Trading in my sewing tools, temporarily...


Sadly friends, you won't be seeing any finished sewing posts from me for a while. I've alluded to buying a house before and having finally got the keys two and a half weeks ago, I've had to trade in my sewing tools for the rather barbaric-looking ones above...and then some! Although we don't move in until Tuesday, we've been putting in some crazy hours to decorate - either 12 hour days on weekends, or during weekdays, a couple of hours before work and even more after.

It's been an exhausting, and at times, frustrating journey, but ultimately very rewarding now that we can see it all coming together nicely. What pains me most though, is having absolutely no time to sew...or to even plan out projects. Before we embarked on this adventure, I insisted on leaving my sewing room unpacked for as long as possible, convinced I'd be able to sneak in the odd cheeky hour now and then. I was so wrong! But, at least it's all temporary until we've moved and my new sewing room is set up.

Now, I don't have the skills, experience or inclination to turn this into a DIY blog. However, I thought some of you might be interested to see what's been keeping me away from sewing. Plus, I've promised to document parts of our process here for friends and family...apologies in advance if you couldn't give a monkey's!
Hilariously, all this time and effort we've put in has been for just one room...the living room. We figured if we transform this into a stylish sanctuary, we won't mind tackling the rest of the house much more slowly. As with any older house (ours is Victorian, built approximately in 1905), things are never simple. Altogether we replaced the radiator, demolished ugly built-in cupboards, exposed uglier gas and electric metres, built slimmer-line cupboards for the metres, stripped layers of painted-over wallpaper, re-plastered parts of the walls, sanded the walls, sealed the walls, painted the skirting boards white, refreshed the cornices, sanded the wooden floor and filled/sealed endless nooks and crannies.

I hope you agree that the stripped back room is already looking fresher and lighter. We've since painted the walls and have the floor varnish left to apply, so I'll make sure to share some 'after' photos too.



All this is not to say that our house is in need of total renovation. In fact, it's in lovely condition and well-decorated, but I guess we want to put our own stamp on it and freshen in up a little. And there are so many beautiful original features that we fell in love with in the first place.












Anyway, sorry to bore you all with this! I just wanted to explain the absence of finished sewing projects on my part. I'm still reading/commenting on blogs as much as possible and you're all making me itch to get back in the sewing seat!

Have you ever been forced to take a sewing break? How did you get your sewjo back?

103 comments:

  1. Best of luck with this rad new adventure! When we're doing lots of reno work sewing take a back seat but then when we slow renos it picks back up. Welcome to the world of home ownership- such fun!

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I have a feeling exactly the same will happen to me too!

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  2. Not boring at all! Bring on more decorating posts! Congratulations on your new home - my goodness, but doesn't it look beautiful!

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  3. Good luck with your house! It's looking great so far.

    Still being in high school, I seem to be forced to take a sewing break every time school starts up again! I spent so much time sewing this summer that it was a bit of a shock to find myself with no spare time to sew. Usually, once I get back into it, I can plan so that I have time to sew, but at the start I just feel too overwhelmed to sew at first. (And yes, I know everyone out there with degrees are probably shaking their heads and laughing.)

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    1. Thanks Shannon, we need! Hope school is treating you well and you're managing to get a spot of sewing time in as well ;o)

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  4. Your home is lovely, thank you for sharing the photos! I look forward to seeing the updates :)

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  5. I'm sure we all have a soft spot in our hearts for beautiful Victorian homes with a DIY bent. Stunning details! Plus we're all friends here -- and friends wanna see where you live (and eventually sew). Seems like your work will really pay off. Good luck and please continue to share your progress!

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    1. Thanks a million Andrea, you're such a love!

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  6. Ooh fancy! How did you learn to DIY? (I'm scared of it haha!). It looks marvelous, well done and keep going- there will be time for sewing soon, eh! :D

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    1. Thanks Johanna! We've literally learned as we went/go alone...we've never done anything like it at all! We've had some excellent advice and help from the boyfriend's dad too!

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  7. Good luck! Those fireplaces are just to die for!!!

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  8. Oh, your new house looks lovely! I love all those little details. And good for you for jumping on the remodeling. My husband and I bought our house last year with the intent to redecorate, but haven't found the time yet. (Plus despite the fact we normally agree on everything ,it seems we don't agree on paint colors. At all.)

    I'm on a hiatus from sewing as well, probably through December. Things have gotten quite hectic at my job, but it's also pretty interesting work so I can't complain. I do find time for a little drawing now and then so I'm not entirely without creative release!

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Andrea! We're only tackling this one room for now and fingers crossed we don't lose momentum with the rest. Funny you should say that about paint colour disagreements...it turns out my boyfriend and I can't agree on furnishings...I like vintage/retro and he's not keen!

      Glad to hear your busy job is interesting at least...can't wait to see you sewing again though ;p

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  9. My husband and I have spent the last two years looking for a home in the Washington DC area... And it's been a roller coaster, and generally very frustrating process. So thank you for allowing me to lurk vicariously at your beautiful new home! Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you and you're very welcome! I wish you all the best in your house hunt!

