Monday, 13 May 2013

My Sewing Space...

**EDIT! I've recently changed up my sewing space so it looks like the first pic below.  I'm sure the rest of the post is still true, just ignore that my overlocker was once down stairs! ha**

Lately, I've been noticing quite a few blogs have been featuring and insight into their sewing spaces (reminds me the good old days on Cribs on MTV) and I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon!

Still living at home with my parents, my sewing space is my window desk in my room plus some desk space beside our my desktop for my overlocker.  It's small and I have no real space to cut out fabric but I can't complain as I kind of like everything being in my room, I don't have to go far to sew.  So here it is, my lovely little sewing corner:
Can you tell that I tidied for these photos?  Ha!  My sewing space is never this neat, I have fabric and patterns that look as though I've tossed them up in the air and let them land where they like!  What you can only just see under the desk is my stash.  I got my dad to build shelves that could move in and out so I could see everything, both shelves are full and on the ground is two back-up sewing boxes filled with suppliers that will take me a life-time to get through (esp if I keep adding to them like I seem to do!).  Let's take a closer look at my desk:
 If I was neat and tidy all the time, this is how I would want it to look.  My sewing machine - a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116 - is my pride and joy.  I bought it back in 2010 when I wanted a 'proper' sewing machine and realised that this hobby wasn't just a fleeting venture.  I'm glad I bought this machine as I know it will last me forever.  We bought it from Pembertons in Stirling who are the Scottish sewing machine experts.  I stated my requirements and this was the best for me, they didn't try to up-sell or convince me I needed anything else.  At the time it was £249.99 which I think is reasonable for such a machine.  We sell these machines in my work at a bargainous £199.99 and use them for our quilting and dressmaking classes - they've lasted 5 years of abuse with both beginner and seasoned sewers and are still going strong, if that isn't a selling point I don't know what is!

My Cath Kidston sewing box was my leaving gift from my summer spent at Selfridges - I was overwhelmed at this.  I was in no way expecting a gift and the fact it was so thoughtful made it perfect!  My tools and gadgets inside have been built up over the few years I've been sewing.  Apart from the essentials, I love my pattern weights (they have tiny pins on the bottom to keep the pattern and fabric in place whilst tracing) and my Fiskars scissors.  We advise customers on a daily basis to go for Fiskars - they're pretty much guaranteed for life and honestly felt like a hot knife through butter when I first got them.  I use my old scissors for patterns, paper and plastic-y notions.

I keep my threads on this handy holder so that they're easy to see, although I've ran out of space and I'm trying to convince my dad he wants to build me a new one that I can hang on the wall!  I also keep my elastic and bias tape out at all times since I use them often.  I keep quite a stash of each of these, I bought them in bulk from a local haberdashery for literally pennies!  In the corner is my vintage haberdashery bits and pieces, some inherited from my Gran and others I've picked up at fairs and charity shops.  Beside these are my 3 over-spilling button jars and boxes.  The large tobacco tin at the bottom was my dad's mothers which I can't bring myself to use to it's full potential!  You should see some of the buttons in it, they're a post on their own!

Lastly, on my wall is my to-do list (I took the pic a couple of weeks ago) so I can try and focus!  Since it was written, I've scored off about half of the items!  Go Me!  Next to it are some fabric swatches that I love and images that either inspire me or of things I'd like to make.

Next up is my pattern stash...
 My friends would tell you I'm a bit OCD about certain things (my boss once even said I was anal about things, I'm not entirely sure whether or not that's a good thing?!) and my patterns definitetly fall into my OCD side!  They're stored alphabetically by manufacturer, then numerically (the rogue Vogue pattern at the from there is to remind me to cut it out!).  I have indies and vintage at the front and commercial behind.  I have a second box of discard patterns that I've gotten from work (these are ones the pattern companies have put out of print and that we have to get rid of so staff get dibs on them).  On either side of my patterns are my sewing books and magazines.  I'm a total hoarder of magazines so I'm gonna have to find a bigger space soon for them!  My go to sewing book is the Vogue Sewing Book which explains every technique imaginable.  If I can't do something, it's where I look for the solution and it's never failed me yet!

Below this shelf is my TV and my second pride and joy - my vintage Singer sewing machine.  I bought this for £9 on ebay and paid £11 to courier it to me, what a bargain.  It got bashed in transit, so my dad restored the wooden base and re-varnished it for me and it's as good as new.  I'm unaware what model it is or the year as the seller never listed it, so if any keen eyed sewing machine enthusiast could enlighten me I'd be delighted!

Over on the other side of my room is my pink dresser - it was a vintage dresser from my dad's family that my mum and dad were throwing out so I asked if I could have it.  I painted it the same pink as my walls and love it.  Under it is where my pressing tools live.  I have a simple ASDA value iron, tailors ham (bought in Fabricland, Canada) and a sleeve iron board that I got in Dunelm Mill (soo handy!).  Next to these are my cutting and measuring tools.  I have a cutting mat (also bought in Fabricland), a gridded fat & thin ruler, french curve and a dressmakers curve.  I had the notion to learn pattern drafting so got prepared and never got round to learning (I'm gonna try again this summer.).  Next to my dresser is my Diana Mannequin that I got from my work with some birthday money last year.  It's great as you can adjust it to your measurements.  Although she's not proportionately the same as me, it gives me a rough idea if things will fit.  It's also good for using to pin and alter things with. (She's currently wearing my un-blogged cow print Hazel dress).

 Finally is my third pride and joy - my overlocker.  My parents bought me this from my birthday/Christmas gift last year.  As I was so impressed by my sewing machine, I decided that I would go for a Husqvarna overlocker.  This model is the Viking Huskylock S21 that I bought via my work (we don't stock these) and is one step up from their basic overlocker.  It has both overlocking and the coverstitch hemming functionalilty.  I need to work out the coverstitch part but I'm overlocking up a treat - never knew I'd embrace jersey the way I have since I got this!  I've found the best place in Glasgow to get a vareity of overlocking threads in many colours is Fabric Bazaar at the Barras and they work out cheaper than buying online.

So that's my sewing space tour.  If I could, there are changes I would make - like a proper cutting table etc - but I really can't complain that my parents have allowed my this freedom of space to use my creativity in a good way!

I'm sorry I haven't done a true cribs style post, I promise you there's nothing exciting in our fridge that you'd want to see!


  1. I'm really enjoying your blog. BTW, I've nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award!

  2. Do you use your vintage singer? That machine will last forever. Thanks for sharing your space. Looks great! I love your dress form and hope to one day own one!

    1. I don't use it at the moment as I'm scared I'll end up breaking it! hah :)

  3. I am loving your vintage machine. Thank you for sharing your sewing space with us on The Studio Spotlight Tour. ~Heather

  4. What a lovely space you have made for yourself.
    Your vintage sewing machine should have a number on it. If you go here
    and look up your number you will find out what year your machine was made. Mine was my grandmothers and was made in 1921 :)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I actually found out the details and you can see them on this post :)

  5. I've enjoyed your post so much that I decided to follow you. Your parents are wonderfully supportive. Make some small things for them for fun: tie for dad, bag for mum, etc. That will go a long way toward more storage space for, yes, more fabric!

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for your comment, I've been on holiday all week so only just getting around to replying! Thanks for following! I can't thank my parents enough for their support, in the next couple of weeks I have posts coming up detailing what I've made for them recently :)


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