My Much Improved Sewing Room

While hosting a party is just the incentive I need to deep clean and organize my house, preparing for a magazine photo shoot made me get in gear and (almost) finish my sewing room.  The Spring issue of our local magazine, a beautiful and glossy publication, is including an article about my blog. The article will feature ‘action shots’ from my sewing room, motivating me to quit talking about finishing the room and just do it. It’s 90% complete.

I’ve always been fortunate enough to have some place to sew. In this home, I took over the old play/computer/date room shortly after I started Goodbye Valentino. It was a big open space for everyone to see!

But when you entered the house from the garage you were greeted with this view…..

sewing room 3and when you turned the corner from the bottom of the staircase you saw this.

sewing room 1

To reach the guest bedroom, garage or half bathroom one had to walk through my sewing room. I was constantly apologizing for the mess even when the room was clean.

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I had choices to make along with a budget to follow, and ultimately let the aesthetics guide my decisions. Functionality is important as long as it looks good ;)

In order to shield my mess, the wall from the bottom of the stairs was extended 15 feet to the guest bedroom and features a 42” open doorway. Now when you enter the house from the garage you see this.

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And when you turn the corner at the bottom of the staircase you see this.

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Come on in!

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  •  Above is the original long wall.
  • Below is a view of the top end of the room…

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  • …followed by a pic of the lower end of the room…

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… and the short niche wall.

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The space is smaller but far more organized. As a confessed Scrabble addict, I couldn’t pass on the giant Scrabble tiles. The lamps mimic the geometric design in the carpet.

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  • Since the room receives little natural light I chose a light neutral color for the walls. The neutral color also serves as a compatible background for colorful and large pattern projects.
  • I kept the L- shaped laminate countertops which are perfect for almost all sewing endeavors.IMG_3834
  • I made new linen panels to keep the room tidy.

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  • Behind the panels are sewing essentials such as tracing paper along with the machine cover, muslins etc…

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  • I’ve never had a huge stash so most of my fabric fits on the 12  shelves.

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  • Fabric that needs more protection goes in here.

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  • The ladder-style shelves provide plenty of storage space for notions and books.

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  •  I use Sterilite plastic bins for storing notions since they are sold everywhere. Fortunately, plenty of storage space is still available.

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  • Rulers here……

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  • Trash here….. I chose a large canvas laundry basket due to its large size and light weight.

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  • Mood Samples and favorite remnants here….

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  • Linings and interfacing here….

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  • Removable plastic wall hooks are the best!

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  • Patterns here…..

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  • The table-top ironing board is stored here.

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  • I sacrificed space for a permanent cutting table when I chose to close in the room, but it’s easy to set up the portable table as needed.

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Left to do:

  • Custom mirror here.IMG_3843
  • New under counter lights and bulletin board here.

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  • Paint  acoustical ceiling tile for a checkerboard effect (in my spare time :) ), and I’m sure other ideas will surface.

With our children grown and living elsewhere, Hubby and I decided to convert the downstairs guest bedroom into a home office. We replaced the bed with a new sleeper sofa and added built-ins with filing cabinets along with a new tube. Now I’m a step away from a sitting area with lots of natural light for handwork.

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So while there is nothing fancy about my space in terms of customized features, I’ve got a pleasant environment with a place for everything.

What do you think? …….. I think it’s time for some sewing!

Until soon :)

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192 Responses to My Much Improved Sewing Room

  1. Catherine says:

    LOVE, LOVE!! Tell us where you got your counter! I want to do the same thing but am having a time finding the perfect counter!!

  2. Alethia says:

    I love it! Gives me incentive!

  3. Looks great. Very functional.

  4. Madeline says:

    Love the amount of space, just enough! With more you get clutter! At least I do ;) I will steal your removable hook idea, I was going to get a peg type board but I like the hooks! Now get sewing because I get so much inspiration from your creations.

