Initially, I wanted a Horn sewing cabinet. Something with a custom insert for my machine, a big surface, drawers for storage, etc. After nearly fainting over the cost of those bad boys, I started dreaming of an Ikea hack of some kind. I'd seen several on Flickr and Instagram. After scoping out the build-a-desk area at Ikea, measuring things a zillion times at home, I wound up trekking to Ikea with the family on Saturday after I saw Amy's post about her Ikea sewing table. I usually buy furniture without much thought about what my husband thinks about it, but for this, I needed help and advice. I wasn't sure what would be sturdy and what wouldn't. Turns out he doesn't really either, but that's another story.
|Lots of paper in the Build a Desk section plus cute little pencils meant lots of drawing for the kiddo while the grown-ups talked about furniture|
On my first trip (yes, there are more) to Ikea, I wound up with:
one 59" x 29" table top to put my sewing machine one
one 78" x 24" table top to set up perpendicular to the machine table
one set of drawers to use as a table base
six table legs
During the assembly, we discovered that we needed an extra table leg for the center of the super long table, and that one of the pieces of the drawer unit was broken, so back to Ikea my husband went.
On the second trip to Ikea, we wound up with:
one table leg
a new piece to replace the broken drawer piece
After lots of assembly on Saturday night, I was really excited to start to get things put away. I didn't even think about how the tables would behave when I turned on and used my machine. When I finally did turn it on some time on Sunday, it was bad. The table bowed and shook like there was a huge earthquake. I cried. A lot. I cried because my husband was getting ready to leave for the week so I was going to be stuck with a table I couldn't actually use, I cried because we'd bought all this stuff from Ikea and it just wasn't working the way I needed it to and I was terribly frustrated. And I think more than anything, I cried because I wanted my dad. It's been nearly ten years since he died, and it's still painful. He was the fixer in my family. Cars, furniture, you name it, he made it work. Somehow. And in that moment, I felt like no one was going to be able to make all of this better but him.
I pulled it together, dried my tears, and sent my husband off for work, but being the good man he is, he called his parents (who have a much bigger car), and they came over to let me borrow their car to return the legs and top for the sewing table. I talked with the Ikea staff, and they recommended using a fully wooden table top as well as drawers for the bottom, to provide the most stability. My father-in-law, though, thought that these wooden trestles would be more secure. In the end, I compromised and did one of each, feeling completely unsure what would work.
On my third trip to Ikea, I wound up with:
a pine 59" x 29" table top for my machine
a wooden trestle table base
another set of drawers to use as a table base
I put the trestle and drawers together, and lifted the big wooden table top on top. It looked nice, but that didn't mean much of anything until I turned the machine on. So I did. And the table still shook. Nowhere near as violently as it did before, mind you, but it still shook. Argh. The husband suggested that I swap out the trestle with the other drawer unit that I had with the other top, so I lugged that bad boy over to the sewing table. That helped. But again, there's still some vibration.
The way things stand right now, the set up works, physically speaking. It's big, it's roomy, I've got drawers to store things in, but the darned machine table still seems to vibrate a lot when I sew. Part of me is thinking about putting my machine in my old table to try to compare the amount of vibration, because I seem to recall that it vibrated, too, I just can't remember how much. Does the surface you sew on vibrate?? Ultimately, we were planning on cutting a whole into the table to create a custom drop-in for my sewing machine, but I'm worried that will make things even less stable. So for now, things are staying as is. The husband will be home for the weekend and will hopefully have some ideas how to further stabilize the table.
In the meantime, I'm trying to get things settled and put away. I wrapped up a little block yesterday for Amy/Sukie to send off, and I'm getting ready to work on a lone starburst bee block for Brioni. I'm hoping using some super fun happy fabric will take my mind off all this desk drama. Thank goodness for fabric!