I’m going to tell you about my sewing room because I can and you cannot stop me.
I’m an organised person. And what’s more, I *like* organising, and I *like* cleaning, and before you ask, sure! I’ll come round and clean and organise for you. No worries. Just feed me and let me do what I will in your space, yes?
I continually refine my organising, however, and it’s taken me a while to get a grasp of what I need in an organised sewing workspace. I like to be able to see what I have. This is because I’m a verbal person and not a visual, spatial or tactile person, so it’s gotta all be OUT THERE for me to know what it is. I could rattle off a list for you of what I have, but I cannot get a grasp of how it can be something else without looking at it, and touching it, and unraveling it to see how big (or small) it is.
When you step into my sewing room, you will see that it is rather full of furniture. My sewing room is also our guest room, so there is a sofa bed in there. It hulks along one wall, and is very useful for depositing works in progress or for throwing myself upon when I am in the doldrums because I cannot for the life of me work out how best to proceed with whatever step has now flummoxed me.
To your right is a built in wardrobe. It houses my WIPs, sewing bits and bobs, and ironing waiting to be done.
My piece de resistance in my wardrobe is how I house my bias bindings, ribbons, zips and other itty bitty trims. I present to you: The Hanger of Trims. It is a trouser hanger that I got from Kmart or Big W or one of those kinds of department stores, with swivelling arms. The zips I’ve attached by little metal loop clips, which can be obtained from most stationery stores, or in my case, Daiso. They’re much nicer like this, and at a glance I know exactly what I need to go and buy. Ha.
I have two tables in my sewing room. One is for cutting and dumping things upon. The other bears the weight of my sewing machine and overlocker, and is also another space for dumping things upon.
My fabric collection is not too over the top, but there is more there than I can use in the near future, and it still seems that I don’t have any of the *right* fabric. Do you experience that too? Partially, this is because I have bought lots of fabric remnants, and much more woven fabric than knits, even though I sew and wear more knits than woven, I’m still up in the air about whether I should try to change that and sew more wovens.
My fabric used to live inside my wardrobe, on one of those hanging shelves you can get from Ikea. However, as I pull my fabric out quite often, the stacks kept getting messy and I did not like it. So I hunted around the internet for other ideas about how to stash it and found that many people like to use comic book protector things to wrap their fabric around and then store like books. That way, if you’re taking out one piece, all the rest do not collapse into a mess, resulting in no more sewing and you on the floor re-folding all your fabric.
Now, I don’t hold truck with buying things if I can find a workaround using things I have. My woven fabric is mostly cotton, linen and linen-cotton blends, and will likely stay that way (I doubt a foray into silk or chiffon sewing anytime soon…) I can see the value in using the special comic book protector cards for special fabrics, but I’m not too bothered if the cardboard stains my fabric. It will mostly come out in the wash. Also, my shelves were novel-spaced apart, not comic book spaced apart, so I needed things I could cut down to the right size. I cut cardboard until I realised that greeting cards are about the right size, so I used some old greeting cards to wrap the fabric around.
I did this until I got the hang of how to fold the fabric so that it would just end up the size I needed. I’m a dab hand at folding (I bet that I could fold origami and fitted sheets competitively), so it didn’t take me long to get the knack of it. Not all my fabrics have card inside to keep.
I repurposed the Ikea hanging shelves as dividers for my knit fabric, which don’t really work wrapping around card.
My patterns and sewing books live on the same bookshelf, together with my threads, which form a sort of decoration, and I like to stand there and rearrange them periodically.
Other sewing paraphernalia live on the bookshelf too: all the additional sewing machine hardware (feet, mostly) and other paraphernalia (needles, pins, extra rotary cutter blades, lots of washable crayola pens).
There are also things that don’t quite have a place: a box of reasonably sized scraps; boxes of elastic and other bits and bobs, and my neglected other crafts stuff (origami paper, calligraphy pens, glass cutters). I keep musing about how to deal with all this stuff, but they have not yet quite got out of my head and into my reality. I’m not happy about them, but Ive hidden most of them away in the wardrobe. I also want a pegboard for the wall above my desks, and then I can leave my scissors and rulers hanging in a decoratively tidy yet accessible way. Soon, soon.
I guess I would be obnoxiously smug if my sewing room was perfect. Right now, I’m just averagely(*) smug.
(* it’s a word now. What of it?)