Saturday, January 2, 2016

My 2016

I have a Facebook friend who is a former classmate. Normally, I laugh hilariously, 'like', or give a mental fist bump to the vast majority of her posts. On NYE, there was one meme shared that I just couldn't get behind...

No, the turn of the calendar won't miraculously turn any of us into someone brand new. It won't change the core of our character or anything like that. But I certainly believe that there is power in new beginnings. How many times have we told ourselves "tomorrow's a new day"?? Is not accurate just because it is :) It's really a new opportunity!

Personally, this year is FULL of positive, exciting, life changing (mostly for other people but I get the benefit of sharing in their joy!) events. Weddings, graduations, starting college (My baby!)...2015 was so hard and full of low points. I'm really looking forward to this fresh slate!

What does that mean sewing wise? Well, a sewing room reorganization to start.

I scored this IKEA 4x4 Expedit shelve with all 16 bins for $50! It was a great deal and even though I don't want to use all of the bins they will come in handy for some basement storage.

Clear bins on top: These will store mending, UFOs (which I don't generally have a lot of) and possibly my small yarn stash (we'll see)

Row 1; Prints: Suiting, light weight wovens, medium/heavy knits, light weight knits
Row 2; solids: same order as above
Row 3; empty slot will have more suiting (I have a lot!), denim (there's more), more solid ponte, lace & mesh
Row 4; woven scraps, knit scraps, fabric for muslins , nice fabric (e.g. not muslin fabric) that isn't for clothing for myself (fabric earmarked for PJs or something for the kids)

This is not my entire stash. The rest is in storage bins in the basement. When I moved into the living room, I hated my fabric all being in the basement but had no money to put into any storage solutions. Eventually I brought up a plastic shelf and brought up some fabrics that were intended for upcoming projects. When the seasons changed, i rotated those out to include more seasonally appropriate stuff. 

Now, I will probably always keep the coating stash in a bin as it's all so thick and I have several 3-4 yard cuts. I will bring up the rest of the suiting and denim...

The new cutting area!

When my husband asks if I need a ____ from the school, I almost always reply "YES!". He mentioned later that I wasn't using the table and I let him know that I'd find a use for it and now...boom!

It rises to counter height so it's now my "support" table for cutting. I can keep all the clutter off of the cutting table now and be able to use the full surface all the time.

2 baskets for upcoming projects
bin for scissors
basket for pattern weights
basket for measuring tapes and a seam gauge
basket for rotary cutters
cart for random stuff related to cutting (haha!) 

On the wall is the cool little Singer wall hanging that I got on clearance one day at Hancock. I am so cheap so spending $12 was a LOT but I loved it so much that I had to have it. The hooks are too big to hang the rulers from (which is what I was thinking initially), so it's mostly decorative.

I had to update my up-close pic after thinking to hang my French curve!

In the next month or so I'll buy a few sets of sheers to hang but I am loving sewing right in front of the window. THE LIGHT!!!!! Eeek! 

Task lighting on the table and the small lap on the bookcase puts out quite a bit of light. The cart under table has serger thread and then randomness (some cleaning still needs to happen).

The bookcase is a WIP. 

I have an open bin with elastics and one with zippers and will bring up my bias tapes. I also have a tackle box with buttons, hook & eyes, etc.

I also plan to hang the thread racks.

The pressing station

The lamp there is the main room lighting. It's a very bright daylight bulb. The steamer was also a score from my husband's job. 

The seam roll, ham, spray bottle and bottle used to refill the iron...and then chalk liner, snips, scissors, interfacing, steam a seam, Wonder Tape...all that good stuff.

The 2nd shelf needs cleaning to make room for notions and underneath are patterns that need to make their way downstairs to the file cabinets.

Aaaaand then there's what you don't see! Hahaha!

This living room is so huge!

In this pic I'm standing with my back right against the ironing board.

I plan to make a small seating area - nothing formal - probably two comfy chairs and table or a futon or something.

Whew! That was an epic New Year's Day project!



I am a pattern stasher. There. :) I have lots of storage and now that I have the file cabinets the pattern stash doesn't feel so out of control. I still want to buy thoughtfully though. 

There was a time where I nearly bought every pattern in a new release. Now it's much easier to cherry pick what I actually like and/or want to sew. 

I plan to try more of my Style Arc patterns and to sew SOMETHING from the handful of Jalie patterns I have.


