Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Sewing Space

Note: I just finished writing this post.  I have been working on it off and on quite literally all day, so I'll be posting it tomorrow (well, by now it's today).  To say that it is long would be a gross understatement.  It is epic.  It is full pictures.  Some of them are blurry or overtaken by the evil flash monster and I hope you'll overlook that and know that I was doing my best in the terrible lighting that is our apartment.  I can't just carry everything out to the balcony to be photographed in natural light, you know.  Anyway, this post is ginormous.  It includes not only my new sewing space, but also the process that led up to it and a long side note with a look into organization in my daughter's room.  I hope you'll enjoy it all or at least be able to skim through it to find the parts that may benefit you in some way.  If you make it all the way to the end and actually read every word you have probably wasted a significant portion of your day you are awesome.  So, thanks in advance for that, I guess.  Anyway, on you go to the actual post.  Be gentle with it and remember that it took me all day to write it for you.  Okay, okay, you can actually read it now.


Well, this is the moment you've all been waiting for.  The day when I finally show you my new sewing space!  Actually, I have to admit, this feels really anti-climactic to me because it's been set up like this for well over a month now.  Maybe even well over two or three months.  I'm not sure.  I've learned about myself that I need to post things right after I finish them when I'm still super excited... but that didn't happen this time.  Anyway, want to have a look?  Let's start with some before pictures.

Actually, let's start with this little tidbit of information:

We have a 2 bedroom, one bathroom apartment of about 550-600 square feet.  In case you didn't know, that's tiny for a 2 bedroom apartment.

Every inch in our apartment must count.  We have things stored EVERYWHERE, and I do mean everywhere.  So any time one of us starts thinking, "Hey, maybe we could move things around so we have more space for ______," it's a bit of a process.  It's basically like real-life, super complex Tetris.  Good thing I totally rock at that game.

A while ago, as you may remember, I was thinking through ways that I might be able to rearrange things to make space for my sewing machine to stay set up permanently.  As it was, every time I wanted to sew something, I had to pull the sewing machine and ironing board out from the back closet (not to mention all of the fabric and other sewing supplies I'd need).  Which meant that the kitchen table had to be clean enough to put the sewing machine (and precious, clean, new fabric) on and that the living room floor had to be clean enough to have room to set up the ironing board.  Well, guess what?  That was never the case.  So let me go back now and say that every time I wanted to sew I had to clear off the table, clean up the living room, and cart all of my supplies out from our bedroom and our back storage closet.  All this usually took long enough that if I started the process right when Olivia went down for a nap, she was awake by the time I was actually ready to sew.  And then everything would stay set up for a few days because it was such a hassle to set up and put away.  It was not fun.  For anyone.  Hence the beginning thoughts on how I might set up a more permanent sewing space for myself.

Now the room with the most extra space is Olivia's room, but there's a reason for that: she's always taking naps in there.  So we can't store anything in her room that we want to have access to while she's sleeping.  Also, she can get into things now, so we can't just line boxes up on the floor or something.

Setting things up in the living room or kitchen was also an automatic no-go.  In the first place, there was simply and absolutely no room for it.  And in the second place, I know full-well what kind of mess I tend to make when I sew and I didn't want to have to feel pressure to clean it all up every single time someone was coming over.

This left me with: the bathroom (no), our two closets (no outlets in either of them, so... no), and our bedroom.  Here are some before shots of our bedroom so you can get an idea of what I was up against.

View from the door (going clockwise around the room): large dresser (holding our clothes and all of my journals on top (I had already started to take them off before I remembered to take a picture, but I have enough journals to reach that rock sitting on the dresser), all of my jewelry, and our lamp.  Next, our full-size bed (holding the Bolivia baby).  Next to that (not pictured) a little white side table acting as my nightstand with my current journal and flashlight (for middle of the night potty runs), and then our clothes closet.

Here's another view from the door with a peek into our back storage closet there on the left.  Also, please notice the beautiful quilt that Bryan's mom made us for our wedding.  (Uhh... yes, I should have made the bed first so I could present it properly, but I was about to tear the room apart, so maybe you can just pretend that I have that corner flipped up to show you the bottom side of our lovely quilt?  Yes, let's pretend that.

