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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sewing in Small Spaces

Today I thought it would be fun to look at some efficient ways we can organize our sewing areas, even when we are limited on space. Awhile back we were sharing ideas in the patterns group and I was so impressed with how Andrea Heacock, a CKC fan, had all of her sewing supplies neatly arranged and easy to find! I asked her to share some photos with us today and I bet there are some ideas here that we can all use, whether we're sewing at the kitchen table or in a glorious sewing haven. 

First I have to tell you a little of Andrea's fun story. When they were building a new house, Andrea was determined to have a sewing room set aside from the kids' areas, where she could sew for her daughter and not have little hands getting into dangerous things. Then over time they had another baby and another and another and another!  Now with six kids, Andrea has created an amazing sewing area in a very small space as they finished their basement. It's like Harry Potter meets Martha Stewart! Here's what Andrea has to say about it: 

"My family room was almost ready to be completed and I had a vision. The staircase in my home is in the center, so you can walk around it upstairs, and downstairs had been the same. We decided to close off the one side of the family room to make a den type space, which lays under the staircase.  It is just over 100 sq ft, plus a small closet. This space sat unfinished for almost a year while I planned how I wanted to organize it.  I live about 4 hours from any major city, so I really had to be sure of what I wanted, as a trip to buy all of this stuff could only happen once.  Aside from the drywall and electrical, I finished the space myself, with the help of one of my older boys. Yes, that means that I personally painted, cut and laid flooring, cut and installed trim, hung cabinets, fitted countertops, and built and installed shelving.  It was an exhausting few months, as I could only work on it once my babies were napping or asleep for the night. I feel that it has been more functional than I ever thought it could be for a small space, and really love how it turned out. Added bonus, I painted it pink, so my Man steers clear of it! 

  "I had A LOT of stuff that needed proper storage, including fabric.  Originally I tried to put all of the fabric in the closet...then I realized just how much I had...OMG...I then came across a tutorial for ruler folding, and decided to fold all of my cottons and put them into the white IKEA cabinets I had from our previous home. It fit perfectly, looks great when they are all folded neatly, and I can find what I’m looking for in an instant! 

 "I installed floating shelving from IKEA above those, and used photo boxes from Lowe’s to store various trims/ribbons/notions.  

"In between the shelving and the cabinets I decided to use the floral print bins, made by Curver, that I had found at Staples to store my patterns. On the wall to the left I found 2 pantries, a single and a double, at Lowe’s in the bathroom storage section. They fit perfectly as well!

"In the double I keep my extra machines, scrapbooking items like my Cricut, Scentsy warmers, glue guns, bias tape machine etc.  In the single I use clear Rubbermaid bins to store cross stitch, magazines, and cut out projects. Everything is labelled for easy identification. On top of these are 6 more Curver bins of patterns: 

  "I have a ledge that runs around the outside walls of my basement, so on this I bought Sterilite clear bins to hold notions like elastic, pins, velcro, etc. Above these are BYGEL kitchen towel rails from IKEA, and the plastic bins that hang from those are also BYGEL from IKEA.  These hold notions, pens, pencils, sharpies etc. Again, everything is labelled for easy identification:

"Along the back wall is my cutting table.  I basically designed this space to be able to accommodate my cutting mats. There are 3 of them on the table, and in my old space I was only able to use 2.  I have more of the BYGEL IKEA storage rails/bins on the walls surrounding the cutting table, as well as RATIONELL IKEA bins,  holding everything I would need if I was cutting out...marking tools and pencils, weights, rulers, rotary cutters, tracing paper etc.  

"All of my knit, flannel, ruffle fabric and minky is in the bins under the cutting table, which are also by Sterilite.  

"The cabinets above my sewing table I use for all of my threads. I bought Creative Options bins from Michaels and removed the lids on the larger ones so they would fit. The 3 door cabinet is from Lowe’s and matches the pantries. 

 "The BYGEL rail above my machines have random notions in them, again all labelled.  The GRUNDTAL magnetic knife rail from IKEA serves as a place for my scissors.  

  "Under my sewing table right now are my scraps ( 2 bins!?!), and my garbage can, which I pull out and put in front of the bookshelf when I sew.  I have a pink sewing chair that was bought at Staples,  but it was not in the space when I took the pictures.  

"My ironing station was something I converted from a NORDEN sideboard purchased from IKEA.   I had cut it down so that I could slide it under the cutting table if I wanted to have it out of the way, which I never ended up doing because the amount of fabric prevented me from being able to! I wanted a rectangular ironing table so that I could iron yardage and not have to constantly readjust like you would have to on a regular ironing board.  I have a mini ironing board that I use if I need to iron curves, bodices etc. 

  "This cabinet has 2 drawers that I use to store my embroidery stabilizer and fusible web/interfacings, and I use the shelving below with more small Sterilite bins to store small projects.  My Accuquilt is kept in a sewing machine tote beside this table. Since everything is labelled, I can find what I need very quickly, and I find that I am more likely to return something to its proper place when I am finished with it this way. 

 "My room stays fairly organized (except for the pile of items I need to iron!), and really, everything does fit very nicely.. I do have a lot more stuffed in there  than most people I have seen in their larger spaces. My mom works at a fabric store chain so that does not help the addiction, and I have been collecting fabrics and notions for years.  I recently had baby #6, so haven’t had too much time to use my space the way I would like, but hoping in the near future that I will be able to devote more time to using it."

Thank you so much, Andrea!!!

Doesn't Andrea have a lot of *fabulous* solutions to keeping our sewing areas clutter free?! I thought I already made good use of my closet space, but I have SO many more ideas now for the walls too.  I hope you're all feeling as inspired as I am. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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