Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A tour of my new sewing space!

Side view

I'm so excited to finally be able to write this post and post these pictures of my very own sewing space!!!

Ever since I started sewing 5 years ago, I have been swooning over other people's sewing rooms. I have been stalking Google images and Pinterest, green with envy. Living in a 3 bed semi-D - a fairly standard Irish house (and homes here are so much smaller than in the USA, to my eternal disgust) and having 3 kids, the opportunity to convert one of my rooms was just not there. However, we are lucky to have a separate playroom from our kitchen/diner, and over the last few months a plan formed in my head. The playroom has been home to a big sofabed which primarily functioned as a dumping ground for toys, as well as proper storage for the kids toys and playing space. But as the older 2 got bigger and their toys got smaller, less space was needed for them. And the sofabed was never used. So I hatched a plan. And here is the result!

Sewing space full pic

This post is pretty picture heavy - I hope you'll excuse that. I'm just so thrilled and delighted with how my corner turned out that I want to share every last detail. Also - I think its good to see that you don't need a lot of physical space. I have literally one corner & the back wall of a room, and I've found a way to multi-task the space, plus some other space.

Let me show you around :-) First up - my desk. This is the Linnmon/Ullrik table from IKEA. The table top is pretty big - 150cm long and I chose it for the size and the storage. I have enough room to put my laptop to the right of my machine if I'm following a tute online, and still have my fabric etc beside me as I work. The storage in the legs is brill. I have little clear plastic baskets that I use to keep fabric for each project separate. And I have some other baskets and boxes which store various WIPs and supplies like ribbons, purse frames, embroidery hoops, precuts etc. I can also fit my Go Baby and dies in there too, there's way more space than I imagined there would be. I would highly recommend.


A big reason for my bright and happy space is the lovely decor, most of it acquired through swaps!  Kirsten made my sewing machine cover, and Jennifer made my mug rug - aren't they gorgeous! On the wall behind the desk, I have a variety of space saving/organiser type things. I got the little hanging baskets on the rail and the magnetic knife rack in IKEA too. The hanging baskets hold all my thread and my sewing essentials - seam ripper, pens, etc etc. I got some of those little magnetic backed jars too for my binding pins, tape measures etc as well as using the knife rack for storing my cutter and scissors.

Sewing tools

I also then have a little shelf holding other bits and pieces - my little boxes of zippers and bindings, pincushion etc. Oh - and my Bliss hearts, which I made years ago for using in my sewing space, whenever I finally got it!

Shelf with supplies

I also have my knitting and sewing needles stored on the desk just under/to the side of the shelf. I picked up the tall vase on sale in Heatons and the other 2 are an old hot chocolate and mustard tin, Mod Podged with some nice paper. You can see them better in the pic below. To the right of the desk, I have an Expedit book case with all my sewing books on display finally. Its nice and wide, so I can fit my sewing basket with my handsewing stuff in there too.


The lovely thing about sewing supplies is that they make the best decorations - I just love the perle cotton colours there.

Quilt book shelf
Between the desk and the bookcase is the narrowest of spaces - perfect for my board and rulers and it keeps them nice and straight.

 Cutting board storage

I also needed some noticeboard and display space. I googled for a few ideas, and quickly made this fabric covered notice board in an embroidery hoop - it was very simple and is corkboard underneath from an old noticeboard. I made the little pins too with some thumb tacks and buttons and pegs and a hot glue gun (my new favourite thing).

Embroidery hoop notice board

I also put up some hooks (disguised with buttons) and rick rack on the side of the bookcase to hang the little cards etc I get from people in swaps - I love holding onto those.

Hanging ric rac

I added some decorations to the space just for fun. I've been wanting to use this Periodic Table of Sewing Elements by The Scientific Seamstress for the longest time, and it looks exatly like I imagined it would.

Sewing elements pic

I also picked up some cardboard 3D letters in my local craft shop and Mod Podged some fabric on them. I originally was going to put them on the wall, but I left them up on top of the bookcase to dry, and I like how they are there so I think I'll leave them.

 SEW letters

I have a box on top of the bookcase with all the stuff I really don't want my kids getting their hands on - basting spray, staple gun, glue gun etc etc. Out of sight, no temptation!

