A Quick Tour of my sewing Cave…

Hello everyone,

I thought I’d give you a quick tour of my sewing cave – where all my sartorial adventures happen. Until last year I did not have a sewing space, rather my stuff was in a corner of our dining area. The machine had to be stored in its box when not in use on our dining table. I remember what that was like so I am eternally grateful that Iย now have a sewing cave – even though I quickly filled it up with fabric……I am only human m’kay ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Corner of Shame – the brown box has UFOs. All the other boxes areย full of fabric.
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How I store my Burda magazines
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My view when sitting at the machine – I pin the instructions on to the wall for easy reference if needed. The magnetic knife rack was a cheap buy from Ebay (ยฃ4) great value.
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Mmmmm thats not…I mean….that is to say……I dont really have a problem. I assure you I have it all under control. It may look like fabric stash but it really isnt…its actually a closet-in-becoming.
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Hubs kindly put up that shelf for me. Its an Ikea shelf that I repurposed for storing my patterns. The box caddies are also from IKEA. Milk and nappy boxes work well too. The red bag has all my muslins, the brown wicker basket and the blue laundry basket both have remnants (the nicer ones go in the brown – the less nicer ones in the blue).
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Another view of my main sewing area. I have a vintage Jones machine which was my first machine bought on Ebay for ยฃ30 – I dont use it but I keep it around as a back up just in case. The overlocker lives between the 2 machines. I love my colour wheel and charts – they are very useful for coming up with different combos.
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View from the door. The Cave is in the attic with a skylight. It gets really hot in summer but for the rest of the year I have good natural light during the day.
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I got the rail and cups thingie from Ikea as well. My pens, pencils, seam gauges, rulers, small scissors, loop turners live in here where I can easily reach them while sewing or ironing. I made a silk organza press cloth and a cotton press cloth that also hang on there on a hook. The iron is an old one that has been replaced since these pictures (the steam function stopped working ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
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The mini white board handles all my WIPs and short term sewing projects. Above it a monthly view planner tracks my projects.

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The door. That red bag contains all my muslins – Iย cant seem toย throw them out —which is annoying as they are accumulating…

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These little cups cheer me up no end ๐Ÿ™‚
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The pattern stash – I counted the patterns I had – aprox 285 not including the Burda Magazines off course :-). Honestly I was very chuffed with that number because I thought it was way more than that. Whats your number?
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The top shelf has my PDFS which are folded into large envelopes then stored in the old nappy boxes which are perfect size. All my vintage patterns are in the plastic box.ย 
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Middle shelf has my sewing books, Burda and Ottbre Design magazines. My self drafted patterns are folded into freezer bags and stored in a magazine holder. The milk box at the end contains my large size Vogue patterns.
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Bottom shelf: more Burdas and caddies. I decided to sort them but pattern company. Initially I tried to go with type of pattern but the problem was patterns that have skirt and tops etc. ย In each caddy I have grouped like patterns together with card separators e.g. Vogue dresses then Vogue Skirts then Vogue Tops the Vogue Trousers Then Vogue separates.
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My yarn stash………I need a separate post to talk through my issues here.
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I keep my pattern drafting tool in a shoebox.
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I am evangelistic in my belief of the Pomodorro technique. I have timers all over the house so there is no excuse – even my kids Pomodorro it :-).
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This old piano stool came with house when we bought it but it was in disrepair and very dirty. Cleaned it up and fixed it – e voila! A stool with storage for my clapper, sleeve roll and tailors ham.
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I made this double sided pin dish by gluing an old magnet toย the base of ย one of these cute little catering tubs from an airplane. I then glued the 2 bases together, tried being arty with my Sharpie and volia a very useful magnetic pin dish.
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The previous house owner wanted to throw out the partners desk but I asked her to leave it – again it was in quite a state but I cleaned and fixed it. On one side of the drawers from the bottom – all my threads (incl overlocker cones). The next one up has all my trims, twill tapes, ribbons, petershams, grossgrains. The next one up has my large roll bias binding and all my elastics. The top one is miscellanious.
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The left side of the partners desk. Bottom drawer: Zips. Next up has printed PDFs awaiting taping and my pattern drafting tools. Next up contains all my buttons, snaps and hooks&eyes. Top drawer contains the most immediate tools used during sewing ; bobbin case, point turner, bees wax, needles, wonderclips, seam ripper etc.

 

Ok Phew. Thats it folks. My humble sewing cave. I took these pictures just after hoovering the carpet otherwise there tends to be threads and fabric bits on there. I have gotten better at looking after my cave.

