Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SSF Post # 2 : Sewing Spaces Focus: from Emily/Emedoodle @ Mommy's Nap Time

Notions mosaic

After hearing that Shruti was looking to peek in at our sewing spaces my first thought was of how messy mine is. This past year we have converted our old bedroom into a shared space, sewing room/play room. I must say, I don't share very well! On one wall is a wardrobe with all sorts of toddler toys and books, almost everything else in the room is sewing related (my poor daughter). As a result of sharing the space, I've had to be very meticulous about where my sewing notions are merely so that my two year old doesn't hurt herself with them!

When I reclaimed the room for sewing purposes I had a great deal of help from a friend. In fact she did almost everything - the room was a bit of a surprise to me! The best thing about the room is that I have a desk with storage. Previously I had been packing everything from pins and needles to zippers into a small sewing basket. It was impossible to find anything (and just try searching without being stuck by a pin)! My friend had purchased a stacking unit of small drawers - not even knowing what sort of tools are used for sewing. This has become the heart of my notions storage.

January 2011 008

Here's the deal, the sharp/dangerous/and generally not ok for two year olds notions go at the top. The less dangerous items are in the lower drawers. Here's a general breakdown:
  • Top of storage unit - cup with scissors (one labeled for paper, the other for fabric, both left handed so everyone else will leave them alone!), marking tools, pens, permanent markers for label making. Sewing machine oil, random fabric paint, and tacky glue. My pretty pink rotary cutter stays there too - even in between cuts for the safety of the small hands in the house! VinylNation Mickey is there too, lording over the sewing tools.
  • Drawer one - Ribbon, iron on decals, and anything that makes a mess such as crayons, markers, paint, etc. This is the drawer where those crayons get put when my daughter thinks she should color with them on my office door!
  • Drawer two - Thread, handmade binding tape, and chocolate (an essential sewing tool). I prefer to have two types of chocolate on hand while sewing. Usually it is a Milka Chocolate bar, and M&M's.
  • Drawer three - Sharp things, hand sewing and embroidery needles, strait pins, fancy strait pins, safety pins, thimbles, and the accessory box from my older sewing machine. At the back of this drawer are the sweet little bins of buttons and needles inherited from my grandmother I can't help but smile when I come across them.
  • Drawer four - Tape measures, fliers and business cards from online fabric sellers, instructions for specialized presserfeet, and notes from swap partners. I like to keep notes about how quick the individual companies ship as well. This comes in handy  more often than you'd think!
  • Drawer five - Zippers, Velcro, various types of elastic, Ric-rac, hem tape, D-rings, and packaged bias tape. Most of these are random purchases from the clearance section. Pink zippers and bright colored Ric-rac.
  • Drawer six - extras, Velcro, ribbon etc. (this is really the only drawer that my daughter can reach). I also keep my geometry tools there... you know, a protractor for making angles, and a compass for making circles.
I store larger notions in the desk drawer. This holds things like masking tape, purse handles, more ribbon, polka-dotted box tape, and a lint roller.

The notions specific to my new sewing machine are kept in the caddy attached to it. These things like bobbins and presserfeet can't be mixed up with the ones for my old singer since they don't fit properly. Do notice here that my machine is named Nancy from the lovely "Sewing with Nancy." Also at arms reach are the seam rippers, machine lint brush, and a beautiful pincushion I received from the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. This pincushion sits in a little bowl where extra pins can be tossed into while mid-sewing. It's so much easier to do this for those safety pins while quilting a big quilt!

Sewing Spaces - quilting notion organization

This leaves us with just one more storage solution. The travel sewing kit. Several months ago I made up a couple of zippered box totes. One of them went to live with my sister for her birthday, the other stayed to go on wonderful quilting journeys (ok it usually makes it as far as the living room, but sometimes to the car). In it is stored all of my embroidery floss, a small needle book, my favorite thimble, tiny bird shaped scissors, and various colors of thread depending on what quilt I'm binding. This is my favorite little bit of sewing stuff. The personalizing bit. It's portable too, so I won't be afraid to go out and stitch in public!

I hope you have enjoyed stepping into my sewing space for a bit. It's far from perfect, but it works out pretty well - and as for that old sewing basket that at one time held nearly all of these things, I sent it to the curb! No more poked fingertips for me!

A guest post written by Emily from Chicago, Il who shares her sewing and modern quilting adventures at Mommy's Nap Time, and on flickr.


  1. I love those stacking drawers - a superb solution for organizing :)

  2. Wow, what a great idea on the zippered box totes! I enjoyed seeing your sewing area!

  3. I think the drawers are a great idea. It's so much easier to have it all organized.

  4. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!


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