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Aug 15, 2013

What's On My Sewing Table



What's on my sewing table?  On the treadle table I see piles of bills, videos, books, a serger, shears, headphones...can you make out anything else?

On my Kenmore table?  My latest pattern purchase blowing in the breeze; more about that below.



On the kitchen sewing table?  Too many sewing machines and a bottle of wine (far left) for starters.



I'm not what you'd call neat but there's a method to my madness, or so I tell myself.  Let's move on.

Yesterday afternoon I did a little fabric shopping.  I needed another yard of this lawn for what may or may not be a 1920's bathrobe.



Here's the kind of silhouette I have in mind (I have cotton sateen for trim).



Much of my hesitancy about this project is that I'm not sure where Cathy would model pajamas and a robe.  I could make up a story about her getting locked out of the house one morning while she was picking up her milk delivery, like that scene from "Send Me No Flowers."  Any other ideas?

My latest pattern purchase, Simplicity 9993, is for a knit sweatshirt or sweater, and the pattern includes both raglan sleeve and plain sleeve versions.  Did I mention I want to experiment with sweater knits?



Here are a few swatches I picked up yesterday -- just ideas running through my head.  I saw a woman walking the other day in a coffee-colored knit with a pink abstract pattern and I loved the combination.  I'm thinking colors that would look good with my coffee-colored shirt from yesterday.





Maybe something like this in a nubby knit?



This isn't pink or purple but I took a swatch anyway -- so pretty.



I also swatched (that's a verb, right?) this fleecy (on the wrong side) charcoal gray cotton knit. I'd have to purchase some ribbed knit for a neck and waistband, unless I go with just a neck facing and no waistband.  I may start with this before moving on to anything fancier.







I'm not sure if this will be my very next project, but I would like to do it soonish.  If I told you I was looking at coverstitch machines would you think I was crazy?  (I blame Miss Celie. )  No, no I really can't purchase another machine.  Unless I sell one of the others, that is.

In closing, do you have actual sewing projects on your sewing table, or bills, videos, and other assorted crap?  (Or perhaps a Brother 2340CV)

It may be time to start excavating -- and decluttering. 

Have a great day, everybody!

50 comments:

  1. That John Weitz pattern is great. When DH wouldn't wear the shirts I made for him (when the pattern was new) I wore them. I think that Cathy could easily model a pajama-and-robe ensemble on the streets of NYC. Don't its citizens regularly pop out for coffee and bagels on weekend mornings, dressed these days in a far-less-than-fashionable deshabille? Cathy could put them all to shame, with her hair tied up in a flowing scarf, billowing kimono tied loosely over lounging pajamas, and a fabulous pair of feathered mules.

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  2. Haha! I have EVERYTHING on my sewing table, even a printer. Granted that I sew and make patterns on a folding table in my bedroom. As for coverstitch machines, I'm just waiting on the chance to buy one.

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    Replies
    1. I was sort of surprised to learn that it doesn't cut, it just provides the double line of stitching on the front and the serged finish on the back. Not sure I can justify the purchase, though they can be had for less than $350 in the USA.

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    2. Were you interested in a coverstitch machine that cuts and does the two lines of stitching? I don't think I've ever heard of that type of coverstitch. Hmm. I'd be surprised to know they do exist unless it's one of those serger/coverstitch machines.

      I was kind of looking toward buying a SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 Thread Serger Overlock because it can be be converted from a serger to a coverstitch by switching some parts around. That Singer also sews a two thread chain stitch, but I'm not totally committed to buying it. The price is about $500 but it comes with free shipping. So I'm still looking around.

      Have you seen coverstitch machines on ebay with about a $350 price tag?

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    3. http://www.kenssewingcenter.com/brother-2340cv-serger-sewing-machine-customer-return-p-27562.html

      It's refurbished, but that's OK by me. Also, free shipping.

      Delete
  3. Possible scenario: In the middle of the night, the fire alarm wakes up the hole house. Cathy grabs the dogs plus a few essentials and runs onto the street. Thankfully it turns out it was all a false alarm. However what is really alarming is how strikingly good Cathy is dressed! Cathy saves the day ;) by talking to all the tenants, lifting the spirits, even of the firemen who are leaving and is busy until the early morning hours when sunshine sets in *wink* and everyone including the photo camera can feast on her wonderful new bathrobe.
    How bout that? >:)

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    Replies
    1. I think this could work! We'd have to shoot day for night of course.

