My Sewing Room Tour
When I got back into sewing a couple of years ago, my sewing space was the kitchen table. I kept my sewing machine on a fabric placemat so I could slide it out of the way whenever I sat down for breakfast. This wasn’t exactly ideal, but it was workable, so I was happy enough.
Then we moved house and I was suddenly able to have an entire room for my sewing space. I could put my table in the centre of the room and plonk my machine on top of it without ever having to move it for my plate of toast. It was bliss! Over the two years we’ve been here, I’ve moved things around and tweaked it to my liking and it’s finally at a point where I would like to share it with you.
Are you ready to see where I sew? Read on for the full tour.
Watch the Video!
The Ironing Station
‘Ironing station’ makes it sound much more grand than it actually is! To be fair, I do have two ironing boards if you include my sleeve board, as well as my tailor’s ham and sausage and various other ironing accessories. It’s reasonably impressive! Plus, it makes me sound as though I’m doing something important when I announce that I’m off to the ironing station.
The fact that I would only be saying that to the cats is neither here nor there…
Up until last year, my ironing board was stored in our spare bedroom, which happens to be almost the furthest room from my sewing space. It was such a bother to gather up my sewing, go to the spare room, wait for the iron to heat up, then press the seam I’d just sewn before heading back to sew something else. It almost put me off sewing entirely, so I’m glad I made the decision to shift it to a much more logical space.
I haven’t used the sleeve board much since I bought it for a couple of dollars at a market, but this is mostly because I keep forgetting I have it.
Lurking in the background, you can just see my mannequin under the load of clothes-in-progress piled on top of it. I’m planning to pad it properly this year so I can start using it as a fitting aid rather than a clothes horse.
The Sewing Table
My sewing table is actually a dining room table that used to belong to my grandparents and was passed on to me. It can be extended, but I haven’t needed the extra space so far. I won’t lie to you: it is frequently a mess of tools, patterns, fabric, op shop finds and cats. Thankfully, I bought a desktop caddy at an op shop for $2, which helps sort out the clutter somewhat.
It’s not the colour I would have chosen personally, but it works a treat! Everything is placed in its spot at the end of each sewing session and I hardly ever lose my scissors any more. When I do, I can almost guarantee I’ll find them underneath whichever cat happens to be napping on my table at the time.
The section with the wonder clips was meant to be a pin-cushion, but the foam was so lightweight it would have come out still attached to the pins, so I did away with it. One day, I’ll find a use for those cotton reel holders, but that day has not arrived thus far. If you have any ideas, please let me know in the comments!
Every sewing room needs a copy of the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. It has never failed me. I’ve used a little tab to mark the section for inserting a lapped zipper because I always need to jog my memory every time I come to do one. This treasure cost me a whole $2 at a market.
Fortunately, I’ve learnt it is quite normal to have many different types of pins. This isn’t something I realised when I started sewing again: I thought a pin was a pin. But no. Use the right pins for the right purpose and it makes things so much easier. How many types of pins do you have in your sewing arsenal?
Of course, the essential element of any dressmaker’s arsenal is a sewing machine.
My Vintage Sewing Machine
Mine is a Bernina 801 from 1982 that I purchased to replace my Singer Simple. I love sewing on this machine, although I wish it had a three-step zig-zag setting for attaching the elastic on my underwear. Despite this devastating omission, it’s an amazing machine and it has the distinction of being my youngest sewing machine at a mere 36 years of age.
The Corner Shelf
I recently acquired this corner shelf from my parents before they moved house. It’s a rather clever little piece of furniture as it folds completely flat for easy transportation. At the moment, it holds an assortment of items for display and current projects. In the photo above, you can see several garments that have been cut out and a handful of patterns that I want to sew this year. (Most of those garments are from my Handmade Holiday Wardrobe and are now all sewn up!)
This shelf features the small sewing caddy I use when I visit my parents, as well as the accessories for my Singer ‘Blue Magic’, a bag of novelty buttons and a ruffler I bought at an op shop purely because I loved the design on the box. There is actually a ruffler inside!
This isn’t my only set of shelves, of course. Every sewing room needs a reference library!
The Sewing and Knitting Library
I’m not sure how I coped before we bought this amazing piece of furniture. All of these books were stored in different places (and quite possibly in a couple of stacks on the floor) but now they take pride of place in their very own bookshelf. Almost every book you can see was bought second-hand for next to nothing.
My extra-special vintage books have a separate section on the top left.
Most of these books have cost me next to nothing and several were even given to me. I treasure them all!
The best part about this bookshelf is that the bottom half actually contains drawers. One is accessed via a flap in the bench section and is full of wadding and two cushions that need covers. The other one pulls out like a normal drawer.
This side contains a portion of my vintage knitting pattern collection. One day in the mystical future, I will put aside a full month of my life and sort out this collection because it is all over the place. It’s wonderful to have all these treasures in my possession but it’s less delightful to go searching for patterns in about six different places when I’m planning my next knitting project!
On the other side of the drawer…
…we have a portion of my vintage sewing pattern collection. This is also scattered throughout the house in multiple locations. On top of everything are some pattern pieces I’ve traced, although they mostly just get in the way. Instead of doing something about this, I just close the drawer and forget about them until the next time I need to go through the patterns underneath.
My Singer 201K
Finally, we have the Singer 201K treadle sewing machine in its lovely cabinet. This machine dates from 1950 and was given to me by my aunt-in-law. It doesn’t sew at the moment, although I do have a replacement treadle cord and a desire to clean it all up… one day. In the meantime, I enjoy its presence in my sewing room.
You can see the green case for my newer buttonholer attachment in front of the 201K. This will be getting some use soon – I’m eager to try it out and master lovely buttonholes.
Off to the right is the four-drawer trolley where I store a lot of my sewing patterns. One of my childhood toys, Piermont, has pride of place on top of the drawers. He’s wearing a monogrammed jumper I knitted him when I was a lot younger – it goes nicely with his monocle, I feel. (He was wearing glasses until I accidentally stepped on his head one day.)
And That’s My Sewing Room!
Thanks for taking a tour of my sewing room with me – I hope you enjoyed having a poke around my space. It’s not super tidy and I don’t have a single piece of Ikea furniture in it, but I love spending time there and everything just works.
What’s your favourite part of my sewing room? What’s the best part of your sewing room? Let me know in the comments below.