Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sewing Room: Story of a Project

When we moved I wasn't sure what I was going to do about my fabric stash and crafting supplies. It is huge, or should I say H U G E! And we didn't have room on the first trip to bring any of it with us. So I saw this tiny room in our tiny house and I knew I was in big trouble here. 

 I kind of set up a sewing room in the tiny room. And Mr. Rainbow Creek set off back to Colorado to retrieve the rest of our belongings, meaning my massive fabric stash. And when he got back... I realized that I had severely underestimated the enormity of my problem.

This is what he brought back and unloaded into the garage. YIKES!

 And this is the tiny room I had to work with. So we decided we needed to regroup and make a plan. 

Of course it doesn't take much to convince me that it is time for a big project. Off to Menards, and Home Depot and Lowe's we went. I had this idea that we could buy some of those ready made storage cabinets, plop a desk top down on top and throw a few shelves in the closet.

Needless to say that wasn't about to happen. First, there was the problem of not finding what I had in mind, and second there was the price. That stuff is flippin' expensive! Even the junky stuff that I didn't really want was way out of our price range.

So I continued on down the aisles until I came to some unfinished kitchen cabinets that happened to be on sale, and it also happened that we had used some similar cabinets in another project at another house so we had some experience with working with these. I was crunching numbers and figuring out what we could do on our budget when Mr. RC wandered around the corner and found these beat up, filthy, broken scratch and dent ones for $33 each. "Go get one of those big flatbed carts while I guard these so nobody takes them!" I screamed.

We got them home and Mr. RC inspected the damages and planned how to patch them up. This included rebuilding one of the drawers, patching a big hole in the back of one and fabricating a few missing braces. No biggie. These were kitchen base cabinets so we decided that we would have to cut the bottoms off to get them to the right height for a table top.

Now on to the fun part!

I knew exactly what color I wanted. Teal Zeal. I love this color. I thought about distressing and glazing them but this little 50s house has been leading me back to kitschy retro style so I decided to leave the color bright.

The hardware was about $40. Totally worth it. I love the drawer pulls.

Then after we got the cutting table cabinet in the room I realized that it really needed some cute bun feet to make it more functional and more cute. Mr. RC was miffed that I made him cut off 4 inches and now I wanted to add a 4 inch foot to it. But it really was a functional issue, because I kept running my feet into the bottom of it and it wasn't going to work for a cutting table that way. And then there was the cuteness factor... you know what I mean?

We found out that bun feet can be really expensive.

I found these on ebay for $14 + $8 shipping, less than half what they were in the stores, and they got here in 3 days! Don't you love when you find an awesome deal like that!

The table tops were probably the hardest part. We decided to get a melamine finished particle board because it was a nice smooth finish and wouldn't require painting and it was really cheap @ $20 for a 4'X8' sheet. The edges needed to be finished with a white plastic veneer and spray adhesive, which is messy and a lot of work.

While that was getting done I took the opportunity to whip out a can of Krylon Aqua spray paint and pretty up a wicker waste basket from Goodwill and an old coat rack that I use to hang things on. 

Now isn't that a lot more fun than dark brown?

Since we had a lot of scrap particle board left over we used it make the shelves for the closet and above the sewing table. Again, the cutting and finishing was a lot more work than just buying finished shelves but we figured it was all paid for anyway so it worked out.

And here it is! My totally awesome sewing room! Total cost was about $250 and it only took 2 weeks. Not too bad and I got exactly what I was hoping for.

 We still have a few more shelves to hang above the cutting table to organize my crafty stuff. Now all it needs is some kitschy red and white ruffled gingham curtains and I am a happy girl! So, I gotta go get busy on some of those stash buster challenges, 'cause I really only managed to get about 1/3 of my stash stashed away in here. But I am sticking to my fabric diet for at least the rest of this year. I swear! NO more stashing. Period.

Linking up for these great parties:

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Project Bag for the Knitters

I love charm squares. Who doesn't huh? 

So I usually buy them without having any particular project in mind, but just because I figure I will figure something out to do with them eventually. And they are pretty to look at in the meantime until I find a project. But I had a bunch of leftovers after doing my Fiesta Table Runner project so I was googling for free charm square patterns when I came across a wonderful Jewel Shaped Bag tutorial on Pinterest by the Mad Quilter. I pinned it to my Pinterest Sew 'n Love board and then jotted down the basic pattern in my notebook.

Then I took a few days of mulling it over in my head. That's what I do. I sew in my head, plot, plan and work out all the details before actually starting a new project. Does everybody do that? I am always sewing something in my mind.

I decided that I wanted to back the main bag with my lining fabric (leftover sheet) and quilt it, then bind the edges rather than sewing in a separate lining. My reason for that is that I have found that lining odd shaped bags often doesn't work out so well. The lining doesn't fit snug and gets bunchy or flappy inside there. So I had all the details kind of figured out (well except a few things I forgot, I'll get to that) and I started laying it out. Then I went back to take a peek at the assembly part on the tutorial and Guess What? The blog has been privatized. So there is no tutorial for me to link to now. Sorry about that!

 This is how I laid out the fabrics and stitched the rows together. I used a fusible fleece for the batting, so I ironed that down to hold it in place. Then I cut the backing a little bigger and pinned it really well to quilt it. I am not so talented at quilting yet so I did a simple stitch in the ditch around each block then a diagonal row each direction.
 This is how my quilting turned out. Not bad. I didn't have a fabric marker to mark the diagonal lines so I just eyeballed them from corner to corner. Not perfectly straight but I have X'd a lot of rag quilt blocks in the past so that experience came in handy!
I cut my bias tape 2 1/2 inches wide because I can never get my binding stitched down perfect if I go with 2 1/4" for some reason. I bound the two ends of the rectangle (??) piece. I guess that's not very clear to understand but when you fold the thing in half it makes the top of the bag. Now for some reason I can never quite remember how to make mitered corners with continuous binding so I always have to look that up every time I want to do it. This is where I realized that I had no idea how to sew continuous binding on an inside corner. Praise be to Google! I found a video right away and it actually worked! I think that little V in the center looks halfway decent anyway. 
Sewing a mitered corner video:
Binding an inside corner video:

 The awesome thing about this bag is how it stands up at an angle, so it will make a great project bag for carrying your knitting projects and the yarn feeds right out of the open top of the bag. 

Only problem is I don't know how to knit... sigh. I have tried and that particular crafty gene seems to have escaped me. Oh well, I love sewing and I made two of these awesome bags to send off to some knitty friends for my Pay It Forward project. Hope they will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Visit Sweet Little Gal's Turquoise Lovin' Party to see more great turquoise projects too!

I am joining these awesome blog parties too!
The Girl Creative

Template: Blog Designs by Sheila