My Creative Workspace

Sewing Room 1

Hi Everybody! I’m back today with a little different type of post. I was inspired by WeWork.com to post about my workspace. They are a company that has co-working locations throughout the country for various types of creators.  I have shown pictures of my set up over on Instagram but I don’t think I’ve ever shared it here on my blog, so I thought it would be a fun change of pace.

Sewing Machines

We live in a three bedroom house with no basement. We moved into this house a little over two years ago when we only had the two boys. Our townhouse only had one main living room, but our house has a living room/dining room combination and a separate family room. Since we only had furniture for the family room, our mostly unfurnished living room became my sewing room. I do my own kind of co-working in this room– it also doubles as the Island of Sodor, where giant train track layouts are created on a regular basis.  We haven’t changed anything in this room yet. I am not a huge fan of the wall color or the curtains, but doing updates hasn’t been a priority yet.

Sewing Desk

My sewing table is set up against the wall where we would eventually like to put a couch. (I am in no hurry for this to happen since I have no idea where my sewing table would go in that case!) The desk is an Elfa unit from The Container Store. The top drawer holds my most used sewing tools– seam ripper, thread nippers, and needles. The other drawers hold fabric, interfacing, and fabric scraps.

Sewing Desk Drawer

I sometimes wish we had an extra bedroom where I could set up my sewing table, but with three small children I think that this is actually the best option for me. Being in the thick of things means I am able to sneak in some sewing time during the day if the boys are playing. If I had to go upstairs to a bedroom I wouldn’t be able to leave the guys unsupervised for long– especially since they’re currently really into hitting each other.

Projects

Dining Room table

I love that I can leave my sewing machines set up all of the time. This really helps with keeping me productive. Unfortunately, it also leads to the dining room table being a constant mess since that’s where I do my  pattern assembly, tracing, cutting, marking, pinning, etc. I try to force myself to clean up after each project, but that doesn’t always happen. (Having to take pictures of my work area really did force me to clean up, though, which was a big reason I thought I should do this post!) It’s always a mad scramble to clean up when guests are coming over.

Green Desk

I keep my apparel fabric stash, notions, sewing books, and paper patterns in this green desk. (My PDF patterns are stored in a file crate in a closet down the hall.) I got this desk years and years ago and it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It’s amazing how much stuff I can fit in it! No one would guess all that is hidden away in there keeping the room from being an even bigger mess! The desk is quite full right now, so I think I need to put myself on a stash diet until I get some of that fabric used.

Green Desk Opened

The lighting in this room isn’t the greatest for taking photos. There are 4 windows, but with the trees and the neighbors’ house things are always a bit shadowy. I haven’t figured out a good solution for doing indoor blog photos– I hope that Gillian’s series will shed some light (literally!) on that for me!

Do you sew in a dedicated sewing room or are you in the middle of the house getting threads everywhere like I am?

Thanks to WeWork.com for motivating me to clean up my crafty mess and show where I create!

~Teri

Rayon Jogger Shorts

Carolyn Shorts Union St Tee 2

Hello! I’m back with what may be the tail end of my Summer sewing! At the beginning of the Summer I saw a pair of rayon shorts at Gap that I wanted to try to re-create. The fabric was an abstract navy and off-white print and the shorts were a loose, jogger style. I ordered some of this Cotton + Steel rayon with the intention of making shorts. I decided to audition a few different patterns before cutting into my actual fabric. I had recently sewn the sample of the Alexandria Pegged Trousers for Indiesew and I decided to start with that pattern.

Alexandria Track Shorts 1

This pattern comes with a shorts variation, but it has a curved “dolphin hem,” which I didn’t want. I went with a straight hem and cut them so the inseam would be 7″ after hemming. I was a little bit leery about the pleats on this style, because I grew up wearing terrible ’80s pleats. I gave them a shot, though, since I loved how the Indiesew sample turned out and I’d seen versions on other blogs that looked great.

Alexandria Track Shorts

The shorts fit well and are really comfortable. The construction is interesting because the outermost pleat sort of encases the top of the pocket.  Sadly, in the end I remembered why I prefer flat front pants/shorts. When I walk in these the fabric poofs out and I don’t think they are the most flattering on me. I feel like they look best when I wear a longer shirt that covers the pleats and holds everything down. Or if I just stand still. I am really glad I gave these a shot and I have worn them quite a bit, but I decided not to use this pattern for my Cotton + Steel fabric.

