3 January 2014

Sewing Space Makeover Inspiration


Happy new year, my friends! I hope you've had some time to chillax over the break and are raring to go in 2014. I love the transitional time between the end of one year and the beginning of the next, and the opportunity it brings for positive change, even if the timing is kinda arbitrary. Whatevs, I'm starting the year with a nice project by planning a sewing space makeover. 

In a couple of weeks' time... [deep breath]... I'M GETTING A DEDICATED SEWING ROOM OMIGAWD AT LAST!!!! Up until now, I've been using the sitting room that I share with my flatmate as sewing room and office too, which got even crazier when I started working from home full time. It was driving me slightly nuts to have to keep clearing stuff up and moving things around, particularly when I was writing my book. Plus not having any separation between the space I was working in all day and the space where I could chillax in the evening meant that I never really felt like work was over. First world problem, I know, but not ideal. Well, due to a change in living circumstances, I'm now getting my very own room from which to work and write and make stuff. Hooray!


So now I'm going crazy on Pinterest seeking inspiration for my new space. The room is painted slate grey, so I want to brighten it up with some accent colours - I'm thinking accessories in yellow, turquoise and possibly a bit of pink. If I can get black and white spots and/or stripes in there too, then that would be marvellous. I got some pretty star shaped fairy lights as Christmas decorations which I'm thinking I might put up permanently in the office to keep me motivated when working after nightfall. Plants are also a must. An inspiration wall would be nice, somewhere I can put up encouraging words and gorgeous images. Room makeovers can get pretty costly, so I'm trying to work with what I already have as much as I can, and only get a few additional things. As nice as that £100 black and white striped rug is (see top picture), I'll go with the the £20 polka dot one for now, which isn't such a hardship!

Do you have a dedicated sewing space and, if so, how have you decorated it? Do you have any ideas for what I should do with my new studio?

[Soundtrack: 'Sweet Salvation' by The Stepkids]

65 comments:

  1. Hi Tilly, I do have a dedicated sewing room which is a combined spare bedroom/sewing room. I created it once my OH moved out and into his new office in the basement last year. It is really great to have a room where I can have all my sewing things, fabric, books, haberdashery, etc. in one place where I can escape to and get a bit creative.

    I have made a few different things in the last year, but sadly haven't done much dressmaking but do intend to try to get back to it this year. In the meantime your blog is providing much inspiration. Good luck planning and making over your room. I look forward to a reveal.

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    1. I'm so glad you find the blog inspiring, thank you for saying so! Good luck getting back into dressmaking.

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  2. Id love my own studio room to work from. I work from home too and at the moment my work space is the living room. I agree with you that having all of your equipment and fabric and tools and whatever else in your living space means its very hard to relax after work.
    The biggest thing you need in a work space is light. Light coloured walls, little clutter, make sure nothing takes away the light.

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    1. Yes, that's a great point about light. I hope that the white furniture and coloured accents will brighten the room up a bit, but if not I could always repaint!

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  3. Hurrah! This is timely actually, as I hope to reclaim my spare/sewing room soon and give it a real makeover to make it a practical space for sewing (as opposed to it currently doubling up as mine and my boyfriend's office too). My favourite idea I've seen online is a pegboard on the wall painted a pretty colour with hooks for hanging scissors, tools and even little spools for bobbins and threads. My floor space is tiny so using the walls is a must!

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  4. Hi Tilly!
    I know the feeling pretty well, as I'm redoing my Low-Budget Sewing Room!
    My walls are grey too (but I added some white brush stroke here and there and details in bright orange!)
    We've already moved everything (except fabric stash - read: headache) and I bet you'll discover soon how work in a dedicated room makes everything easier and funnier (if possible)
    Wishing you a perfect year, I'm now stalking you on Pinterest...sorry - I meant following LOL
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper.com

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  5. ooh i love your pins! i don't currently have a space (hello dining room table!) but plans are afoot to sort out an admittedly tiny utility room into my sewing space. so hopefully by next year - i can't wait as it will help with time management so much if i don't have to clear everything away at the end. I'm going to need some good storage tho and i saw this post from leisl at oliver & s about her tiny sewing space - https://oliverands.com/blog/2013/12/ask-me-more-easy-questions.html#more-8917. sarai at colette has posted lots of lovely ideas for sewing spaces. must start my own pinboard.

