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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Make Your Own Sewing Desk

Make Your Own Sewing Desk Tutorial


Dracula hands. That's what Craig calls them. At 4'10", my arms were always uncomfortably perched in the air reaching up to the sewing bed of my Bernina . I felt it more closely resembled a pose in the Thriller dance.  My arms were wildly waving in the area to reach the sewing surface which was about 3 1/2" above the table. You can get a sense of how crap sewing is on a normal desk from this photo taken just last week. The surface isn't flat. Cords drape everywhere. It's uncomfortable. A friend came over and we had a good chat about the height of machines and sore shoulders. She found a solution in a portable table, but it just wasn't my style at all. 

I fret about where I sew almost as much as what I sew.  I shopped around and realized there aren't many good choices when it comes to modern sewing cabinets. In days gone by, you could get an awesome Singer cabinet or something mad, crazy awesome like this midcentury modern sewing desk. So utterly clever, the machine stores inside and then flips up for sewing. Nowadays, sewing cabinets tend to be both expensive and ugly. The cheapest start around $150, but they run into the thousands. I lamented my options.

I also realized that I absolutely love how my ALEX and MELLTORP fit together. With that in mind, we set off this morning to the shops to make our own homegrown IKEAhack.


Supplies
- IKEA MELLTOP Table 
- IKEA EFFEKTIV door panel - $5 in AS-IS (any laminated panel will do!)
- 4  Cap-head 3/8" x 6"  (we could have gone shorter)
- 8 Washers - 3/8" 
- 8 Nuts - 3/8"

Total Supply Spend $13.32 AUD since we already owned the table. $62.32 to buy it all with the table.

Tools
- pencil or marking tool
- jigsaw or router
- drill with 3/8" bit
- spanner or wrench for nuts&bolts
- orbital sander or sanding block


The basic idea was to mount the door panel below the surface of the desk. This would allow the machine to be sunken into the table and let the sewing bed sit flush. We decided using bolts to mount the panel would make it easily adjustable so we could move it up and down to assure the surface was flat.


I traced the outline of my Bernina sewing machine and it's acrylic sewing bed onto the MELLTORP table allowing slightly extra room for cords. Craig used the jigsaw to cut it out.




We used an orbital sander and some sanding disks to smooth out the rough bits.



We then marked out holes and mounted the EFFEKTIV door on bolts below the desk. It all went so quick that I missed pictures at this stage. Using bolts allowed us to adjust things up and down to make sure the sewing bed sat flush with the desk. We reinforced it all with nuts and now I've got a custom sewing table that perfectly fits my machine.



I think it's a great solution. The only downfall, if I must pick one, is that bolt heads do stick up slightly as we couldn't find long bolts with countersink heads. The cap heads are round and smooth though and don't interfere with fabric flowing over them and aren't uncomfortable for my arms. They are noticeable but not annoying. Aesthetically, we could have done a little better there.




The Bernina sewing bed has a slight arch to it naturally, but the edges sit smoothly with the desk.




We saved ourselves a fortune, and we've made something that we're proud of.  The supplies cost us $13.32 and we got some awesome new power tools to play with.



Happy hacking. Happy crafting. -- Amy

--------------------

Edit: I was asked for additional photos to answer some questions:

Can you show me the final construction so that I can show my husband? 

Here it is. You can see the small door is mounted below the table. It is sandwiched between a pair of nuts on each bolts.. This photo is taken from floor height. You really don't see this from eye height because of the lip of the table.



You could use white iron-on melamine to line the edge of the desk.

Great tip. We had thought of it and decided not to since it's not visible when the machine is in place. Good tip for others who are less accurate with the jigsaw and sanding. If you are going to use the melamine make sure your hole will be large enough with the melamine in place.



What if you need to sew a cuff?
I can lift the sewing plastic sewing bed out and still work around the machine arm. Or I can pick up the sewing machine move it over on top of the rolling cart briefly and sew up there.




What are those shiny silver things?

