A New Sewing Nook

After bringing all that fabric back from Los Angeles I’ve been hell bent on creating a sewing station. Wall space is at a premium here, but there’s a connecting door between our bedroom and the spare bedroom and I figured that by permanently shutting it I could carve out a few feet. To the left of that, where Read has his keyboard set up, I wanted to make a cutting table out of two used kitchen base cabinets and a big board covered in cork… like this.

I drove the streets of Boston for miles yesterday, stopping at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore in West Roxbury, a ginormous Goodwill, and the Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources. Turns out everyone sells used cabinets as a set…you have to want a whole kitchen’s worth.  So sad. The only things I found were random bits of architectural beauty that have no place in our apartment, like this intricate metal gas fireplace for $200:


The trip was a total bust. At home, mopey and disheartened, I searched furniture on craigslist. And there it was.  Two blocks from our house. A kitchen island, solid wood, for $30. YEs! I could feel my project adrenaline returning!

The island had these castor wheels on the bottom so my big plan was to wheel it all the way home. Only the wheels weren’t attached, so every time it hit uneven ground one or more fell out of their sockets. I was putting wheels back in every few feet. The woman who sold it to me looked very confused when I declined her offer to have her husband drop it off on Monday when he got back from his work trip. “He has a truck,” she said. I thanked her politely, but inside I was like, MONDAY?! MONDAY?!!! HAHAHAHA ARE YOU CRAZY? I HAVE TO BUILD THIS THING TONIGHT LADY! I have zero patience when it comes to projects.

Read helped me carry it home. He even stopped watching March Madness to help me carry it home. I know, he’s too nice sometimes.

Here’s what I made with it…

Sewing Nook

I extended the table workspace with a 1/2″ board from Home Depot, and I painted the bottom shelf and the top board a deep navy. Three rattan baskets from Target hold all my fabric underneath and notions fit in the drawer. I put a little cloth on top and hung an IKEA paper light overhead. It needs some artwork on either side of the door, and I may hang a long curtain in front to hide the mess.

Project Budget
$30 – kitchen island
$13 – 2’x4′ board
$39 – three rattan baskets, 17″x10″
$0.50 – a pint of navy paint from the “mess-up” shelf at Home Depot

If I can find a curtain for less than $16, then the whole thing will still come in at less than $100. As for the cutting station, I might just get a big roll-up Xacto mat to lay out on the kitchen table.

I leave you with a portrait of a gentleman:



  1. Fototype · April 7, 2012

    Ingenious re-purposing of the kitchen island, and great use of space. Also, you wouldn’t believe the very unlady-like snort I let out at the part where you decline to have the island delivered. Impatient? Who, me?

  2. Pingback: Remake of a vintage dress | Foxflat's Blog
  3. bonniehull · March 20, 2012

    love the graphic almost as much as the project!!

  4. sally · March 18, 2012

    Terrific, Katie! The rattan baskets fit perfectly, and I like the fact that you still have room for three bottles of wine.

    Glad you’re keeping the neighbors talking. Give that 4-legged gentleman a hug for me.

    • foxflat · March 19, 2012

      I can’t wait to see pics of YOUR finished sewing room. Read showed me the latest ones and the new sink is awesome!

  5. becca · March 18, 2012

    love the project, but i must say i love the portrait of the gentleman better.

    • foxflat · March 19, 2012

      he looks especially insightful here 😉

  6. elizabethlehman · March 18, 2012

    nice! way to go about getting a project done!! it looks great!

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