Being the Nosy Parker that I am, I'm starting a new series taking a peek at other sewists sewing spaces. Each month I'll be chatting with other bloggers about what makes there space special to them and how they went about putting it all together. In part, this is going to help inspire me as I create my own creative space in my new home. I hope you all find this as interesting as me, I do love looking around other peoples homes.
When I started thinking about taking pictures for this article, I found myself (again!) drooling over all these beautiful Pinterest boards of sewing spaces in a desperate attempt to get some last-minute inspiration. Unfortunately, there is no way I can turn my messy sewing flat (no, it's not just a 'space' anymore) into anything only remotely similar. Let's face the facts. Only a very small minority of us sewers is probably blessed to have one of these super gorgeous, perfectly tidy and decorated sewing spaces, sewing rooms (!) or even garden sheds (!!!). Most of us probably struggle to find any space at all and often have to share it with significant others, kids or flat mates who expects the creative mess to be gone by dinner time. But you know what? In the end it doesn't matter how pretty your sewing space is. As long as you can find a power socket near you to plug in your sewing machine, everyone can make beautiful stuff. That's why I'm sharing my sewing space with you as it is.
That's what it looks like during the project planning phase and it gets gradually worse from there!
Q1- what factors do you have to consider when setting up your sewing space?
I share I very tiny flat with the Mr, so I do not have a dedicated sewing space. I basically use our living room table (which also functions as our kitchen table) to set up my machine. Luckily, since we have the bad habit of eating while sitting on the sofa, I do not have to tidy up every day and sometimes can park my projects there for quite a while. It's also very lucky that the Mr never complains. I can cover the whole flat in fabric scraps and he won't say anything as long as his desk stays sewing-free. Recently he has accepted my overlock machine to share a corner of his desk with his play station and I am very grateful for that. Since the Mr is so immune towards my creative mess, I only get into trouble when we have guests coming over to our house or even staying for a couple of days. It's no sewing for me on these days.
Q2- do you have any tips for people who have to share their space with housemates?
If they (unlike the Mr) are bothered by your stuff lying around everywhere - keep it as tidy as possible. If you have to use a communal area, for example the dining room table, make sure you keep everything organised, because it's then much easier to put away in time for meals. Depending on your machine, you might also have to consider noise levels. With my former flat mate I made an agreement about not sewing after 11pm on week days, because my machine was super noisy.
Q3- what's your favourite element of your space?
Since my sewing mess is accepted all over the flat now, I do not have to sit in a tiny dark corner somewhere, but can sit in front of a huge window. As the Mr's desk is right next to mine, I always have company when sewing - it's nice to chat and have someone around when things sometimes get really frustrating. Whenever he is not around I use his huge monitor screen to watch movies while sewing.
However, it can be really annoying not to have a nicely organised sewing room. I have to do all the tracing and drafting and cutting on our living room floor, which sometimes is hardly big enough. There is no room for an extra shelf to put all notions and tools away, so they are all over the place. There is no piece of furniture that does not have something sewing-related on, in or under it.
I keep most stuff in various boxes, to make it look as tidy as possible. These boxes can be found everywhere in the flat and sometimes even I get confused when I look for something in particular.
To be honest, this sometimes can be really frustrating and the sewing process could be way more efficient if everything was a bit more organised, but I love my sewing mess anyway. Maybe I will have a Pinterest-worthy sewing room some day, but for now it's what we sewers do best: make do and mend.