After spending some time looking at other people’s sewing studios on Pinterest, I decided that we were going to have to move into a mansion because, clearly, our adorable little cottage isn’t big enough to outfit a proper sewing room. For some reason, The Mister wouldn’t agree to it (the grump). However, he did agree to help me create a scaled down version of The Perfect Sewing Studios.
Step 1: Build Shelves in the Closet
Closets in old houses (if they have one) are usually quite small by modern standards. They are artifacts from the days when ready-to-wear was less common and so women either made their own clothes or had them made. A wardrobe would consist of a Sunday best, some house dresses, an errand dress, and, perhaps, a party dress. In its current form, the closet was basically lost space that needed a new job description so that it could be reclaimed. Since I hadn’t been able to find a dresser or ready-made shelving that I liked, we decided that building shelves in the closet would enable me to have better access to my stuff.
The Mister found some scrap wood in the garage that he could use for shelves. While I took all of the boxes and hangers out of the closet, he went off to the hardware store to buy 1 x 1’s to support the shelves. Our total cost for the shelves: Approximately $13.00.
Step 2: Pattern Organization
My patterns were basically being stored in either an overpriced pattern file box (that I have to mail order since neither my local Hancocks nor JoAnns carries them) or in one of those banker’s boxes. I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $4 a box for more pattern boxes. It was this pattern organization issue that had started me down the Pinterest rabbit hole. As I was looking at alternative pattern storage ideas, I realized that making my own boxes and covering them was going to be time consuming.
Fortunately, I came across Korinne Zimmerman’s idea of using half-sized hanging folder file boxes (here is a different view on her blog Crafterella). I had heard about these boxes but I wasn’t sure what they looked like. I did a quick search and my local Office Max had them in stock! They are sold in sets of six. I picked up two sets. While The Mister was building the shelves, I was organizing my patterns by maker and whether they were vintage or modern. Total cost: about $25.
Step 3: Fabric Organization
Last fall, I came across Fabric Organizers by DeNiece Designs. I fell in love with the idea of creating bolts of fabric using corrugated plastic but, given the size of my
fabric collection, it would become quite expensive rather rapidly. Knowing that regular cardboard can cause damage to fabric over the long run (that’s why you don’t want to simply get the empty bolts from fabric stores), I was at a loss.
But, once again, Pinterest came to the rescue: Maggie from SmashedPeasAndCarrots.blogspot.com showed how she organized her fabric using…get this…comic book boards. Ingenious!!
I placed an order from Amazon and had a 100-pack of 8 1/2″ x 11″ magazine-sized boards in my greedy hands two days later. The boards are acid free and sturdy enough for wrapping fabric around. For the heavier fabric, I simply am using two boards rolled from opposite directions and then I fold it together book-style. And, yes, it works fine with the wider fabrics. I just double fold them. Total cost: about $16.00.
It will take me a while to wrap the fabric around the cardboard but I really like how my “closet fabric store” is shaping up. And the organization of it cost me just over $50 instead of the hundreds of dollars I thought I was going to spend.
(Confession: I did buy a label maker that I didn’t include in this reorganization pricing. I’ve been able to create a label of the fabric content and yardage and stick it to the end of the piece…no more unrolling the yardage to see if I have enough).
So…the moral of the story is that, yes, Pinterest can be a rabbit hole, but some great ideas can come as a result of venturing into it!