Thursday, 19 January 2012

nosey parker post

Today I'm linking up with Kat's "nosey parker" post here. I apologise before we go any further for the number of photos I'm about to post. But, on the other hand, you can be grateful that I cut it down from the original 47 I took! Woops! :oD

Okay, let's get on with it.

1. How long have you been sewing? Are you a first generation sewer or was the knowledge handed down to you? Basically tell us about your journey...

I've been sewing for as long as I can remember - and at 56 years old, that's a l-o-n-g time. My mum sewed and I remember my Granny had an old treadle sewing machine in one of her bedrooms so she must have sewn as well.

I remember the sewing classes at primary school and I know that, somewhere, I still have the workbag I made way back then. I didn't get to do "domestic science" at High School because I did Latin and, apparently, if you were clever enough to do Latin, you didn't need to learn to sew/cook etc etc. Stupid idea, in my humble opinion!

I got my first sewing machine for my 21st birthday and it and all the subsequent machines I've had have been well used for sewing of all kinds.

2. Where do you sew?

I have a sewing room which is actually the 3rd bedroom of our house. It's smaller than I'd like to have but at least I don't have to tidy everything away at the end of a sewing session these days. BTDT

3. What does your sewing room/area look like today in its real state. Take a picture of it if possible and show it to us real :)

This is how it looked yesterday - and it's no tidier today!

This is me taking the photo from the sewing room door.

There are 2 huge noticeboards on the wall on the right covered in ideas and inspirations from magazines or the internet. In between the 2 boards, are my rulers. Straight ahead is the desk I use as a sewing table which holds my sewing machine and overlocker.

Next, inside the desk there are sewing threads:

Threads for the overlocker:

And the various bits and bobs that are needed for sewing - feet, bobbins etc:

Tucked around the back of the desk are rolls of paper for pattern making, rolls of sticky felt, pelmet stiffener and pieces of cardboard for the bottoms of bags.

Next to that is a plastic box full of more rulers - they're more mathematical rulers rather than patchwork rulers but they get used fairly often. On top of the ruler box are my knitting needles, my Maths set (did you know I used to be a Maths teacher?) and a notebook full of plans/ideas.

Round a wee bit and you can see my Go! cutter - love that thing!! - and a bag of stuffing thrown there after making a couple of pincushions yesterday.

Behind the Go! and the stuffing are crates where I keep my felt, fur fabric, velvet pieces, interfacing, wadding, jeans to make bags with, muslin pieces and a WIP crate where I have some pinnies cut out and ready to sew.

Up on high shelves above the crates I've got shelves holding my buttons. And books. Lots of books. In fact, the shelves stretch the length of the room and, apart from the buttons, they're full of fiction books.

Here's my work table - remarkably clear when I took the photo! Above it is another huge noticeboard covered in inspiring things.

Below the table are boxes full of my sewing patterns. They only have the inners of the patterns - the pieces and the instructions sheets. The outsides are kept in folders which you'll see in a minute.

Around the corner are the shelves where my fabric is kept. On top of them are plastic drawers holding beads and earring findings and the like.

The patchwork fabric needs to be tidied but I always seem to want the piece on the bottom which, when I pull it out, topples the rest of the pile. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!! :oD

The dressmaking and furnishing fabric piles are even worse! Woops! :oD

Then, between the table and the shelves, I have a couple of crates. One has plain coloured fabrics and the other has general odd bits of anything.

These are my plastic drawers full of scraps of fabric - all sorted by colour. I keep using the scraps but the drawers never seem to get any emptier.

The lower drawers hold more scraps, ribbons and bits for making bags - handles, magnetic clasps and such.

Here's my chest of drawer unit inside of which are zips, lace, gadgets, fancy threads, 505 glue and all manner of other things. I did take photos of every drawer but those were some of the 25 photos I cut from this post. Be glad! LOL

On top are the folders containing the outsides of the dress-making patterns. They're all sorted into categories so I can easily find a skirt pattern or trouser pattern or whatever I'm looking for. Then I go to the boxes under the table and dig out the inners and I'm good to sew.

This is a box containing all my Go! cutter dies. Santa was *very* good to me! :o)

And, lastly, this is not my sewing room but I use the iron every time I sew and Diana the dummy every time I dress-make so they deserve a mention. They live in the spare room.

4. What is the first thing that you made which you were really proud of? Show us pics of your favourite project.

I don't have photos of the first thing I made - and can't really remember what that was - but I still have the teddy bear that I made for my Brownie toymaker badge. Isn't he great? :o)

The only thing my mum helped me with was getting the needle through at the joints of the arms and the legs. Everything else I did myself.

5. Do you always stick to the "rules" when you sew, or are you more improvisationally minded?

You know, one of the things that *really* bugs me is when I read "you MUST use cotton fabrics" or "you MUST use cotton threads" when doing patchwork/quilting. What rot! Patchwork was a way to use up pieces of cloth that were left from old clothes or leftover from other crafts like dress-making. In other words, you used what you had. I use Gütermann polyester threads in my patchwork because that's what I have. I've used polycottons and polyester fabrics in quilts alongside cottons and, if the colours work, I'll continue to do it. There's no such thing as "the patchwork police" so using what you have or what you like is absolutely okay and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. :oP

So, no, I don't stick by the "rules". Get me, I am a rebel! :oD


  1. So I'm so jealous of your sewing room. Great job of organizing everything. I'm a reader, too, here's my book blog, if you're interested.

  2. Hi Anne! I asked my mother to use your pinny pattern and make me one and she agreed. She was going to cut out the pieces today! Yipee. Of course, I will show a pic of it on my blog when I have it. Thanks for posting your pattern.

  3. I'm sorry I missed half of that post because I was so WOWED with how much thread you own LOL... Amazing! I think it rivals my fabric stash :)
    Love your room. Thanks for sharing it with us. Looks very inviting.

  4. It's great that you've got a designated space for your sewing, especially with the amount of stuff you've got. I've never been a sewer, but my daughter is really interested so we bought her a sewing machine a couple of Christmases ago, and she's taken Textiles as one of her options at school. She's just made a pair of pyjama bottoms.

  5. Ann you have a fabulous sewing space and you're SO organized! Would you like to come over to my house and organize my stuff? :) I love your patterns, all sorted like they would be in a pattern store! And I love that you are into a huge eclectic mix of different crafts, (just like me). Yes, your teddy is fabulous.

  6. Cool, thanks for the tour :o) Love your wee bear

  7. Wow you have got so much in there, and it's all so tidy. I need to follow your example!

  8. Yay for gallus rebel quilters! *g* Your wee room is so organised! And I, too, was wowed by your thread collection! I hope your wee chest is on the mend. I don't suppose you're going to the first modern quilt guild meeting in Glasgow tomorrow? Would love to meet you!

  9. I love how you're even a rebel in sewing....not sticking to the "rules". rofl But back to the pictures.... OMG, have you ever thought about how much money is invested in that room and all that stuff?

    Your little bear looks like something my mother gave to my ds years ago. Someone sewed it and I think it had a story, like a collectors item by someone specific. Not sure now, I'll have to ask again. ----- Les

  10. Hey, thanks for giving us the tour of your room. That is an impressive sewing room.

    Kat x


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blethers. I really appreciate it. I do try to reply to everyone but sometimes life just gets in the way of that happening! :o)