contact Me

Use the form on the right to contact Me.

 

Name *
Name
           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

PDF Love of Bags Event - The Details

Michelle Burke

Two weeks from today, Uniquely Michelle will be one of the featured designers in the PDF Love of Bags event taking place right now in the PDF Love of Bags Facebook Group! The great thing about this for you is that you can post pictures of any creations you have made using Uniquely Michelle patterns during the designated time and be entered into a drawing to win some great prizes! There are some rules that need to be followed to make sure you qualify, so keep reading to make sure you know the rules and don't miss out on the great prizes that are being offered! If you read all the way to the end of this post, I will share a few hints so that you can increase your chances of winning one of the prizes!!!

First, you must be a member of the PDF Love of Bags Facebook Group so that you can post your pictures, so make sure and join the group - it is a fun group to be a part of! This event has already started, so check out who the current featured designers are (there are two for each 48 hour period) and if you have made any bags using their patterns, make sure you post pictures to increase your chances of winning!

Sue's post shows exactly what you need in your post to make sure you are entered in the drawings to win a prize! You can see more of Sue's beautiful creations at her Dreamscape Studio Facebook Page.

Sue's post shows exactly what you need in your post to make sure you are entered in the drawings to win a prize! You can see more of Sue's beautiful creations at her Dreamscape Studio Facebook Page.

When you post, you need to have three things in your post: (see example above)

#1 - A picture of your beautiful creation!

#2 - You MUST include the hash tag #pdflovebags2017 in your post.

#3 - You MUST include the name of the designer (i.e. Michelle or Erin) and/or the designers brand name (Uniquely Michelle or Dog Under my Desk) as well.

Uniquely Michelle will be featured from 5:00pm (MDT) on Friday, June 30 through 5:00pm (MDT) on Sunday, July 2 (this is a change from what it was originally). The times are important, this event has been set up by Lisa Ratford who lives in Australia, so it starts at 9:00am in her time zone. This may seem confusing, but there is an easy way to know which designers are featured when - the pinned post at the top of the PDF Love of Bags FB group has the names and logos of the currently featured designers. Look for the above picture in the pinned post to know when to start posting your Uniquely Michelle creations!

Check out Karen's beautiful creations on Instagram!

Check out Karen's beautiful creations on Instagram!

I am excited that Uniquely Michelle will be paired with the awesome bag pattern designer, Erin Gilbey of Dog Under My Desk for the 48 hour block in a couple weeks! Recently, Karen Wetherall shared some pictures of a Just the Ticket Luggage Tag (Uniquely Michelle pattern) paired with a Take Off Tote (Dog Under My Desk pattern) that she made. I love the Just the Ticket Luggage Tag and Take Off Tote that she made for her niece, they coordinate perfectly with her niece's new suitcase! Karen wrote a great blog post about sewing this travel set on the Sew What's New website

How are prizes awarded? At the end of this 48 hour block, a winner will be randomly chosen for each designer, out of all posts that used the hash tag, included the name of the designer and/or the designers brand name, and were shared within the 48 hour time frame. The winner will receive a free PDF pattern from that participating designer (so there's two PDF patterns up for grabs). All posts shared in this block will also be in the draw to win one of the four major prizes as well. Some of the items that are part of the four major prizes include fabric, notions, a subscription and a gift certificate!

