Cramped

Last week my mojo was feeling off. Life felt a little cramped. Walls felt closer, spaces felt smaller. This kind of feeling has always cramped up my style. I’m a person who needs space. And we live in, what seems to be, an ever increasing small space. The thought that we can’t move into something bigger just yet was also cramping my style. You know how it is. You start finding small problems and turning them into bigger ones and before you know it, you’re depressed because the sky is blue. Well, at least, I know how that is because I do it all the time.

To make matters worse, last week I was working on a few projects around here and things started going missing. I searched for a good 15 minutes for my seam gauge and still could not find it. Didn’t turn up for a few days either. I nearly stabbed myself with my shears while rifling through a bin too. I was coming to my wits end. As my mother would say, “I couldn’t hack it any longer!”

I decided to do a small bit of sprucing to bring me out of the gloomy, disorganized black vortex I was building myself into. Saturday, I went out and bought a pegboard and the hooks that go into it (Lowes – about $20 for both the board and the hooks). Bought an old picture frame from the local thrift (to put the pegboard in) and as luck would have it I found a huge corkboard for Mr. S, which I traded him for a smaller one he had ($6.50). These two projects have been on my to do list for quite some time, but of course, I’ve never found time to do them, until things were getting dire. What’s even more silly is that this whole project – corkboard and pegboard organizer alike – took only a matter of hours to put together. Sigh…

These two new additions sit right above my head (but high enough up so I don’t hit my head) in my sewing station. I love that pegboard organizer! All my shears and hardware are now within arm’s reach – not in a bin clanking against each other or about to stab me as I go searching for the pair I need. My new corkboard inspiration holder is just a corkboard with a thin layer of batting over the top and a piece of white linen that I put over the top of that. Used some flame red petersham ribbon for a splash of color too. Easy. And what’s more, now I have a place to post little thoughts that pop in my head, fabric scraps for inspiration and images and patterns I want to try.

This space is so tempting now too – like I actually want to be in it, which before I was beginning to dread being in it. So I guess the moral here is that when you are feeling the sewing and creating blues, try giving your space a small facelift and see if it then invites you to be creative in it. I’m just about to go and finish up that lovely self drafted skirt – that shot of fuchsia on Ms. P – and I’m quite sure that I’m going to thoroughly enjoy myself too. Tell me, what are some of your best organizing tricks? What do you do to bring back your sewing mojo? I would really love to hear as I’ve still got quite a bit of stash organizing to get through. Bit by bit. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that…

xoxo,

Sunni

  • julie - love the cork board frame idea!!ReplyCancel

  • Casey - Don’t little adjustments like that make sewing so much more enjoyable?! I especially love the pegboard idea; might have to snag that one from you eventually. ;) I redid my sewing nook last year, but have lately been brainstorming a few inexpensive ways to both perk up and rearrange the area. Just need to find the time to do it! ;)
    Casey recently posted..weekly inspirationReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh definitely do – I took my cue from Martha Stewart. So easy and seriously the best investment I’ve made into the sewing area. Just used it today and was so pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to dig around for my shears! Yay!ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - i am right there with you! i can’t take this NY apt living anymore; summer is the best and the worst; nice temps, but the windows open bring all the noise and smells and crazy that much closer…

    i love your pegboard. i’ve got a little vintage recipe holder form my childhood, i keep it on my ironing board and fill it with my sewing trash during a project. it looks so happy and makes the tedious job of keeping things clean fun :)
    oonaballoona recently posted..SWS : SOSReplyCancel

    • Sunni - A very good idea! The closeness factor in the summer is definitely going on here. Gah! It was kind of making me a little claustrophobic. Sheesh!ReplyCancel

  • Corinne - I don’t think I would ever have enough studio space. At one time I had a large room just for me. Now I have the stuff in several places and my primary sewing space is in a reconfigured closet. The best part of that is that I can close the door to hide the clutter. I discovered multiple uses for IKEA organizing items. The shoebox organizers are great for storing fabrics, patterns etc. They stack nicely and have a see through window to view contents. Another favorite from IKEA is the wooden divided boxes. They even have a little handle in the middle but it is flush with the edge and is stackable. I have one just for marking tools, One for supplies needed just at the cutting table, one for quilting supplies. If I need to move to a larger table or whatever, I can carry those tools easily. When you move from such a larger space it is easy to loose things. Thanks for sharing your ideas, I keep saying I will post my ideas, you have encouraged me to clean up my space too.
    Corinne recently posted..Day 6 Hiatus-Yikes, stripes & Pattern comparisonReplyCancel

