Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sewing Room Organization Journey

To be quite honest, I do not have a sewing room, per se. I dreamed of one my entire life. I especially dreamed of one when we went house hunting in Virginia. The first house we put an offer on had a wonderful amount of large rooms, lots of windows. an open concept kitchen, large family room, living room, even a sun room off the family room that looked two stories over the yard. There were plenty of bedrooms and quite a large finished basement that would please my husband for his own office, his own workout space, a media room and more. There was even an extra large bedroom with large windows off the kitchen that I could use for my own sewing room! The bad points were an enormously narrow yard, that my kids booed, and a high school football field and bleachers just beyond the trees at the edge of that narrow yard. Oh Friday nights (and more) were doomed to be noisy. I was certain we would never hear ourselves think. I wouldn't mind living in the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg. I could definitely do fife and drum corps marching by, muskets firing and even cannons booming across the way. I could even guests patiently endure the guests who'd merrily and noisily pose for photos on the front porch...because that happened one time when my kids and I had tea with a friend of mine who lived in one of the historic homes. She laughed and said that such unexpected noises are part of the territory of living in a living history museum. =) However, high school football and bands...I didn't think I could endure that and I was sure my family wouldn't be able to either.  However inventory was low, prices were high, and the price of this house was a steal (perhaps for this reason). Also we discovered it was on a street named for the mansion of one of our Founding Fathers from Virginia, and of course a street name like that was one of my goals. In the end someone else, who paid all cash got the house (only for the house to return to the market in a couple of weeks at the same price. hmmm)

Anyway, 4 offers later, low inventory yielded a moderate house that was pricier but with smaller  and fewer rooms. My husband said an office for him was priority. Thus...I got, again the dining room! That's not such a bad deal for me, because I often steal a few stitches while cooking anyway. The problem is more my husband's because he gets exasperated with my sewing strung throughout the house. I spread out my fabric to cut and piece on the floor in one room, sew it at the dining room table in another room...probably like most sewers!

Being scattered becomes problematic for me when I need to pack up shop to clear the dining room table for company or holidays. Therefore I've been working on creative storage solutions. Specifically I've been thinking through ways to keep my various projects (contemporary curtain treatments or clothing, historic clothing, quilts) separate. When I toss everything into a crammed closet I spend hours trying to figure out where I left off.

Last July, after winning the Row by Row Quilt challenge, it was time to clean up that project's scatterings so that I could focus on the next sewing project. With Row by Row Quilts, I get lots of free patterns so I pull out my entire stash from the dark closet in the dark hallway upstairs and bring it down to the light. Then I pick and choose the colors I want for each portion of each row, which this year took me about a month. I was so ready to clean up my scatterings. This year I organized by color. My hope is that it will make future quilt projects go more smoothly. I usually only use a few color families so this way I could grab a few colorways instead of the entire stash.   

Here's a close up of the result. I like the look too!
Here's the entire linen closet upstairs. The linens have been moved to their appropriate locations. Sheets to the proper bedroom closet and towels to the proper bathroom. Less space in those rooms now but this was my best solution.
The top two shelves are my historically accurate fabrics. On the right of the second shelf I have home decor fabrics.  The third shelf holds fabric for contemporary sewing. The fourth and fifth shelves down hold the quilting fabrics. All the quilt bats, boning for corsets and stays, etc are on the floor.
Then I organized my button stash by color. I used to have them dumped in one container but that's too much mess to sort through when I know I want a certain color. Then I sorted them by color and put them in the divided container on the left (after taking out all my embroidery floss which left that a mess but then I had decided I was done embroidering for a while) however that container was a mess to deal with. Either it fell and everything spilled out. Or I had a tough time digging through the colors to see what I wanted and colors spilled over anyway. 
After some searching I found  some small canning jars taking up space in my kitchen that I never use.

I decided to store them in the credenza in the family room near the light and windows and french door.  I also have all my historic sewing supplies in here, along with all my sewing notes from the historic sewing classes I took at Colonial Williamsburg and Burnley and Trowbridge.
I decided to reorganize my embroidery floss. They are sorted by color number.
I bought these baskets a few years ago. In each I have a different category (more or less) of sewing projects. In each one I have, pretty much, either quilting, historic, or contemporary, with some spill over.  
These are stacked against the corner out of sight from the front door a round the  corner.
And the dress form with my 18th century silk gown project has been moved into the living room...where I've also been laying out my latest quilt project since this is a low/no traffic room. Problem is there is no light in here so it gets dark. Even in daytime this time of year, it's darkish because of our dismally drizzly cozy days. 
Here's a close up on a sunnier day. 

Tomorrow I'm having a tea so I had to make space in the dining room! We were told that for one of our topics of discussion, to be prepared to share what we do.  Um...even though I tried to hide some of this, it's still a bit obvious! 

1 comment:

  1. It's always interesting to see how other people organize their sewing supplies. Your new quilt looks great - love the colours!