Would you like some hints for increasing your chances of winning a prize? I have a few hints to share with you! One is to make sure you include all three items needed in each of your posts (see list above). Also, make sure you post during the correct time frame for the designer. Your post(s) will be disqualified from the drawings if you don't follow do these first two steps. Another hint -  you are welcome to share multiple bags made using either of the featured designers patterns, so don't be shy, post away! And my final hint - Uniquely Michelle is small potatoes compared to some of these designers, use this to your advantage!!! If you post your Uniquely Michelle creations during the correct time frame and in the correct format, you will have a better chance of winning a FREE Uniquely Michelle pattern because there won't be hundreds of other people posting, so less competition. But . . . the absolute best way to increase your chances of winning one of the prizes - post ALL your creations for ALL the designers! Now is the time to increase your chances of winning a prize by doing what you love - sewing! You still have two weeks to make those Uniquely Michelle creations, so there is plenty of time to make a few Kristine ID Wallets; several Just the Ticket Luggage Tags; a couple of Lindsay Wristlets; a Sidekick Tote or Megan Travel Tote; a Set To Go Cosmetic Bag Set and don't forget to make an Aspen Crossbody Bag too (Uniquely MIchelle's latest pattern)!

And one last thing - I am so excited to see all of your Uniquely Michelle creations in two weeks, so start gathering your pictures and sew away!!!

If you still need to add to your Uniquely Michelle pattern collection, you can purchase Uniquely Michelle patterns from the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop. Have fun sewing!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

Aspen Crossbody Bag - Testers' Pictures Day 2

Michelle Burke

Are you ready for yet more beautiful Aspen Crossbody Bag pictures? I am fortunate to have an amazing group of testers that take so many great pictures of their creations that it takes two blog posts to share all of them! If you missed yesterday's blog post, it is definitely worth a look! And ow here are today's inspiring Aspen Crossbody Bag testers' pictures . . .

Marilyn Brandt of Shades of Bold made this amazing Aspen Crossbody Bag! I love the fabrics she used, the green zippers and lining really pop in a fantastically fun way on this Aspen Crossbody! Marilyn made the small size and said, "The small size is just the right size for me. It was so fun to make, too."

I love this blue Aspen Crossbody Bag that Barbara Dorig of Schönes aus Stoff bee dee made! Barbara made the small size Aspen Crossbody Bag. She used oil cloth for the front pocket and straps and she also added a zipper pocket on the back! I love the combination of fabric and oil cloth on the strap!

The purple cork fabric combined with the beautiful multi-colored fabric on this Aspen Crossbody Bag really give it a sophisticated look. Cathy Bellamy of Sew Devine made this large Aspen Crossbody Bag. I love the additions Cathy made to her bag - the tassel, the fabric on the strap, and the extra slip pocket on the interior.

Cathy Bellamy made a second large Aspen Crossbody Bag! This one is a more casual one made with home decor polka dot fabric and some great black faux leather. I love the way she used the faux leather on the main part of the front pocket and the polka dot for the flap!

Noor Raats of Quiro and Me made this gorgeous, large size Aspen Crossbody Bag using Essex linen and a cute confetti fabric for the pocket. I love how the fabric Noor used for the front pocket and the blue zippers make this Aspen Crossbody Bag look casual and fun! I would wear this bag anywhere and everywhere! Noor said about making the Aspen Crossbody Bag, "It's a fun sew with a fabulous end result! I love my bag!"

This large Aspen Crossbody Bag was made by Melanie Wilson. Melanie's Aspen Crossbody Bag is just adorable with its red front pocket and lining. The blue and red fabric combination makes me think this bag is ready for a Independence Day celebration or a picnic!

Carolyn Hoxton made her Aspen Crossbody Bag using Red Hat Club fabric. She finished her bag just in time to take it to her Red Hat Club meeting where I'm sure all the ladies wished they had a bag just like her's! I love the pink solid fabric and the purple zipper that Carolyn used on her Aspen Crossbody Bag - such a great color pop!

Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win an Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern!

Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win an Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern!

I am so excited about the Aspen Crossbody Bag that I want to celebrate with a little giveaway! You have three chances to win an Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern. To enter, comment on the "giveaway" posts on Instagram, on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Group. The posts look like the one pictured above. I will randomly draw one lucky winner from each social media post this Saturday, May 27 at 5:00 MST. Good Luck!!!

You can purchase the Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

Please share pictures of your beautiful Aspen Crossbody Bag creations on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #aspencrossbody) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page.

