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Thread: Sewing Space/Play Room/Office... is it possible??

  1. #1
    Member ssgirly's Avatar
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    Sewing Space/Play Room/Office... is it possible??

    I'm a stay at home mom of a 3 year old and a newborn and am trying to use the designated playroom off the kitchen as a sewing space and office as well. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on making this happen.. or is it too much for one space? The room is a good size (about 12x14 maybe?) but some of my daughters bigger toys also occupy the space (think: play kitchen, dress up area), not to mention the coloring books and dolls that tend to litter the floor! Plus I need room for my toys! Any tips? I really don't want to have to move into the cold, dark basement!

  2. #2
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    I have my sewing table in what is my grandchildren's playroom. I have my things in one corner of the room facing the door so I can see what's going on. Also, have a tall white storage cabinet with all the movies/games/color books/crayons/etc. in it and I use half of the closet for my storage tubs and half for the rest of their toys. The only complaint I have is that you have to be sure to put all your straight pins/scissors/etc. in a drawer and teach them not to bother the sewing machine. You can make it work.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Of course you can make it work!

    I can see islands/peninsulas like you have in kitchens. They could be multi-purpose for sit up areas, perhaps like an old partner's desk where you sit from one side for the office and kids sit from the other side for their colouring, etc. And when the other isn't there, there's extra space! Also, cabinets that will be multi-purpose to be used for toy storage now ... and stash/sewing when the kids no longer use the room!

    It'd be important for all using the space to tidy up after themselves and develop a healthy respect for the other's space (ie not invade)!! Take time to list your dream list for the perfect room. Then start planning it out on graph paper, and see what you can work in of things you have already to keep the costs minimal.
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  4. #4
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    I liked to have a separate area away from where children were going to be. I was always afraid that a needle or pin would be picked up and swallowed or stab a child. My children are grown but when I have grandchildren, I will put up a child gate to keep them out of my sewing room. I hope you can find a safe way to get a sewing area for yourself.

  5. #5
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Could you put up a children's gate system to keep the kids from getting into your space. That way you are with them and can see them, but not have to worry about them getting hurt. Lets face it, you drop something and don't realize it or can't find it, garentee they will find!
    Country 1

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    Of course you can do it!! I have a office / sewing room in a 10x10 space. 1/2 of the room is occupied by my husbands desk and his stereo equipment / guitars. My half has a small desk (my Grandmothers ) along with a file cabinet that holds our printers. The sewing part I'm still working on getting it organized. I put up a pegboard on one wall that holds all of my scissors / rulers / etc. I'm putting up 2 shelves that are going to hold bins with my fabric. My closet I took the doors off and added shelves from top to bottom and my sewing machine is in a table that my Dad made for me. It can be done!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Caution with pins and needles - and the rotary cutters... In the wrong hands can cause serious harm...

    I'm not a neat Quilter- for me it would never work..

  8. #8
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    There are sewing desks that turn into credenzas when you want to hide the sewing machine and keep it away from wee fingers. Put up cheap shelving for stash and what about a drop down cutting and ironing board out from under the shelving. Plus space high enough for cutters and pins. One other thing: Go to the local auto shop and get a magnet on a 3 foot stick( in Canada about $15) that is used to pick up nuts and bolts in garages but works on like a dream on pins, needles and probably metal toys. Use it every evening.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    Maybe take one corner and make a small enclosed area with furniture (maybe 6x6). You could put your ironing station against one wall so it would be away from the opening to your area. Use a child's gate between the furniture pieces to block the area when you're not in it to supervise. A friend uses an old dresser for her cutting table and then she has all the drawers for storage. This might work for you and then find an old desk for your sewing machine. Use both these pieces to enclose your corner with a small opening. I hope this is clear and helpful.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Quiltlady330's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgirly View Post
    I'm a stay at home mom of a 3 year old and a newborn and am trying to use the designated playroom off the kitchen as a sewing space and office as well. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on making this happen.. or is it too much for one space? The room is a good size (about 12x14 maybe?) but some of my daughters bigger toys also occupy the space (think: play kitchen, dress up area), not to mention the coloring books and dolls that tend to litter the floor! Plus I need room for my toys! Any tips? I really don't want to have to move into the cold, dark basement!
    I can't suggest anything in particular but I hope you can make it work. When our youngest was 3 he loved to play right where I was sewing. He wanted his toys right there by me. I often had to step over him to get up from the machine but he was quiet and just played by himself...right under my feet. Looking back (he's grown) I love that memory.

