Tag Archives: Sewing room

Sewing Guide to Bath- the Makery

I’m slowly pulling together my Sewing Guide to Bath – my favorite things to do in this fabulous city if like me, you love to sew & love to be inspired to sew.  This is another instalment in my mini series currently includes the Sewing Studio, and the Guildhall Haberdashery, Sew and Sew.    Once I’m there I’ll collate it all into an easy to read blog post.  Next up is one of my favorite inspirational places, the Makery, a multi layered den of creativity.   Found within the lanes in front of the Guidlhall /Abbey in Union Passage, look for its bright yellow door!

Set in the heart of Bath in one of the old Georgian terraces  this is a hotbed of crafty dreams coming to life.  Here it is on the map.

It’s the kind of place with an atmosphere of wholesome crafting, and I can’t stop going all Enid Blyton writing words like ‘oodles of fun’ and ‘inspiration’ and, well, ‘making’ .

Make Aways

As a crafty emporium there are plentiful sewing goodies all picked carefully to delight: quality crafting cotton fabrics, kits ( the Makery’s own Make Aways as pitched on Dragons Den and made a huge success without Dragon interference or support!) ( eg lampshades, knickers, coin purses)

You can make all this with the kits!

You can make all this with the kits!

And guess what?  I saw a couple of the Makeaway kits when I was recently in Ljubljana, Slovenia- they have got legs!

Sewing goodies

And haberdashery – kit your sewing room out with hand picked favourites.

buttonssewing stores

 

And hitting the sewing world by storm last year, a display of espadrille supplies.

Espadrille kits

The Makery however is not just a retailer but a place to learn and it has a full programme of workshops for the beginner or the improver over a wide range of crafts. Sewing, crochet and lampshades are course regulars, but there are always new ideas being added such as fabric printing, chabby chic your furniture, upholstery and even mastering techniques such as inserting zips and buttonholes. They also host hen parties and courses for young people. I bet if you wanted to organise something for your friends you don’t have to be getting married to justify a Makery workshop just for you!  I have done  a few of the Makery courses – tie making, knicker making and also freehand machine embroidery.  All totally addictive & a massive way to indulge in sewing fun.  It all takes place here …

The makery

Through this unassuming frontage ( with staircase hinting heavily at what’s to be found inside) there lies a crafting tardis. The Makery emporium is found in the first floor but think of an old terraced house, with its interesting rooms and staircases over three floors and mezzanines. Each room has been accessorised and styled to create inspirational workspaces, decorated with vintage sewing machines, repurposed furniture  and sewing equipment and handmade touches that make you smile and want to get started making your own all at the same time.  I could not resist taking photos – so many ideas for decorating your home or even your sewing/ craft room.  Let me share them with you now …

the craft roomcrafty touchescraft roomsewing roomcrafty

vintage sewing machines

I bought the Makery book when it was launched 18 months or so ago and I recognised a few of the projects bringing some fun to the decor. Like the flying ducks….casually decorating one of the walls in a hallway

flying ducks

Oh and of course it’s the kind of place where you meet enthusiastic fellow creatives- both customers, workshop participants and the lovely lovely people who work there. And even Gorgeous Kate Smith, the owner who I cannot get enough of!!
The Makery has also a prescence in John Lewis, London, running workshops there too.  Perfect for those who love to make & love to be inspired.

the makery

All views are genuine and my own. I have not been paid to write this but just love it here!

I love my sewing room

I have been meaning to show you my sewing room for a while now, but it seems particularly timely as life has suddenly taken on a new whirlwind – as from last weekend I am planning to move.  Gulp.  A mixture of emotions as it is a positive in terms of my future, but I absolutely adore my light, bright house, its west facing garden, my neighbourhood on top of the hill which has a different climate than the city, and also my lovely neighbours.

sewing room

I’m not able to listen to any sad songs – isn’t that funny – it all has to be upbeat & cheerful!  And having just got my sewing room how I want it, I am now having to face the prospect of leaving it.  Wherever I move to will HAVE to be large enough to house my sewing equipment in a space of its own, but I may may never have such an awesome space again.

sewing room

I used to have the loft room as my den, but then I recognised the truth – use the best room for the thing you do the most.  I mean, sewing in a conservatory that looks out on to my garden.  I can watch the birds feeding, the squirrels visiting, the weather in all its glory.  Have you ever experienced a thunder storm inside a glass house?  It’s incredible!  Even hearing the most normal of rainstorms is a primeval experience rather than a cause of depression.

sewing room

The LIGHT from all the glass makes me feel rejuvenated.  It’s such a healing place- both the light & also the activity that goes on there!

sewing room

So the set up in my sewing room allows me to have my sewing machine and overlocker always ready to go.  The Coverstitch machine is almost ready- it used to be over the other side of the ironing board & was just that little too inaccessible  & fifty percent of the time the lazy badger in me found it too much of a hassle…but that was also something to do with the long time we got to value each other – but that’s another story.

sewing room

Check out this sewing machine tidy, made by Emmie, as a Secret Santa gift.  I don’t know what i did before I had this – it’s so useful for keeping all my smaller sewing tools handy & tidy.