Fill out the form below to sign up for the newsletter!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

Aspen Crossbody Bag - Testers' Pictures & Giveaway

Michelle Burke

Are you ready to see some beautiful Aspen Crossbody Bags? Well then you are in the right place! I also have some exciting news about a little GIVEAWAY at the end of this post, so don't miss that, but first - I have amazing testers and they really created some awesome Aspen Crossbody Bags that I can't wait to share with you! I have so many pretty pictures to share that I am going to do it over two days - so lets get started with day one!

This fabulous Aspen Crossbody was created by Kristina Marie Hernandez of Reborn Restitch. Kristina made the large version. I love the bright, fun look of this Aspen Crossbody. The red polka dot pocket front pocket and the yellow zippers accent the floral fabric perfectly! When I see this bag, I think summer, fun in the sun! Kristina said about the pattern, "This was a fun sew and I learned some new tricks as well!"

Sue Reed of Dreamscape Studio made this beautiful Aspen Crossbody! Sue made the large Aspen Crossbody and used suede for the base, pocket and on the strap. The black suede looks amazing with the floral fabric! Sue commented that the Aspen Crossbody is a "super fun sew!"

Here is a super classy version of the Aspen Crossbody that Shanel Chute of Sanitys Boutique made! The Aspen Crossbody has a more sophisticated look when the front pocket is the same fabric as the main part of the bag. Shanel made the small size and used a twist lock for the closure on the front pocket flap which really dresses it up! The pattern has instructions for installing a magnetic snap, but adding a twist lock is a great variation.

Wow - look at all that beautiful cork fabric! The three different cork fabrics all coordinate so well and make this Aspen Crossbody really stand out. Kate Maryon of KatydidKLM made this gorgeous large-size Aspen Crossbody. Kate made the shoulder strap removal by using gate rings and she used rivets to attach the strap connectors. 

Jenniffer Howling made this cute Aspen Crossbody. I love how the red fabric that Jenniffer used for the lining really pops against the tan and brown fabrics! Jenniffer made the small size Aspen Crossbody.

This adorable Aspen Crossbody was made by Leah Broadstreet. Don't you just love that glasses fabric - it is so perfect on this bag! The teal fabric Leah used for the lining on her small Aspen Crossbody is a fun contrast to the pink glasses fabric!

Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win an Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern!

Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win an Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern!

I am so excited about the Aspen Crossbody Bag that I want to celebrate with a little giveaway! You will have three chances to win an Aspen Crossbody Bag pattern. To enter for your chance to win, comment on the "giveaway" posts on Instagram, on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Group. The posts look like the one pictured above. I will randomly draw one lucky winner from each social media post this Saturday, May 27 at 5:00 MST. Good Luck!!!

If you're ready to make your own Aspen Crossbody Bag, you can purchase the pattern from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

Please share pictures of your beautiful Aspen Crossbody Bag creations on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #aspencrossbody) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page.

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter below!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

The Aspen Crossbody Bag- A New Pattern

Michelle Burke

I am so excited to announce the release of a new Uniquely Michelle bag pattern, the Aspen Crossbody! This bag has been in the works for a long time, but it is finally ready for its big release today!

The Aspen Crossbody can be made in two sizes and works well as a crossbody bag, but with its adjustable strap can also be worn as a shoulder bag. The Aspen Crossbody Bag on the left below is the large size, the one on the right is the small size.

It has two exterior pockets, one zip pocket and one slip pocket that has a flap closure. The front pocket with the flap closure is a perfect place to put your cell phone keeping it easily accessible. The front pocket is perfect add a favorite fabric since the front pocket is a feature on the Aspen Crossbody. The pattern includes instructions for installing a magnetic snap, but a wide variety of closures would look great on the front pocket!

Above the main front pocket there is a zip pocket. I like a lot of pockets to keep everything organized and I love having this zip pocket on the front of the Aspen Crossbody not only because I can find items easily, but also because it is fun to have the zipper add a little pop of color to my bag!