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  10. Congratulations on the house1 I have to ask--what do you use the spiky roller thing for?

    Rose in SV

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    1. Thanks Rose! I'd never seen one of these spiky things until buying a house and I tell you, it's been a lifesaver. Basically, if you plan to strip wallpaper that has been painted, you go over the walls with the spiky thing first. This punctures the paint and allows the steam to get to the wallpaper. I was dubious as to whether 'gadgets' like this work, but after trying it with and without...it definitely does work!

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  11. Not bored at all, show me more! :) Am also on an involuntary sewing break because my beloved machine Bernie is at the doctors the coming two weeks. And my head is buzzing of plans and I have two half-finished dresses!

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    1. Oh no! Hope Bernie's as good as new soon!

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  12. all those details! i can see why you fell in love... please share your adventures in decorating/renovating, i'd love to see more! i,m very admiring of you putting all this effort in one go. we are still working on (and very far from finished!) decorating our apartment we bought over a year ago!

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    1. Thank you! Don't worry...all this effort is just for one room. We'll be taking a break until tackling more ;o)

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  13. I'm renovating too, so I know your dilemma :) I start and stop sewing depending on how much the renos are costing, if I need to cut back on spending on the house I start sewing again :) Sometimes I sew things for the house too, curtains, cushions etc. I would love to see your after pictures too.

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    1. Thank you, I'll definitely share the finished photos too! Good luck with your renovations!

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  14. Wow, you are so lucky to find a place with all those original features.Love the fireplaces.Have fun getting it the way you want.

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  15. So exciting to be re-decorating a new home. Yours looks beautiful and some of those original features are just gorgeous. I think you are right to get one room finished properly and then you have a sanctuary whilst you get on with the others.
    Good luck with the renovations - like other commenters I would be really interested to see more posts on your progress.
    And I am sure that when the time comes you will just slip right back into sewing!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words!

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  16. Marie your new house looks brilliant - so many lovely features! I definitely want to see your progress with doing it all up. Good luck!

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  17. Your new house looks like it has some gorgeous features! Can't wait to see a bit more if you share. And don't you fret. All your readers will be still here when you get back to sewing :-)

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  18. Ooh, what a beautiful home - such character! I'm looking forward to seeing how you make it yours!

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  19. This is a great opportunity to make your house your home.
    All the best. It looks like a wonderful home.

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    1. Thanks so much...that's the intention ;o)

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  20. Will miss your sewing projects, but good luck on the house. It will all be worthwhile in the end and just think how fabulous it will be to start sewing again in your new surroundings.

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  21. I love your home-refashion! please keep on blogging about it, your new home is lovely!

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  22. congratulations on your beautiful new home (our house was pretty much in the same state of stripped walls, etc for ages - but it's coming together now)! gaahhh - I'm so envious of all the lovely Victorian detail! I'm currently still on an enforced sewing break (though am knitting instead!). I'm hoping the get the sewing room more or less functional by the end of this weekend - can't wait!

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    1. Oooh, glad to hear all's going well with your renovating/decorating! Hoping you share some photos too ;o)

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  23. Oh you have a bay window ! So jealous.. do keep us posted.. you have some gorgeous fixtures and would love to see the end result (we are all sticky beaks at heart ;) )

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! I love the phrase you use...sticky beaks!!!

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  24. This is going to be so amazing when you guys are settled. It looks fabulous now! Congratulations, Marie xxx

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  25. Congratulations! It's beautiful, that tiling - delicious!

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  26. Oh, I'd love to see MORE of the house! It's just gorgeous, and where I'm concerned Andrea is perfectly right, I have a huge soft spot for Victorian houses! =)
    Moving can really put a lid on the sewing - I barely touched my machines during August. Then I was just moving between condos, can't imagine having a house to renovate as well... My problem was when I could start sewing again I had too many ideas and I was a bit daunted at the prospect of choosing and making a priority-list. I still feel I'm exactly that month behind in my sewing!
    Good luck with the house fixing, and I hope you'll soon have your sewing room up and running again!

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    1. Thank you Erika! I'm so behind on all my sewing plans, so I think I have to just accept that and be flexible...which is tricky to say the least!

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  27. HOLY COW THAT IS A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE!!! Congrats Marie! So jealous of all those (working?) fireplaces!

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    1. Thanks lady! Nah, not fully working...but we're looking into it ;o)

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  28. WOW, lovely home! I think those details that make an older home unique are well worth dealing with the problems that come with. I grew up in a bedroom with a large bay window, and I have never forgotten it. It was a lovely room, and I was almost always happy in it! Good luck with your adventure.

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    1. Thank you, I think you're right! Having a bay window in your bedroom growing up must have been amazing!!!

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  29. Oh my gosh! Congratulations on your new home!! It looks like an absolute beauty, and I can't wait to see your progress! Keep us updated!

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  30. Oh, Marie, this looks so beautiful! Happy new home!

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  31. Good luck with all the improvement projects! Your house looks absolutely gorgeous. Ours was built in 1900, but it's tiny and only a few of the original design elements are intact.