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  6. I don't have a dedicated sewing room. Our tiny living room was made even more tiny when we bought a new sofabed, so the dining table relocated to our room where I now sew. We are currently house hunting, and I have made a spare room a priority so fingers crossed I will be having a sewing room soon. Your pins look really nice. I am liking the ideas for your colour scheme. I shall be watching that pinterest board closely, and I am declaring now that I shall steal a few ideas...not many, maybe 5 or 6.

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  7. Thank you for the great inspirations! O love the collor combo of yellow, turqoise and pink! :D

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  8. I am in the middle of creating my first sewing room, no real surprises, Expedit all the way. It does take two people to put it together but it is simple, inexpensive, looks good and seems to work! I am at the point where everything looks worse than before I started - back at work in two days so I need to get a wiggle on.

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    1. Oh yes, it'll be Expedit-licious (sorry)! I'm thinking a whole wall of Expedit, in fact...

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  9. I am in the middle of creating my first sewing room, no real surprises, Expedit all the way. It does take two people to put it together but it is simple, inexpensive, looks good and seems to work! I am at the point where everything looks worse than before I started - back at work in two days so I need to get a wiggle on.

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  10. I live alone and turned my dining room into my sewing room. Plenty of shelving/storage is a must. Also a full length mirror. The only entrance into the room is through the kitchen so I put up a curtain to close it off when I have guests and it's a bit messy. I work on other projects for friends so I bought a calendar (365 days of hats!) to help me plan out my week/month and sewing projects.

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  11. Ooo I love a room make over (second only to completing a new garment). The room we used to call 'the office' is now official called 'the sewing room' (hubby prefers studying at the dinning room table anyway!). I have a large glass topped desk, pale blue walls, silver blind and horizontal wide striped wallpaper on one wall. Plus hard wood floor so I can hear pins drop! Here's a peek of the feature wall http://clippedcurves.wordpress.com/about/

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  12. My dedicated sewing space is our office, which, really, the hubs doesn't use very much. It used to be our "People are coming over? Quick! Throw everything in there and shut the door!" space, but now that it is cleaned, it is much better. I could still use with a few things (I need to use the dining room table downstairs for tracing and cutting patterns or fabric), but it serves its purpose of keeping all my fabric/notions/etc. out of the way.

    I do like your idea of yellow and turquoise. In fact, over the past year, my living/dining area has been transformed using a dandelion yellow (just a bit more of an orange-y tint than the yellows on your pinboard pictures), slate grey, and lots of black, white, and various other shades of grey. Plus, one of our walls, after we fix the corner joints, we are painting either a robin's egg or a turquoise-y blue. Great minds think alike, non? Have you thought of doing a pretty plum or purple instead of pink? A purple would complement the yellow more.

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    1. Deffo to yellow and turquoise - so lovely. I'm not massively into purple and liked the idea of a hot pink to brighten the grey, but it may be a bit much - we'll see!

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  13. Right now, I put all tools, fabrics, and sewing machine in a corner in my bedroom (approx 3x3.5 m). And now and then, my Janome has to share her space on writing desk to a laptop. Can you imagine how narrow the nook is? Definitely, I need a big space for sewing studio someday, where I can put bodyforms (crossfinger) and stack of fabrics, with windows to let the sunshine in to minimize energy use. I would decorate the room with mint green and splash peach as complementary to major color tone. As for furniture, I want them painted in white or wood finish color. But, so far, I could only dream up :)

    Anyway for your studio, I think the colors combo is great. How about framed wall hanging? You can pick one which resembles with carpet, for example. And decorating plants is a good idea; choose which can help purify air in your office. (wow, I guess I feel nearly as crazy as you). Goodluck.

