Saturday, September 25, 2010

Room Tour: The Sewga Space

There's a post series going on out there, in which rather well known sewists show their sewing spaces with fascinating explanation.

Alas, no one's asked me to participate, so I feel the need to take matters into my own hands. What I lack in sewing clout, I posit I make up for in style!

For starters, I am fortunate that I have come to sewing relatively late in life - because it gives me a bit more disposable income to spend on the important things, like hideously expensive (but top-of-the-line) sergers:

Yes, there she is, the Babylock Imagine, facilitating all my interior finishing needs at a moment's notice. You can also see my chic denim "regular machine" cover, though now, when I look at the inside seams, I want to start all over :-) I know I don't deserve this high end equipment at my novice stage, but that's between me and my line of credit. I've decided I'm going to improve adequately to meet its standard at my earliest opportunity.

Intriguingly, I have 2 other machines - the $200.00 Brother (encased in the cover), which Scott bought me and which kicked off this spectacular life journey, and a Singer 185J, which was gifted to me by my MIL a few months ago. Both of them are also great machines and I feel tremendously lucky in the sewing mechanics department.

Between yoga and sewing, I spend a lot of time in this space, so I feel two things are de rigeur: flowers and utter organization. Enter my latest purchase, which I've been waiting on for weeks:

It's modular plastic bins with a wood plank top. Likely I could have found something just like this at IKEA for half the price, but I opted to support a local business and it does fit perfectly in the mini (formerly wasted) space I have to use. The book situation is going to change. They're just hanging out there till I can find a chicer solution. I don't like to cover up a window with stuff...

Here's a longer shot...

In the first shot you can see the "paper bag" binder I have in the corner. That's the subject of another post, coming up soon, in which I advise you about my pattern inventory system. Note: I stole it from one of the most terrific sewists in the 'sphere, Victoria, but I don't think she'll mind... (Other note: Victoria - I'm working on the award post "interesting things about me". Will put it up soon and thanks!)

A couple of interesting facts about this room:
  • My husband lawn-surfed the oil painting on the wall. It was so made by some family guy in his art room in 1972, which is why I love it. Art rooms are the thing peeps. Or art cubbies, if space is short. I've said it a thousand times - I am so grateful for my creative space.

  • The sewing table is not an antique! I just learned from my mother that it's a reproduction she commissioned in the early 80s. It was designed with a special cut out in the back to fit over the rads we used to have in our old west-end home. Needless to say, one day it will be an antique because it is just beautifully made.
I'm not in a rush to perfect this room - an extremely unusual state of affairs (or admission) knowing me. I want to watch it develop into the most functional place for work. Functional, but with lovely form, natch. Two things I desperately need, but haven't been able to source affordably as yet are task lighting that really works (and looks awesome) and a decent chair. My back and neck are really taking the brunt of this, working as I do, but it hasn't come together yet and I guess I'll need to be patient. I think the universe is urging me to finish paying off the serger first, yes?

On the other side of the room is the fabric storage unit / ironing board / yoga prop section:

See the green genie i.e. Singer machine in its case on the floor there? Every single scrap of fabric I own is in the (ugly but endlessly functional) chest-thingy. You may be intrigued to know that's the first furniture I ever bought in 1986. I was with my mother and we found it outside a wood shop in the Beach. It's good to remember that, time was, I had really questionable taste. It keeps me on my toes.

I have all of my muslin, fashion fabric, fabric notions (i.e. shoulder pads), lingerie supplies, lining and scraps in that cupboard. My rule is, when I can't (neatly) fit those in the piece, then I can't buy more. So far it works. Note: I do believe in buying fabric to suit pattern purchases. Though I, like every sewing obsessed person, can barely resist fabric (it's like drugs) in its natural habitat, I have to remember that a) it's really expensive and b) it's useless if it sits in a closet gathering dust.

That mirror is excellent, btw. It makes you look super skinny :-)

Y'all know I love looking at interior spaces and I love sewing spots, so please respond in kind. If you have a sewing space (or a yoga space! or a fitness space! or an art space!), show it off. You can attach a photo in comments or link to a post of your own. I really would love to see where you discover your best self.


  1. I want a sewing space (and a skinny mirror).

  2. I love seeing other peoples sewing spaces. Mine is a work in progress (currently mixed between 2 rooms, ugh). What I did for task lighting though... I bought an ott (brand) lightbuld that fits in a standard light socket and used my pretty desk lamp. The only bummer is the flourescent ott light sometimes makes a weird buzzing noise. But I suspect it would buzz even if it was in one of the ugly, function-forget-form, ott lights.

  3. You have me questioning my taste. I don't think the chest looks that bad.

  4. I have such fond memories of my Grandma's sewing space (Back of the house next to the newly added INDOOR toilet with washing machine for company)

    The best part was a special box thing like a picnic basket in a yogi bear cartoon; on hinges with four compartments. I loved to open each lid and feel what was inside and my favourite was the buttons. You simply cannot find a shop that sells only buttons now in Ireland. So tactile to run your hand through and I can remember the smell.


  5. Your space is delightful. I'm suddenly feeling the need to go organize my space now. Perhaps I'll post about mine too. :)

  6. I love coming here. Your sewing room looks like a nice place to spend time.

  7. Monkey: Thank you!

    E8: They are worthy objectives :-)

    anotheryarn: You should show us how yours is developing.

    Raven: xo

    mater: Well, it's no BC beach, but it'll do :-)

    Lisa: I LOVE that memory. Association can be a beautiful thing.

    Andrea: You must!

    Susan: Why thank you so much. xo

  8. Very nice space!!! It's so clean and calming. It screams tranquility:) You are too kind for your comment *hugs*. Feel free to steal anything you like from me---I'll have to steal some of your decor ideas (wink)---love the space!

  9. This is a nice place to get creative. You are so very lucky. I did a bit of sewing in the summer and I can appreciate now places like that.