    • Sunni - This is awesome! I definitely need to check out IKEA more, especially since we have one here. Will definitely be taking a look at those stackable boxes.ReplyCancel

  • zilredloh - I love your pegboard idea. I just wish I had enough wall space to make one up too.

    I recently did some reorganizing myself and put all of my trims, belting, and zippers into some clear glass containers. They look pretty and I can now find things instantly, too.

    *Yay* for organization!
    zilredloh recently posted..Prepping to sew my first Applique SeamReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I love glass containers too! I thought about it – doing some shelves and then having a few containers set prettily on them. I too have limited wall space, but I think I have more limited floor space. We definitely need to move – but what do you do? I’ve also decided that I’m not allowed to buy anymore fabric, until the stash is much more manageable! That will really help things!ReplyCancel

  • Donna - I love your new set-up! I need to do something about mine now…ReplyCancel

  • Michal - That’s how getting into dark places can bring us back to light. The wall looks great, I just re-organized my sewing things too!
    Michal recently posted..הגיע הזמן לפוסט חסר תובנותReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Congratulations! Doesn’t it feel so nice to have some sort of idea where everything is in one’s sewing space? It’s so wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - I love your peg board. I have been meaning to do one myself for my threads. I am actually a bit of a mess with organisation and space right now. I use boxes for fabric but then forget what I have in it…so have to take it all out. clearly I need to find a solution!
    Sewing Princess recently posted..Ambitious weekend projects – Progetti ambiziosi per il weekendReplyCancel

    • Sunni - A peg board for threads sounds ideal! In fact, I have some pegboard leftover and might just do this! Great idea! I’m now completely converted to pegboards – so useful!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - i love your pegboard! nothing is more inspiring to me than a pretty, well-organized sewing space :)
    Lauren recently posted..bound buttonholes, revisitedReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Me too! Something I have to redo every so often since my space is so small. Though its probably a very good thing that it is so small because if it was bigger, I’m quite sure that I would fill it up very quickly.ReplyCancel

  • Nan - Oh I can relate especially about the missing items. You see when you are young like yourself a missing item is just being in a funk or too much on ones mind not paying attention, now myself I turned 70 this month and if something is missing it’s ‘well I guess I’m really starting to loose it’. This really stresses me out until I find it! when you said about not wanting to go into the sewing area I get that way too from working in a room not designed well for crafting and sewing too crowed. Well that problem is on the way to being solved when we built a whole home addition of 4 rooms and I picked my sewing/crafting room. It’s still in the process of having all the storage units built this will be awhile but I do my cutting in there in an airy open space with lots of table top area for cutting. I love it so relief is on the way later this year when I totally move in there and make the old room a bedroom again. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and really admire you.
    Nan recently posted..Sewing Chat and a WinReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Nan! This is awesome! Gosh, I’m seriously jealous of you – having a whole ROOM! So lucky! I can’t wait to have my own room someday. Sigh…. daydreaming…ReplyCancel

  • Sherry - I’ve just made something similar from an old whiteboard, I stuck some polystyrene over it and covered it to make a board I can pin things too – however it is still waiting to be hung! Your boards look great!
    So glad you are trying pattern making – a skirt is totally the best way to start, and you’ll be making awesome skirt designs in no time!
    Sherry recently posted..The Scallop SkirtReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Why thank you! It seriously needed to be done. I was so happy when they were finished – greatest investment into my sewing corner I’ve made thus far. Thanks for the encouraging words about my skirt too! It truly is so exciting! I’m very happy to say that after a few drafts, my skirt sloper is perfect! Yay!ReplyCancel