Here's a view from the back storage closet.

And here's a view from my nightstand.  You can see our laundry bags there along the back wall and the ironing board in its usual spot there in the back storage closet.

So... where would you fit a sewing machine?  :)

Keep thinking about that while I show you some before pictures of Olivia's room.
Here's a view from the doorway.

And another view from the doorway.

And here are some self-explanatory pictures to take you around her room (going clockwise--for the most part).

(Notice the door bumper?)

(...and easel?  (I made it from an old crib.))

Okay, thought of any great solutions yet for how to rearrange things?  Well, if you're like me, you probably had some red flags go up when you saw this big empty wall:
That space is totally not being used as well as it could be, right?  Right.

On the phone...
Katie: Hey Bry, what do you think about me moving things around so I can set up a sewing space for myself?
Bryan: Umm...
Katie: I was thinking about moving the dresser into Olivia's room and moving our bed against the wall.
Bryan: I guess that would be okay...

So, since Bryan was totally on board, I went ahead and got to work moving furniture.  My nice friend Sarah came over and helped me move the dresser in front of that blank wall in Olivia's room and push the bed against the wall in our bedroom.  These two maneuvers alone took a bit of thinking, but we got it done.  Even though we had to take the mattress off the bed in order to move the bed frame.  Since our bed frame sits on some of those little bed stilts (cone things) from IKEA (so we can have storage under our bed--I wasn't kidding when I said we have things stored EVERYWHERE),  it was a little tricky, but, in the end, we were triumphant.  I'll explain more about  how we moved things around in these after pictures.  Then we'll focus more on the actual sewing space and why it functions well.

Here's the first view from the doorway.  You can see the ironing board has taken up residence along the back wall of our room.  Just as a warning--it does tend to collect piles of things we're too lazy to put away.  :)

Moving clockwise around the room, here's another view from the doorway.  Our bed is now up against the wall and my new sewing space is set up just to the right of the bed.

And here's my new SEWING SPACE!  Yay yay yay!  We'll come back to it after we finish our little tour and I'll let you peek inside all those bags and buckets and everything.  :)

Here's our closet.

And off we go out into the hallway where you'll find our laundry bin.

Luckily the blues on the laundry bags...

...coordinate nicely with the "Lewis" decoration on the wall above.

Now on into Olivia's room.  We'll take a little tour of her room, again, going clockwise around the room.

Here's her hair clip "organizer."  Obviously it's not doing a great job organizing, but it does keep them off the floor.  I've had this little pink kitty since I was a little girl.  :)

Here's Olivia's closet.  We'll stop and do a quick close-up of a few things here that might help you get some ideas for organizing kid stuff.

Yes, we put her dresser in the closet.  This freed up some much-needed space in her room for other things.  And since this closet is so strangely separated into compartments, putting the dresser in here actually put that space to much better use than it had been before the dresser was in there.

Next to the dresser, Olivia's dresses hang.  (Remember that little pink dress?)  :)

On top of the dresser we've got these sweet little boots (hand me downs from some friends at the school where I used to teach preschool), some fun and educational alphabet beanbags...

...and some books...

Using some stacked board books and this delightful little truck as a bookend.  (Side note--as if this whole thing isn't a side note?--this little truck is also a piggy bank and it's from my Granddad's collection.  So it's not only a wonderful little piece and totally functional, but cherished heirloom as well.  I absolutely love it.)  :)

And of course we've already started the big O's collection of the Olivia books by Ian Falconer.  If you haven't read them you simply must.  I'm not such a big fan of the Olivia books that have come out as a result of the Olivia TV show, but the original books by Ian Falconer are wonderful.  (And isn't that website just fun?  Be sure to try your hand at painting while you're there.  Go to "Fun with Olivia" and then "Painting Game.")  Anyway... back to organization.

On the top shelf of Olivia's closet you may have noticed these boxes (they're from IKEA, if you're wondering) labeled 9-18 months and 24 months-5T.  Before Olivia was even born, we were up to our ears in baby girl clothes.  But of course they were all different sizes and she didn't need them all in her dresser at the same time.  It was a mess!  I tried a variety of different methods for organizing all of her clothes, but this is what I finally settled on and this is what has worked for me now for well over a year.

