Category Archives: My Room

A new cutting table!

I have the best and the most supportive husband in the world.

He has always supported my fabric and sewing obsessions and have even been known to lecture other men in what an overlocker machine actually does!

So it should have come to no surprise when he told me that he was going to make me a height adjustable work/dining table.

It all started when I was tracing some pattern pieces on my dining table (I think i have mentioned before that my office/sewing room is next to the dining room – which you know means that the dining room is an extra sewing room.) and I was complaining a bit about my lower back pain from standing in a bend over position. This was a few days before we left and the cat/house sitter was there and we talked and she said you should totally have a heigth adjustable table – like we have in the fabric store – and I was like yay that would be so cool I wonder what that would cost. And then Dennis said from the other room: I can build you one when we get home – we already have the legs and motor (which we got when Dennis’ company moved and I had totally forgot about).

And so he did. On Tuesday we went to the home improvement store, bought some table tops, and then he put it all together and now we have a height adjustable dining table (well, you know, and I know that it’s a cutting/tracing table, but for the rest of the world it’s a dining table!)


Genius, no?

P.S. We off course decided to make the table larger than the one we had so we can seat more people without having to resolve to the coffee table .Might not have thought that through: Now I have to make all new table cloths, and we all know how much I love sewing home dec stuff..


A sleeve roll is a nice pressing tool that’ll allow you to press open long seams in narrow spaces like a sleeve or trouser leg – i.e. anything that doesn’t fit over an ironing board. But I like to use it for side seams as well, mostly because that gets me out of having to set up the ironing board

A couple of years ago I made one from a Sunday Newspaper, a towel and some rubber bands. This was getting soft (and yes, I have of course changed the towel a couple of times :-)) so I decided I needed to make a new one.

With the Sunday paper in a smaller format now, that wasn’t an option (it would be a short sleeve roll). So instead I took:


I placed the stick on the towel:

rolled the towel very tightly around the stick

Secured the towel with the rubber bands…


And that’s it!

A great pressing tool – very easily made!


So I thought, that maybe you would like to see where I work with fabric and yarn and books and paper. I got a room of my own the summer before last, when we suddenly had two teen-agers in the house and my workspace on the upstairs landing was getting a leeeeeeeeeeeettle noisy from the music they were playing. Loud. All the time. And not even the same genre!
So we decided to enroll a part of the dining room to become my sewing room/office – with a door!!

My sewing room is 1.80 m x 4 m small. (5.9ft x 13ft). Here’s a tour:
This is the view from the door. The table is made from cheap IKEA counter tops and IKEA legs. The machine closest to the door is my Husquarna 905 overlocker, then is my Husquarna Scandinavia 300 sewing machine (with the hanging rod with hooks on it at the wall). My laptop is sitting next to the window. The basket is for the cats.
Close up of my workstation. Post its are my friends!

Oh and the to-do list. And the schedule,reminding me to do different tasks on different days. Also note the chopsticks. They are for turning and pressing sharp points…
My machines. Both Husquarna (Viking)!

I love the hanging rod (from IKEA, naturally) with hooks. Very practical. The post-it reminds me what type and size of needle I have in my machine.
Behind the door, there was just enough space for two IKEA Billy bookcases. This is where I keep most of my patterns, books and magazines. Also have my school material here and all my sewing notions. And a bit of yarn and fabric. The boxes on top of the bookcases holds interfacing, lining, yarn and extra threads and embroidery equipment..

You can also see my pressing table (I wrote about it before) and yes, that is the litter box underneath the table…
These drawers hold ribbon, elastic, buttons, prints, needles, zippers etc. I got them many years ago very cheap (at IKEA, of course) and painted them white myself.


Another view from the door. The basket under the mirror holds a little bit of my yarn, and behind it you can just see my brand new folding Super-board. It’s a brilliant tool and I don’t know why I hadn’t discovered it before..
My pressing table/work table. I love how the iron just hangs there ready to go. The coat rack with hangers is one of my favorite things. There I put the projects I just cut, stuff that need mending and Works-In-Progress.
Close up of the coat rack with lots of stuff waiting to be worked on. It really is very practical!


I hope you enjoyed this tour. There are more pictures of my tiny room in my Flicr set.

Parting pic of cats today, not the garden:


Snapshots from my week-end

First: Important message: Paypal is acting up. Apparently a lot of peple have had trouble paying with Paypal in the shop the last couple of days. The webmaster (you know – Dennis :-))is looking into it – but until he can work it out, you are very welcome to e-mail me at mariaATshoponionDOTcom (substitute At for @ and DOT for.) with your order, so that I can process it manually. I’ll need your address and paypal account address, as well as your order.
Now on with the regular posting:

Wow – the week-end swooshed by!

Most of all because I was spending a lot of time adding yarn to the shop. It’s an experiment. I asked my costumers if they would be interested in the luxurious Onion yarn and I got quite a lot of people saying they would be. SO I ordered a bunch and started adding the yarn to the shop. I have added a bulky weight Alpaca/wool blend and a DK weight superfine Merino. The Alpaca is really soft and feels wonderfull to knit with. Also looks great with cables. The superfine Merino is 100% superwash wool and also soft, but mostly it’s noted for it’s great stitch definition – and it comes in so many colours!

BTW – I’m having an indroductory offer with 25% off! – Should you be interested.. – Feel free to spread the word!!

They are both lovely yarns, and I’m curious to see if my regular sewing customers will buy it…
socks and cat
That was Friday and Saturday taken care of. Well, I did manage to knit a bit – mostly I worked on my fathers ragsocks – knitted in aran weight sock yarn. I don’t know if it’s been too long since I last knitted a sock, but I had big problems with working out the heel (was knitting late at night and watching a movie..).

