Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Sewing Space Revealed

Sometimes you just need to know when to cut your losses.

I felt for some time that such was the case with my basement set-up for my sewing machine. I hadn't been sewing for very long but already I felt that with the lack of light and inspiration around me I was a bit like Rumpelstiltskin...(maybe not with the spinning gold part but definitely with the hunched over in the cold dank surroundings part).

Okay, okay, my basement wasn't THAT bad, but I was beginning to avoid all the mending and projects that I had to do because I just didn't want to be down there. For starters, it was cold had poor lighting and the fact that I had a fantastic set up of tables and cupboards, my kids didn't want to be down there while I was down there... and I didn't really want them down there either. There's unpacked boxes and bits of furniture, extension cords and all kinds of other mischief to get into. Actually most of the time they just pull stuff apart down there and dig through their old baby clothes and toys. One day they actually sat and chewed on their old teething toys....even though they've been washed it was just odd....

So I made the decision that if the kids didn't want to be where I was... I wanted to be where they are.
Some of you, I know, find great success in crafting while your little ones are asleep or otherwise away, but that doesn't happen often enough for me to ever get anything done, so it works for me to sew away happily while they sometimes literally sit on my lap and play with my hair... distracting? Yes, but even though my seams aren't perfect... happiness reigns for all of us.

So first some furniture had to be kicked out of the playroom, some arrangements had to be adjusted and some stuff just needed to be plain thrown out... but it felt good like a purge always does and I was forced to weed through all the fabrics and half finished projects that I've collected in the last few months.

Then mama moved in....

and we set about to all the organizing... along with my little helpers of course. 

First with all the buttons.....

Then with all the yarn...

Finally it all started to come together and what felt like a basement repository of endless projects I would probably never actually do... suddenly I had this concise inventory of things that inspired me, were accessible and begging to be done for the sheer joy of it.

I spent a few days tweaking things and finding new homes for all the little bits that come with this new hobby and it started to feel like a personal space I just wanted to be in. I weeded through everything that didn't fit in the new studio and found clever ways to make my new addition to the playroom still feel light and playful in the room.

I fashioned this pin cushion for myself out of a sugar jar my grandma gave me. It's stuffed with fabric scraps and a little wool and just covered in a fabric scrap all stuffed in the jar. It makes me so happy every time I look at it.

All the buttons and elastics; more organized than they ever have been before...and I think only two got eaten in the process...and those were eaten by the cat.

All my vintage fabrics waiting for me to play with them!

This table from my mother in law really completed the space. The former table worked in the basement fine, but it rattled quite a bit when the machine really got going and with the outlet situation upstairs I had a hard time plugging in my machine and still managing to reach the peddle. So thank you Jan!!! And the little skirt I put on hides all those cords and rulers and cutting mats and random papers. I love it.... and I made it from a thrifted bed sheet :)

I have big plans for that little elf that belonged to my mum when she was a little girl but for now I just like that he keeps watch over my little drawers of notions for me. (Don't worry everythng sensitive and dangerous is kept out of reach up on those bookshelf shelves and even this jar of scissors and pin cushion reside up there when I'm not in the room) But these little drawers contain my marking pens, bobbins and measuring tape etc.

The gift card organize contains all my patterns in envelopes and the little drawer on the bottom of that is full of safety pins paper clips and what not... love.

This little cupboard contains all my stamps, cardstock and scrapbooking supplies for making cards and gift tags ( I know... I pack light when it comes to scrapbooking but I only buy what I need for projects, one project at a time so that really cuts down on the stash)

Lastly the thing that makes this studio so great is that I have found a way to share it with my kids. Making time to be creative in our house means including them... even on the solo projects.
The light and airiness of the playroom makes it a great studio, but even better is the ability to be doing something for me, for them... with them.

Yes, cutting your losses sometimes gives you the biggest gains, doesn't it?

have a great day!


  1. Oh your space is lovely!!! So cozy and organized! All those beautiful things deserve to be out of the basement. And I love that gorgeous jar of knitting needles. You are helping me imagine having my own space one day :).

  2. Looks great! My sewing is our "family room". It's a living room, play room, sewing room. The traditional living room in our home is our school. It is great to have a sewing area where the kids play. I do however have to wait till the littlest one is naping if I'm going to do any ironning or cutting though but I'd have to do that wherever the sewing space was anyway. You are encouraging me to clean up the sewing area. Mine has gotten quite messy. I straightened the table a little last week but the cabinet needs some serious help! Could we see the play area too? I'd love to see how it all flows together even if the play area is messy. I know ours can be.



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