Sewing Studio Tour

8SO….Finally it is complete. My new sewing studio. It seems to have taken forever, though it has only really been a few weeks. What turmoil we have gone through in the house, living with dust and rubble in everything from my make up to the boy’s cornflakes – it gets everywhere. We all sound like we have a severe case of asthma, gravelly voices and non-stop wheezing, I never realised how much havoc a build can create.

 

So that will be our last home extension, ever! We did have a conservatory built on a few years ago, but there was nowhere near as much upheaval. I felt like I was living with 10 men at some points, they were there when I woke up and I was shoo-ing them out the door sometimes at 7pm so I could have a quiet glass of wine before it all started over again.

 

Although it was fraught, I have to say now it has definitely been worth it.

I now have huge runs of storage behind doors along each side of the studio – this is lucky because obviously we lost the loft for storage and we still have a lot of junk to store, including excessive Christmas trees and decorations, 200 years of family photographs, 80 paintings from previous artistic family members which I am waiting to posthumously gain in value (unlikely to happen really) and more suitcases than you can shake a stick at.

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I have moved most of my sewing paraphernalia in now, though I am still trying to get it set up properly and find everything a proper home, but I thought it was time to show you how it looks now compared to where we started 10 weeks ago.

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The windows are large and airy and can be opened up both sides so I can feel the breeze blowing straight through (or an icy gust of wind, depending on the day) I planned the position to allow in the most light into the centre of the room where I do most of my pottering around.

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I planned worktop with desk spaces along one whole side, with nothing built in on the other side to allow for my cutting table, and a bit of room to breathe.

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We used Ikea Kallax units to fit out everything with Ikea worktops. I wanted lots of open shelving so I can see all my fabrics – it gives me constant joy and inspiration (Maybe I’m a bit sad)

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We constructed a long thin cutting table to fit the space (from more Kallax units) which is narrow enough to walk all the way around without bumping your head on the sloping walls, well, it is for me anyway as I am a bit of a short-arse, I have a friend however who is 6’5” and it wasn’t quite as accommodating for him as the big bump on his head can testify.  Sometimes it’s good to be short.

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My main feature was my ‘Wonderwall’ at the back which is designed to show off glass jars with my trims and haberdashery – a bit like an old fashioned sweetie shop, with a large open shelf in the middle for photography. (I’m actually finding it very useful to prop my iPad in there and watch TV at night if the boys are all out, it’s so very cozy, especially if the fire is on.

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I purchased a lovely patchwork chair and footstool from Ebay which sits beautifully in the corner and is exceptional for watching Stranger things 2 on a dark night when the rain is battering on the Velux windows.

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The lighting in the ceiling is LED and very good, but I have bought task lighting for the desks as, I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but I am allergic to any lights that flicker – which include LED and fluorescent – which yes, is an absolute nightmare in today’s world.  I had loads of electricity points put everywhere. I think 16 sockets in total, and I am already wishing I had more. I had accounted for machines, but not for phone/tablet chargers etc.

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Along the long shelved wall I have my sewing machine and computer. I have a separate desk for my embroidery machine by the stairs. This little spot also handily fits my ironing board as if it was made for it.

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Anyway, my Spencer Ogg decal has been applied so I am now well and truly installed and working every day from my new haven. It’s the best present I could ever have. A total joy to work in. I just have to keep it tidy – unfortunately I am a bit of a messy worker, but it’s too nice to be untidy so I will be trying really hard to keep everything in its place.

 

In the morning I don’t go off to work any longer, I go up to FIBRESPACE.

So many friends have been around to enjoy a bit of crafting and Prosecco, I now have a permanent wine cooler up there, and Mr O has put a sign on the door –

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Flexible container anyone?

A lovely round bottom

The Shapely Tote – there is nothing like a lovely round bottom.

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The Shapely Tote sewing pattern

So….if you are looking for a bell bottom tote bag that makes a beautiful every day handbag, (and even if you aren’t), look no further.