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  4. My sewing machine tables are relatively free of stuff, but I've cannot see the top of my cutting table for all the paper scraps, patterns,pattern pieces and pattern sheets. There is also a pile of fabrics to use for a mini wardrobe. The pattern work is almost done on a dress so I'll have to clear the table to cut out my muslin for the dress. I am tempted to just sew it as I've added in case sas to the side seams.
    I like all of those nubby pieces. If your fabric is stretchy enough you can just use cross grain strips for the neck and hem. Or brown to the pink if you can find it.
    I have found my coverstitch machine to be an invaluable addition to my machine stable. Of course I do not have any where near the collection that you do! Thanks to Rene I am going to look for a used hemmer to add to my collection!

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  5. In the UK a certain strata of society seem to wear nothing but pyjama bottoms and vest tops out of doors at all times of the day and night usually accessorized with cheap Ugg boot copies and, if they are really pushing the boat out, the fluffy towelling robe. Makes you despair! Your outfit sounds incredibly glamourous in comparison. I also have the Simplicity 9993 bought as part of a job lot in a charity shop. To scared of knits to tackle it though ;)

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  6. My sewing table currently has my serger and my Janome machine on it, plus pattern pieces for long shorts for my 4 year-old son, an almost-finished bag for a friend, plus several notions items I picked up recently. The sewing room is a mess, still, because I'm not finding enough time to just get in there and sew - I've been too busy making jam!

    I personally don't have a coverstitch machine and my serger doesn't have one built in. I find that using a honeycomb stitch can be almost as convincing - I just finished a pair of "summer" sweatpants for my son and used it for stitching the front pockets. I don't think anyone who doesn't sew would know the difference. In fact, my MIL was visiting and asked how I got them to look "so professional", which I guess she meant as "so RTW".

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    Replies
    1. Jen, do you honeycomb on the front where you would otherwise double stitch, and catch the raw edge from the underside (assuming the hem is folded under)?

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  7. Slumber party?

    The only non-sewing related item on my sewing table is a small cat. She would say the only thing out of place on the cat table is the sewing machine.

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  8. My sewing table is surprisingly all sewing related, with exception of a box of staples. But that is from my daughter who put them there. The other desk in my sewing room, well....that's another story!

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  9. How about if Cathy was a house guest at a beautiful country estate...and there was a murder...during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night...and the detective gathers everyone in the drawing room, "you're probably wondering why I've called you all here..." and the butler did it. (I do foresee some logistics problems, namely procuring the services of a beautiful country estate, but anyway.)

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    Replies
    1. I like it but logistically challenging. How about a crazed sleepwalking scene through the city streets like Lady Macbeth?

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  10. What is the sewing machine count these days?? I only counted about 8 machines. are you slacking off?

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  11. Ah, I just bought a Brother 2340CV. Can you believe it's only my second sewing machine? I suppose technically I do now own 3, but my old Viking Huskystar lives permanently with my mom now. I have say, I LOVE the brother coverstitch and I don't know how I lived without it. I sew a lot of knits on my Viking sewing machine, but twin needle hems never worked just as well as I wanted. I've gone back and re-done hems on a bunch of knit dresses I've made that were languishing in my closet due to lousy hemming jobs. So- go for it! They're awesome.

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  12. Well, my sewing table is actually the diningroom table, but what is on it is the muslin for a raincoat with a zip out liner.

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  13. On my sewing table, I have an almost altered pattern for a pair of sexy white with black trim pants. Also, there are fabric weights, pins, scotch tape and rotary cutters for paper and fabric. They are all task specific - I impress myself. I just finished decluttering my sewing room. I really should take a picture as it may not stay that way long. You have some awesome sweater knit samples. I like the sleepwalking scenario for the robe and pajamas. It would be fun and logistically easy. What? You don't have a coverstitch machine..and you are starting to sew sweater knits. It's only one more machine, you know.

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  14. I have laundry, my book bag, and my pool bag on my sewing table...:/...I have 11 days before the fall semester starts and about 20 projects I wish I could do, but I will be happy if I get 4 done.

