My Sewing Room Tour!

When this post is published, I will still be in Italy, hopefully enjoying the sunshine and the mountains.  This is something a little different so that you don’t get sad and miss me… a tour of my sewing room!

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My sewing room is quite a small space, and does get quite dark so lighting is really important.  I have a great spotlight and diffuse light combo to help brighten up my desk, and I have tried to keep the colours fairly light and bright.  It is also filled with things to inspire me and so that I just enjoy being in the space.

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I have tried to keep the room as practical and user friendly as possible.  All the things that I am most likely to need as I sew I can reach from my chair.  In particular the shelf above my sewing machine contains useful odds and ends.  And don’t those button jars just look lovely!

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The beautiful wooden box is one that my grandma picked up for me in a charity shop, filled with sewing supplies and embroidery thread skeins.  Now I use it to keep all my elastics and fusible tapes neat and tidy.  This tray contains all my most essential tools and is perfectly within arms reach.

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The desk does have to be kept fairly tidy because it is also my cutting out space.  I have a couple of big cutting mats, and I usually use a rotary cutter to make pattern prep as easy as possible.  I keep my most essential reference books on the desk easy to grab, including my instruction manuals and Overlocker Technique Manual.  One of my favorite books though is the Maker’s Workbook, which does contain details of the fabrics, pattern alterations and my verdicts of all the projects that I have sewn this year.

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I am very fortunate to have enough space to keep my ironing board set up full time.  Makes pressing seams easy and convenient to do as I go along.  The unit in the corner contains a whole range of other craft items including knitting an wool, paper-craft and general stationary.

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My fabric lives in these cubes/drawers which are from Ikea and the unit also serves as my pattern and reference book library.  You can see more about how I store my patterns in my post from a couple of weeks back.

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You have to love color co-ordination and beautiful threads!

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I used to do quite a bit of cross stitch, and these birds still make me smile.

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I’ve even been trying to be more intentional about my plans, and having them there on the wall for me to see the whole time is really useful.

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What do you think of my sewing space?  It is definitely my happy place, and exactly where I love to me!

How do I store my patterns?

Today is a slightly different type of post.  Life is busy and it can be tricky to make and photograph things every week.  This week I thought I would share my pattern storage and a couple that I am looking forward to making up in the near future.

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I have collected quite a range of patterns over the last couple of years, including books, magazines and paper or pdf patterns.  I still refer back to Love at First Stitch which was my first introduction to dressmaking, but I have also gathered a few other books as inspiration including From Stitch to Style and Gerties Ultimate Dress Book.

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These folders contain most of my patterns.  They are just A4 popper wallets in various colours.  As my pattern collection has grown, I have definitely needed to get more organised to make it easy to find what I want.  The colour coding is the first part of that.  Different types of clothing are in different coloured wallets and then they are divided up even further into box files.

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The box files were just plain brown cardboard files, but I have used decoupage in pretty coloured papers to make them unique and more attractive.  The labels are just letter stickers.

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Each envelope just has an ordinary address label stuck on so that I can see which is which without pulling them all out.  Inside is usually the pattern illustration, sizing chart and the pattern pieces themselves.  I don’t usually print the instructions.  They are just kept in a folder on my computer and I use the digital copy as needed to save paper.

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The great thing about the folders is that I can also use them to start collecting notions for a project in, such as zips, buttons or threads.  For smaller patterns like tops, I can even put the cut out fabric in the envelope with the pattern until I am ready to sew with it.

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I do have a couple of other places that patterns get stored.  A few smaller patterns or templates like baby booties, bibs and an eye mask are kept in this ring binder in ordinary plastic wallets.  The patterns in here are mostly single pieces or so small that they don’t need a whole popper wallet to themselves!

Finally, these wicker hampers contain most of my printed patterns, particularly any that come free with magazines.  I think this is one place that I do need to do a bit of a sort out soon, because I think I have some patterns here that I have no intention of using.  Maybe I can find a pattern swap so that they can be of use to someone else.

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I hope you enjoyed that glimpse into my sewing room and perhaps some of the things that are on my to sew list!  Let me know in the comments if you would like more posts about things like this.  How do you store your patterns?

 

Wise up Wednesdays- Pinning and clipping

I keep two types of pins in my sewing kit.  Firstly, ordinary sharp pins, but I prefer mine to have glass heads so that I can’t melt them if I touch them with an iron.

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Secondly, I have some fine ballpoint pins which I keep to use on particularly delicate fabrics and on jersey.  They do have a habit of slipping out so I definitely have to handle things carefully once they are pinned with these.

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Finally, I have some quilting clips.  These are great for anytime that pins are not your friend.  Fabrics which might ladder or mark, waterproof fabrics or leather, net and fabrics that pins just fall back out of.  Even anything which is a bit thick and bulky for pins can be clipped easily.

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I keep my pins in little clippy boxes.  They need to be big enough to get your hands in and out easily.  Especially as I don’t like to stop sewing to remove my pins, I need to be able to find the pot while still watching the needle!

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My clips stay safe in a little drawstring bag.  These are so simple to make, and I always have plenty around to be used to wrap small presents or store odds and ends.  I use a tutorial by Pam at Threading my Way which is super simple to follow, and creates a neat finished pouch.  They are great for using up scraps or co-ordinating fat quarters!

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