evolution of a sewing space: starting from scratch

so i have what may possibly be the best problem in the history of the world.  get your hate mail ready.

i’m in the process of kitting out not one but two dedicated sewing areas.
just for me.
one in my apartment…
and one in my new house.

me in my mccall cape in the backyard of the house my mom and i just bought together.

my mom, in a crazy act of unbelievable generosity, has joined me and supported me in a decision to purchase a house in upstate new york–a haven away from the bustle of work (and traffic) in suburban NJ and the craziness of NYC, an escape from the difficulty of the past few years’ worth of dealing with my mother’s long-term and apparently chronic experience with cancer.

so, as always happens when one gets one’s mother involved in a project, it becomes much more of a joint decision (as i like to say, agreeing with decisions she’s already made) than in one’s flightiest bits of fantasy. (i need hardly add that it also gets much more exciting when someone else is staying up all night poring over the craigslist ads with you, emailing you coupons and paint color chips and calling 6 or 7 times a day with a spark of enthusiasm that matches your own)

but we both agreed that the tiny loft overlooking the living room and the fireplace was mine to do with as i pleased.

16 feet long, 90" tall at its tallest and 24" tall at its shortest, and a little less than 9 feet deep

as with so many other projects these days, my first stop is pinterest.  obviously i stumble very quickly over the crafting goddess herself, martha stewart.

the gold standard of craft spaces: martha stewart's bedford space

craft space furnished using martha stewart's recent collection from home decorators

my mom gets what i think may be every catalogue ever published, by anyone, so it was no shock when she pulled out the home decorators’ collection catalogue and showed me the pages she had bookmarked highlighting martha stewart’s new furniture collection.  so what is special about this one?  let me tell you: it is designed specifically for craft spaces.

using my 20% off total purchase coupon, i splurged on the crafting desk, 36″ high, as well as the bottom half of the wrapping paper hutch (basically, the desk minus the hutch) to create one long table 36″ high.  ideally, it would be a few inches taller, but it’ll be much better for my back than crouching on the floor, don’t you think?  also went for three little storage units:  1 bookshelf, one filing drawer, and one unit of drawer storage, all matching the main table/desk and looking nice and uniform all lined up.  i felt drunk with power (and credit).  this is the only non-secondhand furniture in the entire house.

partially assembled craft loft. look out house, i bought a power drill!

you can see two of the assembled units lining up in formation on the small side of the loft.  i also got two bulletin boards and covered the huge splinter in one of the floor planks by re-using some leftover FLOR tiles (coincidentally, also martha stewart brand) from when i was decorating my apartment 4 years ago.  the wall is a gorgeous shade of blue, courtesy of BM “summer shower.”  i haven’t yet figured out how to assemble the desk and the hutch without the aid of another human, but maybe i can bribe my sister with some additional S.W.A.G. to help out while she is home on spring break.

but i haven’t yet addressed the most important issue of all!  puu, you are asking, how will you bring your sewing machine back and forth with you?  sure, the featherweight is a portable machine but how many times do you really want to pack up and carry it?


1955 featherweight with foot pedal, case and presser feet

i bought another featherweight.  and really, isn’t anything worthwhile if it gives you an excuse to buy a featherweight?

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11 Responses to evolution of a sewing space: starting from scratch

  1. oonaballoona says:

    WOW. talk about the best medicine!

  2. Clare says:

    The garden looks stunning – I would be overjoyed with that open space even without a sewing room! I hope you and your mother have lots of happy times there and lots of fun making it the way you want it.

  3. alice says:

    What a wonderful place! I hope you enjoy every minute of being there. A close member of my family has been suffering from a serious and life-threatening disease for about eight years. Sometimes, (when I remember to be mindful, that is) it really helps me to remember the present is all any of us have. And to be able to enjoy it together is the greatest gift.

    I will look forward to seeing your sewing room.

  4. Meg says:

    Your space is going to be so very lovely!! I love all of these posts that talk about your process of getting the space together and choosing your accessories – it’s very sewtastic to me, and I get to live vicariously through you!

  5. Jilly Be says:

    omegosh what a MAGICAL and FABULOUS space! It looks like such an exciting project that I can’t even be jealous (I admit it, I was prepared to be…); I’m just super excited for you!

    It’s also inspirational for me – I have a barn/shed/structure (VERY funky) in the backyard & one day….maybe…..I’ll be able to convert it into a sewing studio/office, so posts like yours really help lift my hopes; thank you, and have fun!

    And how utterly delightful that your Mother shares in your enthusiasm – lucky you!

  6. Jilly Be says:

    Oh – and I forgot to say CONGRATS on your Feather #2! (you do know that you can’t stop at just 2, don’t you?) 😉

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