If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be familiar with how often my sewing room is an epic disaster… a sign of good sewing, right? But in a rare moment of tidiness I thought I’d take some pics and give you a little tour. For years I didn’t have a permanent place to sew, but when I moved house 3 years ago the biggest selling point was: enough space for a dedicated sewing room! Such a luxury. It’s about 8 feet by 15 feet and I use every single bit of it.
So here’s where the action happens! I have a really old IKEA glass-top table that’s traveled around the world with me, which has enough space to have my Bernina sewing machine and serger out all the time, which is awesome. I also have a basic back-up machine (a Brother sewing machine that I learned to sew on) that lives in the cupboard, but comes out to visit when I’m jeans making – I put it behind me on the fold-out cutting table. On the left is my newly-acquired plus size form which is totally fab. It needs a bra with chicken fillets to actually resemble me, but having a form with sloping shoulders and a squidgy tummy is the best.
Behind my machines I put up clear pegboard, which holds all my scissors and markers, and then directly to my right (on the shelf under the window) I have all my basic, most-used bits and bobs: a tray with my presser feet and needles, a bobbin holder, and a tray with my seam ripper, screwdriver for changing my machine needles and whatnot. The Gutermann thread rack is hanging on an industrial hook, and it’s so helpful, not to mention a bargain – I recommend stalking Amazon and Overstock to see when they’re available.
Serger thread lives on a thread rack on the wall, and specialty thread like topstitching and silk basting thread is on a little rack on the shelf. You can see my pattern weights to the left – I use washers and some heavy glass coasters my Mum gave me.
I do all my cutting on this collapsible table with two large OLFA cutting mats. I would love a permanent higher-level table but there’s not really space in my room, plus it doubles as a guest bedroom so I need to be able to get the table out of the way. In the meantime it works well, even if I do get a sore back sometimes.
Here’s the other end of the room (with the sewing machines behind me). There’s a fuschia sofabed (can’t go wrong with fuschia) for my friends who get the joy of sleeping in amongst the pins and scraps, and then my mahoosive shelving unit.
Working from the top we have: baskets containing all my interfacing (in zip-loc bags), and all roll-like things are stuck behind. Then, onto the fabric, baby. Lots and lots of fabric. I use the comic book board approach – they’re A4/letter sized bits of cardboard, and you wrap your fabric around them into mini bolts, and then you can store them on their sides in baskets so they’re easy to see and keep in order. Broadly speaking, I’ve divided the fabric up into a knits, silks, coating, quilting cotton and then… well everything else. I try my hardest to keep my fabric tidy but frankly it rarely looks this organized!
Next shelf down I have my patterns in another wire basket, and then a variety of containers containing all my bits and bobs like bias tape, rulers, zippers, buttons, spray starch and elastic. I also have my pressing tools ready to hand.
Sneaking in the corner are all my traced patterns on a clothes rail. I punch holes in all the pieces and then hang them up using these hooks. It’s a great way of keeping everything organized and accessible!
You may be wondering about the curious absence of an iron… well here it is (I moved it out of the way in the other photos, caught redhanded there). I have a great gravity feed Silver Star iron – although it’s a bit of a pain to install (I had my handman put a hook into the ceiling) it’s such a treat to use because it stays hot and steamy for hours and hours at a time. Once you go gravity, there’s no going back…
So that’s me! Where do you sew, dear readers? Do you have a dedicated space or room? Do you have any tips for how to set up your space to work well?
Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links.
Want to get the best curvy sewing and body positivity news delivered to your inbox? Then sign up for the Cashmerette newsletter here!
[yks-mailchimp-list id=”0fd431310d” submit_text=”Submit”]