Welcome to the next sewing space tour in our ongoing series. Today, we’re visiting Manju’s sewing room.
Tell us a little about your sewing space.
We were lucky enough to move into our forever home just over a year ago and it came with a large room above the garage which is now my sewing space. I absolutely adore the space as a whole, not just because it is spacious, but also because it has so much light! There are 4 velux roof windows in addition to the window at the end of the room and whether it is rain or shine it is a pleasant space to be in. I am very fortunate to have such a large room all to myself and not have to share it with anyone. It is such a luxury to leave whatever project I happen to be working on, spread out on my cutting table, and come back to it when I can. Because my sewing space is essentially in the roof space of the garage it means that my table where my machines are, are set up facing a wall (the wall infront of the window is taken up with shelving to house fabric). But I don’t mind at all. Normally when I am sewing I am concentrating on what I am doing, probably with something playing on my smart TV. I have a Janome sewing machine (Memory Craft 4900) and overlocker (8002D) and am very happy with them both. My sewing space is my favourite place to escape when I have some time to myself!
What is your favorite part/feature of your sewing space?
Aside from the wonderful light in my sewing room, my favourite feature of the space is my cutting tables. These are Gerton/ Finnvard combination (Ikea) oak table tops on trestle table legs which are height adjustable. Previously I used to cut fabric out on the dining table and my back would complain! Now these tables are adjusted up to 90 cm, which for me, is a perfect cutting height (the same height as a standard kitchen counter here in the UK). I have two of these tables pushed together which gives me 150 x 150 cm of surface; more than enough to lay out fabric to cut, spread out a pattern, books and other sewing paraphernalia. I also have Grundtal (Ikea) rails attached to the underside of the table with containers and S hooks to hold scissors and small sewing items like tailors chalk, tape measures etc.
How do you organize your fabrics, patterns and notions?
My patterns are housed in a set of Malm (Ikea) drawers. I do have plenty of patterns but I don’t think I have as many as a lot of sewists out there, so at the moment the Malm is plenty sufficient to house the collection I have. I keep dress patterns in one section; tops in another; coats and jackets in one; miscellaneous things like underwear patterns, leisure wear, kids wear etc in another, and I keep the outsized designer Vogue patterns etc in another section. I don’t know about others out there, but one thing I am struggling a little with is storing PDF patterns once taped together. At the moment they are shoved into plastic wallets and put into A4 arch lever folders but I think I need to come up with a better idea. My fabrics are kept folded up in Kallax (Ikea) shelving units. I confess my sewing room is in desperate need of a good spring clean and my fabrics need some reorganisation. It’s on my list of things to do….My Gutterman polyester dressmaking threads are kept on wooden thread racks. Overlocking threads are kept in plastic boxes. I have a couple of sets of small Ikea Moppe drawers which hold notions like zips, elastic, needles, snaps, machine feet, trims etc. I don’t tend to hold a lot of notions and buy for projects as I need them.
What is your favorite thing to sew?
If you had asked me a couple of years ago what my favourite thing to sew was I would have said dresses. But it’s interesting because now my answer would be coats and jackets. I find it so rewarding and living in the part of England that I do (about 5 miles from the Scottish borders) a coat of some kind is pretty much a necessity year round! These last 12 months have seen me sew everything from a waterproof hooded jacket to a leather biker style jacket to a tailored wool blazer to a wool winter coat. I would like to make a new waterproof spring jacket and a new blazer of some kind in the next few months.
Check out Manju’s blog, sewmanju, to see what she creates in her lovely sewing space!