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Friday, April 24, 2015

Sewing redux

I have spent the last year remodeling my sewing room.  I posted the results on Prim Stitchers Society page on Facebook and got incredible response!  There were so many questions asked  I decided to blog about the remodel and help others on their way.  I absolutely love antiques and found objects and have used them religiously in my decorating for 30 years.  I was very upset when all my long held precious things didn't work in my new space. So I decided to do something about it. Something different for my new life.  Shedding the old (keeping some of it) and starting on a new adventure.

  Not only do I design punchneedle, cross stitch and quilts I've been an interior designer for the last 20 years so that helped a ton!

First, let me say a few words if you like the style I choose: IKEA, IKEA, IKEA, IKEA!  


 The first set of pictures are "THE BEFORE".  I want everyone to realize this is a very small room. A lot can be done in a small space or even corner.

Unsuccessfully trying to make it work.  Broken shelves, resulted in piles of books all over the house. I was very sad.

I bought cheap shelves from Target to no avail. Things, tiny things, slip through the open spots.

My ironing board become storage instead of a very useful tool of sewing or being able to go out of the house not looking like a crumpled paper sack.

Close up of the carnage and never ending mess.

During the year progress was slowly made. The next set of pictures show what my entire house looked like during the process. I thought I would lose my mind, every room was taken over by this project!!!

A start, some furniture in.  Crap all over the floor, which seemed to never want to leave the comfort of the soft tan builder grade carpet.

Now stacks appeared! Out of nowhere!  My beloved 20 year old ironing board became completely useless. It seemed I moved piles around hoping they would get smaller and eventually they did.

My apartment is very little, barely 790 square feet.  I couldn't eat at my table most of the year.

My tiny living room became the spot of construction and assembly.  

My poor bedroom. No longer a retreat but a friggin nightmare of chaos. 



 It was so worth all the pain, crying, planning, purging and buying!!!

All wall furniture is from the Hemnes series from IKEA.  Laptop stand, chair, lamp and floor mat from IKEA. Table the embroidery machine is on I won at an auction for $1 fifteen years ago. I love it and will never get rid of it!!

All furniture and baskets in cubbies from IKEA. White and tan basket from Target. Totes in shelf Lilly Pulitzer from a local gift shop.  Atop the cubby are plastic shoe bins from Target that hold all my specialty threads.

Baskets are the Branäs baskets from IKEA. Pink file folders, also IKEA. Tan striped boxes from Target.

Cutting table is 25 years old, I love it!!!

Sewing table is the Olivia series from Sew Vac Direct online. Very easy to put together and loads of space!  I own five sewing machines and three fit in this one table.

Bookcases and Secretary hutch are from the HEMNES series from IKEA. Baskets are from Branäs series from guess where?? IKEA!

Another angle.

Everyone should have a tombstone chalkboard!!

Turquoise stand from IKEA. My oldest daughter gave me the Ballsack to hold my knitting projects and give me the ability to offend others at will. I use it.

The next set of pictures are just some of my favorite details of the new room.

I made this wool pincushion to fit in my pink milk glass compote.

I love childs antique sewing machines. I have one.  I found the pincushion at an antique store.

My faves from Notforgotten Farm!  

No space wasted. Over the door hanger from IKEA, totes from local gift shop.


Inside part of the hutch.

Not everything is in its place yet!

Inside my very tiny closet, use every inch!!!!

Favorite old things.

Sometimes during the process I would get very depressed. So I got on Ebay and bought lots of the exact same sewing book. Don't tell anyone!!!

Small paper box with sewing notions in it sit atop my knitting books.

I  used a tabletop wreath holder to store my hoops, then actually put a wreath on it.

Turquoise cart from IKEA. Very affordable and easy to put together.

It was not all fun and games. Many boxes arrived at my door looking like this.  Some furniture had parts missing, I spent hours on the phone with customer service. Sometimes they redelivered my entire order and my house was filled to the rafters with huge boxes of stuff I already had.  Then the long wait for them to pick it all back up!!!

I need lots of this. COFFEE!!!!  To eleven please!!!

During all this mess we adopted another puppy mill dog. Her name is Bubbles and she is a sweetheart. 

No Kitty had put up with all this too.

I really wanted to be here 90% of the time!!!!

My hair went grey in the process. 

So, there you have it.  IKEA and a ton of measuring.  You can do it!!!!


  1. Great post! While you aren't happy about it, I'm so glad to see this took you a year. I have been feeling freaked out that I've been working on mine for 6 months. I'm at the "put it all away" stage right now and have a path from the door to piles, and piles, on my own builder grade carpet. LOL It's hard to not just shove it somewhere so I can sit and sew! My sanity has been the ability to go elsewhere and sew every now and again. And my room is mostly IKEA, too!

  2. I really wanted to let people know this doesn't happen overnight and not to get discouraged! I've taken two years to remodel my own rooms before. It takes time, money and encouragement and somedays those are in short supply :-) Take a deep breath, go to Starbucks and relax, it will happen and the end result will be worth it.

  3. Such a beautiful deserve a beautiful sewing room...great job, really used every space in a very smart way.<3

  4. You're a genius.....I particularly like your "hoop" storage idea!! Looks absolutely wonderful as I think of my guest/sewing storage/etc., room
    which does NOT!

  5. Thank you so much for posting this.... I have been getting ready to make our upstairs bedroom a craft room. I appreciate knowing that the mess I am in will go away eventually. I feel like I am getting no where fast....but feel better now seeing your beginning and end... which is lovely. Thank you for the great ideas and for sharing your personal experience. You have really encouraged me!!!

