We moved in October and everything about this new apartment is better except the second bedroom. It is too small to double as my sewing room. I know I was really spoiled having a whole room with a door that closed (to conceal the mess, of course), but this gave me the opportunity to rethink my space and invest in some new infrastructure.
Even before we moved, I knew I wanted to get rid of my old sewing desk. It was given to me by my Aunt and served me well for over three years, but I knew that it wasn’t hacking it any more. For the past six months, I’ve been researching craft/sewing spaces to let myself be inspired. This same Aunt also recently created the sewing room dreams are made of (including floor to ceiling cube shelves with fabric neatly stacked and organized by colour. It is an OCD dream!) that really got me thinking.
Knowing that I would be sewing in a small space (ie. A corner of the living room) I knew that my space had to be small (or at least collapsable), multi-functional and pretty. I needed a space to sew, draft patterns, cut fabric and mostly, store my tools. I considered many ikea options including this crank-operated standing/sitting desk and this table with drawers and drop-down leaves, both of which my aunt has and loves. I also considered my own ikea hack involving cube shelves and casters.
What I ended up with turned out to be even more functional (and cheaper!). I put together a table top and legs to make a long, rectangular dining table. It’s actually the perfect size as it’s just wide enough to accommodate 60 in fabric when I’m laying out pattern pieces. We’ve also been able to use it as an extra dining table when we’ve had a lot of guests. I have tons of room for both machines, plus my general writing implements. I also like that I can push back the machines and use it as a crafting table or desk.
I also got a small, 4 x 4 cube shelf to organize my fabric. I knew that I wanted to find a way to organize and display my stash so I could be “inspired” by the fabric I already have (ie. stop buying new fabric and just use what I already have). I like the cube shelf as I already had boxes to fit for things like scraps and interfacing. I also like that I can buy a second one to stack on top if I need.
By far, my favourite purchase is the chest of drawers on casters. My one big requirement for storage was something large enough to keep my awkward pattern paper, quilt square and French curve rulers organized. This chest is big enough for all of those things and the shallow drawers mean that little space is wasted in storing all of the really little things involved in sewing. I also purchased a tray meant to organize utensils to keep my seam rippers, gauges, needles and feet organized.
The surprising feature that I love is the casters. I simply slide it over from one side to the other when I switch machines. If I need to clear off the table (to lay out fabric or use the table for company), I just load my machines on top and wheel them away. This thing really is the best.
The last little improvement I made was to my decor. I spotted this cute mirror which matched perfectly the frames I already had and I figured I could splurge a little as the rest of it was costing me much less than I had figured. The frames have show-cased the same floral prints I put in them when I picked up the frames at a garage sale almost six years ago. I found the perfect prints when shopping for quilt fabric over the holidays – I super appreciate fabric prints about sewing. I think my favourite is the green print that looks like polka dot but is actually little snaps. They all go very nicely with my thread-spool ironing board cover.
The only thing I have left to do is make some cute machine covers – but that’s a whole other project.