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My sewing den

Right now, here as it happens, fancy a peep in the den I've created ? My escape hatch to the sewing heavens? I'm afraid I've not cleaned it or tidied it, you'll have to accept it as it is because there is just about to be sewing in progress……

I've an attic room which has lots of nooks and crannies and a lush red carpet.

Gary has recently fitted me up these shelves and after an ikea stock up ( in may, so dont ask me to remember whats what!) with various storage solutions it's operational. I love having everything on hand – beakers hang off that under shelf rail containing markers, screwdriver, rulers, unpickers. Another contains pens and pencils. Another machine needles, tracing wheel, self cover buttons ( actually all the bits and bobs that usually floats around). The hanging basket shelf keeps my big scissors safe, whilst I've s hooks to put my small scissors and thread snippers on. Have you seen the magnetic strip? It's genius, I've not only got the pots filled with measures, snap fasteners etc on it, but things like bulldog clips stick to it and can be used to secure scraps / paper notes / knickers pattern or my bound button hole sample if I fancy admiring it!

Then the light shines through from the window across the wall, and I've got jars of buttons and mini perfume bottles to catch it. I use the perfume bottles as pattern weights by the way, and they Are just so pretty….

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Now I LOVE my thread organisation! Before the reels were lumped into a basket. Now I've recycled those glass GU pudding pots and sorted the thread into colours and plopped on top of a cupcake stand. It makes me happy!! There's a DVD rack with my planned patterns in it, to keep me on track!

Gary doesn't truly appreciate what a difference he's made- i feel so better organised now and it's psychological as well as practical! I am going to decorate it with pretties, I have plans to crochet bunting and hang it from the shelves ( aaahhhh!!)

I've squeezed in a cutting table…it's not huge, but I can just about get around both long edges. Sometimes I have to cut out on the floor, but I can live with that. The mirror feels like a real luxury, right here, next to my sewing machine, poised ready for better trying on and fitting!!

The desk is really useful for sewing, I've had it a while now. It's got a glass top with a shelf that allows you to keep instructions underneath your sewing surface. It's also got shelves built into its trestles, filled with books and my knit jersey collection!

I didn't take pics of the ironing board side by side to my table, nor the storage for patterns and fabric. That's less interesting I think. And you've seen my dummy recently, it's still much loved and very much in my sights as I sew. Due to the sloping roof, there are limitations where it can stand though!! Fancy checking out what I'm about to get sewing on?

I've got two of these awesome pattern drafting books, Chinese from the early 70s. They were my mum's and I see that she has left her child's pattern block inside made from newspaper ( ahh, wonder what it was she made from this book?) I love looking through them, they cover a whole wardrobe from blouses, tops, skirts and trousers to suits and coats, “resort wear”, maternity and children's wear. I even got my apron pattern from here….here are a couple of teasers…

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Adorable!!!! I love the dress on the left with the contrast piping/ banding and the shape of the collars. See the anchor belt buckle- cute!

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There's something about this top that makes me swoon….Peter pan collar, sleeveless and lace. It's definitely one to remember to add to my list….and what am I thinking of making then?

Bit more seasonally appropriate with long sleeves. You can see the fabric in the first pic. It has piping and rouleau loops. Cute but do I have enough sewing nouse to work out how to make it without detailed instructions?! I've already cut it out without a back zip, hmmmmm, getting in and out of it should be interesting!!

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Ok that's me done, sorry about the strange pic placement, I'm trying to write this on iPad and just learning!

Have a great weekend everyone, happy sewing :-)

50 thoughts on “My sewing den

  1. Marie

    What a wonderful space Winnie, it’s perfect! And I love how you’ve organised things…especially your thread! Anything that gives me an excuse to go out and buy GU deserts is a winner ;o) The pattern drafting books look awesome, can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve!

    Reply
      1. Claire (aka Seemane)

        …yes, but you were only buying the GU pots for the containers, and we sympathise with you for having to endure the hardship of eating your way through the puddings into order to get to the handy pots m’dear ;) ;)

        Reply
  2. Roobeedoo

    Oh you lucky stitcher! That is such a great space, with everything in its place :)
    Hmmm… I wonder if it might be time to take over my son’s former room…?! heh heh heh ;)

    Reply
      1. LinB

        My fledgling keeps coming home to roost, at least overnight, a couple of times a month. Instead of tossing her out the door, I took over the “spare bedroom,” which had no bed but two closets. Now it has two closets, a sewing machine, a serger, two chests of drawers, a bank of wire shelves down the middle for books and hanging baskets onto, for thread and notions. And stacks of pattern boxes, fabric, old socks, etc. If I turn sideways and hold my mouth just so, I can even try on garments for fitting. (Best feature of the room is that a bathroom is just steps across the hall, lol.)

        Reply
  3. Sam

    Oooh, what a wonderful sewing space you’ve created there. I’m soooo envious. I love your genius idea for your thread storage – what a great excuse to buy and eat yummy GU puddings!

    I don’t have a dedicated sewing space and have to use the dining room, which means I can’t leave things out. Our smallest bedroom, which would be ideal for a sewing room, is my office because I work from home.

    Love the look of the blouse you are working on too.

    Reply
  4. Shari

    I love your organized space and it can be so inspiring to have everything just where you need it. What a great idea to have a rack for current projects. I’m always losing track of ideas because, although I make a list, I get distracted and forget where I put the pattern I was going to use. I believe I may have to get a DVD/pattern rack!

