Up until just a few weeks ago, I had one small bedroom in my home dedicated to both sewing, shipping, computing, and invoicing... approximately one hundred and two square feet to run my little pillow shop.
When I moved into my home in 2017, I had put Mississippi Stitches on hold for several personal reasons. But also because I wanted to have time to make my house my home. I turned one of the bedrooms into a combined office and sewing space and used the other guest bedroom to house my 4 year old nephew when he came to visit.
Because I was only sewing for myself, I didn't need a large workroom. I used my grandfather's old work table as my sewing desk and attached a PEG board to the wall above to store all of my threads and notions. My desk and computer sat against the opposite wall, which left little space in the middle of the room for cutting fabric. When working on large projects, I would sit on the floor in the open foyer and cut fabric... not ideal, but doable.
As most of you know by now I re-opened Mississippi Stitches for business in 2018, and then at the end of 2019 left my nursing career to make my sewing business full-time (if you don't know the story, read my blog post here). After making Mississippi Stitches my main gig, I realized my little 102 square foot space was not very efficient.
Designing an office and sewing space is not in my wheelhouse, so I knew if I wanted an efficient space, I would need help. A sweet friend of mine who also happens to be an interior designer (www.annaalleninteriordesign.com) came up with the original design for my sewing room. Anna drew up some plans based on my needs, and I was so in awe of her thought process and attention to detail! My original plan was to keep my sewing table and PEG board where they were and just replace my "office corner" with some sort of cutting table and storage unit. Anna had the GENIUS idea of a Murphy style cutting table that could be put away when not in use. She included drawer space, an adjustable shelving unit, and a drawer for a hidden trash can. I was excited and ready to take her design to a builder she and I both knew and who she recommended... Star Discount Furniture.
Then, in late March, COVID-19 pulled the floor out from under me, and my sewing room plans got sent to the back burner. As the next several weeks went by, my little pillow shop surprisingly but thankfully continued to grow, and it became even more evident that I needed to update the space. I pulled out Anna's design and began to rethink the space.
After some more thought, I realized I needed more shelving than what was in Anna's design. I decided to move my sewing table to the opposite wall where my desk and computer originally sat, and I added on more shelves to Anna's plans so that it would fit on the longest wall of the bedroom.
In late June I met with Steve at Star Discount Furniture, and he and I made a few more changes to make sure the entire unit would fit properly against the wall. I also asked Steve to build me a new sewing table complete with drawers for even more storage space. Steve's craftsmanship is impeccable. He has previously built another piece of furniture in my home, so when Anna recommended he build the cabinets for my sewing room, I didn't hesitate.
The drawers operate smoothly and fit perfectly. The adjustable track for the shelving is perfectly aligned. His measurements are exact, and the finish is absolutely beautiful. I'm so in awe of this new room that sometimes I just stand at the doorway and stare.
And that Murphy style cutting table... This is a game changer for my space.
I was a little worried the table wouldn't be large enough for the bolts of fabric I use, but it's actually quite perfect. Eventually I'll add padding and canvas to the top so that I can also iron over it.
I purchased a few new baskets and a few decor pieces (including a faux Fiddle Leaf Fig plant!) from Kirkland's... if you know me, faux Fiddle Leaf plants aren't my thing. I prefer the real deal, but this little potted plant was only $11... who can resist that?!
When I left my former nursing job, some of my sweet co-workers gifted me with this Bible verse block, and I've made sure to have it on display in my home ever since. I love this little shelf where it sits now, and it provides such a sweet, daily reminder especially in these difficult times.
I switched out my painted, wooden PEG board for a smaller scale version from IKEA. Since I now have a little more drawer space in the table, I don't need as much space above.
Eventually I'll add drawer pulls for the sewing table. They've been ordered but not yet delivered! Once they are installed, I'll update here with more details.
So what about my office space? I sold the bed that "belonged" to my 4 year old nephew and turned my guest bedroom into my office space. I refinished my dad's old work desk and created a separate office space for invoicing, packaging, and shipping! Once I officially finish this space, I'll share a few more details of the design. Having a separate office space has allowed me to work more efficiently, and I no longer feel cramped inside that one small bedroom.
And what about my 4 year old nephew who no longer has a bed? Well, he was not too happy about it at first. BUT, he and his brother now have sleeping bags to sleep under the fort(s) they build when they come to visit. I think that's a fantastic compromise.