Tag Archives: Fabrics

My sewing room tour

We moved to our own apartment a little more than 2 years ago. It is a 1,100sqf 5-room HDB flat, overlooking an old part of Singapore.

Even before we signed on the dotted line with the seller, we scrutinised the floormap, measured every inch of the apartment, and tried to allocate space to fit storage for our gear, living quarters, home office and dining area. In order to accommodate my sewing hobby (and also for the kids to lay their train tracks), we gave up the conventional living room (we always entertained at our dining table anyway) and built A LOT of storage in this small apartment.

I’m going to share some pictures and write up on the set up. The pictures were taken this evening, so apologies for the lighting. No fancy filters or photoshop treatment too, if not, we probably can’t get this tour started anytime soon. So now, please follow my *tour guide flag* and step this way! WELCOME!

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourDuring the day, the blinds will be up and I get lots of natural lighting here. The glass wall separates our home office from the rest of the apartment. When I’m crafting and my son is using the computer or doing his work, I can still keep an eye on him.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourFrom this shot, you can see that the sewing machine sits at a lower level, so that it is more comfortable to sew for long hours. The Ikea kitchen worktop is supported by a standalone cabinet and the other end rests on the wall cabinet shelf. We brought this worktop from our previous residence and it is perfect for my Bernina as I use the knee lift a lot.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourHere’s an overview of the ‘workspace triangle’. Starting from the sewing area, I can swing to my right to access the serger or laptop. The peg board of rulers and cutters are all within reach of the cutting mat. The drawers under the cutting surface house supplies, zippers, ribbons, kits, threads, etc.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourThe printer is a new addition – I have started using Inklingo for a few projects and I was really chuffed (and relieved) that the printer could fit on this worktop. The spot between the cutting mat and the ironing station is ideal, as I can iron freezer paper to the fabrics, feed them through the printer and then cut out the shapes.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourIkea storage for my button supplies and Sizzix cutting dies. The Cordless iron and bias tape maker share the little corner here.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space Tour“Mummy’s Wall” – I believe there’s a commandment about not helping yourself to any tools hung on mummy’s crafting wall. I have downsized the peg wall (again, Ikea) from 4 panels at our old house to the current 2-panel set-up. I de-cluttered almost 50% of what was on the wall to its current state. Much better now.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourLarger rulers and quilting templates. My largest ruler is 20.5″ x 20.5″ and the longest is 24″. There really is no other way to store these rulers except to get them up on the wall.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourEmbroidery hoops, quilting frames and miscellaneous rulers at the other end of the wall. Those are the Marti Michell Log cabin rulers and other odd sized doodads.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourMagnets are my very good friends, as you can see from here. I use the very strong ‘rare earth’ neodymium type. And you can see 3 pairs of Ikea scissors on this wall now. There were 7 such pairs lying around my crafting area before I tidied up my area! These scissors are never there when you need them. But when you do, you cannot find them! And then I have the fabric scissors – the measuring tape is hung on the same peg – a subtle way of telling itchy fingers that these are not the scissors you want *jedi hand wave*.  And yes. That’s my Olfa cutter ‘collection’.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourMy notions commotion area here. The pencil case contains all my marking pens and pencils, and the little box behind holds my seam rippers (yes, plural), and shorter acrylic rulers.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourI have to share this little cutie with you. A friend made this for all the ladies in our quilting group last Christmas. She handquilted the main fabric and attached the bias binding by hand. She said it is a decorative basket. I put this little baby to good use and it holds my sewing machine cleaning supplies of q-tips, brush and fresh needles!

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourThis little beauty (a X’mas tree decoration!) was bought from the Christmas Shop in Riquewihr when we travelled to France in 2013. Fancy buying Christmas decorations in June!

