Sewing Spaces: It looks like a happy sewing place. It does. Indeed. November 6, 2010 10:48 2 Comments

Debi of My Happy Sewing Place sews the most delightful 1940s outfits. And  — sit down — she's an absolute beginner! Yes. A newbie. (Take that, self.) She's a glamorous ex-pat, who resides in Scotland. Let's tour her charming sewing room now.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space?

Yes, I just moved all my sewing stuff into a dedicated space. I used to do all my sewing in the living room. That worked out fairly well, except that there was not enough space for the sewing stuff, and the living room is also where David has his work desk (imagine trying to work while someone is sewing up a storm! hehehe). So, we ended up moving into our guest room and are using our old bedroom as a sewing room. (Whoot! Whoot!) I am so excited!

 What do you like best about your sewing area?

There is a little nook that has a window and an amazing overhead light that is perfect for my sewing table. I think having the extra light has made all the difference! It gets dark here in Scotland (in fact, I tried to get a picture of the sewing area at a time when light would come through the window, so that you could see there is a really nice view of a tree BUT I get up and leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark now!) Plus, our town is especially bad for light in the winter, because we live in the shadow of a very large hill that the sun struggles to make its way over, especially in December/January. So having extra light is definitely something I need for the evening sewing!

What would you change about your space?

The only thing I want to add is some sort of storage system for current projects (as opposed to piling them somewhere in the room). Any thoughts? At the moment, I am still getting used to my space, and I'm absolutely loving it!

How is your space organized?

I've got my sewing machine and tailor's dummy (mannequin) in one corner. We've got a folding ironing board, so that can be stashed away when not in use. The other part of my sewing room consists of a fabulous settee. (Only in Scotland is buying antique furniture cheaper than IKEA!!) Plus, this beauty needed a bit of work – which we were happy to provide – where I can sit and read through patterns, get inspiration from vintage magazines or where David can come and sit and we can chat while I am cutting out fabric or sewing!

If you have a fabric stash, how do you impose order?

I impose order by putting the fabric in the closet and shutting the door! :-) At the moment, my fabric and notions are in a closet in another room. We are in the process of moving all of our stuff around so that the fabric is in the closet right next to the sewing table! In turns, I've stacked my fabrics mostly by type (i.e. wools and heavier fabrics are on the top shelf; cottons and others on the second shelf and slippery ones on the bottom shelf).

How are your patterns organized?

My patterns are organized by year and then by pattern number.

Are your patterns archived? How are they stored?

I store my patterns in plastic covering (with cardboard backing) in three separate accordion files. Each file represents a year (most of my patterns are from the years 1939, 1940 and 1941) and then I store them by pattern number.

Do you have a mannequin made to measure?

I was lucky enough to get a mannequin for free! So, yes, I've got a mannequin. She roughly is the same size as me, but I have yet to get down and actually measure every part of her to tell.

Do you find her helpful?

I find her mostly helpful for seeing how a pattern will come together and also as a way to store/display current projects.

What do you cut out your patterns on?

The floor! I prefer to cut out my fabrics on the wood floor – as opposed to the carpet – so my fabric will often stretch out the door.

What is your most helpful tool? Why?

I've found the computer/internet to be one of my most helpful tools in finding information on different techniques.

What tools do you recommend for the beginning sewer?

A basic sewing machine, pinking shears, good pair of scissors, seam ripper and easy-to-find pins!

What kind of machine do you use?

I have two machines! A Singer 15K who sits inside the table (her name is Betsy) and a Singer 6136 (from the 1980s I believe) that David got me for my last birthday (her name is Lucy).

What do you like about the one you use?

It works great! No complaints! She does a great straight stitch, holds fabric well and is easy to thread.

Do you use a serger? If so, why do you like it?

I don't have a serger. At some point in the future, I would like to get one to help finish seams, but for the time being, I take advice from my 1940s books on finishing seams!

How long did it take you to develop your sewing space?

I've been actively sewing for just under a year, so that amount of time. It took me about a year to figure out I need a truly dedicated space. I love it!

I love the golden glow in Debi's sewing room. It looks so . . . well . . . Scottish! Don't  you think? And next week, when the week is still fresh and new, we'll tour Robin's space. Robin is the author of the blog A Little Sewing. But then, you knew that already, you savvy readers, you.