The third pocket is a slip pocket on the interior of the Aspen Crossbody.

To keep everything on the interior of a bag secure, I like being able to close my bags with a zipper and the Aspen Crossbody has a recessed zipper to do just that. 

The small Aspen Crossbody (9" wide, 7" high, 2 1/2" deep) is perfect for someone who doesn't like carrying a lot of extras, but needs room for a wallet, phone and a few other items. It will carry enough to take on a day of running errands or a casual date with friends.

The Aspen Crossbody Bag on the left is the large size - it has a "Snappy" Edge Clasp from Emmaline Bags for a pocket closure. The Aspen Crossbody Bag on the right is the small size. The small Aspen Crossbody has a Tongue Lock from Emmaline Bags for a pocket closure.

The Aspen Crossbody Bag on the left is the large size - it has a "Snappy" Edge Clasp from Emmaline Bags for a pocket closure. The Aspen Crossbody Bag on the right is the small size. The small Aspen Crossbody has a Tongue Lock from Emmaline Bags for a pocket closure.

The large Aspen Crossbody (11 1/2" wide, 9 1/2" high, 3 1/2" deep) is a great bag for a mom who needs to not only carry the essentials for herself, but some extras for kiddos too. It is a nice size bag without being too large to still work as a crossbody. 

Over the next couple of days, I will share my testers' beautiful Aspen Crossbody creations! You don't want to miss the pictures of the testers' bags - they will not only inspire you with their fabulous creations, but you will love their variations for the flap closure and the different types of fabric they used. I have the most amazing and creative testers! 

You can purchase the Aspen Crossbody Bag pdf pattern from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

Please share pictures of your beautiful Aspen Crossbody Bag creations on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #aspencrossbody) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page.

Remember to sign up for the newsletter below!


SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS FROM UNIQUELY MICHELLE:

Name *
Name

An Organized Sewing Space - Making it Easy to Just Sew!

Michelle Burke

As I organized my sewing room, I decided I wanted to make it as easy as possible to get the sewing part of a project quickly. I don't know about you, but I love to spend time picking out the fabric for an upcoming project. I have fabric picked out for projects that I probably won't get to for another month. When I am ready to start a new project, I just want to start cutting the fabric and get to the sewing part! I don't like getting slowed down trying to find the fabric I was going to use, then gathering hardware and zippers (although the bling is fun to play with), searching for a Uniquely Michelle tag and then there is the pattern to locate. Even worse is finding a stack of fabric in some corner of my sewing room and having to decipher what I had intended to make with the adorable bundle of fabric.

Although my fabric is easy to see now and my hardware and patterns are organized, I needed a way to keep my piles of upcoming projects contained and organized. I decided that I would use a couple boxes that I have to store my nice piles of future projects. I found that I can fit 3-4 projects in each of my two boxes. I now put the fabric, bag hardware, zippers and pattern for a project all together. When I am ready to sew, I can just grab my stack and get started.

The only problem - when the boxes are closed and on the shelf, I can't see what is in them. To solve this problem I decided I would keep an index card with a list of "projects in waiting" on the box. I know it is a simple system - nothing really novel here, but it is new system to me and it works really well. Now not everything fits in the boxes. I have a pile of fabric and zippers that will someday be a wool coat (hopefully I will make it before next fall). The wool coat pile is too large to fit in a box, but I keep track of the location of projects that don't fit in the box on the index card too. 

Another part of the getting ready to sew that I don't like is cutting out interfacing. Interfacing is needed to make a bag look beautiful, but I find it very boring to cut out. Cutting fabric - fun, cutting interfacing - tedious. I found that if I have a bag that I make frequently, it is worth spending a couple hours one day cutting out the interfacing pieces needed for several of those bags and storing them in a marked bag in my box of interfacing pieces. When I have the fabric all cut out for a bag and I know that I can just grab the interfacing for it and start fusing, I feel like I have won the bag-making lottery! 