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourThis drawer of hand/machine embroidery threads, sashiko threads, silk threads, cotton perle, linen spools and twine brings me loads of joy. 2 words. Eye. Candy.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourThis collection of fabrics sits separate from the rest of the stash. I can sit on the floor next to this opened drawer and look at them for ages! The Dutch chintz and Liberty fabrics are just waiting for THE project to come my way.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourMost of the pre-cuts are stored here. I do reach for the pre-cuts pretty often, so the turnover in this area is rather high.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourSecret stash cave. These pull-outs are custom built and they are rolling on industrial casters. I’m praying that the units will hold out for a long long time.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourMy fabrics (more than a yard) are wrapped around Mini Bolts (see demo here). I tried folding them with the ruler but the mini bolts do work best for me.

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space Tour
Fat Quarters fabrics 1 yard or less are folded and stored in tubs. Recently, I cleared enough space in the shelves to hold  all 10 tubs. Hooray!

 

Midnight Crafts - Sewing Space TourMy Echino collection on the shelf. The Mini Bolts allow me to fold fabrics in the same line on the same bolt.

I organise my fabrics according to the genre – reproduction, novelty, kids, etc and then according to types. Like decor weight, dress making, minky, etc.

I have been through many set-ups for my sewing station. I learned a lot from friends who have rooms full of fabrics and through quilters who shared on their blogs. I may not have whimsical decorations around the craft area or vintagey looking stuff that look so cool in the instagram photos, but I’m very comfortable and happy to sew the nights and days away in my little corner.

That brings us to the end of the tour of my humble little corner. I wish you many yards of beautiful fabrics and loads of awesome projects in the coming weekend. Ta ta!

Mum’s the word

I think I have blogged too much about how paralyzed I am by the stash, especially since I had to give up some fabric/craft storage for the family (they live here too, you know :p), and I have stacks of fabrics awaiting re-location around my sewing area now.

Recently, I sent over a few yards of fabrics to my mum, so that she can make cushion and pillow covers for her room. And I mentioned to her that I have been listing some fabrics on Facebook, as I need more space in the house.

Her response: Why sell them? SEW! Make something with the fabrics!

And here’s what I did when I got home:

Seat covers for home office chairs

This fabric was bought at Ikea and I like the wide width, heavy/home decor weight to the print. It took me about an hour to measure seat, cut fabrics, sew, serge and thread the cotton twill tape through the casing I made. I made an identical cover for my husband’s chair too. The lousy leather seats were worn and broken and these fabric covers helped breathe new life to them. I didn’t have to add any padding, etc. The cushion is still good, just the leather material was unsightly.

It felt really good to use up yardage and toss the remnant to my scrap bin (that’s another horror story for another day).

Well, I had grand plans to cut up more fabrics for project this weekend, but I spent a lazy Saturday with the family, reading (Artemis Fowl series – for me!), napping, building Lego and having a great steamboat meal at an old-fashion coffee shop instead. So, I hope you are having a restful weekend too and I leave you with a picture of one of my favourite drawers in the house :)

 

Kawaii Fabric Stash Drawer

Kawaii Japanese Fabric Stash Drawer

May the Force be with me…

Halloween is becoming a fun excuse for me to dress up Benji for our get-togethers with friends. And who says you
can only have fun dressing up little girls?

Last year, we had a fuss-free outfit and Benji was not totally clued in on what was going on!

This year, it was as clear as daylight what he would enjoy being costumed as… I present: Young Ben Kenobi!

Halloween 2010

I have the Taftc apparel pattern and sewing course to thank for the confidence to work on this project with the Simplicity 3575 pattern. The Dad said that the costume should not have a sash but I included it anyway to keep the layers from getting into the boy’s way.

Halloween 2010

For fabric, I used this lovely brown Essex Linen that I bought a long long time ago. There are a few learnings from this project:

1) Buy the pattern from the store, instead of purchasing the softcopy. I had to print 41 pages on my printer and used about 2 rolls of tapes taping the pages together. Even then, some lines were wonky. TEDIOUS!

2) The sleeves and robe length were way too long even when I used a XS child size which listed the same measurements as Benji’s.

3) The pattern doesn’t provide overlocking instructions or seam finishing recommendations. I will simply overlock every piece of fabric cut-outs in the future.

