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Thread: Sewing Space: Plan A to B to C

  1. #1
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    Sewing Space: Plan A to B to C

    We are still working on setting up an organized sewing space for me here at our cottage. It's been about two years since we retired and starting living between here and in Florida. Both places are relatively small with this place being more quirky. (It was a very small hunting cabin that over the years was added onto at least twice. For example, one teeny tiny bedroom has a window that opens onto a finished screened in porch).

    Plan A was using that teeny tiny bedroom which is about 7'by 9' with a closet that sticks into that space. One drawback was that we'd still need to leave a twin sized bed in the room for guests. Plan B was adding an 8'by10' room onto a storage shed. This one was very appealing in a lot of ways and I was pretty excited about it.

    So, Plan C was suggested today. Adding on to our bedroom and making that a sewing nook. It would be about 6'by 6'. (We are also planning on adding a half bath which we really, really need alongside this space).

    Decisions will have to be made fairly soon. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the possible change in plans but I've been looking at suggestions made here in other posts.
    Advantages: I will be warmer if my space stays inside the house (during the spring and fall when it gets cooler). I can plan the best use of space to become more organized. I can leave out a project and not have to clear a room for a guest. I won't get sprayed by a skunk coming in at night. Okay, that's a slim possibility but could happen.
    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Personally, I would opt for the larger space detached from the house that would be all my own. I've learned that having your own space can be very nice. When you're using part of another space it's easy for things to distract you. Its also easy for your stuff to encroach on the rest of the space.

    How often do you have guests? It might be just as well to use a blow up mattress or have a sofa bed in another room for them if you don't have them often.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  3. #3
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    I was recently able to move my sewing room to our finished basement which has lots of light and lots of room and I do love it but after a while I can see that it has been an adjustment being away from our main living area. Since I started sewing about 10 years ago I made do with a smallish bedroom/guest room which included a queen size bed. Then gave that room to DGS and moved to smaller bedroom/guest room with a twin size bed. My cutting table and ironing board were in the living room. Used the beds in the guest rooms to lay out blocks and stack "stuff". When our guests came, only a few times a year everything got put away. Worked just fine. After everyone moved out and I expanded to the basement, I realized that I was used to being able to cook, etc., easily in between sewing, pressing, cutting which was nice. I wouldn't change back, it is just different now. So, my point is you might want to think about how you like to sew and if you want to be able to integrate other things as you sew. As tempting as it sounds, I don't think a separate building would work for me. If you can manage it in a small space, I would go for either option inside your house.

  4. #4
    Senior Member loisf's Avatar
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    My office/sewing room is a small bedroom about 9.5' x 11' on the main floor of our house. My Tiara sit-down quilter is in our lower level. It takes so much more effort to go downstairs to quilt than it takes to stay upstairs and piece. I'm not talking physical effort - it's the mental effort for some reason. I would always opt for a room closer to the main activity center of the house. It just works better for me. I guess this is one of the reasons I now have eight quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

  5. #5
    Super Member roguequilter's Avatar
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    " .....I can leave out a project and not have to clear a room for a guest. I won't get sprayed by a skunk coming in at night. Okay, that's a slim possibility but could happen."

    would be more than slim possibility in most of the places i've lived, including current home! but i've done the guest bedroom thing & in current house decided not to. i store fabric in it, but i sew in dining room. doesnt take too long to move machine & projects to hidey holes while entertaining grands or others. if i were having to make the choices you are, i'd go for the add on nook in your bedroom. guests arrive, close the door & just entertain. they leave, open the door & pick up where you left off. i wish i had that option here. would ne much less disruptive!
    the rogue quilter - in from wandering in the sun and snow with camera in hand.

  6. #6
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    Thank you all. We've talked some more here and the bedroom nook is the current plan with the possibility of adding the storage space in a year if we need it. I did some sketches of possible layouts but know that I'll have to live in the space before I know what'll work.
    While reading your replies, I was reminded that once we had an empty nest, at our old house, it was harder for me to go upstairs to my room there to sew.
    I appreciate your responses.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    My husband offered to build me a separate building, but personally, I like being in the house. I use our office and while it doesn't have a closet, the space is decent (12 x 16). The office is relegated to just one corner. I do have a longarm, but my husband enclosed our backyard screened in porch for it and it works just fine. (Still attached to the house.)

