide and mark your tomato into sections:

tomatopincushion.jpg

  • E for Embroidery Needles
  • F for Fine Machine Needles
  • S70, S80, S90 according to the standard sizes you used most often
  • T for Topstitching Needles
  • M for Metallic Needles

Put a bright colored pin in the appropriate space on your tomato pin cushion to hold the place of the current needle in your machine.

Pick up one of these pin cushions at your local craft store or on eBay:

Simplicity Tomato Pin Cushion

Even better yet, Dritz now has a Dresden pincushion!

fonsporterpincushion.gif

Here’s a similar one available online:

Dritz Tomato Pin Cushion

Also check out this GRABBIT Needle Organizer. Just slide a needle into the loop strip next to the appropriate spaces and it stays put. You can also label the blank spaces. It also has an “IN USE” pin marker to easily identify the needle which is currently in your machine:

needlegrabbitmainphoto.jpg

Grabbit Machine Needle Organizer

You might even like this nifty NEEDLETRAK™ by the Quilted Ribbon. You can easily keep track of your needle in your machine by moving the arrow indicators to appropriate needle style and size. It also attaches to your machine:

needletrak.jpg

And if you don’t want to spend the $6 – $10 on the above Needletrak, you can make your own. I found this neat idea from the Moonlight Quilters Organization:

needlecasemoonlight.jpg

To make a needle case similar to the one pictured above:

  • Cut 8” squares of Muslin, Batting AND printed cotton fabric. You should have 3 squares.
  • Use a permanent pen to write the types and sizes of needles you use on the Muslim. (You could also draw your lines on a piece of tear away stabilizer and then just tear it away when you’re finished.)
  • Use black thread to stitch the continuous grid you see in the picture. (Note: I’d cheat by making up a simple embroidery design file in my embroidery customizing program so I can stitch these out for my friends).
  • Stitch a small piece of Velcro to the right side of the printed fabric. (Moonlight Quilter’s directions state to add a small piece of ribbon to sides, but I think the Velcro is a better idea as you don’t have to fuss with the ribbon ties…you just stick it to your machine with the coordinating Velcro piece.)
  • Place the printed fabric and batting right sides together on top of the muslin.
  • Stitch around all sides leaving a 2” space for turning.
  • Clip your corners to reduce bulk prior to turning.
  • Topstitch around all sides.

Presto…you have a neat handmade needle case! However, if you are really lazy, you could always use Velcro dots. Just stick a Velcro dot to the needle case of the needle you have in your sewing machine. It doesn’t get simpler than that!

Here’s something for your HAND NEEDLES…The Colonial NEEDLEPACK:

needlepack.jpg

This compact hand needle organizer with pocket guide for selecting the right needle and thread for your project comes with Colonial English-made hand needles. It has 5 pockets for storing new needles and clear-view slots for separating used needles or for setting up multiple needles for projects. Also includes a set of printed labels included.

Lastly, Fons & Porter now have these needle disposal cases for sale:

fonsneedledisposal.jpg

Is it me or are those totally useless? Why would you spend money of those when you could easily use an empty needle case or a film container? JMHO…

PINS

There are lots of ways to hold your sewing pins.  Try one of these:

grabbit 

Grabbit Magnetic Pincushion

magneticpaperclip

A Magnetic Paper Clip Holder is perfect for holding your regular pins.

wristgrabbit

Wrist Grabbit Wearable Magnetic Pincushion

collinswristpincushion

Collins Wrist Pin Cushion

bowl

Magnetic Bowl

sew_WANderful-lg

Sew Wanderful Magnetic Pin Holder

divapincushion

You can make your own pincushion to match your sewing room.  Here’s a list of tons of pincushion tutorials:

Diva’s List of Pincushion Tutorials

However, if you don’t feel like making own yourself, check out all the handmade pincushions on Etsy.com.

STABILIZERS AND INTERFACINGS

It is very easy to become confused with all the different stabilizers and interfacings available to the home sewer. When I purchase them on small rolls, I mark the cardboard roll and stick the original plastic packaging inside the roll (the instructions are then easy to find). If I purchase stabilizers or interfacings from a bolt, I wrap it with its original instructions.

All stabilizers and interfacings can be stored in a large clear rolling bin (clearly labeled, of course). However, I recently came up with a much better solution….why not use a soda bottle holder or wine rack? Since I gave up soda a few months ago, I was about to throw out my 2 liter soda bottle holder…yet now it holds my stabilizers on a shelf! I wish I had thought of that sooner! No more digging in the big stabilizer box. I still will use the box for large "yardage" of interfacings on bolts. Here’s a photo of my soda/stabilizer holder…

stabilizerholder.jpg

There are many useful ones available on eBay:

Wooden Wine Rack

Metal Wine Rack

Another Wine Rack

and yet another Wine Rack…LOL

and another

last one

You could even use a Plastic Wrap Organizer and mount it to the wall:

Rubbermaid Kitchen Wrap Organizer

Wire Kitchen Wrap Organizer

Think you can handle this challenge? You have 72 hours! Please post your BEFORE and AFTER pictures as soon as you’re finished!

Good luck!

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