Be warned… Didn’t I tell you my sewing room was a D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R???

My sister Cindy got me hooked on a few home decorating blogs…you know the kind where they have projects going on all the time and the insides of their homes change constantly? They try painting one dining room table for a while and then decide to sell it and find another one to take its place. Maybe they think their bedroom is slightly the wrong color so they paint it again…for-the-seventh-time! I was awestruck by some of the beautiful pictures they posted and almost had to watch myself not to covet them. I commented to Cindy one day that as pretty as the pictures were, how in the world did they ever keep it that way? Especially the ones where the main colors were white? I told her my family just couldn’t live like that with a dog and a house (still) with plywood floors down. *sigh* I asked her “Where is the clutter?” “Where’s the stuff on the counters?” “Where’s anything out of order?” She told me, “Those pictures were “staged” and that when their house is all cleaned up, they take those pictures, but most of the time their houses are lived in just like yours and mine.” I even saw an example of one where this woman’s bedroom was immaculate and so gorgeous; everything was in its place… but then she shot the other side of the room and the sliding door was off the closet and the clothes and shoes were all over the place. She said, “Just keeping it real!” I remember sighing a sigh of relief thinking, “Cindy was right…it was staged!”

Well, what I’m about to show you is a good dose of REALITY in my sewing room! Now I know you’ve seen pictures of it when it was picked up and everything was in it’s place, but that’s not the case tonight. I know many of you were expecting to see a “half finished” dress for Nyssa…NOT… and this is why: I just couldn’t stand it any longer and am mortified to show you these pictures, but lets get real here… I have just been skimming things off the surface trying to get a few things ahead…and then with my foot injury, I got behind… “WAY BEHIND” you’re whispering under your breath! (I can hear you…)




I have to admit when it looks like this, I start daydreaming and sort of re-planning how I have things in there… maybe I need to move this bookshelf over there and maybe that chest would be better behind the door, or perhaps I need a whole new sewing table…you know one of those that has drawers all underneath that keeps all your things organized…maybe I can get George to remove that hanging closet bar over there in the corner, and then take out that shelf…that way I could stack things up to the ceiling or move a bookshelf over there and have a “Wall of shelves!” Wouldn’t it be wonderful? I’ve only wanted it gone for 10 years! *she sighs again*




Between the Christmas tubs out and the things I was trying to put away, the sorting I was doing for Goodwill, I think I have created a monster! But here’s the really good thing about showing you… you’ll hold me accountable and I’ll have to get it cleaned up. I have a book on cleaning your house called “Sink Reflections” and there is a phrase the author uses in it called CHAOS… Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome! I think I’ve got a bad case of it…

Okay, so now that I’ve aired my “dirty laundry” I need to get busy… as soon as George gets home I AM going to see if he’ll knock out that bar and shelf… :o) Pretty soon I’ll have it looking like this again… or maybe even better… as long as my foot holds out… (I have been resting it periodically!) It’s not as hard as it looks…just a lot of taking things off shelves, sliding things on the floor and then putting the things back on the shelves…


P.S. My sweet hubby DID remove that bar and shelf when he got home… I had made him French Onion Soup and some Cranberry Oatmeal cookies…:O) He didn’t stand a chance!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Hi Jeanne! What an improvement that last picture is! But the rest—-oh so funny! I see that you are actually a regular human being, and that’s perfectly fine with me!

    One reason I don’t and can’t sew or do any thing as much as you do, is I can’t start sewing until everything in the house is in order and straightened up! It is hard for me to do anything in an unorderly room, since I can’t think straight! Not that things are perfect all the time around here, but I try! You look like you are on the way to getting things cleaned up. I worry though, you say you want things to go up to the ceiling? How would you get up there without falling, or worse, have things come crashing down on you?

    • Hi Linda, that last picture is when my room was cleaned up from before. It is still a mess. Slowly but surely I’m getting it put back together but it does take a while when you get it in such a mess. I know what you mean about having to put things away and get them out then put them away and get them out. I’ve been there and done that before. I won’t have things quite to the ceiling, but close. The ceilings are sloped so they aren’t that high…
      Thanks Linda,
      blessings, Jeanne

  2. Charlotte Trayer says:

    My sewing room is in constant clutter. At the moment it’s where I need to get things sorted and straightened up again–but I have too much to do!! LOL

    I love your acronym for CHAOS. I learned of one (can’t remember where) called IGAD. You are to beware of IGAD disease–IGAD being I’ve Got All Day. (I frequently think that when I don’t have a lot of chores on my list–think I’ve got all day to get that done, so….)

