Monday, April 27, 2015

Sewing Room Relocation and Sewing on the Cheap with Estate Sale Finds

Friends, I decided a few weeks back to relocate my sewing room from the huge room in the basement to a smaller room on the main level of our house.

New Sewing Room Location

I know it might seem a bit strange to move in to a smaller space, but I made the decision that I did not want to sew in the basement anymore.  See, every time I go down in the basement, I come up stuffy and when I spend a lot of time down there, it feels like I am getting bronchitis again.  I don't know if it is all in my head or if something is making me feel that way, but I decided to relocate.  The light in this room of the house is amazing!  This is an early morning picture and that is a North facing window, but still tons of light floods in to this room.  Also the room is in the very front of the house across the foyer from the dining room, so it makes it easy to head over there when I need to cut something large out.

Fabric Stash

My fabrics have now been put mostly in to totes.  All the ones that are out of the totes are ones that I have ideas floating around in my head for.  I ordered these sterilite containers online from Wal-Mart.  I am not a big fan of Wally World, but these were cheaper than any others that I found, and will fit well in to the shelves I have planned for them.  They are the 50 qt size, if you are interested.

Sewing Works in Progress

Inspired by Andie over at Sew Pretty in Pink I had a few binge cutting days so that I can get down to the business of creating.  I even used time sitting at the school to pick my kiddo up for cutting out new patterns.  It was great.  Pattern cutting is my LEAST favorite part of sewing, but doing it in the car during this time helped to make me feel productive during what is normally a dull 45 minutes sitting at the school!

Serger Desk

This is my serger desk in progress.  My husband picked this vanity up for a couple bucks at a yard sale last year.  The drawers hold my serger cones, machine manuals, sketching materials, assorted closures and elastic, as well as a whole drawer slam packed with vintage zippers.  The plan for this desk is to paint it white and then glaze it with a french green that will pick up all the details.  It should look pretty awesome, I just need the weather to get a little warmer to take her out in the garage and get my paint on.

Sewing Machine Desk

This is my sewing machine desk.  She was a freebie on Craigslist a few years ago.  She was very ugly and stinky when we got her, but I could see the pretty in her.  A coat of primer and a few coats of paints later, and the cigarette smell has been neutralized and she is as pretty as I could ever hope a free sewing desk to be! She holds my needles and thread, as well as various notions and button inside.

Comfee Sewing Chair

To carry on the theme of Sewing on the Cheap, meet some of my latest estate sale finds.  Here we have a Comfee sewing chair.  This is a link to the model that I have except mine is vintage with slightly different casters.  MSRP is $349.99 and that site is selling it for $284.95.  I paid $3, talking the estate sale dealer down from $5.  I never thought a sewing chair would be revolutionary, but in the short time I have had this baby, my back is feeling so much better!  It is fantastic, and knowing what I know now, I would have bought one of these at full price a long time ago, but I am glad I didn't since I got this baby for a steal!

I also picked up these great items for $5 total (I never pay full price even if it is cheap).  The bag on the left is a bag full of assorted pressing cloths.  There is everything in there from organza and canvas to twill, and one of those netted scorch protectors.  In the middle is a bag full of cover yourself buttons.  There are assorted sizes and shapes in here.  Over 100 buttons total.  The bag on the right is a full of cheesecloth and a set of ironing board cover fasteners.  The little box of push pins is a pound of push pins but honestly, I am not sure how useful they are going to be for me.  When I opened them up, they are pretty large gauge.  Not sure exactly what fabric I would use them with.  Maybe I am just being picky because I have gotten so used to using fine pins!

