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1  Professional Sewing Studio in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by montyfull on: May 07, 2012 06:29:22 PM
Hi Everyone!

So I have made the transition to 3/4 time professional seamstress (I teach at a local college the rest of the time), and thought I would show off my ABSOLUTELY TINY "studio".  In this studio, I make dresses, draperies, costumes, alterations...you name it...I've made it, and I make a living (more of a starving artist...) doing it. Its been a hard transition, with lots of learning experience.  I thought about cleaning my studio before showing it off...but seriously, this is what it looks like constantly... just keepin it real. :p

The studio is in our master bedroom. We have a relatively small house, but our master bedroom is very large. We've divided it in half, and the first portion is my sewing studio. We've divided the room by using the dresser as a divider. When people come over for a fitting, I have a folding screen and a full length mirror that I pull out to turn it into a fitting area. The serger comes and goes, but its mostly out all the time. Large garbage can to catch pattern and fabric scraps, thread and whatnot.  A shelf with all of my crap - thread, tools, chalk, scissors (many many pairs of scissors), sewing feet, and a patternmaking book if I need a reference for something complicated. I have little kits for various functions - fittings, patternmaking, hand sewing, etc. I also teach people out of this area, one on one sewing lessons.  I tape sketches and calendars up to the back of the dresser to keep me on track! Extra lighting, various rulers set on top of the AC unit. I thought I would hate having it blowing right on my face, but I don't know about you ... I sweat like CRAZY when I sew!  There's currently a massive order of roman blinds sitting in front of the ironing board.  I use a Babylock Grace, for anyone interested in what sewing machine I'm using. I find it has a nice, strong motor, good timing and tension - and it was a little more affordable/portable than other "professional" grade machines at just under $500. Nice buttonholes, too. That is a MAJOR plus.

The other side of my "studio".  Professional, gravity feed iron. Seriously, I recommend this to ANYONE who sews a lot! It was $100 and presses better than any iron I have ever used. I got that hanging rack from target for under $50. We have 4 foster cats, 2 of our own cats and a dog. This keeps the animals out of everyone's fabric. Smiley  Its usually bulging, like in the photo ... fills up fast when I'm working on cushions or chair covers. Its been a godsend.

And the newest addition - not finished. I am just so excited about it... its actually what got me to post this!  I have been cutting on the floor for SO LONG. My back has been giving out and ... I generally feel like I've done 8 hours of pilates when I'm done at the end of the day. So, yesterday we replaced our ikea futon in the computer room with a day bed that we found on amazon of all places. Still need a mattress. We also bought an 8foot x 4 foot plywood board from home depot, and two 1"x1" planks that we wood glued to both sides for support. Put some sticky felt on the bottom to protect the day bed and I now have a cutting table! Its a great height...comes up to my waist, and 4 feet deep so I have plenty of room to lay out fabric. Its also got 3 functional drawers on the bottom to hold excess fabric - which I have been just throwing on top of my hanging rack to this point. When I'm done with it, I just climb on top of the bed, lift it and let it slide behind the bed. We are going to paint it white and make it look a bit more like a head board. Its an elegant solution to a crappy problem, and I can't take any credit for it. All hubby.

Its certainly not the most spacious studio, but it really works. We've got a 3 bedroom house, and we still managed to keep our queen bed in the master, a full bed in the guest room, and this twin bed in the computer room. Computer room is also home to not one, but TWO full computer desks (we are geeks). There isn't a spare inch of space, but aside from my studio, it somehow doesn't feel cramped. HURRAY FOR TINY FURNITURE!! Cheesy  I am truly blessed, though. It has taken years to get to this point and I am happy to share it with everyone. Thanks for reading!
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2  Re: 12 Days of Christmas 2010 First Send out 12/1 Second Send Out 12/8 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by montyfull on: November 20, 2010 08:59:36 AM
Hi guys! Craziness in this household!  We found a pooch and she's such a cute truffle hunter. We found her at the SPCA. She was a stray! We still can't believe it. She's acclimatized pretty quickly and she's even doing "ok" with the cats (far too enthusiastic for her own good). But I have managed to find time to craft and I'm finally making progress on the xs and smalls! Since I seem to be incapable of making something in under 30 minutes, they seem to fall under the small category because of size. haha Smiley  Going to crank out as much as I can this weekend!

In the meantime, here's a photo of the new pooch, Mandy. Well, her full name is Mandybrot Frack (our last name). Named after Benoit Mandelbrot - the mathematician who worked out the equation for fractals. She's also a sausage dog, so she looks like a bratwurst. And ... well, our last name is Frack... FRACtals... yeah. The nerd haze is thick in this household. I can hardly see to type. Grin

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3  Re: 2010 Garden-a-long? in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions by montyfull on: June 13, 2010 02:30:38 PM
Hi Smiley  I planted my first garden this year and though I would post pictures!  I'm a complete novice at gardening, but have been wanting a veggie garden forever. So far, so good...but we'll see when harvest time comes! The link below takes you to my blog post with tooooonnnss of photos and descriptions. Let me know what you think Smiley


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4  Re: Steampunk Circus Swap in The Swap Gallery by montyfull on: February 20, 2010 12:34:01 PM
I got my package from Aisy 2 nights ago, but just got around to taking photos. Was worth it to wait for natural light on the weekends, anyway. Here it is!

