Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Sewing!

The sight of lupines dotting the countryside means summer is here! 

Though the majority of these lovelies have gone to seed, a few can be seen around the island and in my little perennial garden at this late date. These two photos were taken back in 2014 in French River, PEI where tourists pack into the side-of-the-road lookout area to take photos of this massive collection of lupines the latter part of June. Eye candy at its best!

It's such an amazing view! 

And since it's summer, the warmer weather invites me outdoors to ply my trade - sewing machine and all the necessary accouterments pertaining to such trade.

I'm thankful I have a room dedicated to sewing and a place to cut and stitch and store such things, along with my ironing board. Some don't have a choice and others probably prefer storing their sewing things away. I wouldn't enjoy stuffing everything in a clothes closet - out of sight and out of mind - because sewing would become drudgery. Every sewing session would then involve setting up the machine somewhere, digging through my supplies, finding table space - or the floor - to cut fabric and also drag out the ironing board.

OH! It would be so much work and - for me - it would take the joy out of creating. Even if your space were limited, isn't it nice to just sit down and stitch away? Even a tiny sewing corner can be made a delightful oasis with the right decorating - spools of thread, knick-knacks, and all things pretty.

When we were first married and living in an apartment, I found instructions to make one of those sewing tables that open up and out and that store your machine and equipment inside. When you are done, you stash everything inside and close it up. It even had a flip top with a special surface for cutting fabric on. There are a lot of those on the market today. I waited a whole year for this table to be made by a carpenter friend of ours as he made it in his spare time. It was quite beautiful - a dark stained wood, two sides opened out where I could store spools of thread and my machine. The opposite side had shelves for fabric. Sorry - no photos! It would take me forever to find where they are.

When we moved to my childhood home, this custom sewing table was set up in the tiny bedroom in our upstairs, which was about the same size as the sewing area you see below. My parents used to sleep in that room once - just big enough for a double bed and space to walk next to it! Well, my special sewing table did fit - just - but opening it up and gaining access to the storage got to be cumbersome over the years. There was not enough room for maneuvering around it comfortably and so I sold it! I'm not sorry, even now, as I much prefer to have things out in the open and not have to open and close a piece of furniture, however beautiful it may be. Some sewers probably like that - to stash everything out of sight.

Later on, I eventually moved my "sewing room" to the very small area at the top of the stairs. If you saw my post about my sewing room in my current home (see post here), it is "spacious" compared to the one I had in Burlington. I am still using the same "cutting/sewing" table that is covered in black floral fabric. That "table" spanned the width of my "sewing space" in front of two windows as you see in the photo below.  It's so nice when there is a view while you sew! 
My Burlington house sewing space upstairs.

I am still using the same wooden desk for my sewing machine now. In this photo, the desk sits very close to the top of the stairs, so you see my area was tight on space. At that time, I had two machines - my first sewing machine was a Singer Genie that I purchased in 1975 and in 2000 I purchased an Electronic Elna. When we moved to PEI, I gave my Genie to my sister, Heidi. And just last year, I sold my Elna to a lady on the island who needed it for a missionary sewing circle. I was glad she was able to get the reverse stitching fixed! Now I LOVE sewing on my Singer Featherweight. Am SO glad I found her two years ago!

Those little dolls you see above the windows - Little Bo Peep, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Fancy Ball Lady - I still have those dolls, but they are in poor shape - head-wise! I need to get new dolls. They are stored in a drawer right now. They are quite old. I've had them since a young girl. My Aunt Esther, who will be turning 92 (I think) next month, made the clothes for these dolls. And she sewed several outfits for my Barbie doll back then, too. But I digress! 😊

I love sewing outdoors! Several times I take advantage of the warmer weather and temporarily move my sewing project outdoors on our back deck. Only on these occasions do I put up with the "drudgery" of lugging things out of my comfortable sewing room, traipsing downstairs and out to the back deck. It's worth the view and feeling the warm air and sunshine!  Everything goes on the umbrella table. The heavy duty extension cord powers my machine and iron and I have a small portable ironing board that comes in handy for these outdoor sewing sessions.
The bugs are very minimal in our neighborhood - thankfully - and viewing the backyard is very calming, even while husband is mowing the lawn at the same time! But enjoying the outdoors depends on how hot the sun gets and if the wind is too windy. An open umbrella's life span can become precarious and fabric and thread flying through the breeze doesn't contribute to a successful sewing session. Sewing outdoors is not a regular habit, but it's nice to be able to do it when the conditions are right.

On this particular outdoor sewing session I was making a zippered panel for one of my blue corduroy carpet bags for a potential customer. She wanted the bag to have a more secure closure than just cinching up the cords. I never heard back from her but at least I now know how to put a zippered panel in a carpet bag, if the need ever arises. I didn't fully finish attaching it to the bag so the bag is still available without the zippered panel. In fact, I have two in my Etsy shop (here).

How and where do you spend your hours sewing, stitching, or knitting in the summer? Maybe you have an enclosed porch with screens. That would make a lovely spot to while away the hours creating wonderful things without the worry of bugs or heavy breezes thwarting your creativity. If my enclosed front porch were a back porch, I might have considered that a perfect place for a sunny sewing station, but as it is a front porch, it serves as our front entry and sitting area. 

Have you set up a special place in your home for sewing and creativity or a temporary summer spot? What are you creating this summer that brings delight to your soul?
"Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."  Ecclesiastes 11:7

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