The new studio

The new studio

IMG_6832_2 IMG_6847 P1030235 P1030237 IMG_6882 IMG_6919 IMG_6920 IMG_6923 IMG_6930Seb and Joe finished up here on Wednesday. It was sad to see them go on one level as they’ve been amazing to have around and I sincerely hope we keep in touch. But obviously it was exciting to see the studio ready for me filling it full of paint and fabric and furniture and students too.

I’ve had a few false starts with the floor and couldn’t really settle on a colour. I tried white and although I painted about a third of the floor I wasn’t feeling it. You know what it was? Too white. Too sensible. Not me at all. So last night I bought some pink paint and I’m SO feeling this! Of course it had to be pink.

So on this freezing but sunny morning I’m in the studio, shivering, listening to radio 6 and drinking coffee and PAINTING THE FLOOR PINK

I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the workmanship of Seb and Joe. Seb runs the company, Liberty Lading, and has a lot of experience building all kinds and under all kinds of conditions. He lives on a tug on the south coast and has made the whole boat habitable and homely inside in his spare time. He also makes his own unique woodburners for which I’m in the market as soon as I’ve saved some more pennies (building a studio is an expensive thing to do! I’ve spent £400 or so in DIY shops this month alone!). Joe was his sidekick on this project but also works in a bike shop. Interesting fact: he has built his own bike out of bamboo. It looks amazing!

Anyway contact me if you want a high standard anything built. This studio is perfect right down to the last nail. Seb is a perfectionist and a proper craftsman.

Back to painting. I have one week to make this studio inhabitable as next Saturday I’m running my first class in there!

Painting day at the studio

Painting day at the studio

Today a whole bunch of amazing women joined me and helped me paint the inside of the studio white. My fearless friend Milla went up the ladder to finish the outside of the studio, the bits I had found too scary and high, and Kate, Donne, Vicky, Nicola and myself tackled the inside, Milla joining us when she was done. Not twenty minutes after she finished it started pouring down with rain. All credit to the builders that even without doors and windows in it felt warm and cosy inside!

So today we went from this:
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Here’s the ladies at work:
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Seb and Joe were both off today. They deserved a break although I’m not sure they got one 😉

Tomorrow the final cladding will go on and the doors and windows will start going on.

Almost there!!

IMG_6626.JPG This funky sign is up outside my local tube station.
Cool non?!

Studio build day 9 and 10

Studio build day 9 and 10

Yesterday all the gaps between the joists were filled with rockwool and the whole lot was wrapped in a breathable membrane. It wasn’t looking too good at this stage with all the nasty logos all over it but it was water tight which was amazing.

Then the boys busied themselves laying felt on the roof so by the end of the day yesterday I had a full roof.

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After a visit from Homebase and Ikea this is kinda the colour scheme I’m going for. Grey, orange and some pink.

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Then today the cladding started going on. Super exciting! And as soon as the front was done I got cracking painting it.

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I’m loving the colour, and doesn’t it look nice in full sun with the brightly coloured autumn leaves?IMG_6713.JPG

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selfish sewing week part 2

selfish sewing week part 2

I’ve finished my fabulous curtains for the studio and basted my 70s single bed quilt as well as my third mini quilt for the studio but due to all the building work I’ve not done much else.

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I did however just download the fabulous Lola dress from Victory Patterns… I will be working on this tomorrow!! I’ve only got a sweater type pink and black stripe but it was super cheap so good for trying out a pattern!
Lola

Studio day 6 and 7

Studio day 6 and 7

Seb was in his own on Saturday but still managed to put a whole load of the cross beams in. This process was finished by Joe and Seb yesterday by which time the whole box was cross crossed with sturdy beams.

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This morning the lads starting encasing the whole thing in a moisture proof wrap and then the ceiling and walls went in. By this afternoon most of the walls were done. The gaps are now very obviously where the huge windows and doors are going to go in. All the electrical cables were laid today so it was decision time on where the sockets and switches were going to go.

It suddenly looks very different as it’s been so open before. It has been amazingly sunny and its almost a shame to now suddenly block off the air and view! In a couple of days when the lads are working on the outside I can start painting the inside!

