Monday, August 25, 2014


I'm not sure how long this chest of drawers has been in my family, but at least as early as when my parents married in 1948.  I remember it being a nightstand in their bedroom when I was a little girl.  Then they bought a new bedroom set when I was 11 and I got it as a nightstand.  At that time, my mother used it to store her sewing notions in it.  When we broke up my parents house, I took this chest, put it in my sewing area and also used it to store notions.  
I have probably had it for the last ten years with grand plans to paint it.  Well, I finally got around to doing just that.  Three years ago I found button knobs and thought they would be perfect for the chest.  Last week I painted it and put on the new knobs.  Voila!  New life for an old chest of drawers.  It's now back in my Lady Cave proudly holding notions again. I'm sure Mom would approve.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lady Cave

It's been a while since I posted, but I did complete my sewing room.  Actually, I finished it last March, but was too involved with everything else to post pictures.  I have the time now, so let's take a tour.

This is the majority of the space.   I did purchase the Ikea items that I mentioned in my previous post.  I am so happy that I did.  My friend Ann wants to get the desk for herself.  My husband was all for me moving from the basement to the attic, mostly because he wanted my old space for himself and his hobby.  Anyway, I could never have put everything together without him.  The two bookcases and the desk went together in an afternoon.  The hardest part was getting the boxes up two flights of stairs.

I am posting pictures starting with the bookcase on the left above and following around the room.  I have never added this much to a post, so I'm sure there is a more efficient way to do this, but this is the best way I know for now.
 The green bins hold quilting projects.  Sewing magazines (Burda, Threads, Patrones) are stored in the white cases. I store my buttons in plastic embroidery floss bins from JoAnns.  My grandmother's sewing baskets are on the left middle shelf.  The black boxes contain quilting fabrics and supplies.  The books are old sewing books, drafting books and quilting books.
 My trusty Bernina which is 25 years old.
 Another view.  My Baby Lock serger is under the green polka dot cover.  That's 24 years old.  I also have a Singer Featherweight which I store in the closet when I'm not using it. 
 Top green bins contain projects which I have started, but need to complete.  Something else became more important at the time, but hopefully with this new room, they will get finished this year.  The binders hold online classes and sewing newsletters.  Sewing and fitting books and supplies & notions in the black boxes.
 Thread storage.  The small chest of drawers was used by my mother for her notions.  I plan to refinish it and have new knobs waiting to be added.  I bought the picture of the girl at the National Gallery of Art when I was 18.  It went to college with me and has always been in some important room.
Pressing area.  I have a Naomoto gravity iron.  Because of the sloped ceilings, I need to move the board when I am using it to accommodate the water tank.  I also move the board when using my press for fusing interfacing.  The press if behind the board. In the green bin are my hams, seam rolls and press cloths.  This area needs more light, so I'll be searching for a lamp at Ikea.  The lamp in the picture was at my mother's sewing machine when I was a teenager.  My older son's old boombox is at the right on top of a case my other son made in woodworking shop.  I store my sewing dvds there.
 Cutting area with a stool for company (or me).  I store my patterns in the plastic bins by category.   The dress form is 40 years old.  I'm not the same shape as back then, but I have remolded it to me several times.  I really need a new one. 
 Bookshelf and closet where my stash is stored.  Muslin for a shirt project is hanging.
This bookshelf came from my in-laws' house.  In it are fashion history books, designer bios, style & wardrobe books.  The black boxes contain notions.
 The stash.  I previously had my fabrics in bankers boxes stored by color and have a book of inventory by fabric content.  My husband removed all the old closet rods and we put in a metal wire shelf unit.  This is my dream storage space.  It's hard to see, but I have a 2-step stool so that I can reach the top shelves.

 Besides my grandmother's sewing baskets, my mother's notions chest and the picture of the girl in the yellow dress,  I have added other personal items to the room.

 I've had Ringo for 50 years.  Yes, I am old enough to own him.  I saw the Beatles in concert in 1966.  The cedar box is from Lane.  When I was in high school, every senior girl could get one of these free from any furniture store which sold Lane hope chests.

 I bought this picture at an antique store 15 years ago.  I finally have a place for it.  I think it was taken from an old fashion magazine.

 I found this antique button card at a Paris flea market in 2012 and had it framed.

