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Topic: What's a college craftster to do?  (Read 3418 times)
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« on: July 05, 2010 09:32:37 AM »

About a month ago, I returned home from a year living in Peru and was happily reunited with my sewing machine. Since then, I've been sewing pretty much non-stop, with my knitting shoved a little to the side (I taught myself how to knit while living in Peru so I had something to craft. Plus, Peru has alpacas, therefor alpaca yarn and it just seemed like the smart thing to do).
Then yesterday, I got my roommate assignment for college in the fall. And then it hit me: I'm moving out again in a month! I'll have to leave my stash, sewing machine and probably most of my spare time behind in Madison while I live in a dorm in Ohio.
So my question is, what do college craftsters do? Anyone have suggestions? Horror stories of intolerant roommates?

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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010 09:43:36 AM »

some yarn and needles/hooks don't take up much room and it's a great stress buster

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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010 10:33:58 AM »

Take your machine with you!!

Most dorms have the same style of adjustable height bed, and I jacked mine way up (but not so high it was bunked). This will give you a lot more storage than you'd have otherwise, and you can fit several big tubs underneath (I had one for fabric, one for yarn, two more for other storage needs). I just started sewing, so my fabric stash was mainly for decoupage but I had a ton.

If your machine is portable enough to be carried in a carrier, you can stash it underneath your bed as well. Our desks were pretty big in college, so if yours are you will have enough room to set up your sewing station when you're in the mood to sew.

I just really think you should try to take it with you, college is rough and sometimes you will need a mental breather/destresser. When you're frustrated or overwhelmed, it was helpful to me to take a break for an hour or two and do something to unwind. I would be doubly productive afterwards.

Can you talk to your roommate before you move? Our school gave us our roommate contact info in advance so we could talk and decide who was bringing what, etc. Make sure to mention that you can make your room much cuter with your supplies with you, how could anyone say no to that?

Best of luck!!!


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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010 11:19:15 AM »

I'm going to college this year myself, and I'm definitely taking along my sewing machine (her name is Polly and she's older than me).  I also found a mini hand held sewing machine from idk when but it's called the Handy Stitch and something like that would be size appropriate.  If your closet is as tall as mine will be you could probably fit the machine in there.  I also agree that yarn doesn't take up a lot of room

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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010 10:53:59 AM »

Find a crafter roommate.  My last year of college I got an apartment with a fellow crafter, she's amazing.  The apartment was cheap, but we got four rooms for two people.  We each had a spare room to craft in and whatnot.  I know space is limited for you, but find crafters on campus and see what they have available for use. 
Best of Luck!

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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2010 10:40:15 PM »

We each had a spare room to craft in and whatnot. 
Best of Luck!

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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2010 10:37:48 PM »

I also think you should take your sewing machine with you.  Not only is it a way to destress but it can also be a source of extra income.  You could make small things such as wallets or purses or go bigger with those big tote bags that are so in demand now for shopping.  There is always a need for someone to mend a favorite lucky shirt or hem a new (or 2nd hand) pair of jeans.
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2010 10:13:21 PM »

First off... Congratulations on moving to college!

I'm also a college craftster Cheesy I live and work as an RA in a dormitory complex which houses approx. 700 people... and I am not the only craftster! During my work as an RA, we do mid-semester room inspections (looking for hazards, violations, etc.) and I have come across quite a few sewing machines and knitting bags on resident's desks.

I am in a really fortunate position that I have a single room (part of my employment compensation) and our rooms are quite large so I can pretty easily store my fabric stash. Also, with a single room, I have two sets of furniture, so I have a spare desk for my sewing machine and serger.

If you're living in a double though, you'll probably have to sacrifice your desk space for your sewing machine. If you only use your computer on your desk, there are handy laptop carts available at target/ walmart/ etc. for pretty low prices. 

I also bought a TV stand for the TV to clear up my bedside tables as surfaces (I have fish that need somewhere to live, but you could put a laptop on those, too.

Our dorms have wardrobes which provide pretty good storage, and are just the right size to store an 18gallon rubbermaid box on top. I stash my fabric in two of those and store them up top. They're out of the way and the fabric is safe Smiley
like ^^ said, A LOT of dorms have adjustable beds. Some (mine not included) will allow you to bunk or "loft" your bed, and put your desk underneath it. If your college has beds like that, go for it! It opens up a huge amount of space in your room. They may also have adjustable beds that rise up to about boob-height (go with it) and provide a lot of storage space. We have them, and I can easily store several three-drawer units and a few rubbermaids under there. You might consider calling your college's housing office and asking them what type of beds they have. If they're not adjustable, you can buy bed risers at most stores, they're a lifesaver for storing stuff.

Also, from my experience as a student, and as an RA to first-year students... you WILL have spare time. Most of my freshman don't know what to do with all their spare time and many find themselves getting into bad habits like sleeping or playing video games all day. This is why most colleges have first-year interest groups/ clubs and encourage their students to get involved on campus. Using that time wisely is a huge determining factor is a student's expected college success. (*babbles about student development theory, statistics, etc*)

A lot of students also have trouble with understanding their role and feeling like they have a solid identity in college. Being in a new environment (I also chose an out-of-state school) with a whole new group of people... I didn't know where I stood, or how I fit into the community. My sewing REALLY helped me through that. I was able to fall back on my sewing ability as my identity when  I was unsure of myself, and through that, I felt like I had something to relate to and interact with other people (even if some did just ask me to please hem their favorite skirt that their roommate had trashed). I got over the uneasiness and found my place. I'm not sure what I would have done without that.
It's a great way to meet people, too. I made a skirt (simple, A-line knee length skirt) out of super-eye catching piano key fabric, and every time I wear it on campus, someone asks me where I got it. "oh, I made it!" ... "oh, really? that's awesome!... etc"  Smiley

So... (back to the point!) take it with you! It's a shame to leave such a big part of you at home.

Good Luck!!!!! If you have any questions or just want to chat with someone who is/ has been there, PM me!

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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010 07:01:42 AM »

If you have space take your machine and some fabric.  I know I took some precut fabric so it was already to sew when I was in residence.  It can be quite nice to have your machine around. 

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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2010 08:57:31 AM »

I took my sewing machine to college for my first semester and ended up using it only twice. The rest of the time I spent trying to figure out where to hide it, because I definitely didn't want it stolen (my roommate lost her key, so for about a week our door was open to anyone). My jewelry making stuff was a bit more used, and I got into small cross-stitch projects a lot more (baby bibs, etc).
There was definitely space for everything, because our dorm beds could be lifted about two feet, or lofted. You can get a big plastic tote thing for fabric and other crafting supplies and you're good.
As for roommate issues, I didn't really have any. I nearly had a heart attack when my roommate suggested she was going to use my machine (she was a bit of a slob and I wanted her nowhere near it) but that was quickly set straight.

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