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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
I picked up the vintage spools from Brooklyn, they are perfect for wrapping trims around. Lint rollers an essential for threads and cat fur.
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.
Thread rack from Amazon and yet more Muji cups and storage.
I save old spools and use them to keep loose bits of bias binding organised.
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.
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…
This is my pride and joy – Muji vertical files to hold frequently used PDF patterns, sorted by garment type. It works so well!
Muji PP drawers under the desk hold printed patterns, and the binder on top is PDF overflow.
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.
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