Sunday, July 6, 2008

Creating Sewing Space

When the twins were born, it wasn't long before I bought a sewing machine. I hadn't really done much sewing, but I took a class in high school (my only home ec course EVER) and remembered fondly the feeling of sitting in front of the humming machine, fabric running through my fingers. That first year, I made Samhain/Halloween costumes for the kids, but it was stressful to try and sew with two 11-month-olds running around in the apartment where I couldn't really have my own space. Fast forward nearly 4 years later, and the sewing machine has only been used a handful of times. They reason for that is really pretty simple. This is my current sewing space:

That pretty and inspiring cardboard box is in an equally beautiful and inspiring space, my attic. Not fun to sew in. Couple that with the lack of childproof space downstairs, and that means each and every time I need to sew something, I have to climb to the attic, haul down the box, unload everything on my dining room table, do what I can in the time alotted, pack it back up, lug the box back up to the attic... You get the picture. That means that I have piles of mending all over the house that never get done because I'm just too lazy to haul out the supplies, we've gone stocking-less every Yule since the twins were born, and Samhain costumes were put off last year because I didn't want the stress of dealing with a 1-year-old around an electric sewing machine. These things need to start getting done. So, since I'm currently and slowly trying to declutter the attic, I knew it was time to claim some space for myself.

But where?

Enter this cabinet. It currently resides in my basement, holding old paint and various other articles left here by the previous owner of our home. I have no idea how I'm going to get this huge, hulking thing up the narrow basement steps or where I'm going to put it when I do, but the plan is to turn this into something a little more like this.

So now's the time to assess just what it is I need in a sewing space. First and foremost, I need space for my machine. All the shelves in the cabinet are fixed, so I think it'd be best to remove one and add a few sliding brackets to it rather than go nuts trying to turn fabric in such a tight space. I also need room for fabric, patterns, notions, thread, etc. I'm not a fabric hoarder (yet), usually just buying what I need to complete my planned project, so one shelf should do for now. I can use baskets, jars, or other containers I have around the house for the notions and patterns, but I really like the little thread rack in Martha's sewing closet. I'll have to see about making one of those for myself. The magnetic bobbin holder is pretty sweet too. I'm not really big on memo boards because, honestly, I'm just not all that creative. I tend to follow set patterns and work from instructions. That leaves the door space open, and I think I'll try mounting some hardware up there to get rid of another bit of clutter in the attic, my scrapbooking and cardmaking supplies. Anyone out there have other ideas for efficient, organized sewing space? Where do you sew? I'm thinking it might be the dining room for me, maybe even the kitchen...

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