Today finds me in a winter wanderland. My mind is wandering and just doesn’t want to sit still.
Maybe this mental cabin fever is a natural reaction to being cooped up after the 9.9 inches of snow the latest storm dumped on us, and learning that this is Minnesota’s coldest winter in 35 years.
Or maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last month avidly checking online real estate listings in Columbus, Ohio, searching for my next sewing domain.
Click, click, click. Househunting has sure changed in the 22 years since Jack and I bought our little 1940 Cape Cod. Now I can race through dozens of property listings, scores of photos, and hundreds of lines of exuberant copy in the time it takes my tea bag to steep.
I’m definitely not in the mood to sew for winter. By the time I’d finish what I really could use–a super-warm, full-length coat–it’d be April.
And I’m not in the mood to sew for spring, which is no more than an abstract concept at the moment.
No, if there’s anything my mind is dwelling on, it’s real estate in Columbus, Ohio, where I’ll be flying back to on Monday for another week of househunting.
Edith, my sewing teacher, says “Do what the fabric wants to do.” This fabric wants to think about its next sewing domain.
Will it be a natural light-filled but oddly shaped converted attic? Will it be a roomy but dim knotty pine-paneled basement rec room? Will it be a drafty, unfinished, but potentially wonderful utility space?
You see, even though a large, well-lighted, finished sewing space is high on my wish list, Jack and I will probably choose our next home on the basis of a convenient location, an updated kitchen, or a great floor plan. So it would be well for me to start seeing possibilities in spaces that are different from my current workspace but that could still work well in getting things sewn.
Last spring I spent an hour or so listing the main functions I wanted to perform in my sewing space and then designated zones for them. Having lived with these zones now for several months, I’m completely sold on this interesting and fun exercise.
Here are zones I’ve listed for my next sewing domain. Each zone is a place where I perform a function that may require floor space, or wall space, or both.
This list will top the sheaf of papers on the clipboard I bring when I make the rounds with our real estate agent.
Pattern and fabric layout and cutting
- Floor space: At least two 72″ x 30″ tables
- Wall space: Pegboard for rolling cutters, shears, rulers.
- Floor space: Table for sewing machine, table for cut-out fabric pieces, chair
- Wall space: Pegboard for notions, equipment
- Floor space: Table for serger. Chair (probably same chair as for sewing)
- Floor space: Ironing board, maybe a rolling clothes rack, maybe a steamer
- Wall space: Pegboard with pressing equipment
Writing and planning
- Floor space: Desk, chair, TV and DVD player
- Wall space: bulletin boards
A simple photography space
- Floor space: Mannequin, seamless backdrop, tripod. Lights?
- Wall space: Seamless backdrop
Storage for fabrics, patterns, notions, tools
- Floor space: Bookcases or utility shelves
- Wall space: Bookcases or utility shelves, pegboard for tools, bulletin boards for button storage bags
Storage for sewing library
- Floor space: Bookcase. Table or counter for opening up books
- Wall space: Bookcase
As I transcribed this list into this post I could feel my restless mind relaxing into defining functions and allocating spaces.
There, there, mind, calm down. Imagine being in those zones–and being in the zone.
Spring is coming.
And so is spring sewing.