Let There Be Light

Sewing Studio

Finally, I have light over my cutting table.

Last week and the week before, we had a series of VERY dark days. I turned on the two floor lamps and the LED lights at each sewing station, even so it was still dark over my cutting table, and although I wanted to cut the elements for the Drunkard’s Path blocks it was uncomfortably dark to cut with any accuracy.

Deb mentioned Costco had a sale on LED workshop light fixtures so I went to take a look. On my first visit I came home empty handed; the fixture wasn’t plugged in and I couldn’t tell how much light it would cast, so I left. Visited Home Depot the next day, couldn’t find what I needed – an LED fixture with a remote on/off control (small chains hanging from the light wasn’t going to work!). Back to Costco I went and picked up two. I wasn’t sure I needed more than one but until I unpacked it and plugged it in I wouldn’t be able to tell. One seems to be all I need.

Lucky to have a friend whose husband is a licensed electrician, I was able to have the fixture rewired – I wanted a white cord (not the black it came with) and I needed the cord to be 25 feet long! (The cord had to cross the ceiling, come down the wall above the patio doors, along the woodwork and the baseboard heater to the electrical outlet.) I bought the cord and a plug and with the fixture in hand I trundled over to Brayne’s to have the light rewired. It took him about an hour (he’s meticulous rather than speedy).

Next I engaged the architect husband of another friend to hang the light. Heather and Ben came over yesterday afternoon and Ben (much younger than the handymen in my building) climbed the 6-foot ladder I’d borrowed and he attached the light to my ceiling.

Now there is light over my cutting table. The lamps add a bit more brightness and now they aren’t casting shadows on the table which they were before.

After six years in the apartment, I’m in business.

Sewing Studio – Plan

sewing studio

Here is my current tentative layout for my sewing studio. The kitchen/dining room/living room is a large rectangular space: from the kitchen island to the windows/sliding doors/ is 31′. Width at the doors is 11′ – at its widest the room is 15′. It’s a big room! There is a doorway on each side leading to a bedroom, but the overall main space is uninterrupted.

There is enough wall space to accommodate the sewing tables for each machine at the balcony/window end of the room. Because the room is so wide, I envision a kitchen island for a cutting table – the unit 24″ deep, 6′ long, with a 3’x6′ top (this will overhang the base by 12″ and perhaps allow the “back” of the island to have shelving) with a cutting mat surface for rotary cutting. I see something like this:


(without the granite top) and probably 12-15″ longer to accommodate shelves at the end as well as the back. Since most of my furniture is teak I thought a finish something like this would work – simple and in an approximate colour family.


A unit like this would compensate for the lack of a closet with shelving in this main space. Right now, my sewing room is very compact and has spilled over into the closets of two other rooms!


However, I think with this shelving and repurposing my teak shelving storage unit and the dining room buffet to handle fabric and notions I will have plenty of sewing storage. (There is also a “den” – for a “box room” where I can put the overflow if I need to.)

Now I need to be patient and wait until I’m actually in the apartment to place what I do have and then see what kind of space I have for the island – who knows, I might be able to make it even bigger. I want to be able to stand at the cutting table and not be far from the machines, ironing board, and the shelves where stuff is stored. Right now I can do that in my small sewing room (9.8′ x 8.7′).


While I will have much more space I want things to be close to hand.

Getting this all set up is going to be fun!