  5. Julie Starr says:

    It’s perfect and the overall feel seems so calming! I love all your storage solutions. It looks like a wonderful environment for lots more Goodbye Valentino creativity! I have to laugh because it’s two years later and my to do list is similar to yours…mirror and undercounter lighting. Very exciting about the photo shoot and article…I’ll be sure and get my hands on a copy from my Greenville connections!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Wow! This is such a pleasant and functional sewing room. I was wondering about the cutting area but you even thought of that with the portable table. Love, love, love the Goodbye Valentino scrabble tiles! It must be nice to spend hours here creating.

  7. Sarah, I love your sewing room. So organized. I wish you many hours of happy and successful sewing.

  8. Laura Casey says:

    Loved reading and seeing your sewing room. I especially like how you hang your pattern instructions, may steal that idea! And love the dotty flooring. May have to post some pictures myself…absolutely opposite…I rein in chaos…handmade dolls/small quilts everywhere….think about a design wall…..doesn’t have to be big….but for inspiration!
    Thanks for the tour! LAURA

  9. i love it – those scrabble tiles are a brilliant idea! i’m hopiong to have a proper sewing space soon (much smaller, but all mine and not the dining room table!) and i’m going to steal some of your sotage ideas. why did i never think of hanging scissors and hooks for big rulers?

  10. Catty says:

    Very nice! I especially love the gathered linen panels and the scrabble tiles! Now it’s time for my sewing room update!

  11. Sarah Jo says:

    I enjoyed reading about and “seeing” your updated space. You’ve got great taste! It’s actually encouraging that it’s very useful with basic materials. I can get hung up on what I don’t have for sewing–and honestly a cutting table is something I’d love to have–but I garnered lots of tricks from what you’ve done!

    • Sarah Jo says:

      It’s evident from your sewing that one doesn’t need the fanciest, newest, and most specialized space or equipment to produce a beautiful, well-made garment! That really inspires me to focus on what matters–sewing, learning, and growing!

      • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Sarah Jo! I think to incorporate the latest sewing paraphernalia into my room I would want a professional designer. I’m not ready to go that route and decided to keep it simple :)

  12. Awilda says:

    I love your sewing space, it’s very functional. I also like the panels hiding the storing area, that is great. I should do that to my desk since its in the living room and you could see under where I store the fabric.Great idea. Where did you get those scrabble pieces? I love them.

  13. artgirlrachel says:

    Cleaning the sewing room is my goal today. Seeing yours gives me a little bost!

  14. Dara Harper says:

    That is a very beautiful and functional room! Congratulations on you being awarded with such an honor ! What is the name of the  publication, I would like to purchase one ,if possible. Dara  P.S. Kudos to your husband also , for his help in making this happen!

  15. Becky says:

    Perfect!

  16. lovely space to create – enjoy

  17. cathynd95 says:

    OOO congrats on the photo shoot!

  18. Jackie says:

    Thank you so much for letting us see your new and improved sewing room. I plan to use some of your organizing ideas! I really like the storage the ladder bookshelves provide without taking up a lot of visual space.

  19. Star says:

    Love the scrabble tiles! I agree that a smaller room leaves less room for clutter. I’m a pile maker myself so the less flat surfaces I have the less piles I have to tidy up later.

  20. Gail Yellen says:

    Your sewing room looks, fresh,well-planned and conducive to creativity and inspiration. Love the Scrabble tiles. Congratulations!

  21. Miriam says:

    I am so green with envy! Love what you did with the space. The walls were such a good idea. Love the color too. Great organization. Thank you so much for sharing.

  22. beth says:

    I am also a Scrabble addict! This looks nice, enjoy!

  23. Alexandra says:

    Beautiful! So organized and spacious. I love those Scrabble tiles.

  24. Philippa says:

    What a lovely renovation! I especially like your new carpet. I wish you many happy hours sewing in your new space :)

  25. Jeannine Dropchinski says:

    Beautiful…I love your color theme, very peaceful. Perfect for jumping into a colorful and creative project…great job:)

  26. Art Attack says:

    This is great! I’m sew envious! My little city condo isn’t much bigger than your sewing room..lol I quit apologizing for the mess ages ago. Enjoy!

