Back IN, but not entirely finished with my sewing room make-over. It seems to be taking longer than I had imagined it would. I am positive summer has something to do with this. I keep getting side-tracked by all the season's enchantments and fascinating charms.
Well, it cannot be helped.
But hey, I've managed to get my table-skirt all stitched up and I'm quite happy to have gotten this far!
Table Skirt: I used an old top sheet, full-size, cut in half lengthwise. It took all of it (about six yards) to traverse the 58" wide opening. I like a nice full skirt you see. A simple casing sewn at the top was sufficient for gathering it onto a heavy-duty spring rod. Anything less sturdy will eventually sag and the skirt will droop pitifully and look quite sad. Can't have that.
To hide the rod, I used a left-over piece of molding painted to match. It makes a nice decorative edge too, creating a cornice effect. Very tidy.
Hidden Storage: And look, speaking of tidy, I'm already stashing things under it! I love these rolling laundry sorters, it's amazing how much stuff they can hold. This is where I hide all my rolls of batting, bags of stuffing and fabric scraps. One compartment has a whole lamb's fleece in it; a carding project for winter. Underneath here are two of these laundry sorters, plus another rolling cart to store away ongoing projects. Most handy. It's easy to pull things out when I'm ready to pick up work on them again.
Quilt & Craft Fabric Storage: On the right, I'm still using the same storage system for my craft and quilt fabrics. These units stack and have lots of different sized drawers for every kind of thing. The smaller ones at the top are ideal for rick-rack, binding, ribbons, trim, fat quarters, jelly-rolls and pre-cut strips; the larger drawers hold flat-folds sorted by color or type. I like being able to see what I need at a glance. I admit, they are not very attractive, but they work so well that I really can't fault them. They do the job.
More Storage: This wonderful little cubby is the only new piece of furniture in the room. It stores all our dress-making fabrics, felt, fibers and yarn. The removable bins hold a LOT. In fact, I am really quite amazed at just how many cloth bundles will fit inside this 36" x 36" x 12" space. And so neatly and discreetly at that. I only wish the bins came in softer colors. Like white, pale pink, and gray. To match my table skirt, of course.
Cutting Table: The "cutting table" sits on top of the cubby and has an additional support frame underneath attached to the walls. It's made from a standard size 36" core door. I down-sized from a 48" closet door, which was too deep, wasted space, and stuck out too far in the room. This size fits the dimensions of the cubby, and a 36" wide cutting mat fits perfectly on top.
Core doors are generally in-square and smooth, not too heavy, and not too expensive. This one had a boo-boo on one side, so I only paid $10 for it--the dent is hidden on the underside. The top and sides were painted with a couple coats of acrylic based semi-gloss with a roller, so it wasn't difficult. If the door has a circle cut-out (for a door knob), all the better! It can be fitted with a plastic thingy to cover the rough edges, and used to feed electrical cords through at the back of the wall.
The cubby was set back ten inches, so we can work on either side of the work table and still get to the bins easily, which can be removed and placed on the table top to rummage through.
Table Top Ironing Board: There was a bit of room at the far end of the cutting table, so I made a mini ironing surface by covering a board (25" x 20" x 1/2") with layers of thick cotton batting and striped pillow ticking. INSUL-BRITE could also be used as the padding and is heat-proof. For bigger jobs there's room for the stand-up ironing-board against the far wall.
Sewing Center: Still have the two IKEA desks set up as sewing tables backed up to each other creating a central work area. New lighting eliminated the need for that big lamp that used to tower over us. There's a gap between the two tables that will eventually have a customized magazine/book rack over it, compliments of The Mister, who is handy that way. (He's currently putting the finishing touches on the greenhouse he built this spring. I'll have to show you that in another segment. It's quite charming and already full of ripe tomatoes, peppers, and basil. I'm hugging his neck daily for this.)
Pattern Storage: This old dresser got a new coat of paint along with the rest of the furniture. This dresser has been in our family since 1977. I remember it clearly because I bought it, unfinished, from a shop called, Furniture in the Nude, shortly after my son was born. I stained it dark brown. It was the 70's afterall, remember? Then, in the 80's it was painted Country Blue. In the 90's, having moved from California to Oregon, it was painted Forest Green. This was the decade that the last two babies were young, and I painted little storybook figures on the drawers to amuse them.
Eventually, some years later, the dresser was replaced by nicer bedroom furniture, and I reclaimed it for my sewing patterns. The Mister put little dividers in each drawer; turned out it was the perfect size for patterns, and so very handy. I've used it ever since.
Now, up until a month ago, the dresser was still green with the painted figures on it. As I was preparing to paint it white, I heard:
Grace: "You can't paint that!"
Me: "What? This old thing?"
Grace: "Some of my childhood memories are on there."
Me: "I know. Happy memories. Let's make new ones!"
Grace: "How can you paint over your artwork, mom?"
Me: "These silly things?"
Grace: "They're sweet".
Me: "OK. Get the camera, we'll photograph them and put them in a memory book."
So, we got through the emotional painting of the little dresser. And now we've moved on, all happy memories in tact and new ones in the making. It's hard to let loose of the past sometimes. (Green dresser before makeover can be seen in the last photo of this post.)
The shelves are filling up. I'm trying to keep to the things I need and actually use and not get too crazy with the cute clutter and the knick-knacks. A few make me happy though. Like this Little Miss (above).
And maybe a few of her friends. My red and white biscuit-tin collection started when I was 13, a few look cute displayed here too. Sheesh. I'm breaking my own rules already!
And quilts! I need to find a better way to store my quilts. The piles are growing. I keep digging and finding more. I'm on the lookout for a free-standing closet to store them in, preferably with glass doors or chicken wire, so I can see them.
The sewing room walls are still bare. Maybe I will hang a few quilts up too. I must first get over my fear of putting holes in freshly painted walls. Oh, how I hate to do it. That first hole is always the hardest.
I really do love how it all turned out. The neutral background is a perfect backdrop for all the colorful accessories and fabrics and gives the room an airy, yet cozy feeling. Comfortable. I've still got a little more to do in here. Will update again down the road when there's something new to share. (Click on this pix to see it BIG).
Well, that concludes the sewing room tour for today. Hope you enjoyed it and picked up some good ideas. If you have any questions, tips or additional storage ideas, please share them in the comment section of this post with a link to your pictures if you have some, so we may drop by for a virtual visit.
Over and out, until next time my friends.