The outside of each box is labeled with the range of sizes contained inside.

The inside of each box...

...is filled with bundles like this.  Little piles of clothes that are the same size (in this case, 18 months) folded nicely and stacked with a sticky note on top that says the size and then a rubber band around the stack to keep it all together.  This way I can check at a glance what clothes I have in which size and what things I might still need to get for her.  Also, when I need to add things to a box, it's easy to slip them right inside the rubber band!  And it's easy to start a new stack for sizes that I might not have had on hand already.  And since everything is just labeled with sticky notes, it's easy to update the outside box labels as I go!  If you're looking for a super easy, super cheap way to keep kids' future clothes organized, I suggest giving this method a try.

Alright, continuing on clockwise around Olivia's room you'll see three of my favorite pieces of furniture that we own: her little red foot stool (another heirloom piece, this one from my own childhood.  My neighbor across the street made it for me when I was a little girl.  He must have known deep down that I'd always love red.), my hope chest (a beautiful bench/chest that my mom was kind enough to let me claim--we store our blankets in it during the warm season), and "Rocky" (my little vintage child-size rocking chair that I bought as-is for $4 at Goodwill back when I was in high school.  It's okay to be a little jealous if you want.).  Oh, and that quilt on top of the hope chest is one that my good friend made for Olivia.  I love that little quilt.  And you can see that Rocky is filled with a myriad of mine and Bryan's sentimental stuffed animals that we don't have the heart to get rid of, accompanied by Olivia's Ruby Lou doll.

Continuing on around the room you'll see Olivia's crib (which we have sense sold and replaced with a Pack & Play), and her makeshift nightstand/diaper station.  Inside that bottom big drawer is a lot of junk, honestly, and inside the top drawer is where we keep the big pack of diapers.

 Here's a close-up of how we've got things arranged on top of the jumbo drawers. 

And next to that we have the lamp in her room and... the dresser!  On top of the dresser you'll see my collection of journals, Olivia's newborn picture (taken by Marcie), and a changing pad that we never actually used.  :)  The easel that was in Olivia's room got demoted to the porch.  But now that we're giving the dresser back, who knows?, maybe it will come live inside again.

The other items you might have noticed did not appear in any of these "after" pictures are: my cute little white nightstand table and the nice big lamp that used to be on the dresser in our room.  Both of these things have gone into the back storage for now.


Okay.  So are you ready to take an in-depth look at my sewing space now?!

Okay, so this is what you've already seen.  Now let's break it down so you can get a feel for why I love it so much.  Because I know it's not very grand or pretty, but I really do love it quite a lot.

Where to start... where to start...

Let's actually start directly behind my little sewing station and go back to the ironing board for a minute.  First off, can I just say that I totally lucked out?  When we bought this ironing board right after Bryan and I got married it came with the cover you see here.  Which is totally awesome.  Why?  Because I use those stripes to measure things all the time.  Super useful for ironing hems and things.  So sometimes in tutorials when I tell you to fold things over and iron it 1/2" or 1/4" or something I'm just making those numbers up.  Because what I really measure is "one stripe" or "one stripe including the white boarders."  Convenient, no?  And, of course, you'll notice my handy-dandy spray bottle.  Super nice for shirring or unruly wrinkles.  Although I also keep my iron full of water for steam.  Steam is my favorite.  Anyway, the iron and ironing board stay set up all the time.  I had originally planned to put it away when I was done with it, but it's not in the way, so I've just left it up.  And I really like that.

Now we're going to go counterclockwise and look at the closet again.  At the top you'll see the same clothing storage boxes we use in Olivia's room.  These ones are also used for clothes we don't need all the time.  In our case, that's all of my maternity clothes.  (But they don't have little sticky notes and rubber bands around them.)  :)  Below that is a row of little clear-front storage boxes.  They're actually shoe boxes from IKEA.  And these ones do have sticky notes.

From left to right the labels (and contents) are Fleece, Wipes Cases (that I save to make these), Batting (uhh... don't be fooled, there's no batting in there... not sure why I wrote that on the label), and Interfacing.  Next up is Ribbon... stored liked this inside.

