Friday, May 22, 2020

How to Organize a Sewing Space (Part II) on Off the Wall Friday

My Original Sewing Hole....I totally outgrew this space
Well, now that the leaves have finally come out, I am out of pollen induced haze.  Its amazing how good you feel when the tree pollen level drops!!    With that I'm finally on the last legs of sewing space reorganize.  If you had told me that it was going to take a month, I would have said NO WAY, but of course I didn't realize I would lose a week to tree pollen!!

So we continue.....(you can find Part I here)

How to Organize a Sewing Room or Studio
(What I did is in Red)

IV.  BUILD and assemble all the new pieces you will need for your space.  To my surprise, a ton of furniture comes unassembled just waiting for you to put together.  This is also the time where you put up shelves, design boards etc.  You also will want to get your layout finalized.  Really walk around the room and sit in it.  Make sure that you like the traffic areas and how much clearance all your pieces have.  Nothing is worst than pushing our sewing chair into the same book case every - single - time you get up!

Part of my Open Shelving which is much more filled now
V.  FILL...Now comes the hard part.  Take your "keep" pile and neatly replace it back into it's new home.  This will mean using new forms of storage that you came up with in Part II.  I highly suggest using a label maker or  sticker labels for storage.  One thing I noticed that its much easier to return things to their proper place if you don't have think where that proper place is.  My husband laughed at me that I labeled my bins full of fabrics with the colors that were within.  He didn't realize how much easier it was to read the "GREENS" label rather than search the 12 bins for the greens.  I would also suggest not putting anything back into the sewing room that you haven't used in recent history (Reorganized my fabric, my notions cabinet, my peg board, my shelf)

VII. DECORATE....Now's the time to put in the personal touches that take this from a generic sewing room to your unique creation space.  To get you started refer back to your planned aesthetic.  I really think that this part is lot more important that I first thought  eight years ago.  You  want to make sure your space feels like your happy space and you can't do that without your fav pretty stuff around you!!   (I still haven't quite gotten this far....its my goal to finish by the end of the weekend) 


I personally think the most important part of this whole process is how you are going to organize and store your fabric.  Most quilters (but not all ....gasp!) have more fabric than they have room or time.  So it's doubly important to come up with a storage plan that works for YOU.  Over  30 years of quilting, the organization of my stash has evolved with the direction my quilting has gone.  In the beginning I used cardboard file boxes labelled and smaller scraps cut into charmed and put into shoe boxes.  Then I went to open shelving which I loved but its on the third floor and my sewing studio is now on the first.  So now, I've decided on that my hand dyeds and prints I'm most interested in go on shelving in my studio.  The rest of my stash stays up on the third floor.  I have one bin that will make it easy to transport things back and forth on occasion that I want to add things to either place.

I say all this because I have seem many, many innovative ways lately to store fabric....all of which would NOT work for my hundreds and hundreds of yards of fabric.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I can't name a quilter they would work for!  (Yes..Blueprint...I'm sure I  couldn't make enough mini bolts, file folder (?!?!?), or little hanging  shelves for my stash!! )  So when you are thinking about fabric storage think about what works for you now and don't be afraid to change your way of storage as your sewing evolves.

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Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

You did a great job! It's not easy to organize a sewing room, but your place looks good!

Gwyned Trefethen said...

I'm a big fan of open shelving, although it does have to be open shelter out of the sunlight. Guess how I learned that lesson? When we moved two years ago, my husband introduced me to velcro tape used by gardeners. We rebound each stack with the tape before the movers came. That way my stash stay organized. I still have my fat quarter hand dyes/surface design pieces bound with the tape. Helps with the inevitable topple and slide. Also I can grab a stack to bring to my work table, select the fabric I need, rebind the stack and return it.

Nothing like a well organized studio to welcome you in.