Monday, January 9, 2017

Cassie's Sewing Space

Hey readers! It’s Cassie, from Lily Shine Boutique and PRP Season 10, here to share some of my sewing space tips and organization strategies with you all!

First, let’s talk sewing space. Some people have their own “she-shed” and some people sew on the dining room table. Either way- every creative mind needs a space to play! In our previous house, I sewed in our utility room. It had a walk in closet for fabric storage, two built in desks for my machines and I simply ironed and cut on top of our washer and dryer. Reallllllly fancy, right?? When we moved to California, we were blessed with a four bedroom house, giving me a WHOLE ROOM to make my sewing space. There’s something really beautiful about being able to close the door to either hide the crafty stash, or hide from the two mini-me snack monsters.

The room isn’t huge, and I wanted to keep a “minimalistic” approach so I didn’t get overwhelmed or stressed. I have this great L shaped desk from IKEA that is the perfect size to house my sewing machine and serger, my laptop for easy pattern reading and keep all my favorite sewing tools within an arm’s reach. I love that it has a pull out section that can be pushed back in for when I need to use my sewing room as a guest room. The desk sits by the window so I can look out and watch my kids play outside, and also get some great natural light to keep me refreshed and focused!

On my desk, I have several little tins, bins and storage containers to keep all my needed sewing supplies right at hand. In this three tin organizer from Joanns, I have my rotary cutter blades and extra sewing needles, various sizes of elastic, and a plethora of scissors, snips and seam rippers. Also in the organizer, I store my most commonly used sewing feet (button, zipper, topstitch), sticky note pads and my credit cards for online purchases (because you know, walking downstairs to get my purse sometimes is just too much work haha!). I also have two containers to store all my pre-wound bobbins. Usually on my desk are a handful of water bottles because I am always thirsty, and always forget to bring them downstairs. Just being honest here, guys! You can see my crazy pincushion/clip wrist cuff that I can’t live without. I made it from this tutorial, and I really think you should make one too! If you’re catching on to my trend, I love having everything right where I need it without having to walk all around the room.

Across from my desk is my cutting area. I use a nice big cutting mat and keep my rotary cutter, favorite paper cutting scissors (to cut out the pattern pieces), a glue stick (to put the pattern pieces together), my new favorite fabric cutting scissors (thank you Fiskars for these epically smooth shears!) and more sewing clips right at hand. I wish my cutting table was sitting higher off the ground because my old lady back starts to get tired after cutting out several patterns in a row. Hmmmm perhaps that will go on my “honey do” list next.

I don’t have quite enough space to fit a full size ironing board, but I like the height I get from putting a table top ironing board on top of my fabric storage cube. Fabric storage cube aka kid's bookcase from Target. I promised myself when we moved from my walk-in-closet-size fabric storage, I would to keep my fabric stash to a minimum. And what is pictured’s honestly all I keep on hand! Sometimes fabric shopping can be addictive and exciting, but I mostly find it to be distracting and too overwhelming when it comes time to sit down and sew. For me, less choices seems more efficient. I also have three cloth bins on the bottom shelf to store my Silhouette supplies, printer paper, and various trims and laces.

Now, let’s talk about two of my most favorite organization tools. Most important: my white board calendar. This is my life!!!! I am super visual, so having space to write deadlines, a monthly calendar to write out daily tasks and mark off “breaks” from work, and a space to write notes on current pattern progress is everything to me. I find myself getting bogged down with “to dos” and feeling overwhelmed but once I get everything up on the whiteboard I feel so much less stressed! I have two cork boards next to my calendar to pin up special handwritten notes (yes, if you write me a note in your fabric package, I will hold on to it like the good crafty hoarder that I am!), various pictures and art projects my kiddos have made, etc.

Last (are you still with me, or did I lose you to amazon shopping?!?!), I must have these great storage bins. I use these storage bins to keep current projects organized. In each bin, I will have the fabric for each project, the pattern pieces needed for each project, elastic or buttons, etc. all stored in one handy little tote. I love that they have space to write with dry erase marker and erase after the project is completed so I can keep track of sizes, models, patterns, etc. Since I typically sew for both my girls, keeping their different-sized pattern pieces, trims, elastics, etc separate is realllllly important (don’t ask me how I know this HAHAHA). Usually I have about 3-4 projects in progress at any given time so this keeps all the UFOs (unfinished objects) tidy and separate, as well as making it super easy to stash away in the closet when I need a break from them! They have lids, but let’s be honest, I don’t take the time to put the lid on but rather I just stack them up and move them out of the way.

Well, that’s all folks! I hope you made your shopping list of new gadgets, sewing supplies and storage bins and are dreaming up an organized, clean workspace! Thanks for taking a peek into my sewing space and reading how I stay focused and efficient...and CRAFTY! Xoxo. Cassie.
Thank you Cassie! You can find more of Cassie on her blog, and on Instagram.
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