  • A Sewn Wardrobe - *Fabulous* sewing room inspiration ideas. We are moving to a house soon (after years and years of renting), and I will have my own sewing room, yay! I will definitely be stealing some of these ideas. Thanks!
    A Sewn Wardrobe recently posted..Burda 03-2011-122: tropical wool pencil skirt with pleatsReplyCancel

  • Lianne - I’m in a situation where I can’t even do that. My entire studio must fit within a small box and be packed away and hidden at a moments notice. The joys of moving house. At least we’ll move somewhere bigger where I CAN spread out eventually. So boring and depressed without my clutter.ReplyCancel

  • Ava - A framed pegboard – brilliant! I love it. I must have one! :) ReplyCancel

  • Darci - Pegboard is SUCH a great idea for the sewing room! Glad you’re not stabbing yourself any more.

    I reorganize my sewing space all the time. Not that I’m messy or lose anything, but just to remind myself of what I have and make plans for upcoming projects. Putting things in organized bins gives me a little bit of a high and gets those creative juices flowing.
    Darci recently posted..Week 4 || Me-Made June 2011ReplyCancel

  • rebecca - I am constantly losing my seam rippers. I own three because I keep having to buy more. They end up usually being in the side of my couch.(dangerous trying to find them). I recently reorganized my studio also. I need to have a place for everything otherwise it gets messy and I never know where anything is.
    I used your seam guidance recently and posted about them on my blog. It was perfect timing for a skirt that I have been working on. Thanks for the great information!ReplyCancel

  • Judy Roberson - Hi Sunni,
    I love your peg board idea.. Know you are totally enjoying it. It makes sewing so much more fun when you can find things.
    I had a small [6ft x7 ft] sewing room, I outgrew it, with all my sewing machines and fabrics galore..So.. as the kids left home.. one of my spare bedrooms –turned sewing room/computer room.It is now full too.ha
    But recently, my sweet husband, installed a section of our old kitchen cabinets ,from our old house, into my sewing room. They are mounted on the wall.[Arent I proud,he never throws anything away? yea!!] They are wonderful. THey hold tons of fabric, sewing books, pattern boxes,and I have plastic boxes[from the dollar tree],that hold small items. I labeled the clear see through boxes..
    I love your blog and really enjoy all your tutorials.thankyou for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh my gosh! Cabinets! How lovely! I truly envy you! Now those would be a welcome addition anywhere at the moment!ReplyCancel

  • chie - i love the idea of pegboard for scissors and etc! what a great idea. i totally agree with you, that a little bit of facelift in the sewing studio will make a big difference, and give us motivation to be more creative:) sometimes i really hate my sewing studio. i often can’t find patterns i need, or zippers i bought for a certain project, but went missing.. i really need a facelift in my studio!!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Totally understand Chie! It’s crazy what I loose and then what I’ll spend hours looking for. Maybe even days looking for.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Hi Sunni,
    Great idea on the pegboard. I chuckled to myself when I saw the picture, because I hide all my good shears. I purposely leave junky ones in plain view, but when I am done in the studio, I put my scissors away, even if I clean up nothing else. Guess I’m a little possessive about my good shears. ;)
    I posted about organization today on my (new) blog (Satin Bird Designs) also, and I love to see how other people organize their sewing spaces. Having a nice space to work in makes all the difference.

    AndreaReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I can’t say that I blame you. I live with someone who is, surprisingly, very respectful of my sewing things – not saying that those you live with aren’t, but I do understand. They just don’t understand when you go to use your expensive and gorgeous pair of shears that they actually need to cut through the cloth and they can get dulled so easily by using them for things like paper or rocks – yes I dated someone who did that to their mother! Gah!ReplyCancel

  • Nina - This is amazing! I have a folder on my computer in which I store “atelier inspiration” images, and I think this is the most realistic one in there! I really need to try this, the best thing is that both the board and the pegboard can be removed, and they save room too :)
    Really really want to try this, thanks for the inspiration!
    Nina recently posted..Floral Dress – the last stepsReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you! I love the fact that its portable too! I was trying to come up with something of the like when it dawned on me that it was such a great idea. We won’t be living in this apartment forever (hopefully) and I did want something that could move to a new studio someday. Its a really good fix and I just love seeing my pressing tools and shears hung up so nicely.ReplyCancel