Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: San Antonio Rose-- A Lengthy Update.

Well folks, it took a while... but I think I might actually be settling in finally.

Home, sweet Texas, home!
I admit, when we reached the state line my mind was flooded with visions of good barbecue and dearest Patsy Cline, hahah. I ached to hear a deep Southern accent-- I might be fool, but I actually like it quite a bit. Sadly, the only accent I got was a mild one from our Dish cable guy, heh. Plenty of time for that, I suppose.

For the first week we lived without all of our stuff. It was actually pretty rough-- I got mad carpet burns on all the weirdest places since we didn't have a stick of furniture yet. I know it has only been a year since Arizona and having carpet, but our house in New Mexico spoiled us... I forgot about the drudgery that comes with the territory. I have short term memory when it comes to that sort of thing.

The biggest conundrum was figuring out how to fit a very large house and all its contents into one kinda-cramped-apartment.

When our stuff arrived, the house looked pretty much like my sewing room did. The only space available was the space you needed to maneuver the chaos, and the only storage available was an outdoor closet on the patio, and one near the front door, both making up less space then the side bedroom closet.

Inevitably, there were many, many... many... visits to the thrift store to unload the items that we were hoarding, or no longer had a use for like garden tools. To think, we gave up quite a bit back in New Mexico-- I can't imagine how tight things would be if we had kept it all.

Despite all those trips, we still had to get a little creative with the space available to us. One exciting aspect I was looking forward to was that somehow, some way, I convinced my husband that my sewing room would be better suited for the master bedroom, and he agreed! I am glad... because in reality, it did make the most sense, since we don't typically spend a lot of conscious time in the bedroom; all we had was a bed and a dresser-- the space would have been very underutilized. Plus, it was the only bedroom with more than one window and an overhead light... which I thought was very odd.

As of yesterday, the sewing room is finally up and ready for action! I haven't ever had the pleasure of a sewing space this large all to myself-- it's quite a treat!

It might require re-tweaking where I have placed all the items and things, but I am thrilled beyond belief. I have complete tables dedicated to my machines, my cutting space... and one of two of my most proudest additions... *drumroll*

A large rectangular ironing board with storage underneath! My husband and I were heavily debating getting rid of this once shoe cubby, which we had two of... and then it hit me: I gave up my ironing board, and I have always wanted to DIY one of these things since first discovering the project on Pinterest. It was just the right height to pull it off, so off we went to Home Depot and Joann's to pick up everything we needed to slap this together. The top is completely detachable, but fits very snug onto the cubby so that it won't shift in the least when on. I bought some fabric drawers from walmart and viola!

Since our main bedroom was now in the second bedroom, I could not dedicate the closet space to just my fabric...

The image doesn't do this closet size justice, as we were able to fit our gigantic 5 foot long solid wood dresser on the other side. Naturally, it still swallowed up a lot of the space... but I managed to fit a "little" portion of my fabric stash on the side presently shown. The lesser yardages of fabric remain within several xerox boxes atop the dresser inside the closet.

The rest of my stash (that wasn't put onto bolts and couldn't fit into xerox boxes) had to go underneath the machine table. I actually do think I have a fabric addiction; it's easily triple digit yards of fabric, but I really don't want to let go of a single yard lol...
I guess you can see why I have had a sense of urgency to bust my stash lately, with the equal triple digit amount of patterns I have acquired.

I can never claim to have nothing to do till my 50's.

And now, the pièce de résistance...

Meet, Ophelia... ain't she a vision?
Unfortunately, Frankiestein had to retire. I was honestly surprised she made it as far as she did, but she could not endure yet another move. Truth be told, if she was carefully packed, I would still be using her... but she suffered the indecency of poor packaging (or none at all, in this case). I was truly devastated about what happened to Frankiestein; a lot of love and work went into her, so while she is no longer going to be used to sew, she will remain a nice thing to look at once I pop out all the collapsed bits of her.

Ophelia is beautiful in many ways, but being as perfect as she is has made her inherently flawed... in that she is too perfect to be me, at the moment. Most of my body is a size 12, but places like my bust, hips and derriere (places that matter when it comes to fit) are 14-16. I had to purchase the Fabulous Fit pads if she was to surpass her predecessor.
Like Frankiestein's name suggested, every single aspect of her was patched together, including when I had to pad her up in size. I am not going to do that with Ophelia; even though Ophelia was a bargain compared to most professional dress forms, I still saw her as a huge investment that I want to last longer than Frankie, so I opted to go the whole nine.

You read right, Ophelia was a bargain. Honestly, how affordable she was gave me the opportunity to  purchase of the Fabulous Fit kit along with her. You would definitely not think it to look at her

While looking for opinions from some of my favorite sewing bloggers, sifting through all the reviews at different shops, trudging through forums... I wasn't convinced that a household dress form was for me anymore. I take my sewing seriously now, and I felt an undeniable urge for the next step; I began searching professional dress forms. During my search I came upon LLady Bird that reviews a dress form from The Shop Company; I am very jealous of the fact she received hers for free, I wish that kind of thing happened to my blog *hint hint* hehe. It then lead me to Gertie's post about the same dress form from the same shop, where in it she offers a coupon that still worked (it still does, as far as I can tell). It got me to seriously thinking about taking the plunge...