4) The sleeves were too long for my Son, and I decided to ‘hem’ the sleeves with the Blind Hem Stitch. I found it much easier to hem the narrower ‘tube’ by hand.

5) For the robe hem, I finally got to use my blind hem footer on the Bernina as it is meant to be used! It was so easy and it really works great on the garment.

Looking forward to next year’s dress-up already! 😀

Fabric Stash Report – Summary for Weeks 8 through 12

5 weeks’ worth of Fabric Stash Summary. This post is FULL of fabric goodness. If you are on a fabric diet, look away now 😉

I ordered more fabrics from my favorite local fabric sellers again in May. Unfortunately, when they came through the door, I hardly had time to go through them. Today, I took some time to get them out of the bags to breathe some fresh air and of course, to take the pictures.

All Stars by Riley Blake

All Stars by Riley Blake

Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn

Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn

Poppy by Lara Gunn

Poppy by Lara Gunn

Dots by Paula Prass

Dots by Paula Prass

Daisy Chain by Amy Butler

Daisy Chain by Amy Butler

Michael Miller & Robert Kaufman

Michael Miller & Robert Kaufman

Cherish was kind enough to help include a special order for RK’s essex linen which I’m in love with. They are little trickier to handle, compared to 100% cotton, but easier (and cheaper!) than 100% linen. They are almost impossible to find locally and I would buy in bulk from the U.S. when we do a shopping spree online :p

Fat Quarter Bundle - 3 little bears

Fat Quarter Bundle - 3 little bears

Fat Quarter Bundle - Mingle

Fat Quarter Bundle - Mingle

Collect em all!

Collect 'em all!

221 colours...

221 colours...

Cherish also helped me to source this colour chart as I’m deciding on stocking up on my Solids. Gosh… I absolutely adore EVERY colour! 😀

As for what went OUT:

A few more custom-order crayon wallets

Fabric wrap for Benji’s friend’s 3rd birthday.

A few Matryoshka doll appliqued totes

Weeks 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: 24 May – 20 June

In: 126 yds (Ooops!)

Out: 2 yds

YTD total:
Purchased: 176 yds
Busted: 17.75 yds
net: -158.25 yds

Besides the usual work and family matters, we took off for a short get-away at Cameron Highlands and KL in Malaysia for about a week. It was a great road trip with friends and it felt like an extended playdate for our kids!


Hopefully I can get back into the sewing swing of things this week.

Fabric Stash Report #6

Last week, I had a finger-clicking good time and bought new fabrics which I will share later.

The highlight of a crazy work week was a visit by a long-time with her super duper cute baby boy. She came over to pick out fabrics for Baby L’s new quilt and we end up ripping into my still-un-packed-bags from my Japan trip. It was great fun and we ended up choosing fabrics for 2 blankies and 1 quilt! FUN!

Week 6: 10 May – 16 May

In: 0 yds (wait till week 7…)

Out: 4 yds (baby blankies!)

Anpan Man and side-kick

This is AnPan Man (Bread Man), a Japanese comic character that we all grew up with. I grabbed this 1m cut from Yuzawaya in Japan, and didn’t get a chance to pick out more Anpan character fabrics. Darn it! The fabric is cotton/linen blend for the top and cotton muslin for the backing.

It is super light and soft, so we decided to just add binding on this piece of pre-quilted fabric. LOVELY. I didn’t want to sew the binding entirely by machine, and chose to attach it by machine, then sew it down by hand for the ‘invisible’ look. Great chance to use Denyse Schmidt’s KJR stripe fabric in a bias binding! 😀

YTD total:
Purchased: 24.59 yds
Busted: 13.75 yds
net: -10.84 yds

SUPER LATE Fabric Stash Report #5

I’ve not been a good girl when it comes to deadlines for the past 2 weeks.