  8. #8
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguequilter View Post
    " .....I can leave out a project and not have to clear a room for a guest. I won't get sprayed by a skunk coming in at night. Okay, that's a slim possibility but could happen."

    would be more than slim possibility in most of the places i've lived, including current home! but i've done the guest bedroom thing & in current house decided not to. i store fabric in it, but i sew in dining room. doesnt take too long to move machine & projects to hidey holes while entertaining grands or others. if i were having to make the choices you are, i'd go for the add on nook in your bedroom. guests arrive, close the door & just entertain. they leave, open the door & pick up where you left off. i wish i had that option here. would ne much less disruptive!
    It would probably be a real possibility where I live and I'm in the 'burbs! We had a possum come in the doggie door the other night.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  9. #9
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    I am a sewing night owl so I like to have my sewing area far from the bedroom where my husband is sleeping. My space isn't very large as it is part of the TV living room area. It works for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LilaKay's Avatar
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    My husband wants to put one of those portable wooden sheds in the back yard, finish it off with sheet rack and hvac so I could have more room. This would free up our family room for company to stay in when they come for a visit. Have been doing a lot of looking around. Only hold up, our grapefruit tree would have to come down to make room!
    LilaKay...greatgramma to Brielle Mae

  11. #11
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    I may be looking at things a bit differently but if you could make a full bath off of your bedroom and add a sewing on to the new addition you could add to your property value. If you made access to the sewing room through the bathroom you'd cut down on noise during sleeping hours and be able to resell it as a walk in closet.

  12. #12
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    Since both my DH & I are retired when I go into my sewing room once in a while he comes in to just talk. And a lot of times we spend a lot of time saying, "What did you say?" If I had to leave the house to go sew, I don't think I would sew as much. I need to be able to multi-task. It's very rare for me to just do one thing for any length of time.

  13. #13
    Junior Member brunswickgirl's Avatar
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    I have a semi detached 350 sq ft sewing room with two windows. It is just off the side of the garage so I do "go outside" just out the door from the garage. I love the private, separate area. I have my own AC/heat so I can adjust temp to my comfort level. I do use this room to run my cut/sew production biz. It is nice to leave things as they are at the end of the day and not have to be constantly picking up and putting up as I did when I had a room in the house.
    Linda K Stafford

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  14. #14
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    We are restricted as to what we can do here because we are close to a small lake and there are very strict rules for adding on with a limit to how much space you can add within 100 feet of the water. (Once you hit the limit, you are done forever). We support that because it protects the health of the lake and someone can't buy the little cabin next door, raze it and put a McMansion on the property.
    quiltingcandy, you've made a really good point. We've been retired together for a few years and while we still like our 'alone time', we are enjoying spending time together, too, just keeping each other company. An inside space supports that.
    Thank you, again, everybody!

  15. #15
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    What about a murphy bed built next to the closet? Then you have a bed for guests that can be put away when not in use.

  16. #16
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    My husband offered to build on to the the house but I told him I wanted a bldg in the backyard all my own. That's what we did. Has heat and air and I can sew and then walk off and leave the mess. Nobody bothers me. Love it!

  17. #17
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    Yes, I can see the appeal in a separate space.

  18. #18
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    Personally I don't want my sewing space separate from the house - it makes me feel isolated. At the same time, I want doors I can close off, so if I'm madly sewing away and DH wants to watch TV we can close the noise off (in both directions!)

    But space is a big consideration, for me at least. I have a lot of sewing "stuff", including a sit-down longarm that comes in a table that's over six feet wide!

    So, I'm not sure what to recommend - it's really going to depend on you and how you do your sewing, and how much "stuff" you've accumulated. It's wonderful that you have options, though!

  19. #19
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    All of the stuff is definitely a consideration. Ideally, I'd like to just have enough stuff here and use my other sewing space in FL as my sewing base, so to speak.. A long arm is probably not in my future so I won't need space for one.

    Yes, options are good but I'm going to try not to get my hopes up about anything specific at this point. Things are moving really, really slowly.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=lots2do;7908160]We are restricted as to what we can do here because we are close to a small lake and there are very strict rules for adding on with a limit to how much space you can add within 100 feet of the water. (Once you hit the limit, you are done forever). We support that because it protects the health of the lake and someone can't buy the little cabin next door, raze it and put a McMansion on the property.

    I was gong to ask about rules and regulations! We deal with that at our cabin too. We abide, but our neighbor didn't. We insisted the fence be moved, and trees moved, but had to sign off (after the fact) on the addition built 10 feet too close to the lake. Had we not, it would have to be torn down. Thanks for protecting the lake and respecting the rules!

  21. #21
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    I would suggest storing your fabric and other things you are not using at the time, in your small bedroom. You could use closed cabinets, shelves, etc. That way the new small built-on would accommodate your sewing and by storing your fabric in another room, you will have more room to sew. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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