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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?