The Great Sewing Room Re-Organization (& a few other projects) (3.26.2007)

I'm still working on the wedding favor bags, but am getting close to completing the lot of them. They are turning out rather well, but I have to admit that I'm getting a bit tired of stitching out the same pattern over and over. I will be happy to finish these up and get them shipped out.

I've also gotten requests for more minkee pals and a couple of chelsea backpacks so I have an added incentive to finish up the favor bags and move onto other projects. And I still want to try to make my "dirt pants" before Easter . . .

In between stitching sessions, I've been re-vamping my sewing room. My friend (and fellow Material Girl) Denise visited my sewing room last month after one of our shopping excursions and suggested I move a twin sized trundle bed out of the room so I'd have more space for "stash".

I've had a hard time accepting that idea -- first, because the room is a bedroom, so it should have a bed in it, right? Also, the quilted coverlet was the "inspiration piece" for decorating the room -- wall color, curtains, faux finish -- and I didn't want to part with it. And finally, I kept telling myself that if anyone needed to spend the night, there was always room for one more. BUT -- we already have a "guest" room that is seldom used, and even if someone did want to risk sleeping in the sewing room, it would have taken me half a day just to clear out all the boxes and baskets of stuff sitting on top of the bed which were blocking my view of my pretty quilt cover anyway.

So I finally talked myself into moving the trundle bed . . . but then I had to figure out where to put it. I can't just get rid of it, and storing it in either the attic or basement would mean lugging it around in pieces up and down multiple flights of stairs. Finally we decided the best place for it was in the guest room. We moved the existing full size bed over to one side of the room and put the trundle bed on the other side. It's a tight squeeze, but it's manageable. The two bed quilts don't exactly match each other, but they don't clash horribly either. And I actually get to see my pretty quilt every time I pass that room.

Now that there was this big open space in the sewing room, I had to decide how to fill it. My goal is to use every available inch of vertical space in this room, so that meant I had to be able to stack shelves or baskets somehow. I already have several shelving systems from Ikea - I have the Ivar adjustable shelf system with a drop leaf desktop along one wall (lots of books, magazines and other sewing stuff was piled high on these shelves), and a row of Antonius basket shelves along another wall (for storing fabrics). I also have a pegboard installed on one end of the room where I hang tools I use often -- scissors, rotary cutters, rulers, hoops, etc. I really needed more space for storing fabric and all my bins of thread that I've accumulated for the machine embroidery.

I decided that the Expedit bookcase would be the best addition to the room -- it has "cubbies" -- square cubed sections perfect for storing books, magazines, baskets and all the stuff on my existing shelves. So I made the trek down to Ikea in Paramus and managed to get the packages to fit into my car (that's a whole other story!), got them home and started assembling my new bookcase. I also added a 5th Antonius shelf unit with 6 new drawers for fabric storage!

I'm still amazed how much space that bed actually occupied -- with the bookcase in it's place, I can now center my big table in the room and have at least 30" clearance on all sides. I've been able to move the sewing machine to a more comfortable position and still have room on the table to lay out pieces of my projects. And, now I can face my little TV while I am stitching (before it was always behind my back). I've moved almost all of my books and magazines into the new bookcase, with room to spare. I have several clear plastic bins for storing my projects in process, and can stack two at a time in each cubbie. On the old shelves, I have new storage boxes and fabric bins where I can store more of my "in progress" projects and sewing supplies and notions, all within easy reach. And I have room for about 10 more thread bins . . . The room feels so much bigger and brighter somehow . . .

Anyway, that's what I've been working on lately and now that I'm almost finished organizing, I hope that I'll be able to get even more actual sewing work done.

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