sewing

Studio Update: Drywall and more

Hello hello! I figured it would be fun to share more of the progress pictures I took during renovations of my studio space. I’ve been moved in and mostly set up in the space since the first week of November 2018. There has been a lot of tweaking of furniture and I think I’m mostly settled on how the space is flowing now. Although, I like to change my mind, so that could get switched up at any moment. Actually, the space is very flexible so it’s nice not to feel confined to a certain layout. Also a big part of what I kept getting hung up on was how I would use the space. For now it’s where I work and keep my pattern and supply inventory for my shop. It’s been amazing to have everything out of my house! I’ve hosted a few small events just for fun, it was nice to see the space full with people! I’m still getting my bearings and hopefully will be able to settle on any additional things I might be doing in the future (think pop-ups, hosting craft classes, having a small retail section, hosting a community sewing/crafting night, etc.). Lots of possibilities but I’m okay with waiting and letting things fall into place first. Plus it’s been one of those winters with lots of gray days so I’ve been allowing myself the time and space to not rush into anything.

So I’ll just pick up where I left off in my last update post. The drywall went up without a hitch, it was actually one of the smoothest processes throughout the project. And it totally transformed the space over the course of a few (hot!) days! It was best left to the experts with the high ceilings and large expanses. After that I spent Labor day weekend painting everything. My mom helped and even my kids got in on the action.

Next up was the electrical getting mostly finished up. All the light fixtures that I had bought months before could finally leave my living room and be installed. It was really fun to see something more final in the space! After the electrical was finished up the flooring was installed. Again, best left to an expert considering the large stretch of flooring. I did sign on to tile both the bathrooms myself though! I have done a bit of tiling in our house and previous houses, but it had been a while. It’s hard work, but very rewarding. I set the tile one weekend and then came back a few days later to grout. At the same time that was happening the back parking lot was being finished, and it was pouring rain for dayssssss. It all felt like a hot mess for a while.

All during those weeks I had also been painting the interior trim work. And man, if we could have scheduled that with a painter I so would have! Priming and painting took forever. I spent what felt like weeks heading out to prime and then weeks to paint. Small bits at a time here and there, it felt like I lived in my painting clothes. Luckily my mom helped again, but it was such a process because every day was rain and humidity so paint dried very slowly in our small garage where I painted. But eventually we got to haul the trim to the building and a couple of carpenters spent almost two weeks installing the trim work. They also set the base cabinets for the kitchenette which was fun. And wow, that part just was so amazing to watch.

After the trim work was complete we spent time building the furniture and the plumbing got installed (yay toilets and sinks finally!) as well as the HVAC getting wrapped up. We built the back packing table out of Ikea kitchen base cabinets and then finished the back with bead board. We built the top from birch veneer plywood and stained with a white pickling stain. I really like how it turned out and the cabinets are so nice to have! We also built a main center island that sits under the white pendants. It turned out really well, even after multiple trips to Ikea, which is a couple hour drive each way for us. I had my friend Heidi build the counter for it, she used reclaimed wood and then stained it a lovely rich dark gray color (she also made my floating kitchenette shelves from more reclaimed wood). I’ll show that off in my next post.

The kitchenette counter got installed several weeks later as well as the window sills. I chose Silestone which I think is going to hold up amazingly well compared to any other material. So that’s mostly it. I think I’ll save the rest of the furniture details for another post. I’m still not completely organized though, for example, the cabinets where I’m keeping my fabric is a semi-disaster, but I’ll get around to it.

I feel like this post is such a sweeping summary of the process. It was the hardest project I’ve even been a part of. There were so many questions, so many steps, so much coordination, and so much sweat equity. I joke that it was my second full-time job, and it was. Even though my husband and I split the work, it was overwhelming and at times we definitely wanted to just give up. But we pulled through and now it’s still kind of surreal to work here. Grateful for having a dedicated space, but still am in the phase of “we actually did this”. There are a few small things left such as grills for the divided wall window openings and a bit of trim under the window sills. I’m also on the search for finding some antiques and am gathering inspiration to finish up the bathrooms!

