Take Back Your Sewing Studios!

How many stay-cations have I sworn to spend cleaning my closet once and for all, exploring those mystery boxes in the attic, or some other noble endeavor.  As if.

But on a recent winter holiday I vowed that I would finally unpack my sewing supplies and set up a sewing room that had been

       My newly organized sewing notions!.

waiting patiently for me for more than two years.

More than two years ago, I moved out to Long Island from Brooklyn, after my husband and I had spent the two years previous to that painstakingly, weekend by weekend,  gutting a very  dilapidated 1960s split-level ranch and transforming it into a wonderful home.

The sewing room had started out as a leaky, bug-ridden laundry room in a basement in-law apartment. But we took down the moldy walls, sealed the concrete, tiled the floor, and rebuilt it as a sewing studio from the ground up, all the way to the counter-high outlets spread every two feet around the perimeter of the room. It was painted the softest and loveliest of latte pinks and in the late afternoon the sun streamed golden light through the corner basement windows.

When we moved, I packed up my many boxes of sewing supplies in my Brooklyn apartment and dreamed of my new dedicated sewing space and all I would make.

Then I moved a bed into the sewing studio, and it became a guest room.

I kept sewing, but became a vagabond sewist, roaming from kitchen table to living room floor, working out of a portable sewing kit.

It remained that way for two years, until last fall when I took the job of editor at Stitch and came to live in Boston part-time. The bed went to Boston and I took my sewing room back.

Over the holidays, I spent 3 days unpacking my sewing room. I filled more than three dozen Mason jars full of five of every notion: seam rippers, beeswax, bodkins, you name it. I have  three grandmothers' worth of sewing supplies (my husband’s, my step-mother’s,  and my own), a wall of fabric stash and an authentic sewing store cabinet stuffed with patterns.

I love my new sewing studio and spend much of my life in it, working on Stitch and sewing projects.  I know there are more like me out there, whose sewing studios have morphed into guest / junk rooms. All I can say is:  Take back your sewing studios!

P.S. I got the ideas for storing my notions in Mason jars from the Winter 2011 issue of Studios. It’s one of my mostfavorite magazines, appealing to both my voyeuristic inclinations and insatiable appetite for brilliant storage ideas.

Do you have a tale of taking back your sewing studio? Share it on the Sew Daily blog.

Happy stitching. For real!

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Sew Daily Blog, Sewing Tools & Notions
Amber

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

11 thoughts on “Take Back Your Sewing Studios!

  1. I had a craft room, then baby #2 came along and needed it.
    Now I’ve got a little corner in the ‘man-space’ and I get in trouble if I try to spread out. Which is actually a good thing because it keeps me organized and I’ve made my area pretty fun and inspiring. well, as fun as it can be with a freezer and fuse box in it!

  2. We moved 2 years ago and my hubby gave me free reign to use our large master bedroom for my sewing room/studio. We sleep in the much smaller, cozy retreat off to one side. I do need to be better at organizing and keeping it less messy.

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  3. I can’t tell you how many times I have ‘taken back’ my sewing room. It is a small but efficient and very usable when in order. However..it also happens to be the place where things get piled when things get hectic. So today I am reclaiming it again and I find my new resolve begun last year is helping tremendously. I can’t say I have been 100% on this, but I am trying very hard to finish all those old projects, use only what I have on hand and not buy or plan any new projects for quite a while. One really nice thing that came from this resolve was a big set of pretty Christmas napkins I made rather quickly using my serger. We had a very festive table with a variety of Christmas materials for napkins and now they are all folded and ready for next year and a big stash of Christmas material has left my sewing room.

  4. I can’t tell you how many times I have ‘taken back’ my sewing room. It is a small but efficient and very usable when in order. However..it also happens to be the place where things get piled when things get hectic. So today I am reclaiming it again and I find my new resolve begun last year is helping tremendously. I can’t say I have been 100% on this, but I am trying very hard to finish all those old projects, use only what I have on hand and not buy or plan any new projects for quite a while. One really nice thing that came from this resolve was a big set of pretty Christmas napkins I made rather quickly using my serger. We had a very festive table with a variety of Christmas materials for napkins and now they are all folded and ready for next year and a big stash of Christmas material has left my sewing room.