    Raras Lalita

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  14. I had visions of turning our box room into a sewing room and moving my daughter into the bigger room, but that's all on the back burner for the foreseeable future. I may end up taking over the chicken coop in the garden for my sewing as the front room is cluttered with toys and books!

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  15. I am getting a sewing room all to myself, as my hubby is sick and tired of my mess all over the dining room table (this was of course my cunning plan)!! This post is perfectly timed ;) I can't wait to start decorating once the walls are up, I've seen so many awesome sewing spaces :D

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    1. Woohahaha! He fell for it - congrats!

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  16. I do have a dedicated crafting space, but it's not quite functional yet because I have SO. MUCH. STUFF. and it's not yet put away efficiently. I keep thinking that once I get organized, I'll be more productive, so that's my goal for the new year. Good luck with your space!

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  17. Wonderful!! I love having a dedicated space. Also, I have that teal ikea cart, and it's fantastic for putting in progress stuff or next in the queue projects. I blogged about my sewing space here if you'd like to take a gander: http://rosiewednesday.blogspot.com/2013/06/my-sewing-room.html. Hopefully something will inspire you!

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    1. Wow, those sewing machine book ends were such a great find!

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    2. Thanks! I found them through eBay. Looks like they still exist in Australia if you want to pay shipping! http://www.latestbuy.com.au/sewing-machine-bookends.html?partner=245133524&affid=245133524&utm_source=prodFeed3&utm_medium=xml&utm_campaign=prodFeed_my_shopping&utm_term=SMBK001

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  18. I don't have a dedicated space for sewing. I do, however, have one of the turquoise kitchen trolleys from Ikea. It is very easy to put together & sturdy, with a lovely colour.

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    1. It seems to be a craft room staple!

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  19. I have a sewing room, it's not completly finished and a recent trip to ikea made me want to redesign and refurnish the whole thing, so not good when we've had the whole house to do!

    I love bright colours so when it came to painting it I opted for lime green, at first it looked like I'd gone too far but I love it now, it's bright, zesty and fresh. Perfect for dank dismal days! Long term I plan to pair it with white furniture (probably not the wisest decision) and pops of bright pinks and oranges. Good luck with your can't wait to see the finished result :)

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  20. Oh, I was *so* happy when I finally got a sewing studio - you won't believe what a difference not having to put all your stuff away and out again every day can make! A few tips from me:

    - Get plastic pegboard to put on the walls and then hang everything that's hangable (scissors, rotary cutters etc) - it's wonderfully easy to find things
    - Get a variety of light sources - I use the task light near my machine all the time
    - Put a variety of bins around the place so that you can easily through scraps in there, whether you're cutting, at your sewing machine etc - this has helped me keep the place a lot cleaner
    - Have a comfy chair for when you want to do hand-stitching
    - And for me, my space isn't that big, so I got a collapsible table which I use as a cutting table but can easily put down when I need more space. It's worked really well!

    Can't wait to see it!

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    1. Those are all great tips - thanks for sharing!

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  21. Oh, and here's my Pinterest board in case it's interesting!
    http://www.pinterest.com/craftygoingson/sewing-room/

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  22. I finally carved out a sewing space for myself in our playroom ladt year. I love it! It cost me very little - I sold the sofa that had been there and went shopping in IKEA. Decorations were the most fun. I have pics here if you want a look: fairyfacedesigns.blogspot.ie/2013/05/a-tour-of-my-new-sewing-space.html

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    1. I love looking at people's workspaces/creative nooks. Yours is lovely and congrats on combining with your family life. When my kids were little, I could barely combine Farex, much less creativity. Thank you for posting the link. I enjoyed reading about the detail of what worked and why you did things a certain way. I'm pondering storage ideas for notions etc at the moment.

