Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Sewing Room Refreshed

Please note that I didn't say final!  There are a still a few more things that I want to do to the room but they are small things and of course involve more purchasing...*sigh*

Full view of the room from the doorway

Shelf to the right of the fabric wall

Computer wall and inspiration board

Lulu by the 
fabric wall

TV & bookshelf by the window

Bookcase across from
the computer table

Patterns, pressing items
by the front door

Ikea piece next to computer table

The sewing pictures hanging up
(Thanks Hellene!)

Sewing machine & serger table

*I want to add some storage behind the sewing machine/serger to store some notions so that they are neat and out of sight...not bunched up and junky like in the picture above.  

*Add some clear storage boxes to the bottom shelves of the fabric shelves, just in case of flooding.  This is something that I'm doing to all the shelving in the room.  I would rather be prepared than have to worry about this later on especially since this is a basement sewing room.

*A shelf on the wall, up by the ceiling, on the computer and sewing machine walls to store magazines and other items.  I just want to maximize the storing capability in the room.

*Curtains for the windows made from the same fabric that the curtains for the fabric shelves have for a finished look to the room.

satiny olive polyester purchased from FM years ago

There were some questions on the posts:
Melody asked:
"If I was planning on securing the shelves to the wall for safety?"
The shelves have been tied together but no I didn't secure them to the wall. It's a basement room that my grandchildren don't have access to and if the shelves fall over while I'm upstairs, well naturally I would be upset. But I guess I would just start all over again...hopefully that won't happen!

Toy asked:
"Are you going to do it by color?"
Yes it is sorted by color except for the shelf with the fabric prints. I know that some people like their fabric stored by seasons or fabrications, but I think in colors and I've found that storing it that way works for me.

Debbie asked:
"How do I prevent permanent wrinkling/fold lines in the pieces at the bottom of the stack?"
One thing is that all of my fabric has been folded and refolded several times in the last few months. Second, all fabrics are pretreated before using and so far I haven't had a problem removing fold lines. Let's hope this holds true! *smile* And yes, I have a few pieces that are at least 25 years old in the collection but they are very few.

Judi asked about which sewing machines I use:
The Project Runway Brother machine that you are referring to from an earlier post was purchased as a back-up machine for my Janome 8000. Then I was gifted the Janome Memory Craft 6600 which I'm currently sewing on and my daughter needed/wanted my Brother so I passed it along. My primary machine is the 6600, my backup machine is the 8000 and my serger is the Babylock Imagine.  I'm still toying with purchasing the Janome Horizon (which the website is saying is retired???) Guess I need to be a little more proactive about that...yeah, right after that bathroom is repaired!

I'm almost sure that someone asked what shelving I used...these shelves were purchased from Lowes in two sizes. Two of the larger 74" high and one of the 54" high version. These match the shelving already in the room and added to giving it a cohesive look.

And a comment or two...
Both Teddylyn and Aunt Allyn commented on moving and setting up new sewing areas, first congratulations on moving! Next, even though I planned out the sewing cave before moving in, after working in it for a couple of months, I found some things lacking. Around December I started rethinking the usage of space in the room since I was actually sewing in it and could determine what worked and what didn't. That was when I really noticed that the bins where a temporary solution and that they made the room feel dark and closed in. So they had to go. My advice to you is to sew in your room first to determine whether or not your inital plan works for you. You may need to revise it.  

Finally, plan, plan,'s what made this weekend go so smoothly. I knew what I wanted because for months I'd been looking at sewing rooms on the internet to determine what additional features I wanted/needed for my room.  There are alot of beautiful sewing rooms out there! I'm really in awe of some of them especially the ones that have wonderful windows and are light & airy, filled with lots of storage space. I found that I was most attracted to the quilters rooms because they openly display their fabrics.

Then there was Shannon's (Hungry Zombie Couture) beautiful new sewing space, specifically her fabric closet that also heavily influenced me. She has written two great posts about her fabric closet, the initial one and a follow-up one on how she folded her fabric. For a minute I was so blinded by her fabric organizational skillz that I even attempted to track my fabric. That has gone by the wayside, because like some of the commenters said I just don't have time to invest in keeping track manually of my fabric collection...but I am still in awe of her organizational skillz...mine just aren't that evolved! *smile*

Lastly, I'm glad that I was able to help every fellow sewist who got to show her husband/significant other that there are others that have way more fabric than they do. But I have to tell you that I thought I had more fabric than I actually do. I'm surprised that I've gotten it all onto the shelves with only five additional bins remaining and those bins contain my ponte collection and two are full of sweater knit/coating fabrics then a bin of green fabrics and another of blue fabrics.  The deep stash as Karen calls it! 

