Monday, 22 May 2017

M6844 for Summer ~ May MAGAM completed

Here I am, wearing yet another, albeit a very slightly different version, of M6844. This is my one for summer and is also my project for the Merry May MAGAM Challenge. 

The merriness is in the fabric. It's just so light and summery and very merry for May. This fabric is a fairly recent purchase from Minerva Crafts. I bought it specifically for this pattern so the fabric didn't come out of my stash. This is a better photo of it taken from their website.

Minerva Catalogue Photo

It's quite a loose knit and very lightweight making it perfect for a summer version. 

For my summer version, I altered the pattern slightly this time by shortening the sleeves. And just for a little more difference, I also shortened the peplum at the back so it was the same length as it is on the pattern at the side seams. Plus, I added my usual belt with some thread loops to keep it in place.

The trousers are also another favourite pattern of mine, the Elle Pant which I made in Teal Bengaline

I have covered both these patterns before more than once, so I am keeping this post brief! The Elle Pants, are a good staple that I will continue to use for a good while yet but I think (at least for now) I am done with M6844. I will however, put that one into semi retirement rather than full retirement, just in case! I am thinking that I should also be done with this colour! I am loving turquoisey blues at the moment, I can't get enough of it. And I still have yet one more project to blog that is also these colours 😮 Hay ho! 

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read 😀

Happy Sewing!
Dawn x

Friday, 12 May 2017

Part 2 ~ Sewing Room Additional Features

Hi everyone! To continue on from my last post about my new sewing space, this one includes all the extra the additional bits and bobs I've added to my room over the past 6 months. So if you're looking to see something new I've sewn, you won't find it here 😵. It's been so exciting putting this room together and finally after 3 years of living here, getting everything organised into a proper home.

The first thing I did when we put my sewing room back together 6 months ago (after the building renovations) was to get all my fabric out of bags, boxes, cupboards etc and into some tidy storage. The unit is Ikea's Kallax and is perfect for storing fabrics. I even have gaps! When fabric was shoved here there and everywhere, I felt like I had too much. Now it seems I have room for more haha 😊

I got 4 baskets for the bottom to store all my remnant pieces. One is still empty!

The second thing I did, was to sort out my sewing patterns into some kind of filing system. When I joined Pintrest a couple of years or so ago, I always pinned any new patterns that I bought so I could see what I had. This left all other patterns purchased before Pintrest "unpinned". So, I decided to create a board on Pintrest for each pattern category (i.e Skirts, Tops, Dresses etc etc) which I now use to browse through my Pattern Stash. (Incidentally, in case anyone interested was wondering where these boards are, all my pintrest boards are a free-for-all to browse, with the exception of patterns. I didn't think my entire pattern collection was of any interest to anyone else so I kept them only visible to me!)

Anyway.... Previously, pinned or not, all my patterns were just in random boxes. The only significance between them was either "made" or "un-made". Now I have these fabulous new boxes and each one of the Pintrest boards coincides with a pattern box labelled with the same category. So if I want to make a skirt, I can browse all my skirt patterns on Pintrest and I know I will then find the chosen pattern in the pattern box labelled "Skirts." Oh! And the patterns are all in alphabetical Pattern Company order and pattern number order. These boxes sit on top of my fabric stash Kallax

On the photo above, you may have noticed my threads cabinet. First off, the credit for these thread trays goes entirely to my Dad. He made me one of these back in the 80's when I started sewing and back then, it held most of my sewing threads. To me it was a genius idea and I was so proud to have my very own "tray" full of cottons! A lot of my sewing things got "lost" over the years, but thankfully this never did. Years later, I have acquired a lot more cottons, so stealing Dad's idea, DH and I made several more. 
DH drilled the holes and cut the dowels, and I just glued them all in.

The chest of drawers in which they stand, Mum was getting rid of. And by sheer coincidence the trays fit in perfectly. Dad made the drawers also and although he didn't make them for the trays, it's just like he did! There was no better fit.

The photos above and below are unfortunately the only ones I have of the drawers in their original state, as I forgot to take any! (Mum had them inside a wardrobe, so it made no odds what they looked like in there). 

I took all the drawers out and undercoated it

and then painted everything in cream. Done. 😀

The small middle drawer holds my bobbins

Next up for a makeover was my cupboard over the stairs. As you can see it was pretty damp in there before the builders came in, (hence all the construction work last year) and also pretty useless for storing anything neatly. It either had to be piled up, or left as a wasted space.

You can see just how old our cottage is below (210 years old), by the shape of the wall inside!

Here below, with the frame painted, you can see how yellow the paint used to be!

It's now had a fresh lick of paint, inside and out, and has shelves making it very handy for (tidy!) storage

And two new door handles 😀

 I now also have my iron stowed away neatly on the wall next to this cupboard.

The only thing I don't have in my room atm is a stand alone ironing board. I may or may not get one in the future. So far I am managing well with my little table top one. This is ideal as I can keep it out on the cutting table whilst sewing, and then once a project is complete and I am ready to cut out something else, It just folds up and stows away.