    If in your decluttering you come across a Hot Patterns 1070, a New Look 6969, or a Simplicity 2413 I would love to purchase them from you if you could let them go at a reasonable price.

    Happy sewing!
    -Autumn

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  15. I've debated the coverstitch machine, but for now I'm using a double needle with my straight stitch bernina.

    How bout a raglan sleeve sweatshirt or a light knit maxi dress for Cathy

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  16. You gotta get a coverstitch. I mean, even I have one and I've got 3 machines total (serger, cs, regular machine). Oh, and one in the basement. And one I use for buttons. Lord, I'm turning into you.

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    Replies
    1. Do you really finish that many knit hems that you need a Coverstitch? I mean, that's all it does, right?

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    2. K.Line, have you sewn a coverstitch finish on seams like in knit sportswear? I see a covertitch on open seams on knitwear sometimes. I'm not sure if it makes it more durable for athletic wear.

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    3. it also hems wovens! and very nicely because you don't have to do a double fold or put on hem tape, since the back looks like a serger stitch over the raw edge. See Debbie's CS "lazy hem tutorial".

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    4. Too late K-line, you are the Canadian iteration of Peter, and apparently the last to know.

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    5. I asked myself that same question about need. The answer is, of course, no. I mean, I could just buy my clothes and forget about machines altogether! :-) Mind you, I've twin-stitched and serged/top stitched and, gotta say, they do not look half as good. Well, they look half as good but I want them to look as excellent as possible. I'm not so naturally good at stitching that I don't take the help where I can get it! Oh, and Wendy's right about the wovens...

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  17. A thousand yesses for the 1920s bathrobe. I think Theda Thunder's fire alarm idea and your locked-out scenario both have legs.

    Rather than a coverstitchmachine, why not an overlocker (serger), which also cuts? So Sew Lovely has posted on her recent purchase.
    http://sosewlovely.com/2013/08/01/babylock-enlighten-and-sofa-covers/

    My sewing table is home to the current sewing project only - it's a rule.

    Spud.

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  18. Whatever happened to baby Simplicity? Or did Cathy dream the whole thing? You're welcome. =) LOL

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  19. "Do you really finish that many knit hems that you need a Coverstitch? I mean, that's all it does, right?"

    You've been to my blog, no? ;-)

    http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com/2001/01/coverstitch-all-stuff.html

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness -- a whole new world of possibilities! What a bad influence you are, Debbie! ;)

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  20. Where did you get that black, white and red fabric? It looks woven in the pic, but is it stretch? I'd LOVE to order some. Also, I recently bought an antique 1905 Frister & Rossman hand-crank sewing machine. It needs a couple fixes before it's fully functional, but overall it works beautifully. Also, it is an absolute work of art. I blame you entirely! :)

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  21. And, I second (third? fourth?) the cover stitch love. My beautiful new serger has a coverstitch funtion built in, and it's invaluable. And, knowing how important garment finish is to you, I doubt you'd be satisfied with the hems your regular machines will do on knits. Oh, that sounded snobbier than I meant it. I definately don't look down on a regular machine hem on knits, I swear! In fact, that's largely how we do it in theatre. I was mostly just observing that you really love a polished finish.

    Also, you *are* a collector of machines, a coverstitch wouldn't be an outrageous acquisition for you. :)

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  22. Love the textures in your swatches. So many potential projects, what will you sew? Can't wait to see.
    A.

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  23. How about this gorgeous cardigan pattern from Thread Theory? http://www.threadtheory.ca/product/newcastle-cardigan
    I just cut out a camp shirt in fabric covered in pink Cadillacs. I hope the recipient will like it!

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  24. A new frontier! I am sure you can master sweater knits, but I am anxious to see if you enjoy it and like the results. I have complete confidence in your persistence and ability, Peter, and as always, thanks for sharing the adventure. Don't forget the prime directive - enjoy!

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  25. The main table has 3 pair of jeans needing repair :-(, some sewing items and odd bits needing put away. Queen Ann of Walnut has a stack of quilt blocks, so oddments of headphones and earbuds needing a home and stack of recipe clippings needing filed. Or tossed out. Queen Ann of Mahogany has a TV, various sewing tools, and my pincushion collection.

    Coverstitchers do more than just hems, I'm waffling on whether to get one. Right now I'm thinking my sewing output doesn't justify one.

