When there’s a flaw in the final product, these wooden boxes become home storage. Anyone know why, stuffed with recycled Styrofoam, they couldn’t become the new pin holders?
I’ll give it a try!
Pins lay around my sewing machine as I stitch through a project and remove them before the needle passes over them with one easy pass of my hand. They pool in the small space between the machine and the edge of the table where I also keep the snippers, scissors, tweezers, and seam rippers for easy access. I sew quickly but I have to stop and use two hands to remove magnetized pins from my other tools.
Yes, having a way to pick pins out of carpet is a good thing. I sew in a room without carpet, thank heavens. If I had carpet I would use a toilet brush dedicated to the sewing room to sweep the pins out of the carpet pile rather than return to having magnetized pins in my environment.
Ah, the villains in action! Luckily (or not) I found 3 old pins that had escaped the clean out of The Stitchery so I could take this picture. These scissors are not usable when covered in magnetized pins.
I have tried using wooden boxes and pin cushions but I just get moving too fast and putting the pins into a special holder also takes up time. The wool wad accepts pins quickly and easily.
Magnetized pins grab on to anything metal and enough of them can then realign the electrodes in the object so that it becomes magnetized. The cycle is endless and a conspiracy to steal my time. At 30 seconds per occurrence in a 6 hour sewing session that could add up to an extra 30 minutes a day. I haven’t timed the problem but I do want it to stop! And I’m hoping that all my metal tools can be demagnetized if necessary.
Demagnetization is a pain and I haven’t been effective at it with my hand held magnets and piles of pins. There are products you can buy to demagnetize things but I don’t want to add to my sewing clutter unless it is some fabulous fabric or gadget.
For the curious and determined here are a couple of articles on demagnetizing:
Here’s my wool wad. It has sat next to my button sewing machine, holding the special needles I needed for production. I found a heavy little ceramic dish to hold it at a restaurant equipment reseller when looking for paint booth mixing supplies. A heavy bowl is important to make this tool work well, I think.
It was just happenstance that it fit so well. I’m sure there are other solutions to be found at Goodwill or second hand stores.
The wool wad accepts pins more easily than the stuffed pin cushions I’ve run across and the wad is not so thick that short needles disappear into it forever. The natural lanolin in the wool supposedly helps prevent rust as well. Here’s an article that happens to agree with me about magnetized pin holders. Sewing.about.com
You can buy Ewesful pin cushions directly from Ewesful or find them on ebay and Amazon.
Pretty, eh? Love the psychedelic colors. Yeah.
I’ve managed to fit the stash, sewing machines and knitting yarn cones into a medium sized bedroom that’s 11.5′ by 15′ (including the closet). It’s not put away nor cleaned up nor ready for public consumption but I want to share some thoughts on fitting a studio’s worth of sewing into one room.
Cardinal rule: Everything must be small and movable. So here’s what I’ve done so far.
I bought a new piece of furniture to hold all the smaller spools of thread and I have 2 drawers left over. Maybe some office equipment can go in those drawers. This is the “Alex Drawer Unit on Casters” from IKEA.
This was a good move! It is on casters and supports a couple of smaller closet organizer shelves that used to sit on the floor. Now the whole thing can be moved around to gain access to those messy jerseys on the fabric shelves
Shelves line both sides of the longer walls of the room and storage will continue on right up to the ceiling
The work table is also on casters, is modular, and contains drawers and shelving underneath. Originally this table was 44″ x 61″ but only one row of the units is being used at this point. The work surface is now 22″ x 61″. I may try to add the second row of units later after I’ve finished arranging and squeezing. Most of the interfacing and tailoring supplies are in the drawers. One whole side of drawers is devoted to Pammy’s interfacing from FashionSewingSupply.com You can see the labels sloppily hanging off the drawer fronts. I believe in stashes.
This work table is too high for me to comfortably cut out a whole project so I have my old slab of laminate covered MDF with a large cutting mat on it under the bed in a sleeping room. I may have to resort to the dining room table. We’ll just have to see how things go.
