Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sewing Room Makeover

You may recall that one of my major goals for 2012 was to makeover my sewing space.  I took that goal on in January and am very happy with the results.  I feel very lucky to have a dedicated sewing space.  We rent a furnished apartment (it's almost impossible to rent an unfurnished apartment in Scotland) which presents some challenges for creating a unique space.  I've taken over the spare bedroom of our flat.  After disassembling the bed in the room (and getting creative with storing it elsewhere in the flat), I still had a mammoth storage closet and couch to contend with in the room.

In the photo above you can see the 'before' shot which had my teeny tiny corner desk (sans computer in the photo--but the computer literally took up the entire desk space) right next to my sewing table.  My patterns were stored in accordian files and the overflow were in boxes.  The previous layout also had challenges with plug outlets--especially the area right by the bookcase which became a sort of 'cord central'.

The two major things I wanted in the new sewing space was a bigger table/workspace and more fabric storage.  You can see in the 'after photo' that we moved our already existing bureau into the window space (which fit perfectly!)  The bookcase stayed in it's original position (just tilted it more to face the room).  And the lovely new-to-me piece of furniture that David got me for my birthday against the wall:

Isn't this beautiful?  We got it for £40 from the local charity shop down the street! I would say it's from the 30's or 40's and had two large storage areas on either side that I use to hold my fabric (the right side is wool/woven fabric and the left is everything else).  I was pretty astonished when I moved to Scotland to find such wonderful antique furniture in the charity shops and auction houses for such reasonable prices--and we've definitely taken advantage of that in decorating our space!  What sold me on this piece was the middle top that folds up with a mirror and then can close again.  There's storage at the top, which is where I keep my make-up and hair accessories.  Each of the drawers is pretty deep and I keep my interfacing in one drawer, my oversized vintage vogue patterns in another with buttons stored in clear containers and my repro patterns in another drawer.  I also LOVE The bottom drawer as the drawer folds down completely and this is where I keep my curlers because I can pull them out to rest on the folded out drawer and just plug them right into the wall! Brilliant!

In one of the photos you can see David filling in the scratches--we're going to rub that off soon and it will make the scratches literally disappear!

Next to this new dresser, I've utilised the wall space for a new monthly planning dry erase board.  That's where I have fun brainstorming all the creative ideas I have and what I want to do during the month.  I also thought it would be great if I could hang the patterns that I have in my sewing queue:


To do this we took two wooden sewing spools that I had used all the thread from and screwed them into the wall and wound twine around each of them.  I had little mini clothes pins that I used to hang up each pattern (in protective plastic).  The patterns move from this position quite frequently depending on my mood (and more on being realistic about what I can accomplish...hehehehe).  All of the patterns pictured have moved down the queue and have been replaced by new projects!

I really love that I now have more storage space.  I've cleaned up my bookcase and just love pouring over my sewing books.  The bureau that we moved into the space in the window now houses my patterns, zippers and UFO projects.  On top of the bureau I still have my buttons in old honey and IKEA jars and my threads (white, red, yellows, pinks) in a vintage tin (the darker colour threads live in my sewing table).

Here's the other side of the room:

The knotty pine wardrobe came with the place and is where I keep all my clothes, belts, shoes and purses.  In the 'after' photo, you can see I now have a large table where I can work.  It is SO much better to have more space while I'm working.  Plus, there are more outlets on this wall so it's much better for sewing as well (not to mention a bit warmer since it's not right near the window).  The table was also a birthday present that we got for super cheap at a local charity shop.  We've managed to get all the furniture in this room (table, two bureaus, bookcase and including the sewing machine, the 1930's Singer sewing table and adjustable tailor's dummy) for under £200 over the last three years we've been in Scotland. I'm super happy that we've been able to find such lovely pieces for reasonable prices!

While the 'before' photo looks like there is more room--it was the only space I had to set up my ironing board--which because of the outlet situation had the cord extending across the length of the room (a big safety hazard)!  Now I have space near the monthly planner dry erase board to put up my ironing board right by the wall so that it's not in the way.