  11. #11
    Super Member DonnaC's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest something similar to Freckles... depending on how much money you have to spend, there are a few different types of sewing armoires that will completely close up with all your stuff inside of them. You might have to figure out a way to lock it up, or close it off, so little fingers won't get in there.

    Rather than a credenza-type, this is more what I'm talking about:

    http://www.amazon.com/Machine-Cabine.../dp/B001DUZV50

    It's gotten some good feedback on Pattern Review.com.

    Here's a really pricey setup - looks nice though:


    http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/catal...the-sewing-box

  12. #12
    Senior Member Katia's Avatar
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    For me, personally, having something I have to fold up and all that kind of defeats the purpose. But that is just me. There used to be the cutest quilt shop in Henderson, NV that I went to a few times. It was owned by a young gal that had a little boy. She had her dad build the cutest picket fence with a gate in the corner for her son. It was tall enough to keep him in, but short enough that she could keep an eye on him from anywhere in the store. The children of her shoppers could also play in it.

    I used to do daycare when I was much younger. The kids play area was in the on one side and my sewing machine table was in a corner. I got a lot done while the kids were playing. Often I had an audience of little girls. Of course I had to keep the sharp stuff up and away, but that was easy enough.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kountrykreation's Avatar
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    I have a small 10x10 toy (sewing) room/office set up. The office items (computer, etc) are stationed in an armoire that closes up (purchased inexpensively from wally world). Then I made a fold up 6x8 table that is attached w/hinges to one wall and folds out w/hinges onto legs when in use, and then folds up flat up against the wall when not in use, a sewing table that houses my serger and sewing machine in front of double windows, a 10 foot quilt frame w/mid arm against the wall under the fold out table, wire shelving in one corner and a renaissance embroidery machine in another corner. Where theres a will theres a way. However, I agree w/many other comments... I would be afraid of stray fallen needs, etc that might be picked up by curious little ones?
    Last edited by kountrykreation; 06-19-2012 at 10:50 AM.

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    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Guess it depends on HOW MUCH of a sewing area you want. Just a sewing machine? Will you need an HOT iron? Storing fabric and supplies in this room?

    I vote go for the basement. A few inexpensive overhead flourescent units will liven up the place. Being fully dressed down to socks and shoes helps with the body temp in colder basements. An inexpensive baby monitor can help listen for the kids during naps and early evenings.

    By being in the downstairs you won't have to worry about babies picking up DANGEROUS things when you turn your head. Besides...if it's out of sight no one will see how you leave it. That way you can pick up where you left off and not have to worry about clean up - taking out - cleaning up - taking out.

    I give this advice because in our other house I had the sewing machine and small ironing surface in our bedroom and it was a PAIN to do the take out and put away every time I wanted to sew. A small amount of supplies were in totes under the bed. In our current house I have about 900 square feet of space to call MY OWN ... in the basement!!! and I love it!

    Good luck with your decision
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    I've watched my DGD (20 mos.) 5 days per week since her birth. Last year we bought a playpen-type thing that comes in 8 panels of lightweight but sturdy plastic. One of the panels has a gate with a locking mechanism. The panels lock together quite tightly. We bought it when the baby had started walking and I couldn't safely leave the room to go to the bathroom or switch the laundry. We didn't end up using very long because the baby didn't like it, but it was invaluable last Christmas. We set up the tree and put the "fence" around it. I think it would be great to set up around your sewing machine and chair, especially if you use a corner and can make the fence come out from the walls on 2 sides instead of making a complete (smaller) circle. I got mine on eBay with free shipping and paid about $100 for it (look under "play pens"). I would however caution you about rotary cutter, seam rippers, needles, pins, etc. Get a small plastic box that is lockable. Kids are little monkeys and can get into mischief very quickly. Good luck! Let us know how it all works out.
    Create with joy in your heart!

