August 18, 2009

The Sewing Studio, Part I


I am writing today about the changes I am making to create a "studio space" for my work. This is something that will be taking a few more weeks to complete, but it is well on its way as I am happily sharing Part I with you today. I have been working out of the guest bedroom of our house since I started the business. I use the bed as a cutting surface which is a bit too low, as you could well imagine. Since no guests stay in this room (heck, I would have to do some MAJOR stuff removal for that), I have decided that it is time for the bed to go and to put in a great work island (not built yet....but will be soon....thus Part II at a later date).

When I started my business 8 years ago, I had just bought my first serger and didn't even have a table to put it on! So I improvised and put it on one of those rickety little round tables...you know, the ones with the screw on legs? That got old pretty quickly, but it took a while to get a solution. Since I sew all the time, I never put my machines away. I like for them to be out and handy at a moment's notice. I don't really care for the sewing cabinets that are available because most are made from non-wood products and boast about their storage and the fact that they fold up into a small cabinet....not interested in all that! To suit what I wanted, we found an unfinished wood sofa table (which was too tall, but my handy husband cut the legs off for me). We finished it and I have been using that for the last 6 years. It was fine, but I didnt' like that my machines had to be so close together. I really wanted more space, so I began to think about how I could upgrade my sewing space. I had my table near a corner of the room and wouldn't it be nice to have an "L" shaped table where the serger could have its own space?? Wow....that would be awesome...so I began looking around to see what was available. As I suspected....nothing! At least nothing that I really liked and was willing to spend any money for....which leads me to the solution that worked just perfectly.


A few years ago, my husband had some guitar cabinets made so that he could display them on the wall, beautifully "framed" and protected from UV rays. The craftsman that made them did such a beautiful job, as you can see in the photos. Jim is one of those guys that does everything right.....you couldn't ask for better made cabinets. I knew that he had also made furniture, so I decided to ask him if he would be interested in making my table, and thank goodness, he was! We worked out the details on what I wanted...wood choice, style, and size, and he drew up some great sketches of the sewing table of my dreams..... Please visit his website, Ozark Valley Displays, to see photos of his amazing work. You will mainly see guitar cabinets, but keep in mind that this talented man can build just about anything....you just have to be willing to ask and know that quality takes time.

This wonderful table arrived last Friday and we have been busy ever since, getting it set up, redecorating, and moving other stuff around. I covered the cork boards with fabric over and got those hung up over the weekend and just finished the cover for the office chair yesterday. Notice my polka dot light? It is a clamp light that I covered and it takes up no space on my table top!

Stay tuned for Part II, because we are planning on making a large work island next for the center of the room. We will be doing that part ourselves in the coming weeks, so it may be a while before the big reveal. By the time we are finished, it is going to be one sweet space! I already feel like a spoiled sewing queen over here... just imagine how I will feel when the whole studio is complete....there will be no living with me!!

15 comments:

yougogirl said...

Can't wait to see where this goes. You go girl!

PamKittyMorning said...

Simply the cutest!

twopeasinapoddesigns said...

Oohh!! Ahhh!! Isn't it wonderful to have it all to yourself and no bed! Yea! I HEART the red dot chair cover. Really love! Happy for you! Now off to read the invisible zipper post. Dang I wish you were my neighbor! I would be that annoying girl who's always over sayin, so whatcha doin? How'd did ya do that? Ooo, teach me!! :)

Kay said...

Hey Trish!

I am STILL dealing with the bed, but not for much longer. We have to get the work island built before the big change out. It would be fun to be neighbors....just think of the trouble we could get into!

nouveaustitch said...

I highly recommend kitchen base cabinets for your sewing table. Just attach your padded work surface to the top (or smooth cutting surface) or maybe both? I posted about mine a while ago. I LOVE my table! http://nouveaustitch.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/maybe-not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed/

And that was a lamp cozy I saw! Wow!

Ellen

Kay said...

Ellen,

You aren't going to believe it, but that is EXACTLY what we plan on using for the work island! I will have to check out your post on that as we are struggling with what to put on the top. Glad you liked the lamp cozy... : ) It works great!

nouveaustitch said...

I didn't realize you had posted a comment about my table ages ago! Anyway, go with open shelving unless you want to mess around opening and closing doors and consider maybe making half of it for cutting and half for ironing and pinning, depending on the size of your table. I listed what I used for the ironing and pinnable surface on the blog post (which is pretty standard for drapery workroom work surfaces) but if you do a cutting surface, I'd maybe do a plain laminate and make a grid in 1" increments for measuring (use an industrial Sharpie to mark the lines). I'm also in the process of having a sewing table built to hold my straight stitch machine and serger. I ordered a piano hinge/flip up extension on the back so I could flip it up when I'm sewing large, bulky items like draperies, and fold it down when I sew smaller items. I bring my machines away from the wall so the fabric doesn't bunch up against it while I sew so the table will jut into the room and takes up more space, but it's so worth it to let things hang off the back of the table. Have fun with the room redo!

Ellen

Kay said...

That sounds great! Thanks for the ideas. Not until I went over to your blog did I even remember that I had left a comment....sad! I am sort of a freak about not wanting to see the mess, so I am going to have the doors left on the base cabinets. We are going with a smaller worktable than what you have due to the size of the room, so we are going to make it from 3 - 18" wide cabinets for a total length of 54" and single depth of 24, but I am going to oversize the top a bit, probably somewhere around 30 x 60. The middle section of cabinet will be a drawer section so I have a place to stash notions like zippers and stuff. I already have an oversized ironing board and have to keep room for that. Your custom sewing table sounds great! I know exactly what you mean about needing stuff to hang off the back during construction. I don't really need that very often considering I only make drapery for myself and try to keep that to a minimum....it is a lot of hard work!

Elizabeth said...

Your chair cover is the cutest thing ever!

Loraine said...

What a great table! I'm excited to see what else you do. I love the polka dot fabric. So cheery and fun!

SmallAnimal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CaroleWoods said...

It looks great, and getting rid of the bed is a great idea (no more overnight guests) ;-) It's about time you had a whole room for your sewing! ~Carole

Kristen said...

I love your space (web and sewing...) and I recently have been commandeering my own space to leave my sewing machine out etc. I stumbled across buckram in JoAnn fabrics and even though I knew what it was, I'd never considered it in my projects because I had no idea it was so inexpensive (as compared to interfacings of the same stability). I too hate wimpy bags that don't stand up for themselves and was looking for a good stabilizer. So I googled Buckram to see what other uses are out there for it and I found your blog because of your buckram post. Your bags are FABULOUS and I'm wondering if you have ever sold on Etsy.com because your price range for patterns and such is more reasonable than things I've seen there perhaps you could expand your business that way.... Anyway - thank you for your knowledge and I love your work!

Robin Hart said...

Okay, I NEED to know who did the table. It matches what I am currently using for my sewing machine in my studio. It was originally a desk with the pullout drawer for the keyboard. Works okay as I put my small laptop on it and can put it away unless I am doing embroidery. The part for the cpu houses my embroidery unit and then there was a pullout that my serger sits on when it is not in use. This would work well with mine as then I could keep one more machine and a serger out all the time.

Stephanie said...

Kay! I'm really wanting to drive to Dallas and steal that red polka dotted chair!!! (It really could happen since I'm only in Houston :) Do you have a tutorial or pattern you used for that cause I seriously need some recovering of chairs in my house!
Thanks :)
Stephanie