Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sewing Workstation

After making a few attempts to make clothes I realised that my current work area set up was not working for me.

I kept my sewing machine stored away with all my sewing accessories and when I wanted to make something, it would take over 10 minutes to get set up. I had to cut large pieces of fabric on the carpet or in the hallway outside the room, this was annoying and inconvenient. I used a small table to sew on, which was fine but I was sitting on the sofa bent over my sewing machine and after time I felt this was a bad position to be in. My items were nicely stored away and looked tidy but it didn't look good nor made me feel like I want to sew today.

I knew I needed to do something to improve my sewing area. The room was big enough, so space was not really an issue. I like to leave things tidy but at the same time wanted easy access to my sewing things when inspiration hit.

I was doing some research to find ideas and inspiration on how I could utilise my own space when I came across a very good blog on organising your stuff in the house at Junkie. Also searching on YouTube with 'sewing workstations' lead me to Flyingmichelle for her storage tips and ideas.

I measured up my area and realised that I could fit a decent size table in the corner and still have plenty of room to store all of my things. A trip to Ikea found me a lovely table for £29 which was perfect for me to sew, cut and do general things on.

I came across the idea of using an inspiration board from Diana Rupp's Sew Anything Workshop, which I had as a gift. An inspiration board is somewhere I could pin up any ideas for future sewing projects and I thought this would look good above the table. 

I am very pleased with my work station area now and can't wait to start making more sewing projects.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Shoe Bag

I have recently started a tap dancing class and needed somewhere to keep my shoes, I got fed up of carrying the shoe box and decided to make a shoe bag.

I found some useful links to help with making this project happen. On You Tube I searched for how to videos on making a shoe bag and spotted Candi Cane-Canncel expert advice in making a shoe bag, this is great for a step by step guide. I also came across Magchunk's website on 'How to Make a Cute Shoe Bag', this to was a great source of information.

For my shoe bag I used the following:-


100% Cotton Fabric 13" x 10"
Cord 1 meter


Sewing Machine
Seam ripper
safety pin

Time Taken: 3 hours
Skills Learnt, creating  button holes, straight stitching

Firstly I practised on scrap material to make sure I knew what I was doing. This took me about 3 hours from start to finish. I have never made button holes before and found this to be quite challenging. After my first sample was created and I was pleased with the size I went ahead and made my final shoe bag.

I brought this dress from the reduced range in the kiddies section in New Look for £3.00, it was dropped from £14 due to a rip in the top. I thought the pattern was very cute and decided to use the fabric for my shoe bag project.

I de constructed the dress and took off the bottom skirt by using the seam ripper, this

was the most time consuming part. Once the fabric was ready to use, I neatened up the ends using the scissors. I cut open one of the seams, as I wanted the narrow side to be the top of the bag. I also turned the fabric inside out with right sides together and used the iron to get any creases out of the material. 

Once the material was ready to be used, I pinned down both sides and used a straight stitch about 2-3 size on the sewing machine. After this was complete and all the seams were made I changed the sewing stitch on my machine to a zig zag and re-did the seams using that stitch, making sure the stitch was close to the edge of the fabric as possible, this was to create an overlocker look and to stop the fabric from fraying.

Once all the seams have been sewn I turned the fabric right way out and thought about where the button hole needs to be. I folded over the top of the material and made sure it was deep enough for

the cord to go through. I used the iron to create a crease to remind me later its for the casing. I measured out the area where I wanted the button hole to be and used the button making foot on the sewing machine to make a hole. Once the hole was created I used the seam ripper to cut the hole out. I turned the fabric inside out again and started using a straight stitch to sew up the seam for the casing.

I attached the cord onto a safety pin and started threading the cord through the casing. All done.

I am very pleased with the result as this if the first project I have completed which is actually usable and looks great. It took about 2 hours to complete and doing a practise run first really helped.