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:

office2

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?

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Discovering Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx

On a recent trip to the Compton Verney country mansion and museum in Warwickshire, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a small exhibition of Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx’s work (1902-1998).

An artist, textile designer, illustrator and author, Marx was incredibly talented and successful throughout her career.

I am in the midst of a block printing project for Atelier Boyceau, and as such this discovery couldn’t have come at a better time. I have always loved geometric patterns and abstract images and am currently working on t-shirt designs to add to my collection. I have just purchased a linoleum printing set to try out and my mind is racing with possibilities. As always watch this space!

The pictures speak for themselves! Enjoy 🙂

Compton Verney