Here are all of the times, together Cheesy

Aisy made this amazing dragonfly necklace, which I have already worn to work and gotten quite a few compliments on. I love it. Smiley  She said that a lot of the beads (the red one and the swarovski rondells) are vintage! LOOOVES.

Next up is a hair wrap with a vintage lock on the end. I'm so excited about this because I'm growing my hair out and have no accessories. My husband has long hair, so I have been stealing his hair bands when I want to pull it up!

She included these 2 little tart magnets. Ok. So they look completely edible. Haha. They were up on the fridge in 2 seconds flat, and every time I walk by them I get a strong craving for sweets. *drool*

Here is a closeup of the pendant attached to the front of the feather headband. It has little green sequins(?) peeking out from under the filigree. Oh, and by the way, aside from my love for it - this head band is SUCH A HUGE hit with the cats. haha. I have nicknamed it my cat hat. Here are the priceless expressions I get while wearing it:

They won't look me in the eye anymore. I don't know why! Wink  Thanks for a great swap, Aisy. Cheesy I love everything and it will all get put to thorough use!!! Cheesy
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5  Re: Labyrinth Swap Round Three Gallery in The Swap Gallery by montyfull on: February 15, 2010 08:04:56 PM
Ok! Here are my goodies from Shelina!

The first thing I saw when I opened the package was this crocheted Jareth doll!  Jareth is by far my favorite - I'm a huge Bowie fan in general, so this knocked my socks off. Smiley Its so detailed! He has different colored strands in his hair, and even holding a crystal ball.

Here's a close up of the doll - Shelina even added his necklace. Cheesy

Next up is this labyrinth shirt!!! Its just the right size, has a nice twisted neckband. Going to get a lot of use out of this. And here is a gratuitous boob shot, because i have to show off the pocket - there's a Jareth on it. Shocked

It says Sarah <3 Jareth. Smiley  Little bit of double meaning there, because Sarah is also my name.

Here's the back view!  The colors on this iron on transfer are great, and so is the amount of detail. Shelina...you must have a great printer. Cheesy  Oh, and the sleeve has Labyrinth Swap 2010 on it to commemorate our swap!

Next I found a Labyrinth print that Shelina made!  It looks like some sort of watercolor? Gouache?  I love it. Its going to get hung in my crafting space for inspiration.

*pant*pant* But wait, there's more!

A little crocheted bag which is absolutely perfect for holding....

Jewels! Jewels and more jewels!  5 bracelets, a pair of earrings, and 2 keychains.

Here are the keychains Smiley  The one on the right has glare, but it is a ballroom mask in glittery resin.  Phew. Ok, I'm done now.  Seriously, Shelina, you spoiled me like crazy!  Thank you so much for everything Smiley
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6  Re: Vintage Christmas Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by montyfull on: December 06, 2009 05:39:53 PM
Hi Everybody Smiley  I just got back from being out of town all weekend. It was torture - I was waiting for InShambles' package to arrive, but left for a weekend getaway right after work on Friday. Wouldn't you know - they delivered it Friday while I was at work!  So I had to wait all weekend to get back to see my package!

These are all of the goodies laid out. Let it be known - there was much "SQUEEEEE" while opening this package. I received a table runner featuring a hand painted winter gnome, an 20's flapper tree ornament and a painting of my favorite buddy, my cat Jet. Everything was hand painted by InShambles and I am so in awe of her talent!

A close up of the gnome...oh, and plaid - bestill my heart!!!! I LOVE plaid.

The gnome footsies on the other side of the table runner!  This runner is on my dining room table...and will stay there indefinitely. Cheesy

This is the flapper ornament she made, complete with vintage sequins. They look very mother of pearl IRL. InShambles says they'll potentially melt if they get wet...which for some odd reason, I love.

A close up of the sequins. Aren't they great!?

A painting of my cat Jet!  She mentions that it wasn't turning out the way she'd like, so she directed her attention to other things, but I think its beautiful. Look at the depth in his eyes.

Here's a picture of Jet for reference. Looks just like him!

I feel blessed to have such handmade goodness in my home. Smiley  Thank you so much, InShambles!!!
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7  Re: Vintage Christmas Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by montyfull on: December 02, 2009 08:26:51 PM
Ok, InShambles received my package so its safe to post a few photos! So I spent 90% of my time on the large I made her. She mentioned that she liked prairie simplicity, so I honed in on that and made her a country Victorian Christmas poppet. Cheesy

Her name is Lillian. I'm really proud of her! Its my first poppet and I gotta say... I find them pretty addictive. Its also my first swap- I find them even more addictive! haha.

