IKEA Hack – Wardrobe to Sewing Room

FACT. I’m thrilled about our little one whose arrival can’t come quickly enough.

FACT. I already love our little one more than sewing.

FACT. Our house is small. Just under 1,000 square feet, two bedrooms.

FACT. One ENTIRE bedroom, is filled to the brim with my sewing/crafting stuff. Machine(s), glue, fabric, thread, paper, scissors, notions, pins, stickers, gift wrap, patterns, on & on & on & on.

FACT. Small children whom you love should not co-exist among such chaos. They bring their own baby-friendly chaos.

FACT. I need to sew.

FACT. My husband is the bomb diggity.

FACT. He turned this discontinued HEMNES wardrobe from IKEA into a lovely, totally functional sewing closet.

FACT. I’m not mourning the loss of an entire sewing room…cause look at this thing!

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Before:005 After:012Features I love:
Matt added a pull out table (which a chair fits perfectly under) and drop down desk to fill the gap behind, so I never have to unplug-replug things, and there is space to spread out. 
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Matt also added a shelf for our printer. That printer gets a lot of use. I print several recipes a week, not to mention the odd pattern, photo or receipt. I was bound and determined to have our printer set up so it was ready to go…always. He left a small gap behind the shelf for the cord to drop down, and drilled a hole at the base for an extension cord to seamlessly connect everything.

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The side shelves have plenty of room for the essentials and then-some.

016FACT. Yes, I’ll have to use the kitchen table to cut out those big projects.

FACT. Big freaking deal. I’m blessed to have a kitchen table to use and blessed to be starting a family.

FACT. Getting rid of things and keeping only what you actually need feels fantastic .

FACT. Gideon appreciated the fabric purge…if only for a few moments.
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Fabric Clips = Heaven.

I’ve discovered my new favorite sewing gadget. If you love sewing, or know someone who loves sewing, buy these.

Fabric clips…seriously the best thing ever. I really don’t know why they don’t get more hype! You can use the clips to hold several layers together, very firmly. Instead of jamming/bending a needle into it.

IMG_3901 IMG_3905When you sew with fabric like oil clothe or laminated cotton, pins leave holes. Enter, the fabric clip.IMG_3908If you’ve got a project that is a bit dainty, where the hem is delicate and it’s hard to pin it in place without the fabric moving all over the place…these are wondrous!
IMG_3944You can find these bad boys over in the quilting section of Joann’s Fabrics. But go prepared with a coupon to save $$. They’re spending without one.

Wallet fun.

Whoop whoop! I am so proud of this new creation. When I saw this wallet on another blog, I just knew I was going to have to try it.IMG_3785 IMG_3789 The pattern is: Straight Stitch Society – Have It All Wallet. I’ve never made anything this compact or with this many small little pockets. I thought it would be difficult. While the first wallet was slow going, taking me almost three hours, I slowly began to understand the pattern. By the third wallet, I was making it without looking at the instructions and in about half the time.

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The key to success here is to press really well and to turn the fabric nice and tight. If you are a confident beginner or intermediate sewer, give it a try! (Or head over to the shop to buy one) Happy sewing.

Homespun Help.

Lately, I’ve been semi-obsessing over new ideas for the Homespun Haley shop. Admittedly, I’ve also been semi-proud of myself for thinking things through before diving into them. I’ve been drawing up ideas and sewing several prototypes until I reach the best design. photo (11) Even though I’ve got about a million ideas that flutter through my mind everyday, what actually gets created and sold depends on one thing…what you want. I may think I have a good idea of what those things are, but how could I possibly if I’ve never asked? Here are some ideas I’ve been kicking around.

imageSo please, please, please, take a moment and let me know…what would you LOVE to see in the Homespun shop? More jewelry?  More clutches? Something random that I’ve never thought of? Leave a comment here or head on over to the Homespun Facebook Page and comment there. You never know…there might just be a giveaway that comes out of all this. ;)

/Cra’ft-i-tis’/

“{Craftitis; Definition: A temporary (hopefully) mental dysfunction marked by hysteria and emotional sensitivity – specifically caused by sewing and/or crafting more than 10 hours in a day, for several days. }  ;  Symptoms include but are not limited to: Unkept appearance, misplacement of items – such as Brita water filter being placed in the pantry, Murmurings about zippers, interfacing and seam-ripping, hastily thrown supplies on every available surface, hot-glue burns on fingers and wearing pajamas all day. ;  Exacerbating factors: 1. Sewing for more than 5 straight hours. 2. Over-consumption of coffee, 3. Not cleaning up after oneself. ; Prognosis and treatment: Patient will be fine once removed from the house. A nap and Thai food will speed recovery. With each occurrence, Craftitis develops more quickly and patients are especially susceptible during the holiday months.”

Sew Thankful.

My sewing machine is jamming up. Ugh. It might be because I’ve been sewing my face off lately. That’s a weird expression but it seems appropriate. I’ve been making new clutches and selling orders by the boat load. I’m so, so grateful for the business. Even though I spend almost every moment of free time sewing and shopping for things to sew, I’m never unhappy. It feels so great to be busy. All I can think about is sewing. It’s starting to take its toll on me. I’ve got callused fingers, pedal foot cramping, wonky eyesight after staring at the tiny stitches for too long and my appearance is in a state of disarray – highlighted by dozens of stray threads all over my clothes and belongings.

