finishing old jobs – and fashion revolution day

When we moved here 4 years ago – I was in such a hurry to set up my work room that I hurriedly put up temporary shelves.  The walls are painted beauty board on minimal studs and the shelves were pretty dismal and it was in the corner of the room that was to become a bit of a glory-hole full of stuff propping more stuff up and hiding other stuff.  Inspired by a post in Sewing at Damgate, I moved my folded drawing desk to another room, gave James my Bobby trolley (5euro buy in charity shop) and he was so happy to get the trolley (had been vying for it for a while – and I don’t really use it) and also happy to help with a shelving solution for the workroom, that we got these sorted in a day! We used a simple slot in system and some pine boards and all of a sudden – complete organisation!  All of my sewing books are now finally together and while I hadn’t intended on any floor storage – I simply have too much craft stuff.  The floor boxes contain yarn, the next two shelves are sewing machines (the two white baskets are current projects to try and limit myself).  The shelf above is sewing supplies (the ikea drawers are full of spare re-used zips and other haberdashery) and books, next shelf is a mix of favourite patterns and other supplies and there is a top top shelf are boxes of less used supplies (christmas decorations, old belts, dyes) file folders and some empty spare shoe boxes (always handy).

It also gave me a chance to organise my projects a bit better and try and take a critical look.  I rarely get anything in the charity shops now as I have more than enough to work on here.  One thing I did come across was this bag.  It has been hanging on the door for a whole year.  When I saw it in the charity shop last year, my thought was to clean it, take it apart, reline it and re-sew it…….honestly, I sometimes think the woman in my head sews a hell-of-a-lot faster than me.  So I got real – and looked up best ways of cleaning leather, and decided to take my chances on hand-washing and soaking with wool shampoo!  I only soaked it the first time for about 20 minutes rinsed, and let it dry and saw most of the stains came off so I soaked it a second time and scrubbed it with a soft nail brush and then soaked for about 20 minutes again, rinsed….. and then when it dried put some leather conditioner on it!

BEFORE……leather bag before



I have since put some dubbins on it and its now the same colour/tone as the rest….. the lining is still turquoise but cleaner – Job done!

We also did a fashion revolution mend day – it was a lovely day and I always meant to do something to mark the day as very little ‘fashion revolution’ events happen in Ireland and I thing only a few in Dublin and Cork this year.  Myself and Maureen and Helen (SewlastSeason) did a mend event in a community room/hub and met some lovely people who dropped by  and of course I have only a few blurred photos!


11 thoughts on “finishing old jobs – and fashion revolution day

    • upsew says:

      Yup – for sure – there was a nice mix – some were menders (a lovely woman there told me of tom holland/visible mending which I really enjoyed reading when I got back) and some new to mending. I ended up trying to fix an aldi sewing machine -someone had brought it in to be shown how to thread it – but the top tension was a bit / lot banjaxed….. crazy the amount of defunct cheap machines that are out there…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! says:

        Every time I see a vintage machine for sale the person says the tension is messed up and they don’t know how to fix it so they are selling it. I have been lucky so far. Those two Singers I bought were “fixed” after I cleaned them. Actually spending money on vintage machines can be scary sometimes!

        Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      I am seriously thinking of getting an overlocker but know something has to go as the room is full….. I am so glad of the shelving as its made the room far more organised and trying to store current projects in the white baskets is nearly working out!


  1. sewing40damgate says:

    The bag looks fabulous – what a helpful tip. And your workroom definitely looks like the hub of a very creative place, a multitude of ideas and projects – excellent. Good luck with maintaining the sense of order – I haven’t quite cracked that one yet. And thanks for mentioning Sewing at Damgate. The mending session looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thank you very much Kate- I was rather envious looking at your sewing books (your library looks so comprehensive and few and all as mine are-they ended up being scattered about – so it was high time they were all together! when we were house hunting, I mentioned to James that perhaps we could share a workspace – he was horrified and told me he simply could never share with me – it seems he thinks I am too messy! (even though I tend to tidy my workspace at the end of the evening as I cannot start working in a messy space!)


  2. Kathryn says:

    Wow your bag came up great! Can I ask what wool shampoo you used? I’ve got a favourite bag I don’t use anymore as it’s so dirty and I’d love to be able to use it again.
    Your storage space is brilliant too, so much room!

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Kathryn – I used tesco silk and wool shampoo – I put leather conditioner (from the car maintenance shop) on afterwards but as the leather in this bag is ‘alaline’ so it marks easily, I put dubbins wax on it after that to try and help it shine up naturally like the other side had. Best of luck with your bag


    • upsew says:

      Best of luck! it was very useful for me this time as I felt I had nothing to lose too, and the bag still feels exactly the same – but is so much cleaner


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