I’ve had a little experiment colour washing some OSB board to see what it would look like and I’ve decided to put a nice dark grey colour wash on the floor. This way you can still see the texture and different colours but it won’t be the colour of a sauna ;-)! The walls are all going to be white.
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I found some super cool 70s rattan light shades in Sainsburys of all places so now I’m all sorted for lights too. They will go well with my extremely 70s quilt and cushions I’m making!

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Selfish Sewing Week

Selfish Sewing Week

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This week is Selfish Sewing Week. Where we mostly spend a lot of time sewing for others, this week you are encouraged to sew just for yourself! Check out the post on Imaginegnats’ website: http://imaginegnats.com/selfish-sewing-week-fall-2014-giveaway/

My plan for this week is to make blinds and curtains and cushions for the new studio,  and make a new tunic top from McCall’s M5050:

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I also want to sew up the dress I have already cut up. Pattern is See & Sew B5870, a knit dress (my first!)

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And I may just add some more to that list as the week goes on!

You can win prices, check it out. Here’s your chance to enter to win one of the 40 (yes, forty!) indie sewing patterns also donated by these fabulous designers… PLUS one additional winner will get a $25 credit to IndieSew. that’s 41 winners in total!!

http://imaginegnats.com/selfish-sewing-week-fall-2014-giveaway/

Have a look at the fantastic designers and bloggers taking part:

featured stitchers:

Call Ajaire · The Crafty Kitty · Max California · the quirky peach
Sewbon · Swoodson Says · sewVery · a happy stitch
sew a straight line · Sew Caroline · Our Chez Nous · Casa Crafty
verypurpleperson · Flamingo Toes · Sewing Rabbit · justmejay
groovy baby and mama · you & mie · oona balloona
sew Amy sew · Idle Fancy · miss matatabi · Dandelion Drift
Modern Handcraft · Buzzmills · u&mii · B.Yazoo
A Quilter’s Table · lbg studio · Diary of a Chainstitcher
Compagnie M. · Sew Chibi · la inglesita · Modern Handmade
Sing All You Want · Cookin’ and Craftin’ · Behind the Hedgerow
Milkybeer Handmade · The Charming Needle

many of them will be sewing up patterns donated by these amazing indie pattern designers,

indie pattern designers:

April Rhodes · Blank Slate Patterns · Bluegingerdoll
By Hand London · CaliFaye Collection · Chris W Designs
Christine Haynes · Closet Case Patterns · Clover & Violet
Deer and Doe · Delia Creates · Emmaline Bags
Go To Patterns · grainline studio · GreenStyleCreations
Hey June Handmade · imagine gnats · In-House Patterns
Kate & Rose · Kitschy Coo · Megan Nielsen Patterns
Mouse House Creations · Named Clothing · Noodlehead
Papercut Patterns · Pauline Alice · SBCC Patterns · schnittchen
Scientific Seamstress · see kate sew · Sew Caroline · Sew House Seven
Sew Sweetness · Sewaholic · Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H
Straight Stitch Designs · SUCH Designs · True Bias
Victory Patterns · Violette Field Threads

Studio build day 5

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Having woken up in the night to the loudest thunder ever, and some of the wildest rain ever, the budding studio held out well. Luckily the lads had covered everything up and apart from me sweeping a tiny bit of standing water off the surface all was well.

In fact within half an hour it was boiling hot and sunny. Today the lovely Pete joined Seb and Joe. He cleared all the shed panels we had chucked over the fence into our very understanding neighbour’s garden (they haven’t been in their garden for two years so don’t feel like I’m mullering someone’s beautiful garden!). I took control of an amazing tool, a reciprocating saw, and spent hours cutting down overgrown shrubs and weeds. I want one!!

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The electrician turned up to lay the armoured cable, three more walls have gone up, lots of tea and coffee was drunk and much laughter was heard from the garden despite Seb and Pete having a rum hangover the size of Iceland.

Around 3.30 a huge storm broke out and it started chucking it down. I got soaked on the school run and came home to find Vanessa the sparky, Seb, Pete and Joe in the kitchen staring out at the rain. No mean feat as my kitchen is about 3×6 feet! It took some effort to get the water off the studio floor once it finally stopped raining but the sun came back out and the lads pulled another 3 hours of work.