Indeed, The Shop Company does offer some pretty competitive prices as the two bloggers have stated, however, I am a bargain shopper and "shopping risk taker" by default; somehow I felt like I was able to get a slightly bigger bang for my buck.
I searched other venues for a potentially cheaper price for the same product. Trust me when I say, I don't take my risks lightly... the decision to purchase from Fashion Display on Amazon was made after a ton of deliberation (and one sleepless night). Fashion Display has a horrid return policy, stating a 35% restocking fee along with cost of shipping back being up to the buyer... but the form was $50 less than TSC's and $30 less than the current sale at Roxy Display's site. It came with a complimentary arm that TSC does not offer but Roxy does.
A savings of $50 doesn't seem like much when you're spending this amount on something... so it seemed like an unnecessary risk to take, but go see the cost of good thread alone and tell me $50 isn't anything, haha.

Cast iron base, cage intact.
I spent the subsequent days after making the purchase anxious if I had made the right decision. When she arrived Friday, I was stunned that my gamble had paid off. She was perfect. The instructions to put her together were a touch confusing, but a video on Youtube quickly demystified the process.

What is so shocking to me was that she cost exactly the same amount as one of those Dritz forms from Joann's if you were to ship it from online. She is not a huge jump in price even if you bought a form outright from Joann's storefront. Crazy!

Other than all the updates and additions to my sewing room, things have been fairly status quo considering having moved to another state. The cats had a little trouble adjusting to a much smaller place-- Poe was suffering a rash due to allergies and anxiety, and Khan had an ear infection (which he is prone to when stressed). They're both doing really well now, and their ailments have cleared up after a visit to the vet-- it was such a wonderful place, too, such caring people! The cats took the treatments like champs, not a single fuss was made.

Things are really great here in Texas so far, and I can't believe how many choices there are for craft and fabric stores!

Expect to continue seeing much sewing madness!
Spook ya later!


  1. You'e sewing room looks great! I had done the same thing moving into our semi, my finace and I discussed at length where the sewing room would be best. It actually ended up being the slightly smaller of the three rooms, but it's the one that gets the most light and is the warmest room in the winter. I'd like to get a bigger room when we buy our first house though, I'm finding I need more cutting space. Your DIY iron board/cubby is awesome, I'd like to try something similar some day.

    Glad you're enjoying Texas, I can't wait to see more of your sewing projects! :)

    1. Thanks! I'm rather proud of it... a nice place to spend my days at, that's for sure.
      The ironing board/cubby was remarkably cheap-- I think it was roughly $25 U.S for it all, including the insul-bright and therma-flec. To think, a large ironing board is $50, and one with storage underneath gets upwards $100!

  2. If shipping such a mannequin to Germany wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, I'd already own one! Your sewing room looks amazing, I moved into a one room appartment for my new job. Not only am I away from my boyfriend, but I also have small space and left my fabrics behind... I will get them soon, though!

    1. It still cost quite a bit to ship just here-- on all sites I checked, nothing was below $48 US. But once you feel the weight, it actually seems pretty cheap, cause I use a bit of strength just to lift her off the ground when it's on the base! Very solid.

      Heh, I know how that feels-- back when I lived with my momma, I'd have to fight just for enough table space to set my machine on. Pinterest has some very awesome small sewing space ideas-- I had to use some of them for my apartment in Arizona. The room was hardly big enough for one table, but somehow I managed to get a lot in there, heh.

      Good luck with everything =)

  3. Glad cats and you two are well! It is amazing how much you get rid of when you move! I hope it is a nice place! Yay for a huge sewing room, I hope for my own one day!

    1. Me too! One thing that makes me very unhappy, is seeing my cats unhappy. Made for a a little bit of a rough time during the transition.

      It feels like we got rid of over half the house... in fact, we just may have.
      The apartment is nice and peaceful so far, which is a very good sign =)

  4. Both Ophelia and your sewing room are enviable! Can't wait to see your new projects.

    I also love and miss the deep southern accents, since I lived in TN for a while. I just have issues with the culture and prejudices that often come with it.

    1. Thanks! Hopefully it's not technically "new" projects, but projects I should've started months and months ago! Heh. I've been pretty bad about using new materials and patterns when I should be using the older...

      So far I haven't had any real poor experiences other than constantly being mistaken for being 10 years younger-- everyone has been warm and friendly, heh.

  5. I'm pretty envious - it's all so organized and LARGE!

    I like your ironing board idea - I think I either need to rig something up like that or else recover my Rowenta ironing board. It's ugly as sin, but it's really high and the perfect height for ironing. Maybe I won't hate it as much if I recover it in a pretty fabric - I'm pretty sure I must have some in the basement somewhere. ;)

    1. I don't think I've ever been the target of envy before! Mostly it's me being the one to drool over other's things and experiences =P

      I *have* to keep things organized the more it grows... I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached, and having this much stuff-- eesh. Lucky I don't have a remembrall, otherwise it'd always be red, and I'd constantly struggle to remember... in this case, ignorance is bliss. It is nice to make eventual discoveries in my own room, just as I imagine you'd experience in your basement hahah! It's not only satisfying, but it rekindles the inspiration fires.

  6. Nice sewing room! I expect we shall soon see lots of projects come out of that lovely space!

  7. I am head-over-heels in love with your sewing room! It's so spacious, beautifully laid out, and fabulously decorated, plus it looks like you get some natural light there, which is more than I can say for my current craft room (its in the basement and gets virtually no natural light). Thank you for sharing your creative space with us - I adored seeing it!

    ♥ Jessica


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