    Reply
  5. Jane

    Oh it’s a lovely space Winnie – I love your transparent sewing table with instructions under the glass- genius! ‘Oooh look’, I said to my husband when I read your post, ‘Winnie’s made a fab thread holder out of a cupcake stand and empty GU pots’ – I just got a look in return! He hasn’t got a clue about life’s important things! Xx

    Reply
  6. Jamie

    It looks like a wonderful place to sew! And I love the “keep calm” sign – I can’t tell what it says under that text, but certainly sewing is an activity where it is best to keep calm. :)

    Reply
  7. To Boldly Sew

    What a lovely little space – I particularly love the thread storage! I may need to shamelessly copy, or I would if I had anywhere to put it … One day I will again I’m sure!

    Reply
  8. Alessa

    Wow, what a wonderful sewing space, and so organized!
    Oh, and you’ve given me an idea what to do with the GU pudding forms I’ve been saving!
    That pattern book looks very interesting. How come it’s in Chinese?

    Reply
  9. Debbie

    The space looks great – such lovely light. I like the hanging basket and strip – I was looking at that in ikea just a couple of days ago! Putting instructions under the glass table top seems genius to me! The pattern book is intriguing – I love the style of illustrations. Looking forward to seeing the blouse progress. xx

    Reply
  10. Christine

    Oh I’m so happy for you! (And just a bit jealous.) You’ve done a wonderful job organising everything – it all looks so appealing, like a sweet shop. And I love that frilled blouse as well.

    Reply
  11. Law

    I love yopur sewing space, it is a real cosy den! Having storage sorted and stuff organised really does make a psychological difference doesn’t it.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Gosh yes!! I even put things away afterwards now instead of leaving scissors strewn across the table and pins out. I’m sure it is enabling me to revisit things that weren’t fitting right and needed some more attention. When I was “pre organised ” I didn’t feel psychologically in the right place, it was all about the speed and spontaneity. Now I’ve managed to take on some UFO s….

      Reply
  12. AnnabelVita

    What a lovely, lovely space! I’m a dining table sewist, but luckily my boyfriend lets me leave it out for days, and only complains when I leave pins all over the floor – which seems fair enough!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Well, if you don’t have to put away every time that helps doesn’t it?! It’s all the ready and that makes it easier to pop in and sew for half an hour when you have the opportunity.

      Reply
  13. Sølvi

    I love your sewing space, thanks for the sneak peek! That magnet strip idea is genius, I might borrow that idea. :-) And it must be so nice to have natural light flowing in like that, and using perfume bottles as pattern weights? What a terrific idea! :-)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Solvi! Please borrow away – that’s one good thing about IKEA & its international reach – we can see good ideas on the web, & have a reasonable chance at replicating them :-)

      Reply
  14. MrsC

    Oh you have a top of house sewing room like me! I love that! I love how you have made it so cosy and funky. It is such an expression of you and your personality Winnie. And I am sure lots of fab purple, grey and green clothes will be forthcoming from it over the next few months! xo

    Reply
  15. Ginger

    Eep! What a sweet little nook you have! I love this space! You’ve encouraged me to get organized– my sewing space is about half of our living room, and it’s such a terrible mess that I can barely stand it! I’ve got to make some major improvements in the very near future. Bravo, you! :)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Ginger, I love it too…it’s my own little corner of heaven…now to get back up there & sew ….:-)
      I do think being organised has helped me, so good luck with yours. Tidying up sucks though, I’d much rather just get on & make something!

      Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      That would be so cool – I’d love to know what’s in book 1 – I have 2 & 3. & opps for me thinking they were Chinese – it was an assumption because we lived in Hong Kong at that time…

      Reply
      1. theperfectnose

        Re your email question:
        KS’ve been around for a while (60s and 70s not current but the books can be found 2nd hand even here in Oz) they also used to sell cookery and origami books (for women XD), I’ve been using the pattern drafting ones them for making patterns on ma Mac. Tested the first one last week and it looks like it came out alright but will still need tweaking.. I’ll be posting them up for my Friday Freebies little by little, had a couple of people write in after the last post asking for more vintage apron freebies. I’ve only recently finished my PhD so I haven’t had time to go through and draft their stuff earlier (plus I’m not a big fan of their block so I use Lucia de Mors Castro’s block instead) but they’re very simple patterns so they’re great for practicing computer drafting with. No 1 just has more 60s stuff than the 70s styles in the later volumes but over all the layout is pretty much the same, blouses, skirts, separates, pyjamas/lounge/resort wear, aprons, children. One of my friends is using the Men’s section at the mo’ for testing out blocks but given how the women’s blocks compare to standard (say Mueller and Sohn for instance) I wouldn’t hold my breath. Asians tend to have a totally different bust to waist and waist to lower buttock ratio than average and to me, it’s just not worth the tweaking when there are other sytems around that work better (for me). I’d try Mrs Stylebook if I were you-it’s way more contemporary and they have a lot more styles that wouldn’t be adversely affected by those ratios (shirt dresses, tunics, straight trenches and Marlene Dietrich fit pants-essentially stuff for women who aren’t teenagers XD I quite like their stuff and they often have specials from the designers of drapedrape and other Japanese pattern books)..

        Reply
  16. Amy

    What a lucky lady you are. That glass table is genius. If I ever get a sewing room I might try and find something similar!!
    And the book looks amazing!

    Reply

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