Tuesday, 31 January 2012

New uses for Velcro (and generic hook/loop tapes) to help you get sewing.

Day two of the great tidy up and organisation!

 The rats nest of cables, string and tape measures is borderline on being lethal. A bold claim maybe but I half pulled a  plug out just by pulling on the tape measure, never a safe situation. I decided to spend a few moments thinking about how I could keep the tapes leads and wires in my life in order.

The Tape Measure. 
Retractable tape measure are much easier to store and keep neat. However I use a 3 metre Tape Measure and just can't find a retractable that big. To keep the tape coiled neat and tidy I hit upon the idea of using the adhesive Velcro disks from the shop.
Coil the tape and then apply the  Velcro Disks

Cable Ties
Next I turned my attention to the cables and leads. The problem I have with the classic plastic cable tie is if you decide you want to rearrange your cables you have to cut the tie  apart. This is not only wasteful but also makes me nervous as I don't like slicing though the cable tie in case I slice the cables themselves. I played around with a little double sided Velcro and managed to make a few reusable cable ties just but warping the Velcro around the cable.

Much neater. However double sided Velcro is hard to come by. Also opening the cable ties was a little tricky as the Velcro stuck itself down so well. So instead I decided to make a my own Reusable Velcro Cable Ties from a few cm of regular sew in Velcro and a small strip of ribbon or elastic.

Cut 5cm of the HOOK side of the sew in Velcro

cut 15 cm of the LOOP side of the sew in Velcro

Pin the shorter Hook side to the WRONG side of the longer LOOP side and sew in place

Add a 'Tag of Elastic on the opposite side of the Loop Velcro.
 The Elastic tag or loop makes it possible to pull the cable tie over the plug of your appliance, as a result when the cable tie is UNDONE the cable tie is still attached to your lead, ready for you want to tidy way your appliance

You could use different colour elastic to colour code your tags, making cables easier to identify. The the tags do not have to go over a plug (or you don't mind removing the plug, sliding the tag onto the lead and replacing the plug) you could use ribbon to give you an even wider choice of colours.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Spring Cleaning

With the madness of the Festive sewing behind  us we can now ll look forward to creating some fantastic things for Spring. We've been spring cleaning ourselves, in the shops and metaphorically as well. You may have noticed less social media output from us in the last month. That's because the team have been spending their time expanding the website which will be relaunched soon.

 Spring cleaning and organization can be the greatest aide to your productivity. Keeping your sewing area tidy and prepared can make sewing not just quicker but more of a joy. I have to admit I've let my sewing  room slip... A LOT. Sewing in an untidy studio will always slow you down. Unfortunately Sewing in a rush makes your studio untidy. it's a deadly cycle. My studio got into a disgraceful state when trying to sew Christmas presents with a bad back.

Hardly making me want to sew

Rubish bin over flowing, Mess is often caused by rushing work

My own personal snake nest of cables
I know, it's embarrassing. Amongst my friends I'm renowned for being able to put together a waistcoat in a couple of hours. But now It would take a couple of hours (and a machete) to reach my sewing desk. Therefore a great tidy up is in order, but just tidying isn't enough,  everything needs to have a place to be kept and still be easy to reach. I shall pop a blog up each day showing one or two of the techniques I've developed to keep things in an orderly way. However a simple case of refolding your fabric can make things look a lot more inviting AND you may discover a few long forgotten gems in your textile pile.