Sunday 15 March 2015

My Sewing Space

Last year I found myself becoming constantly frustrated with my sewing set up, not my equipment mind you, my overlocker is a dream and my brand new Janome sewing machine (thanks, mum and dad) is an utter pleasure to stitch with. No, it was more the location of my sewing that was bothering me, constantly moving things here and there was hampering my productivity and eating away at my enthusiasm. I knew it was about time that I got myself properly organised!

I used to have my sewing space sorted, those of you who have been following my blog for awhile will perhaps remember my old room back in Walthamstow, where I had my dressing table/sewing/computing desk. It was small, a little cramped and with poor light, but having a defined space actually worked pretty well.

But once I moved, despite the extra space, I could not settle on the best place for my sewing endeavours. I resorted to using the kitchen dining table, as the kitchen is the best room for natural light. This has worked quite well for the last few years, but there are problems with sewing in the kitchen. One being that each time I want to cook or eat something, I have to move all the sewing stuff out of the way, usually into the hallway, and if I am lazy and don't move my stuff the smell of food gets into the fabric, which is not ideal.

Another problem is me. I am so easily distracted it's quite ridiculous, I just can't concentrate on sewing or knitting when the flat is untidy, those niggling housework chores keep rolling through my mind while I am trying to work, so the kitchen with its dishes sitting in the sink screaming "forget that hem, wash me, wash me!", the washing machine gurgling and spinning away and a floor that can always do with another wash was distracting me from my task.

Just before Christmas and before my morale sunk any lower (or my house got any cleaner) I started a bit of reorganising. It occurred to me that the best place to set up would be the bedroom, as there was some space under the window which was still just boxes.

I moved my old dressing table from the front room where Beau had commandeered it as his favourite sleeping spot, (he's boycotted the replacement) into the bedroom where I have managed to whittle away most of the boxes that had been languishing there (via eBay, charity and reorganising) creating bit of free space. The desk is now in front of the window where I can make the most of the natural light, the sun hits this room in the early evening, meaning it's the best place for a spot of after work, evening sewing.

My sewing machine and overlocker now have a permanent place side by side, which is honestly fabulous, though I do have to keep remembering to choose the correct presser foot. Also the desk being here means a bit more air can get to the wall, reducing the amount of mould that tends to grow up them (all outside walls are plagued with mould), that is why everything was kept in plastic storage boxes, to protect against the mould - it's glamour all the way here folks!

The new location means in the warmer weather I can make the most of the breeze from the lovely big window and it gives me a good view down the garden, meaning I can keep my eye on the furry one, or should I say, he can keep an eye on me!

What 'cha doing?

One of the best things about my new arrangement is that I can shut myself away from TV temptation, can anyone really sew while watching TV? My multi-tasking skills are just not that good.

I would struggle to absorb myself in my sewing without some music, it has magic powers over my usually wavering attention span, so my beloved record player and my small collection of records, have now found a permanent home on my chest of drawers within easy reach of my desk. I've just got to remember not to open a drawer while it's playing or I'll end up with scratched records.

I have dedicated the wall behind to my inspiration wall, it's a work in progress!

My tailors dummy Vera has found a semi-permanent home on top of my wool chest, which is full, no actually, bursting might be a more appropriate choice of word, I am on a wool buying ban until the lid doesn't have to be weighted down!

Alongside Vera are a few boxes of fabric, there are actually still three full boxes of fabric under the bed, I have even recently sold some off on eBay, almost a box worth! I would dearly love to have a shelving unit here to store all my books and fabrics but sadly because of the mould issue things would inevitably become blackened and ruined within a few weeks, so boxes it is, not as elegant but much more practical.

I decide to make use of my many head scarves by tying them to the back of my chair, it's worked out really well as it has given a much-needed softness to a rather uncomfortable chair, plus they are really easy to untie when needed!

So that's my sewing space I hope you enjoyed having a peek at it, I know I love looking at other people's homes and seeing how they organise things. I also know I am very lucky to be able to dedicate some sewing space like this, it's actually a huge relief to have finally made use of this tricky area, I am even a little annoyed that I didn't think of it earlier, but there was a lot of boxes and stuff to work through so perhaps everything takes the time it needs, oh and please be thankful you didn't see the before photos!

Right, I am off now to actually do a bit of sewing!
Wendy x


  1. Looks great, I love the idea of your head scarves. I have my sewing machine on the kitchen table but I rarely use it. I would love to have a craft room :) I should be on a wool buying ban too but I went shopping yesterday & brought another 2 bags full..... *hangs head in shame* I'm going to make a victory jumper, I've been wanting one for years x

  2. That seems like a great use of space! Your record player is so cute. :D Music always helps me to concentrate as well. What a terrific way to store scarves - good thinkin'! ;)

  3. Lovely space for inspiring, my sewing machine is under the spare bed. I'm starting a course in may on basic pattern interpretation I wish I was as clever as you at sewing but I'm so impatient x

  4. How lovely to have a special place set aside to sew. I have to put everything back each time I sew which breaks the flow.

  5. Out of all athe images, I kept staring at your gramaphone - I must get me one of those! :)
    You sew, girl!
    I know how great it feels like. :)