You may have noticed that there isn't much space on the shelves left for me to grow the collection. This is on purpose.  I'm not saying that I'm never purchasing another piece of fabric, cause that's just unrealistic! But I do want to sew almost exclusively from "The Collection" for the time being. Let me give you an example...the other day I was trolling the internet and all of my favorite online fabric sites for a khaki silk twill. Well guess what I unpacked in the last few days...a khaki silk twill.  I pretty much own some of everything that I could think of or want to use to emulate a designer garment or a sewing for now one of my primary sewing challenges will be to use fabric from "The Collection."

Now that the cave has been refreshed, it's back to sewing for me! The Rachel Dress Part 2 still needs a couple of hours worth of work especially now that the temps have gone back to normal March like weather. It will be perfect to wear to work this week. always, more later!


  1. Your pictures did convince Dh that you have more fabric than I do. He might be sadly mistaken. I have fabric spread out in more places. Haha.

  2. Wonderful!! I am so envious of your sewing room.

    Good idea on the plastic bins on the floor; sometimes(God Forbid) sewers back up or floods come, even after years and years of dry. (My Mother had a flood in the basement of the house she has lived in over 40 years this spring; backed up sewer down the street did the trick. Never a drop before.)

    ?? Have you made sure your homeowners insurance covers the sewing supplies/fabric.Worth checking with the agent just in case. And it wouldn't hurt to put copies of these pictures (and the rest of your house) into the safety deposit box or in the cloud somewhere, just in case.
    Been there, done that.

    Again, such a wonderful stash and room!



  3. Wowza thats quite a stash! I'm currently trying sort out my sewing room bit by bit too and it's turning out to be a never ending ordeal!

  4. Good idea about the bins on the floor. We had flooding 2 years ago from a hail storm. Ruined all the carpets, but because I have the same shelves as you (mine were from Costco) none of my stash was harmed. We also replace the flooring with easily replacable 12" tiles and room size carpets.

  5. I showed my husband the pictures of your fabric and he asked if it all belonged to an individual. He laughed when I told him yes. Thank you.

    Also, is it scary that I recognize some of your books by the colors of the bindings? 8-)

  6. I', just sighing with admiration over here. I can picture my fabrics all stacked neatly by color, but I can never quite get there in reality.

  7. Your sewing looks like mine. Isn't it great? I have many bins on my shelves--the same as yours, which are very sturdy--and keep thinking about putting my fabric out like yours is. I am afraid of dust however.

    I looked at the brochure regarding the Janome Memory Craft 6600.....VERY NICE. I would jump on that beautiful machine if I were you or you will regret it. My daughter-in-law and my grand-daughter both have my older Kenmores (from the 1990's) made my Janome/New Home. They are basic machines and still going strong. Janome makes a great machine.

  8. Each post leaves me deeper in awe and admiration for your fabric stashing. And I can totally see how shelving fabric will reduce desire for purchases, as opposed to binning fabric. Current living situations mean leaving my fabric binned for now, but all of these fabric "closets" I keep seeing (especially yours and Shannon's) are really really inspiring. I know the time is not now, but when it comes I very much look forward to using this organization method myself. Though I personally think about fabric in terms of its intended use (ie I buy it for coats or pants or a dress) and store it that way, I have to say your use of color as an organizational method is actually quite stunning. The other organization looks great as well - I would love to look through your book collection, and I am so envious of your cutting table! All in all it looks like it was a mighty effort, but a worthwhile one. Congrats and have fun in your new space!

  9. Jeez you have a lot of fabric. You need to start denting that stash lol. You should have a few months whereby you can only make projects from your stash.

  10. That's a great sewing space!

  11. Your "cave" has come a long way baby!! I, like you, need to see all my fabric, all the time. I can't get motivated to sew if I am not surrounded by my raw materials.

    I still wish I could have been there to help organize with you - maybe next time!! ;)

  12. It looks great. Since I put my collection on shelves last year I've found I use it some much more since I can actually find it. Enjoy.

