Spring Cleaning

I hate cleaning, HATE it. So I’m not one of those people who every year around this time has a big spring cleaning frenzy. But this year, I’m having one of those “throw out everything!” tantrums that I’d previously only heard about. First stop on that is my sewing room. It feels so good to throw away a bunch of scraps and trash that have been cluttering the space for a long time, but at the same time it does feel a bit wasteful to just toss most of it in the trash. I don’t have a textile recycling center near me though, so everything that isn’t a quilting cotton (to one of the quilt stores) or a yardage (to the DAV) is going in the trash. I considered listing some of it for sale on etsy or just IG, but meh. There’s not enough of it to bother with, so it will be easier to just donate it. Things are starting to come together in the sewing room, but it’s a bit of a slog to get through it. I’m determined to finish before I quit and start doing the sewing that I’m suddenly excited about again (seriously, I had hoped that cleaning would help, but I had doubts. Now I don’t.)

Outside of the sewing room is a bunch of clothes and such from the boys–previously, I had kept all my eldest’s clothes to give to the youngest, but I’m quickly learning that the 7.5 year spread is too far for things that have elastic in them. I don’t mind changing out some of the elastic, but honestly, I’d rather just pass it on to someone who can use it now. It’s also nearly time for clearing out some of the outgrown toys–keep a few in a tote labeled for future grandkids, and donate the rest. The boys play with very few toys, I don’t know why I need to keep them all. I’m struggling with whether to let them choose the toys they want to keep, or if I should just do it while they are gone some weekend and hope they don’t notice (they absolutely will–this is just the lie I tell myself.)

I briefly contemplated having a garage sale, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. It seems like a lot of work for not a lot of benefit, and I’m not sure we really have enough stuff to justify it.

Anyway, it took me forever, but here is the finished results of on and off for like 3 weeks. Now I should probably take care of all the rest of the house I neglected in favor of this one room. Wish me luck…

Corraling a mess

I’m almost embarrassed to show the “before” picture to you, but it really shows how badly this project was needed.


The Coat Closet of Shame

It was a serious disaster, and it needed some way to organize all the crap that was inside of it. Plus, I was a little nervous every time I reached in for a seldom worn pair of shoes that I was going to find another “mini tarantula”:

OMFG!!!! This is the biggest spider I've ever seen in a house!!! #minitarantula #nosleepformetonight

A photo posted by Sew Sarcastic (@sewsarcastic) on

And as you can probably imagine, that didn’t appeal to me at all. So, while organization won’t eliminate spiders, it at least gives me a better chance of seeing it before I grab it, know what I mean?

Anyway, this was a pretty quick project, and while I tried to use up some scraps, I didn’t have enough 1×12 lumber to do that. But, if you have some scraps of it laying around and need some shelves of your own, here’s the basic concept.

  1. Determine the maximum width and height of the shelves, less the wall/floor/door trim you’ll need to clear. I measured the width of the closet wall I planned to use, and then gave about 6 inches of clearance between the top shelf and the bottom of my coats. The shoes will take up about 3″ of that, depending on style of shoe, so keep that in mind.
  2. To determine how many shelves you’ll get from those parameters, measure your shoes–I wanted the bottom to be boots, so I measured my hubby’s tallest pair, added an inch or two for clearance, and marked it. Repeat with other shoes.
  3. Then I just cut the boards, screwed them together with pocket holes, and slid it into place. I may go back in and add some tiny L brackets to hold it to the wall (the little silver ones that are 1″ by 1″ would be sufficient to hold it if you have particularly fluffy carpet or uneven floors.)
  4. Admire.

As you can see, I didn’t put a shelf at the bottom, that would have been a waste of lumber. But isn’t it so much better than before? I think this cost about $20 in materials, and I spent probably an hour on it (which includes disassembling/trimming down/reassembling the whole thing because I actually cut it too exact and it wouldn’t clear the wood trim on the floor–Grrr!!!) If I lived closer to an Ikea, this might not have made as much sense to build, but since I don’t…

My shoes are so much happier now!

New sewing room!

So I finally got the new sewing room unpacked and ready for use. I know it seems like it’s taken forever (it has to me too), but it’s actually only been sitting here for about two months. Two very busy months at that. If you’re following me on Instagram/Twitter, you’ve likely seen a sneak peek or two, but I thought I’d like to go ahead and show the full thing now that everything is put away neatly and before I started on anything that would make it messy. Vanity, I suppose. 😉

I suppose I should mention, yes, the color is very similar to the old sewing room. Not exactly the same, but pretty close. I did this for two (OK, 3) reasons: 1) I really like the color and 2) I like to stick with colors I already know I like because paint is frickin’ expensive, and 3) I hate painting, so I damn sure didn’t want to discover I hated the color and have to do it again. Except that I would have had to live with it–see #2.