I also decided I wanted to decorate the walls a bit more:
David put up all my hats on the far wall (just with small nails) and now I have a bulletin board right near my desk.  Also, above my sewing machine is another small clothesline/frame thing that came with the flat that I use to hold the pattern I am working on at the moment.  My next goal is to add some framed photos from the lovely meet-ups I've been able to attend on the wall next to my sewing machine.  And don't worry--there's some extra paint to cover up the nail holes when we eventually move out, but we're hoping to be able to stay in this space for awhile.  I just love having everything visible and find the space so much more creative now!

YAY! So happy with my sewing space and a big thank you to David for indulging my birthday wishes to spend the entire day moving furniture around!

What about you? What does your dream sewing space look like?

49 comments:

  1. How lovely!!! I have my own dedicated sewing space in our basement. My daughter christened it 'Evil Lair!' LOL!

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  2. Your David is such a love! I'm in love with your dresser. I haven't had one for years and I miss it. I'm so glad that your new apartment seems to be working out quite well!

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    1. Yes--he is so sweet! The new apartment is great and I'm hoping we can stay here for awhile (knocking on wood)...

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  3. Oh I'm envious!! I don't have a sewing space. I sew in the living room, on the dining table, which is not always convenient for the rest of the family, but who cares? lol

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    1. lol. I did that in our apartment in NYC...and I managed to get all my sewing things everywhere! hahahha...though I still manage to find pins in every corner of the house!

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  4. I would be happy with your "before"!

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  5. Oh it looks so pretty! And what a great score...you can't beat ₤40 for something so nice.

    *Sigh* I look forward to having my own sewing space eventually. As of now I'm like Dibs, sewing on the dining room table. But that beats cutting and tracing on the floor!

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  6. It looks great! lucky you to have a sewing room. We do our sewing in the alcove in the kitchen, with the ironing board either in the middle of the kitchen or the living room. When (if) we move, a craft room is top of our list of requirements.

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  7. What a fab sewing room makeover! I am supremely jealous of your gorgeous fabric storage, it's such a beautiful piece. Please let me buy it off you if you ever decide to sell it!

    You can get some lovely charity shop furniture can't you, I've also been lucky with some great finds.

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  8. I love your new sewing space...actually I love every single sewing space I saw! ^____^ You did a fantastic job! I'd like to decorate my walls,too :) Very good idea! Thanks, Debi!

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  9. nice makeover! Love that antique piece you found. I love thrift stores! Your space looks really organized and alot better than before. I cant wait to have a dedicated art room for all my crafts: sewing, drawing, painting, etc. One day, but for now I am cramped in my room.

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  10. Looks great! I love your "sewing queue"!! I can wait until I get my own place and can have a sewing room. Technically I do have a sewing room now, but it has to serve many functions (including a hallway!) so there isn't any room for a proper sewing table. At the moment I have to sew standing up and slightly hunched over! Not the best for sewing for long periods of time...

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  11. what a wonderful and functional space you've created! i'm plotting ideas to steal already :-)

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  12. It looks lovely, Debi! The clothes line of patterns is a wonderful idea. I've been mulling over how to display my vintage patterns and that is definitely an option, especially as it allows you to pin up the ones you want to sew next to keep you motivated. Maybe that would encourage me to sew more!

    So cute that you want to frame pictures from meet ups too - really goes to show what an impact the sewing community can have on your social life and sense of well-being. xx

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  13. Do you ever sit still? ;-) Looking good! I can take some inspiration from your work as I have vague plans to move my sewing spot.

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  14. You did a terrific job of renovating. Very creative and a lovely space!!

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  15. I love what you've done with the space Debi! The hanging patterns, decorated walls and antique furniture piece are particularly darling!

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  16. You are so lucky to have a dedicated space - my sewing space stretches all all over the house! My poor family...!
    I love the idea of your pattern queue - a cute use for those old-fashioned cotton reels!

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  17. Oh boy, I imagine you are in your lovely sewing space right now pinning something dreamy to your dress form . I especially like how you are displaying you patterns with the mini clothespins...so cute. Mine are pinned to a bulletin board...boring.