There was a time when I was happy to sew until I couldnt see the floor but I have come to appreciate the joy of walking into a well ordered space. And since I designated a place for everything to live its a lot easier for me to put things awayย immediately. I no longer have things sitting around waiting to be allocated a space. I hoover about every 2 weeks now – that seems to work well for me.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

http-signatures-mylivesignature-com-54494-285-f1f8459e72780eb6de2c72aa0e78a712

PS Dont forget to tell me what your number is for sewing patterns. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to share and have a giggle.

PPS OMG See how much my sewing stuff has expanded – check out this post <link here>I<link here>I had forgotten about until now! EEk!

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54 thoughts on “A Quick Tour of my sewing Cave…

    1. Well in my defense when I started sewing I didn’t realise that sales happened regularly! Literally the first 2 or 3 sales probably made up 50% of my sewing patterns. Live and learn, live and learn. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Ah I used to have 65 too ๐Ÿ™‚ Lols – sewing patterns bring joy and I think thats why its so easy to accumulate them – plus the regular sales help also ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Hila! I also find myself accumulating muslins. I’m currently at around 120 patterns (not counting Burda and Seamwork patterns that I haven’t printed out yet). And, like you, I swear by the pomodoro technique!

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  2. You have a great space! I can see how it might get hot in summer but the natural light is fab. And you’ve got plenty of room to have storage throughout, which must be wonderful! I am quite envious that your space has a door that closes and, from the look of it, LOCKS! โค I mostly don't mind my sewing area being on our main floor, but if I want to do Secret Sewing for hubs or just want privacy when something isn't going right, I wish for a separate space. (We have a great attic, but it's already the music studio–drat!) Thanks for showing us around!

    PS: I don't know my number, but I don't think it's quite up to 285. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I'm likely not far behind, though!!

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    1. Ah you’d probably be surprised to find that your number less than you think it is :-). Though the space gets hot in summer its also quite warm in winter without the need for turning on the radiator because all the heat in the house rises up so its a bit of a win win. I am sorry that your attic is already taken but seriously your own music studio just put in rock n roll status!

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  3. I’m in the process of getting my new sewing room. I CANNOT wait! Everything is currently in boxes so I haven’t the faintest idea on pattern numbers. As they include sewing, knitting and embroidery patterns the likely answer is too many!

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    1. How exciting! I remember spending hours thinking about layout and lighting. Enjoy it! Do share with us when its set up. I think we all love seeing where the hard work takes place behind the seams ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Wow that is an impressive stash & pattern count. I can’t count my patterns at the mo as I’m not at home but it’s nowhere near 285, but I do have a rather impressive PDF collection, I bet that’s around 100, mostly free patterns. i have just treated myself to the new Sew over it city break ebook & Tillys new Rosa shirtdress though. I’m now off to find out about the Pomodoro technique.

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    1. I just saw the new Sew Over It book and its looks quite good. So does the Rosa shirtdress pattern – I was sorely tempted to buy but my copious collection of shirtdress patterns stopped me. Definitely try the pomodorro technique – its a time management method which uses a timer to break down work into intervals, you can use any time interval you want. You’d be surprised at how much you get done in just 10 mins of focused activity. Plus its an opportunity to buy cute timers ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. It makes life so much easier if you are able to leave the machines out all the time doesn’t it? Like you, I used to work surrounded by several projects, fabrics and other bits and pieces until I couldn’t stand it any more and it took me a week to clear up. Now, I tidy up every time I finish and try to clear away one project before starting on another because I never want to get into that state again. I actually don’t have that many patterns – which is a shame because I want to make a skirt and can’t find a pattern I like in my collection.

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      1. Nothing too exciting because the fabric I have is busy enough on its own. I know that what I should do is make a basic skirt block and this would be the perfect opportunity to take the plunge.

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  6. Great tour round your space, Nila – thank you! And thanks also for the ideas of that white board, and colour wheel. (Yes, I know many others have mentioned it, but sometimes it just doesn’t stick!) Must ask about colour charts? (A close-up piccie would help!) Pomodorro? (timer?) What a great idea for that old piano bench, and the desk is wonderful storage space! So glad it’s all come together for you!

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    1. I will get a close up picture of my colour charts and tag you when I put it up. I find they help put colours together while creating projects and also for how I wear clothes. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method , it uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. I use whatever minutes I have at hand but usually no more than 30 mins in one go. I am always astonished by how much I get done in 30 mins of a focused task.

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      1. Hila, this is wonderful detail – thank you so much! ๐Ÿ˜˜ I’ll do a search on Pomodoro Technique, and look forward to more on your colour charts. I might not be the only one interested in seeing them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  7. Super sewing space, I can’t wait until I can get my own sewing cave!! Just need the kids to move out :). I’m not sure on patterns, I did give some to charity recently, most of them were free ones that came with mags or friends gave so my number is less than it was.

