Friday, June 5, 2015


Recently, I've been reading posts about people's sewing spaces. I think it is wonderful to have a space dedicated to sewing. My space is also dedicated...dedicated to feeding my family. Once upon a time I had an rather large sewing space in a spare room. When Thing 1 arrived on the scene, my space was split in half and shared with the hubs. Thing 2 came along, and we knew it wouldn't be long before both Things would need their own space. My space was once again reduced, this time to a bit of room in Thing 1's closet and a few bins for fabric out in our storage container.

There are some real positives to sewing at the dining room table.
1 - I have to be neat. Everything must be picked up and tucked away in time to put hot food onto the table. It forces me to keep tidy, or waste precious sewing time in cleaning up.
2 - My sewing is almost super organized.
3 - I love my sewing tools, but I'm less likely to waste money on tools that take up tons of space. Which leaves me more money for fabric.

The things that I consider essential in my sewing supplies have been reduced to one basket and a small, flat storage case. Let's check out the pieces.

First, the basket. Overall, this is not a very large basket. It is large enough to hold several of the square mason jars, my box of machine bits, some interfacing, bias binding, ribbon and a couple of patterns that are next up in the sewing queue and need to be cut out.

I can also tuck the foot pedals and cords for my sewing machine and serger in along one side. One of the large square jars has the flat portion of the lid removed so I can use it to hold my collection of scissors and marking tools. The small square box at the bottom left is my hand sewing kit, consisting of some needles, a needle threader and a thimble.

Top shot. You can see I have a couple of spools of thread tossed in and the spools of ribbon change based on what I'm working on.  Currently, I'm down to the wide spools of white and black. There are four jars in the basket.  Two of them in the lower center are 8oz, and are stacked one on top of the other.  The bottom one holds coils of horse hair and stay tape, while the top one holds my pins. In the lower left is a large jar that holds 100 Wonder Clips.

The second, open top jar holds my cutting/marking tools. From left to right, they are a Nancy's Notions seam guide, Fiskars 45mm Rotary Cutter, Fiskars spring loaded snips, Gingher Scissors in 8" bent dress maker shears, 5" craft scissor and 8" pinking shears.  On the far right is assorted marking pencils in white, blue and silver. Underneath all of this is my Olfa 24x26 cutting mat.

My jars. The left is 16oz, wide mouth, square. The right is 8oz, wide mouth square. Pins are glass head so I can iron over them. I used to have some plastic headed pins but after an ironing incident, I switched to glass head.

My sewing box, which holds my bobbins, measuring tape, machine needles, assorted small tools and an empty pill bottle which doubles as my sharps container for bent pins and used needles.

A close look at the assorted tools.  Left to right they are a Dritz mechanical marking pencil, Gingher seam ripper (LOVE this!), flat blade rotary marker, 4" ruler, bamboo point turner, 6" ruler.

One of the things that helps keep me tidy when I'm sewing is this bowl.  It's nothing spectacular.  I made it years ago in a pottery class and until recently, it's greatest achievement was the near sentient colony of dust bunnies that was living in it's rather shallow depths.  These days, it is my sewing version of Rachel Ray's garbage bowl. Snips of fabric, bits of elastic, the loads of trimmings from the serger and whatever else gets clipped, snipped, unpicked, etc while I stitch goes into the bowl. At the end of the day, I can just dump the bowl and save myself loads of time picking up all those little bits.

And this is a gratuitous shot of my able assistant who is nearly always in the middle of my sewing business.  She likes to lay right next to the foot pedals of whatever machine I'm using, hoping for a quick rub between seams. She looks a bit grumpy here, but that's because I woke her up and made her sit on the table for this picture.

So that's my space. Do you share your space with the rest of your family? What do you consider your essentials when it comes to your sewing tools?

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