I have two oak Sofa Tables that will hold the sewing machine, serger and coverstitch but not all at the same time. When a machine is not being used it will reside on the floor under the table. The commercial machines went to Hello Wood to perform their duties for the company there. Other sewing machines were “sold” (almost given away) at The Stitchery yard sale. I hope they get used by their new owners.
You can’t really see the sofa tables well, since they are covered in extension cords, and office equipment, but they are there and due to their smaller depth and felt padded feet they are easily movable. They will be arranged in an “L” shape. In the foreground you can see a folding stool that will allow seating at heights from regular chair to high stool.
The above shot was taken from the door to the room and behind the door is the ironing board, folded up and leaning again the wall. I am unsure what to do about the ironing station at this point. I may pad out a small table top board for pressing as I sew and leave the big board with it’s extra big topper leaning against the wall until I have wool to steam or yardage to press. Lots of executive decisions to be made yet!
And finally, here’s the closet:
There a cheapo shelving units holding acres of Malden Mills technical fabrics and bolts of wools and cotton stand in the corner between them but best of all is the idea that came from a friend who answered my plea for help: use clear hanging shoe units to hold thread.
And then there’s bags of knitting thread cones that have to be organized on the shelf above. As soon as I get the energy to climb the step ladder one more time, I’ll get right on that. LOL
So, what’s my favorite thing about paring down and selling off stuff? Getting rid of those darned magnetized pins and needles that have been the bane of my sewing since I brought them in contact with the seemingly wonderful magnetic pin holders.
I sold (almost gave away) all my pins and am looking forward to using just a simple wool wad for a pin cushion.
My main “bother” is that I no longer have an office. After 20 years. I feel kind of unstrung about that.
OK, now I’ve shown you my mess. Does it make your mess look better? Hope so. And now that I’ve made this mess public I hope it will spur me on to show you a more well organized room in a few days.
I am shaky today. My little Westie is undergoing exploratory surgery because she has been diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and they want to assess the tumor. I am rarely WOD (with out dogs)
She’s been my constant companion for almost 11 years, and a major contributor to the weird looks on my face as I try to get photos done for the blogs.
Solo photography is hard enough to do without a couple of dogs hamming it up: sometimes I just have to give in
Last week was all about getting the laundry room set up at The Stitchery and finally everything is done
and the hot water heater produces clear water now that it has been inadvertently drained like a scene from a Walt Disney movie.
Because I bought a front loader for the house I had to paint the laundry room there when the over-the-washer cabinet had to be raised.
And now I’m loving having the ability to process fabric during the day instead of working even later into the night in prep for the next sewing project.
I’ve been truly blessed. My only thought now is this prayer:
Dear Lord: Please protect Gaely GoLightly, Westie Extraordinaire, and guide her Vet’s hand. And please don’t let any one else in my family get cancer!
The odyssey of adding a fabric pretreatment center continues…
I decided to move my 5 year old Neptune top loader washing machine into the Stitchery and get a new front loader for the house. So I got a call this morning that the new washing machine has come in and I set a delivery date for Thursday morning. Husband was in town for meetings so afterward he came to the house and we moved the old washer (which I dearly love for gentle treatment of fabrics) over to the Stitchery. We place it and leveled it.
Before hooking up we ran some water into a bucket and the water was red from rust. I turned on all the other faucets until all the water ran clear and then filled the washer. The water was opaque. Not red, just not clear so I found the drain valve on the hot water heater and using a cordless drill and a bucket I opened the valve…yup, too much crud in the water. I don’t have a garden hose so I thought I would drawn off 4 or 5 buckets of water to get the crud out of the hot water heater.
I tested the water valve again: it turned on and reversing the drill I easily turned it off again. No problem.
So I started draining and turned off the valve when the bucket was full. Went and emptied the bucket in the tub: back to it. But this time when I turned the valve on I opened the valve farther than I had before and when I tried to turn it off again, the drill bit couldn’t reach or something and
I couldn’t turn off the water. No water pan under the heater and no shut off valve that I could find anywhere! I did management to get the gas pilot turned off but
Oh shoot! Water gushed out in between bucket changes, all over the square of carpet under the heater and the 50 year old hard wood floors.