StyleArc Response and Fabric

One last order of business.  I got my package in the mail from StyleArc in record time (they sprang for expedited shipping).  I have to give them so many kuddos.  They sent a pattern that is sized directly to my dimensions, along with a hand written note.  I don't know about you all, but with this digital age we live in, a hand written note goes a long way and earns a lot of respect from me.  The replacement fabric they sent is two yards of a very nice black stretch bengaline.  Not the cheap stuff you find in the big box stores, this is comparable to what you find in fine department store RTW items.  It's got about 30 percent stretch in the warp and zero stretch in the weft.  It will be fantastic for making the Jennifer City Shorts again, and I have a Liberty of London knit purchased from that I think will make a phenomenal top to go with them.  They also sent me two StyleArc tags, which I love.  So, Chloe and the girls at StyleArc, if you read this I want you all to know that you have gone above and beyond my expectations!  Thank you so much for FANTASTIC customer service!

So friends, tell me do you sew on the cheap?  What tips do you have to keep this hobby from emptying the coffers?  Also, let's not forget to pour a little bit more love on StyleArc for going above and beyond.

***I do not get paid for linking to any product or other blog so please know that my opinions here are genuine, if I start getting paid you will be the first to know! ;)***


  1. Yeay! I'm so happy that you have a space that you feel better about. Makes such a difference to how much you sew when you love where you sew. I did a total rework of my sewing space in November after an instagram pic a day challenge where I saw all these lovely spaces. I realized the major issue was how my space was organized and now I walk in and immediately feel better. It's my oasis. :) Now you have an oasis and a lovely one at that!

    I need to figure out estate sales in my area and see whether I can pick up some good stuff. You always get great things!

    So glad the StyleArc fiasco worked out for you. I might actually purchase from them because their response to you was so good! :) Ahem....after the wedding, though... ;)

    1. It seems like no one else here sews. I have found some great fabric deals at the estate sales, and if I needed machines there are deals to be had on those as well. But by and large the majority of what I find is notions. Which I am fine with because they can get expensive! Your wedding dress is looking fantastic - BTW!!!

  2. Wow, your stuff is so well organised and the light in your new sewing room is phenomenal. I know that you said your new room Is smaller but by UK sizes that is HUGE. I know what you mean about cutting out. That and tracing patterns are enough to put me of sewing for life. Nice idea to use some down time to get it done. I am trying to economise at the moment by "shopping my stash". Fabric is expensive here and you don't find it much in Charity Shops. Very impressed by Style Arc's customer service. Will really have to give them a go.

    1. I know, I am a spoiled American, right? ;) We are actually looking to downsize, as we bought this HUGE house as an investment when the economy tanked. We have multiple rooms with nothing in them because this house is a beast. I too am trying to shop my stash. Fabric is just expensive...period! Plus, I feel a bit over indulgent with the amount of fabric I have quickly accumulated, though in my defense at least 1/3 of it came very cheaply from estate and garage sales. I am very pleased with StyleArc and how they have handled things, and hope that my experience will encourage others to also shop them.

  3. I, too, am making a move from the basement! My area is a little smaller as I had two rooms in the basement, but I will be up and level with the yard so I can see if people come in and not be hidden down below. My husband will have a desk in there, too, so it's shared, but plenty big enough for both of us. :)

    I love that comfee chair of yours! I so love sewing chairs with storage compartments! My mom has one like that at her sewing machine, but it doesn't look as comfee as yours is!

    I also have found a lot of my sewing furniture as thrift stores and on a local FB swap page, plus some repurposed stuff and hand-me-downs. I don't really think there's a big need to buy expensive sewing furniture, as it always seems to be priced more than it's worth IMO. It does look nice, but I like eclectic things in my sewing space. :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing your new space all dolled up!

    1. Moving up to the main floor was also so I could hear and see what was going on in the neighborhood. We have had a lot of mischief going on here. I bet it will be nice to share the area with your hubby.

      Those chairs are great, if you should come across one, I highly recommend it. Although I found out a few days after I got it home that the bearings were worn out so we had to replace the casters. Still $15 for new casters is much better than buying the chair new! ;)

      I agree with not spending a lot on the furniture in the sewing room. To me it leaves more money to spend on good fabric. You are so right about the sewing furniture costs, I mean kangaroo kabinets...holy smokes!

      The new space will be a work in progress for a while. I seem to not be able to stop sewing long enough to work on it or to blog!