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?

x

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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! 🙂

Bienvenue chez moi.

entrance

I am very lucky to live in the beautiful city of Versailles. We are also very lucky to be experiencing such good weather for this time of year! Most trees are still green and the few that have started to change add amazing yellow and orange accents to the scenery.

I live in a flat on the top floor of an amazing old house, and literally there is inspiration all around! The building itself has an impressive exterior; pale grey roof tiles, orange and beige brick with eye catching blue and yellow wall tiles all surrounded by an immense, overgrown wild garden.

Our apartment is flooded with natural light and we have filled it with bright furnishings, the block colours and patterns work perfectly with our natural oak furniture and wooden parquet flooring. Old meets new; stone fireplace, retro sofa, old oak chest, abstract prints of our favourite artists on the wall, and it wouldn’t feel alive without sharing the space with our beloved house plants (the poor Yucca didn’t make our last house move). It seems that as different as me and the Belge are we certainly agree when it comes to our little “nid d’amour”!

For me, working on my handmade items environment is everything. A large 50’s sideboard hides drawers stuffed with fabric, yarn, tools and books. As much as I need a proper workshop space I am currently making do with the dining table. Got to adapt and make it work, and I am getting on surprisingly ok. Helps immensely that it is incredibly quiet here, and no one to complain about me singing at the top of my voice while I work.

My previous post shares a few photos of what I am looking at everyday (apart from the photo of the knitted outdoor stool, an example of yarn bombing over in the UK-Cockermouth. Was amazed to notice it in the street back in Feb, something quite absurd looking proudly like it belonged there, no one seemed phased by it, I of course was utterly fascinated!). There is something quite calming about being surrounded by pretty things. France is certainly the right country for that, aesthetic beauty is engrained in their culture, everything should look beautiful, from the women to the pastries, the buildings to the strategically planted trees. No going shopping in your joggers! Well not in the capital anyway..

Talking of shopping, would you consider a curly cabbage and a butternut squash exotic? The checkout girl today had no idea what they were…..