My ironing board is perfectly located to the side of my sewing machine- I can swivel my chair to press.  I use the sleeve board a lot, and all my essentials are hung up either on hooks or in cups to the right.  Most of the organisation is from IKEA as well.

badger

The desk is the absolute business for sewing.  t’s from IKEA, but no idea if it is still sold.  (I can’t find it)  It has a glass top with space underneath to put instructions underneath without getting in the way of my sewing.  It rests on trestles with deep shelving- great for books but I am using them for boxes & baskets to keep my projects in as well as my spools of thread.

sewing room

I do share it with Merlin & have had to come to terms with his rotation over ironing board, swivel chair & even the desk as his rest space.  He seems particularly fond of the ironing board when he is wet …..

sewing room

Down the other end of the conservatory I have my dresser filled with sewing books & magazines, and then one of those comfy Poang chairs from IKEA.  I do more than just sew in this heavenly space. 🙂

sewing room

There are a couple of downsides.  Far be it for me to ignore those.  First of all it can actually get too hot to sew.  And too bright.  Full sunshine & I have to squint & have had headaches.  So that is why i have a sunhat to hand.  i put it on to avoid heat stroke.  And then the heat means that countless plants bought for the conservatory frazzle.  That’s why I have cacti.  And an artificial plant!  And finally.  The dead.  It becomes a cruel dying place for flies, wasps, bees, mayflies & butterflies.  I try to help them escape, but they do have a tendency to fly high.  And I am short.  But it makes me happy when I can grab a sieve from the kitchen as a makeshift butterfly net & assist a bid for freedom…

sewing room

That’s my old iron that I thought I could keep for ironing interfacing & avoiding messing with my new iron’s soleplate.  But actually what I tend to do is fuse interfacing with the press cloth in between.   There are also GU pots there with buttons…

So anyway, I have been & shall be in that crazy selling house / moving house/ looking for a new house place & will also be back to marathon training again next week.  (The last one for a while!  the end of October 2015 will draw this craziness to a close).  So I can’t predict what the next few months hold in the excitement, but I am already pooped after a full on weekend doing DIY, deep cleaning & all those things associated with selling.  Sewing time will naturally have to reduce, I will of course have sewing to reward myself for keeping the chores under control & my moving plan on target!

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 🙂

Every cloud ….

…. Has a silver lining, & I tend to live by that mantra.  In this case, the cloud was the cruel (to me)  departure of my youngest born, to University.  The silver lining?

Red stairs

Why I get to move my sewing paraphernalia only into the BEST room in the house – the loft room.

A view of two sewing machines on a table through turned bannister things

Can I let you into a secret?  Despite my hectic goings on & inability to keep up with the Self Stitched September Flickr group, sew very much or even blog that often I managed to find time, amidst my tears of yearning, to shift a mattress down a flight & the essential sewing equipment (the desk, two machines and the ironing board, plus tools) up into “my new sewing room”.

A loftroom with ironing board, sewing machine on desk and a single futon topped with ironong & a teddy

And what’s more, I have spent the odd wondrous evening in here with an ambient breeze wafting with both Velux windows open, fiddling around with a spot of sewing knit tops (because they “happen” so quickly, don’t they?  – To come in a later post), listening to music & DAB radio (BBC R4 Extra is a new find!).   I have even done ironing up here watching iPlayer.

Another view with velux window, ironing board and two tables

I have two tables – one purely for cutting out!  The luxury!  And there is definitely room for my tailor’s dummy (if you hear me Father Christmas? )

I have only half moved in though.  The room downstairs still has fabric, patterns & books that require organising & housing up here.  There are some very untidy areas with youngest’s bits & bobs that need dealing with.

End of desk trestle with baskets of sewing things on it

This desk is fab though, it’s an IKEA desk that has trestles with deep shelves, plus a raised glass top with display space underneath it – perfect for putting pattern instructions to read underneath whilst you sew!  Also the permanent residence for the quick reference instructions for the Overlocker!

And the fun thing? This is a bare room with a lush red carpet.  I still need to make it pretty with pictures, shelving & those gadgets that any sorted dressmaker would have in her sewing room.  Claire’s (at SewIncidentally) recent post  inspired me to write this, as she has done some major room overhauling & has some great links to real sewing rooms, which I will digest.  Thanks Claire!

What are your tips & tricks for organising a sewing space (& all that kit we accumulate?)

In the meantime, I am aware that I have to get on with sewing my Bombshell dress (so far- pattern printed & taped, fabric purchased – progress!).  I am also going to do a Self Stitched September post, perhaps to help with my autumn sewing plans, since it was only due to September being warm that my aim to wear only me mades didn’t completely flounder …..But more of that later.  I need to get my long run in before it gets too hot (& here I am brewing some kind of cold – 3 weeks to the next Half – yikes!! Why???!!)