Making a sewing studio: part one

Hi readers!

Not much sewing has been going on since I’ve moved all my paraphernalia out of the dining room and into my garage which is being transformed into my first studio. This is a really exciting step and makes things feel very official with regards to my sewing dreams. I probably could have left my stuff in the dining room but I knew if I got it out of there I would feel more compelled to get the job done quickly since I am really missing sewing!

I thought I’d share some of the progress with you.

ourhouseYou can see the original garage doors in the above photo. The blue slat doors. I loved the doors, but we needed to let in some light to create a more usable and livable space. Plus, they weren’t very secure and were impossible to lock up properly. The first step we made was to install different doors.newgaragedoorsThese custom made sliding wooden doors match the windows of the house and have sliding screens so the doors can be left open in summer, when it gets really hot here.

The first thing we did inside the garage was replace the fluorescent overhead fixtures with a pair of pendants found at the local vintage shop nearby.vintagelightsgaragebeforeThe garage was one big room. We decided to split it into two to keep the back portion for storage.IMG_3343_1

Our handyman found these wood closet doors at a Home Depot clearance. They’d been made for someone but never picked up. He nailed them to a wooden frame to create a wall instead of using them as doors. He added a door that goes to the newly created storage area behind this new wall. He also removed all the gross old fiberglass heating coils and installed metal ducts which tidies up all the heating pipes for the house above.IMG_3030Here you can see the old heating pipes above. The new pipes are a huge improvement! and now there’s a vent down here so it can be heated in winter.

I know, i know, this garage looks like it came out of an episode of hoarders! I have to get rid of most of this furniture which came from upstairs which I’ve decluttered. But guess where all the clutter went? The garage! Marie Kondo would have a heart attack if she saw this.

wallThe room is a lot smaller now. Some of this stuff will be used in the new room and some will be given to the Goodwill. I’ll need a couple more weeks to get things in order. I’ll get there!

I have a lot of furniture refinishing to do. metalsewingtableI threw everything on this metal table when I cleared out the dining room cupboards. This old workshop table will be my cutting table. Recognize that Jack O lantern from the Halloween party?beanbagtossHa!

oldlibrarytableI’m going to patch and repaint this old table I picked up at a library rummage sale about 15 years ago and put it in between the wood cubby organizers I’m sanding and repainting, too. I knew it would come in handy someday. Sometimes being a pack rat has it’s benefits. And now that it’s been outside for several years, it has a nice patina!frenchdaybedMy old French daybed will be in the room for guests who come for fittings someday. Or just for the kids to plop down on and hang out. I need to sew a new cover for it ASAP.filingpatterns I’m putting my patterns in this file cabinet. The ones in the top drawer I’ll be listing on Etsy soon. They’re all from the forties through the 80’s. I’ve ordered comic book sleeves and cardboard backing so I can send them in the post if they sell. Then I just have to photograph them and write up the listings. Yikes. There are just too many patterns for one person to sew.  I hate to admit that I have enough to fill the whole cabinet.

This is the result of many fun trips to the flea markets with Lily when she was the world’s youngest and coolest flea market hipster! If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember the flea market and estate sale trips I used to blog about. Lily was such a good sport. She’d agree to get all decked out with me to hang out at Rose Bowl….rosebowlentryWe has such a fun time ! The dresses were made by me. Mine was made from an old tablecloth and both were from forties patterns.meandlilyventurajune

So this week I have to paint the furniture, take stuff to the Goodwill, and start listing my patterns and fabric in my Etsy shop. And hopefully start working on a  sample of a wedding dress idea I have! My skirt and hat I sewed from vintage fabric and Lil’s dress is a vintage girls scout uniform!

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  1. says

    Wow, you’re studio is already looking amazing! I think you’ll feel really inspired to work in there. I’ve been meaning to ask if you’d also be interested in pageant attire. I think it would add a branch to your bridal business that would do really well out there. You don’t have to do the stoning, just the shell. It’s very couture and there is a lot of hand sewing involved like bridal, but with 2 active clients you could potentially stay busy all year. Just a thought…

    • says

      Hi Amy. I’m not familiar with pageants but it sounds like interesting work. A lot of people around here celebrate Quinceaneras, and i was considering advertising for that. The dresses look like bridal gowns but are in bright vivid colors. Sort of like pageant dresses, I suppose. Do you have any resources for cool pageant dress companies i could check out?

  2. Sandy Osborne says

    Can’t wait to see your finished studio! I love your sense of style.

  3. Brenda says

    Wow, the natural light from those new doors is amazing — what a great space.

  4. Justine says

    So cheering you on, Justine! 🙂 Love your creativity in creating this working space! Love the floral skirt from the vintage fabric! 🙂

  5. says

    Wow!! This is incredible Justine!! Such a wonderful transformation, and so much work!!! Talk about your dreams coming true, and all your hard work coming to fruition. Just amazing! Congrats!!