I am happy to tell you that the Janery Sewing Studio Makeover is back in full swing! When we last talked about the space, I’d completed building my storage shelves, which were my attempt at imitating built-in cabinets in a rented space. So, being real . . . I was trying to complete this space in the month of September. I lost a little momentum when Art on the Avenue neared, but that’s life. . . I guess there are always obstacles that can pop up and derail the best of projects, so I just have to forgive myself for not completing it in September and just move on. I’m trying to share it in real time, because OMG – do you ever feel completely incompetent when you see other bloggers whip out a totally fab room makeover in like 3 or 4 days? I know I do. When you last saw the space, it looked like this: The doors and cabinets had looked so nice and tidy in my office (when it also doubled as a sewing room), but I needed to add drawers (for storage). I couldn’t get matching brown drawer fronts, because IKEA has discontinued this color brown. I chose white simply because it would be calm and simple and bright in the small space. So far I’m liking the overall progression of this wall. What drives me crazy, however, is how imperfectly the Ikea cabinet doors hang when you install them. It’s nearly impossible to get them all aligned so the tops and bottoms of each door line up perfectly. Seeing imperfect “seams” between the doors bugs me, but oh well. Next up: I’m DIYing some door handles and pulls inspired by our mid-century modern TV cabinet. It’s a crazy cheap idea I have. . . so fingers crossed that it works. Also, I need to finish off the middle shelf that separates the cabinets from my built-in shelves. The old one had to be removed for structural reasons. Regardless of how slow my baby steps may be, it’s a big improvement from what I first did to this wall! In case you’re new here:
You guys! I finally feel like a real, actual, legit handmade shop owner.
Not because I hit a certain number of sales with Janery, not because I have a certain amount of cash rolling in. . but because I can finally start cutting and producing the same items over and over again, thanks to my brand new Fabric Bolt Rack!
That means these guys finally have a home:
It’s not pretty yet – I still need to paint her and add some handles to the sides – but she’s functional, and with the holidays upon us, that’s all that matters.
Seriously though, I’m really excited about this. It was getting frustrating to not have a way to store larger quantities of fabric. As a result I was buying smaller amounts, and then only being able to make one or two of each item at a time.
SPOILER ALERT: If you take a closer look at the photos, you’ll get a sneak peek of some patterns that are coming to the shop ASAP!
Once the rack is truly finished (sanded and painted) I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how I built it. The whole thing was pretty simple, except for the troubleshooting I had to do mid-build. But now that I’ve done that, it will be super easy if you want to copy it.
This is just part of the progress I made in the studio last week. Tomorrow you get a Janery Studio Update!
When I finished building my sewing studio adjustable shelves, I was so stoked to style and decorate them. Because who doesn’t love a gorgeous before and after display?
Well guys, I’m here to burst your bubble just like my shelves burst mine.
I’m convinced that when you see the gorgeous, perfectly styled images of crafting and sewing rooms – no one actually works in them. That’s because ever since I built my adjustable faux-built-ins for my sewing studio, they’ve been working hard to help me stay organized as I prepare for my first fall show, Art on the Avenue.
But thank goodness they’re built, because I have needed all the organization I can get as I work like a crazy tornado to sew as much as possible.
With that in mind, I thought you deserved to see what a REAL, WORKING sewing studio looks like, fabric scrap pile on the floor and all.
The upper shelves are managing to hold stuff in a cute way, for the most part. I need to actually make more shelves because the gaps between them are causing wasted space.
I plan to cover the bottom cabinetry with white doors and drawers. . . after October 5th. That is not in the budget since I just bought this awesome, heavy-duty sewing machine, the Babylock Jane :) She wasn’t cheap but she was so worth it. Story coming next week. Thank goodness for my massive sewing & cutting table, too – because it gives me space to lay out the things I am working on.
My original Babylock is still going strong, just at a slower speed – aka a normal, non-commercial speed. She is sitting on the vintage sewing machine table that I recently found at a thrift store.
Sadly the pre-craft-show creep has begun, and the area right outside my sewing studio is beginning to be infected:
But that’s life, and this is what craft show prep looks like.
Have an awesome weekend, and keep it real!
I’m excited to finally reveal the completed faux built-in shelves in my sewing studio!
How I did it:
I’m going to save a detailed how-to post for another time, because I am working on a little document that shows the steps. In short, I assembled the frame of top, bottom, and vertical supports, then I drilled holes in all the verticals to create adjustable shelves, and then I painted it. After that I added the backing, and measured and cut the shelves for each column.
It’s not perfect, and it’s not quite square, because I used cheap pine lumber which has some warp to it. But it’s really close to perfect, and the shelves lay flat, and that’s all that really matters. At about $220 in material costs, this solution wasn’t cheaper than the Ikea cabinets I tried, but it is a much better one that uses every inch of the space.
There were a few moments of sheer terror as Ryan and I attempted to move the 10-foot-wide unit into place. It had fit when we tried the frame, but at that time the far left side and top and backing hadn’t been installed. But the completed unit was a much tighter fit, so much so that at times I really, really didn’t think it was going to get in there.
When we gave it a final heave up and against the ceiling, and then we were able to wedge it back onto the exiting shelves, it fit perfectly. So tightly, in fact, that it’s going to take a little work to remove it some day.
I immediately started jumping up and down and screaming “hell yeah” with excitement and relief. I just couldn’t contain myself.
So the shelves are not styled yet, but they’re in, they’re working, and they’re totally awesome – and I’m riding on a DIY high that no drugs could possibly compete with.
But enough about me and my current feeling of awesomeness. Even better, I’m happy to report that this is a totally rental-friendly solution, because there is nothing attached to any walls. And it totally solves the dilemma posed by that awkward corner where the ducts go through the wall. Wish List / Final Touches
- Adding another board to the base so that it’s totally flat and finished. A reader asked if I was going to build it off of the white shelf I had already built over the base cabinets, but silly me – I didn’t think to do that. /Facepalm.
- Replacing the bottom cabinet doors and drawers with white ones so that everything is more seamless. (I can’t get more medium-brown ones, b/c that was discontinued.) Also, I would like more drawers and have Ikea credit I need to use.
- Installing trim around the entire unit so it looks more officially built in. Right now there are uneven gaps in places b/c the walls, floor, and ceiling are not level or straight.
- I’d also like to wallpaper the unit with a beautiful wallpaper, but that’s also going to wait. I think I may try to incorporate the colors of my new logo when I do it.
Speaking of the back, I backed the unit with the cheapest thing I could find – white-coated MDF board – and cut out a space in it for the A/C vent. I didn’t get it measured exactly right, but close enough. Styling the Shelves
Let’s chat for a moment about the idea of “styling the shelves.” As much as it pains me to admit it, I’m really excited to get to do this. We don’t have a single shelving unit in our home and so itching to have some shelves to play around with!
Honestly, the idea of “styling shelves” makes me roll my eyes because it seems so damn pretentious and silly, but at the same time I do love beautifully styled shelves. Many designers appear to purchase objects solely for the sake of styling, and that seems wasteful to me. The ultimate styled shelves are ones that blend awesome design and layout with super functional storage and organization. I think I can achieve that over time.
Are you relieved that the saga of my shelves is finally over? I know I am, but even though it delayed my studio makeover, I’m glad I chose the custom solution. It was more work, but totally worth it. Now comes the fun: Decorating!
In case you’re new here: