Happy New Year & a ‘new’ room

Hello & happy new year!

I’m still working my way through the backlog of 2016 posts but in the meantime I thought I’d quickly post what I’ve been up to…

Tidying up my sewing room!

I felt suffocated by commitments and responsibilities in 2016. I took on too much in 2016. I said ‘yes’ too many times when I should have said ‘no’. I felt obligated to help others, going out of my way to make time for people, even those who didn’t deserve or appreciate it – much less understand the pressure it caused. 2017 will be different.

While I’m figuring out how to get through 2017, I decided that I would tackle my ‘life junk’.

I started with my sewing room.

I’m not a ‘super mum’ and I loathe the term. I doubt there are any. I’m just another person trying to juggle too much, too often. It’s impossible to do everything all the time – although I do like to kid myself I can. Sometimes you manage to pull it all together… those are the good days…. sometimes you cry, you panic on route to the next kid pick-up, you lose your temper, your patience and everything else along the way… but life goes on regardless. That’s just life really.

I love to sew. It clears my head. However as 2016 proceeded to spin out of control and then run me over like a freight train, my time to sew dwindled dramatically and so did my time to tidy/clean etc – not just my sewing room but anything. Life became increasingly chaotic. Then it became difficult to sew because I felt overwhelmed by the ‘mess’ in my sewing room. And everywhere to be honest!

So on New Year’s Eve I decided it was now or never. I need to change some things in my life and it seemed the logical place to start… in my former ‘happy place’.

It may have been unbelieveably hot and humid but I didn’t let that deter me from my mission.

I got a filing cabinet for my patterns and a new desk for my machine and overlocker. My coverstitch sits atop my pattern storage as it is not used a frequently as the other machines.

My room now has a pegboard. My sewing reference books, Japanese pattern books, magazines, patterns and tools are neatly put away… and easy to locate.

My pattern storage, pegboard and book shelf.

My pattern storage, pegboard and book shelf. Lots more space on that board!

I have some lovely artwork (with kimono fabric in it!) above my machines. I have all my machine bits & pieces in neat storage cubes under my sewing desk. The ironing board nearby.

I have a gorgeous view and lots of natural light.

My machines, artwork and my lovely peaveful tree tops view.

My machines, artwork and my lovely peaceful tree tops view. This photo has come up soooo ‘yellow’ – the perils of indoor iPhone shots, sorry I don’t Photoshop my images, you get what you get and you don’t get upset! Plus upcoming projects waiting on my chair!

I pulled out all my fabric and all my patterns. I did a massive ‘de-stash’ and then reorganised the lot.

I vacuumed, I dusted, I sweated, I despaired, I swore, I kept on going. It felt good.

I’ve still got some more sorting and organising to do after my holiday but I feel much better. I also feel better equipped to deal with the year to come. I’ve reclaimed my ‘happy place’, somewhere to escape, relax and lose myself.

Wishing you a happy 2017 and that you also find your ‘happy place’, wherever that may be.

43 thoughts on “Happy New Year & a ‘new’ room

  1. Wow, it looks amazing. I’d love to have a room dedicated to sewing. I’m camped out in the corner of the lounge and use the dining room for storage and cutting.

    • I’m a selfish beast… I took over the guest room… no more overnight visitors! I decided that a room used a few times a year was a waste of space. Now it gets used several times a week. Much better!

      • Definitely, we don’t have a guest room unfortunately but would most definitely take it over if we did. My husband has a workshop in the garden so can’t extend out there in a shed style craft room either. I’ll have to wait a decade or so for one of the kids to move out!! 😁 lol

  2. Your rooms looks lovely! So nice that I am not the only one struggling with lighting on my photos. I am terrible at photoshop and I’d rather spend my time sewing than fixing pictures. I hope in the new year you get to spend a lot of time in our happy place.

    • Indoor photos are tricky – one side of the room was light coming directly into the lens via the window, the other not. Outdoor photos are easier which is why I prefer it for my garments. However I figured the colour of the wall wasn’t so important as the contents (and neatness!) of the room 🙂

  3. Snap… I haven’t gone that far yet, but I did clear up my sewing desk which fits my sewing machine, overlocker and coverstitch on it. I can see the floor, it’s clean, tidy and sewed up some togs today (but no stretch needles left to put on the elastic). I was just getting overwhelmed by all my stuff around me even though I do love it. There’s a point where it stifles you rather than inspires you and I could not get much made because of it. I have to go through my stash and get rid of fabric that I like but not for me. I’ve used some stash fabrics for gifts and sparkly skirts for little girls so yay for stash and stash reduction too. My room doubles as the office and is tiny but it is a dedicated space with good light so I’m lucky there…it’s way too small to ever be considered as a guest room luckily! I love the tree view you have.

    • That’s exactly what happened to me. Overwhelmed. And it is hard to get past that feeling and take action. Did a while I used ‘creativity’ as an excuse for my sewing mess – and in the end it stifled me.
      I’ve gotten rid of lots of things. There is no point storing things you don’t want or will never use. And I feel much better for it.
      I love trees. I’m not really a ‘bush’ person as I’m terrified of snakes but I adore trees. They make me feel peaceful… and I see the odd koala which is a bonus!

  4. I’m in the middle of a similar re-org, with piles of things in two rooms being sorted so I can get my sewing room under control. Your success gives me hope. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • I ended up putting some in my daughter’s room and the hallway. It got SO much worse before it got better. I started to lose heart… which made me even more savage. So I guess that was a good thing. It’s also astonishing what you uncover!

  5. What a happy sewing room! You are totally right not to waist an entire room waiting for guests but using it yourself. So good you took the initiative to tidy it up and begin the New Year with a lovely place waiting for you sewing. Any other life challenge will be easier to manage like this. I am looking forward seeing your inspirational makes. Have a good, more relaxed year 2017!

  6. Your sewing room looks lovely. I’m about to embark upon a project to sort my sewing space out, including adding some more storage – next weekend hopefully will see the start of this!

    I can definitely identify with 2016 being the year of saying yes too much… it was certainly that way for me, to the detriment of my mental health. Here’s to having the confidence to know when we need to say no… and actually say it!

    • I don’t think people realise the toll it takes on you. Yes I can do it BUT at what cost. I’ve been even more disappointed when people push you to breaking point & simply walk away when you need help. But I guess that’s simply how some people are. And I hope I’m better at spotting them in 2017.

  7. Oh, Lizzie, this is coming for me just at the right time. My sewing space is a total mess, and it has kept me from sewing. I will try to follow your lead and get things organized! Great job in taking control of things. It always makes us feel better, no?

  8. Whenever I see someone’s dedicated sewing ROOM I sigh with longing 🙂 I have the front 1/3 of our living room (closest to the window) and have taken over some shelving space in my husband’s create cave which he laments about to anyone who will listen 🙂 When I returned to sewing I had completely forgotten how much space it inhabits and has this alarming tendency to GROW over time. You’ve done a beautiful job of clearing space just for you to relax, create, be yourself and refresh. Everyone in your life should be celebrating! This space allows you to be present for them too when you can 😉

  9. Congratulations! This is a fresh, new start. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the house lately, too, particularly in the sewing corner. It’s hard to feel free when the house is taking over. Your new space looks fantastic, and I believe you’re on your way to a great 2017 🙂

    • It’s amazing how much mess impacts on your frame of mind. While it’s hard to start the de-stashing process… once you get going it’s liberating. I feel so much better… now to do the rest of the house.

  10. Congratulations! I hope you are feeling virtuous and energised ready to create. I have just done the same – having sewn up a storm in Christmas gifts my sewing room looked like a tornado had swept through- so it had a good clean and tidy with a new sewing table and some storage drawers. But, please share,where did you get your pattern drawers from? They are exactly what I need!