Then there's Patterns, Zippers, and Bias Tape (the bags of zippers and bias tape have sense escaped and now just float around on the shelf--so naughty), and Vinyl (which I always want to spell "vynil"), Leather, and Oilcloth.

Beyond that is some polyfil, quilt squares that I made in high school and still haven't done anything with, and a little box with my some of Bryan's mission stuff in it.

Down below the actual clothes part of our closet are many, many see-through containers.  See through containers (as you can tell) are my preferred method for storing sewing supplies.  It's one thing to put maternity clothes in a cardboard box, but sewing things are hardly ever the same shape and size and you need different things for different projects, so they don't fit well in typical, standard-size piles or compartments.  So it's nice to be able to see where a specific piece of fabric or color of thread or whatever is in a box, (hopefully) without having to dig through the whole thing.  Also, I used to keep my fabric in the cardboard boxes that my maternity clothes now live in and it was not a good idea.  Fabric is heavy!  Those cardboard handles ripped right through.  And it was no fun having to pull heavy boxes from a top shelf all the time.  So fabric got relocated into these nice sturdy, see-through, plastic, locking-lid boxes...at the bottom of the closet.  Let's take a closer look at what's inside all those containers, going from left to right.

From top to bottom here we have Knits (although my collection of old t-shirts to cut up has since expanded--you'll see that in a minute) and then in the box below are Pants/Ties/Sweatshirts to cut up.

Let me just say this to all of you who may be looking for good handmade gift ideas for the men in your life.  Manly fabric--as in, for reals manly fabric, not just fabric with a golf or hunting print--can be hard to come by or expensive when you do find it.  I've made a habit of collecting old pants from Bryan and my brother-in-laws.  I have made soooo many things out of those pants.  And most of the time no one would ever know that's where the fabric came from!  Making something new from fabric your husband already loves is a great way to reuse junk into something you already know he likes.  Just saying.

Moving on to the right, you'll see one of my three cutting mats (Yes, I have three.  Don't ask.) and my paper cutter.  The top container has sort of just miscellaneous items in it, including my scrap bags (I have an old plastic zipper bag that sheets came in for both small scraps and medium scraps), plain onesies to embellish, and things I've made for the shop.  Below that is the most frequently used container--my Woven fabric.  That thing is filled to the brim.  Good thing the container has lock-down handles.  :)

Next we have these containers.  We'll start with the bottom row, going from left to right.  In the first container is craft paper in hanging files.  To be honest, I don't use it much these days.  But there it is.  Moving on, what's that in the next two containers?  More paper?  No.  What you see in there is felt... in hanging files... in color order.  Have I mentioned I'm super into having everything organized?  But before you mock, let me just say that this organizational method for felt is awesome.  So far beyond the stuff-it-all-in-a-plastic-grocery-bag method that it will blow your mind.  Just try it.  You might like it.

Above the hanging files there you'll see (from left to right) another sort of miscellaneous box (it has elastic in it, among other things), my thread box (with my old business cards shining through), and then next to that there are actually two little containers.  The one in front that you can actually see has buttons.  Lovely buttons.  Someday I hope to have a bit of a more distinguished collection, but there they are.  Then the little container behind that has trimming sort of things in it.  More elastic, some bits of bias tape, and, well, trimmings.  That other bigger container you can barely see hiding back there has my thicker thread for crocheting.  It doesn't get a lot of action these days either except as thread for hang-tags.  Guess that's why it's in the back.

Our closet also has these obnoxious lovely folding doors on it.  We never close them.  But I've put the handles to good use.  The knob on the right door holds this little bag.

Inside it you'll find my embroidery notions.  Hoops, floss, and needles.  It's great having it in this little bag, by the way, because I can just grab it and bring all my embroidery supplies into the living room so I can work while I sit in a comfy chair and watch a movie.  And, of course, thanks to my wonderful friend Marae who gave me this little bag as a wedding present.  It was one of my favorite wedding presents.  Please don't tell that to the people who bought us our silverware or blender.

The knob on the left closet door holds the eggs and bacon bag.  (Don't you love it?  No, I didn't make it.  My good friend Whitney gave it to me years ago for my birthday and I've used it so much that it's a bit dirty to go out in public anymore, but it's now living a very fulfilling life here in the bedroom.