Last week, we shared a super yummy Mother’s Day dinner at my mom’s (yes, she cooked. Insisted that we should not get ripped off by the restaurants, and we can always buy her expensive meals anytime :p). I whipped up some last minute small-ish gifts for her then. Well, I didn’t plan to make anything too elaborate because we celebrated my mom’s birthday at the end of April and I gifted the Star Quilt for the ocassion. The weather then was dreary for many days and I did not manage to take a decent before I gave it to her. But I did snap a quite picture at the restaurant that evening.

Week 5: 3 May – 9 May

In: 0 yds(so far!)

Out: 2 yds (more for string quilt, coin purse and zipper pouches for mom)

YTD total:
Purchased: 24.59 yds
Busted: 9.75 yds
net: -14.84 yds

Fabric Stash Report #4 and new String Quilt

On Friday, I was just thinking that I have neither ‘IN’ nor ‘OUT’ to report this week since I have not been sewing much at the machine. Oh soooo boring. But over the weekend, sewing happened!

Fabric IN
Zilch (for now!)

Fabric OUT
3 yards (and more on the way out!)

I’ve seen many beautiful string quilts on Flickr and they look like really good scrap-busting projects to work on. There are essentially 2 methods of creating string quilts – piecing with fabric foundation or paper foundation. Piecing with fabrics sounds like a great way to bust some serious stash too. But I don’t think I like the extra weight, plus I can imagine the amount of seams in the quilt (by the way, I’m aiming for a Queen Sized quilt). So, it is paper piecing for me. For fabric foundation method, click here.

I have a ream of A3 sized, low GSM paper that we used for mapping out projects (day job) ideas and they are perfect for paper foundation piecing. So, I did a test block, following this tutorial from Film in the Fridge. I find it ‘slippery’ to sew with paper and because some of the scrap strips are cut on bias, it was a little challenging trying to set the 1st diagonal straight. This will create problems when I put the blocks together and I would expect the center strips of the blocks to match. So, I modified the instructions a little by marking two lines, 1/2″ from the center diagonal on the paper (my center strip is 1″ wide).

Mock-up block

Back to the drawing pad, I planned the colour way and layout of the quilt.

Afterwards, I pulled out the scrap buckets and started sorting them out by colours. So, most of the scraps are in 6 bags now (and why do I still have the same number of scrap buckets left under the table???). I also cut up some fabrics from yardage to make up for the colours and centre string.

Scrap bags

Scrap bag

ooooouuuglies

ooooouuuglies









This also gives me the opportunity to use up some Uglies in my charm packs and FQs that I probably will never use in a non-scrappy project.

Week 4: 26 April – 2 May

In: 0 yds
Out: 3 yds

YTD total:
Purchased: 24.59 yds
Busted: 7.75 yds
net: -16.84 yds

Fabric Stash Report #3

I can’t get over Hope Valley. I love the dusty colours and I love its vintagey-not-too-girly feel. I just had to get my hands on them. No thanks to Fab****atic, I didn’t receive any of the half yard sets, which I paid for, from them. So, I bought the Fat Quarter set from an online store that I have shopped with before.

Fabric IN
Hope Valley FQ set 😀

Fabric OUT
Zilch (although I have prepped some more push pin boards to be covered!)

Week 3: 19 April – 25 April

In: 6 yds
Out: 0 yds

YTD total:
Purchased: 24.59 yds
Busted: 4.75 yds
net: -19.84 yds

Rants and Raves

Oh… my little bundle of joy is HERE! Some of it will go to a friend, but the rest are all MINE MINE MINE!

36m of lovelies

36m of lovelies

Magdalene from Needle and Thread is AMAZING. She received my order on Thursday and arranged for the fabrics to be delivered on this morning (Saturday). The prices from the store has been marked down and she is giving away 0.5m with every S$50 spent. This is great value for sewers in SG who often have to resort to buying from the U.S. to score great deals (yup, people like me). Note: I’m NOT paid by any sellers to rave about them. I’m just relating my experiences with the sellers and tools as-is.

