Tag Archive | sewing room

So this happened…




I opened the closet in my sewing room Saturday morning and was greeted by the sight of a storage container avalanche. A jumble of small plastic tubs and caved-in cardboard boxes. Would you like that in paper or plastic? ‘Cause I had sacks of both persuasions falling over, dripping down the mountains of stuff like they were Dali’s clocks. In that moment, I completely forgot whatever it was I had gone looking for. In that moment… I transformed into my alter ego Purge-n-Organize Girl! Ok, that’s a terrible super hero name. But if you could have seen the blaze of outraged perfectionist fury chucking things out of that closet into the (not so ) vast expanse of my sewing room… you would have been awed by my powers. No longer would I stand for having painting supplies in three different places! No more would I have crochet hooks scattered about in some kind of haystackian needle hide and seek! But, it’s always darkest before the dawn and it’s always messiest before any discernible progress is made. The above photos document the mid-point of the process; you should have seen it when I started! Too bad I couldn’t find my camera then… As of this writing, I’m about 75% done and it’s already feeling better in there. All paintbrushes and paints are happily homed together; fabric bins are stacked together rather than on opposite sides of the room.

So why am I telling you all about my cleaning binge? Because there was no time for creating whilst I was destroying.

Wednesday should be better!

Ready, set, craft!

We’ve been in this house for five months and 14 days and today, I got my sewing room put together in a way that I can use it. It’s not perfect and my storage “solutions” are not Pinterest-worthy paragons of organization, but it’s functional. It started with a new cutting board. My kids have wreaked untold havoc on my old one. It’s dingy, torn up, bent up, adorned with marker drawings and globs of glue. In short, it’s hideous.


I had been all excited to start sewing on my peasant blouse (aka UFO #2), but when I spread out the cutting board on my table, I couldn’t bring myself to lay any fabric on it. It really was that gross. But for an almost 8 year old sheet of cardboard that survived two moves, I’d say I got my money’s worth out of it. All ten bucks and then some. Today, I bought a new one.

A thing of beauty

A thing of beauty

Now, to be fair, I shouldn’t say that the cutting board started this process. Really, it’s more that the cutting board ended it. Ever since we moved in, my table has been covered in mounds of stuff, most of which had no business being in my sewing room in the first place. Slowly, but surely, I was able to get the table cleared off. All except for my computer. And so, the table morphed into a desk, which was really handy, but didn’t help me accomplish any sewing. So today, with a new cutting board, I vowed to keep my table clear so that it will be project-ready at a moment’s notice. I tried various configurations of boxes and bins to use as a makeshift desk for my computer and moved it around to three different places in my room to find the best location. If Goldilocks had a laptop, this would have been her story. This stack of bins was too high; that stack was too low. Where was that elusive sweet spot?

Mr. Gren came in to observe my progress and suggested, “Why don’t you just use the ironing board? It’s adjustable.”
“But what do I do when I need to iron? It will be just like the table was before.”
“Just set your computer on that stack of bins right next to it.”



Frog is looking at you

This just might work.

Eventually, I’d like to get my fabric and yarn out of bins and into some kind of dresser or cabinet, but I can be patient until a good deal comes along. I can get to everything I need, I can see most of it, and I have plenty of room to move around.


Lots of natural light with South and West-facing windows


See that little mound on the table? That’s the peasant blouse, waiting to be sewn.

The closet, however, is a different story. But, as Mr. Gren pointed out, “At least you have a closet.”


I still need to write about that cape that’s hanging up in there!

It’s the little things

About a year ago I bought a big sheet of peg board from Lowe’s and a couple 1/4″ dowels. My idea was to make a cheap version of this:

Overpriced thread rack

As with most things, I didn’t get around to it. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, that should come as no surprise to you. The peg board lived unobtrusively between my washing machine and the wall and the dowels resided behind my sewing room door. And in the meantime, my thread was a mess. There were a few spools in my sewing tackle box, a few in a small plastic organizer case, a few in a zip-up bag, and a few spools just lying loose in a drawer. Not an ideal work situation. And, inevitably, every time I went to the fabric store to buy fabric for a new project, I’d have a momentary panic of “I don’t think I have thread in this color!” I’d buy another spool of thread and, of course, come home and find at least one other spool that could have done the job.

Last week out of the blue, Mr. Gren decided that he was going to take it upon himself to make my thread rack. I gave him a couple of empty spools to use for measuring and it was just some wood glue and a couple hours later that I had this:

Pretty darn cheap thread rack

It’s difficult to tell from this photo, but it doesn’t hang flat against the wall; the bottom edge is angled out. (Also, you’ll see a few of my likes that I referenced in my last post). As soon as Mr. Gren hung it up on my wall, I got out all my thread and ordered it by color. I put all my spools on the board, sat back and admired it. Then I hopped up and ordered each color by hue, light to dark, sat back and admired it some more. I may not get any work done because it’s just so pretty to look at.

Taste the rainbow

My view as I sew

Now that I have all this beautiful thread in plain sight and within easy reach, it should save me at least a couple bucks every time I go to the fabric store. I also thought it was interesting how you can tell at a glance what my favorite colors are.

Thanks, Mr. Gren!