Category Archives: Sewing room

Sewing room rejig

I last shared my sewing space back in 2015. Nothing has massively changed but between Christmas and the new year we had a clear-out, reshuffle and redecorate so I thought I’d take some new photos!

The most noticeable change perhaps is my new greeeeen wall (even though it looks more blue in the photos for some reason). This was quite a rash decision and I didn’t even sample the colour or anything; luckily I like it and it only took a few hours to paint. I may take my project photos in here from now on as the light is really nice in this room, so expect to see plenty more of it soon.

The plywood desk and shelving unit I had made back in 2015 are still holding up well. I painted the backboards of the shelves white as they always looked quite overbearing in the ply; they blend much better into the wall now. I’ve moved my fabric into a separate unit as having stuff boxed away looks tidier up here. The lower shelves hold frequently needed stuff like interfacing and machine feet, and up top is lesser used stuff like quilt batting. My PDF patterns are stored as before in Muji divider files.

The deep compartmented drawers I designed for the desk are so useful for all those bits and pieces you need on hand: chalk, safety pins, fastenings and so on. I also kept my trusty sewer’s friend the Ikea Raskog trolley to store bulkier things like threads and pressing hams. The clip LED light is useful for detail work, especially as my overlocker light is blown and I don’t know how to change it, ha ha.

The other larger thing we changed is moving the trundle bed we used to have here into the other spare room and making this a joint ‘hobby room’ for Josh and me. Josh homebrews so he needs a lot of kit as well, which is in this chest and tucked to the other side of it – there’s an ugly but necessary black fridge and a load of unphotogenic demijohns, ha. Still there’s more floor space now which is really useful for cutting out large projects.

I had this little unit already, it stored books before but it’s the perfect width to store fabric. Each length is wrapped around a comic book board to keep it tidy. The lower shelves hold scraps, PDF overflow and back issues of my beloved Threads magazine.

I’m really pleased with how the little refresh turned out, it’s already motivating me to sew more! The days are slowly getting longer and brighter as well so hoping I can get back into taking project photos as it’s been ages since I shared anything. It’s been so long that WordPress’s post editor has changed which is taking some getting used to, anyone else finding it a bit difficult?! Hope you liked seeing my room anyway and ask if you have any questions!

Sources
Desk and shelves: made locally
Paint colour: Leyland trade, mixed in-store (no name, sorry!)
White box shelves: Argos
Peg board: Block Design
Boxes: mostly old Ikea
PP storage drawers and files: Muji
Chest of drawers: Ikea
Rug: La Redoute
Wall art: Laurie Maun, Tom Abbiss Smith, Alex May Hughes & vintage
Trolley: Ikea


My sewing space

Sewing room

Good morning! I spent the weekend doing a bit of sewing, but also doing a few final jobs in my sewing room, to the point where I think I can call it ‘finished’. I thought I’d share a little room tour, since I always love seeing where other people sew.

Sewing room

This room has been a long time coming… it’s always been a multi-purpose sewing room, study, and occasional guest room, but a few months ago we knocked down a wall that separated it from the corridor leading to the back door. The extra 12 or so sq ft made a world of difference, and while having the back door lead right into a room isn’t ideal it did have the benefit of adding another natural light source to the space.

Sewing room

My keyword for this room was basically STORAGE. To that end, I did a lot of shopping in Ikea and Muji, and had a custom desk and shelving unit made by a local carpenter. It’s so nice to finally have a desk big enough to have both my machines out together – before I would be lifting one of the way to work with the other.

Sewing room

I’m asked fairly often, by the way, what machines I use – a Janome DC 3050, and a very old Toyota overlocker. My sewing machine sits on a silicon baking mat – great to prevent slips and skids and cut down on noise! I made the mat under my overlocker, which is even more cushioned and great for sticking pins in.

Sewing room

The shelves above the desk use up some awkward alcove space and hold my main fabric stash, which these days I’m trying to keep quite small (I’m basically at full capacity now).

Sewing room

All the fabric is wrapped onto mini ‘bolts’ – actually comic book backing boards. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to keep this up long-term but seeing my fabric so tidy and unwrinkled when I want to use it is a big motivator to keep things ship-shape.

Sewing room

I picked up the vintage spools from Brooklyn, they are perfect for wrapping trims around. Lint rollers an essential for threads and cat fur.

Sewing room

I try to keep the desk surface as clear as possible: I find that stuff has a habit of flying off the sides as you’re moving fabric around and losing your unpicker all the time is really not fun. So I pushed everything onto wall shelving – this unit, the pegboard and my trusty sewer’s friend, the Ikea Raskog trolley.

Sewing room

Thread rack from Amazon and yet more Muji cups and storage.

Sewing room

I save old spools and use them to keep loose bits of bias binding organised.

Sewing room

Over on the other wall is the guest bed (an IKEA Brimnes), which as well as trundling out to a double size also has very handy large drawers underneath. They’re obviously stuffed full already – bulky stuff like quilt wadding and those boring alterations projects I keep putting off, mostly.

Sewing room
Sewing room

This Argos box shelf at the foot of the bed unit holds my sewing books, PDF patterns and fabric overflow – bulky and off-season stuff mostly. Behind that are my cutting mats hanging on a hook (all my cutting happens on the floor in here). Yes, that’s an unfinished quilt with pins still in on the end of the bed…

Sewing room

This is my pride and joy – Muji vertical files to hold frequently used PDF patterns, sorted by garment type. It works so well!

Sewing room

Muji PP drawers under the desk hold printed patterns, and the binder on top is PDF overflow.

Sewing room

The iron and board live behind the door. I make my own covers and change them whenever they get tatty (ie this one soon) – current fabric is from Miss Matatabi.

Sewing room

Phew, that turned out quite long for such a small room. Here are some quick tips I’ve amassed that help me with staying organised in my sewing space.

> Use vertical space effectively: tiered trolleys, wall shelves, hooks and pegboards hold a ton and keep floor space free.

> Give everything a dedicated home, ideally away from your main sewing surface. Keep regularly used stuff closer and organise lesser used stuff accordingly.

> Tidy up between sessions. Yup, even though I’m lucky to have a dedicated space and can leave things out, I do tidy everything away when I’m done sewing for the day – putting tools away, cleaning the carpet of threads, stashing leftover scraps. It’s much easier to find everything easily when I pick up next time and means you avoid that off-putting bomb-site effect when things get out of hand.

> Clear out regularly. Perhaps as a result of doing the Konmari method, I get a bit stressed when I have too much stuff hanging around. I’ve got much better at keeping my stash in check, both at the buying point and getting rid if I feel I’m unlikely to ever use something. That applies equally to fabric yardage, scraps, patterns, tools and notions: use it (or have a plan to use it) or lose it.

Sources for my room:
Bed, trolley, picture ledges – Ikea
Pegboard – Block Design from Monoqi
Shelving and desk – custom made locally
Metal shelves – Tomado via Monoqi
PU drawers, files, canvas boxes – Muji
Ironing board hanger – Argos
Bedding – Primark
Blinds – made by my mum from Nani Iro fabric; roller blind on door from Tuiss