My sewing room now consists of two rooms joined by French doors. It has evolved quite a bit over the years. Originally my husband had the room on the south side for his office. The front room was our library and I designed it to feel like a moody coffee house. I chose industrial lighting, added black bookcases and a dark grey paint color. When I returned to quilting in September 2018, I set up a crafting space in our finished basement for my husband and I. However, we found ourselves going up and down many flights of stairs to attend to our very young children after bedtime. I also was not able to sew unless everyone was downstairs and decided a change was needed.
I decided to put our crafting space in the library. It worked well for location but soon I found books all over my desk and floor any time I went to sew. We decided to put new bookcases in our living room and move the library there. Now I found myself with five bookcases for storage and a true sewing room. My husband uses two and I use three.
Let’s start with the first room where I actually sew. My desk is actually a pine dining table by Ikea called the Ingo .I stained the top walnut and sealed it. I also painted the bottom white. I chose this table since it was solid wood and I could install the sewing machine flush with top.
I followed a tutorial from Make It Handmade for my small Brother machine. When I purchased my Janome though, the hole needed to be cut larger and I wanted a shelf (instead of the bolts used in the above tutorial) so it would enclose the whole machine. My contractor helped rig this up when he was finishing our Master bathroom. This improved system meant I could sew at full speed and the vibrations would be eliminated.We used scrap wood from my scrap pile.
Here is what the shelf looks like. We used 2x4s so that this was absolutely solid. My Janome weighs 22lbs and I didn’t want it going anywhere. Underneath you can see how we built supports
Here is a picture of underneath for a better idea of this system. We started with the 2x4s and then ripped them down so that the depth of the shelf would have the sewing machine sit flush. For the actual shelf the Janome sits on we used our old fireplace mantel (which is really solid) and screwed it into the supports. We used a jigsaw to cut the hole to the shape of the Janome and a little extra so the cords can run down.
I set the sewing machine to the right so that when I quilt my own quilt tops, I have the better part of the left side of the desk for support. On the right hand side I have room to store all my needed notions on hand and a small woven scrap and thread basket. There are also two nearly floor to ceiling windows on the Northside which I just love. It is nearly always light and bright (except for most days when Ohio is dark and grey but you can’t win them all).
Behind my sewing desk is where I store all my fabric. Now I don’t actually keep a stash. I buy fabrics for specific projects. This might change going forward as I have started to see the benefit of not having to run to the quilt shop for every binding and backing. I do however save larger scraps. I typically toss anything smaller than a 2.5″ square but the rest gets sorted into glass jars by color.
I have white storage containers to organize any ongoing projects, backings,leftover yardage from backings and completed tops to be quilted. I also have some Make It panels my kids are working on.
Across from our craft desks is my cutting table. This was actually the top of our former dinner table at our prior home. We built this years ago with my father-in-law at 8ft long but we had to trim it down to 5′ 6″ because to fit in the small banquet area. At this house we had this in storage and I realized it was a perfect cutting table surface. We added adjustable trestle legs from Ikea so that I could have some storage underneath and be able to find my perfect cutting height.
To the right of my cutting table, I have a pegboard system from Ikea. It is my favorite thing for organizing all of my notions. I also really appreciate the aesthetics of the plastic peg board which is functional and really well designed.The row in the middle holds all of my sewing machine accessories for my Janome and the one on the right holds the accessories for my Brother (which the kids are now learning to use). I store my embroidery thread in the left row. I am currently embroidering a Christmas quilt panel.
I also have a wooden organizer for all of my rulers. I found this at a local shop made by an artisan craftsman and it is so handy to find rulers and keep neatly organized.
About a week ago my husband decided to move his office downstairs where it is a little more quiet and cooler. (He works from home all the time and I have homeschooled our four children for three years.) This meant the southern room was fair game! I immediately knew that I wanted to transform it into a kids crafting space adjoined to my sewing room with a design wall on the left wall. Since all of this occurred during quarantine-I set about shopping our house.
I can’t tell you how indebted I am to my husband for being a saver of things. I tend to want to donate and get rid of right away. He likes to hold onto old furniture, shelves, etc since we have room to store it because “you never know when you might need it.” Sure enough, I pulled two very long Ikea desks and legs we had in the garage. I joined the two desks by adding a fifth leg in the middle and used two door hinges! Now we had a 60″x45″ desk for the kids to work.
On right side, I used the same ikea pegboard system as mine, to organize all of their small craft supplies. I pulled stools we keep in the basement for when we have larger dinner parties. Now all six of us can sit and craft together. I also installed shelving we had always meant to put in our basement but never did. Now they hold more jars organizing their larger craft supplies like pencils, markers, yarn, paintbrushes,paint and more.
I am a sucker for beautiful storage. I want it to be functional but also aesthetically pleasing and to match my overall decor scheme. I raided my baking center for extra jars that weren’t being used any longer. I love how it all turned out.
On the left side, I knew right away I wanted to add a design wall. Our home is a pretty open floor plan and that meant I have few walls to use for strictly a design wall. I decided to used some batting for the actual wall. Thus far it works pretty well except a whole top can be too heavy when sewn together so I need to pin the top to the batting. I can also see the batting getting worn far sooner than if I had used flannel. Eventually I am likely going to switch it out.
Every tutorial I found on design walls featured hard core foam board available from Home Depot in 4×8 sheets. I had a few problems with these options. First, it was during quarantine time so I wasn’t going to the store and second I had no way of getting two 4×8 sheets home. So I decided to go old school and use the wall. No regrets there.
I wanted it to look finished but I also wanted it to be done. So first I started trying to just put up the batting but it was way too stretchy to get straight and it was so unfinished (hence the appeal of the nice hardcore foam board). So I came up with the idea of framing out the batting using my scrap wood. I taped the top of the batting to the frame piece and slowly nailed it up using a level to get it straight.
Pattern shown is my Diamonds and Pins Quilt releasing in May!
The scrap wood were 1/4″ thick pieces that our contractor had shaved off from the frame for our bathroom mirror. I knew to keep these pieces because they could create some frame for a project down the road.
I used a miter saw to cut the wood at 45 degree angles so the frame itself was mitered with a nice clean look.
Overall I love my sewing room and the adjoining kids room. However there are few things I am likely going to change. First, the paint color has been grey for about three years. Now that the southern room is so light filled and bright (painted my favorite white alabaster) I am craving a lighter look for my sewing room.
I most likely going to paint it alabaster in the next few weeks. I am moving the rug downstairs to my husband’s office and I am hunting for something different. I also stained the desk and cutting table a dark walnut color but I am thinking of sanding it off and doing a lighter grey/white stain which I have in my paint storage. I also have really dark curtains in my sewing room and want to replace them with lighter curtains. I actually think I will just switch them out with our guest room curtains.
Finally we are probably going to remove (and store) the French doors. While I love the look, they do get in the way of my pegboard and catch on the rug. I also want the rooms to feel like one. Not to mention, I keep them open all the time so I may as well remove them.
Finally, I am going to add some trim to the black book cases and I MIGHT be painting the backs white. I recently saw a picture of white backs and black bookcases and I LOVED it. I think it would really make the fabric jars pop. Of course this would also be a lot for work… For now, I am still in the dreaming and planning phase and will probably change my mind about 25 times.
I hope you enjoyed the tour and feel free to ask me questions or clarifications needed in the comments below. Also sharing is caring so please PIN and share my post 😉
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