Monday, September 9, 2013

New Sewing Space

Busy, busy, busy.  So much going on here for the last month of summer, I can't believe it has been so long since I blogged.  I have done some sewing (not as much as I'd like, but still some!) and hope to post a few projects soon.  One of the main things I've been working on is relocating my sewing space from my dining room table (downstairs) to the other side of my home office (upstairs).  It is almost complete now, so I thought I'd share some Before and After photos.

My apologies in advance for the poor lighting... I couldn't take either room outside to stage these photos any better :-).

For the past several years, this dining room table was my sewing space:

We have a large kitchen table, so I only needed the dining room two days/year -- Christmas and Easter.  These photos were actually taken on a "not so bad" day... the table usually looked a lot worse than this!

Sewing supplies were shoved hidden in every possible corner:

After a lot of sorting, organizing and trips up the stairs, I now have a dining room again!

My daughter's birthday party was the day before I took this picture, thus the decorations.  I left them there for a week to "celebrate" finding the dining room again!

The real challenge, though, was where to put everything.  We have a large sized loft which has 3 walls and 1 open side, at the top of our staircase.  A few years ago, we had California Closets do built-ins on 2 of the 3 walls, and had a large daybed on the 3rd wall.  We kept the daybed for guests but in reality, it just ended up a "dumping ground" for everything I didn't know what to do with.  I don't have a picture of the daybed, but everything on this dresser came off of it (plus a lot more that was not sewing related).  Look at all the fabric and batting I had that I didn't even remember!

Here is the home office we already had.  I work in the back corner (behind the chair with the pink sweatshirt on it).

You can see here that I'd already unloaded all the books off the bookcase and started stocking it with fabric, which used to take up a lot of space in the guest room/play room closet.

Our original plan was to have matching built-ins done on the 3rd wall, and that seemed well and good until the price estimate arrived!  While it was in line with what we had paid a few years back (so not unexpected), my husband asked me to think long and hard about what I was getting.  Would it really meet my needs?  Is it everything I'd ever want in a sewing room?  The answer, unfortunately, was no.  The counter space was only 25" deep... no design wall space... no good place for a cutting mat.  We decided to scrap that idea (I was heartbroken at the time!) and look for something else.  I'm really glad now that we did!

Here's what I ended up with -- a large dining room table that I bought unfinished and stained to match the rest of the wood in the room.  It measures 40" x 72" so it's big enough for my regular machine, embroidery machine and cutting mat to be set up and accessible at all times.  If my kids want to sew, I put their machine on the left end (where the cutting mat is).  Not to mention, it cost under 8% of what the built-ins would have cost.  This leaves lots of room in the budget for more fabric :-).

My fabric is all nearby (on the bookshelf), which makes it easier to find and I love the color it adds to the room.  I also have a (small) design wall now, which I never had before.

I put some of my favorite things up on the wall, including special pictures, patterns my grandmother made by hand (cut from the side of cereal boxes), some plaques I purchased years ago, embroidery hoops, my FMQ thread and even a framed piece of wallpaper taken from my daughters' nursery when they outgrew it.

I have some cubes underneath the table that contain tiny things (zippers, magnets, velcro, magnets, etc).  I would like to swap this out for something nicer, but it works for now so I'm taking my time to find something I really love.

I found this idea (and soooo many others) on Sew Many Ways.  Have you been over there?  Karen has *THE* best sewing/craft room!  Anyway, this is all of my ribbon, on tension rods attached between the table legs on the right.  It makes the ribbon easy to see / access (who knew I had so much?!?!), adds color to the room, and blocks the (not so) "hidden" storage under the table from view as you come up the stairs.

While there are still things I'd like to do/change/update (and a few minor things I've already done since taking these pictures a few weeks ago), I really, really love the space.  Now that everything has a "real" home, I've been much better about keeping the space neat, cleaning up after every project, etc.  I can't do as much late night/early morning sewing as I used to (all the bedrooms are close by, machine is too loud if others are sleeping).... but I can still carry it down to the useless empty dining room table if I want to.

Now that I have the space, all I need is the time... then back on track with my (very long) project list!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~