Monday, September 14, 2015

September "Pimp your Sewing Room": Sewing Edition

Caution! This is a long post, and maybe a little repetitive. I apologize in advance!

Let me just say this. I have sewn since I was in grade school, although I didn't get any formal training until the 9th grade. Mrs. Sanders taught me a lot of things and I will never forget her gentle patience and straightforward manner. I owe her a lot.

In those years, I've sewed in many places: my bedroom with the machine on the floor flat on my stomach and then later, my desk, the kitchen table, a plywood makeshift counter in my dorm room closet. On a Singer that ran off of batteries, a sweet 60's Brother that I sadly traded away, another Singer in a cabinet in the basement of a shared house. Later, when DH and I hooked up, I always had some sort of dedicated space until the kids were born. Then it was back to the kitchen table and a tiny little area behind a screen with room enough for a desk and a bunch of Rubbermaid tubs in his home office. (Like how I capitalize "Rubbermaid"? Respect.)

When we moved into this house, I eventually got a HUGE area in the daylight basement. It's probably 700 - 800 sq feet including the walk in closet. Most of the time it had a guest bed in the alcove, I had a dedicated "gift wrap station", there was a TV in there for awhile and the treadmill eventually ended up in the room as well. When I started weaving, there was more than enough room for both looms. Thing is...that room was supposed to be part of my parent's apartment. They both died before they ever lived there and for awhile, that made it a special place for me. There was room for the kids to hang out with me, and room for me to get away from them :) Win win.

And then it was down to DH and I. I didn't much like being down there any more. We didn't heat it in the winter and I worked so much, there wasn't a lot going on down there anyway. I felt stiffled. I wanted to take over our son's room on the main floor for a long time before I finally did it. I started seriously clearing his room a week ago last Saturday.

I wish I had a before picture, but really. No. The room was a disaster. Our son has lived with us off an on since he graduated a few years ago and it's not what you would call picture worthy. So no.

The after will have to be enough. This is a mirror image of the loom room, same 12' x 10.5' footprint.

Here it is:

This is walking in the room and looking north. In the far left corner, I have an older IKEA kitchen cart that I use for my ironing station. just forward of that is my embroidery thread rolling cart that is stored in the closet to the left, with a portable ironing surface on top. This is AWESOME and was not planned. I was piecing something and did NOT want to haul out the ironing board (stored in the closet to the left so not a real chore, I'm just lazy.)
The back wall has 2 IKEA cabinets, with the IKEA kitchen counter sewing table in the center, shelves between the cabinets. There are two holes in the top of the counter with grommets so the machine cords can pass through. There is a powerstrip mounted under the table, cords are routed with 3M carriers so they are pretty organized and out of the way.  Behind the cabinet doors, there are shoebox sized Rubbermaid containers that hold all of my zippers, elastic, bias tape, piping etc and my coverstitch machine, all in the left cabinet. The bottom of the right cabinet houses all of my embroidery supplies and the serger.
My sewing thread rolling cart fits under the north end of the table, the small blue cabinet on the table top holds my hand sewing and needlework needles by type, sewing machine needles, safety pins, snaps etc. The white itso storage cube next to it has pins, scissors, ribbons, seam rippers etc.
The storage at the south end of the sewing table has all of my smocking supplies: Plates, pleater, magazines and books.

This is the south wall. The corner in the left has a rather inexpensive "crafting center". Holds all of stabilizers, interfacings, cutting and marking tools and some other things. Right now, all of the "stuff" on the cutting table came from the top drawer in the crafting center. I apparently didn't assemble the it properly years ago and it is down in the garage with a good dose of glue and clamps. Rolls that are too long to fit in the drawers are in the basket right next to it. The mat that covers the cutting table when it's fully extended is rolled up and standing on end.

The cutting table is over 20 years old and I love it. It's 36" x 72" when fully extended. There are two drop leaves, so it can be small, one leaf up (as shown here), or really big. There is also a smaller cutting mat that covers a single leaf, and it is stowed under the leaf when not in use. There's one small drawer in the center of the cutting table on one side and it's open under there. I've asked DH to box that area in and build a drawer for the other side. So greedy.

This is the west wall. Door into the room on the left, closet on the right. You can see the cutting table in it "collapsed" state. What you can't see in the closet is the fabric stash. Each side of the closet has 4 shelves, about 3 feet deep. This is where the fabric is stored. The top shelf is primarily children's fabric and individual projects I've started and not completed. Ironing board and embroidery unit are on the floor. Behind the other closet door, more fabric. Plus I've stored all of the gift wrap and some gift boxes. Compact, but so workable.

So how do I feel about all of this? Because really, that's all that matters, right? I feel SO GOOD. See all this bric a brack?

Every single thing on these shelves makes me so HAPPY! They all mean something special and hold so many memories. You can't really see it, but there is a wind chime hanging off the bottom shelf on the left. I bought that for my mom in the year before she died and when I brush against it, it makes the best sound ever. That old iron? My DAD of all people... I found it sitting in a box of his tools after he died. That man loved to iron but this makes me smile. There's a story attached to EVERYTHING and it brings me peace and makes me feel creative and loved. I sewed today. Really sewed. I'm making a tiny pieced wall hanging (about 6" x 6") that I started when we had to put our beloved schnauzer down a year and a half ago. All I have left to do is bind it. Another story, but a sign to me that I am on the mend, in more ways than one.

I told DH that this is the best place I've ever stitched.

End of this missive. Next post I'll share some towels I cut off the loom last week and hopefully will have started on a scarf and will have my little square bound and shareable!


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