So thanks for reading if you made it this far! I’ll post more about the furniture and finish details in my next post. And, I have a couple new patterns coming up that I’m very excited about. I’ve been using my sample of one of the patterns non-stop and I can’t wait to show it to you!

 

sewing

My Lonetree Vest

My Lonetree Vest - Noodlehead I had put this project on hold for so many reasons. The first and longest part was because I just felt intimidated. Could I pull it off? What fabric should I use so that I would be sure to wear it and put it to use most often? It sat on my to-do list staring back at me for far too many pages in my planner. When Allie (Indiesew) released the pattern (Lonetree Jacket) I knew I wanted to make at least one of the options. In Wisconsin there’s always a need for a lightweight jacket especially in Spring and Fall. I even ordered lining for my vest because I hadn’t bothered to look to see if it was unlined or not – it’s unlined! So after worrying about it for so long, I was pleasantly surprised that it was such an approachable project.

My Lonetree Vest - Noodlehead

I chose the vest because I like the idea of having an extra layer of warmth without the bulk of sleeves. So that in itself eliminated the need to cut out many of the pattern pieces. Again, something I let get in the way just because I hadn’t put enough thought into it. It only took a few hours to get the pattern prepped and the pieces cut. And even the sewing I did in very small chunks of time which is not my usual approach. I’m usually let myself get wrapped up in ‘having enough time’ to complete the whole project in just one or two sessions. I’d like to get better at changing my mindset about that.

My Lonetree Vest - Noodlehead

The vest is really so fun to make. The detail Allie adds is perfect, plus there’s even a sew-along that has tons of great tips and suggestions. I had gotten the cord locks so long ago from Pacific Trimming that it was a relief to finally put them to use. The only modification I chose to make was enlarging the upper pockets just by a bit. I think I added one inch to both the height and width of the smaller upper pockets and then adjusted them a bit down from the pattern markings while sewing so that I could adjust them to where I thought they looked best on my frame.

My Lonetree Vest - Noodlehead

I’m excited to sew some more cozy pieces before Spring is near. I feel like I say that often, but I have a nice stack of cozy fabrics that I’d like to turn into something to wear!

My Lonetree Vest - Noodlehead

Pattern: Lonetree Jacket (Vest option) by Allie Olson of Indiesew
Fabric: Kaufman Hampton Twill (in black) from fabric.com
Zipper from wawak.com, metal snaps from my shop (sorry I’m sold out of the starter kits! hoping to restock soon!), twill tape from Bijou Lovely, and cord locks from Pacific Trimming
my hat is the Snoflinga Hat I made a while back
My Lonetree Vest - Noodlehead

sewing

Scrap Bento Bag Set

Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead

Scrap Bento Bag Set - NoodleheadThis project was a fun one! It started with a pile of fairly large scraps of fabric that I was going to gift to a friend. But my friend didn’t need the fabric at the time, so I stared at that pile of fabric for a while determined to make it into something useful! I had gotten Sweetkm‘s Wholecloth Bento Bag pattern as soon as Kristi released it. I love her aesthetic and so it was a no-brainer to give her pattern a try.

Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead

Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead

The bags come together in such a fun way. If you’ve never sewn a tied knot bag this style before it’s a great use for leftover fabric. Since it’s such a useful design (pretty much anything that fits inside is a good candidate), it’s easy to use up whatever fabric you have when you’ve got a little bit extra from a previous project and can’t seem to part with it. There is a fair bit of hemming and pressing, but I think once you get going, it’s a sort of work that goes by quickly especially if you’ve got a good podcast or music to listen to.

Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead

Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead

I’m not super sure what’ll happen with these bags, maybe I’ll gift them to someone or maybe one of my kids will snap them up. They thought they were pretty cute when laid flat all together. It kind of looks like a strange shape when flat, that is, until you put something inside and tie a quick knot. Pretty nifty!

Pattern: Wholecloth Bento Bag by Kristi of Sweetkm
Fabrics: Euclid by Carolyn Friedlander, Arroyo by Erin Dollar, and a herringbone chambray by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Scrap Bento Bag Set - Noodlehead