This picture is my grandfather who was a tailor and you know who is the other guy.  Next to him are sheep bells (that's another story).

I am so happy with my new sewing space.   I was in the cellar of the house for 24 years.  When that was first done over for me by my husband, I was so happy.  I loved that space for many years, but I outgrew it and my stuff was all over the house.  The machines were in the basement along with some books, the fabrics were in my closet, then as they expanded, in the attic.  Five years ago, I bought a table for cutting and drafting so that also when up in the attic.  Before that, I cut out on the dining room table (like most people).   I now have a place for everything and could not be happier.

Friday, January 17, 2014


The whole family is off to Phoenix today.  Our son, Jeff, is running in the P F Chang Rock & Roll Marathon on Sunday.  The race starts at 7:50 a.m, a little early for a marathon back here in the east.  If he finishes in three hours, he will qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon which is his goal.  Yes, he has done it before.  Jeff has been training for the past several months and is ready.

Our son Kenny and his girlfriend, Patty, will be joining us and we all will be staying in Ken's sister, Nadine's, condo in Tempe.  It will be a little tight, but at least there are 2 bathrooms and three courtyards to take in the weather.  Nadine is putting Kenny & Patty on an air mattress in the garage with a space heater, good luck to them!  I can hear Kenny complaining already.  Temperatures are in the 70's during the day, just perfect, and down to 45 at night.

The sewing room organization is coming along.  This week I have been going through patterns, weeding, asking myself will I ever sew it, what made me buy it and discovering duplicates (which means I will definitely keep one since I liked it enough to buy it again).  I have been planning the layout of the room and checking out IKEA to see what would work.  Last Saturday, I visited IKEA for a couple hours to check out the furniture I was interested in.  I found out that the store will deliver (for a fee) the same day you purchase it, so the Saturday after our return from Phoenix, I'm off to IKEA in the morning.  I plan to pick up two Billy bookcases and the Malm desk which seems pretty sturdy and has a moveable return which will be great for my serger.
BILLY Bookcase IKEA There is plenty of storage space for large books or other objects on the deep shelf.MALM Desk with pull-out panel IKEA The pull-out panel gives you an extra work surface.  I already have a smaller bookcase in the room and will add a couple other small storage pieces which I have, but want to paint first.  Lastly, I want to add a file cabinet for my patterns.  They have been in banker's boxes for the past ten years and it's time to upgrade.  The end result of my weeding patterns will help me determine the size of the cabinet.  Staples delivers for free and within a day of ordering!  I should also check out Craig's list just in case.

So no clothes shopping while in Phoenix, but I think there will be some wine tasting somewhere in the agenda.  There are some really fabulous wineries out there believe it or not.

Go Pats!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 RTW Fast

RTW Fast badge 
I've revived my blog (after much trouble figuring how to get back into it) and plan to post all my sewing in 2014.  Since both of my sons have moved out of the house, I am in the process of cleaning out one of my son's room and turning it into my sewing room.  So I'm moving out of the basement into the attic.  I have gone through all 700 yards in the stash,  eliminated what I know I will never sew, stripped the closet and inserted a wired shelf rack.  All fabrics have been refolded and stored by fabric content and color.  I'll post a picture soon.  I truly love these fabrics and am not afraid to cut into them,  I just need to get back into sewing all the time.  The room has more work to be done, but my goal is to finish by the end of January and start sewing again.

Anyway,  while surfing sewing blogs, I came across the 2014 RTW Fast on .  I was always running to the mall for pants.  I live in pants, rarely wear a dress these days.  What I should have been doing is concentrating on fitting a good sloper for pants instead.  I look at my stash and am so inspired--I just need to start using it again.  By not letting myself purchase clothes, I will be forcing myself to start sewing these lovely fabrics. 

My local ASG group is also concentrating on sewing blouses/shirts this year.  I love to sew blouses, and will be running a couple meetings on pintucks and flyfronts for blouses. 

So into this RTW Fast I dive, first to finish the jacket I cut out last year, then a shirt to go with it.  After that, I will concentrate on pants.  No more short cuts/cop-outs buying clothes.  I have the skills and fabric to make the clothes I really want to wear happen.

My best wishes and happy sewing to all of you who are part of this lovely group.