I had 2 bathroom waste baskets and one 5 gallon bucket. I had to fill one and slip the next under the wide open spigot and run to empty in the tub. Somewhere in there I needed to find the phone and call for help…somehow I did that…I have no memory of where the phone was. Got husband on the phone and he will have to drive 8 miles.
So I ran back and forth emptying buckets for another 15 minutes, shouting at dogs to get out of the way.
And Husband showed up, got a pair of pliers and turned the valve handle as far off as it would go. It was broken so the water was reduced to a dribble but not stopped. I used the flat head bit in the cordless drill to turn it the rest of the way off.
And I mopped up.
A shut off valve is less than $3. Why would it be under the house and not on the water line running into the heater???
Someone’s cheap home renovation. A 40 gallon water tank with no way to turn off the water. Joy….
But the good news is that the tank was almost completely drained and hopefully I will have fresher water for the first load of fabrics. I believe I’ll start with some very soggy towels.
After I catch my breath.
Patch discovers the Fitting Mirror (from an old bathroom):
Don’t those ears look like Scooby-Doo?
It turns out that many families in the neighborhood were concerned about him and now that he has had a bath and has a home, people stop by to give him walks and come out to say Hi to him as he goes by their houses.
Quite the popular doggie.
Since I’ve donated the bad fabric choices from early coop purchasing days, shut down some of the commercial sewing and moved the preschool administration files over to the school building I have more space.
As you can imagine this new space has made a big difference in how easily and quickly I can sew up a project, clean up and then start a new one.
Except when fabric needs to be processed before it is cut. Then, everything stops for the day and I have to take it to the house so I can use the laundry facilities there in the evening. Now I have this space, open and available with electric, water and vent, all ready for a washing machine and dryer at The Stitchery.
I have tested the water supply to this room and it’s good. The plumbing in the kitchen is so poor there’s hardly water pressure to run a dishwasher and it takes forever to fill the sink to wash dishes and filling the bath tub or using the shower requires that the rust be flushed out first, but the laundry pipes are in good shape. I was relieved.
So I’ve been debating whether to buy a washer and dryer, new or used, center agitator, steam, whatever. Have been researching, reading and thinking. I’d really like a faster better way to process wools and had just about given up when my friend Pam (a well educated tailor and professional shirtmaker) posted her article about processing wools on the run.
Just the information I needed! I now feel that I can get the smaller el cheapo models of washer and dryers and get along just fine.
These are the main shelving units that my husband made for me when I moved into The Stitchery. They are made from 3/4″ baltic birch and are 17″ deep by 30″ wide by 77 inches tall. Because they are made of a solid wood they handle packing in the fabric and support heavy weight suitings, coatings and wools
the second of three units:
As I was reorganizing I realized that many delicate fabrics were getting lost, shoved to the back of the shelves and were being overlooked in the planning stages of my sewing.
Georgettes, chiffons, anything slinky or slippery, knits or wovens are stored much better in small cubicles. Off I went to Lowes where I found the perfect solution:
ClosetMaid Shoe Storage Units! Prefinished, ready to assemble and stackable. Mwahahahahaha!
First I had to span over the floor register so this worked the “horizontal organizer”
and I stacked this on top: “15 shoe organizer”
I still had space under the window so next to this unit I put the “25 shoe organizer”
And on top of the 25 shoe unit I had room to go up to the ceiling with two of these stackable shelves
The beauty of these pieces are that they are only 11.5″ deep and everything is visible
So with an investment of approximately $150 I was able to fill previously unused space and didn’t have to wait for my very busy husband to have time to build them for me. I think this was a bargain and the perfect solution for storing slippery, gauzy, lightweight fabrics.
Very cool! And husband was pleased he didn’t have to do anything
OK, back to work…
sewing hugs to all!