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The major selling feature is there is no hardware required ! Always a massive plus point for me because when I want to make something, it always seems that I don’t have exactly the right components already in my considerable stash, so I have to start shopping around stores and web sites to find the right bits of metalwork.

That of course leads to a massive shopping spree to stock up on any other bits I imagine I may be requiring over the next 6 months (which usually then sit in a drawer for eternity), and also means I cannot make it there and then – and I am a kind of immediate gratification type of girl.

So, one click of the finger, grab your sewing paraphernalia, and away you go.

It is a pretty easy and quick make too. Not many PDF pattern pieces to stick together, and once you have cut everything out it goes together really quickly.

The bag has an inside phone pocket and a large profile stitched outer pocket which has a contrast bound top edge as a style feature.

I used fusible foam inside (Bosal or Annies Soft and Stable) I find the one side fusible foam is by far the best for me; it holds the fabric shape and crispness so much better than sew-in foam and the bag will stand up on its own.  I have been waiting for this product to become commercially available for years (whilst using car headliner in the long interim period)

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The bag has a generous gusset, which is pretty easy to attach, and means that the finished tote has lots of room inside for your essentials and even your sandwiches on a day out.

I made this example up in Harris tweed, but it is suitable for most medium weight fabrics including tweeds, denim and medium weight furnishing weight cottons. Did I tell you of my deep love for Harris Tweed. Actually someone from Harris Tweed recently posted on a photo of a Harris Tweed bag on one of my Facebook posts that I had used it the wrong way round – woops, sorry HT – just shows how much I know (Just like John Snow)

Lots of colour photos and comprehensive instructions to walk you through every stage of makeup, and it’s a sew and sell pattern so you are welcome to sell your finished article in small scale.

I just checked the definition of ‘bag’ in the dictionary, and it states – a flexible container with an opening at the top, used for carrying things

Maybe I should change my shop name to FLEXIBLE CONTAINERS ?

Anyway you can get the pattern here:

Happy sewing!

NEWS FLASH !

Fame (I’m gonna live forever)

NEWS FLASH! Spencer Ogg pattern featured yesterday on the front page of Pattern Pile   (grab a wee discount code to celebrate)

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Lovely to see one of my patterns on their site. I have been selling this sewing pattern steadily for a while now, it’s a firm favourite, and it is available in various sizes to fit various tablet and iPad models-

  • iPad models 1 2 3 and 4, and any tablet up to a size of
    9.56″ x 7.47″ x 0.5″ (24.3cm x 19cm x 1.3cm) click here
  • iPad Air models, and any tablet up to a size of  9.4″ x 6.6″ x 0.3″ (24cm x 16.9cm x 0.75cm) click here
  • iPad mini and similar size tablets: (Blackberry Playbook/HTC Flyer/Lenovo IdeaPad A1/Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and many more)
    7.87 in × 5.30 in × 0.28 in (20 cm × 13.5 cm × 0.7 cm) click here

I’ts a nice easy make and you can use up lots of your stash of oddments and pretty haberdashery.

Use the code OGG10 at checkout to grab a 10% discount on any patterns on my Etsy Shop PDF Patterns Plus

I think I may pop a bottle of Prosecco tonight to celebrate

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What’s at the top of my Stairway to Heaven

The excitement is mounting. I now have stairs. I am LOFTGIRL!

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I presume the man under the stairs will eventually leave and it won’t be like the 3 Billy Goats Gruff ‘Tripp-trapping’ over the Troll’s bridge forever more. Crap, now I have thought about that I may have nightmares for years worrying that he is still walled up in there!

Speaking of which, I had a spare mannequin and gave it to one of my friends last month for her dressing room. The kids have been scared witless every time they pass the room at night. I think I might be getting it back.

So here is a bit of an update on my sewing studio build.

The supporting struts have now been removed, and it makes a huge difference.

