Once upon a time, I used to sew. I’m not an accomplished seamstress, you understand, but I can read a pattern, press a mean seam, and generally wind up with something that doesn’t hang too wonkily. Usually.
And my little hobby has definitely come in handy. Although I used to make clothes when I was single, I’ve found that I use my sewing skills (such as they are) now for things around the house, like curtains and Roman shades, Lego duvets and book bags.
But here’s the thing: sewing takes up a lot of room. You need space for your machine, a large area to cut your fabric, storage for all your thread, pin cushions, and bits and bobs. And don’t forget a spot for the ironing board. Pretty soon, you’ve taken over a lot of real estate in your house.
The only place that was large enough to accommodate cutting fabric and sewing was our dining room table. In order for me to start any project, I’d have to clear off all the detritus of crayons, mail, random pans, knitting, board games, and bags that always gravitates there. Then I’d dig my machine out of storage and pull it out of its box, drag the ironing board upstairs along with the rubbermaid containers of my pins, scissors, and such. It took about an hour just to set up and another hour to put away all this stuff. Talk about a sure-fire way to kill any crafting urge.
I mentioned that I’d like to have a spot downstairs in the office (read, “wreck of a room that houses all kinds of computer accoutrements, cables, treadmill, etc., etc.”) to set up a real sewing table. I wanted to have a place to keep my machine out, near all the other necessary sewing stuff. And if I wanted to work on a bigger project, I could leave everything set up and even shut the door, knowing that it was out of the main traffic areas.
My husband S found this great table on sale:
I heard some racket downstairs — opening and closing the garage doors and kids’ yelling things like “I found the screwdriver!” — so I went down to investigate. I found all three of my guys hard at work.
I don’t know if it’s because they’ve spent hours and hours building Lego sets or if we’ve just bought too many build-it-yourself furniture kits over the years, but my kids can usually whip together any IKEA-like creation in short order. But this table? Wow. We read other reviewers’ comments that it was not easy to construct and they weren’t kidding. The instructions were not terribly clear to us and the design wasn’t very intuitive to put together. My crew ended up dumping out all the screws and hardware and figuring it out as they went.
It took most of the afternoon, but in the end I have a sewing space to call my own.
Well, it’s mine until my daughter E pulls out her machine.
For all the difficulty in putting it together, it really is a solid table with lots of thoughtful details. I love it, from the cutting grid on its surface to the small shelf underneath where the sewing machine can hide. The side desk (where my coffee cup is sitting in the above picture) folds down to close completely over the front and the table top can also fold down, making it more compact for storage (not that I’m ever going to close it, but that’s an option). And I love that all my guys gave up their weekend afternoon to put it together for me.
Now to make those curtains for E and M’s rooms….