  6. You are so welcome Bunky!!! It will happen, it always, always looks worse before it looks better.

  7. Michi, it is too bad I don't live in Oklahoma anymore. We would tear it up if I did!!!!

  8. You have inspired me.... I am going to start the planning process this weekend. I have a path right now through my stitching room. I have an ikea store just 5 minutes from me.... I think I'll make an afternoon of it one day next week.

  9. What a great post! There is hope for me yet! I have been scanning Pinterest for room ideas, but now I can refer to your blog for some great ideas. PS. you two make a great looking coupke and that ring is to die for!

  10. You can do it X Stitcher, and picking it up from IKEA is better than ordering online and cheaper!

  11. Great room! Turned one of our bedrooms into my "studio" a few months ago. So fun to have a designated room to create in! LOVE the turquoise cart from IKEA...I see a trip to IKEA in my future! Congrats on your engagement!!!!! ~*

  12. Thanks Barnyardbabies! He is a keeper for sure! Never one complaint from him during this whole thing. Nor did he ever ask how much I was spending. HAHAHA! Little does he know. I spent more on my stash than the actual room remodel. SHHH!! He doesn't read my blog so don't tell

  13. Carole, genius may be stretching it a bit but, HEY! I'll take it!!!!

  14. Wonderful. wonderful!! I saw your post on Facebook and had to come over and look. Great job and has me thinking about my own need to get more organized! Laura

  15. Now I am feeling hopeful about my sewing/craft room. You did an outstanding job. I love it!

  16. What a great photo-explanation. Your room looks great and you must love spending time in there. Sounds as if a LOT of great things came out of your year of chaos!! Best Wishes.

  17. I saw your post on facebook and really appreciate you putting it here also. It looks fantastic! I need a good stash purge but for now, just want to clear the top of my cutting table so I can sew something. Making something soothes my soul!

  18. How wonderful your new space is!! I am in the beginning stages of creating a space just for me and you have given me so much encouragement. I am in great need of something that will force me to concentrate on something other than some unwanted changes happening in my life, and setting up a sewing/craft room should help that. Thank you for sharing with everyone. Congratulations on your engagement, you make a beautiful couple.

  19. I have a little goat path thru my wool/stitching room. The stacks on either side of the goat path just seem to keep growing. A friend who is a good organizer offered to help me but said everything would have to come out and I was defeated before we started. Guess I just have to realize it will be worse before it gets better. Thanks for sharing your beautiful space and all your tips. Enjoy it!! Mel

  20. Wow you had quit a bit going on!! Congrats to you on the engagement and the new rescue!! I love what you did with your sewing room it looks wonderful!! I found you by way of the BBD FB group

  21. Beautiful transformation! Thanks for the inspiration. Your ring is gorgeous, too. Best wishes!

  22. Wow, what a room and a feeling of accomplishment! Thank you for sharing your before, during, and after photos. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Robin in Virginia

  23. What a great job on your room! Congrats on the engagement! Your ring is beautiful!

  24. Traveled here from John's "Going Gently". You have a wonderful blog.
    First...."friggin nightmare of chaos" is awesome & could easily become my frequent refrain as I look around my also tiny condo.
    Second....fantastic job at a procrastinator's nightmare (mine, not yours)
    Third....9th picture shows wood bureau with EXACT drawer pulls I've been searching for over past 5 years since I had my late parents 63 year old triple serpentine front dresser & chest-on-chest stripped of 70s vintage "colonial blue" paint & restored to it's former mahogany glory. Having hell of a time finding old drawer pulls to match the originals which were brass oval with flower in center. I have the clearest memory of their lovliness from a child's height view.
    Fourth...picture 20....I have my late father's copy of the very same Better Homes & Gardens "New Gardens" which is a treasured reminder of our outdoor time tending the yard...especially rose bushes planted for my late mother & historic Iris handed down from his father.

    Sorry for my lack of grammar & syntax. I've given up & just go with stream of consciousness!

    Wonderful to be reminded I'm not the only one who sees value in these seemingly random bits holding both memories and enduring relevance.

    Is that another way of saying I could be a hoarder? Ha ha...

  25. WOoooo hoooo finally got here to see the process and just love love what you have done ... might have to pinch a few ideas for mine heheheh... congratulations on the engagement and awwwwwww your new furbaby is gorgeous :) love mouse xxxxxxx

  26. I just found your blog and absolutely love reading it. I love your redoing I've seen so far. Congrats on the engagement ! I think that is wonderful and your ring is lovely. I look forward to following you. Hugs,

  27. You crack me up!! Now that is an ad for IKEA for sure. And what amazing use of ax small space!!! Great, great job!!!

  28. I really really need to do something with my craft (mess) room. I love everything you have done - what do you have in those adorable binders? Patterns, by any chance? I have my cross-stitch patterns in hanging file folders in a file cabinet my husband made for me specifically to hold all my patterns. But fabric, threads, everything else I love and plan to use are all over the place - books stacked in drawers I can hardly open, fabric in drawers that are stuffed to the max, threads in old plastic ice cream containers - you have given me inspiration. I love your room. You are amazing.

  29. Thanks ladies! I have corralled all my fabric into a holder and am still organizing it, lol. Yes, patterns and other things are stored in the binders, though I am in the process of changing all that around. I plan on posting an update on the room since I have rearranged part of it. Nothing stays the same around here for long. :-)