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  26. A cover stitch machine is your next logical step.

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  27. I ADORE my coverstich. So easy to use and so fast.
    It really gives a professional finish to knits, pajama bottoms and also topstitches and bastes wonderfully. You can remove your bastes quicky and easily.
    I own a plain standalone Janome. I would not bother with a serger-coverstitch combo.

    Eve

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  28. I just want to say.... I found your blog a few months ago, and I've been enjoying reading your blog posts very much. I'm somehow relieved and inspired to see that your sewing room/space situation is kind of like mine. (lol) I have recently begun taking over my 15 yr old son's rec room/game room/tv room and slowly working my way into converting the room to a full blown sewing studio with a tv and a foosball table and an air hockey table. Now, the space isn't that big, so things are stacked up at the moment! How about the charcoal grey cotton knit with a pink or raspberry ribbed material?

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  29. I'm glad to know I am not the only one who ends up with piles of clutter! Everytime I sew something, my room looks like a wreck. I don't stop to pick up anything that falls until my project is complete. On top of that I have patterns, a few dolls I collect, my ipod and charger, serger and sewing machine, a roll of tracing paper, etc. I have 2 long Ikea tables end to end where everything is laid out and still I need more room!

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  30. Spending the cash for a domestic coverstitch machine is warranted if you think you can get the use to justify the cost. If you do a lot of knitwear, especially t-shirt knits, coverstitching will give you excellent, retail ready finishes at the hems and seams. I have an industrial coverstitch that I use to make knit samples for production, and when it works right it's a dream to sew with, but many times things get screwed up and it's a real pain in the proverbial butt to use. I hope the domestic models are easier to use.
    Consider an alternate hem and seam finish that imitates coverstitch, using a double needle (they come in various widths) after serving the raw edge. Just make sure the zigzag side of the double needle stitch is contained in the serving edge. The right side will look professionally done, and the back will look uncannily factory finished. This is my technique when my coverstitch machine refuses to cooperate! John Y

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  31. My sewing table alternates as a work desk, so depending on whether there is any sewing going on, it alternates between whichever machine I'm using and fabric scraps (I don't leave much out or the cats get into it--especially delightfully rustley pattern pieces). If I'm not actively sewing it collects a certain amount of random papers along with my laptop. I try not to let it get too cluttered.

    Right now, my office/sewing room is getting cluttered and I've been meaning for some time to do some tidying and organizing.

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  32. As of today I am following you on Bloglovin. I replaced my Kenmore 80's era serger a year and a half ago. My two wants were coverstitch and air threading. I got the Babylock Evolution. Big investment ($2500) but I don't treat myself very often. I do my piecing and clothing sewing on a Husqvarna +1. I also have a little White quilters machine for taking on retreat and to classes. My DH got me a White treadle machine for my birthday. Thank you for the info sites that you listed. Two that I know about are April1930 that someone else mentioned and the Quilting Board has a section about vintage sewing machines. Right now I am getting ready to quilt three baby quilts - one boy and two girl - to get ready for grandbaby #3 in Feb. My son and his wife have decided not to find out sex of the baby so grandma has to be ready either way
    Is the white background fabric with the red and blue threads a knit? It looks like what a Channel suit is made out of. N

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  33. I am working hard to train my family that only sewing stuff goes on my sewing table... (my husband though thinks he is training me that sewing stuff *only* goes on my sewing table - I think he thinks we have a dining room, not a sewing room).

    As for Cathy's nightwear scenario, perhaps she could re-enact (in an far more elegant fashion) my recent midnight drama featuring an errant car alarm, an urgent dash for the street and the policeman who came to check that everything was okay. Unfortunately my pyjamas were nothing to blog about.

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  34. On the Pfaff 130 table...the pfaff, pins, threader, box of thread cones, scissors. On the table upstairs: a pile of summer cloth supposedly for summer clothes before summer ends (but more likely for next summer), a floral lamp, a perfume atomiser with a squeezy bulb and a roll of medium weight linen.

    Not keen on overly-expensive multi-thread machines. The only use I have for my serger is overcasting cut-out trouser pieces. I even overcast smaller parts by hand. They're a waste of money for most of the work in tailoring. Probably good for knits though, which is good since that's what you're planning!

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