Carolyn Shorts Union St Tee 3

Next, I tried the Carolyn Pajamas. I knew I liked my pajama pants and figured at the very least I’d end up with some comfortable jammie shorts. I lowered the  rise by about 3/4″ based on my previous Carolyn pants. I also shortened the pants pattern instead of lengthening the shorts pattern. I hadn’t ever assembled the Carolyn shorts pattern so it was easier for me to do it this way.

Carolyn Shorts Union St Tee

I am really happy with how these turned out! It’s been a while since I saw my inspiration shorts so I can’t remember if they fit the same way, but I think this is the pattern I will use for my real fabric. The only question is whether I’ll get a chance to make them before Summer ends or if they’ll have to wait until next year.

Carolyn Shorts Union St Tee 1

Alexandria Track Shorts 2

I also made the tees that I am wearing.  They are both made from heather gray Laguna Jersey. The short sleeved tee is a Union St tee. It’s a great wardrobe basic! The tank is a hybrid of the Foxglove Tank and the Tessuti Lisa dress. I used the Foxglove for the neckline, the Lisa pattern for the arms, and then followed the Foxglove pattern to get the flared shape. I kept a bit of the high-low hem from the Foxglove Tank, but reduced it considerably. The tank is almost exactly what I envisioned, but I think the fabric I used wasn’t quite right.  I think something with a little more drape, like a rayon/spandex, would be better.  It’s a bit of a tent, but it’s a comfortable tent on a hot day.

So the question is– do I look like I’m wearing my pajamas??

~Teri

Astoria Sweater and Veronika Skirt

Astoria Veronika 1

Hey Everyone! I have been trying for the last few days to get a few minutes to post about my new top and skirt but time has been really scarce this week. My oldest son tripped over some shoes on Tuesday and he wouldn’t walk after it happened. His foot was swollen but we weren’t sure if he was just milking the accident so that we would carry him around or let him sit on the couch watching cartoons. I thought maybe he would forget about it overnight, but Wednesday morning he still wouldn’t walk so I took him to the doctor and we were sent to get an X-Ray. Today we got the call that he’s got a fracture in his foot. Now I feel really badly for griping at him for all of the whining I’ve heard the last few days! We are also trying to potty train Andrew, which has not been a lot of fun so far.

Astoria Veronika 4

Anyway, back to the matter at hand! I made this Veronika skirt over a month ago, right after I made my Brumby skirt. This is a free pattern from Megan Nielsen and it can be made in knit or woven fabric. I dove right in with this mystery knit that’s been in my stash for a while. I think it’s a rayon spandex blend, based on the feel. I love this skirt so much. There is nothing like a circle skirt, even when you’re 42 years old. It just makes me want to twirl around like Diana Prince about to change into Wonder Woman.

Astoria Veronika 2

It’s recommended that the skirt hang for 24 hours before hemming so that the hem can drop. Mine definitely dropped in some places and I tried to even it out, but without a dress form I think it’s really hard to do. My hemline is sort of uneven, but since so full at the hem it doesn’t bother me too much. I tried hemming it with a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine, but it came out wavy and horrible. I ended up ripping it out, which took an eternity, and for now it’s unhemmed. (I broke my jersey twin needle and haven’t replaced it yet or I would have hemmed it that way.) This fabric doesn’t fray or roll at the bottom so I will probably just leave it as is.

Astoria Close Up

I also finally got around to making the Astoria cropped sweater from Seamwork Magazine. I was worried it would fit badly, since my Oslo Cardigan really didn’t fit me well. But after I saw the fantastic version that Teresa from Navy Blue Threads made I decided to give it a shot. I am really surprised at how much I like it. I am planning a few minor changes for my next one– a forward shoulder adjustment, adding an inch to an inch and a half in length, and lowering the center front neckline about half an inch. I feel like it’s hitting me in sort of a strange spot right in the front. I made a size M graded to a L and it’s a good fit. (My bust is 37″ and my waist is 32″.)

Astoria Side

The fabric I used for the top is this black cotton/spandex jersey from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. It’s very similar to the Laguna Jersey that I use all the time for knit tops. I am planning to make both of these patterns again. A ponte version of the skirt is high on my list for fall after seeing this gorgeous mustard Veronkia skirt from Meg. And maybe one day I’ll try a woven skirt, but the knit one is just so comfy and quick to make.

Astoria Veronika 3

Despite this looking like a Fall outfit I’m still working on shorts and t-shirts, too. Are you guys still sewing for summer or have you moved on to Fall clothes?

~Teri