5 September 2014

Behind the Scenes... Studio Tour!


Welcome to Tilly Towers!

If you've been paying attention, you may be thinking, "Hang on, didn't she just post a studio tour a few months ago?" For it was only in February that I gave you this tour of my home office/sewing room. At that point, I was very excited to move out of the sitting room and into a dedicated working space. And I didn't mind working from home - no extra rent to worry about, and I could cook spaghetti bolognese for lunch any time I fancied, woop!

And then Coco happened, a mountain of sewing patterns and books turned up and spread all over the flat, the kitchen table became the packing table, the sitting room and hall became the stock rooms, and I would work from 8am to often past 11pm at night answering emails and fulfilling orders without ever going outside. Basically, I was always at work. (And tripping over it.)


I knew I needed more space, some help, and to create some separation between work and home so I could get some rest occasionally. So I took a deep breath, hired Laura and signed a lease on this office. And I am sooooooooooooo happy I cannot tell you!

Right, enough talk - let me show you around...



Let's start with my favourite feature of the room - that window!!! Ehrmergerd... it's just so... big! And bright! The office is in Dulwich (read: West Norwood) in South London, yet we can see all the way to the BT Tower, the London Eye, the Shard, the Gherkin... plus lots of lovely trees. Our desks are by the window so it's very easy to just sit and stare at clouds all day. You can see the weather moving in from different parts of London - all very wonderous.



It's an inspiring space to sew in, with high ceilings and lots of room to spread out and make a mess. We'll move extra tables into the middle of the room on the days we run workshops so we can all sit around together and chat while we sew. For the sake of my relationship, I'm working hard to resist the urge to come into the studio every Saturday and Sunday to sew... sooo tempting...


Did you see the cutting table that Heather Lou made herself? Amaze! It made me well jell, yet my DIY skills aren't up to it (seriously - you do not want to put a power drill anywhere near me, I am too much of a klutz), so I bought this Stenstorp kitchen island from Ikea. It's got a gorgeous oak top, and it's the perfect height to stand at, with space for a high stool underneath when I get lazy tired. Plus it's got wide shelves which are perfect for stashing pattern blocks, pattern drafting rulers etc. It's pretty heavy though, so I was concerned that once it were built I wouldn't be able to move it. So, with help from my man, we added some castors onto it. Wheeee!


Here's my desk (spot the Pomodoro fan)...


Shop world...


Laura answering one of your emails...


There are lots of interesting creative businesses in the building, and Volcano Coffee is downstairs serving crazy strong coffee...


We've also got a little kitchen zone up here in the studio... (jaffa cakes not shown)


The colour coordination is getting a bit ridiculous now...


Speaking of which, check out our gorgeous new sewing machines! If you're coming to one of our workshops, you'll get to play on one of the delightful DKS100 models that Janome has kitted us out with. I'm in love!



I'm so so happy working in this gorgeous room and cannot believe my luck every time I walk into it (seriously, like even when I've just come back from the loo it's even nicer than I remember it being two minutes before). It's taken a crazy amount of work, but I've basically got my dream job and my dream office. I can't wait for the workshops to start so we can welcome you into the space!

[Soundtrack: 'Love Letters' by Metronomy]

51 comments:

  1. Ah!...I'm lost for words, it's just gorgeous...am sure you're going to come with some super inspiring pattern ideas in that fabulous working space.

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  2. I was so excited about seeing the studio tour, and it's lovely! I like how you've got funky colourful aspects, and the wood floor is amazing.

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  3. this looks soooo awesome, you must be so excited! i would love to have my own sewing space, anything would be an improvement from my current spot on the living room floor!

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  4. I'm already dreaming of our sewing there. Beautiful darling

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  5. It's beautiful! So inspiring and just lovely to look at. I love the colour co-ordination, although I could never manage it myself! It's just so very you!

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  6. Colour co-ordinated sewing machines are a must! It looks amazing. I would love to work somewhere like that.

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  7. Wow so lovely :) Good to know that dreams do come true!

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  8. This space is just gorgeous Tilly! I am so envious! Love that part of London too - I used to live not so far away in Catford and my boyfriend at the time was in East Dulwich. I remember the amazing views well - South of the river is so underrated in my mind!
    Really looking forward to hearing about some courses - once my PhD is over I am definitely going to appear amongst your eager students!

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  9. That is such a gorgeous space! I would be in heaven if that were my office.

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  10. Love your windows, too! Sewing (or just anything) is so much better with natural light. I am also a pomodoro fan.

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  11. Swit swoo: it's gorgeous! West Norwaood is getting so trndy these days. I'm so excited to come there and do zips with Lladybird

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  12. Congrats Ms Buttons, book me in for a coffee and a visit now you're spitting distance! X

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  13. gorgeous! and I totally understand the live-work battle! half the time I love that I can sew at midnight, the other half of the time I hate that it's there in my home! the space is beautiful and I'm sure it's inspirational to work in everyday! congrats tilly!

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  14. It is like you are living inside of your first book! What happens when you publish a second one?

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  15. Massive congratulations, Tilly, you've come such a long way, it's been wonderful to witness your journey!!

