Sewing room tour

Despite always finding it interesting to take a peek into other people’s sewing spaces to get inspiration on how to improve my own set up, I have never shown my own sewing room on this blog. In February I spend a couple of days doing a much needed clean up and decided that would be a good moment to also take some pictures of the room. It is usually not as tidy, but since taking these pictures I’ve been pretty good at keeping it in this condition.  

I am lucky to have a large space to use as a dedicated sewing room. When we bought our house a little over 6 years ago I sewed very often and a proper sewing room was very high on my list of requirements. This room is on the top floor of our house and while the ceiling is slanted it does not really reduce the amount of usable space since the roof only starts about a meter up from the floor. I can stand upright in most of the room. The large window provides a lot of natural light and the high ceiling makes it feel very roomy. I love this room.

My sewing machines are on a large IKEA desk. I usually have it set up like this with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 on the right, the Janome 3160 QDC in the middle and the overlocker on the left. I absolutely love being able to use two sewing machines at the same time. I mostly use the 3160 for piecing quilt tops and then use the 9400 for quilting or garment sewing. It saves a lot of time changing threads and needles when I am working on different projects at the same time which is nearly always. Next to the sewing machines I have some containers in which spools of thread are stored and some often used notions and accessories for the 9400.

Our old dining room table holds my cutting mat. I find it ideal that I can walk around the table to cut or mark things from every side. At some point I’d like to raise the table so I don’t have to bend down to cut fabric but at the moment I’m also occasionally using this table to work from home so that’ll have to wait a little while longer. Next to the cutting table I put my dress form. I’m not making a lot of clothes for myself these days so I am not using it all that often. It’s a good space to store measuring tapes though.

My ironing board is set up next to the basin. This is mostly due to how the sockets are distributed across the room. Ideally it would be a bit closer to the sewing machines so I wouldn’t have to walk back and forth so much.

On one side of the room a previous owner installed some shelves and a built in closet with sliding doors. The shelves hold my sewing books and patterns. The build in closet is really deep so I can store huge amounts of stuff in there and to be honest the contents of this closet are only semi-organized. This is certainly a part of the room that could still do with some improvement. This closet contains large things like batting and fabric yardage, both quilting cottons and apparel fabrics, but also several coats that we’re not using because they’re out of season and lots of other random stuff that I may or may not need at some point. Above the closet I installed a curtain rod to display the mini quilt and quilted postcards that I received in swaps from fellow members of the DutchMQG so I can enjoy looking at them when I’m sewing. It also holds many artworks created by my daughter while she was playing in this room as I was sewing.

On the other side of the room I put 3 IKEA MALM chests of drawers. The left one currently holds sewing machine accessories and notions like elastics, interfacing and overlocker thread. The middle one contains smaller cuts of quilting fabrics like fat quarters, layer cakes and jelly rolls. The one on the right is a more jumbled collection of yarn, apparel fabrics and miscellaneous stuff. The two on the left are lower so I can store sewing machines that are not in use on top to create more space on my sewing desk when needed. Next to the chests of drawers there are also two large containers that hold a lot of fabric. One container contains woven fabrics for either bag making or clothing, the other container mostly contains knit fabrics. At some point in the past all my fabric fit in those containers. Imagine that! This was prior to my taking up quilting seriously.

Fat quarters somewhat organized by colour. I obviously don’t get too obsessed about this.

One downside of the slanted ceiling and the big window is that there is not a lot of straight wall space that can be used for a design wall. The only space where it fits is in between the door and the basin. The design wall is just a piece of white flannel with a hanging rod at the top and a smaller rod at the bottom to keep it hanging straight. I sometimes would like it to be a bit wider but most of my quilts fit well on this size.

By nature I am not a super tidy person. I’ve found that the trick to keeping your sewing room organized is to have a dedicated place for each item so you know where to put it back after using it. Yes, this probably seems very obvious, but it has made a huge difference for me in being able to find that specific ruler or fabric marker that I need. I am still super happy with the mobile pegboard that I came up with several years ago. I use it to store my rulers, scissors, rotary cutters, markers/pens, bobbins, even more spools of thread and works in progress. The tutorial for the mobile pegboard is currently the most popular post on my blog and I sometimes wonder how many of these are already residing in other people’s sewing rooms.

During the clean up I realized that I still don’t really have a good spot for storing my hand sewing supplies and that is something I will need to fix because currently I am just moving these items from one place to the next which is a well-tested recipe for creating chaos. One thing piles on top of each other and before I know it complete table surfaces have turned into mountains of stuff.

I’d also like to get a better container for storing scraps. They’re now in 2 open containers on the floor. A situation grown from sewing with my daughter so she could easily grab the fabrics that she wants to use but it is messy. Something with a lid is probably a better idea.

Well, this post turned out much longer than I expected. Do you also enjoy peeking into other people’s sewing rooms?

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Week 16/2020: What’s on my design wall

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With my kids at home all the time I am finding it difficult to find time for creativity. Well, apart from drawing and glueing with my daughter that is, but somehow that’s just not the same as using thread to put colourful pieces of fabric together.

Today, however, I found the solution. My husband and I both have a room on the top floor of our house. His is mostly used for working from home. Mine is filled with sewing related stuff, but I also use it for work. Our kids don’t really spend a lot of time on this floor. Now, however, we are spending so much more time at home and it’s a bit weird that mom and dad go upstairs to work instead of somewhere else. As a result our 3 year old daughter is spending a bit more time in those rooms now. She loves my husband’s whiteboard and finds my mowing machines fascinating (in Dutch the work for sewing machine (naaimachine) is even closer to mowing machine (maaimachine).

Today she noticed some improv trees I had up on my design wall and she really liked them. They are not for her though, which she found a bit disappointing. I suggested that we could make her some trees and she found that a very good idea. I let her pick fabrics from my scrap bag and only guided her in a different direction when she picked scraps that were too small. I just love what she put together. It’s bright, it’s happy and we are going to make more tomorrow. I intend to turn them into a wall hanging for her room.