  13. I love your sewing cave. I purchased the Janome Horizon 7700 and I love the machine. I could not find anywhere on the website that it is retired. I also have the Janome MC 8000 in my sewing room. My 8000 is also a backup for me. I wish my sewing room was as organized.

  14. You have made yourself an Aladdin's Cave for sewing!

    My dear Mum is a quilter and she has just had a big "sort out" in her sewing room. Mum has completely covered the beds in the spare room with all the fabric and other quilting bits and pieces that she has decided not to keep - so I have been told not to plan to visit for a while!

    I have fabric here that I bought more than 25 years ago. I have just started a major de-clutter of my wee home of 22 years just so I have the space to start sewing again - all, of course, without upsetting my knitting yarn stash!!!

    Carolyn - I'm sending care and huggles to you, and just for you from,

    Michelle, the granddaughter of a bespoke tailoress living downunder in Wellington, New Zealand (Zebby Cat says zzzzzzzzzzz)

  15. Ooo - that last paragraph didn't read well .... I live in Wellington. My late Nana, Mavis, was the tailoress and she lived in Auckland, NZ.

    Nana's sewing was great. She made many garments for her husband, children and grandchildren. And she nearly always left a little bit of tacking thread in somewhere .... bless her.

    Michelle xxx

  16. Impressive! You've taken a small space and made it work for you.

  17. Thanks for sharing this. I am in the midst of trying to plan/organize my sewing room and I really appreciate the tips. Cheers!

  18. Congratulations, Carolyn. I hope you have many, many happy hours in your new space.

  19. That is a nice little sewing store you have in there. You look like you have more fabric than the store I buy fabric from! I supposed I'm a bit jealous....

  20. All I can say, is WOW! Fantastic room, and I hope it is insured. :)

  21. Your space looks so happy and festive! Thanks for the link to Shannon's folding tutorial! I can do this ;-)

    Lynda in LV

  22. Wow, your new sewing room is so inviting. It is going to be a great pleasure to create in there. You fabric collection looks luscious.

  23. I like how your fabric is arranged by color. It should make it very convenient for you to find whatever you might want for your next great idea!

    I need a new machine, and the lady I work with here is highly recommending Janome. Have you any words of wisdom for me?

  24. Your space looks wonderful! Tremendous effort, but worth it. I, too, am on a "fabric diet", eorkingg from my quilting stash. I can't see much progress, but it must be helping!

  25. Carolyn, the room looks great! I came across a post on Coletterie that might be helpful for the notions?

    I pinned it because I like the idea, but I haven't been able to find a single bit of open wall space in my area.

  26. Thanks for sharing all the detail and planning that went into this wonderful space! I'm still in early days of sewing and, living in Japan, space is at a premium. So I can only dream of both a space and a stash like this! But dreaming is half the fun :) For now, I'm happily content dabbling in my little stash and living vicariously through blogs like yours!

  27. Having had a flood last summer and lost a lot of stash (although trust me, there's plenty left) I second your plan to put plastic bins down low. As for your generous fabric give away, I "lurve" number one--the floral border print! Like you, I'm a sucker for border prints. Thanks!

  28. Hello! I love your new sewing room. I have a similar set up and have also put my fabrics on a bakers rack shelving unit (purchased at Lowe's). I also gave away a bunch of fabric at the time, my goal was to keep the "inventory" to one shelving unit. I do keep a small cotton collection in some plastic file drawers. I also sew with the Janome 6600 (it is my go to machine) and the Janome 11000 SE for embroidery and the BL Imagine Wave serger. There are back up machines but I hardly ever have to use them. Your blog is so inspirational. I am also a plus size gal and really appreciate your point of view. It is very helpful particularly when choosing patterns. You make me want to add my voice to the blogosphere to talk about sewing and the mature woman. Thank you!

  29. Your cave makes me smile! How many people can do what they love? How many ever find their passion? How many have a cave where they can go and be content...genuinely joyful? You created such a place!!!

  30. This is great! How can you walk into that space and not be inspired?! Maybe if my stash was visible I'd be sewing more often. Hmmm, something to think about.

  31. OH MY GOD!!! I only dream of having that much fabric and a beautiful sewing studio to boot. Your my inspiration.

  32. Hello from Paris

    I simply like your blog!


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