I will definitely be buying less fabric this year. I'm just too budget strapped to do much stashing. I really want to keep sewing down the stash a bit but won't discount buying fabric for specific projects. For example, I really wanted to sew another version of S1364 but couldn't really find anything that I WANTED to use for it. 


I will probably sit down tomorrow and figure my new personal budget and decide what will be allocated for sewing.


1) I enjoy wearing floaty tops (chiffon, charmeuse, etc) but I decided to abandon those fabrics because UGH! But I like wearing them!!! :)

I "solved" that issue by sewing with rayon challis. But every single time I sew solid-colored challis it's a disaster. So I may as well give it a shot with what I really want to use. I can see a few silk blouses in my wardrobe! :)

2) I need to conquer my anxiety and sew a blazer!!!! I was too overwhelmed by the Burda. There were a gazillion pattern pieces and I just put it all away. I really want/need a black blazer and know that I can buy something but the fit won't be right. I need to make one.

3) Sew at least 6 Burda patterns in 2016; not necessarily from new issues. Just to ensure I am using the collection

4) Sew a prom dress :-O eek! She's settled on a shape that's almost a dead ringer for a pattern from one of the Burda wedding dresses. There's a couple of McCall's/Vogues that I would prefer but I had my prom already ;-)

I'm going to start the muslin sometime later this month.

5) Make pajamas! I have amassed a nice bit of stash to be used to make pj's but have I? nope. And then I bought those from Target and loved that they were rayon and pretty prints but they don't have enough butt room! :) I need a full butt adjustment! This is continuation of my defunct loungewear plan.

6) Sew a summer wardrobe that I actually want to wear! I hate summer for clothing. Weird, I know. I prefer fall. Love fall. I always feel over or under dressed or I spend the entire summer wearing the same 3 dresses. 

I plan to have the prom dress finished by mid-April and then I will start sewing a summer wardrobe; for work and play. I need dresses, shorts, ankle-length pants and tops. 

Overall, I predict a slow down in output mainly because of 'big events'. 

*I'll spend who knows how long on the prom dress and prom is the first week of May
*I plan to go to Pattern Review weekend which is the second week of May
*June is graduation/grad party
*July is my birthday and a wedding
*August is my husband's (40th) birthday, another wedding and MOVE IN DAY! for college

And then hopefully after all that I can churn out a trench coat to be used for fall. 


  1. Whew! a lot of great plans. I can't wait to see how your new studio comes together.

  2. Power in new beginnings - I like that - it's what I think with every new garment, or sometimes every new seam, if the last few were not to my liking. Love your sewing room - space and light. Good luck with your maintaining your stash resolution - I'm sure you will be able to - allowing yourself to buy something takes away any the sense of deprivation.

    1. Thanks Sarah Liz! I agree. It's much easier to cut back than to quit!

  3. From experience - enjoy the process of making your daughter's prom dress. I worried myself sick over making my last daughter's prom dress and it turned out wonderfully so ENJOY the experience. You actually have enough fabric to sew this year. Don't think of it as a restraint but as a creative challenge and you will be fine! Love your new studio and my only piece of advise is to get your thread out of the window - the sun will make it fade.

    1. I second moving the thread out of the sunlight. I store mine in plastic bins designed for thread storage and they remain unfaded and dust free. Karen


    2. Yep. I plan to hang them on the wall. I want to paint them white first.


  4. I plan on buying that Ikea Expedit, but the really big one. The fabric has become overwhelming

    1. I'm surprised at how much it holds!! I think if I had the 5x5 I could actually fit my entire stash (without coating) in it!

  5. I'm with you! I know that technically every day is a brand new start, but how often do we have time to stop and think about that? New Years is a good opportunity to reflect on things, I think. I know there's plenty of unhealthy thinking and unrealistic goals that set people up for disappointment. But I think if we can avoid that, it's super useful and joyful to have a time to plan and think about the directions we're heading in.

    I loved the tour of your setup! I have the small expedits (or whatever the new version is) that I've just FINALLY set up into a cutting table. Everything finally fits! I need to sew down my stash though because I want to try to get my yarn stash in the same spot and also my job situation will be a bit unpredictable this year. So I don't want to fall into the trap of thinking I have heaps of budget when I should be saving that in case I need some backup once my contract runs out at the end of the year. Also I HAVE enough. And I like the stuff and I want to use it! I like your attitude of the stash being there to use but it not being a total fast, or a bad thing if you do need to buy fabric.

    1. You're so right! It is a wonderful time to take stock of where we are and where we'd like to be.

      Aren't you so happy to have a cutting table?! It is so much better.