Just a few accessories, because I wanted to keep her cute and simple - A little bow in her hair and a cameo charm I found at JoAnns on a little ribbon.

I don't have a very good picture of her hair. I gave her 2 fat braids, and twisted the braids around each other - sort of a big Victorian bun. Once I had the braids set the way I wanted them, I sewed her hair in place! Its not going anywhere!

I made her a quick little hoop skirt to help give her that giant Victorian sweep that I really wanted to get. Its boned at the hem w/ left over spring steel from a corset I made a while back. Attached some trim at the hem to pretty it up. I'm really proud of her.

I also made a few ornaments out of salt dough - an old fashioned recipe I've been meaning to try out for a while. I completely forgot to take photos before I sent them out, but I made her a candle and 2 candy canes. The candy canes didn't survive the trip. Sad  I blame it on the elephants they've got sorting boxes at the post office. Sad  Its hard to sort packages with 4 giant feet and a trunk!

Can't wait to see the goodies everyone gets! This is the best part! Cheesy  I'm glad InShambles likes her. She's found a good home Smiley
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8  Re: The Long Awaited Poppet-Along in Craftalongs by montyfull on: October 30, 2009 09:36:07 AM
Hi guys Smiley  So I don't know if this will help anyone, but I thought I would post it anyway. I made a little poppet figure to sketch outfits on. Call it a hazard of the job Wink (I'm a patternmaker for a living)  Let me know if I've drawn anything out of whack! Below is the original, and the faded version (so you can more easily sketch on top of it).

Feel free to PM me if you want the original versions. They're a little more high res without the dithering around the edges.
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9  Sparkly Mario Eveningwear! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by montyfull on: July 22, 2009 04:05:04 PM
So I'm a fashion major. Graduated in 2007, and just NOW got around to uploading pics of my stuff!  I'm an avid gamer for life. Shooters, RPGs, PC, nintendo, Xbox... I'll play anything if I can afford it. Smiley I also don't like to take myself too seriously, so I decided that my senior collection was going to be mario eveningwear. Ya know, lots of sequins, duchess satin, chiffon, coupled with the crazy icons we know and love.

Anyway, pics. These are the only shots I have. It was a crazy night, and I was lucky to get away with these!!

My favorite Smiley  That applique head was all hand made from scratch. It took me over 80 hours of hand work. I like to call it .. my opus. *snicker*

We had dressers in the back, and the lining of this dress was attached at the hem. They didn't pull the lining down so it hiked. Sad  It fit like a GLOVE but looks pretty bad with that bunching.  Its the mushroom dress. Smiley

Coin dress!

This is my bob-omb dress. The little red explosion is all sequins, and the bomb is quilted, and the quilting is outlined in swarovsky crystals. Again, not so great of a photo.

This was supposed to be the big show stopper, but it turned into a big 'meh'. I made the hoop skirt underneath. Lined it w/ 2 layers of some serious muslin, and then quite a few more layers of chiffon. Really think I needed a layer of tulle or two in between. The skirt just didn't do it for me, and the big leather loin cloth thing ... meh. It is a lambskin corset, though, and I love that. Oh, and here's the shot of the sequin applique on the front. I took it off after the show and used it on my graduation cap. Smiley

And here's one more shot of it during our halfway through critique! Its super unfinished here.

So that's it Smiley  

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10  Jewelry/metal things I make - photo dump! in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by montyfull on: March 08, 2009 09:10:13 PM
Hi Smiley  Haven't posted much, but thought I would post this project. I just finished him. Its bronze, with silver headphones and wire, and the eye is a cubic zirconia snap fitted into a bronze jump ring. I've been taking a jewelry class, and I love it! 

Its about 1 3/4" high, for reference. I soldered a backing onto the piece, and polished up the sides nicely, so its a hollow shape. Was paying close attention to a nice finish, for once! Wink Here's another shot in a different light to show the eye better.

And just for the hell of it, here is a shot of the first thing I've ever made in the class... a basic sterling silver ring with 2 london blue topaz gems.

And yeah, another shot at a different angle to show the gem as it naturally appears. Seems I can't light the metal and the gems correctly in the same photo!!!

I'm used to doing more large metal work - welding and blacksmithing, so jewelry is new to me. Same basic principles, just a lot less muscle involved Wink Below are a few bigger things I've hammered out of metal!

This was really just to mess around with articulating plates and some not so successful filigree. It has no purpose. One of my friends called it jumbo shrimp armor. Wink

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope you guys like them!  I had a lot of fun making them, and nobody to show them to Sad Sad Sad  Thanks! Smiley

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