  27. seweverythingblog says:

    Beautiful! Congrats on being featured in your local glossy. Where does one get the Scrabble tiles?

  28. Florencia says:

    Loooooooove it!!! What an inspiration!

  29. Elaine says:

    Thanks for the tour! I enjoyed seeing the before picture of the sewing space where so many beautiful garments have been made. It was also gratifying to see that you have been able to have such success sewing using your Bernina 1230. I had wondered if you had purchased a brand new machine. This is of interest to me as I sew on a Bernina 1130 which is an earlier modelE, but looks very similar. So, no excuses from me now!! I hope the magazine article will be available online somewhere.

  30. Merry says:

    love it….would love a permanent sewing site.

  31. I made it!! says:

    Love it! Very nice colours too!

  32. lisa g says:

    this looks like a great space! i have my own dedicated sewing room, but lack a dedicated cutting table. this most definitely eats into my productivity since i have to use the dining table. i like your idea of a folding table, that’s very smart!

  33. Linda (Phila burbs) says:

    oh my goodness, what a gorgeous place to create. functional, organized and pretty to boot! (hope you will share the article when it is published too!) enjoy!!

  34. Amanda S. says:

    I’m sooooo jealous! I’ve never shown my sewing space for a reason – there’s hardly any space! You are super fortunate to have a room devoted to your hobby. Someday we’ll move to a bigger house I hope. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much, Amanda. I am very, very fortunate to have a space to sew. My husband and I seem to be reclaiming the house since our children are grown. You of all people deserve a sewing room and I’m sure you’ll eventually get one :)

  35. I have to say I have the green eyed monster! What a fantastic space that suits all your needs. The color scheme is light and cheery and you really thought out the functionality of the room. I am secretly plottng to turn some unused attic space into a sewing room…..someday! Thank you for your inspiration – may we all find a little nook (or big room) where we can happily create!

    • Many thanks, Ally. Light and cheery in a room without much light was the objective along with keeping it organized. I hope you will be able to transform the attic into your special place :)

  36. I love your new space! It is organized and very beautiful. I can’t wait to see what kind of mirror you pick out. I too like the scrabble words.

    • Thank you, Jonelle! I’ll probably just hang a large unframed mirror but I’ll need to have it custom cut to get the size I need. The Scrabble tiles were a totally unexpected find at an antique mall in Charleston, SC.

  37. Wow! It looks amazing, love the scrabble tiles. It must be so nice to be able to sew in what looks to be a peaceful, calming space. Enjoy your new room!

  38. ClaireOKC says:

    Wow – very, VERY impressive. I love cleaning my studio from time to time ad does give you such a feeling of “starting a new project all anew”. Even when mine is clean – it’s not the best in the west!!!! ;)

  39. Judi says:

    I love everything you did, especially having the wall put up to separate “your” space. Yes it sure is very pleasant!!!

  40. Juliane says:

    Great space for creating!

  41. Lori says:

    I love everything about your space. I can tell you put much thought into all aspects – work surface, storage, notions, etc. Someday, I will use your sewing room as an inspiration for my room. thanks for sharing and good luck with the photo shoot.

  42. LOVE IT! It’s so organized, but still looks like you :) How nice to have a wonderful, pleasant place to work! I use something like those Sterlite bins as well…they’re great! Love your stash shelves, too – it’s nice to see your fabric ‘out in the open’ for inspiration.

    So exciting that they’re doing a story on you! You’ve worked so hard – what a great complement! Let me know what mag it is – I’ve forgotten the name of the one you’re talking about, but would love to see your article :)

    Enjoy your new room – and thanks for all the great inspiration! LOVE the name in Scrabble blocks :)

    • Hi Cheryl!
      The Scrabble tiles were a totally unexpected find at an antique mall in Charleston that immediately spoke to me! It’s the Spartanburg Magazine and I was very flattered upon being contacted for an article.
      Hope your sewing is going well in addition to all of your other endeavors! Many thanks for the comment :)

  43. Graca says:

    You have a lovely sewing room. I was curious about where you cut your projects too, but it looks like it works well for you. I might have to borrow you pattern storage solution, it is a great idea and easily accessible. Love it! Oh and congrats on you upcoming photo shoot in your sewing room.

