I’ve been YouTubed !

It’s been an exciting week at Spencer Ogg Towers!

I’ve just filmed my first short sew-a-long to get started with the medium of video. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but scared of being seen in real life!

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So here’s my first toe in the water, just me and a film student Jake. Thank goodness he knew something about camera angles/directing/editing/re-shooting/throwing great lumps away etc. It really is time consuming.

I know I was filmed for the Craftsy Class, but that was all singing, all dancing with crew and cameramen everywhere, make up artists, hair fluffers, sound checkers etc – all I had to do was sew. Now I have to think for myself too, it’s so much harder, and a steep learning curve for someone who was a social media illiterate just over a year ago, I hadn’t even heard the word vlogging.

So, I have unbelievably just launched my YouTube channel here: 

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and loaded up my first 8 minute video clip. It’s just on making an adjustable bag strap, and I’m sure most of you already know how to do it blindfold, but I needed a starting point. Be kind to me, its my first attempt and I’ve learnt a lot along the way!

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My plan is to do a couple more quick tutorials just to get myself and Jake used to it – and maybe improve a little into the bargain, and then, my first full sewing pattern sew-a-long! Now I know how long these things take to make, I better set a few weeks aside for that one!

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Please subscribe to the channel while you are on there, and my next free video tutorial should show up in your YouTube feed

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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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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

Sewing Studio Hoarder

So… I showed you my wreck of an attic before work started. Here is where we are now

Still a way to go but things are moving at a pace.

(If you want to see my previous studio update post, just click  here)
The guys are working hard, there are so many of them I can’t keep up. Every room in the house is in utter turmoil. If it’s not full of building rubble, key stones, ladders and cutting tools, then it is full of our previous attic’s crappy contents which I seem unable to let go. (Why would I need 4 dining room chairs that go with nothing and were out of date 10 years ago? I hold the hope that fashion changes and they may come back round again.)

What I am really trying to say is I am a hoarder. My (part) fabric stash lurking in the corner of the living room this week can attest to that fact,

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but why I need to hold onto useless things is beyond me – I just can’t let go ! Maybe it comes from not having much when you are younger, but the world is now cheaper and more disposable (not that this is right in any way). I am still holding onto the baby’s baby clothes, and my baby is now a 6 foot, fifteen year old hulk, and I won’t be doing that again any time soon.

Anyway, back to the job at hand, my sewing studio – (ooh, lets out a small squeak)

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The supporting steels are in, the windows are in, the cross beams are out, the first electrics are done – the electrician couldn’t believe how many double plug sockets I made him put in, or how many machines I could use in different places. He even questioned why I would need a socket behind the staircase spindles, but a girl just never knows ! (I was a brownie you know – be prepared!)

As for cups of tea arghhh! With 8 builders on site, it’s just relentless – I can’t get any work done (even if I could find somewhere to do it). And what is it with builders and sugar? I am on my 3rd kilo of sugar in as many days, I didn’t know anyone still had 3 sugars in a cup of anything.

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I refuse to complain however as it’s so worth it, this is going to change my work/ life completely, I’m such a lucky girl. I’m just counting down the days until it’s finished and I can get in there and start prettifying.

(If you want to see my previous studio update post, just click  here)

Stitchable Storage

So…I’m thinking about storage solutions for my new studio (currently being built – jumps up and down with excitement), I thought it would be fun to do a round-up of stitchable storage patterns. I am going to be making a few of these myself – everything matchy-matchy to start with of course.

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 Reversible sewing basket from eHow

Bubble Pods Pattern from Beth Studley

The Oslo craft bag from Sew Sweetness

The Sewing Project Bag from ricracsews

Flared Top Baskets From Around the Bobbin

Happy sewing everyone !

So…….Studio News

Before I show you where we are up to with my own studio build, I want to share with you some of my inspiration and favourite craft spaces that I have been drooling over from my Sewing room Pinterest board. You can follow any of my boards here

How gorgeous is this from Olabelhe. I just wanna run in there and never come out

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Or this from Holly DeGroot. – love the cutting table supported by 2 old sewing machine treadle bases.

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Fantastic storage and a comfy chair in a corner for pattern making ponderations.

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and sheer architectural gorgeousness

Now hold your breath.

Wait

Wait

Wait

Here is mine

Ta-da!

Do use your imagination.

I never knew I had so many old suitcases,  I know, just look at it. So much crap!

I remember the last time we moved house, the removal guys had to bring an extra truck and said we must have elastic walls.

Of course, I have managed to hoard even more since then. We did think about moving house, but the task just felt too enormous. So the decision was made to stay put and extend.

It may look uninspiring at the moment, but I can already visualise every shelf and where every pin will go. Watch this space…..

PS. I just bought 8 beautiful knobs for my cupboards that are being set into the eaves – do you think I may be getting ahead of myself??