This shopping experience is such a contrast to another transaction from hell that I’m going through right now with FabFanatic. I fell in love with DS’ Hope Valley series when it first came out in November last year. And then I was notified that Fabfanatic, a fabric co-op, was gathering orders to bring in the fabrics, I took up the offer since there were many positive feedback from other quilting blogs. The cost was about US$5+ per yard and I order a couple of 1/2 yard sets. That set me back over US$90+ inclusive of international shipping. I paid up as soon as I received the PayPal invoice at the end of Nov 09. To date, I have not received an inch of that order. I’m absolutely devastated! I’m not the only one in this shitty situation. Since their last email in March, promising the order will be shipped out that weekend, I have not heard from FabFanatic. They have not responded to my numerous emails and basically, I think they have fallen off the planet.

This taught me:

1) If I have a large order, get in touch with the merchant first. For Etsy, I usually test the ‘responsiveness’ of seller by asking a few questions via convo. Of course, the questions should not be ‘annoying’ or obvious ones that I can find out from the Policies page.

2) Do NOT prepay for orders that will take more than 4 weeks to be sent to me. PayPal has a strict rule about NOT entertaining disputes more than 45 days from transaction date.

3) Read Feedbacks from other buyers carefully. On the other hand, there are some buyers who do not leave ‘negative’ feedback for fear of retaliatory comments. So, look out for ‘high sales, low feedback’ ratio too.

4) Shop with sellers who can process the order or ship out the order quickly.

5) Pay with PayPal where possible.

6) Forget about fabric co-ops. :S

FabFanatic is probably one of the few black sheep in the world of e-commerce. But the ones that I truly admire are those sellers who are able to ‘recover’ from a bad service/shopping experience.

Once, I purchased a couple of items from an Etsy seller during the busy pre-hols season. She left out a tube of fabric glue that I ordered, but promised to make good by mailing out the item to me. I never received that tube. Suspecting that the item was lost in mail, I told the seller that I would BUY one more tube  of glue and pay for the shipping, and she can mail 2 tubes then. She agreed and said she would make good that order. When the package arrived, to my horror, there was only 1 tube in the mailer! Of course, I was rather frustrated about her getting my order messed up again. I wrote to her for a refund but she was slow in responding. Eventually, she responded with an apology and refunded me the cost of the glue plus the additional shipping, etc. I totally understand that we can falter during such a super-busy shopping period. But if you can make-good the experience, I will definitely shop with the seller again. Afterall, I need a good seller not only for good transactions, but also good salesmanship when the transaction goes awry.

Logging off to prepare for the rest of the weekend with the boys now. Ta!

Eye candies

I have been receiving emails asking if I sew stuffs for ‘adults’ for sale, other than the crayon wallets that I list on Etsy. Well, while I do make fabric covered button book marks, Quilted applique notebooks, bobby pins, etc. But sewing wise, I have yet to list anything for people above ‘crayon-age’.

BUT I have been sewing pouches and clutch purses for friends over the holidays and I do love how they turned out. A very nice lady helped de-mystify zippers by showing me how it actually works!

Zipper pouch + matching key fobs

Zipper pouch + matching key fobs

Fabrics from Denyse Schmidt

Fabrics from Denyse Schmidt

Besides the Zipper, I finally took the plunge and ordered some clutch frames from Etsy. I loved how they all turned out! Ok, my Stash is 70% kiddy fabrics (and most of them scream ‘boys’), but what came to my rescue was this lovely local online store Needle and Thread – check out the website, prices have been revised down! YAAY!. Magdalene delivered the fabrics the very next day after I placed my order and I knew they were perfect for my friends.

Amy Butler and Art Gallery Fabrics.

Amy Butler and Art Gallery Fabrics.

Revive by Art Gallery Fabrics

Revive by Art Gallery Fabrics

So YES! I will be sewing more zipper pouches, clutch purses, card holders, etc… I can’t wait till the end of this tax season, get over a couple of day-job projects so that I can clear my brain and get started soon. Sewing for the Shoppe is such a wonderful excuse to buy more lovely fabrics! :)

* FREE Local Pick-up at Lavender MRT Station * FREE Local Delivery for orders above S$100.00