Sewing Room Swoon

Recently I shared my sewing room in the magazine and thought it should definitely appear on the blog too! I hope you like this peek into my sewing space. I know how lucky I am to have a dedicated space to sew, and although it feels like an indulgence at times, it has made me so happy in the short year I’ve had it.

Forgive the low light in the pics, these were shot in Jan!

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This room is on the middle floor of my townhouse in Leeds. It’s a great size room and is definitely nice and warm, but it doesn’t get the best light and the view isn’t the prettiest. I’ve done my best to make it look lovely inside instead.

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The main feature of the room is the cutting table, made by my partner. He used four Kallax units from Ikea, added a large MDF top and used ikea metal feet to raise the table to the perfect height. Underneath I use large baskets to store all my fabric, zips, and interfacing, as well as mugs of chalk pencils, tracing paper and bias binding. The whole thing is over 1m wide and 1.5m long, meaning I can cut delicate fabric single layer without them trying to escape. The only problem is that my cat Chewie thinks it’s the perfect sleeping spot so I have to shoo her away when it’s time to cut out projects. Then she just moves to another spot for a nap!

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I’m fortunate to have several machines. The Janome SMD4000 is my main machine, then there’s the machine I learnt on – a Toyota Jeans Machine. I also have a Singer 14sh754 overlocker and two vintage Singer machines (a 1939 hand crank and a 1970s machine set into a table. My dad is a great antique hunter!). Having all my machines in a row means bouncing between each is easy and I usually keep the Janome and Toyota threaded in different colours in case I need to work on multiple projects at once.

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My gorgeous pink mid-century inspired chair has a pretty scalloped back (Very.co.uk) and I’ll sit here when it comes to hand sewing and unpicking. The vintage glass cabinet was a gift from my partner’s grandmother and it makes perfect storage for yarn, ribbon, button tins and boxes of sewing patterns. (Orla Kiely tins, Selvedge yarn)

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Decorating is still a work in progress but the majority of my wall space is used for spool racks. I chose polka dot wallpaper from Prestige Textiles (in Graphite – my first ever wallpapering attempt! Under the careful eye of my mum) as an eye-catching feature when you first enter. My most-used scissors hang from a pretty coat hook from BHS for easy access and fun quotes and pictures keep me smiling while I work. (Vintage decorative dressmaking stand, Korbond pear pin cushion, Sasse and Bell spool holder). A vintage sewing-themed calendar from SewDirect.co.uk adds retro inspiration and an illustrated portrait I was given for my birthday shows me wearing my favourite handmade dress (artist @andsmile). My plan is to frame some of my vintage patterns and add a bit more shelving space and then the room should be complete!

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After years of working on my dining table and cutting out on the floor, it’s so nice to have a separate sewing space. I do miss Mr AR though, so we regularly run up and downstairs to see each other and take it in turns to brew up!

I hope you enjoyed having a peek in my sewing room. Hopefully the next time I share it the walls won’t be as beige or sparse heehee!

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MMM12: Days 4 and 5. WASABI!!!

Long weekend woooo!

I wore my polka dot top to work Friday made from Butterick 5644 with a self drafted peter pan collar. I had a very productive day. No one was really in the office so no one really noticed/cared I was wearing my top. I was pleased with myself at least. Straight after work I met up with old work friends for a drink. Always dangerous on an empty stomach but awesome fun to catch up with everyone.

Yesterday I didn’t really do as much sewing as I’d have liked. I bought bucket loads of fabric though! I have FINALLY found nice lace. All of Yorkshire seemed to have a nice lace  shortage, apart from Sam Taylors who have gorgeous but COSTLY lace. Last week I bought some online from Hertfordshire and was rather impressed with it when it arrived. But then, wandering round the market yesterday I found gorgeous red and mint coloured lace at a bargainous price of £2.85 a metre! God bless you Jack’s Fabrics.

And then I bought lots of lining fabric from Jack’s from their clearance shed. It’s not really a shed but a walk in cupboard area which is definitely hit and miss but when you find a hit, it’s usually amazing. The best thing about the shed is that everything is about £1 or £1.50 a metre. Jersey, cottons, georgette/chiffon, and occasionally some awesome printed polyester turns up in there! I usually have to tear myself away. It’s great for making a wearable muslin and real projects. And if you’ve read Tilly’s post on the cost of making clothing, Jack’s helps me keep costs down.

So if that wasn’t enough I then opened my exciting new package. My baby overlocker!! Isn’t it sweet!? A Singer too. It was a little fiddly to thread but not half as bad as I thought it would be. I made my chain thread but have yet to practice on any fabric and set the tension. That’s my main plan for this afternoon.

Finally I should mention my MMM item for yesterday. I wore this star print top made from New Look 6962. Jimi and I have been dating for 23 months and 3 weeks so we celebrated our almost anniversary by going out for Teppanyaki!

Wasabi Teppanyaki at Granary Wharf is so much fun. I recommend it to everyone. They cook everything in front of you on a giant hot plate and the set menus give you a great variety of things to try. Japanese salad is delicious, hot miso soup, vegetable tempura, then I had aubergine, courgette, mange tout, tomatoes and onions in garlic and teriyaki sauce with egg fried rice. Yum. And there is obligatory shouting of “WASABI!!!”  throughout dinner.

Now you may ask why not wait an  extra week to celebrate?! Well it is because Jimi is doing a half marathon next weekend. This means he can’t have a deliciously indulgent and giant dinner the night before the race and he may be too physically ruined to get off the sofa the day after. If it turns out he’s bouncing all over and fit as a fiddle  the day after I’ll drag him out again.

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