My new sewing haven

The moment is here! Oh, not that. Baby is still very much in my belly. Due date is on Monday. Eek!

The excitement of the now is our new renovation!

Dustin and I never had the intention of staying in our current house for this long. It's the age old story of being thoroughly shocked at housing prices in Toronto and rethinking the need to move...

When we finally made the decision that we would stay in this house for at least few more years (likely longer), we decided it was time to invest some money into making us love it more. With the second baby on its way, Lily was moving to the guest room which had doubled as the office/sewing space for Dustin and me. I needed a new sewing haven.

We live in a narrow townhouse with no basement (it was built atop an old gas station, so I guess this was the simplest way), and our garage is attached to the rear of our house. The ground floor is an awkward through-space that is the width of our house, but leads from the front door and upper levels to the laundry/furnace room and garage. We had a large Expedit storage unit from Ikea against the wall, and a couple chairs near the entrance for luxury seating while husbands waited for their wives to say goodbye for the 40th time.

It was time to make the space more useful. To make an incredibly long story short (Dustin wanted to DIY, I wanted to just pay someone to get-er-done), we contracted California Closets to design and build the mudroom/office space (see who won?). It was very much a collaborative effort in designing the space, and now that I've been using it for a little over 2 weeks, I can confidently say I'm thrilled with the result.

And the moment has arrived to reveal the space to you!






1. I couldn't figure out how best to store my 24 inch ruler. I wanted it accessible, but not just on the table buried under everything. The last time I had a dilema with this ruler, I sewed a chic ruler caddy for transportation to and from my quilting class. It seemed perfect to just hang the thing on the wall using some grommets and finishing nails. I also use it to hold my scissors, rotary cutter, and other commonly used tools. When on the go, I just take it off the wall, fill it up with whatever else and roll it up for transport! Here's the original post I wrote about this ruler caddy.

2. I am getting so good at curtains! I sewed a set for Lily's room (that room is never clean enough for pictures...) and then decided that this new sewing space deserved new window coverings too. The workroom received some new Joel Dewberry fabric a couple weeks ago, and I fell in love with the Egg-Blue Crysanthemum print. It also just happened to match my Olfa cutting mat. I used a wonderful tutorial from Design Sponge to sew the curtains and have learned that taking the time to measure and cut everything is key to simplifying the sewing.

3. I toyed with the idea of buying new fancy baskets or bins for all my fabric, but regular clear plastic tubs are just too practical. I use the Rubbermaid "Roughneck" from Canadian Tire for about $10 a bin. Nice and heavy duty. This is where I sort my leather, batting, wool, jersey, Liberty Lawn, and other big fabrics. I have one called "on the go" for when I need to throw together materials and tools needed for a project I'm working on outside my home.

4. I use smaller clear containers for my quilting fat quarters and scraps. I sort them by colour and share two colours per bin. I also use the smaller clear containers to organize my notions. They sit just above my sewing space for easy access: thread, elastic, pins, buttons, zippers etc. Again, I've thought about getting prettier containers: vintage tins, colourful boxes. But right now, this is what works. I like being able to see what's in the containers.

5. My desk light: the Uberlight by Reliabe. I love it. It's a little spotlight for exactly where I need some extra focus. And because it's LED, it's energy efficient and doesn't cook your face when you're already sweating from trying the invisible zipper for the third time.

6. That's my new blouse. In Liberty Tana Lawn. It deserves a post on its own, so I won't spoil all the details. The neat thing here is that it's hanging on valet rod. I asked them to install one so I could hang my finished shirts and dresses up. It's the little things that make me really love my new space!