It holds the teeny-tiny knit scraps that I use for tags on Olivia's t-shirts and things.

(Looking at that same picture from above again...)  Below the bacon and eggs bag is the pile of knits that doesn't fit in the Knits bin.  :)  Heh heh.

Now let's get back to my little sewing station.  But before we peek inside those buckets, let's talk about how I built the desk.  One of the things Bryan asked me when I called to get his approval on rearranging our bedroom was, "What are you going to put the sewing machine on?"  Bryan is very nice and polite.  So that's what he asked.  But what he really meant was, "Are you going to spend a lot of money on a desk that's going to make our bedroom even more cramped than it already is?"  As you can see, the answer to that question was a resounding, "No."

Not only didn't I want to spend money on a desk, but bringing more furniture into our apartment would have been a problem.  I would have had to squish other things even more!  Furthermore, a standard-size desk was not what I wanted.  I wanted a skinny little narrow desk that would take up minimal room and allow me to have easy access to the sewing machine.  So instead I put the ol' noodle to good use and thought of a way to make more space for the things we already had... by using them.

Here's the desk in it's very basic form.  In short, it's made of a set of plastic drawers, food storage, a piece of particle board, and some books.

The left side of the desk is held up by these plastic drawers.  I've had this little set of plastic drawers since I started college.  It had previously been living in our back storage closet.  I knew I wanted some drawers for sewing things, so I thought this would be perfect. 

In the end, I didn't actually put any sewing supplies in these drawers since we still needed them for office supplies (and since the things I was going to put in drawers ended up in cute little buckets anyway), but this is where our journals ended up.  :)  Recognize that journal cover?

The other side of the desk is held up by... food storage!  The bucket on the bottom is full of just-add-water meals (it makes a good sturdy desk base) and the boxes are full of peaches and green beans.  It was especially nice that these cans still have the plastic wrap around them.  It makes them even more stable.

Sadly, the drawers and the food storage were not exactly the same height.  But this was easily fixed.

The drawers were topped with an extra piece of wire shelving (left over from the black wire shelves you can see up above in Olivia's closet).  This piece made the drawers flat across the top and keeps the weight of the desktop from being supported by the weaker middle part of the drawers.  Then this was topped with some of my old college text books, including "Creating Home as a Sacred Center" and "Strengthening Home and Family."  Seemed appropriate for a sewing table.  :) 

The other side was topped off with "Drawings of Great Buildings."  Architectural book--also seemed appropriate.  :)

Once I had these two foundational towers ready Bryan and I made a trip to Home Depot to have a look in the clearance wood section.  Boy did it ever deliver.  A grand total of $.54 (yes, just 54 cents) for this perfect piece of particle board.  I worried about it not being strong enough to hold up a whole sewing machine, especially while the sewing machine is running.  But I am happy to report that it is a very sturdy board.  The machine does bounce a little when I get going too fast, but for $.54, can I really complain?  No.

The other thing I was worried about was how rough the particle board was.  It wasn't super rough, but I still didn't exactly want to cuddle up to it.  Or have brand new fabric running along it while I sewed.  The convenience of my three cutting mats solved this problem.  I don't remember how the idea came to me, but I'm glad it did.  (The blue cutting mat in the above picture ended up being switched out for my older gray cutting mat since the gray and green cutting mats are exactly the same size.  The blue one was just slightly bigger and hung over the edge a little more.)  Now I not only have a perfect surface for sewing, but I have a permanent place for my cutting mat!  I really couldn't be more thrilled about it.

Also, there's something else I haven't mentioned yet about why this desk is great.  It's a simple, but rather fundamental feature, I'd say.  And it is this: my sewing machine cords can actually go behind the top of the desk down to the power strip and foot pedal below.  Now maybe you're thinking, "Duh, Katie," but you'd be surprised how many uber fancy homes Bryan and I saw at the Parade of Homes this year that had big, beautiful spaces for sewing and crafting... and then had the sewing machine set on a built-in desk that left no space for cords.  Totally lame.  Definitely something to think about if you're setting up your own space.

Okay, now let's finally get on to all those colorful buckets!

