My sewing closet is finally finished!
So, in this house with limited rooms, I converted the coat closet into a sewing room (by “I”, I mean Dave) when we moved in but this week I actually put the finishing touches on it! And, this time when I say “I”, I mean me! Dave was gone for five days and it pretty much took me that much time around kids and work and laziness, etc. The bonus for him was that he didn’t have to live through the huge mess I made. This is an example of what I mean by “mess”.
More on the that later. The mess, I mean.
Okay, get ready for a bunch of boring pictures. This little closet is difficult to photograph because most of the action is split between two sides and the door is just a regular door so there’s no way to get it all in one shot. Here is what it looks like from the outside. It’s the part of the house on the right side that sticks out like a pop-out camper. Seriously, there’s no foundation under there; just downspouts. I’m half expecting for it to break off of the house one of these days while I’m sewing in there. That’ll be embarrassing…and will most likely result in a difficult to explain injury.
I loved the idea of using the coat closet as a “sewing room” for a few reasons: It has a door that closes for mess hiding; it has a big window (south facing though, which is less than ideal for artist types like me…ok that was totally not serious talk right there); it has a light; plus, my sewing table fit inside perfectly after Dave skill-sawed off the legs and sides; but the main reason was that I didn’t want to sew in my car.
So, I began this adventure by gathering up all my sewing crap and dumping it in the living room. I even brought all my sewing related stuff up from the basement. I emptied the closet as well. It wasn’t pretty.
Here are the official “before” pictures…here is the straight on view…
Here is the right side…
Here is the left side…
And so, I painted the floor with leftover random paint from the basement. Yay free!
Plus, while the floor paint dried, (which was not floor paint at all, but leftover regular paint that I’m pretty sure won’t be good at all on the floor in the long run) I went through the mountain of sewing paraphernalia piled high in the living room. This is what the mountain looked like after day one. Kind of a little smaller.
And here is what I have over the inside of the closet door to hold all the little stuff. I use these all over the place in the house and this house is old with all real doors on the closets so they work great.
The next day, when the floor was dry, I went ahead and made a little curtain for the window. For a particular part of the afternoon, the sun actually bounces off a metal piece on my sewing machine and nearly blinds me. Plus, at night when I’m in there with the light on, you can totally see in from the street and sidewalk so I kind of feel like I need a little privacy. Anyone who sees me in the closet at night probably thinks I’m nuts just standing there looking down, real serious. Anyway, I was trying to pick some fabric from my stash for the window, which is kind of giant for a closet btw. It’s like 60″ wide or something. Then, I remembered I had this really great old quilt top.
(See how I try to put things back together for a “before” picture after I’ve already cut them apart.) It’s really old and completely hand pieced with all kinds of scrap fabrics from clothes and whatnot. I love it.
It’s a little tattered and stained in a couple places so I was okay cutting into it. I cut this panel from it.
I added this old trim I had cut from a tablecloth onto the bottom of the curtain.
I think it turned out well and it’s a constant reminder that I want to hand piece a quilt one day before I’m too old to thread my needle. My favorite part is a piece I noticed that was sewn on backwards which is totally how I do things. Perfect.
It’s super thin so it still lets a lot of natural light into the space during the day. It’s like quilt stained glass…
After the curtain, I put some of the main stuff back into the closet and continued to sort through everything. This is the piece that goes on the right side of the closet. It’s a great piece of furniture. Not only does it fit perfectly inside, no skill saw required; but it’s on casters so it goes in and comes out easily. My large ironing pad fits perfectly on top and it has lots of storage below.
And I can take the iron pad off and slide it along side if I want a cutting mat on it instead. It also has a little built-in, pull-out ironing board that I covered with insulated iron stuff and fabric which works great with my mini iron. It’s an old piece; cute and handy. (Thanks mom:))
So, here is the mess at the end of day two…getting better…
The next day I sorted through the last of the stuff and put the finishing touches on. I added the badge my grandma made as an official member of her local quilting guild. I think it was like the “blood-in” for her quilt gang.
I also spray painted this little shelf that I already had lying around (yay free!) and hung it above my cutting/ironing cabinet for some of the little things I like to gaze upon. You can see where the coat hanging rod went in.
Here is the left side with everything. My sewing machine table is actually a wooden Ikea computer desk that lost several inches of each side to a skill saw. With the sides went all the legs and Dave permanently attached it to the wall at the right height for seated sewing. The keyboard pullout works well as a drawer where I store extra machine needles, oil, etc. I hang my thread spool rack, bobbin organizer, and cutting rulers on the peg board. And there’s extra overhead shelving for whatever. You can see the hole where the other end of the coat hanging rod used to be.
This was the mess as I began the final day.
Here is all the stuff I got rid of!
If you’re wondering where the coats are; there’s a big armoir just outside the coat closet that holds the coats and the dogs’ bed is in the bottom section. Also just outside the closet is a collapsible table that is attached to the wall that is nearly the exact size of my giant cutting mat, in case I need to do some major cutting. Dave hates the table but he loves me, so here we are… (It makes a wonderful puzzle table too!)