    Do remember to take care of that foot, as I’m sure you don’t want a relapse!!


    • Hi Charlotte, i am being careful with my foot, sort of walking like Frankenstein with a stiff leg and my foot like its got a board on it. I have most of today to get my room back in order and I’m excited I found a dresser upstairs that I think I can use if my husband will cut me a new table top. It’s got drawers so I can use that to put things in and then get rid of my cutting table that’s got these weird legs underneath it and you can’t store very much under it okay I better get back to work.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. My sewing areas look like that too, so don’t feel too bad. Just call it the “creative process”! LOL

    • Hi Christine, oh I’m so glad that I’m not the only one with a sewing room that is in slight disarray. It,s just being creative, or so you say!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Not so bad, Jeanne. You’ve been busy sewing and creating… with a bum foot. It seems like the fabric is hard to control. It is always needing to be folded and put away, crazy stuff. And when it’s out everything looks messy.
    I find it so relaxing to look at those staged pictures of rooms or walk through model homes, but it is impossible to live that way, we all have stuff!
    Take care of your foot!

    • Thanks so much Cindy, as I was cleaning and messing and cleaning and missing I was thinking of your sweet sewing room and how adorable it looks. That’s what I want something cute and quaint and fun. I am taking care of my foot.
      Blessings Jeanne

  5. Boy, if CHOAS is the worst thing that happens to you today – you got it MADE! 🙂 Creativity creates clutter. It all cleans up in the end…

  6. That kind of room wouldn’t bother me at all. I just push things back on my sewing area and look straight ahead. Works for me.

    • HI Anna,
      I worked in it for a while this way, but yesterday it was just too much and I had to “go for it” and see what I could do to fix it. It’s gotten worse, but sometimes things do before they get better…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Well, Jeannie Marie, I must admit I envied your sewing room with the window and view of the backyard with sunshine streaming in…and all the space. Mine is a big walk-in closet converted into a “sewing room” and most of my handwork, etc. is done in my bedroom with an Ott light shining on my handwork. Sewing machine and serger are both in my closet sewing area…so, needless to say, my sewing space, including my bedroom look like your present sewing room most of the time and it bugs me to no end. I have wished for a sunny third bedroom for a sewing room, but alas I don’t have one. So it did give me a little secret pleasure to see your sewing room in a mess. 🙂 I’m not alone. Haha! I’ve been sewing for Kaye Wiggs “Gracie” and just opened an Etsy shop called “Dollgone Cute!” Having fun in my clutter and it looks like you are too! Now, gotta go organize that clutter a bit…then make another mess making Gracie’s Christmas dress! I love your blog…:) Suzanne

    • HI Suzanne,
      Congrats on opening up an Etsy shop! How exciting for you! I’ll have to check it out!
      I like to be organized when I sew, knowing where everything is and this had just gotten to be too messy. I’m purging as I go… too much stuff! But I’m glad you enjoyed my mess…me? not so much!
      Have fun sewing for Gracie!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Anita Hayes says:

    Jeanne – about the time you did your foot – my good knee decided I needed a rest – a torn meniscus. The right knee – the side I run the machine pedals with my right foot. Sew I have been confined to a chair with my leg elevated most of the day right in the middle of Doll Show season. So it has been hand sewing – quilting, embroidery, felt work, etc. As a result my sewing room is in Chaos too!! Things have been pulled out. Things have been piled. Things not put away. I hear, “Mom your room is a MESS!! Can I help!” “No No I will get to it someday.”But you know when we both are back up to speed everything will be back to a normal organized chaos in the life of a seamstress. As for now we both must heal. Hope the foot is getting better. God Bless

    • HI Anita,
      OUCH… on your torn meniscus… my hubby had 3 surgeries on his knees for that before he had his total knee replacements done. That is very painful and I hope you are healing quickly. So you can totally relate to me being in the middle of “Christmas Season” and not being able to do what you need to do! :o/
      When we both get all well, we’ll be back to normal I hope!
      Thanks so much for your comments,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. HI Jeanne,
    Anytime you have a place where you create , it’s bound to get unorganized from time to time. Our sunroom doubles as a sewing craft room and sometimes it gets messy also. The one good thing is I can close the doors on it and unless you are standing in the backyard looking in the windows you don’t know. I only can tolerate it that way for two days tops and then it must be fixed.
    How nice that George helped you get started getting things the way you want. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach it’s said. Ply him with cookies and you can probably get him to organize it for you LOL. 🙂