    • They are a filing cabinet from Officeworks and I’ve used suspension files to store my patterns. My daughter was really helpful, sorting and categorizing them into dresses/skirts/pants/tops/jackets and then by brand!

  11. You must be so pleased. The room looks fantastic. Light and airy.

    Where do you cut your patterns?

    I get a sore back cutting. Tabletops and the floor are really uncomfortable.

    • I am pleased… and relieved.
      I usually cut them on the dining table. Sometimes when it’s a pattern with smaller pieces I cut as I sew. So just in small sessions rather than all at once.

  12. Congratulations! My plan precisely! I will clean and re-organize my sewing center this month. It will take a month to get things in order before the prom orders start rolling in. I will set aside a 3 hr block each evening to accomplish this task! Happy New Year!!!

  13. You have set a very good example for the start of the year. I know my mind would be clearer if I just sorted out all of the debris in my workspace. Yours looks enviably serene now so I hope you feel ready to make something wonderful for yourself now 🙂

    • Thank you – I do feel much better. I find mess makes me feel stressed but now I walk into the room and feel peaceful. It’s a nice feeling and I’m glad I made myself do it. I’m looking forward to spending some time in the room and making some lovely things.

    • I regularly go through my wardrobe. It’s an ongoing battle that one. The sewing room was much harder. So many different things, patterns and fabric, it was sheer will power that got me through. It was unbearably hot at times so I’d work for 30 minutes and then go & rest in the air conditioning.

  14. Pingback: 2017 – a year of random sewing | Sew Busy Lizzy

  15. Well done for getting on top of your sewing room. There must be something in the blogging world air because I (among a number of others) did a similar sewing room destash and cleanup. It just feels so much better, doesn’t it? I ‘ve even managed to start with some good habits such as cleaning up after every project and putting pattern pieces back in its place after use for the first five days of the year.
    Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017 – in sewing and otherwise!

    • I guess it is the best time of year to tackle these things… a break from work, a fresh start, a new outlook, fresh possibilities.
      I’ve put my eldest daughter in charge of making me keep the sewing space in order!

  16. Wondrous work, well done and what a fantastic foundation for another year of exciting sewing.

    I’m telling the family I’m halfway through my similar tidy-up of what we call the “sewing room” but which is really just the room where we put everything till we can sort out where it really belongs. I’m sure that a problem for many of us 😦 (Funny how sheds aren’t treated in such a cavalier manner – at least in my house, where the rule seems to be that if it’s in the shed, but interferes with the men of the family breathing in there, then it gets thrown out into the yard, no matter what it is.)

    Actually, I’m closer to only one-third done with my tidying because there are still things elsewhere that I have to find homes for. And, while they don’t belong in the sewing room, I have no idea where they really do belong! Plainly, it can’t be the shed!

    Part of the reason I’m doing it now is not that it’s new year – I don’t hold with resolutions and every day is the beginning of a new year, so I don’t get into arguments about what I should do, and when – but, rather, that it is the only time of year when I have sufficiently long away from work to enable me to tackle the task. I can’t do any work in it, or anywhere else, without great effort. That’s such a disincentive that I haven’t done anything for so long….

    So let’s all say onwards and upwards in what happens to be calendar year 2017. And perhaps getting around to some of the many sewing projects – and knitted UFOs; let’s not forget that that’s an equal passion – that I’ve now rediscovered.

    All the very best with your newly rediscovered space and the internal tranquility that comes with it. Cheers, Felicity 🙂

    • It is very true that ‘man space’ appears to be sacrosanct but a ‘female space’ appears to require justification or can be resumed by anyone at any time for any reason. I guess it’s just like our time, seems to belong to others before ourselves.
      Do you go and claim your sewing space & make sure it’s not treated like others holding space. If they don’t know what to do with something… take it to the shed. I’m sure it will be dealt with in a much faster manner.

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