Alright, so about those buckets.  I already had the little yellow bucket on hand.  I've had it for years and I have no idea when or where I got it.  Once I had my desk all set up I thought it would be great to hang my little yellow bucket and some other things to organize my sewing supplies that I like to have close at hand.  I thought about making some little fabric buckets or something since I figured I'd never find more little buckets just the same as my yellow one, but when I went to Target the next day and found all these colorful little buckets in the dollar section I figured it was meant to be, so I went ahead and bought four.  It really was quite perfect, don't you think?  :)  So there are a total of five buckets: red, yellow, orange, green (it's hiding behind the sewing machine in the above picture), and pink.  We'll look through them in that order.

Red bucket--it holds my safety pins (in the York mints tin), my hand sewing needles, and this little fake pink flower.

Yellow bucket--it holds the case to my sewing shears (scissors), my rotary cutter, and my disappearing-ink fabric pen.  Oh, and my friendship magnet from my brother-in-law Eric.  When I was a little kid he was nice enough to let me play with some really nice new, super-strong magnets he had just bought... and then I accidentally dropped one and it broke into pieces.  So, being the nice brother-in-law he is, he called it our "friendship magnet" and we each have a piece.  There's mine.  :)  (It's that little black speck on the outside of the left side of the bucket if you were wondering.)

Orange bucket--it holds my embroidery scissors (a.k.a. super small scissors), all of my bobbins, sewing machine feet (foots? feet? feets?), and--dun dun dun--the dreaded (but ever-needed) seam ripper.

Green bucket--it holds my pins.  :)  This has been especially useful since the lid to my pin container mysteriously disappeared some months back.

And what do you think is next to this fun little "Homemade for you by: _______" stamp (that my friend Alex sent me for my birthday this year.  She knows me so well!)?  Inside the pink bucket is...

...my trash.  :)  I added the flower push-pins (a gift from my Nana and Granddad) and pink bucket as an afterthought.  In my pretty little head I told myself that "The pink one will be for trash!" but I didn't really expect it to function.  Much to my surprise and delight, I love it!  And it is super functional.  Because usually all that I put in it is little threads that I snip as I go.  So it keeps things neat and tidy and it doesn't get in the way!  It's really wonderful.  And I know it's not the case in the above picture, but usually all the snippets of thread inside are so pretty that I want to take a picture.  Perhaps one of these days I actually will.  :)

Wondering how all those sweet little buckets are hanging on the wall?  3M hooks.  As a tenant in an apartment made entirely of cinder block walls where we're only allowed four anchored screws (put in only by the complex) per room, we've come to know and love 3M hooks and sticky tabs and velco strips very well.  And this little style of hook is my latest 3M love.  They're tiny, but powerful.  And they were just right for my little buckets.  Oh, and just in case you're not familiar with 3M sticky tabs, they come off really easy and leave no trace.  (This is not a paid advertisement.  I'm just trying to spread the love to others who might attempt to decorate walls that you can't put nails into.)

Also hanging from these awesome little hooks are my rotary cutting ruler (it's sooo nice to always have it handy)...

And, of course, my Ginger sewing shears.  :)  Love having these right at my fingertips.  Love love love love love.

And, in closing, I also had to share what's on the window sill.
My Aveeno lotion (the only kind I buy anymore--also not a paid advertisement--I just hate smelly, oily lotion), a little collection of rocks (the smallest came from my sister's apartment just before she moved out--we miss her), and, of course, the sweet little rooster that my Nana and Granddad sent me for my birthday this year since the name of my blog is Notes From A Very Red Kitchen.  Admittedly (and obviously), this is not my kitchen.  But I thought that my little rooster belonged back here with me to help me with my sewing.  :)  And to remind me of my Nana and Granddad.  I love them a lot.  They're the sweetest, nicest people I know and a wonderful example to me in every aspect of their lives.  I think of them every time I see this sweet little rooster.

Well, that's it!

