Today I’d like to share with you an updated view of my sewing space. As I mentioned in my Highlights of 2014 post, I’ve been slowly working on setting up a permanent sewing studio in my apartment, and I think I’m at the point where it’s just about done. It’s been wonderful being able to sew without having to move any furniture or machines around! Everything now has its own permanent place.
As you can see, my little sewing studio is quite modest, but it’s home. 🙂 I live in a tiny studio apartment in a crowded part of the city, but I think I’ve done a good job of making the best of the limited space available to me. I’m very fortunate to be able to set aside this dedicated space for my sewing, as I know not all of you have that luxury. With that said, however, I definitely wouldn’t classify my living situation as anything close to “luxurious” in this tiny old apartment!
Anyway, let’s take a tour of my updated studio!
My sewing machine and serger are now permanently stored on this study wooden table, propped up against the wall between my kitchen and bathroom. I picked up the table at Ikea for less than $100, which I think is a pretty good price for a real wood (not particle board) table. I also picked up the black desk chair at Ikea, which features a study (not overly padded) base and firm lumbar support on the back. After throwing my back out last summer, a firm, supportive chair is must for me. The chair is also on wheels, which is great for moving around while sewing. I think the chair cost about $60 – not bad!
My cutting table is permanently situated right next to the sewing table, so I can easily wheel the chair back and forth between them while I’m sewing. This proximity and mobility are wonderful! The cutting table is a simple plastic folding table that I picked up at Target for about $40. It measures 6 feet long by 3 feet wide, which is spacious enough to lay out a full 2 yards of fabric, folded lengthwise. Absolutely ideal for tracing and cutting! If you have the space, I really cannot recommend a long table like this highly enough.
I hung some cheerful artwork above the table to brighten up the space. Both pieces were super cheap and also from Ikea. I think they were each under $10 – score! They are a bit off-center because I didn’t bother to move them when I rearranged the furniture to set up the studio, but it doesn’t bother me enough to make 2 new holes in the wall.
I have a bright light set up to the left of the cutting table to illuminate the entire sewing space. I always use daylight bulbs in my lamps, and I love the cool white light they produce, as opposed to the yellow light of regular bulbs. This back corner of my apartment doesn’t get much natural light, so a bright lamp was a must.
The ironing board gets set up on the opposite side of the studio, in front of my bed. (Can you spot Maggie keeping watch over it?) I don’t leave it out all the time because there just isn’t enough room to walk around it comfortably, so it does have to be set up and taken down with each sewing session. I have to admit that this annoys the crap out of me, but I just accept it as part of my space limitations. Having everything else permanently set up has been such a great improvement for me!
The only other thing that has to be done for each sewing session is to connect these two extension cords, simply due to the location of the outlets in my apartment. All the plugs for the sewing machine and serger are always plugged into power strips, so I just have to make the final connection to get the power going. I could leave this plugged in all the time, but it goes right across the entrance to my (very tiny) kitchen, a heavily traveled area as you can imagine. 🙂
Here’s a view of the desk chair moved in front of the cutting table. I do all my cutting and pinning at the cutting table, and then roll over to the sewing table to sew. It’s a lot of rolling back and forth, not to mention getting up and down to use the ironing board, but hey, that’s sewing! It’s a pretty active hobby, no?
All in all, I’m immensely pleased with my new set up, especially given the space limitations in my apartment. One day I hope to dedicate an entire extra bedroom to my sewing studio, but for now this has been working very well for me! It was a big investment to set up, as I had to give up a lot of my extremely limited storage space to make room for the cutting table, but I’m glad I did it. Downsizing your possessions can be scary, but I always feel very liberated afterward.
In other news, did you spot the muslin on my cutting table? It’s a pair of self-drafted pants! Yes, I have officially lost my mind. The pants aren’t yet ready for a blog post, but I’ve been working away on this precarious adventure with much excitement and bewilderment. Stay tuned.
In other unrelated news, today is my birthday! Yay! Delightfully, I have turned 29 once again. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed seeing my new sewing space, as I always really enjoy seeing yours. Where do you sew, and what improvements or upgrades might you make in the future?