Smooth nut  heads. Ideally, we'd use countersink nuts but we couldn't find any over 4"  in our local hardware store. We decided to use the roundish smooth cap heads. If they seem like they'd annoy you, you could always use a bigger bottom surface instead of a cabinet door. Then you could move the mounts further out and away from your machine. We needed ours close so the ALEX would still fit under when not in use as a cutting surface. You can see there's only an inch of clearance for the ALEX.







Is it hard to change the bobbin?
My small hands can reach underneath, but it is a little fiddly. 
The easy way is to slightly tilt the machine and slide the sewing bed off. 
This gives easy access for cleaning as well.


 I saw this tutorial on another blog and have wanted to do this for a long time to my desk. 
Flush sewing would be so nice and by doing this to a reclaimed piece of furniture is the cheapest way.

Linked back to the original blog:            bad skirt.blogspot  by Amy Badskirt

Thanks for stopping by. Come back again to 
see what I might be up to. Stay creative!





Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Petite Strawberry Pin Cushions


 Strawberry Pin Cushion!!







I have seen these on the Martha Stewart website, in my local fabric shop, and more recently at V and Co.  where I was finally pushed over the edge to give this a go.  And, to my delight Vanessa created the perfect tutorial to follow!  So go over there and bookmark this page  and together we will follow it to make a ton of cute strawberries in the 'nic of time for Valentines gifties for your sweet valentine or even just a few for yourself!

I mean, how cute would one of these be on a little gift box?

I always start by gathering up all my supplies.  After reading the tutorial and then trying one... here are the items I ended up using:


  • Fabric scraps in red/pink and green.  I also experimented with a totally non-traditional choice for a strawberry and love the outcome!
  • pen
  • thread
  • needle
  • sewing machine (not pictured)
  • yarn in place of the floss
  • bits of left over batting in place of polyfil
  • hot glue gun.  you know it's going to be a good project when you get to pull out the glue gun!
Following the tutorial directions I cut my fabric to size -- this felt like an easy part!


Next was making the ice cream cone shape.  I free handed the cut and came to find that this part is also very forgiving.  The shape isn't terribly important... since the curve becomes the top of the strawberry which I was happy to find out gets hidden with hot glue.  I *heart* hot glue! 


I have to admit I was nervous until I opened up my cut and matched it to Vanessa's photo.  They look pretty similar!  Phew! 


I went on to the first sewing part.  After all... this is Sew-a-thon!!  I used my sewing machine for the two lines below... but I could see just as easily doing this by hand. 

How are you doing so far?  Motivated to give this one a try?  Are you mid trying?  Any questions?


I cut the little tail off as instructed, flipped this inside out.  All good so far. 

I stuffed the batting bits in the turned out strawberry.

I did the running stitched around the top and was excited when I really could pull the thread to tighten the top.  Looking back now, I think I pulled the top too tight honestly compared to the tutorial where it looks like it is actually ok to leave the top stuffing sticking out... since you cover it with the leaves and hot glue.  That might be why my strawberries ended up being skinny.  I like them skinny, but might also try the other way to see what it does.

I followed the instructions for the leaves (the tutorial has good instructions and pictures for this part)and found it fun to make this shape organic.  I did use my sewing machine to stitch the pieces together... but this is another great place to hand sew if you prefer.

I also made the pink one with four leaves... I would say it looks just as good as the five leaf one if you were wondering.

At this point I had my skinny strawberry and leaves!  I can almost taste victory and cuteness to gift!


I didn't have the floss recommended in the tutorial.  I did however have some gold rick-rack... I tried it out and guess what... it looked like a Christmas ornament.  Confirmed by Mr. Happy.  Here's a quick snap of the rick-rack in case you have the same stuff on hand.  That got me thinking about what else I had to use instead...


That's when it struck me to pull out some yarn.  Yarn to the rescue! 

My other note here would be to make the yarn a tiny bit longer.  The tutorial recommends 9 inches, but once I knotted it and hot glued it in place I didn't have a long enough loop to attached them to my rotary cutter.  Yup, I would make the yarn maybe twelve inches next time.