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  23. I do have a dedicated sewing/ crafting room. And its in the basement, which is great because I can leave a mess if I need to. I'm going to be doing a little bit of reorganizing and revamping soon too. I think a creative space is a great opportunity to diy and upcycle and thrift as many aspects of the room as possible! For example, in my sewing room I have a 1930s/40s era vanity base as the desk for my sewing machine, found on craigslist for $35. I also scored an adorable mint-green early 60s metal sewing machine with it's own attached little table, the electrical is shot so its just for aesthetics, also on craigslist for $25.
    My plans for the space include: I've started making my own frames for some peg board a family member grabbed for me at a construction site. I'm going to paint the peg board aqua to contrast the butter-yellow walls. I'm also going to find and spray-paint a couple of four drawer file cabinets to compact my fabric storage. I found that idea online, and I thought it looked like such a good idea because it keeps everything dust protected but easily accessible!
    Finally, after about a year of should-I-or-shouldn't-I about spending big $ on a modular cutting table, I decided I'm going to build a custom table out of pipes, pipe fittings, and pine stair treads. This is all pretty exciting! Also, I have been thinking about the IKEA Raskog cart for storing materials for in progress projects next to my sewing table! Isn't it cute?

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  24. I've experimented with several spaces over the years, but as my family grew I gradually got squeezed out. I now have a shed at the bottom of the garden! I love my little sewing space away from the hub bub of large family life. I moved in during the summer and am slowly working out exactly how the space works for me, and prettying up as I go along. My real wanty item is a pot bellied stove. x

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  25. Hello Lovely Tilly how lovely to get a space like this - wonderful! I have the tiniest of rooms which is crammed - unfortunately I cannot use the machine in there as there is no room so it is simply a storage place, I have tried to make it pretty and at least everything is in there - Just wish I could move all the walls at least 12 feet in every direction! Have a wonderful weekend lovely Tilley and have fun with your planning, so exciting for you and well deserved. Big hugs
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  26. I have a desk in the space under the stairs... its a little bit Harry Potter-esque but it just about does the job. Looking forward to seeing how your space turns out! You can find such pretty things on pinterest! x

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  27. I'm hinting (alot) that tanking out the garage would be really good for hubby's tools and while we're doing that we can split the space between us so that he gets a workshop and I get a sewing space.

    And the really good news my brother is an apprentice builder and Dad is really handy and they've offered to help do it! I'm so excited as I will be able to find everything all the time. It'll be so much nicer than being on the dining room table and always having to put everything away.

    Good luck with your new sewing room. X

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  28. No chance of a dedicated space for me (small house and 3 children), and stunned that you haven't had one until now! What a treat, not having to tidy stuff away. Thinking of setting up a space for myself by our dining room window with a writing bureau/miniature craft studio (I crochet more than sew) - I could shut the lid on current projects rather than having to put them back in their box/bag/shelf etc. Looking forward to seeing pics of your new space and off to check I'm following on Pinterest. Best wishes for 2014, Claire x

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  29. This is great! I am currently renovating the attic and I will have a proper sewing room. I can tell you Finnvard legs are great to make a cheap cutting table. I was lucky to have bought it well before starting to sew and when I decided to change my pc table I could finally use it for cutting. My back was very happy. I am also a big expedit fan. Another great furniture piece is Alex. Claire from Sew Incidentally showed a great hack on her blog. Colorwise I decided to keep everything white...fabric and sewing tools (plus my mess!) make it all so colorful already that I need something that is visually calming. In addition white is great for reflecting light and making the space look bigger.

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  30. Lucky you Tilly - such a great way to start your 2014 sewing in it's own dedicated space :) In my space (which needs a good tidy-up still haha) I like to store tools/notions in IKEA units e.g. HELMER metal drawers, and the EXPEDIT shelving unit is always popular for sewing/craft spaces as it's very versatile. I also have an ALEX Drawer unit (see my photo here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/154318724701509260/) that I adapted to store pattern-making supplies. And, I hang scissors /shears etc. in IKEA rails above my cutting table too (photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/154318724701509267/). Plus, I have a Pinterest board called Sewing Rooms & Spaces - Organisation & Storage Solutions with nearly 1,300 different pins of different sewing/craft rooms and ideas/tips for making your sewing space more organised too ;)

    I can heartily recommend this excellent book for planning your new space (2nd edition is best): Dream Sewing Spaces: Design and Organization for Spaces Large and Small by Lynette Ranney Black

