Sewing Space

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Sewing Studio

As today is the last day of September and National Sewing Month, I thought I would share a few other ways I have my sewing studio set up for ease of use.  Please see my post from last Monday to see my favorite methods of fabric storage.

There’s one thing you can’t ignore with sewing, and that is how you set your space up for cutting fabric.  One of the main reasons I like to sew smaller items is that it makes setting up the space for this task much easier.  I only use a 2′ x 3′ cutting mat, along with my 2′ Omnigrid ruler, 6 1/2″ Omnigrip square, and rotary cutters for all these chores.  The real trick here is to get your cutting board at the right height for you, so that you don’t develop unnecessary back problems!

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Cutting Table

Along with my cutting space I also wanted an organized area to store all my patterns I have developed.  I knew that narrow trays would be the perfect solution.  I found the right combination for cutting/storage at the Container Store, by combining two of their 16″ stackable Elfa drawers with six narrow trays and one medium tray. These trays pull out for easy access to my patterns, and in fact the top tray holds my rotary cutters and extra blades as well.  The deeper tray at the bottom holds my Toughtek fabric, which is quite heavy, and the freezer paper I use for all my pattern making.  Labels on the fronts of drawers make contents quickly known.

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Layers of Cutting Table Top

I added the Container Store’s “stick on” silver melamine to the top of the unit, and attached four casters to the base.  I have never needed to use the locks on the casters (stays steady enough for cutting without the need to do that), but  this addition makes the entire unit easily movable for times when you might need the space for other things.  Since the melamine top is approximately 21″ square, it is not quite the right size to support the 3′ x 2′ cutting mat.  Another solution – I purchased a lightweight 1″ thick drawing board, which just happens to be exactly 3′ x 2′, from my local Michael’s store to give my cutting mat the support it needs.  Perfect!  And again if space is needed you can easily take the cutting mat/board combo off the top and store away as needed.

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Sewing Table Drawer

The other thing that helps me the most with my sewing tasks is my large sewing table.  I have to admit I splurged here and purchased a dining table for my main work area.  This table is big…long enough to hold three sewing machines side by side.  And yes sometimes I have them all set up at once, and can quickly roll my work chair from one to the other.  I have my regular machine and my serger, and a second regular machine that has black thread and a walking foot for sewing the Toughtek bases to my pet beds.  And the best thing about my table is the built-in narrow drawer, which stores all my thread, scissors, and other sewing instruments.  Keeps all that away from the kitties and neatly stored.  All in all, a perfect sewing room guaranteed to keep me happy!!

Do you sew, and if so do you have a favorite way to set up your sewing space?

 

Sew Colorful

Aurefil Poster

There’s just something about color in thread and fabric that really gets me drooling.  Those of you who sew will totally know what I am talking about!  When I saw this new line of Aurifil cotton thread that the Hawthorne Threads website started carrying this past week, I got pretty excited.

252 colors.

252 glorious colors! 

And all viewable online.  And then of course there is the chart you can purchase.

Thread Card

Oh my.  I think the Kona cotton color chart I currently have is in need of a colorful thread chart for a friend.  And if you are trying to match specific thread colors to your fabrics, this is the way to do it.  Yes it may be a little more money up front  (this thread chart sells for $29.50), but it’s the only way to go if you are going to order products online.  And it certainly beats standing in long lines at your local brick-and-mortar store, your sample fabrics in hand, to purchase your thread.

In my shop I had a need to match all of the 37 minky colors I carry to a same color Kona cotton.  To start with I ordered many swatches of minky fabrics from several different online companies.  I did this both to check the quality of the fabrics and their color. Then I purchased my Kona color chart online through Purl Soho.  Here is a photo of that chart.  Yum!

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I then matched up my minky fabrics to the closest shade of Kona cottons, and created an Excel spreadsheet showing my color names (used in my own shop), and the product number/color listed for the corresponding fabric in several online shops.  A somewhat exhausting task but worthwhile once complete, as it saves me time when I need to place a new fabric order online.

Here is an example from that chart.

Excel Color Chart 2

I do a lot of my online ordering for both my Kona cottons and minky fabrics through Fabric.com.  So far I’ve experienced great customer service from them, and if your order is over $35 – which mine almost always is – shipping is free.  The chart above only shows nine of the 37 colors I carry.  As you can see, this chart allows me to quickly determine the correct product to purchase from each specific company.  The Kona cottons always carry the same name/number, even if purchased through someone other than Fabric.com.  In fact the highlighted rows above quickly indicate the colors that Fabric.com does not carry, and those products I purchase elsewhere.

For others who sew, or have a sewing business, I hope the process by which I select my products/colors is of some help.  I would also love to hear how you make your fabric color choices!