Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Fun: Navy & White Gingham

Fridays are fun days at k4j Designs. Because we all need a chance to be creative! 

Sometimes you have to talk yourself into buying fabric.

Sometimes you talk yourself out of it.

Sometimes, you walk into the store and know instantly that that piece is going home with you, today, no questions. That's what happened with the navy & white 1 inch gingham check. And not only does it look gorgeous, it feels gorgeous. (So good in fact that I went back to the store and bought a couple more metres.)

Today, I made the first cuts into that gingham, to make the very item I imagined when I first saw the roll of fabric: a little girl's dress.

I could have left the dress plain, and it would have been nice. But sometimes nice isn't quite enough. It needed a waistband, and white satin ribbon is just perfect. Oh! And a flower! Yes, it needs a flower.

Who says little girls can't have grown up features on their dresses? I love a good invisible zip, they're just so classy.

The gingham is a light-medium weight and has a definite feeling of quality, but like many white fabrics it is a little see-through, so I lined the dress with white poly-cotton poplin. 

I love it. What do you think?

Ps - it's available for sale been SOLD. I have more fabric, so it you'd like one made, send me a message me via my Facebook page and we'll go from there.

Friday Fun: An Intro

I'm a dressmaker.

You might think this involves a lot of time spent designing and being creative. You'd be wrong.

I spend my days making [and altering] my client's dreams come true. Sometimes, clients need direction with the finer details and I offer some suggestions or outline the options, but generally they know what they want.

But what about my own ideas? My own creativity? The stash of fabric in my studio just waiting to be transformed?

My ideas wait on the sideline, my creativity gets squashed, and the stash of fabric waits some more. (Sometimes it waits so long I forget it's there, only to rediscover it and become excited all over again.

Well, no more. That's what Fridays are for. I've just decided. Providing I'm a good girl and get all of my work done during the week, Fridays will be all about getting the ideas out of my head, and the fabric out of the boxes and onto hangers.

It's not all selfish relax-time, these items are available for sale. You can message me via my Facebook page for all the details.

This post will be updated with links to each new Friday Fun project post.

The Friday Fun Projects include:
Navy & White Gingham
Black Denim
New [To Me] Machines

Friday, August 3, 2012

The k4j Designs Studio.

I took the opportunity last week to take some pictures of my studio.

I've been meaning to for ages now, but I'd no sooner gotten it all set up and I got super busy with projects galore, and I'm afraid the Studio looked rather 'lived in', if you know what I mean. (As an aside, my next Studio most certainly, definitely, absolutely will NOT have a carpet floor! Threads are worse than pet hair. Oh my word...)

Anyway, my Mum came to stay last week, and the Studio is the only spare bedroom we have, so it got a very thorough going-over and the furniture was packed to the side to fit a bed in. After she left, I put the room back to normal and snapped a few piccies before the loose threads and tiny off-cuts of fabric could take over again.

Here's where the magic happens - my glorious large desk. The  curtains on the window open really wide to allow loads of natural light.

The desk is made from two Ikea Expedit shelving units and a hollow-core internal door. The yellow stripe along the front edge of the desk is a measuring tape (sealed in place with sticky-tape) - so useful.

I spray-painted the door/table top as a quick fix, but gloss enamel paint would have been much more durable - there are scratches galore.

I used a roll of non-slip rubber matting between the top and the shelving to prevent the table from sliding, and also to protect each piece of furniture.

As the table top is very lightweight and not designed to carry weight this way, when I'm not using my sewing machines I move them to the sides (over the supportive shelving units) otherwise the top would sag pretty quickly.

In case you can't tell, I'm a BIG fan of Ikea Expedit storage. All of my fabrics, interfacings, personal patterns and dress bags are stored in the big boxes for easy access.

The open pigeon holes are generally reserved for project work and my threads sit on top so I can quickly see if I have the right colour.

I used to hang dresses from a rack over the door, but during busy times it was difficult to walk through the doorway, and I was concerned about the weight causing damage to the door hinges. The current arrangement works much better. I found the truss in the roof (the timber above the plasterboard - this is important as there is no way the plaster alone would support the weight of all those dresses) and screwed in two cup-hooks, roughly 110cm apart. From each hook is a short length of chain, and at the bottom of each chain is a caribeener just big enough to hold a 16mm (5/8 inch) diameter, 120cm (four foot) long piece of wardrobe rail. Voila!

Continuing my theme of separating everything into boxes, these ones hold the chunkier bits and bobs - zips, ribbons, overlocking threads, tools, elastic, boning, beads... As you can see, the shelves are yet to go on the wall, making it annoying to get into the box on the bottom of the pile, which is of course usually the one I need!

All in all, the Studio has become a functional little workspace. I wish sometimes it was a functional big workspace, but one must work with what one has for now!