A Studio Tour

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Hello from the land of cardboard boxes! Our move went well, but we are currently living in the downstairs of our new house while the upstairs floors are being redone. It’s a bit stressful to say the least!

The room that will be my future sewing studio is currently functioning as our bedroom. All of my sewing machines are still in boxes and all of my fabric is packed away, but that’s not to say I haven’t opened up a few boxes just to sadly look at fabric that I’m waiting to cut up. Soon, soon!

I took a few photos of my studio at our last house before I packed up everything up for our move. I always love seeing everyone else’s sewing spaces, so I thought I’d share updated photos of my set-up. I really liked working in that space, even if it did get really stinking hot in the summer thanks to having very little insulation! I was able to easily flow from sewing to cutting to ironing, and it was easy to find my fabric and notions on the shelves Rob installed for me.

Olin-StudioA

I still loooove my drafting table/cutting table. It is a great height for standing around and cutting, and being able to reach all sides of a project is key to some of the harder layouts I do on plaids and delicate cuts on chiffon. I’m happy it will fit very well into my new sewing space, because I don’t think I could part with it!

Olin-StudioB

Something that I would like to do for my new studio is to get rid of the IKEA tables that currently house my sewing machines. I’m hoping to talk Rob into building me one long table with strong supports, so that I don’t have table legs to work around. I go back and forth from machine to machine quite often, so being able to easily slide down to the end of the table would be really great.

Olin-StudioC

Two things I won’t miss? The ugly air conditioner and the floor vent. That vent drove me crazy. My chair was constantly getting stuck on it and making a racket.

Olin-StudioD

I will miss sharing a space with Rob (his office was behind that door). I can’t say he’ll miss my constant pestering though! It was hard to stop myself from badgering him with questions and music requests during the day.

Keep your fingers crossed that my new space is ready to be set up soon! Knitting is keeping me busy for the moment, but I’m getting a little bit twitchy about not being able to sew…

  • Sue M

    Hi, I love your blog. It’s very helpful. I am a beginner at sewing.
    Can you explain to an English woman what ‘notions’ are? To me a notion is an idea! Thank you. Sue

    • Hi, Sue. I’m an ‘experienced’ beginner, meaning I’ve sewn off and on over the years, but now I’m really able to focus on learning and sewing. I’ll let Wikipedia define the term notions as we use it here in the US: Items that are sewn or otherwise attached to a finished article,
      such as buttons, snaps, and collar stays, but the term also includes
      small tools used in sewing, such as thread, pins, marking pens, and seam rippers.

      • silkenpaw

        Sue and Robin, We Americans use notion in the sense of an idea, too. The sewing kind of notion is just a specialized meaning. I looked it up in an etymologic dictionary but they had no entry for sewing notions, just the idea ones, so it will have to remain a mystery.

    • Hi, Sue! I’m so glad you like this space. πŸ™‚ A notion is an idea, but it is also a term used to describe items used in sewing, such as buttons, pins and snaps.

  • Shea

    LOVE your old space and can hardly wait to see the new one! Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

    • I can’t wait to share my new space, Shea! I am going a little bit batty not being able to set it up. I can see my sewing machine boxes and my fabric, but I can’t unpack it yet. I think I have about another week+ before I can dig into my stash. Oh, I am impatient!

  • Love your old space; can’t wait to see the new space. Hope you are feeling well, too, in these last few weeks (exciting times a’comin’!!). Your videos and blog postings are so very helpful to me; I loved the Craftsy videos about machine maintenance; they really helped me overcome my fear of my machines πŸ™‚ ….

    • I’m excited to get it set up and share it, Robin. If only everything would magically be done in the upstairs of our house so that our temporary bedroom set up in my new sewing room would be over with! I am eager to put everything in its place before our little one comes too- her room needs set up as well! Eek!

      Glad the Craftsy videos have been so helpful! That’s great to hear. I am hoping to take some of the knitting classes this winter.

  • Sandra

    Thank you for taking the time to show your old sewing space…I enjoy your blog. I too am an experienced beginner sewer as I am just now really getting back into making clothing. I spent many years doing easy alterations and patching jeans for my 4 boys. My only daughter just had our first granddaughter and I am looking forward to making her clothes. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Sandra! I’m glad that you’re getting back into sewing. There are so many great baby clothing patterns out there! Have you ever seen the Japanese pattern books for babies? They are so sweet!

  • Good luck with the renovations and unpacking! Sounds like you’ve got a good plan in place for the new space- looking forward to seeing the studio reveal!

    • Thank you, Sonja! Yes, I have some ideas, but I probably won’t be able to get it them all right away. Such is life! I’ll be glad to have a space I where I can shut a door and keep two furry visitors out of my stash.

  • silkenpaw

    Best of luck with your move and setting up the new studio. I love reading your blog, your positive attitude is infectious. I’m looking forward to seeing your new sewing space.

    • Thank you very much, silkenpaw! And here I thought I was being crabby about moving! πŸ˜‰ I look forward to sharing a glimpse into my new space once it’s (somewhat) set up.

