Space to Sew

I’m sure that many of us struggle with finding space to sew. Sewing is a fairly space intensive hobby, and not everyone has the luxury of extra rooms. I’ve been in both situations, but now I find myself without a dedicated sewing room. My current apartment is in a lovely neighborhood, but it is very small (only 600 square feet.) There are two bedrooms, but one of them is in use as a (tiny) living room. When I decided it was time to start sewing again I had not idea where to put my things – it probably put me off starting for at least a year.

I finally decided that they would have to go in the kitchen. The kitchen is technically supposed to also be the living room, but I found it to be too small for that purpose. So I took a desk that I already owned and set up there. This was not a good long term solution, as my things ended up everywhere.

I ended up googling “sewing cabinet for small space” and found this Sauder cabinet. The reviews were decent and the price was right so I went ahead and ordered. It comes completely unassembled and I’d recommend having a second person to help as you need to balance some doors while installing them. I’d also be sure to not tighten anything too much at first, as there are several places that need to meet up later. But we got it done and I love it!

Here is the before (no, it wasn’t usually this bad, but this is with everything piled on the table.

We’ve all been there, right?

You can see the cabinet closed above, and here it is open:

The drop leaf to the left isn’t sturdy enough for really heavy things, but it’s going to be good for holding WIPs. There are three shelves in the cabinet to the right. In addition I got a hanging shelf for my closet for fabric. I’ve always used the kitchen island for cutting. I’m looking into a pegboard for the wall above and maybe a few decorative touches. I’m so pleased, and I can’t wait to start using my new cabinet!

First up: New Look 6511 in a rayon crepe. It’s already cut and ready to sew!


Winslow Culottes

Pattern: Winslow Culottes from Helen’s Patterns

Fabric: Tencel Twill in dark blue, bought from an Etsy shop that will not be named

Size: Between a 14 and 16

Notes: I’m not sure that everyone knows this about me, but for part of my day job I play the organ for a church. I love it – truly the best instrument, and one I’m always learning more about! But it’s not the most skirt/dress friendly profession, as you do play the pedalboard with your feet. I wear bike shorts under my dresses a lot but sometimes I don’t want to. So when I saw that culottes are having a moment I jumped on that trend!

I chose the Winslow culottes due to their ultra swishy silhouette. I ordered two yards of viscose twill from Etsy to give the pattern a try. When it arrived, the fabric looked like it had been cut with hedge clippers (seriously – so uneven) and I lost a quarter yard. It also had white marks that did not wash out on the right side. I was able to make it work by using the wrong side and some creative cutting layouts!

I cut between a size 14 and 16 which in retrospect was too big. It’s been a long time since I sewed a skirt or pants, and I forgot how little ease you need there! I have a 32 waist, and this skirt is sitting a few inches below my natural waist.

The instructions were great. As someone who hadn’t sewn an invisible zipper in at least six years I needed a little more hand holding, but that’s why we have youtube! It’s not perfect at all, but I’m pretty happy with it – next time will be even better!

Obviously it’s not completely even, but that will be better next time – it’s amazing what you forget!

My only real regret is using fusible interfacing in the waistband. I only had Pellon, which I know I don’t like, but I didn’t have anything that was a good weight to use as a sew-in. Next time I will find something, as the interfacing just isn’t laying nicely the way I would like. I’ve always preferred to sew in interfacing, but there are some nice fusibles out there.

My favorite bit? The pockets. I cut up a thrifted top made of a mystery synthetic to make them so that I would have enough of my main fabric for the length I wanted. I love pretty details like that, even if only I see them!