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  18. Debi! I'm so excited for you. Having a good space to work makes all the difference.

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  19. So pretty! And so organized. I put my sewing room in the basement because it looks like a hazardous waste dump!

    I'm kind of curious -- why do most apartments in Scotland come pre-furnished?

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  20. Your new space looks fantastic! I love that little 'clothes line' you have on the wall with your upcoming projects - such a brilliant idea!

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  21. Oh I love the colour of that room! And you've done an amazig job of making it work, too. I am so lucky that I already HAVE a dream work space. Although of course one is never entirely happy and I wish I ahd a big cutting table in it. I mean, I do HAVE a table for cutting but now it is a table for everything else instead so that's out hehehe

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  22. The feeling of a sewing room tidy and with all the tools available is really a good inspiration for sewing mojo. Oh! This improvement in the sewing room is a wonderful birthday present.

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  23. Really nice makeover! That drawer is to-die-for (I'd love to have similar for my clothes & accessories). If I'd have sewing room at home, it might look something similar. However most of my sewing stuff is at my separate workroom in downtown. I only bring little bit home because our home is so small and otherwise my sewing stuff would invade the whole home :D

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  24. Your makeover looks great! I especially love your creative little clothesline for your pattern queue! I'm in the process of a sewing room makeover which will hopefully be revealed soon.

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  25. Wow, this looks lovely! I love your dresser! And you must feel great with everything so organized and neat!

    My dream sewing space would be in a separate room (instead of one corner of the living room) so I could have room for a cutting table, although I must say that I like working in the same room as Man Friend. I've been slowly but surely neatening and sprucing things up this winter, and the sewing clutter is a lot more manageable now. Baby steps!

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  26. You have done a fantastic job with your sewing room makeover..And How nice that John helped you and did all this for your birthday.I cant think of a nicer birthday..Congradulations.
    I love the idea of the little sewing spools clothes line.. I just bet ,I will steal that neat idea.ha
    Happy sewing in your new space.

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  27. looks so great! Lots of personality! I love the way you hung your patterns on the thread from the spools...so cute!

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  28. what a lovely and inspiring room to sew in! that chest of drawers is simply to die for! amazing find! Happy Sewing Debi! x

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  29. Oh! Oh! That armoire/fabric chest is fantastic! When I have the room for a proper sewing room, I'm going to keep that in mind.

    It looks so lovely and cosy and charming. :) Like a very happy sewing place...

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  30. Oh I love your new sewing space! The fabric storage is great and I especially love the spool pattern queue. I recently cleaned my sewing space but I think it still needs so much work. I think I just need to figure out how I want to store my little bits like bias tape, etc. But there's some great ideas out there and your space is totally inspiring!

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  31. Love your vintage pieces! Your sewing room is functional AND cozy. I am planning to set up a sewing/crafting room in my kids former play room (they are away in college now). Seeing your finished project has me itching to get my room done!

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  32. I love seeing peoples sewing rooms and yours is no exception! I really can't get over the spool-clothesline for display of your patterns absolutely adorable and ingenious!

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  33. Wow, it looks great! I'm hoping that eventually this year my sister and I can clean the first room in our basement for our own sewing room.

    Until then...I dream.

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  34. I love it! What a perfect little sewing space. I'm totally stealing that pattern-hanging-on-the-line idea from you... BRILLIANT.

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  35. Wonderful! I'm struggling with getting my sewing room more functional right now. First step is to remove everything that shouldn't be tehre- a giant project...

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  36. Wow, the room looks great. Most of all, love, love, love that dresser!

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  37. What a gorgeous cabinet! My space is coming along, but we aren't allowed to do too much in our rented apartment. I've wanted to do vintage pattern bunting as decoration, but I love how you've made it your sewing queue. Perfect!

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  38. Your sewing space is IMMACULATE! I absolutely adore it - it's very you :) And David is just the best!

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  39. I love seeing other people's sewing spaces! And I like your idea of hanging your pattern queue "out to dry".

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  40. nice job! i love your decorating style and the spools with twine is such a great idea!

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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