Planning a new sewing space

Morning, morning monchichi’s! You’re so cute and cuddly!!

What a weekend. Was it a weekend for you wild plush monkeys as well? Here in Minneapolis U2 was in town, where they played a giant outdoor show in the rain, establishing their rock-star coolness for 60,000 fans. I was not one of them – neither at the show, nor, truth be told, a fan. Although I do appreciate that watching Bono sing that Sunday song in a deluge was probably a defining moment for some people. Also on Saturday there was a Minneapolis fashion blogger meet up – of which I WAS an attendee!! It was super fun to meet 20 other bloggers (all so well dressed! The shoes, monchichis, the shoes!) Lori, our host was gracious and lovely – and has a BARN IN HER BACKYARD! I want  barn in MY backyard! And then on SUNDAY, the warrior dash was in town – Mr. Bug ran it. I was nervous that he’d break a leg in the mud. Lucy and I didn’t go to watch, but he ran three miles through rusted out cars, mud, hurricanes and fires and placed 15th out of, like, 30 million people! I’m so proud of him. He’s covered with rope burns and various other abrasions.  When he got home from the dash we packed up and headed out to Ikea because, guess what?? I’m moving on down into the basement – at least my sewing stuff is moving. Behold the future home of snugbug sewing central…

All y’all are swooning from the jealousy, aren’t you?? (seriously, I wish there was a sarcasm font!)

So, ‘long-time’ readers may remember that it was just last September (I think) that Mr. Bug and I set up a sewing space in our guest room for me. Prior to that, it was sewing machine on the kitchen table, ironing board in the living room, thread, pins and fabric everywhere. The guest room sewing space has been nice, but frankly, I’ve outgrown it! I think the proverbial straw was getting the serger. My current sewing desk is wonderful, but it’s not large enough to hold the serger AND the sewing machine, and it’s starting to drive me nuts swapping them out constantly. Also, I continue to have sewing stuff spread throughout the house. Currently, the china hutch in the bedroom is packed with notions and fabric, I have a cutting station for quilt pieces hanging out on the kitchen table, most of my fabric and pattern stash is in basement and the guest bedroom is not recognizable as a guest room, as the bed is piled with material!

We have a very small unfinished basement and are getting quotes from a few contractors on completely finishing the space, but Mr. Bug and I are in agreement that doing the whole project at once is more than we’re comfortable with – that’s lots of money out the door! But we’d like the guest room back NOW, and I’d really like all my sewing stuff in one space, so after some compromise and a bit of plan-making we’ve decided to just set up shop in the basement. My main concern is that the basement is COLD, but we’re going to invest in a super-duper space heater (you know, the kind that look like real, live radiators??) that should be enough to get me through the long, cold Minnesota winters. So I’m super excited, we’ve claimed the space, bought the furniture and are finishing up painting! One of the best parts about the intended space is that it gets an amazing amount of afternoon sun through the teeny window! All that light in the picture is from the outside!! Want to see my plan?? OK! {click to see it a bit bigger!}

Here it is! There’s lots of good stuff, but the two things I’m MOST excited about are the new 6’5″ long sewing table that will hold BOTH the serger and sewing machine so I can just slide back and forth and my new storage-laden cutting table! I’m copying this design almost exactly for the cutting table and think it’ll be awesome! A question for you wild jungle animals, though. The original poster of this idea seems to have ‘upholstered’ the melamine table top with a few layers of batting and fabric, which she then uses to cut AND press. I certainly have used a towel on the counter top as a make-shift ironing board in the past, but I’m not so sure about sustained use – do you think it’ll warp the melamine over time?? Also, is anyone else a rotary cutter fan and if so, what are your thoughts on setting the mat over layers of batting (probably 1 to 4 layers, not super squishy.) I laid a quilt on the kitchen table with my mat over the top of it to test and it seemed fine, but it just seems…. weird. I may leave it as melamine, but it would be such a space saver to have it double as a pressing table!
Since I’m I’m an OCD planner, I OF COURSE have 3D planning software! Here’s some ‘before’ photos and ‘after’ renderings of the space… the angles are strange, I wasn’t very thoughtful when I took the before photos.
The cooky china hutch against the far wall is my grandmother’s secretary that’s currently dark green and chippy. I’ll be scraping a bit and giving it a coat of white paint. Also, the final space won’t have this interrogation room lighting scheme – it’s HARD to get a decent light level for these renderings – they get washed out super easy!!
In real life, that sad looking bookcase against the wall on the right will be the good ‘ole Ikea Expedite - that just seems MADE for fabric stashes, doesn’t it??
After our shopping trip yesterday we have lots of furniture to put together! We came home with one 58″ x 58″ Expedite bookcase, 3 Closetmaid cube units, two Antonious basket units with desktops and one 79″ long Vika table. In addition to all that assembly we have one small part of the wall left to paint (two more coats) and Mr. Bug really wants to paint the floor (two coats.) I’ll be keeping my eye out for one giant floor rug. The main space (where everything but the cutting table is) is 8 feet by 11 feet, so I’d love a rug that’s at least 6′ x 9′ ! I also have the secretary to paint, as well as a childhood dollhouse which will go into service as additional shelving and one little bookcase which will go into the guest room as the bedside stand to replace the small Expedite bookcase that will come down to the sewing room. Last night we made a bit of progress – we cleared out the space and Mr. Bug got coat #1 on the small part of the wall he hadn’t gotten to painting. And oh! I did a fun little side project!
This area used to be tool central – this space is the where my new sewing table will go…
I’m going to re-use the pegboard in the new space! I’m so excited! We cleared off the board and put all the tools in their new home (we got a toolbox for them) and I brought the board outside for the spray paint treatment. I two partial cans of flat white – it wasn’t quite enough so I’ll have to recoat once I get more supplies. It has a camoflauge feel right now!
So there’s my new project! Luckily, I’m working in the shop a lot this week, so you’ll still see some sewing posts, but until everything is in its new home this is project #1 – I HATE having things half done!