Saturday, May 14, 2011

sewing room remodel, finished!

Posting more often doesn't seem to be working out the way I intended. Oh well. At least I finally found the charging cables for my cameras, so I was able to get the pictures off of them from finishing up my sewing room remodel. I've been happily working in it for about two months now, so this post is well overdue.

First a single photo of what the room looked like before we began. Plain white walls and blue carpet, same as the living room and hallway in our house. The room is rather small, only 8' x 7.5', and I originally just had a single 8' conference table for both my sewing machine and cutting area. This meant that it wasn't really comfortable to do either, and was really my biggest driver for doing the remodel.

The first thing we did was rip out all of the old carpet, as shown in a post in February. Once that was done we painted the walls - two in a tan and two in a light sage, with the half-wall molding done in a dark green - and installed laminate flooring from IKEA in "dark brown" with floor molding to go along with it.

Once that was done, we started moving the furniture back in. Here's the back corner of the room, to the left as you look in the door, showing the cabinet I refinished last year that contains my Pfaff 130 machine.

Next up is my barrister's cabinet, which was given to me by my Nana many years ago when I was still living in Pittsburgh, which holds my fabric stash and some of my other sewing machines. I used fabric and foam board to make panel covers to fill in the glass, which eliminates the visual clutter of the cabinet when the doors are closed. I still need to make a panel for the lower door, unfortunately!

The newest feature of the room was a design wall, where I can put up pieces I'm working on in order to set their design before I sew them together. I made three panels using styrofoam insulation panels from Home Depot, each 2' x 4', covered in batting which was then stapled to the back of the panel. I added picture frame hangers to the back of each panel using superglue to hold them in the styrofoam, then hung them up. They're light and easy to maneuver, and I'm really quite pleased with the result. The picture shows blocks from the Halloween table runner and the baby quilt I made for my friend Kathy, both projects which I'm glad to say I've finished since then!

The replacement for the conference table was two adjustable tables from IKEA, one of which was set up high to use as a cutting table and the other was set down low for my sewing machine. There are plenty of tutorials online and in books about ergonomics of both, but generally you cut material at standing height and want your sewing machine at seated height, so using one table for both really makes it hard for either one to work out. This photo also shows the awesome replacement for nails in the wall - a pegboard, painted dark green to match the half-wall molding trim, which holds my rulers, cutters, scissors, and other tools.

And now, for the photos of my sewing room as it is now with just about everything moved back in (as opposed to the minimalist, neat, and tidy photos above). Here is my sewing table, with the attached ironing board (which Chris cut down for me so it could be used on the low-height table), my bookshelf of sewing books, speakers for use with my iPad (TV or Pandora radio), thread rack, and bulletin board which has a crocheted Star Trek insignia potholder my mother made me, photos of my mom & me, Ezri, and Curzon, a color wheel, and Superior Threads sample cards.

Here's the cutting table photo, where you can see I've added more rulers and tools to the pegboard, and you can see my kaleidoscope quilt blocks on the design wall and my current project on the table. I've also picked up some cheap green and purple small vinyl bins at Target that I'm using for scrap and trash collection on the table - much easier than stepping around the ironing board to the trash can every cut! Beneath the cutting table are my two storage units, mostly for precut scraps and specialty fabrics, which will be joined by a third next time I have a coupon for JoAnn's. Behind the storage units are my wrapping paper supplies, as I figured that was a great place to put them since they're not needed often and my cutting table will be a great place to wrap gifts in the future.

This is another view of the Pfaff cabinet side of the room, also showing my beautiful Brian Froud print and another project that's on the design wall. The cabinet has the awesome Halloween table runner on top of it, but you can't see it right now because it's covered in other fabric acquisitions as well as the working fabric pile for the project on the design wall. To the right is the incredibly cool pirate chest that I got off Craigslist for $30, which is holding my project collections, precut jelly rolls, and unfinished quilt tops. Just ignore the pile of bags under the cabinet...

Above the Pfaff cabinet is the same shelf that was there before, which holds my childhood teddy bear, a unicorn beanie baby my husband gave me, and the beautiful pillow my mother cross-stitched for me for my thirteenth birthday. I'm so lucky to have inspiration from my family and friends in this room when I work.

Finally a view of the barrister's cabinet again, with the doors down to hide the clutter inside them. The clutter isn't actually that bad, since I got some great bins at the Container Store to hold everything (so far), but it's more calming visually to have the doors down. The decorative (but largely useless until I turn it into a hand crank) Singer NL-15 is on top of the cabinet, and my Featherweights, older Janome L-108, and my Rocketeer are inside the cabinet. Just to the left of the cabinet and behind me when I sew is a shower corner shelf kit in the right shade of green that I got for $7 on clearance at Target, which holds my smaller notions that I use often but didn't want right next to my machine. There's also a small whiteboard just to the left of my chair where I note what I'm working on and what's on the list for next.

So there it is - my finished sewing room! I love how it turned out and it makes me happy every time I go in there. There are some features not pictured, like a remote-control power strip for my sewing machine and iron, that I added along the way that are really awesome. I also have a few other things I'd like to hang up in there, like my bridesmaids bouquet from a few years ago that's framed in brown and would look great, and some embroidery hoops that I got to display favorite fabric swatches. Those will get put up eventually...unless we move first!

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