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Message Board > Sewing Spaces > Need to get back to sewing... but have to get my space set up first ( Moderated by Deepika)

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Need to get back to sewing... but have to get my space set up first
chicaem29
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chicaem29  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/7/12 6:58 PM

I moved 5 months ago to take a new job and have been so busy that I haven't even been able to think about sewing until now. All of my sewing stuff has been in boxes untouched since I moved. I really want to get back to sewing before I lose my drive to do it from being away from it for too long - plus I still don't know many people where I live and I need to do something other than work and watch TV!

But before I can even start anything - even just hemming RTW pants - I need to get my sewing stuff unpacked and my sewing area set up. My apartment is a loft in an old building - my bedroom is up a flight of stairs, and my sewing room is a smaller nook loft that I have to climb up a ladder to get to. It's a pretty small space and since it's a loft, the slope of the ceilings reduces the amount of space I have even more. I really can't unpack just a few things, since the space is so small, and I don't know where my movers put things in the boxes.

Since I have to climb up and down a ladder to get to my sewing space, I want to make sure I have as much stuff up there as possible so that I don't have to scramble around when I need something.

My biggest issue is figuring out how to store my fabric, since it takes up the most space. I need to store it on the side of the room with the sloped ceiling. At the wall I only have about 36" height below the cross beams - so very little vertical space for a cabinet or stacked bins. I have about 51 inches of width to work with because my pattern filing cabinets will be along one side.

In my last apartment I had a floor to ceiling Ikea wardrobe filled with my fabric, except for one shelf. I'm debating between putting two of these next to each other, or getting plastic tubs. It's hard to find tubs that will fit and make the best use of the awkward space, and if I use the cabinets, I can put stuff on top without having to move it each time I get out fabric. But I'm worried the cabinets won't fit enough fabric, and maybe I could stuff more into the tubs. I really only have this one area to keep fabric because the space is tiny and the rest of the perimeter will have a bookshelf, mirror, dress form, and my sewing machines, with just barely enough room to walk around.

I can post a picture of the space if it would help. It's just a big mess right now.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any advice you can give!

JKimes
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JKimes  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/7/12 7:55 PM

Hi Chicaem29,

First, congrats on the new job and home!

You might want to consider hanging your fabric instead of putting it on shelves or in cupboards. I did this about 2 years ago and love it. I mostly use the velvet hangers and accordion fold the fabric, then fold over the hanger. Everything stays neat, it's easy to see what you have and the floor is clear and easier to clean.

Good luck and happy sewing!
Juliette

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Juliette near Austin, TX
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poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 7/7/12 7:56 PM


I am a bit tired.. so forgive me if I am no help.. but was wondering about curtaining off one end of the room to hide whatever behind the curtain.

And make the most of the middle of the room.. Not everything has to be shoved up against a wall.

Have missed seeing your posts and so glad to see you are back posting again..

chicaem29
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chicaem29  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/8/12 11:14 AM

I would love to be able to hang my fabric - that's what I did when I still lived at home and had a nice sized sewing room with a big doorless closet. But there is no space for that in my new sewing room.

Here are some pics:
IMG_0077
IMG_0076
IMG_0075

The loft is about 6x8, not including about 2-2.5 feet of space at the end (past the railing) where the ceiling is really low, and can really only be used for storage since I can't stand there. There's a cross beam about a foot past that area that I have to be careful not to bump my head on (which I've already done!). The room is small enough that my 4x2 foot table takes up most of the space in the middle (not sure how I'll be able to fit my bigger cutting board topper), and so I have to figure out how to cram enough stuff around the edge while still giving me room to walk. My mirror will go in the corner near the window, and I think I will put a small bookshelf along the railing above the track lights. I want to sit along the brick wall side since I don't entirely trust the railings to hold me if I were to accidentally push back too hard into them. I'll probably line up my sewing machines along the other railing.

chicaem29
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chicaem29  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/8/12 11:19 AM

Oh and thanks for the well-wishes, and good to see you again pigling!



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Date: 7/8/12 11:24 AM

Oh boy. You have more room then I do.

All I can tell you is to think outside the box.

Dianne22
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Dianne22  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/8/12 11:57 AM

It's hard to judge how much room you have between your sewing table and that brick wall, but you might think about putting narrow shelving across that area for your boxed supplies (buying containers that would fit on the shelving). Then you could use that useless space under the slanted eaves for a hanging space. I have made hanging bars out of rebar or steel rods hung from long cuphooks. These hooks can easily be screwed into the joists about 8"to 10" out from the back wall and your hangers will fit nicely. A large nut or something like that can be secured at the end if the bar doesn't come exactly to each side wall (that keeps things from coming off the ends). Good luck.
-- Edited on 7/9/12 10:32 AM --

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/8/12 12:02 PM

Your railings will be nice to hang yardage from. I use mine in my dining room when things need to be aired or maybe not 100% dry, but nearly, to check how colours or patterns coordinate. I have been known to hang stuff there for weeks as I cogitate on how to start a project.

Very cool apartment!

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Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/8/12 12:50 PM

What a great opportunity to repurpose! I would keep the most necessary essentials in the loft, such as fabric for one or two garments, as well as your most highly utilized books and notions and most of your "normal" colored thread. As to the other books, I suggest you get a bookcase or a small cabinet and use that as part of your living space; maybe somewhere just below the ladder. The bookcase can also be a room divider, such as behind a bed, or a top can be placed on it for eating or entertaining. Small chests of drawers can not only hold your fabric, but can also hold your TV, stereo, etc. on top. If the apartment is open, as in no rooms, you can use them in a configuration to divide up the living space, while at the same time, storing your sewing items. You'll be sewing in the loft, and if you keep the necessary items with you when you start a project, although all your other stuff is scattered throughout the living space, it will prevent you from having to go up and down the ladder alot.

You said something about your cutting board topper. Is that one of those cardboard types, or is it a large wooden piece that fits over a table? Does it fold up? You might want to consider getting something that folds.

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Kayabunga
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Date: 7/8/12 3:02 PM

Miss Fairchild took the words right out of my mouth. I too suggest that you only keep your active project fabric in your sewing loft and the rest somewhere in your living space. When choosing fabric and pattern combinations I like to spread my fabrics out and drape the fabric around me while evaluating patterns etc. That's better done in a larger room with a great mirror and where you have enough space to make a big mess. For me, the individual plastic drawer units that you can configure in any way you like work REALLY well for all my notions. I got mine at WalMart. The small ones are perfect for buttons etc while the large ones hold enough to keep much of my interfacing and pattern collection ... which is really saying something. Good luck in your new adventure.

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