Saturday, 28 March 2015

Wanna see where I sew?

"My course starts soon, I need to find somewhere for me to study" Adam told me one day towards the end of last summer. "Sure, no problem. You have two choices - the lounge or we can rearrange the spare room" I responded. "The spare room sounds great, I can get a desk and it will be quieter than being in the lounge." When the desk was delivered and we had rearranged the spare room, a tiny part of me died as it dawned on me that I had given up a sewing room without realising it...

Now, I've learnt not to resent it (ok, I do a little) as I've managed to perfect my dedicated sewing space in the lounge and I thought it might be fun to share it with you. I love seeing where others sew - you can guarantee I leave those posts green with envy from the prettiness. While I have my own space, pretty it ain't!

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My set up works around the fact that I don't want to waste a lot of time moving between my machine, overlocker and the ironing board. At the top of our lounge is a dining table which is situated just in front of the French doors leading onto our balcony (it sounds grander than it is!) This table is where I trace patterns and cut fabric before positioning my machines. It is reasonably sturdy but it is too low - I get back ache very quickly if I work there for too long. The overlocker sits in front of the doors and my sewing machine sits at the head of the table. Behind the chair and in the kitchen is the ironing board. Yes, they really are as close as they look in the photos. It works brilliantly because there is a maximum of five steps from the ironing board to the overlocker.

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Our ironing board is massive. Not only is it very wide, it is also high and therefore doubles up as a standing desk. I love this feature as it saves hunching and therefore reduces the amount of strain on my back. My only grumble with the positioning of the board is that it lives in front of the fridge making it difficult to get to the milk for a tea break. 

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While this set up works perfectly, there is a dangerous element which I haven't yet worked out. The nearest socket is in the lounge on the wall closest to the ironing board. This means I need to use an extension cable to plug in the machines as well as the ironing and that cable has to sit underneath or behind the chair I use to sew. You can just see them in the photo above/below. I'm convinced I will break my leg one day as I can't count the times I have tripped over them... 

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So that's the quick tour of my tiny sewing area. Do you have your own room or do you sew in a shared space? Any tips for staying tidy or am I doomed to stay this way? 

18 comments:

  1. Hi Claire, thanks for showing a more make do and mend style sewing space. I got put off sewing by lack of space, as our table is at a right angle to our back door and comings and goings and drafts are frustrating, along with having to tidy up and get things out for each session, makes it much more a chore than fun :-( hoping to solve the problem soon by buying a new house (not just for sewing). I do have a practical suggestion, tried and tested. Get a rug (buy a carmat or thin rubber backed doormat if you don't have something suitable), move the errant cables so the slack is, as far as possible, out of your main path, eg under the table or ironing board, then lay the rug over the cables to give yourself a smooth, tanglefree route from table to iron/kettle/cocktail cabinet... obviously remove when not sewing so house doesn't go up in flames... hope that makes sense!

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    1. That is a great idea - thanks for the tip! I hope you manage to get somewhere a little easier to sew soon.

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  2. I love seeing where other people sew. As you, some sewing spaces leave me green with envy. I'm lucky enough to have a corner of our spare bedroom, so can have my machines and the ironing board set up permanently, but I also share the room with our wardrobes. At least we got rid of the bed that was never used!

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    1. Leaving items up permanently would be my ideal! That could have happened if I spotted the spare room potential...

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  3. Is it wrong to love your ironing board so much, because it looks fab?! I had to buy a new one recently, and nearly fainted when I saw the prices of them. Re the extension cable - I bought one for my sewing room, and it's a 10 metre cable on a reel, so it can be wound up inside itself for storage. The long cable means that it can be put around the edge of the room therefore minimizing potential trip hazards! I got it it in Homebase, I can plug four plugs into it and I think it cost about £15.

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    1. I'm really hoping our board lasts forever. Changing the extension cable is a simple solution.

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  4. Claire, this is great! Being resourceful with a small amount of space can be a challenge but also very rewarding when you figure out a good solution. Whatever works! :) My sewing space is similar: I do have a dedicated space, but it's small and carved out of a corner between my entryway and kitchen, and it's definitely not pretty! But hey, it's home. :) Thanks for sharing your space - I always enjoy reading these posts!

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    1. It's home - great way to look at it!

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  5. I love seeing other peoples sewing spaces as well. I'm lucky to have a big room all to myself for my 'nerding', but it is messy and ugly! I'd like to change that, but then it would take away from my sewing time ;)

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    1. What you didn't see in the photos above is the chaos around me when I sew. I'm messy! The room gets filled with fabric, notions and tools and I'm slow to tidy them away.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this! I've always felt somehow sad after seeing wonderful dedicated sewing rooms other blogers seem to have. I sew in my bedroom on my studying desk so I need to take everything out when I find time to sew not to mention that there isn't a lot of space so I usually end up using my bed, window sill and ironing board as alternative tables :) It's consolating to see that I'm not the only one :)

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    1. Working in a small space is challenging but it sounds like you make it work when you have the time to sew.

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  8. Great post! I have a teeny sewing space too - we have our dining table in our living room and that's where I sew. So, yes, sewing time also includes "set up" and "pack up" time. And the ironing board needs to be in the kitchen, so I end up moving between rooms all the time too! Not the most efficient, but the best I can do with the space we have.

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    1. I'm not so good with the "pack up" time and it often looks like utter chaos around the table and the ironing board very rarely gets put away. Must work on that!

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  9. i used to sew on my living room and only last year i got my dedicated space. what matters is that you are happy and sewing not the amount of space you have.

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    1. So true. You just need to find a solution that works for you and sewing in a less than perfect place is better than no sewing at all!

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