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    I too would be concerned with the rotary blade. You could designate a place high and out of the way to store when not in use. Maybe in a cute container? You could get in the habit of using it during nap/bedtime. Then have all of your fabric ready to sew while the kids are playing. Set all of your pieces aside and trim all at once then return the cutter to it's "special place". You can make this work, think of all the times you are cooking and using a knife with the kids around it is the same thing. Safety first! Have fun.

  17. #17
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    Safety is a must If you are going to be with your children then do that be with them spend time When they are napping then sew Or take a few hours to sew after they are down for the night. Your children should come first. Don't neglect them to sewing. You can work it all out it is possible. But remember safety is first. DO NOT HAVE SCISSORS, ROTARY CUTTERS, PINS ETC OUT WHILE CHILDREN ARE AROUND everyone is only human and things can happen.
    Gods Blessings
    Happy Quilting

  18. #18
    Member ssgirly's Avatar
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    Obviously safety is my first priority. My question was more, how do you set things up to *fit* everything in the room? As the stash grows and the toys get bigger and more plentiful, how do you organize it all?!

  19. #19
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    The book Creating-Your-Perfect-Quilting-Space; has some great ideas, one showing an area off the kitchen enclosed with furniture/storage pieces. Check it out.
    After 2 years with the same signature I have been requested to remove it. Bye

  20. #20
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    I did my quilting in a 5' X 8' walk-in closet for several years. It had double folding doors. I bought a used 3' X 5' wooden table for my machine and put it on one side. I bought a used wooden computer desk that just fit my 24" X 36" cutting mat. The pull-out for the keyboard held my portable ironing area (Walmart). Bought those plastic shelves to put beside that for my fabric. I had plastic bins under the computer desk and it had a drawer with a cabinet on one side. I stored batting and extra machine under the sewing table. I could sit in my rolling chair and reach everything!

    I would split that room into two sections with a gate inbetween. Use a desk for your sewing machine with drawers. Put a 3 to 4 inch board across the back of the desk to keep things from falling off the back and place it so you can see your children and they can see you. Use shelves along the walls and a fold-down ironing board...perhaps on the back of the door? Put a toybox on the children's side and teach them to put up their toys before leaving the room. Take frequent breaks to read or play with them. You can even purchase small roll-out mats for nap time when they get fussy. Be sure the door is on your side of the room, so they can't leave while your back is turned or you are distracted! Hope you can work everything out with your room. As the kids get older, you can expand into the rest of the room!

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    I have a small (about 12" high x 10 " wide by 8-9 " deep) 3-drawer unit I keep all my sharp items in(rotary cutters, scissors, all needles and pins). When my grandchildren came and slept in the sewing room I simply carried this unit to my bedroom so there was no worry about them getting into those things.
    I also use a telescoping magnet wand to pick up all pins, etc that may be on the floor.
    Sally

  22. #22
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvTooQuilt View Post
    Caution with pins and needles - and the rotary cutters... In the wrong hands can cause serious harm...

    I'm not a neat Quilter- for me it would never work..

    Lock them up In a safe and put the key away in a safe, high place.

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  23. #23
    Junior Member acesgame's Avatar
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    It depends on when you want to sew and how much stuff you have. I would divide the room with 3 shelf units or cube cubbies back to back. some for you and some for kids toys with a baby gate or half door at the end of shelves to keep kids out of your stuff. Scissors and rotary cutters on peg boards above your work station. I have my fabric folded and stored in elfa drawers with plastic liners (the shorter ones) with a top on it. two 3 rung drawers and one 1 rung drawer holds larger hunks of fabric and thread and fusible web in top drawer. The other has three 2 rung drawers and one 1 rung drawer. The larger drawers hold my fat quarters and other is currently empty but could hold rulers/templates etc. I also have a couple of tall white cabinets with doors. Add a cheap hook latch up high to keep dangerous things hidden a another step away from the children. If you don't really intend to sew when the kids are awake, I would choose the basement if you can keep them away. It won't need to be as clean or organized and you can leave your projects out for those short 20 minute naptime getaways.
    Just my 2 cents and probably not worth that much but I ALWAYS have an opinion!

  24. #24
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    One of the close up sewing centers would probably work really well for you. You can get a magnet and clean up the sewing area after you're finished and then close up the center with everything in it. The down side is most of them aren't are a bit pricey. Koala is the big fancy one but there are cheaper alternatives. Horn is one brand and I know there are others.

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