Monday, November 8, 2010

My favourite room in the new house - The Sewing Room

I've kind of been waiting to write this post for a little while until the Sewing room was 'finished'. But the more I look around the room and play around with things the more I am realising it will be a constant work in progress. Given this, and that the boxes are unpacked  and most things have found a home so as to make it workably finished please indulge me and take a little tour around 'my room'.

Warning: This post is long, and indulgent. And possibly a little show-off-y. I'm sorry, I am just so excited about this room.

I have mentioned before how jealous I was of other people's sewing rooms. Mostly because I really wanted the storage spaces they afforded but also because I really, really hate mess and didn't like to leave things out on the dining room table but by the same token I hated having to drag everything out of the (not so accessible) cupboard every time I wanted to sew.

So my two favourite features of the new house are the door to the sewing room and the dishwasher (so I can stack all the dirty dishes in there and don't need to wash every night)

The room is the smallest bedroom in the house, and is a strange shape, which is part of the reasons that the room wasn't able to be used for the study and I was able to claim it for myself. It is long, about 3.5m and really narrow (1.8 plus the robe).  There is a window to the floor at one end but, as it is at the side of the house and looks out to the fence and the neighbours house it doens't afford much light, good thing there is lots of globes in the overhead light.

Before:
There is a built in robe in the room as well as another cupboard with shelves behind the door in the corner, but this has been claimed by my partner for his 'special' and 'crafty' things. The frustration I have had in devising storage solutions has been the height of the shelves in the robe, they don't quite fit any of the common sized storage boxes, I think as they have been there awhile.

The good points
1. Lots of powerpoints, so many in fact that I wasn't so worried about covering one up with the back of the bookcases. Unusual in a bedroom, and a house of this age.
2. The wooden floor. Not only does it look good but makes sweeping up the copious amounts of dust and loose thread ever present in a sewing space so much easier.
3. The really bright light, great for a sewing room although an unusual choice for what is meant to be a bedroom.

I have been really lucky to furnish and outfit the room with many of the things I already had, although I have gone a little crazy at IKEA sorting out some matching storage features.

I started with what I had. Lots of Billy bookcases and a table that had held my computer and printer, a Vika Amon/Vika Curry. I wasn't keen on using the table for a couple of reasons
1. I didn't want this room to be a study/sewing room and thought I would need it for the printer in the study area and
2. It wobbles a lot when the printer is pronting and I can only imagine what a walking foot at full speed would do it it.
I also had an office chair, on wheels. This would not do.

So I made a list of what I wanted.
1. Shelves, for books and cute little perfectly fitting storage boxes.  
2. A big table area - space for cutting, pressing and to have the machine set up permanently.
3. A chair
4. Lots and lots of modular storage so everthing was away but still easy to access.

While we were waiting for everything to be delivered I sent days planning and hours at IKEA planning. Because I already had the shelves I put these in the plan first and struck my first hurdle. I had two 60cm sets of shelves (no longer sold) and an 80cm shelf; both in beech, a colour that is no longer sold. I wanted them to sit in the corner so I needed a 40cm set with the corner attachment. I would need to have a different colour. This troubled me, I like things to match. In the end I chose the birch. It was the closest. I wish I had chosen the white, there is a longer term plan at play where the furniture the sewing room is all white. I decided on that too late.

But I built the extra, installed it in the corner while I waited for the truck and moved my attention to the tables.

The tables were the biggest (and most important purchase). As I said I have, until recently sewed at the dining table. Although it was a little small for what I wanted it was the right height and looked good. I thought about moving it to the sewing room but decided it was needed to eat dinner off.  What I wanted in a sewing room table was space enough for a semi-permananet cutting area and and spearate sweing table area with room to spread out a quilt while quilting it.

So I spent hours in second hand shops and IKEA looking at desks, dining tables and any other flat surface I clapped eyes on. I needed something sturdy that wouldn't shake, would fit in the area I had left  (2m along one wall and 180cm along the other), would fit together i.e.be the same height and not cost a fortune.

I had almost given up hope when I spied the Melltorp Dining Table out of the corner of my eye, so I got one in 175x75 and one 125x75 and got assembling and it fits, just.

So by the time the existing shelves and the rest of our things arrived the room was already taking shape.

When everything was arrnged the craft books went back in the shelf,
The sewing machine was put in pride of place under the window,

And I started unpacking all the little bits and pieces.

Books and boxes went back on the shelves.  Better Homes and Gardens and homemaker magazines on the bottom shelves.

Batting scraps, toy filler and interfacting went in the big orange Kassett boxes that just fit in between the top shelf and the ceiling in the cupboard.


I bought some extra CD and DVD storages boxes that fit perfectly in the Billy shelves and some magazine racks to store my sewing magazines. I worked on the philosophy, empty space? Does a box fit there? Good, put it there, I'll find something to store in it. With that thinking I got some of these paper boxes for the bottom shelf. They just squeeze in with some extra DVD boxes.

For the ackwardly dimensioned shelves I added to the existing Samla with some smaller ones to fill in the space.

I added a few fininishing touches with the table top ironing board, pen cups and a bin (see the black and white theme developing?) and a new iron. I keep a glass jar on the table to store all the cards from the online stores.

I also scored and picked up a great chair, and a little stool for under the cutting table in the As Is section. At the moment they have covers in the chepest price I could find on them. These will be used as a pattern to cover them in this.   

The fabric is still stored in the hanging tidy in the cupboard, the patterns in the boxes on the floor. Finished projects waiting for a new home in the tubs right up the top. 


Along the middle shelf are 8 tubs for projects on the go, I thought if all 8 were full that would be my cue to finish some before I started more. That has not worked.  :)

Thread, perle cotton and embroidery floss are in purpose built boxes on the top shelf of Billy.

I still have to paint the frames of the pin boards black and hang them above the table. I need to cover the chair and the stool and finish labelling all the boxes after I have sorted things into them. But I found out today I can watch TV over the network on the computer!

But for now it looks like this (when I keep it tidy)


and sometimes I just open the door and look, and smile. Feel free to be jealous or hate me. I'd completely understand.


Update:
Sewing Room Mosaic


I hung the pinboards above the tables and moved a few things around in the bookshelves. The biggest change through from when we moved in last year is that I have added some shelves into the built in cupboard. I was having increasing difficulty finding the fabric I wanted in the draws so I wound them around some fluteboard and stood them on the shelves like mini bolts. Much easier to find now. The bundles are sets put aside for specific projects and the tubs on the bottom shelves are scraps but these are being reorganized into a more user friendly format at the moment. 

1 comment:

RED PEPPER QUILTS said...

Oh a sewing room, that's just what I NEED! What a wonderful and happy space. I hope you get to spend lots of time in there.