    • Thank you so much, Graca! The portable table works well for my needs. While the pattern storage works for me it’s not ideal or as organized as it should be. Mimi G has a terrific pattern storage system that I may do one day :)

  44. David says:

    This is done very tastefully. i’m lucky I have my own office/sewing room even though it’s a small space but can always use the loft space/my bedroom next to it to do all the cutting and ironing. A space you love makes such a difference in terms of productivity!

  45. EmSewCrazy says:

    It looks lovely! Organized and beautiful. I love your scrabble tiles too!

  46. My Sewing Suite says:

    Really lovely! I am in the process of a slight remodel of my sewing space after a basement flood. This post was perfect timing as I am trying to make some design decisions. I love how light it feels.

  47. Carolyn says:

    Congrats Sarah, your new sewing room is so inviting! I love it! : ) The Scrabble tiles are so unique, and they give the room a clean look and personal touch. I also really love the neutral color scheme, as it adds to the overall crispness of the space. Enjoy it!

  48. Just lovely! It looks so inviting and I adore the carpet!

  49. Kathy T says:

    Very nice. So neat and organized. I too have a sewing room but it always looks a little messy at best, and during the holidays it looked like a cyclone hit it. :)

  50. Leigh says:

    I love your sewing room! I was thinking as I looked at yours – that’s all the books she has? that’s all the fabric? I’ve managed to accumulate more of all kinds of stuff (along with the associated storage problem), and yet you sew more often and produce more wearables. Definitely food for thought in that little epiphany! :) I’m glad you have such a lovely space. It is truly a pleasure to have a space to work.

    • Angela says:

      I know exactly what you mean! I’m the same way… I fell into the trap of equating getting more books, more fabric etc. with actually doing more, which of course isn’t the same at all.

      • LOL, Angela! If you saw my cookbooks you would assume I was the finest chef in the world…… same with gardening and decorating……. they are far more visual than sewing books IMHO :)

    • Thank you, Leigh! When I organized my room I did some purging, but these are all of the sewing books I own. I do have 3 boxes of fabric in the garage to go through, but I believe they are filled with quilting cotton – who knows! :)

  51. Peggy's Closet says:

    What a great space! P.S. I have a very, very similar carpet in my family room!

  52. Cindy says:

    Love the storage, love the Scrabble Tiles, love the “feeling” of the space! I just redecorated my sewing room at the cottage and now that’s the only place I want to be! I hope you enjoy your sewing room to the fullest!

    • Many thanks, Cindy! The Scrabble tiles were a totally unexpected find at an antique mall in Charleston and I think they open the room. Creating visual space in a small room was an objective in the reorganization for sure :)

  53. ana5059 says:

    It’s a fantastic and inspiring place to sew!. Congrats, sure you’ll make magic in it

  54. Sandy says:

    You’ve created a very lovely and serene space for yourself. You’ve come a long way since the beginning of your blog when you were resisting telling your daughters that you’d started one, to now having a magazine spread! I’ve enjoyed lurking on your blog since the beginning. Did you cover your own pattern boxes?

    • Sandy, Many thanks for your comment and for being a long time follower! I have come a long way when I think back to day one! Uh…… yes, I covered the pattern boxes, very sloppily I might add. I did this a year ago trying to recreate something I saw online ;)

  55. sewruth says:

    We all know what fabulous sewing came out of the ‘before’ version – so we are expecting much, much better!!!! – LOL. Enjoy your space. You deserve it.

  56. Beki biesterfelt says:

    Lovely. Instead of the plastic wall hooks, have you considered peg board? I love mine — very versatile.

    • Thanks, Beki! I really like peg board and use it in the garage. I started with one hook and soon I had several on the wall. I thought about pegboard but the way the shelf is mounted on the way would interfere with a straight piece of wood, so I stayed with what seemed to be working :)

  57. Vanessa says:

    I think it looks beautiful, and is functional at the same time. Those Scrabble letters are amazing!