Following the last bit of instructions was a snap!  The hot glue hides anything you may have been nervous about up to this point and it finishes fast!  I am a geek and sewed four strawberries up first and was able to hot glue them all in about 5 minutes.



I really like the results!  And I am already looking for different combos to try and thinking of all the lovely ladies in my life who sew and NEED one of these.  Can't wait to hear what you thought!! 



I love Pin Cushions!
Thanks for stopping by. Come back and see what my 
little Garden might be growing!
Stay creative!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

HAPPY EASTER!

Don't you wish you had cute little buns like this to paint for Easter.




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Worldwide Quilting Day


Visit you local Quilt Shop!
Have a great day quilting with friends.



Saturday, October 12, 2013

My First Quilt Appliqué




Butterflies In Flight

This is my first attempt at Appliqué. My neice has been my teacher. So one week in August when I went to Louisiana to visit this was my lesson. I bought all my supplies and Roxanne helped me put the colors together so they would look nice. I think I did pretty well on my first attempt. 
I found a very easy quilt pattern I wanted to make for my friends new granddaughter.


I just love the simple fluttering butterflies.
I used clear thread to sew the appliqué butterflies on.
I wanted rounded corners. I tool a paper plate and used it for the corner cutting.


I used a rainbow of colors for the butterflies.
I had scraps for the grandmother that she used for her last two grandchildren.
I used a few of the scraps on this granddaughters butterfly quilt.
She cried when she saw the fabric I had used. I knew it would mean a lot to her.

My niece Roxanne did the free hand machine quilting for me.
I just love the look. Its like the butterflies are flying.

I used a ruffle with the binding sewn already on it for my finishing.
 I like to machine the binding on front and hand sew it on the back.
What do you think!
I love the finished quilt.

This is Brynn !
When I saw this pretty quilt I knew it was the one to make for this little princes.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon. 
Stay creative!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Quilters Prayer


Sunday, April 28, 2013


How to properly attach a border or sashing on a quilt 

{a free tutorial}

www.piecenquilting.com
The key to having a square quilt is a square border. You must properly attach all borders and sashings to ensure a square quilt.

First, measure, measure top of the quilt, the bottom and the center.
They should all be the same size but often are not. When they are not you will need to take an average.
Next, after you have cut borders to the proper width, you will cut them to the proper length. Since my quilt is 8 1/2" I will cut the right and left side borders to 8 1/2".
Lay the borders over right side on the quilt and pin, I will generally pin every 6" depending on the quilt size.
Sew using 1/4" seam allowance. 
Press. First you will press on the wrong side of the fabric, as shown below, to set the seams.
Next you will open it up and press.
After pressing you will measure again. First measure the bottom. Mine is measuring 11 1/4"
Next, measure the center, mine is again measuring 11 1/4"
Last measure the top, mine is again measuring 11 1/4". 
Now cut your top and bottom borders. I will cut mine 11 1/4".
Flip the border fabric over, right sides together and pin to quilt top and bottom. Again, pinning as needed, generally every 6".
Press, now you have a perfectly square quilt.
As a rule of thumb I always press to the dark.
Check out this great blog.
www.piecenquilt.com

Friday, April 26, 2013


 At Home

I saw this nice blog and wanted to share it with my readers. See how easy it is to make a drop in sewing table from a desk or table.
I love thrift 
repourpsed items.


    At 4'10", my arms were always uncomfortably perched in the air reaching up to the sewing bed of my Bernina .  My arms were wildly waving in the area to reach the sewing surface which was about 3 1/2" above the table. You can get a sense of how crap sewing is on a normal desk from this photo taken just last week. The surface isn't flat. Cords drape everywhere. It's uncomfortable. A friend came over and we had a good chat about the height of machines and sore shoulders. She found a solution in a portable table, but it just wasn't my style at all. 