  5. In the past two houses we’ve lived in my husband and/or father-in-law have built me wonderful sewing spaces…then we moved again, about 5 years ago and I’ve had to fit into little corners here and there. The inherited sewing space was cramped, cold and in the laundry room/back entrance. Just this last week my husband and son created a sewing/crafty area for me from a wonderful workstation that we got really cheap. The thing has built in bulletin boards and is all powered right on the desktop, with lights and everything. My take back is going to be moving into this wonderful space (right by the basement fireplace and tv!!) I’ll have to collect all my bits and pieces from the corners where it’s been stashed and find a place for it in my lovely new space, I can hardly wait – just gotta get over this cold! 🙁

  6. Did I really need a guest room? I have guests for perhaps two weeks a year – while I was sewing on the kitchen counter and cutting on the dining room table for the rest of the year. So out went the guest bed and in went a full size futon. Then I added a sewing center that fills the room and folds into a credenza that fits against one wall. My new sewing machine (I’m not restricted to a portable any more) just goes down into the credenza. Add some storage cabinets and my iPod. My husband says that if I had a Porta-Potti and a pass-through in the door for food, he’d never see me!

  7. When we finished our basement, I was given a very large room for my craft studio. Last June, however, I gave that room to my 17 year old daughter, so she could have her drum set in her own room. I had to move my fiber arts materials into a room smaller than half the size of the original. Just this evening, I finished sorting, organizing and cleaning my new craft studio. It has taken me 6 months to whittle down my stash, organize all my supplies so I can easily access them and get all the loose pins, needles, beads and other trash completely vacuumed up.

    Now I just have to wait a couple years to reclaim my big room when the 17 year old graduates and goes off to college. What do you want to bet it does NOT take me 6 months to organize everything in the bigger room…

  8. My sewing studio was made into a playroom for my grandkids when I needed to step-up and become the child care provider so their father could work. After 5 years I decided the playroom would make a better TV room and my living-room became my studio! Now I have the space I needed plus room to teach others; 1 at a time for adults, 2 at a time for younger kids. Crafts and sewing all in one room! Loving it so much. My only problem now is what to do with the 3 lg storage bins full of fabric in my attic and the 5 storage bins full of batting in my closet. What to do? Start sewing that’s my goal this year get my stash down so I can buy more!!!

  9. In the process as I speak. My Dad moved in with hubby and me on 4/27/11 and went on Hospice with lung cancer. He left us for a better home in heaven on 12/3/11. While he was here, hubby and I devoted every waking moment to making Dad’s time as wonderful and loving as possible. Consequently, there was very little sewing except for necessary mending. I would fight with my computer, which crashed 3 months ago, and then after much fruitless tech work it was decided that the computer (purchased on 8/24/10 WITH AN EXTENDED WARRANTY-thank heavens!) was trash. Hubby and I have been working to clean out as much of Dad’s stuff as possible. (He went thru the Depression so he hung onto EVERYTHING! I didn’t live thru the Depression, but I inherited the hoarding gene) (As did my hubby from his lean growing up years.)

    To make a long story short (I realize it’s really too late.) my poor sewing room became the repository of every imaginable “extra” thing possible. Add to that the fact that I have a brand new computer (courtesy of the extended warranty and Office Depot’s good will) and since I didn’t have ALL designs backed up (THAT won’t happen again!)
    and I’ve been working furiously on my computer entering what wasn’t on the flash drive, and re-entering the things that were on the flash drive into the computer library, as well and stalking the internet for new freebie designs to download.
    The closet that holds “some” of my stash of fabrics, notions, laces, buttons, patterns, many huge 3 ring binders holding project ideas and printouts of all the designs I own, to say the least, it’s slow going, but I’m receiving a great deal of satisfaction from seeing tiny little foot steps toward my goal of something at least resembling organization.

    And I’ve volunteered to sew pillowcase dresses for Africa starting next month at a church in a neighboring town with the main aim to start such a ministry in our church if there is enough interest. I talked with my pastor this morning and he was very interested in the idea.

    And on Feb 7, my bff and I will start on Christmas sewing, which we’re hoping to have completed no later than Nov 15, so perhaps we can enjoy the wrapping and giving instead of being hunched over the machines on Dec 23, frantically pushing fabric through our machines. A great plan. Here’s hoping that THIS year it will become a reality. We’ve done it in the past, but that was quite a while ago.

    Needless to say, my Christmas list grows longer every year and some critical and necessary weeding out must be done this year.

    Wish me luck, all you blog readers.

    Oh, and did I mention that this summer, along with celebrating my 70th birthday, hubby and I are planning to gut the half bath and re-do it, and I have curtains to make for all the house, and have new windows installed throughout the house?

    I better get back to the computer work and stop playing on the blog!

    other daughter

  10. This is very pretty! You are much more orderly than when you were little! Maybe I should add some of my sewing room to yours. After nigh on 67 years of sewing there is too much stuff!

    I am loving your blog.

    lovemom

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