welcome to making space month at *a happy stitch*! the sun is out and the buds are blooming (over on this side of the earth at least). it’s spring and that always brings with it a desire to clear out and clean up. with all this dust flying I thought it would be a good time to show off sewing studios. with the hope that, perhaps, in the midst of the cleaning and clearing you will find inspiration to clear some space for your sewing habit. if you already have studio space, maybe these posts will inspire a freshening up. it makes a huge difference to have a little spot set aside for the making and dreaming. a space that doesn’t require any putting away when the dinner bell rings. so, for the month of April every monday will be a making space monday. that means we will be peeking into the studio of 4 different sewers/artists and the month will cap off with some tips and tricks about organizing from a fabric store owner! it’s going to be great fun.
I’m starting with my own space. and before we begin I should mention that I’m really excited about making space mondays. space is important; it can be a little getaway and it can also be really hard to carve out. I get that. I didn’t have a set aside space for a long, long time. and what I have right now is a sad corner in a dingy basement. I’m boxed in by two furnaces, a water heater and the sump pump. yep, pretty fancy. that said, I love my studio space but I may be the only person that loves it. when I told my husband I was going to blog about my studio he said “oh man. everyone is going to hate me!” apparently, he feels responsible, which is nice and old fashioned of him. I’ve had friends refer to it as a dungeon. and it is a little bit of a dungeon but, it’s my dungeon!
so, here goes:
the essential components of my space are the separate sewing table and cutting table. I can get things done so much more smoothly and precisely because I cut/measure/design on one table and then sew on another. I also have my serger out (the covered blob) on the cutting table in case I need to pull it out and switch between my standard machine and my serger. under the cutting table in plastic bins I store additional supplies and reusable fabric (old clothes waiting for a new life and the like). I also keep my bias tapes, ribbons, zippers, and buttons in the plastic tower next to the cutting table. I’m not naturally very organized so I like to have bins that I can throw things into. keeps the clutter at bay without the tedious interruption of actual organization. and because I work in a basement I want everything to stay clean and dust-free.
behind my sewing machine, hanging on the wall, is a handmade tool organizer. in here I can keep the tools I use regularly (like measuring tape, chopstick, pad of paper and pens) so everything is handy when I need it. the white thing on the wall is a strip of white fleece that I use as a design wall (a bit like this one). it allows me to play around with a pattern idea by sticking it up on the wall. very handy and this was so inexpensive because it’s just white fleece, nothing fancy. (ten points if you notice the banner hanging there!)
the other side of the room is where I keep the chaos…uh, I mean fabric, thread, books, works in process, and ironing board, iron and general mess. I keep my fabric in a closed cabinet that I picked up at a yard sale…it keeps everything dust-free and clean.
I have things set up in a u-shape between sewing table, cutting table and ironing board. this is a pretty efficient set up for those times when I’m sewing like mad. (note the lovely furnace. ever seen the movie Brazil? I’m living it!) the small brown table to the right is a handy space for setting things while I’m cutting.
I also maintain an inspiration board…this one is simple fabric encasing cork tiles that hangs on the wall. when I see something that strikes me I pin it up. I don’t use it formally, the way some people use a ‘mood board’ but I just keep up those things that speak to me.
on here right now are (clockwise-ish):
- images from a book about children’s book covers (molly mandy and the hole book)
- nikki mclure (the swallow and the boy in spring)
- a bird necklace from my mother
- a postcard from the V&A museum (art by tom purvis from an advertisement of the london and north eastern railway)
- an irish celtic man from travels
- a scrap of geometric fabric from a friend
- photocopied art from david lance goines
the two things I really like about my space are that I can see everything and I can leave it all out. I’m a pretty visual person so I like that I can see everything…I never know what I might find inspiring. also, by having a basement space I really feel like I can leave things out without worrying that a little person might wander over and get themselves caught up in a nest of pins. for good reason, no one comes down to the basement. that has its advantages.
I’ll admit that I dream of a sunlit airy studio sometimes but that is not a reality for right now. and there is something to be said for subterranean sewing.
see you next week. we will be peeking in on the inspiring and prolific Jennifer Evans.