  • Kim

    Your old studio is beautiful. I love your light & your great cutting table. My husband built me a sewing table that I can take a picture of, so you can see how one could be done by a hubby, if you are interested. We used an 8′ x 4′ piece of nice plywood for the top, ripped it to only 34″ wide (my room isn’t big enough for a 4′ wide table) and used the extra 12″ to make a shelf underneath to store stuff.

    • Ooo! The shelf underneath is a good idea! It’d be nice to have a place to rest the foot pedals when I need to sweep under the table. I think Rob has a good idea of what he’d make for me, and I’m sure I’ll be picky about it too. πŸ˜‰ Did you seal the top of your plywood? I have to say I do like the very smooth surface of the IKEA tables. I would be really sad if I had a different surface that snagged my fabric.

  • Hope you get your new studio set up soon! I’m jealous of your old studio & I’m sure I’ll be jealous of your new one too πŸ˜‰

    • You are welcome to come over and visit my new studio anytime, you know! πŸ˜‰

      • Oh I’d love to, maybe someday! I have family spread around in the US & I’ve only been to Texas, we drove up from Mexico when my dad lived there.
        I hope you know you are welcome here anytime too! πŸ˜‰

  • WIshing you all the best! So many big changes at once – can’t be easy! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s quite stressful, but I’m doing my best to take a deep breath whenever it feels overwhelming. I am dying to get back to my sewing machine though- argh!

  • Stewart

    Hi Amy! I just recently discovered your blog after taking a class on Craftsy. Hello from another Portlander! Hope you’ve had a chance to get your new studio put together. We moved in May and I still don’t have my space fully in order yet. My poor machines are feeling neglected. πŸ˜‰ Just when I got the space somewhat put together we decided to take out the carpet. Then it was almost put together and we decided to move everything yet again so we could paint. Next up is lighting and then I should finally be good to go. The projects are calling me!

    • Hello, hello! πŸ™‚ My studio is getting there! I’m surprise how much of my stuff I can fit in here without a closet to hide some of the clutter. I think a single IKEA cabinet should take care of what’s left sitting around right now, and then my apparel fabric will be out of boxes and out where I can see it and remember to use it!

      It sounds like your space is getting there! I am very lucky in that the floors were redone and the walls were painted in my studio prior to us moving into our new house. The bad thing is that there are no lights in the room, so I’ve hung up a temporary light until we can have and electrician put in something nice. New houses are so much work! Good luck getting your space in order so that you can sew again!

  • jumptoit

    re:sewing machine tables. My husband made mine with melamine covered plywood which is pricier but gives a smooth surface. He measured my sewing machines’ bases, and cut an opening in the surface. then he attached a shelf underneath at a depth that holds my machine surface level with the table surface. To the piece he cut out, he added “legs”, so I can put that in the opening and make a flat surface again . I have these tables at right angles to each other so I can back my chair up, turn and pull in to the next machine. If a table gets too long it needs extra stabilization so it doesn’t vibrate too much when you really get sewing. I envy you having a dedicated room. I am squeezed in the corner of the guest bedroom. I look forward to seeing your new studio.

    • So THAT’S what you call that wood! I knew that you could buy it, but I was never really sure what to look for. Thank you!

      I haven’t quite decided if I would want my machines set down in a table yet. I have a large clear extension table on my main Bernina sewing machine, and it seems to be all I need, even when quilting large quilts. I might play around with the idea though, because I know that lots of sewists like that.

      I know I’m really lucky to have a dedicated space! If I didn’t sew as a job, I probably wouldn’t, but I was more than happy to claim this room as my own and steal it from my husband who needs an office. πŸ˜‰ I’ll share photos of it very soon!

  • Leslie Richardson

    Amy I am interested in buying a sewing mannequin. The one in your old sewing room looks great. Could you tell me what brand it is? I was in your old stomping grounds a couple of weeks ago, Albany and Dunkirk. I am sure you are so ready for that little girl!!
    Thanks,
    Leslie Richardson
    Elwood in.

    • My dress form is from PGM Dress Forms (http://www.pgmdressform.com/). I am pretty happy with it. If you do buy one like mine, make sure that you get one with collapsible shoulders, and don’t bother to pay extra for the “hip” (butt padding). The butt on a dress form is always laughable, and not worth the extra money. You can pad it up yourself!

      Oh Albany and Dunkirk! Some of my best friends live in Albany. I’d love to go visit them right about now and hit up the ice cream stand. πŸ™‚

      • Leslie Richardson

        Thanks so much for the info. Oh by the way, the ice cream stand was really busy when we went thru Albany.

        • I bet it was, before it closes for the season!

  • Mary

    great space! Hope you are as happy in the new space! It’s hard to get a place all set up and working wonderfully then have to start all over. I’m at the starting over place too!

    • I do love it! It’ll be great when I have some time to work in it. The most I’ve gotten done lately is to trace a pattern, but at least that’s something. I hope that your new space works out great for you and helps you to feel motivated to get a lot accomplished!