{I’m finally doing it ~ showing off my re-organized studio!}

When I started sewing ~ almost 3 years ago, I was sewing in the kitchen on our dinner table. Zack & I were living in Michigan and the house we were renting was so teeny tiny. We moved there thinking new career opportunities were going to be birthed, but really — looking back, they were, just not how we originally dreamed. After each project I had to pick everything up and put my machine + notions away. But even though this made for more work, I didn’t mind. Having my own sewing machine to use while learning this new trade made it all so much more exciting, it was worth all the extra work and the fact that I was ‘getting it’ dissolved any thoughts of it being extra work.

And now, almost 3 years later, I truly still feel that way: Owning a handmade business will always be a lot of work; it’s a constant labor of love, but it’s the love I have for it that makes all the hard things easier. Amen? :]

Once Zack & I lost our jobs, back when we were living in Michigan {I’ll be telling more of this story soon, but here’s another link to Part I of my story in case you missed it}, we decided it’d make more sense for me to have a more permanent sewing space. Together we rearranged the office in our teeny tiny house so I’d have a little more room to work. I think I’ll always consider this room of our Michigan house as my first studio ♥ After all, it IS where the signature Gussy Sews ruffle was born — wink!

From there we moved to an apartment in downtown Minneapolis and we moved sewing room into what you may call a Den. This new space was also tiny, but it was so exciting to be working in this space! Once I quit my day job {which was about 15 months ago; click here to see HOW I did it!}, it was clear I’d need more space to spread out and work, so hubby – being the amazing man he is – suggested I move my studio space into the living room. I hesitated for like half a second, because even though we knew it would take up some of our living space, it was pretty necessary we make the change.

We kept my sewing space like that until we moved a little ways from the downtown area, into a neighborhood a couple miles from downtown Minneapolis, which is where we currently live. As quickly as this business bloomed, I also quickly needed more space for it. This move has provided us with a workroom that’s about 11′ x 14′ plus a small closet, as well as an office for me to work in that’s about 8′ x 8′ ~ AND it’s given us a separate packaging room, about 5′ x 6′. This packaging room is the newest addition to my business.

About a month ago Zack and I had another transformational talk, which is what lead us to this major studio re-arrange. Not only is the studio much more efficient to work in, but like I mentioned above, we now have separate space for packaging. YEOW!

Want to know something kinda silly? The feelings of how excited I was when we moved into this house is something that hasn’t left me. The extra bedroom that we transformed into my studio used to seem SO LARGE ~ when we moved in I barely had enough furniture to fill the room, so for the first few months it sat awkwardly. Nothing like a little awkwardness to make a memory fun, right? ;]

It quickly filled and soon turned into this:

Which clearly wasn’t working. Once again, it was awkward and hard to move around in. And let’s be honest… Christmas will be here in just a few short months and there was NOT room for an extra helper to work in there.

So a few weeks ago, I got to work. Everything came out, the floors were washed, and back in went most things.

It was so fun to rearrange my little collections in new ways. Things I’ve gathered over the years and gifts friends have sent my way. This print is from one of the first blog friends I made, Becca, it’s a quote from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory ~

This red basket is something I picked up while spending the afternoon with my favorite Molly. Talk about God giving you the sweetest friend you could ever imagine… ♥ And inside the basket is just a sampling of the spools we’ve emptied. Molly also gave me these vintage patterns. And over there, in the far left corner, is a piece of vintage quilt {heirloom} that my mother-in-law embroidered for me — it reads, Gussy’s Sweat Shop ~

Here are some links to a couple tutorials I wrote, on how to finger knit and how to make garland from fabric-covered spools. See, I told you we go through spools quickly… tee hehe.

And this is MY BABY, my first ever sewing machine {and my most favorite sewing machine, shhhh!}. This machine is so strong and powerful… it’s a keeper!

Another blog friend, beautiful Casey, painted this duo for me ~

And this custom typography piece is from Dee of Red Letter Words. She and her husband are SO KIND and actually live really close to my hometown. Dee had me list words I wanted her to use, she even matched the canvas color to the exact shade of pink we use with the Gussy Sews brand. I heart Dee!!!

This is what my studio looks like right now…

{and I love love love it!}

But part of me hesitates to show this because I know it’ll change in a few months. But like my pal The Nester says, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Or functional. This room is so much more functional, it’s almost insane. And to think I *just now* realized how truly better it could be for my little biz. My hope is to put a round table in the middle for another small workstation.

And of course, this room has already changed a little since I took these photos. All of the packaging supplies have moved to another room so it’s a little bit less cluttered in here.

Here’s my most favorite part about re-organizing the studio, the biggest change we did to the studio space: a 6′ x 6′ storage shelf, which is P E R F E C T for organizing all the fabric, fabric scraps, to-be-sewn orders, even a few pre-cut items. Once it was built it took me about three minutes to have all the bins assigned and filled up ;]

We bought 2 of these shelves {from Home Depot} to make one large shelf.



OK, so I’m dying to know — what are your best-kept organizational secrets? Share ‘em below!

Mine would be to keep things you use close-at-hand, and to not be afraid to build UP for more space, instead of cluttering the edges of a room by building OUT.

xoxo.

{*new* clutch prints + studio pics}

Hi friends!
A few weeks ago we added a new product to the shop, the Clutch ~ it doesn’t have a wrist strap and it’s larger than our wristlet/clutch. Because of the new size {and super cute rounded corners}, our clutches can take you on a totally new adventure! Sounds fun, right? :]

Right now we have 3 yellow ruffle clutches…

new clutches: Peonies in Pink, Gray & Yellow Floral, Painted Leaves


And 1 turquoise ruffle clutch…

Sweet Alabama clutch.


We introduced the Sweet Alabama print a while back and the response to this item is what MADE me come up with 3 new prints. You’re welcome *wink*.

Remember when I showed you all that can fit inside our wristlet? Click the video below to see!!

2 new Gussy products in our SPRING line — www.shopgussy.com from gussy sews on Vimeo.

Well… you can fit even MORE inside our clutch. Below I have my wallet, iPhone, ear buds, chapstick, keys + sunglasses. You could swap the sunglasses for a small toy for your babe. [Or you could use it for jewelry, so cute!]

*


I took this pic of my studio this morning ~ do you see all the sunlight pouring in?! Gorgeous! My favorite part of this room is that it has 4 *big* windows. When the weather is nice we have a lot of natural lighting in here… it’s a very fun room to work in :]

Here’s an angle of my Kenmore sewing machine, that I rarely see ~ it sews like an industrial machine! I love it!!! And guess what?!?! Soon I’ll be showing you my new machine {skips around the house}. I can’t wait. You’re going to loooove it. Maybe you’ll want it, for yourself? If so… maybe we can make that happen. *Be sure and come back later to find out what I’m talking about. Tee he he!*

Working with new fabric prints for the shop…

Have I mentioned how much I love this pair of shoes? It’s muh favorite pair. Bought them at Target ♥.

Thanks for touring my studio! :] I feel like it changes as often as the months go by. New pretties to hang on the wall, some times a new structure for how we work…
XO.