Secrets of my sewing snug

This is one for the crafters out there.

I have finally got my sewing room in order after 7 months! To be fair to myself it is the first time I have ever had a room to call my own. I also had to adapt from being in a gorgeous open plan living room with huge sky lights to a standard north facing back bedroom (with carpet!).

As you can imagine I was low on furniture and ideas, and it has really taken a long time to understand what I need, how I work best and how to be clever with space while keeping costs to a minimum. When we first arrived I couldn’t even bring myself to make anything new, the room was so depressing and dark my creativity went into total hibernation. Thankfully the fog lifted and I am much more back to my former self. In fact I now spend more time in this room than any other! On the last count, I have been able to adapt this room for under £200 (not including items we already owned).

Items we already had:
Large glass topped desk-Ikea,
Pine book shelf (painted white) given to us for free by a friend,
Industrial stool-Alexander & Pearl (no. 8 in below picture),
Vintage long arm metal lamp-flea market Paris,
Vase used as a kniting needle pot-thrift shop,
Pen pots-Eurodiff,
Dress dolly-a lucky find-bought from a fashion student in Paris who was returning to the US.

New items:


1.Black shelving unit-Argos £35 (I bought 2)
2.Clothes rail-Argos £25,
3.Re-upholstered chair –bakeronsundaystreet £30,
4.Vintage clock-Tunnel Vintage £15,
5.Black desk-Rinkit £15,
6.Pink bin-House of Fraser £13,
7.Green metal drawer cabinet-free from an office temp job (woohoo! it’s my favourite piece!!) Similar here

Top tips:
* Layout is key. As a machine knitter, hand knitter and machine sewer I needed three seperate places to work, plus an office space to use my computer. All I had to do was turn the main desk 180° et voilà! There are now three corresponding work areas in my room that I can move between easily on my chair with wheels. I can leave an unfinished piece of knitting on my machine undisturbed while I do other things.

sewing room layout

sewing room layout

* Lighting is a major issue. A north facing room has its obvious issues therefore I replaced the main light with a high wattage bulb (halogen 70w=92w), and the bulb in the lamp is a high wattage white light energy saving bulb essential for up close work.
* Comfort is important also. Us crafters spend a lot of our time seated and a chair that has a sturdy back and soft base is essential.
* Keep it colourful! I could not work in this room without the art posters or plants.
* Due the time spent in this room I bought a cheap set of twin land line phones to ensure I can make and receive calls here without running down the stairs. Twin phone.

There remains many items on my wish list for future purchases, and I may have chosen differently given a bigger budget, but that’s what I look forward to, adapting and updating the room as I go!

I hope this has inspired you! Why not post a picture of your office or sewing room?


Project Seat Cover.

Hello fellow crafters and fashion lovers!

Don’t you just hate it when you have a beautiful piece of furniture that just doesn’t seem to be practical? I have this amazing industrial looking stool purchased from Alexander & Pearl that I currently use in my sewing room, the only problem is I literally slip off it no matter what I am wearing. So today was the day I was going to do something about it.

My first instinct was to crochet a cover but then I remembered I had this great gold strong cotton material sitting on the shelf. The cotton was bought from Les Coupons by Marché St Pierre in Paris last year and I believe it was about 3 metres for 10 euros.

After bit of measuring and a few false starts later I had completed my cover. No need for staple guns here, I simply threaded a piece of elastic through the bottom seam (a bit like a shower cap!) and it holds really well. I like that it is also a temporary solution and I can take it off whenever I like. I won’t lie, sewing round things is difficult, but I am eager to do a round leather bag for Atelier Boyceau so i’m hoping practice makes perfect.

Oh and the grip on my derrière is just right! 🙂

New Prints on the Block

Another new string to my bow is t-shirt block printing! It has taken a while and a few wrong turns but I’m so happy with my final results I’m hoping to take it further for the Atelier Boyceau range.

I have stradled this project over two main strands, patterns (of course) and silhouette black & white faces. There always seems to be two clear facets to a lot of my work, staying faithful to texture and ornate shapes, and a strong desire to be modern, fun and bright. I guess it’s the knitter in me versus the youthful girl who loves fashion! No bad thing to have diversity, however I hope this doesn’t detract from the stylistic identity I would like for Atelier Boyceau. The answer will be to carefully combine these elements going forward….

Back to the tees. Once I chose my image and altered it how I wanted I used printer transfer paper to iron on the image. Cue photo:

Atelier Boyceau printed image t-shirt

Atelier Boyceau printed image t-shirt

I used a great image of my sister (she loves it!), however as I feared the image didn’t hold up too well after washing and I really don’t want to sell a sub standard product so I had to rethink. The obvious next step would have been to get some basic screen printing supplies. However I am stuck for space and so chose the (more time consuming) option of block printing. Cue next photos:

A few hitches, I had tried with regular acrylic paint but it really doesn’t hold up in the wash so I used screen printing ink. It was too thin at first but then I got better results using a fluffy roller. I did however hand finish the prints to get a darker result. The second image is of me and the Belge if you were wondering 😉 I love the picture and makes me smile! Each t-shirt also has a stamped phrase in French on using a permanent ink stamp.  “bébé d’amour” and “je pense à toi” seemed like fitting phrases for each picture. Cue final results:

All items are now available on my Etsy shop. Vive handmade!!!! 🙂