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We now have four wall structures with openings for the double doors and the three huge windows I already have, we have a roof structure and some lovely tarpaulins stretches across the top to keep any future rain off. It is starting to really take shape! The lads are indefatigable and Seb is coming in tomorrow (Saturday) whilst Joe is off to his other job in the bike shop for two days. Astonishing how hard these guys work. And yet they smile and joke non stop. I love them a little already and won’t want them to leave after another week on site!

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Studio build day 3 & 4

Studio build day 3 & 4

Tuesday night the lads didn’t finish pouring concrete for the posts (for the whole studio to sit on) until almost midnight. Thanks HSS for turning up with the mixer at 7.30pm! Grrr.IMG_6488.JPG
Sean and I went to Bethnal Green to collect a HUGE sash window which had been donated to the studio by the lovely Juliet. It is big enough to function as a passage out to the back garden behind the studio which is great. There’s been so much goodwill towards this project. it’s been brilliant. Obviously a lot of the capital has been raised through crowd funding but there’s been materials donated too as well as time by friends who want to come and help me paint the studio next week.

Anyway. Wednesday morning broke with 6 lovely concrete pillars for the studio to sit on. First thing in the morning a big truck with wood turned up. Cannot believe this will all fit into my garden!! It took the lads three hours at least to carry it all in. Not even one tiny plant was bent and they somehow squeezed it all in!The whole day was spent building the base platform. Once that was in situ it was easy to see just exactly how big this studio was going to be!IMG_6489.JPG

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Look at those cats being curious. Especially Theo (the Siamese looking one), I’m surprised he didn’t turn up stuck in a concrete post or nailed to the subfloor as he is SO curious!IMG_6513.JPG

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Today was a momentous day. The base structure was covered with insulation, OSB plates and suddenly I had a dance floor! IMG_6525.JPG

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I have been busy planning how it will all look, storage, lights and what to do with the floor. I LOVE this part! I am making blinds for all 3 windows and probably curtains for the door too to keep out the cold. The outside will be painted a blue-grey shade called Misty Lake and the floor will be stained a dark oak.And then just before the lads left they pulled up the first wall structure they had built. We cracked open a bottle of rose and toasted the build. Seb and Joe are the nicest people you could have on site, like mates I could met in the 80s but somehow didn’t. It is a joy having morning coffee and a singalong to Radio 6 and regular chats during the day. I will miss them when they’ve gone home again! Suddenly it is looking very exciting (even more exciting!!) and HUGE! It will be about 2.5m at the front with a  slightly sloping roof, and 5.5m by 4m floor space.IMG_6535.JPG

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Day two of the studio build

Day two of the studio build

Today was a frustrating one for the lads. The hired concrete mixer is STILL “on it’s way”, it’s now 6.30pm, and they had to drink tea and eat biccies for a bit as they had run out of things to do. Strangely they didn’t like that as they like being busy!
They are going make concrete posts for the studio to sit on so they have built the moulds for these and some of the materials arrived making the garden a very full place. The kids are still able to use the trampoline but maybe not when the wood turns up tomorrow!

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IMG_6485.JPGBuilder’s necessities: cake, fags, radio 6, tea and biscuits. I just found out that Joe lives in what used to be my office when I worked for Rough Trade Distribution. Weird huh?!IMG_6481.JPG

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Day one of the studio build

Day one of the studio build

Day one was actually just half a day as Seb and Joe, my amazing builders, arrived at 1 ish. However they achieved millions in the four hours or so they were at work. First they set about demolishing a whole shed, scaring away many spiders in the process (including some fearsome and large False Widow spiders)

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I may re-use the shed panels as fence panels as they are in good condition. As my back neighbours have an impressive collection of dead fridges and lawnmower a in their garden it may be nice to put up a proper fence!

Then collectively we cleared the ground, I was pulling up the remaining sticks an roots of the Kerria Japonica that had spread like crazy whilst poor Joe was hacking away at the stump of the Mahonia that until last week had been a good 2.5 high and about 3m wide! More spiders were relocated in the process 😉

Materials were ordered, tea was drunk, funny stories exchanged and all of that in gorgeous sunshine. By 5ish the boundary of the studio was roughly marked out and cleared and I watched the sun set over a garden filled with rubble sacks full of ivy, brambles and bits of shrub. I pulled up some more nasty bindweed roots and finally stopped for the day.

Here’s some pictures of what it looked like last night:

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cheeky handmades