Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Long overdue

I'm sure you know by now that I've been on strike.  We're into WEEK 7 of what I thought would be a quick couple of weeks of demonstration followed by a couple of conciliation meetings.  Nope.  There is no end in sight.  While the lab is struggling to keep up with the screening program, I'm spinning my wheels at home.  Well, I was, but it turns out that after 6 weeks at home, you kind of fall into a new routine.  Get up at 6:30, get the big one ready for school, get the little one up, drive the big one to maternelle, go back home, get the little one ready for daycare, walk her to daycare....then the rest of the day is mine.  I tackled a big pile of paperwork I'd been avoiding, did some fall-cleaning and organized all the kids' clothes in storage.  I've already gone through a 25lb. bag of flour (and put on a couple of pounds!), so I think I should lay off the baking, but there is still a lot of organizing and purging that needs to be done around here.  Case in point:  my sewing corner.  I can't believe I'm posting photos of this, but here we go....

I have basically commandeered one end of the TV/playroom/living room.  

This is an old table that we used to use in the kitchen of our old rental places, but with a nice large house, we have upgraded.  Well, we now use two of these, properly varnished.  We can push them together in various configurations depending on how many guests we have.  Anyway, back to the sewing corner:

Eep.  Under the table are three diaper boxes bursting with patterns.  Not the best storage method, but I was making due.  In the centre is a bag with scraps, and to the right is a laundry basket full of things that need mending and alterations.  Ahem.  I'm sure we all have a pile of these.

  Looking in the other direction, here is my stash of fabric.  I thought that putting them in two see-through storage containers was the height of organization.....until I needed something in the bottom one and was too lazy to lift up the heavy box on top and put it back, so just threw it in the corner.  Again, we're all friends here and have nothing to hide....

I realized that this gradually evolved because I started sewing bit by bit and didn't really plan a space.  I just took stuff up from the basement pile as needed until I had an embarassing nest in a very public part of the house.  Time to attack.

One 9-cube shelving unit courtesy of Ms. Martha Stewart.  I had planned to install shelves on that wall, but some investigation revealed that there are no wooden studs.  This was the best solution I came up with.

One Billy bookcase from Ikea.  

It holds all my patterns and s**t!  
From top left: patterns from 1920s-1960s; 1970s; notions
Middle row:  patterns from 1980s-1990s; 2000-2011; tools
Bottom row:  patterns for kids and costumes; Burda patterns and magazines; sewing books

 I even had time to organize the fabric appropriately, from the bottom up:  cotton sheets and muslin on the bottom where I won't care if the kids and/or cats get at them; broadcloth and cotton blends; silks and silky synthetics out of snagging reach of little fingers and claws; jerseys; exotic fabrics I bought around the world and don't want anyone to touch; and finally scraps and small bits on top.  (I know that you're not supposed to keep small pieces because they just become hoarded scaps, but these are really good ones.  No, really.)  I still have one garbage bag full of fabric shoved in the corner, but I have a very good explanation for that.  I bought a bag of wool suiting at an estate sale, but the woman had been a heavy smoker.  The fabric was stinking up all the other fabric, and so until I get around to laundering everything by hand, it is sealed for safety.  Maybe if this strike lingers on, I'll get it all freshened up and it can live with its buddies in the shelf of textile lust.


  1. Nice work! I love the way you transformed your work nook. I'm in serious need of organizing as well, especially my thread! Love the look of the Martha bookcase on top of the desk! Very clean and nice. A former coworker of mine at Martha (did I mention I used to work there?) did something similar with a Billy bookcase, but with doors added to hide her machine:

  2. Very nice job! I'll bet you're just itching to use the space now, eh?

  3. @daughterfish: I was going to but doors, but they were expensive and u kind of like the open look...I can gaze lovingly at my treasures and see everything at once. ;)
    @Heather: no, I don't want to mess it up! Only half joking...

  4. *I kind of like the open look. Sheesh. iPhone doesn't correct u to I?

  5. That looks so neat and tidy and just begging for some sewing to be done! Your fabrics look beautiful stacked up like that. And I concur that scraps are definitely useful. The number of times I've needed small amounts of cotton for pocket linings, or skirt waistband linings, etc, and don't want to cut into a "good" big piece of new fabric; then those high quality scraps are then like *gold*!

  6. That looks amazing!! I love the bookshelf on top of the table. And isn't IKEA the BEST for all your organizational needs?!?!

  7. You did a great job organizing your stuff! I wish we had enough room for me to have a sewing table and dedicated sewing stuff shelves... Alas, I have at least another year before we can justify getting a bigger apartment... :)

  8. @carolyn: thanks for validating my fabric scrap hording!
    @Nettie: I'm afraid that my house is starting to look like an Ikea showroom, but at least everything has its place...
    @Alessa: I started off sewing on the dining table, but it was a pain to set up and clean up every night. Then I worked on the coffee table (about 50cm x 50cm!), but that was ridiculous. I finally kicked my kids out of that corner and commandeered it for Mama :)

  9. I love your style and your sense of humor. Your Blog template is a little creepy with the bacterial and stuff. . .


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