  58. Karen says:

    Your sewing room looks great and I love the scrabble tiles.

  59. sewmanju says:

    Looks like a fabulous place to work! You must be very pleased.

  60. Vicki says:

    Fabulous! It looks so classy and serene. I’m sure I’d enjoy sewing in a space like that.

  61. Karina Buck says:

    What a wonderful space to work and create in. I love how you used neutral tones and simple materials so the fabrics you are working with can take center stage.

    I am curious: what brand sewing machine and serger are you using?

  62. Sherry says:

    Great space. Nothing like having everything organized and at your fingertips.

  63. AJW says:

    Chartreuse with envy. It’s beautiful and functional. May you enjoy many inspiring hours here.

  64. Wendy says:

    Beautiful space! It makes all the difference to have an attractive area to sew in! Enjoy it!

  65. Jennifer Gal says:

    Gosh, that is one of the most lovely sewing spaces I’ve seen.

  66. LLADYBIRD says:

    Ooooh, I just LOVE this! Can I move in? I promise I won’t take up too much space ;) lol

  67. Sharon says:

    Beautiful sewing space and love all the clean lines. Thank you for the reminder about the stick on hooks, I’v got lime rendered walls and can’t put anything it, but can stick to my hearts content.

    • Thank you, Sharon! I was introduced to these stick ons when my oldest daughter was in college and we were trying to spruce up her dorm room without using nails. Now I’m hooked (no pun intended) :)

  68. Mary Scott says:

    Inspiring!!!

  69. Aileen rykiel says:

    You have created a beautiful and peaceful place where your creativity can grow. I love the color palette. It must be a joy to have everything you need and the new office altogether. I want to hang out in your place.i have the same sewing machine in my sewing room. A real workhorse.
    You deserve this lovely room.May you spend many wonderful hours doing what you do so well.
    Enjoy,
    Spanky

  70. zibergirl says:

    What a fantastic makeover! It really looks like a completely different room. I will probably use a couple of your ideas like the bulletin board and the self stick hooks. Thanks for sharing. You’re always an inspiration.

  71. Katie says:

    I love your space! It’s nice to see whT you did with a basement sewing room. My sewing room is also a basement room with no windows and I’m always wishing I had more natural light. Your space is so cozy!

  72. myrosesindecember says:

    Oh, what I would not give for such a wonderful dedicated space for sewing. You made it beautiful and organized – often hard to do. Great job! Love the scrabble tiles. Any chance, off the top of your head, you can think of a blouse pattern with saddle shoulders? I used to have an Evan Picone suit pattern and the blouse had saddle shoulders (where the yoke extends over the front of the shoulder seam, onto the bodice) but cannot find it. I am near blind from looking at photos on all the commercial pattern sites but none seems classic enough. Thanks.

  73. Myra says:

    What a great creative space! You must be so happy! I also saw the “sneak peek at something being made in houndstooth!

  74. CherryPix says:

    I bet your creativity soars even higher in such gorgeous surroundings! Just lovely.

  75. Jan says:

    It looks great! I would never want to leave the room. I love your built-in counters for your sewing machines. They look like they are just the right height.

  76. Mollie Bobo says:

    Very good use of space and practical use of elements already in place. Bravo!

  77. Petra McLean says:

    I think that in order to be creative you need your own space to just be and hang, somewhere you can have all of your stuff around you and have elbow space to roll up your sleeves and make things happen. You’ve made that space for yourself and I love it. Looking forward to the non virtual tour.

  78. Danielle says:

    It is just lovely and I’m so with you on the colours because I have very similar. I love the black, white and beige because you can add a splash of any colour to give it whatever theme you desire. Thanks for sharing, love it.

