Monday, July 28, 2008

Weight for me.

I started off my work day today by recovering my cutting table, which is a large piece of plywood covered with a cotton mattress cover, with a cotton sheet over that. I have it across two rolling steel shelf units that are adjusted to a nice working height. I am always looking for cotton sheets at thrift stores, etc. because my iron doesn't glide so nicely over ones with polyester content.

It's a really nice feeling to have a fresh work surface. Almost like having nice clean sheets on the bed.

I found these great little weights...Healthways, Glamour an estate sale on Sunday. I almost didn't pick them up, because they were missing the bars to put them on, but I'm glad I got them.

Aren't they cute. They're pink!

I never use pins when cutting out a pattern, but sometimes I use weights to hold the pattern in place while I cut the fabric. I have a couple of other sets of pattern weights but these will be my new favorites.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When rejects unite.

I love this look as you can tell by the wrinkles in this page from County Living magazine. I recently painted my bedroom a nice shade of blue and have been collecting straw bags to line for storage containers.

That's why when I saw this tote for free at a recent freecycle event called a "free-for-all" I grabbed it. (see my last post for more freecyle info)

At a "free-for-all" you bring things you want gone from your life to a specified location for a specified amount of time, and you can take home other peoples' rejects for free. The only requirement is that you pick up any of your stuff that is left over at the end. I love it. I usually don't have enough stuff for a yard sale, so it is a great way to pass things on. Especially if I have stuff that the thrift stores won't take. Some are pickier than others. I have to confess, I might be guilty of taking advantage of the "softer" attendants and have their donation stations pinpointed.

But....back to my point...

I actually found this at the end of the day when I went back to load up my funky file cabinet and foam scraps that are oh so very hard to get rid of. Apparently no one wanted this great L.L.Bean tote because of the embroidery on the front.

But when I paired it up with a pretty vintage tablecloth, whose only fault were some holes and stains in the middle, I have something very nice if I do say so myself. It doesn't go so well with the bedroom color scheme, but will come in handy in my sewing room.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

free style

A while back I talked about the freecycle network. I have been able to give away some things I didn't need anymore, and have also gotten some very useful stuff, like these cardboard tubes. They were originally used as packaging for breakable containers.

When I saw the listing, I immediately thought "STORAGE!".

I am always looking for ways to display the bits and pieces of fabric that I have collected, in a way that will inspire creativity.

I just pulled a piece of black elastic out of my "elastic drawer" to hold them together and had an instant storage thingy. I also put some in my closet to hold shoes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Can you cut it?

Nothing irritates me more than when I can't cut it. Since I use my scissors every day, they get dull pretty fast and a good sharpening service has been hard to find.

My favorite pair of scissors are lightweight steel Wiss brand that I found at a yard sale several years ago. I haven't been able to find another pair like them, so end up buying one of the two well known brands that our local fabric store carries when I need a back-up. They are cold and heavy though, and don't seem to last very long with the hard use they get from me. But....I have good news. I discovered that they sell another brand that are even lighter and sharper than my old faithfuls. Behold:

They are Clover brand, made in Japan. They are kind of expensive, but worth it if you are doing a lot of cutting of fabric. (Our fabric store offers a 40% off coupon once a month that can be used on any one item in the store, so I use it when I need scissors.) I am very happy with these, but probably won't use them on linen or hemp, which seem to be very hard on blades.

These little Singer scissors are very useful for cutting thread when doing hand sewing or embroidery.

And then there are these giants that I bought at the flea market. They are useful for making long straight cuts.

And I couldn't get by without a pair of cuticle scissors that are the very best for taking seams apart.