Click to make them bigger–go on, I’m not trying to hide anything. 😉

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the space, the closet is much bigger than the old one and I think the room itself might be bigger. I hate the piss yellow curtains, eventually they’ll be white semi-sheer tab-tops, but for now, piss yellow it is. I love the flooring–so much prettier than the old, nasty linoleum at the old house, but we’ll see if it hides lint as well as that linoleum did. 😉 I don’t think it’s any better lit than the old sewing room though–for a basement room, the old one had amazing light (well, as long as the apple tree wasn’t loaded!). This sewing room is on the top floor, but it only has the one big north facing window, so we’ll see how it is come winter.

Oh, and a little mini tip for you: pegboard is directional. If you hang it, make sure you hang it with the proper orientation or the hooks will come off frequently and/or you might have to bend some to make them fit properly. At the old house I had it oriented the wrong way and had to bend/wrap tape around some of the hooks to get them to stay in. This time I wanted the longer bottom edge for all the danglies and while the hooks were a bit of a bugger to get in, they aren’t going to pull out every time I take something off. I didn’t know this was a thing until I flipped this one on it’s side last week.

Where oh where did my little tub go?

It seems that we’ve lost a few really random things in our move. So far we’ve been unable to locate:

  • An entire cosmetic bag–I had a decent amount of makeup and now it’s lost in the ether.
  • My hairdryer and curling irons. As you can probably guess, whether I like it or not, I officially don’t have a beauty routine…
  • The container that stows away all of my plastic grocery bags that we use to line the diaper pail. This sucks, probably worse than the first two things. Those buggers are kind of expensive.
  • My “sewing essentials” tub. This had my marking devices, seam rippers, buttonhole/eyelet chisels, fray check, one of those expensive Gingher seam razor blade things, and a few other bits ‘n bobs that are kind of crucial to sewing. Not only that, but they’re going to be kind of expensive to replace. 😥

I know that there’s always stuff lost in a move, but we’ve never lost this kind (or this much!) of stuff before.

In other news, the sewing room is nearly unpacked, organized, and ready to go. I’ve got a mess with the patterns, but we bought a “new” (ok, I’m pretty sure it’s older than I am) filing cabinet with like 5 drawers for the business, and I’m claiming the bottom drawer for the house stuff that’s currently residing in the lower drawer of my sewing room filing cabinet. So then I’ll have a second drawer in my little two drawer sewing room cabinet for the rest of my patterns. Yay! 🙂 If I fill that one up, there’s going to have to be a purge, because I want organization this time around.

Speaking of organization, does anyone have any good tips for storing the tracings they do of pattern pieces? That’s the one thing that my old sewing room seemed to be inundated with–bits of tissue paper pattern pieces that swirled around, got stepped on, wedged under the door, ripped on the ironing board, etc. It takes a lot of time to trace all those off, so I’d like a good way to store them that keeps them intact, but doesn’t require a lot of space/plastic baggies/etc. I think I’m going to do a better job of throwing the ones that didn’t work away though–I used to keep them to retrace smaller pieces on, but it just makes a mess…


Gratuitous sewing room photo/sneak peek.

Gratuitous sewing room photo/sneak peek.

Slackin’ on the job

Yep, I’m guilty as charged. I should have posted pictures of my husband’s finished Christmas shirt (which I still haven’t gotten the snaps for… 😯 ) but I haven’t. I should have started (and finished) the other shirt for him that I couldn’t possibly complete before Christmas, but I haven’t. I should be working on some stuff for baby shower gifts, but I’m not.

Why? Because I’m disorganized. My sewing area looks like an F5 tornado blew through it. I can’t find anything in there–not my rotary cutter, not my pin cushion, heck, if I didn’t *know* that the mountain of stuff had a table under it, I’d probably be wondering what happened to my cutting table. So I’m working on it….it’s a slow process though, using that area as a dumping ground for all sorts of non-sewing stuff has kind of thrown my usual mess into complete chaos.

One of my resolutions for 2011 is to stay on top of organization in my home and sewing room by doing little bits every day. 5 days in and I’ve already blundered that one. 😯