Friday, May 3, 2013

Paging Tim Gunn…

So one of my big goals was to makeover my sewing space this month.  What do you think??

Sewing corner before...
Sewing corner after!
 There were many areas in my tiny corner that I improved quite a bit on, so take a little tour with me!

Fabric before...
I was pretty much keeping all of my fabric in a couple big plastic tubs that made it a nightmare to sort through and pull fabrics for any given project. All of my works in progress were scattered around wherever they could fit.  They were separated by plastic bags, but still…sloppy!

Books in a windowsill?
My pattern books and quilting magazines were stacked in the window frame because they just wouldn’t fit anywhere else.

Corner before...
Not to mention that the bulk of the corner was where our home office files and random stuff would happen to land.  This is prime real estate next to my sewing machine and it needed to be reclaimed.

I went to Target and found an inexpensive white bookcase to put in the corner next to my sewing machine as well as a bunch of smaller plastic storage bins and a couple smaller fabric bins.  This is where I wanted all of my books, works in progress, embroidery stuff and fabric to live.  Lofty goals, right?

Once the bookcase was assembled and in place, I started to sort out all of my fabric by color.  Unfortunately, those of you who have kids know that as soon as a space is cleared out, children get some sort of radio transmitter signal to their brains that you have created play space and you must report there immediately.  They got the message loud and clear when my back was turned for 2 minutes.


So I forced them back into their room and continued sorting.  All my bins were all labelled and lovely - and guess what?  I know you can hardly believe it, but my fabric bins took up the entire bookcase.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I toyed with the idea of leaving it all there and finding places to put everything else, but even though it was all organized, it still looked cluttered and too full for the space.  So all my organized bins got banished to the laundry room.

Fabric after!
Before you feel too badly for them, I'm happy to report that because they are all so organized (even my scraps are organized by color in their own little bins!!) pulling fabrics for projects is a CINCH and so much more fun!

Books after!
Onto the top shelves went my binders full of printed tutorials and patterns for quilts, clothing and other small projects, all my books and magazines.  The middle shelf has a fabric bin full of my embroidery projects and supplies.

Corner after!
I organized all of my works in progress into their own individual bins and those went on the bottom shelf along with a black and white fabric bin where I've started tossing all my scraps until it gets full enough to sort them out into the individual color bins.

The top of the bookshelf has a very pretty aqua organizer and pencil/scissor holder from the Martha Stewart Home Office collection at Staples (my fabric bin labels, aqua magazine holder, and black and white damask binders are from this line also) as well as a glass canister from Target that I had to have to contain all my pretty selvedge strips.  Look's a HEXIE shaped glass canister!!  How perfect and unusual!

Chair before...blech!
Chair after...swoon!
I had a HUGE office chair that was given to us as a wedding gift over a dozen years ago that took up practically the whole space.  Insert: this gorgeous damask print chair from Staples.  I should not love a chair this much, but the colors, the fabric - it was just perfect.  And it hey, its not 5 feet tall!  Score!  Did I purposely match the chair to the binders in the bookshelf?  Yes I did.  But I swear that the chair came first and the binders were a happy accidental find while in the same store.

Wall before...
Walls after!
Last but not least - the walls were improved too!  When I first started putting together a designated sewing space, I saw a tutorial for a charm pack cork board.  I went out and my local fabric store only had one charm pack available.  I didn't particularly like it.  Did I shop around until I found a pack that I actually liked?  No - I bought it to finish a project while I was still motivated enough to carry it out.  Now that I was reclaiming and beautifying my space, I wanted a cork board that was pretty.  Thanks Martha!  I moved it along with my thread organizer to the wall just above my ironing board and moved my spiderweb mini above the bookcase.

Now the only thing that I'd still like to improve upon is to find a prettier ironing board cover in either black and white or light aqua to match everything else, but that's a pretty minor quibble.  Sorry for the novel-length post folks, but I'm just SO happy to have this new and beautiful space to call my own!  It really feels like I can create some gorgeous stuff in here and not be working out of chaos anymore!

I wonder how long I'll actually manage to keep it clean...


  1. Looks awesome! Hey, a clean sewing room means you haven't been sewing. Go get that space messy.

  2. Great job! What a difference. I've actually been meaning to make my own ironing board cover for awhile. Marla over at Sew Hungry told me that she thinks regular quilting cotton works (she used home dec for the width):

  3. It looks great! I can't keep my space clean for the life of me...good luck with that!

  4. i love viewing everyone's crafty space - you did a great job! looks like your little helpers enjoyed themselves too!

  5. Great job! How about coming to my house! LOL

  6. Great job organizing. I really love the chair and the binders are a good choice.

  7. It looks great! Such an inviting place to sew...

  8. Fabulous!!! Can you come to my house??? What a wonderful space to get things done and be inspired:-)