More Space + Less Waste from My Sewing Room

I haven’t had time to sew these past few months, so my fabrics and half-projects declared sovereignty over the sewing room.  Today, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.  It was a lovely day- breezy, bright and cool.

As I cleared and sorted the debris, I re-discovered an Amy Butler Gum Drop Ottoman I cut last year from a hemp-nettle-organic cotton upholstery weight.  I immediately stopped organizing to *finally* sew this.

Why has it taken me this long to sew a simple, already-cut-out project?   I used a narrow (.8) zigzag with a medium stitch length (2.0).  I thought it would be more durable than a straight stitch.

I remember reading how well fabric scraps work for ottoman stuffing on pattern review.  I saved fabric scraps for an ottoman for longer than I’ve had the hemp/nettle.  It’s several years of muslins, tiny useless scraps, bits everything that passed through my hands in that time.  I also saved the sort of garments that won’t work well for rags.

After.  I freed up a great deal of cupboard space by stuffing the ottoman, and I have a handy floor pillow/foot rest.

When I conquer the mess, I’m permitted to try some summer tailoring.  The drafting will be lovely mind-puzzle, as well as the sewing.  I might need a few smaller projects to get my hand back in.

I took a few photos for a “hand-sewing gallery”.

A little more work to organize my room and I can make the suit!

Be sure to check out the Moving Time Giveaway…  Ends on Friday.


  1. I love the ottoman! Did you use a pattern or just wing it? I totally want to make one now?
    This is what my “sewing room” (aka the dining room) is like right now, too! I had some custom orders and was so focused on those, everything just became a mess around me. When I started to clean it up, I found some half-finished things that are only going to take me a short while to finish up. I couldn’t think, for the life of me, why I hadn’t just finished them to begin with! Oh well, now I get a great feeling of accomplishment when I finish them up now.

  2. The ottoman is great! I really should think about making a few for here – my daughter would probably be thrilled with them. That’s also a really good idea for using up scraps of fabric. I’ve got tons that I can’t quite bring myself to part with yet. Practical and useful storage sounds so perfect!

    I’ve got so many small sewing projects sitting around waiting to be done myself. Pre-Lily, I could whip things up within the hour, maybe two. Post-Lily, a blouse that should take me no longer than 2 hours takes me 2 months. Tell me, does it get better, trying to sew with a 20 month old around? It’s driving me a little batty…I feel I’m doing something wrong. Ah well!

    • It definitely gets better. When she was that small, sometimes she’d sit on my lap while I sewed. I taught her to take out pins. It was slow going, but she really loved “helping” and I got a little sewing done.

      Now she has a little input on fabrics I use for her and I’m teaching her other little things.

      • Oh – that’s a great idea, having her sit on my lap while I sew. We have the dining room / kitchen area blocked off with a large gate at the moment, and I sew at my dining table. I think she gets a little cranky because she can’t actually get to me while I try sewing. We plan on taking the gate down and just blocking off the kitchen (the cats need refuge somewhere!)…so maybe she might be happier then, and if I have her “help” me. She LOOOOVES to help.

        • The trick is to teach her not to put her hands where they don’t belong… That’s where grabbing the pins comes in. Have you taught her about the iron yet? When mine was a little smaller than that, she developed an iron fixation. One day I had it on and full of steam. I made sure she knew it was called an iron, then said “It’s HOT.” and made steam jet out. She wasn’t in any danger but was startled enough to remember, and she has never ever touched my iron.

      • Lily understands “HOT!” – not so much with the iron, I normally do my ironing out of view or after she goes to bed, but with things like the stove, hot cups of coffee, anything with steam, etc. I think it was one of the first signs she learnt how to do.

        When we get back from our trip – I’m going to give it a go with sewing with her and see how it works out. I’ll pick some very quick and easy projects though – skirts for her, etc and take it from there. Here’s hoping for success!

  3. Ooo I love the foof! I want to make one myself, both a small one like this for propping up feet, and a GIANT ONE for flopping on! :) Did you make it very firm? You’ll have to let us know how it holds up to use.

    • The clothes make it QUITE firm, but it has enough give to be comfy. I’ll definitely let you all know how the fabric holds up, and how useful it is in our lifestyle. :) It didn’t take long to sew at all, half an afternoon. Make one!

      • I want to make one! Maybe I’ll wait until I have my own place, though. Or at least, am not living in a teeny tiny room in my Uncle’s basement. :D

        Which will be in about a month, so \o/ -YAY!

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