But now that my machine is freaking out at me, I’ve had to just sit here. Not sewing. It’s weird. I’ve done everything I can feasibly think of to do to fix it. I’ve got tons of jewelry to make so it’s not like I’m wanting for things to do. But you know, instead of sewing I’ll sit down and write about sewing.

It’s been a while since I posted about my sewing projects. Here’s some recent stuff:

I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with new fabrics, textures and shapes. Someone recently told me that sewing was my “art”. I said, “No..no! I just make bags and stuff.” But after some convincing, I think they’re right. I used to sculpt, paint and draw quite a bit when I was younger. I loved it. I put charcoal to paper and created something from almost nothing.  Something with expression and meaning. While bags don’t have the same “soul factor” as I’ll call it, it’s still a form of artistic expression. A yard of fabric, with a few cuts, folds and hems, becomes something functional and darn adorable.

I even find myself going through the same stress as I did with my drawing and painting. Painstakingly evaluating, erasing, adding, straightening, and perfecting what I’ve done. So while it may seem like just a little bag, it’s a bag that this lady spent a lot of time figuring out how to make. A bag that I personally developed, approved and created. So you know what, I’ll stop telling myself that I just make bags. From now on, I’m a designer, creator and pretty darn good sewer. That’s something I should be proud of. I’m so blessed to have the ability/resources to express myself in this way. Thanks to all you who have been so supportive!

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow y’all! I hope, whatever your circumstances, that you’re able to spend a few moments recognizing the gifts in your life. Don’t let the hoopla of Black Friday detract from the beauty of being thankful for what you already have.

{Update}

After much troubleshooting, the problem with my machine was determined. It wasn’t threaded correctly. Ha! (Any sewer will laugh at this). I obviously needed a break for a while. What was worse was my husband watching me while I discovered what the problem was. I tried to pretend like I hadn’t discovered it (it’s so simple and obvious it’s embarrassing)…but he caught on. He was gracious and said nothing, only smiled.

Holders for your pots.

I love me some homemade pot holders. They add a vibrant and unique touch to your kitchen. So naturally, I like to make these for people who are setting up there first or new home. My dear friend Kara, the newlywed, received these pot holders, along with an apron, for her new Seahawks-colored kitchen.

If you’re looking for a quick sew or are just learning, this would be a great project. They are so simple to make. Here’s how:

Materials needed: An 8 1/4″ X 8 1/4″ square of Insul-Bright or another heat-rated batting. I actually used two layers. Two 8″ X 8″ squares of fabric for the exterior. For the border you will need at least 36″ worth of fabric. It should be 2″ wide.  However you go about doing that, if you have one long strip, or two or three. Doesn’t matter. You can sew the ends together beforehand. If you are lazy like me, you can skip this step. If you are really new to sewing, you can increase the width of the border to 3″. It will be easier to work with.

And obviously you need the essentials, thread, scissors, pins, etc.

1. Sandwich your two exterior fabrics with your insul-bright, right sides out, and sew strips throughout.
2. You’ll notice that your top and bottom fabrics may have shifted. You can square off the fabric now.

3. Take your border fabric and iron in half. Fold each side into the center and iron, creating your own bias tape.4. Pin your border in place around the raw edges .

*If you happen to have to be using more than one strip, begin your new strip when your first one ends. Take care to fold end nicely over and continue pinning.

5. When you reach the end. Pin your top strip over where you began. Do not cut off the excess.6. Starting at this point, sew border onto your pot holder, starting about 1 inch in. Sew straight off the holder, sewing down the excess strip, closing it. This will become your fabric hook later.

7. Sew around the perimeter of your pot holder, starting just under where you have created your closure. Leave a few inches open when you get to the very end.

8. A few inches from the end, stop and tuck the tail end of your excess fabric under the border. You can trim the strip down to a few inches long, or however big you want your hook.

9. Sew closed.

10. Trim excess thread and admire your amazing handiwork.

You are so great. Now make one for everyone you know.

Pretty Things

Little dresses are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to whip out. “Whipping” a dress out usually takes about 3 hours, but that’s quick enough to still give me a sense of instant gratification. This pattern (See & Sew Dress B5629) was really easy to follow. I would suggest it for anyone who wants to try clothes-making for the first time. My advice no matter how easy the project: read slowly and thoroughly before you sew. Make sure you understand the concept.

This dress was made for a little one named Daphne. She is set to be born in September, and my hope is that she will be able to wear it next Spring.

The rose ribbon along the yoke wasn’t a part of the pattern, but I felt like the dress needed some pizzazz.

I made sure to use easy care apparel fabric and ribbon that was busy-family friendly. It’s designed to be tossed right into the washer and dryer.

I was sending up prayers for Daphne’s safe arrival while I was cutting and sewing this little number. I’m pretty confident that she’ll look adorable in it :)

Spool holder update.

Huzzah!!!

 There were so many of you who thought the spool holder was going to be awesome that I wanted to show you the almost-finished product. 193 spools of thread later (all but 8 were given to me) and I look like the most intense sewer ever. This one is about 6 inches longer than the original. It was pretty heavy (~25lbs) so we hung it into studs and used screw-in, enclosed hooks.

I only have about 10 bobbins that have thread on them currently, so I’m thinking of actually lining the side with little nails to hold them, instead of like the original where there is a bobbin under each spool. We’ll see, I haven’t made up my mind. Anyway, I’m just excited to look at it all day. If you’re interested in making one of these bad boys, here’s the tutorial!

Nowwww…what to sew??