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April 2016

Hello <<First Name>> 

Do you have a dedicated sewing space? 

What a lucky duck you are if you do but please do not despair if you don't.  There are plenty of options to keep you sewing even if space is at a premium.  This issue will be talking all about sewing room (or space) essentials.  I bet most of them you own already.

Not too much else has been happening in my sewing world recently.  I did find this article on using your good stuff really interesting -

Do you have a sewing space set up?  What do you have or use?  What is your next wish-list item?  Let's share over in the Helpdesk group on Facebook.

Happy Sewing, ♥ Sarah x

Sewing Room Essentials

So what are the MUST HAVE items in a sewing space?  It is actually quite a short list.  A few key items and you'll soon be able to sew beautifully finished items with pride and ease.
  1. A table and chair for your sewing machine
  2. Ironing Board
  3. Cutting Surface
  4. Storage
Yup, that's basically it.  Cover off those few things and you'll be well on your way to sewing bliss.

Let's go through each one in more detail.

Table for Your Machine

Here's mine.  It's a desk my husband made in his high school woodworking class. It would probably benefit from a coat of paint or refinishing (you can still see imprints of some homework handwriting scratched into the top).  That shelf means I need a low chair otherwise I hit my knees.  Not ideal but for now it works.

Ironing Board

A good hot iron is essential sewing equipment.  No Ifs, Buts or Maybes.  Pressing seams flat as you go with give your projects a much better finish than if you wait and press them all at the end.  This past issue of my newsletter is all about ironing v pressing if you need a refresher.
I had to instal all the electrics when we renovated this garage to be my sewing room.  I knew this is where I wanted to put my ironing station so I actually told the electrician to put this plug up high.  I had small kids at the time and would turn the iron on and off each time I used it (just in case someone thought pulling it down on their heads would be fun).  A high plug makes that job much easier.  I also swap the outlet between the iron and a pedestal fan on hot days.

Cutting Surface

I moved into this sewing room in 2011.  Before that I was sewing at the other end of our guest bedroom.  One of my biggest wish list items was a bench height cutting surface.  I'd had enough to bending over a table, especially when I was heavily pregnant --- but it worked, for years! 
My cutting bench is made of components of the Bunnings kitchen range with a custom sized bench-top over the top.  I bought the handles from Subiaco Restorations.  I have a large cutting mat on top.  The two large pot drawers hold my kits and ready made products.  The two top smaller drawers are full of rulers, notebooks, business cards, spare bobbins, calculator and other bits like that.  Paper patterns are in the bottom one.  The small vertical draw on the end holds all the clear plastic rulers and templates.  The other side is still largely empty expect for some colouring items for the kids.  

This cabinet is great but my main point is to just use what you have.  If it's the floor, great.  If you need to clear your kitchen bench or table, that's fine too.  But you'll need somewhere to spread out fabric and get cutting.  There's a few ideas of neat fold down tables and refurnished cabinets if you scroll down.


The more you sew, the more you'll collect.  Bits and pieces of fabric, tools, thread spools.  Each project will add just a little more to your collection.  You can definitely keep these in check (I donate many of my scraps to members of the Helpdesk or my local school) but you'll need a little bit of storage.  There are plenty of options and not all necessarily have to live in your sewing space.  You could sew yourself a basket with all the current project needs and store the rest of your sewing stuff in a tub in the garage or a spare cupboard somewhere else in your house.  My batting lives in this old suitcase tucked under my sewing table.  There are plenty of posts dedicated to organising sewing spaces online.


Inspiring Sewing Spaces

1. Ros (of Sew Delicious fame) put her sewing space in the corner of her dining room.  Read More...
2. Fabric designer Heather Bailey shares photos of her home studio.  Read More...
3. Jaime of Raising Up Rubies has a thing for frills but I love how you can see all her bright and colourful supplies.  There's even lots of space for friends   Read More...
4. Long drooled over by me - here is The Craft House by Meg Duerksen.  It's available for rent if you ever find yourself in rural Kansas   Read More...

Looking at these, it's clear I have a thing for painted furntiture and bright colours.  Oh but look, here's a dark and moody one ;)  Read More...

And finally here's a great post of 25 Beautiful Craft Rooms from Everything Etsy
and the round up Crafty Little Nooks for those with smaller spaces. 


There is an avalanche of inspiring sewing and craft rooms and hints and tips for keeping them functional scattered across the Internet.  You can find and follow my Pinterest board here - 
Love this idea from Jacqui - 
"Hubby is still making my dream cutting table so for now this will do. Poly pipe leg extensions. Total cost $6 from Bunnings. Does the trick!" 
THIS!  The perfect solution to a limited space / need a cutting table problem.  Longer legs and putting it higher on the wall means it's bench height when folded down so no creaky back for you.  Storage and table in one.  Read More for DIY instructions...
Would you believe me if I told you this was a sewing room for dolls?  A-MA-ZING and beautiful.  Sachiko shares how she made it here.  Read More...
About Sarah

Hi!  I'm excited that you've subscribed to my newsletter and even more that you've made it all the way to the bottom.  

It's my goal to teach you how to sew, no matter where you live. To inspire others to drag out their sewing machines and make it come to life.  I want you to share that tingly feeling of pride in saying "thank you I made it myself". 

I live on a wheat and sheep farm in the Western Australian Wheatbelt region.  When I finally pull myself out from behind my sewing machine, you’ll find me tending a sadly neglected garden with a G&T in hand while the kids bounce on the trampoline. I may also be found occasionally in the sheep yards helping my farmer husband.
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