I fret about where I sew almost as much as what I sew.  I shopped around and realized there aren't many good choices when it comes to modern sewing cabinets. In days gone by, you could get an awesome Singer cabinet or something mad, crazy awesome like this midcentury modern sewing desk. So utterly clever, the machine stores inside and then flips up for sewing. Nowadays, sewing cabinets tend to be both expensive and ugly. The cheapest start around $150, but they run into the thousands. I lamented my options.

I also realized that I absolutely love how my ALEX and MELLTORP fit together. With that in mind, we set off this morning to the shops to make our own homegrown IKEAhack.


Supplies
- IKEA MELL TOP Table 
- IKEA EFFEKTIV door panel - $5 in AS-IS (any laminated panel will do!)
- 4  Cap-head 3/8" x 6"  (we could have gone shorter)
- 8 Washers - 3/8" 
- 8 Nuts - 3/8"

Total Supply Spend $13.32 AUD since we already owned the table. $62.32 to buy it all with the table.

Tools
- pencil or marking tool
- jigsaw or router
- drill with 3/8" bit
- spanner or wrench for nuts&bolts
- orbital sander or sanding block


The basic idea was to mount the door panel below the surface of the desk. This would allow the machine to be sunken into the table and let the sewing bed sit flush. We decided using bolts to mount the panel would make it easily adjustable so we could move it up and down to assure the surface was flat.

I traced the outline of my Bernina sewing machine and it's acrylic sewing bed onto the MELL TOP table allowing slightly extra room for cords. Craig used the jigsaw to cut it out.



We used an orbital sander and some sanding disks to smooth out the rough bits.


We then marked out holes and mounted the EFFEKTIV door on bolts below the desk. It all went so quick that I missed pictures at this stage. Using bolts allowed us to adjust things up and down to make sure the sewing bed sat flush with the desk. We reinforced it all with nuts and now I've got a custom sewing table that perfectly fits my machine.

I think it's a great solution. The only downfall, if I must pick one, is that bolt heads do stick up slightly as we couldn't find long bolts with countersink heads. The cap heads are round and smooth though and don't interfere with fabric flowing over them and aren't uncomfortable for my arms. They are noticeable but not annoying. Aesthetically, we could have done a little better there.



The Bernina sewing bed has a slight arch to it naturally, but the edges sit smoothly with the desk.



We saved ourselves a fortune, and we've made something that we're proud of.  The supplies cost us $13.32 and we got some awesome new power tools to play with.

Happy hacking. Happy crafting. -- Amy

--------------------

Edit: I was asked for additional photos to answer some questions:

Can you show me the final construction so that I can show my husband? 
Here it is. You can see the small door is mounted below the table. It is sandwiched between a pair of nuts on each bolts.. This photo is taken from floor height. You really don't see this from eye height because of the lip of the table.


You could use white iron-on melamine to line the edge of the desk.
Great tip. We had thought of it and decided not to since it's not visible when the machine is in place. Good tip for others who are less accurate with the jigsaw and sanding. If you are going to use the melamine make sure your hole will be large enough with the melamine in place.

What if you need to sew a cuff?
I can lift the sewing plastic sewing bed out and still work around the machine arm. Or I can pick up the sewing machine move it over on top of the rolling cart briefly and sew up there.




What are those shiny silver things?
Smooth nut  heads. Ideally, we'd use countersink nuts but we couldn't find any over 4"  in our local hardware store. We decided to use the roundish smooth cap heads. If they seem like they'd annoy you, you could always use a bigger bottom surface instead of a cabinet door. Then you could move the mounts further out and away from your machine. We needed ours close so the ALEX would still fit under when not in use as a cutting surface. You can see there's only an inch of clearance for the ALEX.






Is it hard to change the bobbin?
My small hands can reach underneath, but it is a little fiddly. The easy way is to slightly tilt the machine and slide the sewing bed off. This gives easy access for cleaning as well.


BY: AMY                                                        
http://badskirt.blogspot.com
                                                     Stop by this blog you will love it!
Stop by again and see what I might be up to or teaching...Stay creative