Most of my sewing life, like the majority of women, I have not had the luxury of a space devoted strictly to my sewing and crafting. In 1999, when we purchased the Hotel Revere in Pomeroy, Washington, I finally had a place big enough to give me my coveted and long-dreamed of sewing space. However, the reconstruction of this ol’ hotel is taking far longer than we anticipated, having been at it now for over 15 years.
About 10 years ago, frustrated by not having any place at all to sew, I selected an unfinished space on the third floor as a combination craft/sewing/home schooling space. It had the original plaster on three walls, windows that let in more air than most open windows, and 2 X 4 walls on the interior walls… that is with no drywall. And no electricity, heating or cooling. My husband lined the room with plastic sheeting to theoretically keep out construction dust and gain some control of the room’s temperature.
In this climate, not having heating or air conditioning made the room really only usable in the Spring and the Fall. Other times of year the temperatures were just too extreme to spend much time in this make-shift sewing room. Some how though I managed to get many projects completed in this space. During the other times of the year, I still came up with lots of ideas for projects and of course I had to use those JoAnn’s coupons. In other words, I was building up my stash. And 10 years of year-round purchasing of fabric and craft resources, but only able to sew and craft for a few months a year built up quite a stash indeed!
My first big attempt at organizing my “expanding stash” and making a more usable sewing space began several years ago, when I had to move my “sewing space” out of the unfinished rooms on the 3rd floor so work could begin on making two guest suites. My mom now lives in the three-room suite created from the space I had used as sewing space. The other suite is the Roosevelt Suite for our personal guests and the occasional paying guest. Since I was moving into a smaller space, I thought I would get as organized as I could. It seemed like a good idea to store my fabric in a separate space away from the actual sewing. I picked the big closet in the future exercise room. With this in mind, my husband installed 3 large metal shelving units in the closet space and I attempted to move all my fabric from the “sewing room” into giant bins in this new space. One problem…. it didn’t all fit. Four more steel shelves set up in the corner of the Ballroom (which had been used as a shop to refinish trims and doors) and my stash was organized. It felt so good to be “organized!” But of course that didn’t last too long!