We live in a cozy 1930s cottage-style home that is truly a perfect fit for our little family. Everything has a place, including my sewing room, which for the past year, has been sweetly tucked away in a small back spare room of the finished basement, off of our bedroom. Sure, it suffered from a severe case of 1970s panel-idis and water damage, but I quickly charmed it back to life with fresh paint, new task lighting, a carpet remnant, and organizers. Pretty darned perfect.
But as monthes passed, and we truly began “settling in”, real life took over and somehow my beloved little sewing room was feeling farther and farther away. I traded in my title of Print Model Booking Agent at a prestigious talent agency, for
Stay-At-Home-Mom Director of Household Affairs, and suddenly, relaxing alone-time in a distant corner of the house was a non-reality. The washing machine, kitchen sink, toddler bed, and toy bins, all on the upper main level, sucked me in like magnets for days, even weeks at a time, while the sweet little haven below gathered dust. Alas, life had started a new dodgeball game and my sewing room wasn’t picked for the team. Boo.
Option 1: Mourn my loss with ice cream sandwiches and Law & Order re-runs
Option 2: Take up a new hobby. I hear sock matching is all the rage these days.
Option 3: Pop my “everything is in it’s perfect place” bubble and MOVE my entire sewing room upstairs, into the middle of the already spacially challenge family-zone.
Ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner! Yes, I chose option 3. I love my children, and I certainly love scraping dried lentils off the kitchen ceiling and fishing My Little Ponies from the toilet…but I also love sewing. Why in the world can’t I have both? I will not surrender.
So I removed an occassional chair and small accent table from a corner of our office, adjacent to the dining and living rooms, creating a 70″ X 80″ nook, then snagged a cartful of floating shelves, baskets, and and desk organzers from Goodwill, and VOILA! Sewing studio for the thrifty but committed SAHM quilter.
2 office tables butted into a corner, and ALL available space utilized. The entire re-do cost me less than $25, using only thrifted items, or things I already had, and it meets all my needs for a sewing space- storage, functionality, and inspiration…not to mention being just steps from my little peanuts and the areas we spend most of our day in.
I used my stash to decorate and keep me inspired- neatly folded fat quarters, stacks of jelly rolls, rick rack-filled pasta sauce jars add pops of glorious color.
Current works in progress stay in tact and add to the charm when stored in a darling vintage basket.
For under $7, I spray painted an old framed photo of my great grandmother, along with inexpensive shelves, to give them a modern, fresh look. Thrifted a mini dorm room style ironing board for $2.99, and recovered it with white muslin I had lying around, for a tabletop ironing space that’s at my fingertips but out of my kiddos’ reach. Cords are safely hidden behind the table and easily unplugged when not in use.
Snagged this bulletin board at Goodwill for $5.99 and put it to work holding my favorite patterns and lightweight notions. Doubles as wall art! I’ve also hung my larger rulers on the wall with small nails, for easy access.
$.99 thrifted file holder stores all my books, patterns, sketches, and graph paper.
Inexpensive clear organizing containers keep all my tiny notions and sewing machine accessories neatly organized and easy to see, so I’m never hunting for things. I also keep my pins in a box like this, rather than in a cushion, as it seems to be less enticing for my 2yo. They’re generally out of reach anyway, but when you have a climbing monkey like I do, every deterrent helps.
Last but not least, the rest of my stash, consisting of larger fabric pieces, batting, and unfinished projects (eek), are tucked away under the tables in wire baskets and clear tubs- all remnants of a closet organizer system that didn’t quite survive the moving truck. I hid it all from view by making an ultra-simple table skirt out of a couple of yards of inherritted lightweight fabric, and velcro.
Moral of this story? No space is too small or too awkward to be transformed into a crafting space you will use and enjoy. You don’t have to dedicate an entire level of your house or spend $1000s on specialty furniture to take your crafting to the next level by getting seriously organized. Use what you have in new and fresh ways, and add from thrift stores and garage sales. Afterall, the money you save on your space can be spent on something much more vital to survival and happiness, like fabric hoarding!