A space of my own

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:

sewing table

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.

Sorry for the blurry phone photo -- I had to be quick before they knew I was there.

Sorry for the blurry phone photo — I had to be quick before they knew I was there.

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.

finished sewing table

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….


About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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20 Responses to A space of my own

  1. Micha says:

    Oh I’m so happy for you! What a nice treat. I’m sure you’ll be a sewing fool now! πŸ˜‰

  2. You have the best crew! πŸ™‚ they love their mom and wife very much! It’s wonderful that you now have your own sewing corner because it’s a space you can create and you don’t need to clean up everything before you start a new project! Table looks perfect for you to sew, I know how much space it can take πŸ™‚ Have a great week Joan!

    • It’s crazy how much room you need to sew — well, maybe it’s just crazy how much room I need! And I could never find a good solid block of time to go from cutting out a project all the way through to the end. So no more excuses on those curtains! Lol!

      And thanks for your sweet words about my crew!

  3. It will serve you well. I have similar table for my sewing machine, the difference is the top opens up like a box to give me a fairly large work surface, and the machine is on a spring up table inside the cabinet. I do have to clear off everything from the top and make room on the sides to open up the thing. Yours looks like it fits your space well. I say, now take over the entire space!

    • I think my mom’s sewing cabinet is like yours — the machine arises from inside the table and then locks into place, while the top flops over to make more room. Those are very cool!

      “…now take over the entire space!” I totally cracked up when I read that!!! Also? Excellent idea! πŸ™‚

  4. Cul de Sac says:

    How thoughtful of them!!! but I know you deserved it… πŸ˜‰

  5. amyp22 says:

    How fun! Enjoy!

  6. I am drooling (not really) but I am impressed. i would love a huge space to be able to work with and cut fabric. I either use the dining room table or try the floor. But we have a big yellow lab that sheds a lot of hair so my fabric ends up quite hairy! Oh well. Hope you get to those sewing projects and you blog about them so we can be inspired! ~Thea

    • Does your dining room table collect stuff like ours does? It’s the place to dump stuff, color, craft, stack things, play games, etc. Everything happens on that table. And how do you work around the dog?! I can barely do any crafting/knitting with our 10 lb. Shih-tzu pup hanging around me! πŸ™‚

      And I’m dreaming of fabric! That’s a good sign, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Joan if you link your blog with your avatar, people will be taken to your blog when they click on your avatar. If you like a blog, it leaves your avatar and then people will click on your avatar and can meet you. Also, what a delightful crew you have.!

    • Oh, thanks for the tip! I appreciate it! I’ve linked my gravatar and my blog now (at least I think I did!). πŸ™‚

      And thanks too for the sweet words about my guys — they’re a great crew to have around!

  8. I love the grid on the top of the table. Very handy for cutting and creating. Happy sewing !

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