When I start working on a new bag, I use a small box to contain all the bag hardware and bling, zippers, snaps, a Uniquely Michelle tag, anything small that could get lost in the fray.

It is nice to know when I am ready to start on my next sewing project, that everything I need is in one place, ready for me to grab and go - making it so much easier to JUST SEW!

I hope these organization hint have inspired you! I would love to know what your favorite organizing tips are for your sewing space - please leave a comment! Everyone can benefit from some organizational ideas! Now I am heading to my sewing room with my Cheshire Cat smile and a clear mind to start my next sewing project!

Please take a minute to fill out the form below so that you can receive the Uniquely Michelle newsletter!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

An Organized Sewing Space - Bag Hardware (or any small items needed for sewing)

Michelle Burke

As I went through everything in my sewing room recently and organized it, I realized that although my bag hardware was contained, it was by no means well organized. I had small boxes that held my bag hardware, and I had the boxes labeled, but the contents in each box was a mix up of several different, usually unrelated items. I had swivel hooks stored with zipper pulls and rivets stored in the same box as buttons and turn locks. I had to come up with a new, more organized way to store my bag hardware - something that made sense!

Look at all the pretties! I get most of my hardware from Emmaline Bags.

Look at all the pretties! I get most of my hardware from Emmaline Bags.

I found what I think is the perfect solution - a divided storage box. I bought three divided storage boxes along with three smaller coordinating storage boxes from IKEA. I really like the large TJENA storage box, it has compartments (12 per box) to keep things separated, it is priced well and I love the blue color (it also comes in white, black and green). The larger boxes are just labeled "Bag Hardware Box #1," "Bag Hardware Box #2" and "Bag Hardware Box #3." 

Since I cannot see the contents of these boxes and I have three of them, I wanted to be able to know which box to grab to find the hardware I need. I made a list on the computer that I can easily change as my inventory changes. I keep the list on top of the top box so I can easily find it and therefore easily find the bag hardware I am looking for. 

I printed my list on card stock just so it is more durable.

I printed my list on card stock just so it is more durable.

I also wanted to label each compartment of the big box. I used some address label stickers that I already had and wrote what was in each compartment. I like that if I need to change things up, I can always make a new label for that compartment. Now my bag hardware is organized even to the point that different sized swivel hooks are in their own compartment. 

The smaller TJENA storage box is perfect for items that are too large to store in the small compartments made by the dividers in the large box. I labeled each box on the outside - the boxes have a cute little label sticker that you can place anywhere on the box. I store ribbons, bag frames, and bag handles in these boxes.

I love having pretty and affordable storage for my bag hardware that also makes sense! Next up - a variety of organizational tips to make it faster to get to the fun part of a sewing project - the sewing!

Want to stay up to date on the latest happenings at Uniquely Michelle? Sign up for the newsletter below! 


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

An Organized Sewing Space - Sewing Patterns

Michelle Burke

I spent several days going thought absolutely everything in my sewing room and organizing it all. Although my sewing room wasn't a complete disaster (I like to keep it somewhat neat), it needed quite a bit of work. As I went through everything, I really appreciated that I already had my sewing patterns organized well. I had a couple of sewing patterns that I had purchased recently that were easy to add to my collection thanks to my daughter, Sarah's hard work last summer to get the mess that was my sewing patterns under control.

I mostly have patterns for bags, but I do own a few patterns for clothing, stuffed animals and a few other miscellaneous items. I needed my patterns organized in a way so that I could find the directions easily (I still print them out) and so that the pattern pieces were in a place where they didn't get misplace or mixed up with other pattern pieces. Sarah and I worked together to figure out a system for pattern storage that would work for me.

I now have the directions for all my patterns in three-ring binders with index pages that list the names and designers of the patterns. Now when I am looking for a pattern, I just look at the index pages until I see the pattern and then go right to the directions in the binder.

