A few weeks ago – when I was sharing my new thread storage system – Carolyn commented that she couldn’t recall seeing my sewing room. So today I thought that I’d take you all on a tour!
Like many of you, I used to sew on the dining room table. My fabric was stored in plastic boxes under the bed, and whenever I wanted to sew I would set up the machine on the table, use the floor for cutting out, and stitch away. It was always my dream that one day I would have a dedicated sewing room. When we extended our house almost seven years ago and added a second floor we incorporated a large open upstairs area that would be just what I had always dreamed of – my own sewing room, with build in shelving, a cutting table, and somewhere that I could leave all my sewing stuff set up without any need to pack it all away. So here it is, at the top of the stairs!
When you get to the top of the stairs, you can go left down a small corridor with a bathroom, store room and bed room leading off it, or you can go right straight into my sewing room. So this is looking west straight across the top of the stairs. You can see that my sewing room has loads of natural light. In fact, it has very little wall space. The east “wall” is actually the staircase landing/corridor, the south wall has windows across most of it, the west wall has a window too – plus enough wall space for my pinboard – and the north wall is all cupboards.
As you can see, I’m pretty well set up. Reverse cycle air conditioning, television and DVD player, Horn sewing cabinet that has always been open ever since I bought it, ironing board and iron permanently set up, cutting table. The covered sewing machine is Clare’s; my overlocker sits beside my sewing machine, and both are used so often that they never get covered! Let’s take a look at the north wall.
Four cupboards right across the wall (there’s a corridor to the right). There’s my small “design wall” for quilting projects (that one has been there for over a year) and a full-length mirror. The boxes in front of the mirror are my current in-progress boxes. I’ll talk about them more later. What you really want to see is what is behind those cupboard doors, isn’t it?
The far left door, behind the quilting, holds the kids craft supplies plus photo albums from years past. But these two centre ones? The left hand side drawers all hold patterns. Yes, four drawers worth – and they are crammed full. The drawers on the right hold notions – elastics, bindings, ribbons, trims, buttons, and other sewing paraphernalia. The shelves hold sewing books, other craft books and magazines, and fabric. The left hand side has garment fabric, the right hand side has quilting fabric (and bag-making and other specialty items). The top shelf on the right, right up high, holds stretch fabrics for garments. There is a pile of prints, a pile of stripes, and a pile of kid designs.
And in the far right cupboard we find interfacings and waddings, more stretch fabrics and craft books up the top, and patterns on cardboard hanging up. Lots of bits and pieces! Let’s look at the east “wall”.
Hi there Clare! You can see where the stairs come up, and can see the bathroom and storeroom doors. It’s great having the couch along there for people to lounge on when I’m sewing – and as a place to display my crocheted cushions. I’d really like a new couch there – this one came with my husband when we moved into the house in 1997 – but that isn’t high on the priority list.
The plastic tub on the top left contains ponte fabrics, the one on the right holds summer fabrics that will become dresses for the girls, and they are both sitting on top of my “already cut out waiting to be sewn” plastic tub. I love a plastic tub. Behind the tubs I have a little table that mostly holds sewing and crochet related books and magazines. There is a basket of zips and a basket of overlocker threads sitting beside my vintage Singer, and you can see some more craft magazines on the floor under a cabinet as well. Yes, I have a lot of stuff.
So then, let’s look south! These windows look over the city of Melbourne. I can see the lights of the City Centre and the MCG at night-time. And I can see straight into the neighbour’s back yard. I suppose that they can see straight into my sewing room too! That is some of Clare’s artwork on the wall. The blue floral box was made by my Nanna, and currently contains the 2012 crochetalong squares that are still waiting to be joined together. The red box under the DVD player holds specialty interfacings and fusible tapes. There is a phone upstairs as well, so I don’t have to run down to find it if it rings. I sit on a little stepladder when I use the overlocker, but it’s mostly there for Clare to sit on and for me to use to reach things that are high up in the cupboards. My usual sewing chair is an adjustable office chair. It’s on a plastic mat, because as you can see the sewing room is fully carpeted. So, that’s the look around the room, but I thought I might share a couple of other “detail” photos.
As my husband likes to remind me “didn’t we put in all those shelves so you wouldn’t need any plastic tubs”? Oh well. I have filled the under table area with plastic tub storage. Most of it contains fabric, sorted according to whether it is a knit or a woven, and roughly according to type or purpose. The expanding files on the right hand side contain large patterns, such as StyleARC, Jalie, Hot Patterns, and pdf patterns. There are also some boxes of quilts in progress. I am in a quilting hiatus at the moment. The four solid fabrics piled up just to the right of the table are waiting their turn for cutting – they have patterns assigned to them and will be cut out soon. The little table in front of the cutting table is on wheels, and holds my current project (when these were taken it was Clare’s cat printed dress). The black box has bra and undies patterns and notions in it. Another unfinished project. On the left of the photo are my thread boxes.
Pressing is such an important part of sewing. My Kogan steam iron lives on top of my scrap boxes (one for quilting type scraps, that then are passed on to friends or used in craft by the kids, and one for large stretch fabric scraps that could be used in colour blocked items). There is a set of drawers to the left of the scrap boxes , behind the sewing cabinet door, that contains my bag and toy patterns and other pressing and ironing supplies such as a tailor’s roll, pressing cloth etc. You can see my sleeve board on the floor too – thanks to Dad for making that!
So there you go, this is where I sew, and cut out, and plan, and iron, and chat, and watch tv. I love my sewing room.