    • HI Laura,
      I have a door to my sewing room too…it’s just off the living room, but I have a big window that you can see right in to the room, so I have to keep it sort of cleaned up most of the time…
      Now I have a new project for him. I’ve decided there is a dresser upstairs and a small pantry that he built for me that I think I can make good use of in my sewing room. Oh, I wish he was home now… I can put all my props in the pantry or ALL my Christmas things… ??? He’ll just need to put a new top on the dresser and I can use it for a cutting table!!
      I’ll get this room pulled together soon…
      Oh and maybe I need to make him some more cookie… do you think???
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Jeannie Brandon says:

    Jeanne, I love your clutter because I have this vision of you pulling out fabric, trims, buttons and what-not and saying, “now I know I had some blue … in here. Where is it”? Too funny. Good to know that you are human and not a super creative genius who can turn out wondrous doll garments without any effort. This also shows me I am right on par with everyone else. I clean, then I create a mess, then I clean again and repeat this same scenario over and over and over……. !!!!
    Hurrah for George that he came to your rescue with your organizational tasks. I need to try the cookie trick to see if my man will be enticed as well. Yes, some peanut butter cookies !!!

    • HI Jeannie,
      When my room is in a mess like this, I still sort of know where everything is, but it takes me longer to get to it, because I have to move stuff around. I want to get it where I can see everything and have easy access to it all. I do the same thing, sew, make a mess, clean up, sew, make a mess, clean up… etc.
      Since I’ve found a dresser upstairs and the small pantry that I can use, I think I better make another batch of cookies…:o)
      Thanks Jeannie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    The thing about this I enjoyed most was seeing the beautifully dressed Molly lying on a heap of fabric, still exhausted from her photo session and the lovely Elizabeth, wearing her beautiful ball gown, standing in all the confusion with Eden, I think, trying to decide how to help.

    I had thought that as soon as the photos were done, you carefully boxed the outfit, stuffing everything with tissue, but leaving the box unsealed so that you could add a thoughtful and charming note before you sent it off. I pictured a special table, with packing boxes, tissue, note cards, labels, stickers, and pens, all neatly arranged with the boxed outfits. I am glad to see that sometimes the girls get to wear their clothes for a few days.

    Anita has it right — no one can really help. How would you find anything if someone else put it away? I loved seeing the sewing room this way — I’m cleaning out my closet and my bedroom looks very like this.

    I was thrilled to read yesterday that you could wear matching shoes — so nice for you, so much easier on your back. Taking good care of your foot is really paying off.

    • HI Marilyn,
      Well, I certainly could have used some girls helping me last night. I was pretty pooped when I went to bed at (2:00am) this morning… Yikes! But I had to stay up… fortunately George had fallen asleep and didn’t see too much of the mess. I should have taken more pictures when it was at its absolute worst! It looked like a tornado had torn through my room! Seriously!
      Yes, I do let my girls enjoy their outfit throughout the week, that way it has less time for wrinkles to set in too! :o)
      I think I’ve inspired a whole of ladies to get their rooms organized too… you should have seen one lady’s pictures she sent me… it made mine look pretty mild… but she has had some circumstances that keep her from getting hers fixed up… It made me laugh to see her room.
      I am wearing matching shoes again today and made the “mailbox” trip again today! Things are looking up!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Hi Jeanne,
    Don’t let your sewing room bother you too much…you are just re-organizing. Plus you’ve been letting your foot heal and having some down time.
    In our bedroom I have bags of donations for Salvation Army and donations I’m getting ready for the animal shelter. We’ve been tripping over the bags while getting them ready. Clutter happens to all of us. The re-organizing gets easier once you’re into the thick of it.
    Hope each day your foot feels better!

    • Hi Paula,
      Oh good, “clutter happens to all of us!” Thanks for that! I’m hoping to soon be clutter free, and it’s good to get rid of some junk that I don’t need.
      I guess everyone has “bags” of stuff from time to time…
      My foot does feel better today. I’m very thankful!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. I always thank you for sharing and this is one of the best. It helps to know that the CHAOS goes with the territory and makes me realize it is part of the process for most people.

    You mentioned a bit ago that some people can churn out a couple of dresses in a day, but they certainly don’t look nor sell like your dresses. Great things come out of your CHAOS. I love the way you accessorize the dresses for the photos. That was what I was looking for with Molly’s dress and you certainly came through. Best of healing to you with the foot.