The pieces for my patterns are located in file folders in their own file box. Sarah put the pattern piece file folders in the same order as the patterns are in the binders. She also color coded the file folders to correspond to the color that is associated with the pattern directions. I had to add the corresponding numbers too, just to make it easier on myself to find the pattern piece folder that I am looking for. 

Look at how well the green dot on the Kristine ID Wallet file folder matches the green on the index page!

Look at how well the green dot on the Kristine ID Wallet file folder matches the green on the index page!

It is so nice having the directions for all my patterns in one place and also having the pattern pieces neatly stored in a way that is easy to find them and keep them nice. I also like that I can easily add patterns with this system without a lot of effort - thanks Sarah! Next up - organizing bag hardware!

Remember to sign up for the Uniquely Michelle newsletter below!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

An Organized Sewing Space - Fabric

Michelle Burke

My motivation for organizing my sewing space started with a new custom sewing table made by my husband and decorated by myself. Putting my pretty new sewing table in the midst of clutter was not a happy thought for me, so it was time to clean up and organize my sewing room! I had most of my fabric organized prior to my recent organizing binge, except for the fabric in this box, in that bag, and on that one shelf in the closet, and . . . you get the idea - I had more work to do. Now my fabric is all organized and visible in a bookcase - it looks like a mini fabric store!

I use comic book boards to store most of my fabrics including quilting cottons and even some of my home decor fabrics. I wish I could say I came up with this fantastic idea, but I didn't - you can find this idea on Pinterest and elsewhere. I bought my comic book boards from a local comic book and gaming store, but I found the same comic book boards on Amazon as well. I use the comic book boards at their full size, but I also cut some in half to use for smaller pieces of fabric. You will also need pins to store your fabric this way. I like extra long pins so that it is easier to go through the multiple layers of fabric.

To put the fabric on the board, I lay the entire length of the fabric on a table keeping the center, lengthwise fold in place. I start by folding that center fold toward the middle of the length of fabric. Then I fold the selvage edges toward the the middle of the fabric as well. I adjust these folds until the fabric is just a little less than the height of the comic book board.

Next I place the comic book board near one end of the fabric and start wrapping the fabric onto the board.

When I reach the other end of the fabric, I fold it under a little bit to make it look pretty and pin it in place. It looks like a mini bolt of fabric!

It is easy to do this with a new piece of fabric, but you can still put fabric that has been cut into on comic book boards, you just may have to be a little more creative with your folding to make it look pretty. 

If I have extra bits of fabric, I fold them into small enough pieces to fit within the larger piece of fabric and place it on the close to where I fold and pin it at the end. Then when I am ready to use the fabric, I find the smaller pieces right away when I am unwrapping the mini fabric bolt. This is nice if I am working on a small item like a Just the Ticket Luggage Tag or a Kristine ID Wallet because usually all I need are small pieces of fabric and then I don't have to unwrap my entire mini bolt!

I generally use the half comic book boards for fat quarters or a little larger pieces of fabrics. I fold the fabric in a way that makes sense to fit it on the board so that only folded edges are exposed. I love these tiny bolts of fabric.

This shows you the difference between the larger, full-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric and the smaller, half-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric. The ring in the picture is 1" in diameter.

This shows you the difference between the larger, full-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric and the smaller, half-size comic book board "bolt" of fabric. The ring in the picture is 1" in diameter.

Although not necessary, it is nice to have my fabric out where I can see it easily. I bought this bookcase from IKEA to store my mini bolts of fabric. I organized them in a way that makes sense to me, by color mostly. I put some types of fabrics (like linen or home decorator fabric) together and I also put collections together if I have all or most of the collection.

The only fabrics that I don't put on comic book boards are the ones that shouldn't be folded like leather, vinyl, cork, and laminated cotton and my fabric scraps. I have cardboard tubes that I have saved whenever I buy decorator fabrics from JoAnns. I will put more than one piece of fabric or leather on a tube and tie ribbon around them to keep them in place.