BEFORE                                           AFTER

Walls have been plaster-boarded and now plastered. The guys are telling me I can’t paint until the plaster has dried so it will be a few more days yet, and it’s seriously killing me. I am thinking of painting everything white with whitewashed board flooring to keep things as light as possible, so I can do my photography shoots in the studio too. I am assuming the vast array of clashing fabrics should add all the colour I need. What do you think?

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We are down to 4 builders this week rather than 8 so I am biting my nails hoping that the work won’t slow down as things have moved on really quickly so far.

My cupboards and shelving are being made up today.

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I’m trying to keep things as compact as possible at the sides so I can get a large cutting table with seating in the middle. I’ve ordered a huge length of worktop to go across 8 metres of shelving on the right hand side, and I will have gaps in the shelving underneath to use as desks. I am trying to plan spaces now to place each machine or computer where I want to use it (still pondering on the ugly old ironing board position, I don’t want it to spoil things, but it is an old faithful)

The builders are doing well, I may have to include biscuits in the tea run this week to keep their mojo up, we don’t want them running out of steam.

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If you didn’t see my earlier posts on the build, you can catch up on part 1 here and part 2 here

So you bought a machine, what next !! Part 2

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Part 2 of my post on starting to sew and care of your machine. In this post I am going to concentrate on solving problems and then a little light maintenance.

Do you suffer with tension, arghhhhh! Yes, the thing we hate the most. I spend more time messing about with machine tensions than anything else.
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We all struggle with tension problems – particularly to start with, I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to throw my machine down the stairs over the years – its still beats us all sometimes!

 

click on the pic below for an informative read on solving tension problems – from All Free Sewing

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Understanding Sewing Machine Tension from Crafty Baba also gives good advice on this subject.

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and finally, a gentle video on sewing machine maintenance – from Easy Sewing for beginners. Get your tea and biscuits at the ready again.

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Lots more tips on my Pinterest board here

If you didn’t catch part 1 you can see it here

 

So you bought a machine, what next!! Part 1

Many of my clients are brand new to sewing, have bought their first sewing machine and wondering how to get started. If it makes you feel like this…….

then read on

I’ve brought together a few tips and tutorials on how to thread up your machine and start stitching, solving problems and then a little light maintenance. I’ve split this post into two as there is lots of information.

Great for newbie sewers but also a great reminder for those of us (particularly me, with the memory of a goldfish) how things work and that we should be cleaning and oiling our babies regularly.

Two nice tutorials here on the basics of how to thread up and start using a sewing machine – from Fleece Fun and The Creative Curator, depending whether you like a video or photo tutorial

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Pictoralhow to use a SM

Next, get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit (I particularly like Wagon Wheels for this), and let’s have a look at which foot to use for which job – by Raechel Myers

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and then choosing the right needle (may require another Wagon Wheel) – by Melanie Kham.

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Which stitch to choose – tips from the Sewing Corner. I know, its a lot to take in all at once. I promise to stop after this.

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Part 2 coming right up

Lots more tips on my Pinterest board here

Cover your Kindle

I have just released my new sewing pattern for a Kindle cover. Its quite adaptable and comes with size options for a whole host of e-reader and mini tablet size versions.

It has an ear bud pocket and an ingenious inlet for headphone jack or charging cord at the bottom.

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It also makes a really cute bag – can you believe I have  been using it when I walk the dog (not with a cable sticking out of the bottom, but poop bags) – everyone keeps stopping me and asking where I got it from. Obviously this has given me the idea to adapt a version of this to a dog walkers bag sewing pattern later, but we digress!

Its an easy pattern so it’s great for beginners, and comes with full instructions to make either a wrist strap, cross-body or neck strap.

It is fully lined, with a little wadding to save your device from knocks

A seperate pocket at the front keeps your headphones or charging lead handy.
Your device can be charged whilst still in its case thanks to a handy cord inlet at the bottom

Great stash-buster!

You can grab the pattern here

Happy Sewing Everyone !