    (I used to blog as The Leopard Anchor)

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  16. Love your work space :)
    Kate x

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  17. So bright and cheerful and fun! This is an inspiring workspace (and I'm glad you figured out the cutting table without killing yourself with a drill!)

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  18. Congrats on the new space! It is really lovely and I am super jealous!

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  19. Oh that floor! I die! What an amazing space.

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  20. Wow that space is crazy beautiful! I can understand you want to spend all your time there (and very good with coffee downstairs)!

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  21. What a perfect workspace! I kinda wanna sneak in and move myself in! ;)

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  22. Huge congratulations to you, Tilly! How I wish I wasn't an ocean away as I would definitely come to one of your sewing classes!

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  23. LOVE your new studio. If I didn't live in the US, I would attend your classes. You color coordination is awesome which I would assume is part of your branding. I am still drooling over the wood floor. You are truly blessed.

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  24. I know exactly how you feel Tilly I get this every time I walk into #BTHQ and we have been in 18 months! I am sometimes tempted to go in on my days of and I often do!

    Loving your space cant wait to visit soon

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  25. I love reading blog posts like this one: happy and super inspiring!

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  26. I have just discovered Pomadoro! I love it

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  27. Looks perfect Tilly. It's such fun following your journey!

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  28. I remember when I started my current job 25 years ago. I got a fortune cookie, right before I started. It said "opportunities to shine in your career will happen soon" Here's the email version of that cookie for you now. :) Nicely done!

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  29. What a beautiful studio!
    I love!
    Have a good week-end!

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  30. Beautiful!Love your blue trolley! x

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  31. Your studio is so fresh and bright! I would never want to leave either. I'm glad to hear the Stenstorp is working well for sewing, as I bought two of them to use as a big sewing/workspace in my living room but haven't got them assembled yet to actually try it out.

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  32. Congratulations! It looks amazing! I bet you can't wait to get to work in the mornings now!

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  33. It looks beautiful, what a wonderful place to work in.

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  34. Looks great! I shall have to keep an eye out for your classes. I have the Janome DKS30. The 100 wasn't out at the time but to be honest I'm not sure I would use the extra stitches so I'm happy with my orange one for the time being :)

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  35. Ahhhh! Jaffa cakes. My most favorite cookie/cake in all of the world. My Mum was from Scotland,though I was born and raised and still live in the U.S. I visited in Scotland several times which is how I know about Jaffa cakes. It has given me so much pleasure to see your business grow. I am a 61 year old grandmother of 6. You and many of the other talented young women have reintroduced me to my love of sewing through your blogs. I forgot how much I love it. Now I have the time to do it. I've made three Coco tops which fit like a glove. Congratulations on your office space, your book publication, your great career progress and thank you for reviving the world of sewing.

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  36. Oh MAN that is stunning in there!!! I especially love seeing the books and patterns all in the cubbies all organized. I gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside :)

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  37. What a gorgeous space! You can never have too much colour matching :)

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  38. I love that window! Congratulations looks like a beautiful place to work.

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  39. What a truly, insanely, gorgeous space! It just looks so lovely. You must be very proud of how well all your hard work has paid off!

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  40. It looks awesome! Thanks for sharing your space and your journey with all of us.

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  41. Dulwich! ahh, I used to live on Rosendale road in West Dulwich, a far cry from the very, very south-west Cornwall I'm in now ;-) Your new studio space looks dreamy Tilly, congratulations - what a big moment in your career.

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  42. Ah! Your studio is so adorable, and so very much your style. Could you even go a step further and call it an Atelier? Ooh la la! I've also decided I really need to get that blue trolley for myself too! It. Looks perfect in this space

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  43. wow! I wish I had such a cool space to sew at home as the only place left for it is in the basement of our small house - I love such buildings
    cheers
    Ulrike

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  44. Congrats on your new studio/office. I love sewing spaces, thank you for the tour looks fabulous and very neat. The view is amazing I bet, I like the fact that there is plenty of natural light. The hint of color makes the place look fun!!

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  45. What a gorgeous studio, and so light and airy too! I love all the Ikea furniture, I'm a big fan of those shelving units I have 4 of them. I never thought of the kitchen island as a cutting table, what a clever idea. I've got a couple Ikea desks that I use and they are way too low, with have to get saving for the kitchen island...

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  46. I do love workspace tours, but I have to say yours is one of the best and most aspiring! Well done on all the hard work to get where you are!

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  47. Pretty space =) I also have that polka dot rug from IKEA! It also has that one stupid corner that curls up...

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  48. Ok wrote a comment and I am not sure it posted. So will try again:) I stumbled upon your blog via Design Love Fest and fell in love with your studio!!!! So beautiful! and full of light and color. I also adore your blog and designs! I am so excited to take my daydreaming of sewing up after seeing your fabulous design!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!!!!

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  49. Tilly hi! I have happened to miss some of your posts and I now see your studio tour. It's absolutely great!!! I wish that space was my house! (I loooove that big window and the high ceiling). It's nice to see people's dreams come true! all the best from Greece, Evanthia

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  50. I have cutting table envy and I want sewing machines to match my studio; if you know anyone who wants to donate red/orange/purpley coloured machines for a brand new studio - let me know! :-)
    Lap up your enjoyment and fingers crossed things keep going your way xx

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