I have my scraps neatly folded and in stacks by color (we will see how long that lasts) in a storage box that I keep in the closet of my sewing room.

It is so nice to have my fabric stored well and easy for me to see; it makes it that much more fun to put together fabric combinations for different bags! Up next - sewing pattern organization!

Remember to sign up below to receive the Uniquely Michelle Newsletter!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

The Dream - An Organized Sewing Space!

Michelle Burke

I don't think I have ever heard anyone say that their sewing space is perfectly organized, usually it is quite the opposite. Recently I spent several days going through everything in my sewing room and I mean EVERYTHING! I like to be organized and my sewing room was only somewhat organized - it was driving me a little crazy. I would love to say it is perfectly organized now, but I don't know if that is possible, but I think it is close. 

This is what my sewing room looks like after almost a week of cleaning and organizing! I wish I had taken a "before" picture.

This is what my sewing room looks like after almost a week of cleaning and organizing! I wish I had taken a "before" picture.

This organizing frenzy started when my husband agreed to help me make a custom sewing machine table (see the previous blog post). I knew my part in this project was going to be making my sewing machine table pretty and I think I did a pretty good job, but then the thought of putting a pretty sewing machine table in a cluttered room was suddenly not okay with me. It was time to work toward having an organized sewing room!

I can say that the time I spent going through everything in my sewing room and organizing it all was worth it. I get a Cheshire Cat smile every time I walk into my sewing room now. It is so nice to know where everything is and I feel like my mind is more clear to design and to sew!

The look on my face when I walk into my sewing room now!

The look on my face when I walk into my sewing room now!

In case you might want to organize your sewing space or even just a part of it, I thought I would share some of my ideas for organizing my sewing space. Over the next few weeks, I will share the ways that I organized my fabric, sewing patterns, bag hardware, and helpful hints to make it faster to get to the fun part of a project - the sewing. I hope you can be inspired to do a little organizing and gain the benefit of a Cheshire Cat smile and a clear mind when you walk into your sewing space too!

To be in the know on the latest happening at Uniquely Michelle, fill out the form below to receive Uniquely Michelle email newsletters!


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name

An Affordable Custom Sewing Machine Table

Michelle Burke

I am very excited to show you my new custom sewing machine table that my husband and I made together. I love my new table and I love how affordable it was to make!

 This isn't our first attempt to make a sewing machine table. A few years ago, I decided I wanted a table for my sewing machine that made it so that the surface of the table was even with the needle/throat plate of my sewing machine. Basically, I wanted an even sewing surface. I also wanted it to be large enough to handle anything from a Lindsay Wristlet up to a quilt. My husband (Brian) and I worked together to come up with a cheap solution. 

The above picture shows our solution. I don't remember now what we paid for the folding table and all the other "stuff" you see that lifted the surface so that it was even with my machine, but it wasn't much. And it worked . . . 

. . . at least it worked fairly well. My machine has a knee lift which I love but every time I used the knee lift, my machine would shift. I got very used to shoving my machine back into place after every three or four times of lifting the foot with the knee lift. This actually got quite annoying. Keeping my machine level on the foam so that it was even with the work surface also got quite annoying.

I kept looking at sewing cabinets that included a cut-out to set my sewing machine into to even up the sewing surface, but WOW - $500 at a minimum and then another $75 for a custom insert that fit my machine. There had to be a more affordable solution.

Thanks goodness for Pinterest! I found this blog post by Palak from Make it Handmade showing how she and her husband made a sewing machine table with a cut out and shelf specifically for her machine. I showed Brian the blog post and he was as excited as I was, so we were off to Ikea to get the INGO table

Palak gives links to two different blog posts that actually have more detailed instructions for making this sewing machine table. Brian used the blog posts and his own ingenuity to make my table. I would recommend reading through all three blog posts (Make it Handmade, Blue Dinosaurs, and From Marta with Love) because they each have good ideas and suggestions. 