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    1. Donating to charity sounds like a good idea. I have decided to do some giveaways for some of the patterns though – I just have to get round to sorting through which ones I want to keep.

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  8. Ooo lovely sewing space! I’m very jealous as my sewing space currently inhabits a tiny corner of the living room/dining area and my sewing machine also lives on the table. When I am mid project we’re not allowed to eat at the table as I refuse to put away the machine! I dream of my very own sewing cave.

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    1. I know what thats like! Although I am realising that the benefit of having to share the sewing space is that it keeps the stash manageable since there really isnt space to put it away – making the whole process more efficient. Plus I noticed my kids interest in sewing has lessened since I am now hidden away while doing it which is something I am regretful of.

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  9. I’m a DBA (database admin) so of course I designed a database for my patterns. I have a total of 456 of which 314 are mine. The rest are kids patterns when I sewed for my daughter and a few miscellaneous. They are all stored in a file cabinet by number since I browse through the database and then select the pattern. I will have to share my sewing space. I love it but don’t get to spend to much time there.

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    1. Wow! you are so organised! I tried to make a database for my patterns using Excel spreadsheets but I never managed to upload all of them. You have me thinking I should go back to it and play with it some more.

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  10. I’m moving in! Expect me anytime soon!
    Loving your space Hila, and how everything has its place. And the sound of the pomodora technique. I’ll be looking into that. I’ve got a big wardrobe in the making too and a lot of patterns. I keep the PDF ones well organised on my computer but my ‘real’ ones are scattered about. You’ve inspired me to get a grip of my little sewing space and increase productivity ๐Ÿ˜€

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  11. Hi there,
    just discovered your blog and it looks very interesting. It’s great having a proper sewing cave – a great place to hide and better for productivity. I am spoiled because I have a studio where I teach dressmaking and now, following renovations, I have my own sewing room. It’s my own retreat and I’ve decorated in my own style – no obeying design rules here! If I love it, then it is in the room. Very restorative!

    As for pattern numbers, I dare not count but it looks a similar pile to yours….and don’t start on the fabric stash!

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    1. Hi Janet and thanks for you kind words. Kind you enjoyed the post. I would love to have a studio and to teach sewing! I envy you doing something I love everyday and getting paid for it :-).

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  12. Your sewing space looks so non-fussily comfortable. It feels like you could really work in it, unlike so many I see. I’m a little bit afraid to admit this, but Tapforms tells me I own 541 patterns (PDF and printed). I’ve tried to cut back on buying patterns until I use more of them, but I’m a sucker for a cute vintage dress. Many were purchased as part of lots on eBay or elsewhere. My last lot of vintage patterns was 25 for $10. They start to pile up, but I love just looking trough them. Bins full of clothes to be is a great way to thing of your fabric. A while back I realized that my backlog was due to a lack of sewing time, which I tend to compensate for by planning (aka buying patterns and fabric), but slowly my bins are turning into clothes and our closets make me smile.

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    1. You are not alone – I am a sucker for cute vintage dress patterns though my experiance with vintage patterns has been horrendous to date. And yet I cant part with them. Looking through them is so much fun, inspiring and motivating – so its worth having them around. I love what you say about compensating for lack of sewing time by planning a lot. I do that too. I think its all part of the process of being a creative :-). X

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  13. Having a dedicated sewing space is such a privilege. I’m abusing that at the moment as I took over my daughters bedroom when she moved out, and two shelves of books on a large bookcase. I daren’t count patterns – particularly if I include stored magazines and the ones I draw out myself. Your space looks as though you have got it working well for you.
    I hadn’t heard of that time management technique so I am off to research it.

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  14. Hi Hila, I too just discovered your blog….hopped on over by your link on a pattern review ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve just given me the push I need to finish my sewing cave. I started reorganizing my stash and trying to make my space a bit more “workable” at the beginning of June. I see you too, started a bit then…and I thought, “Well, crap Tracy, what are you waiting for? Mary Poppins?” Lol…. My sewing cave is opposite of yours, mine being in my unfinished (dry) basement. I think a lot of my problem is lighting. So I’ve been purchasing different lights on sale here and there, and it has helped. Light is everything! I too, am going to look into this pomadoro time management technique. I’ve never been good with schedules, being on time, or heck….even planning a day! I’m the free-spirited type that feels like time is my enemy. I don’t want to plan things, I’d rather just do what “feels” like is the priority in the current moment. But having short cracks of time to sit and focus may just be the ticket for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing, motivating, and I’ll be looking forward to reading more along with your adventures!

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  15. I love the idea of pinning the pattern instructions on the wall! Such a simple and effective idea which i’d never thought of! Very jealous of the sewing room i have to say!

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