I hope you enjoyed the longest post known to man this little tour of my sewing space and how it came to be!  I know that it's not beautifully furnished.  I know that it means that I now have to sleep next to a cold cinder block wall every night (I'm sitting her laughing to myself just thinking about it--it really is terrible!).  I know that it's not anywhere close to the prettiest sewing room (make that 1/4 of a room) that any of us have seen.  But I hope that it will inspire those of you who sit and dream of a "someday" sewing or crafting space and help you think of ways that you can make your dream a reality now, in whatever space you may be in.  It may just be a special storage box at first.  Or your own spot on the shelf.  Or a funky little food storage/particle board desk.  But I think it's a beautiful, wonderful, important-to-the-soul and important-to-the-home thing to have a little space to call your own where you can create for your family.

So far I have absolutely loved having this little sewing space of my very own.  I have created so many things in it already!  It is this little set up that has made it possible for me to make so many Christmas presents and baby shower gifts and t-shirts for Olivia and even a few things for myself--and all of them during nap time!  I feel so happy when I create.  And I feel so happy to have a space to do just that in.

So, if you need me you can find me here:

...sewing.  :)


Karin van Dam said...

Wow, I'm impressed. Everything is so neat and organized. You should look in my closets. Oh, on second thought, you really shouldn't ;-)

You created a wonderful sewing space there. I look forward to seeing all the inspired creations that will come out of your hands from there!


Lisa Lou said...

woah woah waoh!! I'm super impressed. i mean, I'm always impressed when I come over and see the new ideas, but I love the tour!

Laura said...

I made it! (Gasp) It's amazing what a person can do with what they have and a whole lot of imagination! Congratulations on a job well done. Happy creating in "Your Space".

Jen said...

Do I win anything for reading the entire blog post?? I'm a nana of 9 little ones and my passion is sewing! I finally have my own room, but your space is precious!
And I'm sure it feels like a whole room when you're sitting there sewing. You've made the very best of the space you have...for now...and in years to come, you'll always think back to that "sewing room" that gave you such pleasure! I, too, LOVE the 3M hooks...but haven't seen the ones you were using...now I have to run to Target and see if they have them!
Thanks so much for sharing your beloved home.
pat at www.crlodge.blogspot.com

Beth said...

I love the space! I tired to convince my husband to let me use the space where our old very large computer used to be for my sewing space, but he prefers to study upstairs so I'm banished to the dinning room. It's a pain to take out and put away... someday.

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

I totally agree about posting things right away because for me it's just not fun to do it later.

What does the thing in Olivia's window say? Just curious.

We totally have the same problem with our ironing board collecting things.

Where's you get the Lewis name thing. I don't remember seeing it when we visited. It's cool.

I have some quilt squares from high school that still need to be sewn into a quilt too. :)

So I'm curious what kind of manly things you've made out of the old pants and stuff. I've made pants for Seth with Eric's old one or recovered Eric's chair, but I'd love more ideas...especially since Eric is going to start wearing out dress pants more than jeans, since that's what he wears to work now.

I have to laugh because I used the stuff the things in the plastic grocery bag method for our baby clothes...but they are sorted by size before I put them into the bags. I als occassionally use put things in a ziploc bag organizational method for somethings (like jewelry making stuff).

Seriously, your sewing table is genious because you can have it short enough it's actually at the right height.

I should totally add some of those hooks to the inside of my sewing cabinet. I don't know why it never occurred to me before. You really are genious.

Your tour was awesome! So glad you have your own space. While my personal sewing space has some things that leave a lot to be desired, I know just how important it is to have that space all set up.

Love you!!

Kathy Haynie said...

Loved the tour! You are an amazing engineer and organizer. Thanks for sharing so many sweet ideas.

Kendra Last-Bookartist said...

Enjoy the built-in storage areas while you have them. No other place you live will have them like Wymount. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

This post is so cute! You are a prime example of a creative, passionate, homemade, loving person! You really will look back on this later in life and it will make you smile. We all start out in tiny little spaces I think & then grow into better & bigger. Someday you will have 15 times as much and it will make you wonder how you created all those things in such a small area. The space & your entire house is so well organized. You are making the best of what you have and I think that is pure awesomeness!
No place like home!
Happy Creating!
Can't wait to see what you make!

Beth said...

Just wanted to let you know I gave yo a blogger award:

kirsty said...

I found this post through google images while I was looking up how to fit a sewing space into one desk and one cupboard. So much inspiration, thanks for the very in-depth post :)