Sunday, Lisbeth came to see me. We had such a great time talking and knitting and sorting out my personal yarn stash and swapping yarn and sewing patterns and having tea and talking and knitting – you get the picture. I had to rip out the heel of the stupid sock 3 time – because I was trying out new techniques that didn’t really work for me… (I know. My own fault!)

We talked a lot about the shop – and Lisbeth had a fantastic idea that really made my mind reel and that I’m very excited about. I can’t share it right now, but will as soon as I can! All in all a fantastic day!

Lisbeth had only just left, when my father and his wife arrived with a door for my room. When I cast on the socks for my father, I was told that he wears a size 43 in shoes. But it turns out that he is indeed wearing a size 45 – and that the sock (which was pretty d*** close to being finished) is too small!

Needless to say, I threw it into the knitting basket and have been knitting on my Raspberry Jumper since that.

Photo light box

Today I took a vacation day (I knew I would be home late after the Marianne Isager workshop/speech last night (more on that later)) and I spend an hour this morning creating a lightbox for photographing yarn, WIPs, etc.

I basicly used the instructions from this tutorial, except I used baking paper for the windows. I am amazed at the effect! I need to learn more ways to fiddle with the camera settings, and to work with Photoshop, but I shot a few pics, that showed the colours just about perfectly.

Light box

The lightbox. fancy word for a box with holes.

It’s a cardboard box, that some of Dennis’ music equipment came in. I cut it smaller and cut holes in the sides, the front and the top. I reinforced the (heavy) cardboard with packaging tape, and then taped baking paper (I could have used tracing paper, but the stuff I have has squares on it) to the sides and the top. Then I inserted a piece of white cardboard – and Voila! A light box – all made from stuff I already had in the house!

The plexiglass jewelry box in front of the lightbox was used instead of a tripod.

First I took pictures of some of my new nail polish -because it was sitting on my desk, and I could check the colours out. 

Nail Varnish

My new Essies. They're called 'In Stitches' and 'SewPsyched'. How could I not buy them?

Then I continued taking pictures of the yarn I got yesterday (will be in a later post) and also some of the yarn I got for my birthday in August

Wollmeise from Tini

Lovely Wollmeise I got from Tini. Very hard to photograph! Took a lot of playing w camera settings.

Iphone pic

This was taken with the Iphone. It's teal manos del Uruguay, that Dennis gave me for myB-day.

I am swatching the red Manos del Uruguay for a boat neck jumper I am going to knit as my next mindles knittng project. Think I’ll go up to 6 mm needles…

red Manos

Swatching the raspberry Manos (more from my wonderful husband!)

In conclusion – I am very happy with how the light filters through the baking paper. I have taken these pics by daylight coming in through the window + a little bit of light (from the top) from my 7W table lamp. I already told the kids that they can make me a bigger (and maybe more sturdy) box for Christmas :-)

Do you have any photography tips for me? Tutorials, articles, tips?? I would love to learn more!

The cutting/pressing table – tutorial

I would like to tell you a little about my workspace. This summer we finally got around to making me a sewing/craft/office-room. And in future posts, I’ll give you a tour of My Room (yes – it’s written with capital letters! I feel very lucky to have it – and it is almost sacred to me. It’s also very small: 1.8 m X 4 m ( 6 feet X 13 feet ).

The first thing you notice, when nearing the room, is the cutting/pressing table. Not-sewing friends ask my why I don’t get rid of it, because it is very dominant to the room:

My Cutting table

The light is so bad today - I had to turn on the lamp. But you get the idea.

We made this table in December 2007 –  since then, I’ve added another layer of cotton fabric (only because I got tired of the old one, and didn’t want to tear it off. I just stabled this on top of it.)
It’s working out great. I use it for almost all my pressing, and to cut out smaller items (it’s big enough for shirts and skirts, but a little too small for dresses and trousers.) I also store a lot of stuff on it – and the cats love to sleep there – under the light.

Here is the original post that explains how to make a cutting pressing table:

I (and by “I”, I mean Dennis) have made a cutting-pressing table for my sewing area.

I’ve been wishing for one for quite some time, but haven’t had room before. But now I have a corner of my sewing area to use (even though I don’t have a real sewing room, I do have quite a lot of room).

The table isn’t big enough for cutting fabric for trousers or jackets, but will work for most home dec projects and t-shirts. And even though it doesn’t completely replace the ironing board when it comes to ironing large pieces of fabric, it will be great for most things – especially with my pressing tools.

Well, How was it made, you might wonder…

Here is how:

You need

1 table top (I used an old worn one, that I used as a desk several years ago)

Table top

The old table top

4 table legs, that are high enough for standing height.

1 large piece of pressing felt or table felt (I used table felt in a double layer)

Table felt

The table felt

1 piece of fabric

duct tape

stables and stable gun


The first thing we (my husband) did, was to place the table top on top of the folded felt. He then secured it temporarily with duct tape before using a stable gun to stable it in place. You might need to be two people to do this, as it is important that you tighten the felt.

table felt secured

Table felt secured

Then he stabled the felt to the table top all the way around the edges before we removed the tape and cut the remaining felt off.

trimming the felt

Trimming the felt

Then we placed the table top with felt on top of the fabric (I chose a somewhat childish design – mainly because I love the colours), secured with tape and stabled the fabric in place..

Adding fabric

Stabling the fabric in place

Then we (he) put on the legs. They are from IKEA and are adjustable, so you can get them in your perfect working height and not hurt your back.

Table is gettting legs

Putting on the legs

As you can see in the first picture, I still have the iron holder from the kitchen department in IKEA (my favorite store:-)) .

I love my cutting/pressing table. If I had more room, I would make another one, and stand them next to eachother, to have even more cutting/pressing space. Do you have a cutting or pressing table? Tell me about it!