      I really like the 3 drawer bins and Sterlite make some that are decent sized. Maybe you can grab one of those (for like $20) and store your yarn there??

      Also, yes, I advocate for conserving money on the front end. I was laid off in April of 2015 (was back working by June) but it can be so stressful.

  6. I too have enough fabric. A small collection, well curated with a garment in mind for each piece and a pattern to match. The pattern collection also small, the unused or no longer used, are routinely donated. I'll never have enough notions!

    Liking the idea of every day being day to start over.

    1. Notions should definitely be stashed in abundance :-D

  7. Your sewing space is gigantic and it even has a fireplace, that's awesome! I wish I had room for a big comfy chair in my sewing room, but there's just no space.

    1. I really didn't mind my basement space but we use the family room and the living room sat empty for over a YEAR! That's insanity!!

      But I think I can compromise with the family and make a cozy nook for sitting/relaxing in there :)

  8. Love your sewing space! Love the new sewing bins for fabric and such. Look forward to seeing all you accomplish in 2016.

  9. I agree with Carolyn, enjoy the process of sewing your daughter's prom dress. I was very lucky that my niece let me make her grad dress. I was worried sick because she chose a slippery fabric and I had not yet mastered an invisible zipper. Thankfully, at that time I had already discovered basting tape. I didn't need to worry, it turned out, she looked lovely and best of all, she was happy. Enjoy the process. I can't believe you have graduation and college age kids. And can I say, your sewing space is a dream workspace! WOW, love that you get to sew in front of a window with natural light. Your workspace looks like the perfect happy space. I would never leave it that was my sewing space. Well, maybe for coffee... I'm with you about sewing from the stash. I failed at that last year as I added more fabric than I stash busted, the plan for this year is to do better than last year. Happy New Year!

    1. I'm really looking forward to it!

      Hey, now that I have a Keurig we could just bring that into the sewing room and never leave!! LOL! :)

  10. You're so lucky to have such a large space! I love the giant Ikea cubbies. I have two smaller cubbies like that, one for patterns and one for fabric. Also, I must say that I look forward to your blog posts! Your garments are all so well made, and a lot of them are things I would wear also, so they give me ideas about what patterns might work for me!

  11. My "new year" is my birthday. It is on this day where I reflect on my growth or lack thereof (hah). 1 Jan begins the day where I have to constantly remind myself to write the new calendar year on important documents. =)

    There is definitely power in new beginnings. The beautiful thing is that we can choose any day to begin anew.

    You have a busy year ahead of you!

    1. That's another brilliant time to reflect L! I totally agree that each day is a new opportunity!

      Toooooo busy!

  12. Wow what a lot of plans! You make me tired just reading them. Can't wait to see them come to fruition.

  13. Great post!! I've got my sewing space to work on ASAP... one of my resolutions. I am dying, you have so much light, reeediculous amounts! (P.S. Make sheers... doesn't FM have like super wider sheer curtain fabric for like nothing? Maybe it's sold out... it's just big rectangles with hems.) I am totally looking forward to 2016 sewing too!!! Excited to see yours unfold on the blog and instagram over the next months.

  14. That is one big honkin' space to sew in! I am so jealous! What a great, and wise, hubby to just let you do your thing and be happy. Happy wife, happy life. Can't wait to see your production this year!

  15. You have a lovely spacious sewing room with lots of light. Perfect ! Enjoy making your room yours - you are off to a great start. Making the prom dress will be a very special sewing moment in your life - hope it all goes well.

  16. Love the sewing room, it looks so bright and cheerful!

  17. Lovely bright sewing space and very well organised.

  18. Lucky you! You have such a spacious sewing space!

  19. What a lovely sewing room.. A great find on your ikea unit.. Great for your fabric stash. I love organization.. Best wishes with your sewing this year, I look forward to seeing what you will make.

  20. I'm soooo envious of your big, bright and organized sewing room!

  21. Love this: "There's a couple of McCall's/Vogues that I would prefer but I had my prom already ;-)". One of the advantages of just sons for me.

    Light and windows and a cutting table that doesn't have to do triple duty! Yahtzee!

  22. Nice wrap up! Good Luck with your goals and continued organization! it definitely is an on-going process. Are you a "Cancer" too or a "Leo". I am a Cancer, July 8 and DH is a Leo July 25. Great combination for us!

  23. Your room is gorgeous!! I love all that SPACE!! It always feels refreshing to reorganize. I loved reading all your goals for the year. These types of posts are my favorite! :D Here's to 2016!


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