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Thread: Question about your sewing rooms

  1. #1
    Junior Member 40MPHK9's Avatar
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    Question Question about your sewing rooms

    First of all, this is my first 'real' post here, aside from my intro post. This is a great board, and more than a little overwhelming--so much information!

    Last February we moved into a different house, and since then I have taken one of the bedrooms for my sewing room. This room also houses our computer, in a large armoire. There is also a doorway into a bathroom, and a closet, and two windows--so not much wall space for cabinets, storage, etc. Right now I am using a plastic table for my machine, and a larger table for cutting, plus I've got my ironing board in here, and a small bookshelf. NOT TO MENTION, a large dog bed (my dog likes to be near me ).

    In our basement is an 'exercise' room--where our treadmill and bike are. That room is much larger than my current sewing room and I am kicking around the idea of swapping the rooms. The 'new' sewing room would need a little work, but my husband could do all of it.

    So my question is, does anyone have a sewing room in their basement? I know I'd need to put in a lot of light, but even my current upstairs sewing room doesn't have enough light--northern exposure. I have always said I didn't want to sew in the basement, but my current room is so cluttered.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I used to have to sew in the basement many years ago. I sew in a bedroom now and like it so much better. My machine is in front of a double window. It's so much nore cheerful.,

  3. #3
    Junior Member beckalou's Avatar
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    I used to have my sewing room in the basement, I loved it because I had plenty of room. A few overhead flourescent shop lights provided enough light for me. I lived in Iowa at the time, and Iowa gets cold in the winter. We did have 2 heat vents in the basement, but it was still cold. I could dress for this, but my hands were still cold. Make sure you have enough heat down there before you make the move.

  4. #4
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I sew in the basement, but it is an actual bedroom with a 4 foot window and southern lighting. It sounds like your current room doesn't have a lot of light, so not that much different from where you are now. My sister also has a sewing room on a northern exposure. She has a large shop light directly over her sewing table and cutting tables - splendid, splendid lighting.

    The only disadvantages of having a sewing space in the basement, in my experience, is access to phone or door. You can have a phone line there, which eliminates one problem. If you get a lot of visitors, it may be a hassle running up the stairs to the door. On the other hand, the exercise is helpful (I keep telling myself that). If you have an old dog, you might want to put an insulation layer between the floor and the dog bed to keep him or her warmer.

    Another tip. I found it necessary to wear insulated slippers on the basement floor in winter. Over a couple of hours of sewing, my feet got cold, even with loafers. Doesn't happen with sneakers, but I don't sew so well in sneakers due to the thick layering. So, I just leave the sneakers at the door and put on the slippers.

  5. #5
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I have a basement sewing room and I feel sort of alone down there but it is really handy and keeps the mess away from upstairs. Kind of silly to feel isolated since I do live alone. If there is more space there I would go downstairs if I were you. I did and it is working out well and I am getting used to it. Do make sure you have a phone with you.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  6. #6
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Keep an eye on humidity.. Growing up our basement was always so damp... When it rained it was horrible..

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I was in a similiar situation, and had to decide a bedroom or basement.. I picked basement. Glad I did. I do miss the natural light but .. there are more benifits. I had much more space. I could leave it in any condition and it would un-noticed. I had lots of lighing put in so its lit up brighter than daylight. A huge plus ... my big fuzzy buddy, loves it down there. In the summer its so nice and cool, and in the winter he lays on his bed. Another plus is that there is room to expand when I need to like when I am laying out a big quilt, or tossing scraps around. In my planning I had more than one wall that could all be used as design walls if I needed.
    I did put in a small space heater to supliment the heat. But usually once the iron is turned on , I turn off the space heater ( its amazing the heat an iron gives off) Wearing a thicker sole shoe with a heavier sock helped to keep my feet from getting cold on occasion.
    I love my basement sewing space as it has more "useable" flexible space than any other area of my house.

  8. #8
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    For Me, I would take more space any day. You can add more light easily, you can't add more space to that bedroom. I wish we had a basement. My sewing room (bedroom) is very small. I'm always piled up and can't find my things due to lack of space. FYI- You can now buy the new energy saving bulbs ( curly Q bulbs) in a "daylight". It has a more white light color, not that orange or yellow cast that so many have. If you have a Home Depot check out the light bulb section and they have a display with 4 different bulbs and if you take a look at that you can tell a BIG difference in the colors they put off. I was amazed at what I saw. I was trying to choose a new color to paint our bedroom and everything I tried on the walls looked orangeish yellow. Changed the light bulb to a daylight one and got a more true color. Amazing.
    Oh, and buy the way paint or decorate in light bright colors. They say no lavenders or purples, they are supposed to be depressing. I don't agree, just what THEY (whoever they are ) say. Have fun with it and have a great time if you decide to move you sewing room.
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

  9. #9
    Junior Member 40MPHK9's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great replies so far! I am really starting to think this might be the way to go.
    AND, maybe if the exercise equipment is UPSTAIRS, I will be more motivated to use it!!