  79. Ro says:

    Hi Congats on a job well done. I love the way u transformed your sewing room , Nice Job! So exciting to be in the local magazine. How can I get a copy of it? What is it called.? Also , I love your dress form . I am looking for one , adjustable, not sure really what kind to look for or which price point is better. It is freezing outside, so tons of projects are planned, inside, lol

    • Thank you, Ro! Once the magazine article is published I’ll let readers know how to get a copy should they want one. The name is the Spartanburg Magazine.
      I need a new dress form ….. and it is freezing here too. The house is even cold :)

  80. Dilliander says:

    What a lovely, fun, personal and inspiring space to sew in! It looks great :)

  81. Cindy C. says:

    Open, airy, organized, peaceful — it’s the perfect blend of soothing and inspiring. Now you’ve upped the ante and we’ll expect to see LOTS of wonderful creations from your new sewing space!

  82. Micki says:

    Beautiful and functional, such a serene space you have. Congratulations.
    You and I have the same sewing machine. Don’t you love it?! Happy sewing!

  83. Jean says:

    Your new sewing space is such a wonderful reflection of your impeccable style and taste. Wishing you much sewing enjoyment as you continue to inspire us.

  84. Emmely says:

    Oh, wow, you are so organised! Your room now looks like a very nice place to spend time and make awesome garments!

  85. Almeda says:

    Sara, your new space looks lovely – peaceful and inspiring! I look forward to seeing more beautiful creations. Thank you for sharing this “special part of your home”.

  86. Victoria says:

    Nice job Lady!!! Your sewing space looks great!!!! It looks very welcoming even to the non-sewer!

  87. Patti says:

    I love this! I currently sew in my guest bedroom but this past year I decided maybe I needed to move down the hall to our “playroom” so I would have all of my materials and notions in one place. It is full of junk so it will take a lot of decluttering but your sewing room will be my inspiration! In fact, I can see how it will be very similar as there are already bookcases and a l-shaped countertop desk. So exciting to have another goal!! I had been lurking on pinterest looking at sewing rooms but yours is, by far, my favorite because it is so real and normal – just like you!

  88. Jolayne says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing these pictures. There are some really great ideas that I will be able to use in my own “sewing area”. I was impressed with your lack of excess fabric. You have inspired me to go through my sewing things again. Thank you.

  89. Joen says:

    Looks great! I never thought of using the plastic wall hooks! I have a peg board on one wall but its not the wall my cutting table is on so the hooks would be perfect! Thanks for that tip.

  90. Ana Sullivan says:

    I recently moved to a much smaller place and no longer have a sewing room. This has motivated me to assign at least an area or corner of a room as my “sewing space.” See my newly created Pinterest board:

  91. piakdy says:

    What a lovely & soothing sewing space! Congratulation on job well done. May the sewing multiply manifold from hence forth! :-)

  92. Very inspiring……I have an extra bedroom and have been thinking of turning it into a sewing room. Your pictures and discriptions gave me many great ideas…..yours is so beautiful as well as functional………….
    .happy sewing……..

  93. Liss says:

    Oh my goodness, what an improvement! Well done!
    I really like your use of the wall space for storage :)

  94. Susan Morton says:

    Great job on your sewing room makeover! Can’t wait to read your upcoming magazine article! Thank you for your blogs, you keep me inspired to never stop sewing! What kind of sewing chair do you have and is it comfortable?

  95. Val Batty says:

    Wow, that looks fantastic, I am really envious. Love that chair as well, looks really comfy. Amazing what an incentive takes to move ones backside up a few gears.

  96. Gorgeous! Very stylish and practical too. I’m moving from my ad hoc space in the loft to what is currently my little boy’s room. I can’t wait…I’m planning lots of storage and counter space too. Although I’ll miss my enormous cutting table…it’s a sacrifice I’m prepared to make as I’ll get a more functional room.

  97. gingermakes says:

    Beautiful! What a tidy, nice place to work in!

  98. Sharon says:

    Ahh how nice to have a space all your own. My sewing area is in my unused, unfinished, supersized basement-a great blank slate for creativity in every which way! A great job on repurposing your rooms and let the energy flow.

  99. Kim Dimond says:

    I can appreciate how good it feels to have this new space. I just finished off a part of our basement for mine. I just wish I could keep it looking like the pics I took when completed. I am such a messy seamstress! Can you share which publication you will be in? I am local to you and I don’t want to miss it.

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