The biggest and best addition to my room is of course the cutting table. Its an IKEA hack made up of 3 Kallax units fixed to a board with casters on the bottom, (so I can move it easily around the room) and a kitchen worktop surface. This was kindly made up as a surprise by my wonderful husband! The table top is solid wood and needed 3 coats of varnish to make it nice and smooth. Since my last post, it's had drawers added.

These shelves below hold all my little bits and bobs. The small boxes house my notions. I need to get some more as I still have bits to file away. And I have room to fill at least another shelf.

everything is handy by above my sewing machine

Of course,  a lot of the credit must go to my darling husband who put so much work into making this room happen. Without him, I wouldn't have a room to be proud of. I still need a few small additions and some finishing touches, but all in all, it's a job well done, and I am very lucky and very, very happy! 😊

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing Everyone 😀

Saturday, 6 May 2017

My Sewing Space

I absolutely love to see others sewing rooms and spaces. It's like peering into a fellow sewers little piece of heaven. These spaces, big or small, are where our magic happens. So as my female cave is now all finished, (well I say finished... it still needs some finishing touches) I thought I'd share mine.

I have always been quite lucky having my own space to sew. And I never take this for granted. Sewing is a pleasure and having a space to sew in your home is lucky. Having a room in your home to sew, I feel is a luxury and a privilege.
My Mum sewed, so when I was little I always remember her sewing in her own little corner of the house. When I started to sew myself, we had moved house and Mum and I shared part of the dining room and cut out on the floor! So I know what it is like to have limited space. When I left home, I had enough room to sew, but then found that I didn't sew much at all. Life takes over and priorities change. It did for me anyway. It didn't help that fabric shops were becoming a thing of the past and of course there was no online shopping back then. How things have changed in 20 years.

Anyway, fast forward a few years, when I started sewing again in 2012 to make my Winter Wonderland Wedding Dress and Coat. Again I had my own room in which to do this, but it also doubled up as my office as my desk was also in there, as was all our bookcases. Well, it was actually my office originally, the sewing just took over and the office had to share! But I felt really lucky to have that room.

Yes, it's a mess; it's a working space! 😜

A few more years on and we have moved house again to what we hope is our forever-home. I have a sewing room here which is totally devoted to sewing and sewing only. It has 2 windows letting in lots of light and I have a sea view 😊I didn't make any effort with it when we first moved, I just moved straight in as I found it because I knew we had to have some building works carried out eventually. It was a sewing room and that's all that mattered.

My View 😊

These next few photos are what my room looked like before the builders moved in

A bit of a mish-mash but it worked and I loved it. The light is everything in this room.

Last year, we finally had all the building work done and I was without my room for over 3 months. 
I wasn't sorry to say goodbye to that ghastly wallpaper I can tell you!

When the building work was complete, we decorated the 2 walls that had been treated to make it acceptable and I moved back in. This is those same two walls

There was still work to do in this room, but having had half of our house in turmoil and dust for so long, we just wanted to get straight again and have a break from maintenance and home decor. Plus, naturally I was keen to get proper sewing again!! So I put my room back together and this is how its looked 

It's tidy. Not even used yet! 

It's now been over 6 months since the builders left and it was time to finish the room properly. Well DH decided it was anyway.... there I was sewing away, minding my own business one rainy afternoon, when in walks DH with a crow bar, ready to demolish the rickety old fitted wardrobe. So with barely enough time to pack everything away, it was all systems go!

First out was the aforementioned ricketty old wardrobe which is at the entrance to my room. It's been ripped out because:
1. I don't need it
2. It was falling apart anyway
3. It was in the way, taking up (valuable) space
4. It was so old, inside it smelt of old womans handbag! Urghh, yes really! This is an old cottage; there was damp 😑

This is a better photo of it taken just before the builders came.
Now you see it.....

now you don't!

And this is how this side of the room looks now, completely finished.
(Tidy still....  again, not yet used!)

The wall shelves (moved from the opposite wall) are now where the wardrobe used to be and I have moved my desks over there too. Here I have the machines set up. Oh! And new blinds 😀 what a difference a bit of colour makes.

The unit which stores my fabric was a new addition straight after the builders left and is the only thing that hasn't moved or changed since, although it does now house new pattern boxes on the top

It's starting to look more like a used room now!

So with taking the wardrobe out, and moving everything over to this side of the room, it then left plenty of space at the opposite end to fit a cutting table in!

This is the back wall where the shelves and cupboards once were. The cupboards incidentally are no more. Everything from those has fit into the table space 😀

(Oh look... there's a top not yet blogged, on Lady Mai!)

And one last photo taken yesterday. Bit of a rearrange on the table... I now have drawers, Yaay! And my pinboard of life's sentimental keeps is back on the wall too 😁

Besides the table, I have also had a few other new additions to the room which have slowly progressed whilst my room was part done after the builders had been. These I will feature in my next post as I am aware of this already too long post! 

Part 2 to follow...!

Happy Sewing all and thanks for stopping by 😀