    I think I have plenty of heat in the basement--it's mostly finished.
    Might have to address the floor: carpet or something else?? Any suggestions? I was kind of thinking something like Pergo....

  10. #10
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Your current set up is a lot like my present one. I took over my daughter's bedroom when she moved out. I also have a closet and a half bath. The room also houses our computer set up. I purchased two four foot folding tables from staples and made myself a sewing set up. One table faces the entrance, bath and closet. It holds my sewing machine. On a small "night" stand I have my serger with it's back to the outside wall and then against the backwall of the room and parallel to my sewing machine table I have another 4 ft. table that houses my two embroidry machines next to one another. My husband the machinist, cut the legs down on one of the tables to just 27". That makes it the perfect height to house my sewing machine at the right height to be ergonomic for me personally. The other table we left at it's original height as the embroidery machines you just load and turn on. I use the space under the taller table to house a lot of plastic storage drawers in their own rolling carts. I also have one under the sewing table at the far right end where it doesn't inhibit my using the foot control. I use a small tallboy dresser with the feet cut off as additional storage and a cutting and ironing surface for small projects or little things. There are shelves on adjustable tracks on the walls behind the embroidery machine table and over the cutting and pressing area. I even have wire racks like you use in the kitchen for foils etc hung on both sides of the cutting station to house my freezer paper, various stabilizers, pressing cloth etc. I also got myself an office chair from Staples that makes sewing at all three stations just the spin of the wheels. Some of my stash is in the room in the dresser and the closet but most of it is downstairs in my basement in a backroom that was a bedroom for my step-son at one time. It is now full of my rolling ironing station and my large cutting table. Each of those also provides a lot of space underneath to store fabric etc. I also have plastic shelving placed two deep that holds multiple bins of fabric, notions etc.
    At one time my sewing/computer room was two small bedrooms. We knocked out the dividing wall and added the half bath when we were down to just two children at home. It was actually our master bedroom for a couple of years. We then built a seperate bedroom on to our home for our master. Since our nest was completely empty once our youngest graduated from college and got a job to far to commute from here we have had it all to ourselves. I did have my entire sewing set up in the room where I have my stash in the basement for a little while. There can be a dampness problem and heating is also an issue. We use a woodstove to supplement the heat in the basement familyroom but it doesn't help much in the back sewing area.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  11. #11
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    I would take more room in a heartbeat. I've never had a basement, but I think that you've gotten good suggestions. As for flooring, personally I would go for a laminate over carpet.

  12. #12
    Junior Member judys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCatOwned View Post

    The only disadvantages of having a sewing space in the basement, in my experience, is access to phone or door. You can have a phone line there, which eliminates one problem.
    There are great phone systems that need only one phone line coming into your house. The base phone goes there and you can have 4 or 5 more phones that only need an electrical outlet and you can put them in any room. I got one of these systems and put one in the bathroom, one in the bedroom and one in my sewing room. My husband swears that if he is the only one home and goes into the bathroom the phone always rings. Solved his problem and mine in the sewing room.

  13. #13
    Super Member jgriinke's Avatar
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    I have my sewing studio in the basement and love it. I don't have to have it spotless all the time, and I have room to stretch out. Lighting is fixed with track lighting or whatever. My spot is toasty in the winter, the wood stove is right behind my machine. I do keep a dehumidifier going in the summer and a humidifier going all winter. I am just planning on painting the paneling that is down there. It isn't dark, I'm just tired of it.
    I say, go for it. For more space, you can work through the rest as you come across it.

  14. #14
    Junior Member 40MPHK9's Avatar
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    There's a phone in the family room, just a few steps from the 'exercise room'. AND, there is a gas stove (fireplace thingy) in the family room, too, in case heat becomes an issue.

    This might just be the way to go! Keep sharing, I need all the ideas I can get!

  15. #15
    Senior Member JeannieT's Avatar
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    we bought a home with an unfinished basement and DH built me a sewing room. I have a large window which is great, and now that the rest of the basement has been finished, there's a fridge in the Billiards Room and a bathroom, so I never really need to go upstairs. He even got a thing for our doorbell, so I can hear it now downstairs. I live in Minnesota, so it does get cold on my feet sometimes, but I keep a small space heater in my room, because I don't like to wear shoes when I sew (or in the house at all). Keeps my tootsies toasty warm. I also have a nice large island style cutting table with tons of storage and great cabinets I got off Craigslist for a steal. Love my space!! Have fun with yours!

