Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Awesome Closet My Awesome Husband Built

We have three girls sharing one bedroom with a walk in closet that was pretty much useless.  Across the shortest section of the closet were two rods and that was it.  I neglected to get before pictures again, but it was pretty bad.  There was no space for dresses and their shoes were always in a pile on top of each other and impossible to find or organize properly. 

Recently, we decided it was past time to get that closet useful and organized.  We found plans at for a fantastic shoe organizer with lots and lots of room for shoes.  Since two of our girls are teenagers, we needed the space.  

We had Home Depot cut the wood for us, which made things a whole lot easier.  It's possible to get straight cuts along a sheet of plywood with a circular saw, but it's a pain.  My husband took a cut plan with him to the store so he could have everything cut the way he needed, then he could just come home and start building.  

The plan for the closet gave the girls two shirt height rods the same length as they already had (we were able to reuse the poles) and we added a full length dress rod, as well as a shelf across the top.  Their closet was so pitiful they didn't even have a shelf before.   Obviously if this were my closet, I would have made an effort to organize things by color for the picture and make it look nice.  The girls organized it by owner and garment type so it's useful to them.  
 The wood is 3/4" maple plywood.  It was very reasonable priced.  Steve also added the laminate edging to the ends so make it look more finished.   It looks good doesn't it?

The "shoe shrine" was a very tight fit.  We altered the plans to make the tower the full depth of the closet and boy howdy was it a pain to get it in.  We actually had to *ahem* cut the top off and then put it back on once it was in place.  So basically, if you're going for a tight fight, make sure you build in place to begin with.

Ana's plans were great.  She does a great job of breaking things down step by step.  I appreciate the cut list.  It made putting together a cut plan for the plywood sheets really easy.   It can be very easy with this tower to get the edges misaligned, so do be careful and build on a solid, flat surface so your front edge looks good and lines up.  We don't own a pocket screw jig, so my husband took advantage of the fact that we were putting the edging up by putting screws on the ends of the boards under where the edging went.  It made the tower very sturdy and we didn't have to fill any screw holes.
Steve even added moulding at the base and crown at the top to really finish the organizer off.   He did a great job, didn't he?

The girls are very happy with it and I do have to say that they are doing better picking up their shoes and getting them put away now.  It's also a heck of a lot easier to find the pair they want to wear.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shirtdress for my girl

So I've been sewing.  And teaching.  And getting a girl graduated from high school.  (What's that?  I don't look old enough to have a kid in college?  thank you.  That's very sweet and my profile picture is eight years old.)

The girl and I sewed this together to be her graduation dress: 

That's the recently out of print Simplicity 2403.  A Project Runway pattern, a line we've had very good luck with. (I don't know how long that link will be good.)  It's still available on line.  Yes, it's another Simplicity, and I do know how much I complain about their sizing.  They are super cheap though.  Every other month JoAnn puts them on sale for $1 a piece, so it's worth it to stock up and deal with the sizing issues.  Once we figure out the correct sizing, they fit my girl beautifully with very little alteration.  Their fit model must be an hourglass figure like my girl.

(I also would like to be clear that although this picture has been put through a few filters, she has not been photoshopped.  Girl is that skinny.  It helps that she's 5'2". I teased her and told her that she can't gain the freshman 15 and still wear that dress.  She laughed.   )

Sarah sewed most of the bodice including the ruffles on the bodice and the button placket.  She's not an experienced seamstress, so I'm impressed.  I couldn't have done a better job with it myself.  Then she ran out of time and had too much school and work to finish before graduation.   I did the skirt, which has pockets you can't see in the pic because we were that good matching the plaid.

I've been doing a lot more sewing lately.  I've made a t-shirt for myself I love, a dress I hate, another Burda jumpsuit for my youngest, and even helped youngest with her first sewing project.   It's been a big sewing month and there are more projects on the list.  I guess I'm just in a sewing frame of  mind lately.