One of my favourite things is the hanging rail I put on the wall - IKEA again. I hate folding up quilt tops after I have finished and pressed them, and they are so pretty out on display. My friend Sonya has a big rail in her sewing room where she hangs her finished baby blankets and it looks gorgeous. I didn't have the space for a big portable one, but this does the job and doesn't take too much space.

Hanging rail

I also wanted a design wall but as you can see, I didn't really have enough space for one big enough to do a quilt layout on - even a baby quilt. The other walls in this room are taken up with a big storage unit and a tv and the kids desk, or patio doors. So I reused an old canvas, covered it in an old flannel cot sheet and I have a tiny design wall that I can use for block layouts - it will fit 2 blocks at a squeeze.

Small design wall

I also made some good use of other space in the room. One wall has a large storage unit, and a couple of those shelves are mine for my fabric storage:

Fabric storage

I have the quilting fabric on the bottom shelf. The bins hold various cuts - the big one on the left has backing and binding fabric and solids. You can see the lid lifting off the top of my scraps bin in at the very back on the right hand side. I have half yard cuts in front of that, and fat quarters in the bottom tray. On the top shelf I have the bulky stuff, batting, fleece and other dressmaking and decor weight fabrics in the box.

Underneath those shelf, we have a pull out shelf that could function as a desk, and I use that for my cutting table when I'm working:

Cutting table

You can see there that I have baby changing supplies in the little basket hanging from the shelf - that's because its right beside my changing table. As I usually sew when the baby is asleep, I also use the top of the baby changing station as a table to put my little ironing board on:

Ironing station

Bet you won't see that in too many sewing rooms lol! I'm pretty happy with how I can use the space for multiple uses. (and for those of you wondering, I thoroughly clean that baby station after every change and before I bring fabric near it so there's no chance of any little accidents ;-) )

This is now a real family room. Knowing that my desk would get co-opted for drawing by the kids, I invested in a small desk and set of hanging baskets plus a magnetic noticeboard and some storage and now they have their very own arts and crafts corner where they can sit and work when I am sewing.

Kids desk

I also have a Jumperoo for my littlest lady, and she can hang out beside me as I work!  Can you spot her there in the picture?

Sewing corner

Lastly, one of the absolute must haves that was pretty much the first thing I planned after the table and bookcase - my hanging wire at the top of the wall where I can display lovely mini quilts that I have received through various swaps. They clip on and off, so I can swap them out as I accumulate more. The ones up there right now (left to right) were made by me, Lennye, Kirsten and Sharon. That wire was put up at the end of a long day and try as we might, we couldn't get it as taut as I wanted. But some day I'll go back and try again so that those minis can hang absolutely straight like I intended!

The thing I love most? The fact that its all mine - I didn't have to check with anyone, I didn't have to refer to anyone else's taste like I would decorating any other space in the house. The other thing I love - it cost me very little. The money from the sofa bed funded the desk and bookcase from IKEA - I think there were a few euro in the difference. I bought some of the accessories etc in IKEA and elsewhere. The rest of the stuff was from either things I had on hand, or other bits and pieces I picked up/reused. I think in total my new space probably only cost me about €50, which was brill as I have a tight budget on maternity leave.

I also need to say a few huge thank yous - first up to my brother and his girlfriend who went to IKEA with my list, picked the stuff and arranged for delivery to me (as its 3 hours away from me). And that was a long list, because we got a lot of other furniture for the house too! But mainly to my lovely hubbie who put everything together for me and did all the necessary DIY to get the stuff up on the walls - he did a brill job, and even though I know I was a pain in the ass about where stuff was to go etc, he never complained once.

So. There you have it. My new sewing space. I have pretty much everything sorted out at this stage - I just need to organise my yarn supplies which I have a space earmarked for. And, now, at last, I can get back to sewing instead of organising!

Linking up to Show And Tell Tuesday:



Patchwork and Play said...

What a fabulous sewing spot you have made for yourself! Everything looks so functional but pretty at the same time! I'm bookmarking this post for when I get my own space one day! Perfection!

memmens said...

Thanks for sharing, I have a space but it is covered with plaster dust at the moment, putting a kitchen in is more of a priority. Do you think you'll want to go back to work and leave it all behind?!

Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

It's nice to have your own space. Love the star on the design wall.

cheeky monkey said...

You are so lucky! Now I am green and jealous! This is amazing. so much space and the details are gorgeous!

Laura Jane said...

Gorgeous space Sarah! I love it!

Katy Cameron said...

Love the new space, well directed on the assembly :oD

Catherine said...

It looks amazing and very bright and cheerful

Judith, Belfast said...

A perfectly organised space S! Enjoy lots of creative fun in it! Jxo

Aideen said...

It's just so colourful and well organised! Love the rail for hanging quilts from, so practical. I need to get one of those small ironing boards, can you recommend anywhere that does them? I love your framed sewing pics too :)

EmileeHope said...

I used to be a part of the AtlMQG and met Leynne there! It really is a small world after all! The room looks great!

Karen said...

Wow - it's fabulous! I'm so jealous! I have exactly the same plan for our playroom, I just need to persuade everyone else! I love your hanging rail, I definitely need one of those, I have lots of trouser hangers with quilt tops and blocks hanging from light fittings! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing space and for all the tips :o)

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

I love your new space- such a happy place for you to create. Thanks for sharing it with us Sarah! :) xo

Gingersnaps Quilts said...

It looks great! Very pretty sewing space!

needle and nest said...

I love it! The colors are so cheerful and I'm betting they really encourage creative thinking. I'd love to have a space like that!

felicity said...

Fantastic use of space. Gotta love that Ikea, eh? Thanks for sharing this!

Canadian Abroad said...

Fabulous space! I am going to borrow some ideas for my impending space, thank you!

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

WOW your space looks amazing. So well thought out and functional. When my sewing space grown up it wants to be just like yours :o) What a perfect way to display your mini quilts. hugs

Flying Blind... said...

I am soooooo happy for you xxx

Cindy said...

This is so freakin' awesome I don't know what to do with myself. Can I come over for a stitch and a tea? Bold, Cindy. Bold. xx

Bonny said...

It's beautiful! Looking in just makes me want to sit and sew there :)

Rosy Sews said...

Again I say fab - love your description of how the space works for you. The pleasure you are getting from it shines out. Just waiting to see now what wonderful creations will come out of it.

diane said...

This space is so "brill" as you might say. I am going to refer back to it when I am putting the finishing touches in my space. I'm waiting for a sewing cabinet to arrive. Your space is super cute and so practical.

Dee said...

Congratulations on getting your own space! It's so happy, sunshiny and happy! Love the peek at all the beautiful things you get to spend time with!

Sewing Mom said...

It looks amazing. I'd be happy to sew there. =)

Quilter in the Gap said...

It looks amazing!!! Great job.

Phi said...

great job, thanks for sharing, your space is very inspirational - esp if you're living in a london shoebox like me!!! ;)

Debbie said...

What a wonderful, creative space. I love it. It's full of happiness and it shows that you love it.

I enjoyed the visit to your space. Glad you shared.

Have a great weekend.

Linh said...

Love the hanging rail! Your room is really cute!

Tricia ~~ Handmade Whimzy said...

I think you've done a great job! And it's so bright and colorful!

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane said...

Thanks for linking up Sarah! You know I love your space.

Sew Shabby Designs said...

I linked to you through Ellison Lane Quilts. I love your room, it's fun and bright! Just my style. I noticed you are from Cork, Ireland. Ireland is on my bucket list. I watch a show on YouTube of a couple that live in Cork. Small world and I live in the USA by Chicago. Nice meeting you!

TheSewingLoft said...

Thank you for sharing your studio space with us on the tour! I love the hanging rail and will think about adding one to my space.
~Heather said...

I love the little things - the hanging of your projects behind your sewing machine on the wall, the hanger of the quilt (I sure need one of these)....and my favorite the wood floors.

Heidi Grohs said...

I have a curtain rod on the backside of my island too! Love hang my tops there!

ga447 said...

What a happy happy place.

Melzie Belle said...

You have done an AMAZING job! It doesn't look cramped or cluttered at all, it looks large and airy :) you did great :D :D
xoxo melzie

jodi@Pleasant-Home said...

a beautiful sewing space! and i love the hanging rail! i must get one of those.... great idea!