My sewing space

Before I start showing you my sewing space, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who responded to my last post. It was a tough couple of days and it was a huge boost for me that so many took the time to send kind words and virtual hugs. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating – sewing people really are the best. I’m feeling much more positive and I’m looking forward to our visitors arriving next week.

You're awesome Bill Murray

Anyway, this is where I sew! Back in London my sewing space was spread over several rooms. My stash was in the study, equipment and patterns on bookshelves on the landing and I did my sewing in the kitchen. I had a lot of stuff and to be honest, it was a ball ache having to lug it all around the flat. It was probably even more of a ball ache for Chris, who practically had to climb over the ironing board just to get a cup of tea.

When we moved to the States we travelled light, bringing just two suitcases each. The voltage is different over here so I knew I’d have to buy new machines, but I didn’t want to buy all new equipment. That meant downsizing my sewing kit considerably. I picked out a few paper patterns, chose a few fabrics from my stash and squeezed essential bits of kit into a wash bag.

Wash bag equipment

All this fit into the wash bag at the back. If you’re travelling anywhere and need your sewing kit, I’d recommend packing it in a wash bag – all the different compartments make it really convenient.

Our new flat is much smaller than in London and came unfurnished (apparently the norm in the US) so we had to think carefully about how we used the space. I was determined to have a sewing space, so I bagsied a corner of the living room where our dining table would go, and hotfooted it to Ikea.

I don’t want to accumulate a lot of stuff while we’re here so I went for the four-section Kallax shelves, telling myself that I wasn’t allowed to expand out of them. That’s one shelf each for my sewing machine, overlocker, patterns and stash. My rulers and cutting mat fit nicely down the back of the shelves, along with my muffling mat which I got for my overlocker, cos, y’know, neighbours. On top of the shelves I’ve got a lamp and a wire basket for my crochet stuff, both from Target. The grey wall (not my choice) means that the corner gets pretty dark so the lamp really does help in the evenings.


Corner shelf

One day I’ll make fancy covers for my machines. The black box is where my stash lives. 

My sewing/dining table is the Norden (looks like Ikea have discontinued it, unfortunately). Typically I use it fully opened out, and if I’m using it for cutting there’s enough floor space to push it out into the room so I can cut from all sides without moving the fabric. The table is right next to the shelves which means that I don’t have far to move my machines when I want them, or I need to put them away when we have dinner.


Sewing table

I tidied up for these shots. Can you tell? 

The best thing about the table, though, is the in-built storage! There are six little drawers between the leaves. I’m only using three at the moment, but they house my threads, tools and notions pretty neatly. I could have left everything in the wash bag – it’s certainly compact, but rooting around in there to find my plastic bag of buttons or my pins was getting to be annoying. I’ve now separated everything out into jam jars (I ate a LOT of jam. It was a tough time) so everything is within easy reach and isn’t messed in with other things. If I need it, I can just lift out the jar and it’s all kept neat and tidy.

Top drawer

My most used equipment is in the top drawer. 

Although it’s not a dedicated room, I’m really happy with my sewing space. It’s easy to keep clean and I’ve got plenty of space spread out if I need to. I like the minimalist approach – it’s made me think about what I actually need rather than what’s nice to have, and should mean that everything’s easy to transport back when we eventually move back to the UK.

What’s your sewing space like? Do you have your own room or do you take over the dining room table?


13 thoughts on “My sewing space

  1. PsychicSewerKathleen says:

    My sewing space is in the living room as well which I like! My machines are right in front of our large window and my cutting table perpendicular to them. I laughed a bit looking at how UNCLUTTERED your space looks – memories of what mine looked like 2 years ago when I was at the beginning of my return to sewing. Sewing has a way of spreading out ALL OVER THE PLACE. It’s crept into dining room and end table drawers, shelving in my husband’s room, under tables. I keep promising myself NOW I STOP but yikes it’s hard. It’s a space hog for sure 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Oh lovely that you have some natural light and can look out on the world while you sew! I did tidy up quite extensively before taking these pics – it’s so much more chaotic when I’m mid-project! Sewing is definitely a space hog, but I think being forced to streamline my kit/stash was a good exercise.

  2. Colesworth says:

    I have the Norden too! I have my sewing machine where yours is and I used to have the overlocker like you but at the moment I have it on the end next to the sewing machine. I love the drawers and have my threads colour sorted into dividers from the hardware store (for nuts and bolts). The rest of the desk is ultra messy right now and well over due for a clean up!!

    • Jo says:

      I think we might not be the only ones with that same table! After years of having stuff all over the place I love how convenient everything is – especially in those drawers. Good luck with that clean up!!

  3. craftycreeky says:

    I’ve gone from a tiny sewing room to a much bigger one when the children fledged, but what ever size my room is I still fill it and overflow onto the landing!! I’ve got two sets of Kallax shelves, one for scraps and one for interlining, batting etc. I try to be organised…

    • Jo says:

      That’s what my old space was like. I kept finding projects I’d forgotten about (and was obviously trying to hide) in random cupboards! I’m not a neat freak by any means but I’m kinda glad I was forced to downsize – feels so much more zen!

  4. Michelle says:

    Jo, I missed your previous post and I’m sorry you went through such a low period, but glad you’ve come out of the other side! Your sewing space is amazing! If only mine could be so focused and uncluttered. You’ve inspired me to have a clear out and stop taking over the house with my sewing stuff! 🤗

    • Jo says:

      Haha, I should have made it clear that it is not normally like that! In the interests of full disclosure maybe I should do another post showing what it’s like mid-project?!

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