Sunday, 4 September 2016

Where I work

I am at heart a curious nosy individual, which means that I always love reading about other people's workspaces. So it seemed only fair that I should share my own. (Plus, let's be honest, I've just had a massive tidy-up. It will never look this neat again, so I wanted to show it off!)

Centre stage, in every way, is my work table. Years ago I did a short pattern drafting course, and the main thing I learned was how much easier everything is if you have a table at the right height. My table is 91cm / 36" high, and is so comfortable that a lot of the time I work standing up. It's a conference table from IKEA, and at 110cm by 195 cm / 43" by 77" is great for cutting out as well.

General view of my workroom

My sewing machine lives on there most of the time, so I needed a draftsman's chair to seat me at the right height. Fortunately very close to where I work is a place which sells refurbished office furniture, and they had exactly what I needed. There is a slot in the table for cables, and the foot control drops through there. It rests on a handy wooden plinth which my dad made for me years ago, when Mr Tulip and I lived in a house where the loft ladder didn't reach the ground (long story, don't ask!)

Sewing machine setup

As you can just see in the background, the ironing board is right by my worktable.

Because it's so high, there's plenty of storage space under the table as well.

Space to sit and work if I want to

Room for even more boxes at the back!

The shelving is Ivar, also from IKEA. I love it because it's fully adjustable, with holes for the shelf supports at 3cm / 1¼" intervals all the way up the uprights.

The current layout of my shelves

The two large plastic boxes on the left hold my vintage patterns. The instructions and pattern pieces are stored in large manila envelopes in hanging files, while the pattern envelopes themselves are in the ring binders underneath.

When I last posted a photograph of my books, I actually missed out a shelf. Here are the whole lot, complete with an extra shelf which holds a couple of really large books, some vintage magazines, and my pattern drafting paper.

All the books

Talking of pattern drafting; the organiser for my rulers and curves is possibly the best thing I have ever made.

Everything to hand for pattern drafting

The storage units for the plastic boxes are both from Storage 4 Crafts. On top of the one on the right are my notepaper block and bookplate stamp from Venice, and my pen holder from the now sadly closed Shambellie House costume museum.

In the opposite corner, on a desk acquired from Mr Tulip some years ago, is my overlocker. In the drawers underneath are my non-vintage patterns. As you can see this is also notice board corner, with ideas/inspiration, pictures I just like to have around, and my always useful Universal Pocket Patterns.

Overlocker, flatlocker, and a lot of cork

Also pinned up here as a reminder is an article about why you should never hold a pin between your teeth. I can honestly say that I have not done this even once since I read the article four years ago, but it doesn't do any harm to leave it there.

Finally, there are some things that you just get so used to having around that you don't even notice them. A couple of years ago a friend came round to cut out her latest project on my work table, and eventually asked, "Erm, why do you have a stepladder in your workroom?" The answer was that I got so tired of fetching it every time I wanted to photograph something on the table for this blog, eventually it just ended up there!

Not the obvious sewing room tool

So that is it, my workroom in all its glory.


  1. Oooooh!! I love how organized your sewing space is!! And your book collection!!?? Holy monkey! That is totally awesome!! What a great space to be creative!

    1. Sadly Gina, my sewing space only looks this organized until I start, um, sewing in it! Then it goes downhill rapidly.

      The books have been acquired over 30-plus years (including a lot of presents from Mr T).

  2. Lovely! A whole table just for sewing - that's pretty cool. I am quite lucky with storage space but do my cutting out on the dining table. Clearing it ready for cutting is usually a mission in itself. I love your sewing space and how you've organised it!

    1. Thank you Lyndle. I'm really lucky to have the space for this set-up.