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Where I Sew!

2014 March 5

When I started this blog I figured I would eventually tidy up my space enough to let you see where I work. After all, I’m always super curious about where other people sew, naturally I think some of you might be too! Since my machine went in for maintenance earlier this year I caught a break and a little time and I was able to clean and clear out the whole space. I have also discovered while looking at these photos that I love colour, comfort and being able to see everything. Just in case that wasn’t already obvious. (hee hee!) It’s interesting because I spend a lot of time making the other parts of my house as minimalist and simplistic as possible. I likely have too much to say about my space, so I hope you are okay with a bit of a novel today. I edited it down to this – really!

My husband and I share this 10 x 10 ft room. We used to take up space in the basement, with some of the kids toys and our TV. Since we both work from home we decided about a year ago that it was healthier to have a door on our work space. That way we could make our basement and main floor into a relaxing space instead of being reminded of work every time we were in them. After much discussion with the girls (who agreed it would be fun to move in together) we bought bunk beds for them and took over this little “nursery room” on our third floor. The result has been a much better home/work balance – so nice! It’s been especially nice that I’ve been able to keep my space clean for a month now, amazing for my husband who takes up only a little more than 3 square feet of one corner of the space and likes to work in a clean environment!

My desk is actually a mash-up of 2 Ikea Expedit shelving units along with some hollow core doors from our hardware store. Somewhere out in blog-land is the wonderful woman who suggested using a door for an inexpensive table-top and I will be forever grateful – if I could only find her again! We have cut the doors into multiple pieces and mounted the centre one on two Ikea table legs. The back of each door is screwed into one long 9 ft pre-primed piece of mdf that holds the whole thing together. Quite a feat in a small room, but it’s so heavy it doesn’t have a chance of falling apart! One day I will paint the edges of the doors, and maybe the tops too, but since it is a work-space the chances are slim on that one. This also means the counter is table height and I mostly sew standing up. I love the freedom I feel to move around, iron things when needed and generally feel more active.

The side wall holds my favorite framed book cover – the Singer Sewing Book from 1972. Another one of my husband’s grandmother’s things I was lucky enough to acquire. Eventually the frame will be painted – maybe black? I’ve also hung my thread holder and a drawing of a sewing machine that my oldest made, probably 2 years ago now! This wall is also where I try to stay organized and the clipboards hold my schedule and thoughts in check. They are move-able so I can take them down for scheduling and then put them back up as needed.

Stash much? As much as I love fabric, surprisingly I don’t have more than one shelf length of gorgeous quilting cottons! All my fabric is folded onto boards as mini-bolts and shelved on this bookcase I found my local Re-Store for only $20. It sits in the room’s closet space, though we have removed the closet door. It was pretty dark in there and the colour matching wasn’t going so well! Everything is loosely arranged in rainbow colour order. Flannel/Canvas on the top shelf. Quilting cottons and fleece on the 2nd shelf. The third shelf is dedicated to apparel fabrics and the 4th is for knits, though I ran out of room on this one and had to start a basket on the floor! The bottom shelf holds fabrics that I have rolled up because I have lots of them, and all of my interfacing, batting and fusible web. Outside of the shelving I’ve got rolled up vinyl to the right and my ironing board and iron are stored on the left wall. I’ve also got a bin for things I have made that don’t have a purpose yet. What do you do with “extra” projects? Do you have any?

The top of the closet holds the clothing I want to re-purpose, stuffing and all of my daughters’ flannel receiving blankets that I hope to one day make something from. Oh, and you get to see the lovely colour the walls were when we moved into our house. Very “unisex nursery yellow”.

The back of the door is right next to the closet and opposite my sewing area. I’ve hung the artwork my mom made me and I keep some sewing projects there. Especially my cargo duffle, which is really one of my most favorite projects that I have made to date. I think the artwork was meant for my kitchen, but I love it here, it reminds me of my family (my parents live quite far away in Texas) and the saying is so true. I need to be reminded that keeping a clean house is not worth the effort sometimes!

Back to the desk area then? I’ve got so many bins and containers here it’s pretty crazy, but they all have a purpose. The flowered tins hold my scissors and seam ripper, camera, miscellaneous receipts and my calculator – among other things. The blue box was my grandmother’s and I have an office divider to hold all of my rulers. Inspiration and my Canadian Online Fabric Store business cards are kept on the bulletin board I made at least 7 years (and no blog) ago that just happens to perfectly match the wall, I must like that colour!

