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Thread: planning a sewing room

  1. #1
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    Although hubby and I are almost empty nesters, we are always looking for projects. So here is the latest...

    an addition over the garage for a sewing/music room. It will be 24' x 24'. I will share room with his accordians and will make a little sitting area too.

    I have a lot of ideas already of layout and what my needs are- but I'd like to poll you all-

    1) countertops- what type of surface?
    2) floors- what type of flooring?
    3) lighting?

    I have plans for a big sewing "desk" with work stations that I will ask a friend to build, but again, a different surface?

    Oh, I want the ceiling open to the rafters and roof- as much as I can living in the NE. We already have central air and vac system, so we will just extend them into the room.

    This is payback for the 40' x 48" toybox (a/k/a garage) he got when we moved here. :)

    Thanks!
    Barb

  2. #2
    Super Member NorBanaquilts's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm so jealous. I can't imagine having all that room. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  3. #3
    Power Poster
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    Electrical outlets - lots of electrical outlets

    Wonder how one can put them in the center of a room?

    Enjoy enjoy enjoy - and I'll work on getting ungreen.

  4. #4
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    Floors for almost any room, I prefer in tile or wood... much easier to sweep up bits than to vacuum.
    Especially on an upper floor you could run wiring through the floor joists and bring a "block" up in the center of the room and put plugs in it.. If you just have to have them there.. You can also put them right in the floor flush.. but IMHO that's not very smart.. some genius did that in the kitchen of a house I had.. ever spring a leak in a sink...or a pipe in a kitchen.. yep...... not fun, and a terrible combination.
    LOTS of shelves.. and track lighting.. what a dream!!

  5. #5
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Bearisgrey said:
    Enjoy enjoy enjoy - and I'll work on getting ungreen.

    Me too, my sewing room is about a quarter of what you will have. I think you will want more storage than you can imagine you needing. Clear bins or baskets for fabric, but with cupboard doors over them to keep out the light. A higher table height for cutting out, to save back ache. (Kitchen counter top height works for me) I hate to sew with my machine on top of a table now, as I have it in a cabinet, with the sewing surface level with the table top. BUT if you can arrange it, have plenty of space behind the machine, and to the left of it to take the weight of quilts as you sew. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    BeachBirdie's Avatar
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    Our garage was converted into a room when we bought it. My hubby had made this for me at our old house...we kind threw it together when we moved in because in 3 weeks he had to go on a 6 month deployment,(Navy). He is going to rebuild it for me...someday. The main thing I love is all the storage under the cutting table.

    Attached Images Attached Images


  7. #7
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    Some garages have pull-down extension cords from the ceiling. May not look very elegant, but it might be convenient. And avoid the outlet-in-the floor risk of flooding. Of if you have support posts in the room, outlets could be put on them.


  8. #8
    Senior Member MoMoSews's Avatar
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    You can never have too much lighting :mrgreen:
    Countertops are sturdier than tables with folding legs. I know that from experience! Storage storage storage. Good luck & happy quilting :lol:

  9. #9
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I agree with others. If we didn't have new carpeting, I'd have tile or wood put in. And storage or shelving is a must!

    Here's a picture of my sewing/quilt room. I share it with my desk and computer. I had 2 old legal size file cabinets I'd bought at a garage sale for $5.00 each years ago (or was it $10.00 ea??) and repainted. I bought a sliding door for a closet and use it for the table top. Others have mentioned that the table top wasn't sturdy enough because it's hollow, but I've cut out lots of fabric and have yet to have any problems with it. Oh, I got that for $15.00 at a recycle place!

    [IMG]http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n...CRAFTROOM3.jpg[/IMG]

  10. #10
    Senior Member billswife99's Avatar
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    I saw a cutting/basting table built in the center of the room with lots of storage underneath. I thought that was genius so you could walk all the way around it. Also be sure the height of it works with yours. Less bending!