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  31. Oooh, that is so exciting! It's much easier to be productive when you have a dedicated space. I love that teal-y blue Ikea trolley you've pinned, that would be perfect for my sewing supplies too.. I will have to investigate. And have you seen this rug - admittedly a bit novelty BUT it is "the buttons" (there is also fabric, which might be good as a sewing machine cover or something similar as a tribute to your blog title)
    http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/50251741/

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  32. So excited for you to get a sewing room! I've sewn in everything from a corner in my bedroom, to my dining room table, to a closet, and now my sewing room, which is JUST for my sewing. My favorite thing to put in my sewing room is art that inspires. When we, as seamstresses, stare at designs, swatches, thread, patterns, and machines all day, it's nice to have something inspiring, but unrelated to what we've been staring at for hours on end. I'm actually posting about sewing room organization in the next couple days, if you want to check it out at Pleats and Ruffles. Good Luck! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  33. Hoorah, you're getting your own sewing room! Our loft is a combined guest room/sewing room, although I do feel huge resentment when people stay and I'm left twitching at the door! I also have grey walls (what else) with red and turquoise accessories. I think splashes of colour look great against grey. The only thing I miss not having is an actual pin board as there just isn't enough wall space so make the most of your inspiration wall, it sounds fab! x
    PS. Just had a shock then, I must have unintentionally pressed 'paste' in your comment box and my son's science homework all about plant cells suddenly appeared alongside my comment! I need to have a lie down. xx

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  34. oh i love these images! i've managed to reserve the unused end of the dining table and the space around it as my sewing space, and i can clear it up easily if we're having a dinner party. here it is here! http://sewingthe60s.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/my-sewing-space.html

    Hopefully one day ill have a sewing space just for myself! And ill dress it up as well!

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  35. How exciting! I've been working on my sewing room for months whenever I can grab a minute and it's finally coming together. I agree with the other comments, good lighting is essential and I've hung mirrors too which helps, they also has the added bonus of making it easier to fit stuff on myself.

    I had a really, really tight budget so I've been using furniture I already had or ebay bargains to furnish the majority of the space. I too love bold coloured furniture and, if you haven't tried it already, I'd recommend chalk paint, it's amazing! I recently acquired a pine shelving unit someone had made for his toy car collection and painted it to house my sewing threads, it took an afternoon. You paint the chalk paint over practically any surface, no prep needed as long as it's clean, it dries super fast, no stink, and then you paint on a wax to seal it, couldn't be easier! Plus you can buy it in so many cute colours, or mix it yourself.

    I did invest years ago in a Horn sewing table. If there's one thing worth splurging on it's one of those, you can have your sewing machine and bits available in seconds and it stows away too without much effort. Recently I acquired a cutting table from ebay, it was custom made for me, it's at worktop height and the legs can be folded away if there's a need to store it. It wasn't very expensive, but has made a massive difference for cutting patterns, it's so much quicker than crouching on the floor or stooping over the dining table.

    I can't wait to see pictures of your finished room, good luck x x

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  36. That is good news Tilly. I finally got my dedicated sewing room a few months ago after having a squishy corner of the bedroom to deal with. While I still need to do a little decorating I've got the staples in place. The thing I like best is that I have my old computer desk jutting out from the wall so that I have the 2 long sides accessible; it's just a perfect work space and ideal for cutting out. On top of the desk my husband made me a fabulous padded cover over a large board the size of the desk-top and on the other side we glued 3 cutting mats. So the surface is just brilliant.

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  37. storage storage storage.....quirky pretty storage....you can never have enough!!
    bestest daisy j x

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  38. Oh to have a dedicated sewing room - its my one requirement from our next house! At the moment I store all my sewing stuff in the living room and I used the little wooden drawers from Ikea to sort it all out. I even made them pretty and put labels on the front so I know which contains zippers and which contains bias etc. You can see them here http://knittymummy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/pinterest-challenge-decoupage-ikea.html

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  39. My bedroom is my sewing room or rather I happen to have my bed in my sewing room. It will be wonderful when you have them separate and can shut the door on your work in the off times. I'll be watching you and dreaming of the day I too will be able to have my own sewing space.