  16. #16
    Senior Member kat112000's Avatar
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    I sew in my basement It is a totally unfinished space with cinder brick walls and a concrete floor. I painted the walls cheery colours and bought 4 nice utility lights from COSTCO and they are hanging about my cutting table and my mid-arm. I love it down there! I don't have to keep it tidy! I have my laundry down there too, so I get the laundry done while sewing. I have a dehumidifier running all the time to keep the moisture down and it does help to keep it warmer in the winter. I bought a set of rubber mats that connect together like a puzzle and use that to stand on at my cutting table and at my mid-arm. They keep the floor cushioned and warm. I don't have to worry about spray basting down there or using my starch.
    Kathy

  17. #17
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    My sewing room is in the basement. Move your computer down there too!! I hate overhead lighting so I have task lighting in several places in the room. I have an Ott light over the cutting table and one on my machine desk. I even have a clip on lamp on my fabric shelves. It is quite a bit colder down here during the winter so I have one of those oil radiator space heaters in here and it keeps it nice and toasty even on low. But being cooler in the summer is a bit advantage! I painted the room a sunny yellow to help brighten it up overall since there's just one small window in this room. I really love having the space I need instead of being crammed into a small bedroom. This room is the biggest of the bedrooms in the house. The family room is down here too so my hubby is downstairs when he's home too.

  18. #18
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    My sewing room is in the basement. If I leave the door open, I can see out the back door (walk out basement), but my feeling is "who cares?" I turn on my music and rarely look up. I have a door to the main part of the basement, french doors to a bedroom, door to the bathroom and two bi-fold closet doors and still have room for a design board. I also have a tv, phone, BIG cutting table, two ironing boards and my sewing machine and small desk.
    The walls are light grey so as not to show fabric colors wrongly and I have eight lights in the ceiling and one ott lamp. The basement is dry but yes, my feet are a little cold in winter. I don't feel isolated, I feel great that I now have my own space!

  19. #19
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    I was just wondering about the humidity. My needles rusted on my sewing machine UPSTAIRS in the summer. Can you beat that? I wonder what it did to my sewing machines.

  20. #20
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I don't like carpet in a sewing area because of all the snips of thread and fabric which can be more easily cleaned up on tile. I've found the thick foam puzzle pieces, like for kids rooms, are great to stand on and are also easy to clean. You can sometimes find them at resale shops at very cheap pricing.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  21. #21
    Senior Member MdmSew'n'Sew's Avatar
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    My sewing room is in the basement and I love it - I have a cutting counter along one end of the room (30" wide by 12 feet long! what frabulous joy!) and a bathroom just off the room - a tv and radio, laundry room and a phone line down there, and a dehumidifier to run in the summer when it gets hots and sticky - not a lot of natural light but lots of overhead lights and lamps make up for it - and a ceramic tile floor, so it's easy to keep clean. It's warm even in winter since there is a radiator in there, and I can look out the window - I am able to indulge my sewer/quilter/knitter etc. hobbies in my very own girl cave. And I can ignore the world if I don't want to be bothered. What could be better?

    And BTW, I agree with Vondae, color your world down there with colors that make YOU happy - my walls are a light purple, my cutting counter and machine table are sage green, most of my furniture is white or sage - I can truly say it is the only room in the house where I ALWAYS smile when I walk in. Make it your own little world and enjoy it!
    Last edited by MdmSew'n'Sew; 01-27-2012 at 01:22 PM.
    He who cuts his own wood is warmed twice, but she who makes her own quilt is warmed forever - SLR 11/7/2011

  22. #22
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    My sewing room is in a nook, and I have moved furniture and sewing machine table, cutting table, bookcase, dog chair and my stuff so that it is compact for me. I need natural light, so my DH had a solar tube installed to shine sunlight into my little eave. I love my corner of the world, don't need alot of space to sew, don't have a longarm. I iron on my cutting table using a june tailor square up board that is padded and cotton covered. My design wall is a 4 x 8 piece of foam insulation covered with wool batting, and it sits in the office end of the nook. I would try moving around your essentials of sewing and try for different cofigurations. here are pics of my corner of the world.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Mickey1's Avatar
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    My "studio" (that sounds so good, doesn't it?!) was recently relocated to my basement from a bedroom. I have two windows and my dh put in strategically placed overhead lighting for me. I have so much room and was able to arrange everything exactly how I wanted it. As another poster mentioned, I smile every time I come down the steps and see my space. I wouldn't change a thing!

  24. #24
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Please let us have pics whichever way you decide (bet it's the basement).
    Annie

  25. #25
    Senior Member cheaha39's Avatar
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    Yuck, not the basement, unless you can see the birds, know if it is raining, and in general keep an eye on the world. I have two bedrooms and a library available, upstairs, I am not good with stairs. My quilting room is everywhere on the lower floor or it seems with the open floor plan. I have an expert badge in fabric hiding, but don't look in the entrance way coat closet, the pantry, or bottom of the china cabinet, etc. I sew in the great room in front of the big windows overlooking the national forest.
    With quilters for friends, I will always be warm.

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