  11. #11
    Junior Member Lainee's Avatar
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    Question....if he has a 40 x 48 toy room, why do you have to share a room half that size????

    I like the idea of electrical drops unless you are going to have an island electrified. If you're going to freemotion on a DSM then I would want counter surfaces as slippery as possible.

  12. #12
    Super Member chewboo's Avatar
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    i wouldnt have any other lighting than full spectrum i have it in my new sewing room but not in the last and it makes a deffinate difference

  13. #13
    Super Member Iluv2quilt's Avatar
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    Congratulations!! I'm so happy for you, it's going to be wonderful!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Lots of natural lighting as well as electric would be nice. If there are not enough windows, think about skylights in that lovely vaulted ceiling. I think hard floors as mentioned are good. Wood laminate also holds up well to scuffs of a rolling desk chair. But do you need to consider acousitics with accordians? Will you need some soft surfaces to absorb some sound? Maybe some large area rugs in the music and sitting areas. Draperies might also help if the music getts too loud.

    Is a longarm quilting system in your future? If so, you might want to think about placement of that and not make permanent builtins like cabinets in a spot that you'll want to expand to in the future.

    Some previous threads talked about building large homemade ironing tables that make ironing a length of fabric so much easier. If I wasn starting from scratch I'd want one of them for sure.

  15. #15
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    Lots of ideas here! I called the builder of our house. They now build it with a room over the garage. I asked him to call me with costs.

    Full spectrum lighting- cool- I told hubby to get that for the toybox. I will certainly check that out. The room is over the garage- well away from water issues. I like the door as a cutting table. That might work for my temporary solution now.

    I was thinking a wall of cabinets -upper and lower with countertops for "stuff" and pegboard for the wall area between. Lots of outlets too. This would be the wall that joins to the present house.

    One wall will have 2 large windows- spaced above the ones right now in the garage to add symetry and not make it look added on. This also will be all cabinets, upper and lower. I want window seats in the space below the window, to sit on and boxes underneath for storage. It faces the front of the house.

    The next wall that would be over the garage I want no cabinets, but a double window centered on the wall with a half circle over it. I do not plan to have window treatments so I can look out (we don't have neighbors for thousands of feet on all sides). This will be our seating area with 2 chairs and probably a wall mounted tv.

    The last wall will face the back of the house. It will have a set of patio doors (or French doors) leading out to a 10'x 24' deck. I may do more windows on either side, depending on how much room I have. I kind of want to keep the corner of the last wall and this wall open for my quilt frame that I have never set up yet.

    I also want a work station towards the front of the house, by the 2 walls of cabinets.

    Oh- under the deck- I told hubby I want concrete pad, so I can park there since I've never been able to park in the garage in 8 years (long story- someone always takes my space). And a laundry line between the posts- the one I have only holds 3 loads of wash.

    I want to share- he plays his accordian across the hall from me now and I have to stop and go across the hall to see him (easier for me- the accordian weighs about 27 lbs.). I figure he and I will spend a lot of time together as we get older and I love to be with him.

    Lainee- I do have a bit of the toy box- I park my 67 firebird in there. And I have lots of free car maintenence.

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My floor is a sheet vinyl which is easy to clean, makes rolling around on a chair smooth, and I hear pins drop.

    My sewing surface is an IKEA table top (laminate, I think) and I have a regular laminate counter top on the base cabinet.

    My lighting sucks. It's a fan with a light kit and it throws a lot of shadow and glare on the work area. I need to add more directional lighting like a track to counter the effect.

    Recently, I added IKEA cabinets with some glass doors to replace my book shelf. I like the clean look of the storage and less dust.

    Have fun with your project.

  17. #17
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Your ideas sound awesome! And they're right about the lighting. I don't have enough and the fan/light does cast shadows. I bought some flex arm lamps at a garage sale and use those.

    I've also been kicking around buying a sheet of laminate to put over the carpet......don't know what that'll do!!!!

