This Friday we are finally moving house, and I will be graduating from a wildly messy corner of a one-big-room flat to an actual sewing room! Half a sewing room to begin with, until we build a little home office for Patrick in the garden.
Obviously I am very excited about this, and I thought it might be interesting to document what I'm doing with the room and how I'm setting my sewing space up. We're not planning to redecorate other than putting up some art, so the flamingo-and-fireplace wall will be staying as it is.
My main goal is not to make it Pinterest-worthy but to set it up so that it works for me. I can be motivationally challenged, I spontaneously generate mess, and my logic does not always resemble actual logic. Rather than continue to shout at myself that I should be a different person, I want to remove as many barriers as I can in advance.
This cupboard will be my main source of storage. It's way more storage than I currently have - it looks quite shallow in these photos but it's built into an alcove so it goes a fair way back - and I want it to be, as far as possible, enough. At the moment I'm pretty sure all the fabric I own will fit on a single shelf (I've moved most of it across already because it's easy to take a bagful with me every time I go to do an errand there) and I don't ever want to need more than two. Optimal stash size is such a personal thing and for me, huge amounts of fabric feel like the piling up of unmet obligations and I get very stressed and stop being able to sew. Similarly, I want to reserve 1-2 shelves for patterns, one for mid-sized equipment and one for works in progress.
(The other cupboard, incidentally, is reserved for Patrick's niche culinary equipment which there won't be space for in the kitchen.)
I do not want to have to buy a lot of extra cupboards and cabinets, mostly for reasons of space. Eventually I would love to be able to have a cutting table, a dressmaker's dummy, a separate desk for my overlocker, and that just won't be possible if I have too much crap that needs a home. Those things aren't in my immediate plans because money is very much a thing, but there are a few things I'd like to get my hands on asap:
- a new ironing board. I bought mine for £12.99 from Sainsbury's when we moved in to the last flat and I discovered there wasn't one already, and I really don't like it. It's flimsy and slightly the wrong height. Last time I went to visit my parents my mum had just bought herself a new one that was everything an ironing board should be, and I keep thinking about it (much to my supreme embarrassment).
- a full-length mirror. Being without one since ours exploded (this fucking flat) has made sewing so much more difficult. I'm so looking forward to easily seeing if something fits properly or not.
- a set-up where I can take basic photos, i.e. a bit of blank wall I can point the camera at. I still intend to take most of my photos outside, but sometimes blogging would be so much easier if I could just photograph a top against a white wall instead of going through all the rigmarole.
- some different sized scraps bins. I could do with a "bits of thread and overlocker offcuts" container to sit on my desk, a decent size scraps bin for the larger but still not big enough to sew with bits, and a dedicated place in the cupboard for scraps I can still sew with.
- pattern storage. I know, in my heart of hearts, that just throwing all my patterns onto a shelf isn't going to work, and I'll need to find some non-hideous boxes for them to live in and a way of categorising them (probably frequency of use, that's historically been the most useful way for me to put things away).
- some kind of magnetic whiteboard, or somewhere else to place visual reminders. One of the things I'm really hoping for this year is to get an ADHD diagnosis and treatment, but while I languish on a waiting list I see no harm in adopting ADHD coping techniques. I'm excellent at recalling facts but my short-term memory is garbage, so being able to see a list of current projects without having to go looking for it and have a place to write notes that I won't immediately lose will, I think, be super helpful to me.
- a small wall-mounted bookshelf for my sewing books. I don't have a ton of these but I could do with not needing to keep space for them in the cupboard.
- curtains. What there is currently is a pink blind, and I hate it much more than it warrants. I've never made curtains before; I'm planning to make all of the ones we need for this house (we've had to buy temporary bedroom curtains, which are the only ones we have an active need for) and it feels like quite a mammoth task. Fortunately there is no real pressure other than my hatred for this blind.
These are my stage one plans, and realistically it'll probably take me a good few months to get all of it together (for reasons of money, time, general pickiness). My first priority is making sure everything has a place to live, so pattern storage and scraps bins are where I'll start. I want to be able to unpack my patterns and put them straight into semi-organised boxes, and if I can do that in the week following the move, I should be in a place to start sewing again at the beginning of February. Not a huge amount of point in making myself a birthday dress this year, but that's not necessarily going to stop me!