Brian's actually smiling - always a good sign when doing a diy project!

Brian's actually smiling - always a good sign when doing a diy project!

Brian did the cutting, made the shelf and put everything together.

He did an awesome job cutting the custom opening for my sewing machine!

Notches cut out of the table apron and the shelf for easy access to the bobbin!

Notches cut out of the table apron and the shelf for easy access to the bobbin!

When making a bag, I usually have 2-3 different thread colors with matching bobbins that I use. I change my bobbin a lot just when sewing one bag, so I needed to be able to get to my bobbin easily. Brian and I came up with a solution for me to easily be able to change my bobbin without lifting my sewing machine out of the table every time. Brian cut a notch out of the apron of the table as well as out of the shelf that my machine sits on. Now I can easily change the bobbin!

We had to make the hole for the knee lift a little large as a result of my mistake in measuring. :\

We had to make the hole for the knee lift a little large as a result of my mistake in measuring. :\

Brian wishes the hole for my knee lift was more centered, but that was my fault because I decided to help at that point and didn't mark the correct place for the knee lift - oops! I should have just let him do it.

You can see the notch in the upper right part of this picture. (You can also see the stencil detail I added on this corner of the table too.)

You can see the notch in the upper right part of this picture. (You can also see the stencil detail I added on this corner of the table too.)

To make it easier to plug/unplug my sewing machine and to turn it off and on, Brian added a notch in the custom cut-out for my machine.

After Brian finished all the custom cutting and shelf work, it was up to me to finish it with paint or stain. I decided to stain the table - I love stained wood, but I couldn't help myself and had to add a painted stencil detail.

I bought the stain I used from Home Depot. I used Minwax Wood Finish Stain in the color, Special Walnut. I bought all my supplies for stenciling from my local JoAnn store. I used the Exotic Blossoms Martha Stewart Silk Screen with Folk Art Chalk Paint in the color, Cascade. I also bought the Martha Stewart Stencil Brush Set to apply the paint.

 I will have to say, when I bought the silk screen stencil, I thought it was just a regular stencil, but to get all the detail in the center of the design, it is actually a stencil on silk screen. I mention this because, had I paid more attention to this fact, I also would have noticed that it is suggested that you use a craft squeegee to apply the paint.

I found that I had no problem applying the paint with a stencil brush both by pouncing and using a brush stroke motion to get the paint everywhere it needs to go through the silk screen. Also, I had quite a bit of paint on my stencil brush, not the almost dry brush that I am used to when stenciling. All this explanation about the stenciling may make it seem difficult, but it is not at all - it takes a little getting used to, but it is very easy!

The silkscreen stencils are more pliable than normal stencils and they have a light adhesive on the back, making it easy to stencil over the edge of the table and on the corners of the legs of the table. One word of caution, when you peel the backing off of the silkscreen stencils do it VERY, VERY SLOWLY! If you peel it too quickly, some of the small details will lift off - I ruined one of the small designs by peeling the backing off too quickly.

I used Folk Art Home Decor Wax in Clear to protect and seal my table. This whole project took a little longer than a weekend to finish mainly because of the time I gave for the stain, the chalk paint and the wax to dry.

Brian had to add one last custom feature - a power strip mounted on the side! Now I don't have to crawl under the table to plug in the iron and I have the ability to plug in a few things at once! We spent just under $200 on this entire project, and it is a table that is custom fit to my sewing machine and custom made to work with the way I use my sewing machine. In my mind it's priceless!

Have you done any diy projects for your sewing space either to save money or to have something customized to your liking? I would love to hear about your diy projects and include pictures if possible!

Just so you know, I provide links to the products I used on this project to help you find them if you are interested. I am in no way reimbursed by any company or person for mentioning the use of these products, they were just the products I chose to use on this project.


Sign up to receive email newsletters from Uniquely Michelle:

Name *
Name