    • HI Susette,
      Well, at least I’m not alone in my cluttery mess… it seems when you sew you have to expect a certain amount of mess…. I just need to learn how to clean up as I go, so it doesn’t turn into this again!
      Thanks so much for your kind comments about my sewing and how I put together my doll outfits. I do try hard and I’m glad you liked it!
      My foot seems to be getting better, but I’m still babying it!
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  14. Ok, speaking from one whose non sewing room corner of the family room has expanded to the entire room and beyond, yours looks amazingly in control. I can look at yours and make suggestions while my mess just keeps growing.
    Personally, I need lots of light. So, lots of bright white walls/ceiling/doors. Probably might want to replace the old lights so everything is uniform. Then your vintage shelving pieces in the darker wood would stand out. This is a space you use constantly, so I would fix it the way you want it. Not wait so long like removing that closet bar or adding shelves. Perhaps you can move the packaging/mailing supplies to another location. Garage? Have a station all set up with all the supplies together.
    Then the closet doors would go. Much easier to see those clear totes and be able to get what you need quickly. If you want to conceal the closet, Ikea has great rods made of wire. Then you can use whatever fabric you want to hang on them using circular clips. Ikea has such great storage ideas. Looks like you have an exterior door there. I’d paint that white too and put matching white blinds on the door and window. (I know they’re dark because of the photography.) Perhaps you can move the photo station to the closet, freeing up space there for shelves? I really do like your photo area. Wish I had something like that instead of using the dining room table. And lastly, I think I would take all of the fabric I’ve been saving for years for that special project, and relocate it so you would have it when the time comes. Perhaps the garage. Then you would have lots of room for the fabrics that you’re using for your business right now. Oh, and do you really need the interior door? If not, take it off.
    See I can suggest ideas but can’t figure out my own mess! Oh, that was fun!

    • HI Joy,
      I actually have enough room in here, it’s just that it’s in a mess right now. I told my hubby when we first bought the house, that I would not expand my sewing stuff to any other room except my sewing room. If it doesn’t fit in here, I have to get rid of something…otherwise, I’d have my stuff all over the house. Keeping it all in my room, helps me tweak things from time to time and not accumulate so much that it overtakes my room.
      I was looking on the internet last night at some quilters tables and islands with drawers in them. That’s why I went upstairs and looked at the dresser we have…it has 4 drawers in it and is on rollers… so it might work… now to get my hubby to get it downstairs to try it out. I did see some pull out drawers from IKEA that I would love to have but they were pretty expensive to buy! I’ll have to make do with what I have for now… I like having things out of site but still organized…and drawers do that for me!
      That door that you see when the blind on it goes to the outside porch so it has to stay…
      Thanks for all your thoughts…it was fun to see your ideas…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  15. I love Your clutter. I have a basket fettish. As long as I have things in baskets that are labeled I feel organized…well sorta. The Dollar Store Baskets are Wonderful…I have my quilting fabric by color ad Doll repair supplies in them and thread by color..they are so nice..and for just a dollar :0)

    • HI Kathie,
      It’s probably a good thing I can’t drive right now or I’d be going everywhere looking for the perfect solution to my storage needs! I do have some baskets I could use… thanks!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  16. I can never start a sewing project if the wide desk that holds my machine is not cleared of all clutter. I have a walk,in closet that I call the magic closet as I keep finding new space for new things. Our house is small and the magic closet comes in handy. We constantly misplace things and say we waste a lotof time looking for lost items. Not enough room is the bane of downsizing.

    jan M

    • HI Jan,
      My sewing room is about 160 square feet, so it’s plenty big for what I need… I just need to get the right pieces of storage in there to make things work… I’m working on it…
      Thanks so much for your comments!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  17. What can I say? Sewing is a messy hobby. Usually, creating something involves pulling out tubs and baskets and digging through all of them. Every time I get all my fabric folded neatly and on the shelves, the one piece I just have to use is on the bottom of the one of the stacks. Luckily for me, my sewing space is a separate room and I can close the door when company comes over. I badly need to reorganize everything and get it back in order, but I’d much rather use my free time to sew! I know you’ll have yours looking ship-shape as soon as your foot will let you.

    • HI Carolyn,
      I’m just like you… I’d rather sew than spend the time organizing, but this time I had to get it done…or at least started…it was overwhelmingly messy and I just couldn’t think in there.
      Slow and steady she goes….
      Thanks so much Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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