The bottom shelf holds all of my re-purposed 80 oz pickle jars, and the jars hold everything from ribbons and elastic to zippers and Velcro. I’m slowly expanding my book collection and I’m excited to hopefully pull off a top from the Stylish Dress Book soon… we’ll see!

The top shelf is saved for storing my girls’ quilts-in-progress and my fat quarters are stored in a shelf that used to hold diapers and nursery items. I’ve also put up some pretty things, ribbon and my selvage jar, which will one day become useful and make itself into something!

Last but not least it’s my sewing machine. It’s not fancy, but it does everything I need it to and I love working with it. I’ve also got my favorite cartoon character to stare me down while I sew – Marvin the Martian is hilarious. I’m not sure why I like him so much, but it was a bit of an obsession when I was just out of high school and I may or may not have 3 stuffed ones hiding in the girls’ closet (one of them as tall as my kids!). The handsome face on my bulletin board is my husband, such a fun Instagram pic he posted I had to print  it out.

That’s about it I think. I’ve got baskets of scraps and drawers with fabric paints, pencils and bias tape makers under my machine. One dedicated to all of my patterns tucked neatly into dollar store yellow envelopes. Too many bins of projects waiting to be finished hiding everywhere and of course more thread and tracing paper too. More things than you would ever care to read about I’m sure!

I’m such a curious person – where do you hide/keep all of your things? As I sew more I wonder where and how people without a dedicated room keep their stuff. Of course, if I didn’t collect projects so easily I would have less stuff, something to think about!

I hope you enjoyed the tour. I’d love to hear about your space. Do tell!

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. March 5, 2014

    What a warm cozy space. My craft room is currently an outdoor shed and so I am sewing on my dining room table at the moment (much to hubby’s chagrin). Looking forward to spring when I can get it cleaned out and set up. When my dad moved in with us, my craft room moved out ;) and it just hasn’t been the same since lol
    Shari recently posted… Celebrate National Craft MonthMy Profile

    • March 11, 2014

      Thanks Sherri! I’ve been there with the dining room table too :) At least everything is handy! You will have so much fun working on it in the spring!

  2. March 5, 2014

    Ooooh…. i’m *olive* green with envy! ;) Love your sewing space, it’s fabulous!!
    Carla recently posted… Happy Mail Day!!My Profile

    • March 11, 2014

      Thanks Carla! Late response – but I’m glad you like the space! Hee Hee – ‘olive’ my space too!

  3. March 6, 2014

    So pretty and organized! I’m impressed that there’s room for your husband, too! Now I’m trying to figure out if I can find room for my husband’s desk in my craft room so we can hang out in the evenings instead of being in separate rooms… :)
    Amy recently posted… Beachy Boatneck FlipMy Profile

  4. March 6, 2014

    What a great sewingroom. Realy. I’m jealous. Now my space feels like a mess. Eh.. wel it’s a mess, actualy :D . It started as a study. So I have a large bookcase which I do use as a bookcase (ha!). And a little bookcase I made (well, I painted it) when I was about 12 years old. This one I use to store my little fabric stash. And then I saw your stash… amazing! ;) I like the jars you use for elastic, zippers, etc… I store those in shoeboxes. And my scraps are in plastic bags… Well, I won’t bother you with the other stuff that’s stored in this room and realy needs to find an other place to ‘live’. Anyway, thank you for your tour, it brought some great ideas for me ;)
    Mirjam recently posted… [W.I.P. Wednesday] Nog wat biaisband – Some biastape againMy Profile

    • March 11, 2014

      Thanks Mirjam! I totally should have included a before picture so it didn’t look so clean – it hasn’t usually been in the past! Oh – it sounds like you’ve got a place for everything, and I love having things around that remind me of when I was younger. As long as you can sew your space is perfect! :)

  5. March 6, 2014

    I share my sewing space with the washer and dryer…and the rest of my stash lives in the spare room. I’m overdue for a clean-up, but I should make sure I take a “before” photo. The laundry room is cold in the winter and sweltering in the summer, so I’m looking forward to the upcoming spring sewing weather!
    Lisa in Port Hope recently posted… Easy Street progressMy Profile

    • March 11, 2014

      Hi Lisa! I can totally see the temperature change. I wish you a productive spring! :)

  6. Nancy permalink
    March 15, 2014

    I’ve used doors as well for countertop. The doorknob hole is good for electrical cords. I put wall paper on them to make a clean, removable and tidy cover. You can wrap that down over the edges as well.

    • March 16, 2014

      I love your wallpaper idea Nancy! What a good, quick way to make them look nice. I will definitely keep that in mind.

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