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    1. Thanks Evie! Why doesn't it surprise me that you live in an older home? Hehe!

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  32. What a beautiful house. All those fireplaces and features are making me swim. It's gonna be a wonderful home and I'm sure the start of an even more epic sewing odyssey :)

    xxx

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  33. This is so exciting Marie! Your house looks beautiful. Good luck with it all! x

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  34. It's going to be awesome when it's finished. Love those fireplaces. Hope you'll be very happy there.

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  35. oooh I can't wait to see the finished photos!!

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  36. What a pretty house! Those before and after photos of the living room are amazing! It looks like a whole new - refreshed room.

    I'm in the middle of financing phase of buying a house - also an old victorian (1885-ish) and it needs LOTS of work too. I wish you ever bit of luck with remodeling/moving & will be happy to see you back to sewing-blogging when you're able to again.

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    1. Thanks a lot Liz...good luck with yours...hope you let us know how it all goes!

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  37. Ooh, it's going to be lovely! Shows so much promise... Big congrats!
    Have you picked out which corner your photos will be taken in when you do start sewing and have things to show us again, though?! ;)

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    1. Haha, you know me so well Tania! Photos were the first thing I thought about when viewing the house...now I have to try out a few different places and see what works best ;o)

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  38. Congratulations! Your house is beautiful! I especially love that someone put a skirting board in the middle of a fire surround!

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    1. Haha, you are eagle eyed! The skirting board around the fireplace is strange but true!

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  39. Please keep posting photos! I am nosy and want to see everything! haha :)

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  40. I for one adore seeing pictures like these... houses from that period of time make me swoon with their high ceilings, fire places, architraves and window boxes. I'm sure all the work will be well worth it - it looks to me like your living room will be a fabulous place to be once done! I hope you both enjoy the process :)

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  41. Would love to see more photos! And yes, it has lots of beautiful original pieces!

    I'm just getting my sewjo/sewing mojo back after being pregnant, and having a baby (probably 18 months of all up 'meh' toward sewing) and my sewing room is now the dumping room, so there's stuff everywhere! My advice is to set your sewing room up as SOON as you move in/or it's ready! Also, don't have a baby for at least 2 years of moving in. They are just so beautiful you want to look at them and not sew! xoxoxo

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    1. Thanks for the wise words...I'll try and take heed! Fingers crossed my sewing room will be up and running by the end of the weekend...and no babies planned just yet ;o)

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  42. Happy to see renovation photos. Not only am I nosey but we are also renovating (ours will take years), our bungalow was built in the 1920's and there are a lot of problems to fix. We also have a very large garden, unsurprisingly this also needed lots of work. The garden grinds my sewing to a halt, we are growers and this is time consuming in the better months, then of course there is all the harvesting and storing!! Your house looks fab, I love Victorian properties.

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    1. Wow, sounds like you have your hands full with a beautiful property!

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  43. I don't know about you, but it's always nice to see before and after pictures, even if the house is not yours to start with. Especially if the house is as interesting and charming as this one! Shabby chic in all its splendour (in the photos with the walls and floor all stripped out)!!!
    I am sure that it is all too tiring, trying to put all the things together, but in the end, the result will be very rewarding!
    Kisses!

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    1. Thanks so much Elpida mou! It is very tiring and I'm itching to get back to sewing...but it's also rewarding to see your hard work paying off!

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  44. Congrats!! It's gorgeous.

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  45. Your house looks lovely. I hope you do better than I did. We bought our house (built in 1895 and completely derelict) in 1990 when I was four months pregnant. We had to move in (house cost a fortune, couldn't afford to live elsewhere) and my husband assured me it would take a year to complete. We had no laundry or indoor toilet and I said I wasn't coming home from hospital after giving birth unless there was a bathroom. Well, I would have been there for months! Anyway, after much work it's lovely, but 24 years later it's still not finished and will now be a retirement project! Good luck with yours!

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    1. Oh dear goodness...that's a long time in the making! But, what an incredible journey you've been on - certainly you have a house for life ;o)

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  46. Ooh how exciting! It looks like an awesome house. I can't wait to see what you guys do with it.

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    1. Thanks Kat, hopefully we'll do it justice!

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  47. Right next to fabric DIY, house DIY is what I love to look at! I can't believe your house is this gorgeous and I do hope you show us more. We are all DIY, are we not????

    How I long for a house like this -- I know I was born in the wrong place!

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    1. Haha, glad to hear it! And yes, you're right...we are all DIY!

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  48. Oh my goodness, how exciting!! Congrats on the new house! It's just gorgeous from the looks of it. That fireplace is phenomenal! I'm so excited to see more of your progress as you go along.

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    1. Thank you Tasha! Funnily enough, I've loved following along with the remodelling and decorating of your beautiful home too!

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  49. Just catching up. That looks just my cup of tea! Love a Victorian pad and original features. Happy new home!!!!

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  50. Oh I swoon. I love Victorian. My dream home. Please share every detail!

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  51. how exciting!!! Some beautiful features and the light through your bays looks pretty magical too! Have fun putting your stamp on it Marie!
    Px

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