  18. #18

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    Lots of outlets on several diffent circuits. Iron shouldn't be on same circuit as a potenial long arm or electronic sewing machine. Irons pull a lot of amps. Book cases for all your quilting books and storage out the wazzoo!

  19. #19
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    Large flat surfaces -

    Places to hang the rulers

    One lady I knew had sort of an island effect for her cutting center - she had hooks for her rulers, etc. on one end of it.

    I'd like a drawer for pins, etc., too.

    Maybe even add a "cutting board" like kitchens have to it.

  20. #20
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I would definitely recommend some receptacles about 3 1/2' up the walls where you can plug in your sewing machine and iron. I have a little hook beside the receptacle so I can unplug my sewing machine and hang the cord over the hook. (I always unplug my sewing machines when I'm not using them, in case of lightening.) My husband even put a switch on the one for my iron, so I don't have to unplug it - I just turn the switch on and off. It's the most convenient setup I've ever had.


  21. #21
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    I recommend that you consider putting in separate electrical circuit just to power your iron (which requires a lot of power).

    My hubby added a circuit for my iron and put a light switch for it next to the door. When I leave the room, I flip the light switches off and I know that my iron has not been left on by mistake. Actually he put a total of three power circuits serving my sewing room. One is just for the track lighting so I can add as many as I want, the one for the iron, and one for everything else.

  22. #22

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    My ideal sewing room would be full of windows on my north and south side...I'd have my west wall all sliding solid doors so you could easily see the stash when you wanted to and not at all if you didn't. The east wall would be a huge design wall. My cutting table would be a kitchen bar w/plug ins on each end, drawers on top and cabnets to hold baskets of projects. But for now, I am happy w/the space I have in my dungeon:)Here it is at: http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/19004.page

    Here is one of my favorite books (I have it to drool thru at any time!) some great ideas and inspirations! I found it in our library too recently...so if you don't want to buy it, go check it out:)Go to: http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Your-.../dp/1564775690

  23. #23
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Have you thought of a design wall? I use 2 cheap flannel back vinyl tableclothers thumbtacked to the wall where ceiling meets the wall. Always putting projects up to audition for placing blocks, audition borders for wall hangings. If not enough wall space you could make a room divider backed by a flannel design wall. Also have a flannel backed bulletin board over my machine for my mini's--don't loose the small pieces as easily.
    We all envy you. My sewing room is 7 1/2 x 12 and find myself migrating to a larger space to cut fabric and baste quilts together.

  24. #24
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    Since you will be on the second floor, you could easily put some kind of padding under a wood floor installation so that you have a cushioned surface to stand on. I have slate floors that are hard on my back to stand for long periods of time and would love that.

    I do Google searches or look in Webshots for images of sewing studios from time to time. One of my favorite ideas is to install one or more decorative curtain rods (with clips on the sliding rings) above a bank of closet doors and hang a flannel sheet for a design "wall". Since you have a lovely view, something like that might be an option. While I am sewing, I would rather have another window to look out of than a big white flannel wall.

    I just made myself an ironing table for the area adjacent to my sewing table. On top of a folding 4' table, I placed some plywood , then 2 layers of felted wool yardage, and topped it with some leftover chintz. Soon I'll draw a grid onto canvas and staple the works to the plywood. I put two rolling storage carts under the table with removable drawers for my cut strips organized by sizes.

    One of my closets is really a computer station, so the doors stay open unless I have guests staying in there. I installed adhesive hooks on them to hang my rulers. It really makes a difference to have them hanging near your cutting area for easy access.

    Something I learned from teaching elementary school for years: organize small tools and supplies by task in mobile containers, then organize the containers on shelves or cabinets. That way, you can grab a work basket instead of pulling tools and supplies out of various cabinets. You may end up needing duplicates of certain supplies such as scissors, but you save precious sewing time.

  25. #25
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    Is there a bathroom near by?

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