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  40. Hi Tilly just sending you a few pics of my tiny sewing space in the tiniest room in the house (thankfully not the loo!). Am sure yours will be divine. Big hugs
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    http://crochetknittingsewing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/my-little-room_8.html

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  41. Hi Tilly, I am an artist of many sorts and have always had to eek out a little space for all my many materials (including my sewing machine and fabrics). Not easy when we have 4 kids! For the last year I have been sharing my daughter's bedroom using a big IKEA book case as a divider. My eldest son just left home (sob) and the upside...I have my own room! Well I have to share it with my hubby's guitars, but even so. I want to quit my job and stay home and make things. I have used a lot of the turquoise accessories from IKEA (including that gorgeous little cart I see in your pictures). They have fabric cube tubs, little metal bins etc all in the same colour. They look gorgeous in any room. I've also framed up (using IKEA poster frames) some cool graphic black and white posters and a tea towel. If you are still renting, I can highly recommend command strip hooks for putting things up...I love to hang them from the ceiling so I can drape banners and pom pom stings etc to make things look festive. Good luck to you...can't wait to see what you come up with.

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  42. YAY!!! It is SO exciting to get your own space to work in! I know that when I did (instead of dining room table) it changed my sewing dramatically, both in enjoyment and productivity! I have been gradually reworking the space over the past year to get it just right, but here are a few things I couldn't live without:

    Good lighting, a full length mirror, rolling chair and floor mat, rolling cart from IKEA to throw everything on and whip around the room with me, keeping the ironing board and sewing table (mostly) clutter free :) Clutter free is the best way to be!

    Also, maybe take a peek at this post I did a while back with a survey from an old article about the best way to organize your sewing space for productivity - http://thequirkypeach.blogspot.com/2013/06/score-your-sewing-space.html Good luck with your redesign, and have fun! :)

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    1. Ooh interesting survey - given me lots of ideas!

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  43. Congrats on getting a dedicated sewing space - it will make a huge (and fabulous) difference for you! I recently overhauled my sewing room (http://spottydogsocialclub.blogspot.ca/2013/12/my-own-personal-heaven.html) and let me just say - Ikea is your friend!

    Happy organizing, and I look forward to seeing what you end up doing!

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  44. Hi Tilly! I saw one of your wishes of using black dots, and I found a very inexspensive way to create them: thick paper dots with which we call in holland 'plakgom', google translate does not know it, but the stuff which is used to stick posters to the wall, very inexspensive stuff which sticks on my texture paint for at least a couple of months now!

    I hope you create a dream room and very curious to see the result!
    I fortunelately know how nice it is to have my own room for hobbying :D

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  45. Hi Tilly,
    please send me your adress by email and i send you this book about how to create sewing spaces ;)
    http://christelleben.blogspot.fr/p/mes-livres.html
    http://ick.li/AOWpBL
    xxx
    Christelle

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    1. Merci Christelle! I can't find your email - mine is here if you could email me.

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    2. I email you Tilly ! Hope you enjoy this book, even if it's in French ;) There is a lot of pictures and plans

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  46. I'm lucky enough to have my own sewing space but so far it's not decorated at all. I share the room with my husband's tools, exercise equipment and all our camping stuff but have staked out a corner for myself with some shelves and a sewing table that I can leave projects out on. My favorite organization piece isn't a pretty one but it's definitely functional.

    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/studio-organizer-cart-with-drawers/1017609130?Keyword=cart

    I'd highly recommend something like this for your space! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

    Cheers,
    Eileen

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  47. Hi Tilly, Its lovely that you are decorating the room. My fav colours in combination are teal and purple these days.
    I've started sewing in September and your blog with clear instructions has been a inspiration for me so much that I bought the same sewing machine.
    I use our spare bedroom and its allowed to be messy with pins, paper, scissors, fabric lying around. This allows me to stop abruptly and restart again again just where I left it.

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