Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

the last Alabama Chanin airbrushing (for a while)

Sprayed the last dress panel to take on the trip.


Things I learned this time around:

1. Blotting is still crucial.
2. One part paint to three parts water is just about the right mix, I think.
3. Wiggle Weights are the best.

That is all!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

spring cleaning

We're getting ready for an epic trip to Belgium and the Netherlands as part of an exchange program with my husband's school. I can't wait! (I'm also writing two travel guides for Seamwork while I'm over there. Like I need an excuse to go fabric shopping.)

Anyway, so my parents are cat/housesitting for us while we're gone, so we're spring cleaning. Dusting ceilings, repainting floors, wiping down baseboards, all that fun stuff. (A thing I found out: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers clean lampshades! Woo.) The sewing room's been driving me nuts -- it's the size of a walk-in-closet, and it's also a storage room and home office, and lately it's been so full of stuff that Harley the cat even refuses to come in, which is sad. So I decided to attack that too.

What I did (mostly so I can refer to it next year):

1. Donated all old bedsheets, etc. I was saving for muslins. When I get back, I'll just buy one easy-to-store bolt from JoAnn.
2. Same thing with old interfacing. (Like, the really old stuff from yard sales. I kept the new stuff.)
3. Same thing with most of my old thread, and then I organized the rest by type and color so it's easy to find. Threads recently had an article on spring cleaning, and it said not to store thread near windows because sunlight will weaken and fade it (whoops), so I found a new place for that too.
4. Put all the bobbins (ALL the bobbins) in one place.
5. Reorganized the fabric: Put all the wools together in the storage bench, where the sheets used to live, knits in one wicker basket, pant material and silks in the other. (I hate plastic bins.) Also put all the pretty pretty fabric out so it's visible and easy to find.
6. Organized all notions in the storage containers I currently have -- mostly cigar boxes and Christmas tins. I'm looking to upgrade at some point, maybe to some Alabama Chanin canvas bins.
7. Went through all my day-job paperwork and samples and reorganized and ditched quite a bit of it. Sorry, old jobs, all your Meyers-Briggs tests got recycled.

It's still not ideal -- we'll need to store some stuff in there while houseguests are here -- but when we get back, it should be easy enough to work in there. And I hope Harley finds a place to settle down.

In progress, warts and all:

All those bags at the back are temporary storage.


Part of the reorganized stash. I have big plans for the broccoli fabric.
Lovely thread, finally all in one place where I can find you!
Also, as long as we were cleaning and upgrading some stuff anyway, I bought:

1. An iron soleplate cleaner for my Rowenta. Can I tell you? This stuff is magic. It cleaned off ALL the melted black interfacing from that one unfortunate experiment. (We will not talk about the one unfortunate experiment.) Plus it smells good.
2. A new, sorely needed padded ironing board cover. I was going to try and make one, but, well, there you go.
3. Pressing cloths. Like, actual real ones. They're also magic and I don't know how I went so long without them. (I was using old bits of muslin, and, uh, there's a huge difference.)

So anyway. It was one day of pain, but now everything is where I can find it, and Harley's already cautiously checking everything out. Come on in, buddy.