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samantha sews

I'm Samantha (Sam), a mechanical engineer, seamstress, crafter, & entrepreneur. Enjoy perusing photos of my sewing and craft-related adventures. I hope my blog brings inspiration and happiness to your day!

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Tiny Thread Spool Pushpins Tutorial X-Stitch Throw Pillow Tutorial
Starburst Wrapper Bracelet Tutorial Vintage Hassock Reupholstery DIY
Safety Eye Installation Tutorial for Plush a guide to sewing in your dorm room
Sewing Basket Essentials for Beginners a gift guide for the seamstress who has everything

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wiwo wednesday: fabric storage and productivity

I’m joining Marie for wiwo wednesday (What I’m Working On). I always love to see what my favorite crafters are up to, and in-progress shots often tell an even better story than the finished product.

fabric storage: rolls of colorful fleece in my vintage hutch

This week’s theme is productivity. It’s a never-ending battle, something I’m always Working On, but I’m continuing to streamline my space so that when I have time to make something, I get to make something.

Keeping supplies in plain sight is the best strategy for encouraging myself to sew more often. The dining hutch above holds my Roy G. Biv assortment of fleece, rolled for easy stacking (and easy on the eyes). The hutch also holds a few fabrics I’m looking to use in the near future, and all my spools of crochet thread – something I constantly reach for on little crafts. I call it My New Favorite Crafting Supply.

sewing room light: LED strip around ceiling

Another big issue was the lighting in my sewing room. There was no overhead lighting in the room, so I was operating with three task lamps: one at the table, one at my machine, and one at my Serger. It was barely enough light to sew straight, and this meant I didn’t enter that room after dark since it would be fruitless.

I finally found the perfect solution: strips of LEDs with an adhesive backing. They’re lightweight, yet super bright, and they can be easily removed when I move out. I didn’t use the adhesive backing on mine, Brad used a staple gun to attach them to the wall near the ceiling. My staples were just wide enough to clear the strip on each side and hold it snug. Don’t staple through the strip! I bought two spools, 16 ft each, so almost the entire ceiling of my tiny room is surrounded in lights. The indirect light is perfect for sewing, and obviously I get a lot more sewing done when I’m not restricted to daylight hours.

productivity: blog editorial calendar

Finally, blogging. Again, it’s all about getting myself started. Blog photos are definitely something best kept to the daylight hours, LED lights or no LED lights (although I’m hopeful they’ll help). But coordinating an idea, photos, photo edits, and an actual post becomes an ordeal when usually I only have the time or the energy for one of those.

I finally gave in and made myself an editorial calendar. The most basic calendar in the world, because grays give me room to do whatever I want. I’m sorting post-it flags by post category, and of course the mobility of post-its is their best feature: nothing is fixed, everything is fluid.

february 2015: gray printable blog editorial calendar

If you’d like to download a copy of my February and (most of) March editorial calendar, it’s here in PDF form:

Download Feb/Mar 2015 Printable Editorial Calendar (PDF)

What are you working on? Do you have any productivity tips to share with me?


More LED strip info, for the curious

For my sewing room, I used 2 spools of HitLights Warm White High Density LEDs and chained and plugged them into one 60 watt power supply. I chose the high density because I wanted it to provide light for the whole room, and I’m glad I did – they’re still not too bright (unless you look directly at them). I chained them and plugged them both into one 60W power supply, which worked fine for me, and I noticed no decrease in brightness. The manufacturer recommends using 60W per strip, meaning I should have used two power supplies, but that made no difference in my case so I just used the one.

The reviews make these sound complicated, but you really just have to plug everything together and go! If you want more details or need help, as always, ask away.

(LED links are affiliate links, but I’m telling you about these because I’m excited about them – not because I’m looking for a cut.)

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