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New Sewing and Craft Table

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This week marks one year since purchasing our new home. I’ll do a one-year recap next month with some new pictures, but today I want to talk about my sewing space which is pinch-me-I-can’t-believe-I-get-to-sew-here wonderful. It is organized and functional. I can get a lot done in this space. The only thing that I have never addressed was the possible need for a New Sewing and Craft Table.

The table I’ve been using for cutting is this one that my sweet friend Amy gave me while we were living in a temporary apartment during the house building phase. It came into my possession at a time when I really needed it and it has been a workhorse ever since. The cutting mat on the table is 24″ x 36″ and the table extends a bit beyond that. Notice the bed risers on the legs. This makes it a better height for cutting and general sewing work.

My only dilemma is its small-ish size. It makes laying out larger projects difficult and that causes me to have to move them downstairs. Uh, what’s the point of a really cool sewing room that’s hidden away when all of the mess ends up on the kitchen table. Mr. Seasoned Homemaker especially didn’t care for this ~ and to be honest, neither did I. It kind of violated the whole sanctity of work space/living space relations.

I looked at a ton of different options but could never find anything remotely usable. One of the strongest contenders was this idea of taking Ikea Expedit units and turning them on their sides, adding some wheels and a top, then calling it a sewing/cutting table. We pondered this off and on for a few weeks. My only objection was the fact that the top couldn’t really have an overhanging space. One of my unrealized-possibly-never-happening dreams is to one day teach sewing classes in this room. Just one or two folks at a time. Nothing on a grand scale, more fun and intimate. We had pretty much decided that this was the direction we would take, but just hadn’t done it, yet.

Then, while walking through Ikea I saw something in the kitchen area that totally grabbed me. It was a Varde free-standing counter with a butcher block top. I immediately knew that it was practically perfect in every way. I mean ~ would you look at those drawers. And, it is kitchen counter height, which is ideal for a sewing and craft table.

Sewing Room Table

A few weeks later, it was mine!

Sewing and Craft Room

Here’s why it works so well for my purposes.

Lots of Surface Space:

This table has a ton of surface space. There are two choices for countertop sizes and we went with the larger top which is 57 1/2″ x 39 3/8″. This gives me an overhang on the back and my cutting mat can sit side-to-side (more on this below). Since having this set-up I was able to layer two quilt tops ~ something I hadn’t even considered before. Cutting out patterns is a dream because most of the fabric is on the table surface.

Craft Room Table

Storage Galore:

When looking at different options one thing I always wanted was some sort of storage. The Varde cabinet comes with four really deep divided drawers and the two top drawers have trays that move back and forth. It’s really an ideal set up for me.

Sewing Room Makeover

All four drawers are divided into two sections, front to back. On the two top drawers there are trays that slide over these two sections. This couldn’t be more perfect. This is a photo of the top drawer (sorry for the blur) without the sliding tray. You can see I have bobbins, extra scissors, sewing machine feet, and washi tape in the front. In the back of the drawer are all of my Bernina accessories, like my Walking Foot and Bernina Stitch Regulator.

Sewing Table with Drawers

This is a photo of the same drawer with the sliding tray on top. I keep the tray in place all of the time. When I’m cutting out a project all I have to do is reach in and grab my scissors. The drawers also face my sewing machines so it is easy to reach in for a different pair of scissors. When I’m done with a project everything fits right back into the drawer. In this photo the tray is sitting over the sewing machine feet.

Sewing & Craft Room

In this photo the drawer is sitting over the Bernina accessories. See how easy it is to grab things.

Sewing Room Accessories

The top right drawer is designed the same way ~ with the sliding tray over two deep sections. This is where I store specialty scissors, seam rippers, tape measures, and tape.

In the back section of the drawer I keep my serger supplies. Up to this point they have been scattered about in different drawers. It’s nice to have them in one place.

Sewing Storage

In the front section of this draw I keep my machine needles and tracing material. The tracing wheels are in the top tray so it’s all handy and the sewing machine is opposite the drawer so that makes it very convenient when I break a needle. All I have to do is spin around and reach into the drawer.

Sewing & Craft Room

The two bottom drawers are divided like the top but don’t have the sliding trays. This is still ideal. In the bottom left drawer I am keeping my ever-expanding Silhouette supplies. Now all of those tubes of vinyl aren’t rolling around on the shelf anymore.

Sewing & Craft Room Storage

The bottom right drawer is where I keep my garment-making supplies. Things like my sewing hams and clapper are no longer in the cabinet where I have to move things around in order to get to them.

In the back of the drawer I have a few specialty items like a blade sharpener for my rotary cutter (which works so well that I haven’t bought another rotary blade since I got it).

Sewing Supply Storage

It’s Perfect for Sewing & Crafting:

My favorite part about this table is its practicality. When I finally decided on this for my cutting table I was also planning to replace my cutting mat. It was really ready to go about a year ago, but I didn’t want to purchase something until I had decided on a table. I originally planned to get one of those covers-the-entire-table cutting mats, but it was about an inch too long for my surface. Instead, I went with TrueCut 24″ x 36″ Cutting Mat (affiliate link) because it is two-sided {and I liked the red and gray}.

The thing I like most is how it fits side-to-side on the table which leaves me a ton of space to spread out when working on a project.

True Cut Sewing Mat

And I really love the overhang. I can pull up a stool {once I find one I like} and sit at the table to do work. I think it will be great for my grandkids to come up to the room and do some crafts. They can sit on a stool and cut out, glue, or paint to their little heart’s content while I work on my projects.

And, there’s also the someday plan to teach sewing classes.

Sewing Table

Because the Varde is really intended for kitchens it is a heavy duty. Unfortunately, the heavy duty makes it cost more than I really planned to spend {although nothing compared to the price of some high-end cutting tables that rhyme with schmoala}. The Varde price is all-inclusive {even the drawer pulls come with it}, so we only had to purchase the base cabinet for $399.00 and the butcher block top for $130.00 – Yikes! It took me a few weeks to choke that down before I decided to buy it. I didn’t want to buy something that expensive without first knowing if it would work.

As you can see, I think it was worth the money. While building our home we had time to plan how we would set up this room. There were even a couple of different options from our builder that would’ve included a nice walk-in closet. If we had gone this route it would’ve added thou$and$ to the cost of our home. Instead, we saved a bundle by waiting and purchasing things like the Varde free-standing counter and Ikea Pax wall cabinets.

In the long run, I prefer to live with a space before I decide how I will use it. Waiting almost a year before getting a cutting table allowed me to spend time understanding how I will use the room. Best of all ~ nothing is permanently built in. I can move things around the room any way I want.

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