Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sewing Room Revamp - Tour My Space

I've been toying with the idea of changing things around in my sewing room for quite a while now. I liked it before, but it was just feeling too crammed. I originally had my desk situated so that my back was to the wall - I know it seems silly, but this was so that I could monitor the door, lol. I don't like to be snuck up on. The problem became that with the table where it needed to be, I had to kind of scooch in and around the desk edge to sit down, also things tend to get piled around the desk area as I'm working on them, so i could be pretty awkward to move around. One thing I have learned about myself is that if there is any type of obstacle to me getting where I need to be, I will avoid tasks that require me to be there. I need things to be easy and carefree. I know it makes me seem lazy, but it is what it is. If there is any awkwardness or when things are too cluttered and junky, I kind of shut down and all productivity goes out the window. That would defeat the whole purpose of this room as its only purpose is to be productive, so I knew it was time for some changes.
I know these aren't great photos - I could've sworn I had a photo of the previous layout on my blog already, but it turns out this was the only one I have that isn't a close up of a specific detail. Never assume :)  And I had to use my phone today for the "after" shot and the light was really messing with the iso. Anyway, I know it's hard to convey that I made lots of changes since the "before" photo is from right after I moved in, but trust me when I say it's an incredible difference when you've experienced being in it before and after. The biggest change you can see in these photos is the orientation of the desk. I finally gave in and turned my desk around. I liked being able to see the rest of the room, but this is SO much easier to move from station to station in the room. I think of it like how they tell you to plan your kitchen - you want an unobstructed triangle of space connecting your work areas so that it's easy to go from place to place. Before I would have to sidle around the desk to get to the ironing board or the table, now it's a straight shot to either - super easy!
Another long-time-coming change is that I finally raised up my table! I always knew I wanted it higher, but I could never figure out a good looking way that would raise it up enough. This change is actually what inspired me to make all the other changes - this whole redo was pretty out of the blue, lol, I just finally felt like making it happen. I was give 3 of these white drawer units by a friend when she moved months ago. I had 2 of them already in the room (one is in the closet) and I used them to store my yarn, so yesterday I brought the third one in to raise the table. The table is expandable, so it has a 5 inch area under the top for all the mechanisms. By just setting the edge that supports the mechanisms on top of the drawers, this raised the table up 10 inches! And so far this seems like the perfect height. It hits me right above my natural waist, so I don't have to hunch way over to cut things out. The weird thing is that when I stand next to the table, I feel ridiculously tall just because the table is up so high. I'm only 5'7", so I'm not all that tall, but this seems a really good height - also since it feels so tall I doubt I would be as likely to just toss stuff on top of it like I used to. I can now stand upright and work at this table which is so awesome. I've already used it :) I did also pull the table out from the wall to clear the area under that basket of tools - it worked ok though because now I can put my wheelie cart and my cardboard cutting surface out of the way but still easily accessible. I also filled the new drawer unit, lol. The bottom is stuffed full (literally) of my finished amigurumi - shamefully they used to live in a large plastic bag under the table, so it's much better this way. The middle drawer is my sewing WIPS and the top drawer has drafting materials (like tracing kits and whatnot). I also have plans to add a removable bar in between the table legs to hold my roll of drafting paper (this is currently in the works, I just have to get the dowel rod cut). I even have space to store my cardboard for photography and my cutting mat in between the drawer units :) I seriously am thrilled with just this one change so much that it wouldn't matter if the rest of the room was changed yet.
Moving around the room, I made a little ironing board station. The ironing board has always been in this corner, but I hadn't wrangled all the other pressing tools together before (they used to be on the shelf unit by the closet across the room - no good). This metal shelf thing is something I got from another friend who moved and it was sitting empty in a different room - perfect opportunity to use it :) Now I have the iron, starch, water, hams and press cloths all contained. Now my husband doesn't have to toss my hams on my desk when he needs to iron his uniform. The basket under the board is all items that need mending and I figure this can just be a regular fixture as well to keep them all contained. 
Keeping with the organizational theme, I had a large stack of patterns and books from all my thrifting adventures over the past few months that had no home. Once I moved the table out from the wall, I had the perfect amount of room for this little bookcase. I got 2 of these cheapy bookshelves on the side of the road (my neighbor threw them out!) back when we moved - one is holding my cookbooks in our den, but this one has been holding random things in the garage while I decided on its in-house use. It worked perfect here! The pink bins were also free (given to me by a friend), and one has all my embroidery floss and supplies while the other has a few sweaters that are waiting to be unraveled. The shelf top is also perfect for holding other organizers. The middle pic is on the other side of the room next to the ironing board. The steam press is on what used to be a shoe rack - I took the cloth dividers out and I will add wood to make real shelves - and the basket inside it is things I want to alter. The plastic drawer units were a yard sale score - all of them for $2 months ago. I had to clean them and they are older so they are made of slightly harder plastic then is used now, but they are a great size for holding all my sewing tools and notions. I have the drawers all divided and organized so I can go right to what I need. I hope to find nice labels soon to make it even easier :) And the final shot is a close up of the ironing station. I used the lower shelves to hold things I had no place for - like my yarn winder and my box of animal eyes. The shelves are also the perfect width to hold 2 of my WIP project baskets. I snagged these in the dollar spot at Target a while back and they are a great size to keep all my in progress animals together - no more misplacing body parts :)
I couldn't get a good head-on pic of my desk due to the window back lighting, but here is a shot to give you an idea. I thought of a different lamp to use while I was writing this post, so it will change soon, lol, but you get the idea. To the left of the desk is the trash can so I can just swipe threads off at random, and next to that is a tower fan - the ceiling fan groans something awful in this room so I never turn it on. Maybe I'll finally try to fix that...

And with all my organizational changes I decided to finally hang up a few things I've had waiting. My mom got me that mirrored scroll square for Christmas (!) and I only just hung it up - you can't rush, lol. And the little frame is a really cute postcard I bought at Epcot in the Japan store when I was probably 15 - again, you can't rush. I think it looks perfect here, so I'm glad I saved it :) I also re-distributed my books on that little shelf unit. I rearranged/de-junked my étagère. I pulled out Norman, The Giant Squid for a little time in the sunlight. He is still one of my favorite animals, so I'm happy to see him now. And Soepkip is chilling next to The Stylish Nadine and her wig collection, lol. My amigurumi books have spilled over onto the top shelf and the black floral boxes have rattles, squeakers and jinglers (the small one) as well as my fancy/more expensive sewing patterns like Colette and Sewaholic (the bigger one). Also, I finally hung up my inkjet transfer above my thread racks. I made this back when I did experimental photography big time and I just always liked how it came out. It's a photo of a flowering plant taken with a Holga camera, then inkjet transferred onto canvas. The transferring blurred the lines even more than they already were from the original shot, but something about the color combo and composition I have just always liked. I guess since it's "art" I don't have to be able to say why I like it, lol, I just do. Now i get to see it everyday :)
Here's a close up of the Japanese post card - isn't it cute?! I came across it in a box of stuff I've had since I was a kid and the colors worked perfect for this room. I even had this empty frame that it fit in - talk about meant to be :) So now I have a little nod to my day job in my room that still "goes".

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of my sewing room :) I will admit that there is another wall you haven't seen at all - it's still pretty junked up, lol. I have a large stack of boxes in front of the closet with random supplies and fabric that I haven't found homes for yet. I'm working on it though. I have so much fabric that I will be doing a bit of a purge soon - I'll post here with the link in case anyone would be interested whenever that happens.

I am ridiculously happy with how this room is coming out, and I've already made more plans for its future. One of these days I will make valance boxes over the windows, finish painting the dresser and mirror (it will hold fabric), and hang some shelves and more artwork. It's coming right along though :) And happily I've had most everything I need on hand for the changes I've made, so I don't even have to spend any money. Even with all the things that still need to be done, this is still the most finished room in our house - what does that say about my priorities, lol. I just know I love being in here now, and I really can't wait to really test the configuration and get sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just found your blog while searching for craft and sewing room ideas.
    Love the table on top of the cabinets! What a great idea I never would have thought of.
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous room!


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