The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour

Yikes. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but all of a sudden pretty much all the members of the WSBN (Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network) have been convinced to give ‘tours’ of our sewing rooms! Including me. *gulp*

The idea came courtesy of Gemma, who somehow managed to sell it to us all as a way to beat the ‘winter slump’. Yeah. Seemed like a good idea at the time. And then I had to take photos. Which I am horribly embarrassed to show, but in the interests of full disclosure, here we go…..

(Can I pretty please add a disclaimer? My sewing corner is in worse state than usual, due to all the crazy sewing I’ve been doing getting the Jenna Cardi ready for release.) (Although to be completely honest, it’s usually pretty bad anyway. Because I’d far rather sew than tidy up. Hah! *sigh*)

Firstly, meet my sewing corner. This is a corner of my bedroom. (Yes, I do live with my partner, despite the complete lack of anything showing any signs of his existance in the bedroom. He has a man-cave upstairs, complete with multiple computers and skateboards to assist in him expresssing his inner geek.) The desk came from the op shop down the road – I dragged it home when I found it, as it’s so nice and wide, it’s good for cutting fabric on. (If it’s ever cleared off. Which is never these days, hence why I take over the dining table for fabric cutting. Or my drafting table. Hah. Yes, I sometimes am using three tables in the house at once. Greedy, me? 😉


The desk is a bit low for me though, so my partner jacked it up a bit with some pieces of wood. On the desk lives an assortment of things – usually whatever project I’m working on, my sewing machine and overlocker, and some other assorted sewing paraphanalia such as tailors chalk and a chopstick for turning corners (I do have a point turner. It’s on that desk somewhere. I haven’t been able to find it for a couple of months now….) To borrow Joy’s description, the rest is somewhat ‘tidal’ – various paperwork that needs to be dealt with migrates it’s way here, to languish until I feel guilty enough for neglecting it that I actually do something about it. In the meantime, those piles get transferred to the bed when I want to sew, and back to the sewing table again when I want to sleep. And the other piles on there? Well, let’s just say – the Little Guy is nearly two, and very curious. Things often need to be lifted out of reach suddenly. Which is why the rubbish bin is balanced on my sewing desk, instead of on the floor where it should live.

On the desk, live my two girls – both Elna’s. I got the sewing machine for my 20th birthday (I think?) and saved up for the overlocker (it’s a four-thread, coverstitch-cabable machine – woo hoo!) in my early 20’s and went halves on it with my mother for another birthday. I love these machines – we’ve done a lot together, we have. (Shame they don’t hug back very well….)


Over the side you can see some of my sewing books, all lined up, with a current project-thats-on-hold sitting on top of them. Under the desk is a set of drawers containing my basic self-drafted pattern blocks, buttons, lace, and ribbon. And some boxes stacked next to those containing things like elastic and bias binding. The box on top of the drawers next to the desk holds my sewing cottons and overlocking threads (it used to be a  lot more square and with a lid, pre-Little Guy) – the cottons are grouped into plastic bags by colour, like so:


I kinda have a large stash. It’s dotted all over the house – some in the cupboard under the stairs, a whole lot in the spare bedroom upstairs (which I’m currently trying to figure out what to do with, as it’s taking up a large part of that room and we need to convert the room into a bedroom for the Little Guy pretty soon, since the Next Little One is on it’s way – eek!), and in various corners of my bedroom. I’ve got a wall of storage crates at the end of the bed, giving a nice visual separation between the ‘sewing space’ and the ‘sleeping space’ (or at least that’s what I tell myself, haha!), with fabric in all of them and a throw over the top to make them look a bit tidier. (And to accidently give me somewhere else to put random stuff that’s looking for a home. Seriously, my life is kinda like me vs. ‘stuff’. And the stuff usually wins. Argh!)


There are vintage suitcases filled of fabric, with tags on them saying what’s inside. (I do love me some vintage suitcases.)


One of the bedside tables is actually a 1970’s cabinet, filled with fabric and patterns.


Each of those boxes on the top shelf is filled with patterns, stored in plastic zip-lock bags, and grouped by era – pre-New Look, New Look, late 1950’s – 1960’s. (The 1970’s patterns are in a box on top of a bookcase in the spare room. Others are stored all over the place, waiting to be categorised.)


In the wardrobe, about 1/3 of the shelves have been taken over with sewing storage – fabric, lining and interfacing, and patterns. (Yes, I own a lot of Papercut patterns. They make me happy, as they tend to fit me really well and the amount of thought that’s gone into the overall package fills my heart with joy – I’m a sucker for well thought out experiences. It kinda goes with the territory for what I do for a job.) The pile of papers under the fabric on the bottom shelf are PDF patterns that are all printed out and in clear files.


Gemma, instigator of this embarrasing sewing room round-up, also challenged us to answer a few other questions in our blog posts. So, here goes….

What I’m working on at the moment.

I could show you, but then I’d have to kill you.

Well, not really. But since my current work-in-progress happens to be my next pattern for Muse, it’s kinda secret. Sorry! Hopefully I’ll get to show it to you in about a month. 😉

Instead, let’s move on to the next projects I have planned, once I’ve finished sewing up a bunch of samples.

Firstly, the Meissa blouse from Papercut. I started this back in June for Indie Pattern Month, and it got put on hold. I really wanna get it finished! I’m making it in a coral coloured, fine, cotton-silk blend with a subtle textured stripe going through it.


The top from this vintage maternity pattern (thanks, Anne!) has been calling out to me to be made. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to make it up in, but this navy with white polka dots keeps coming to mind when I think about it.


And the Dakota dress from Named, for Frocktober over on The Monthly Stitch. I’m really looking forward to this one – I think with the deep vee neck and the looser fitting waist, it should be good for when the Next Little One arrives. I haven’t figured out yet what I’m going to make it in, but it’ll be some summer-suitable fabric, and I’ll cut the sleeves back and make them short instead.

(Also, this is what happens when I attempt to take photos of sewing things. Cameras are very interesting things, apparently.)


In theory I’m meant to show you some of my favourites from my stash, but this post is getting kinda long, so instead I’ll just show off this length of gorgeous sequin-covered silk chiffon that I bought in a Karen Walker designer fabric sale a few years back. It terrifies me, so it’s been turned into a wall hanging instead.


Want to see inside some of the sewing rooms of the other WSBN girls? So far on the tour we’ve seen the spaces of Gemma, Juliet, Nikki, Sophie-Lee, Sandra, and Laura. Between us all, we’ve pretty much got the month covered with a tour happening every day. Crazy, but true!

How about you? Are any of you brave enough to show your space in all it’s glory/chaos?

20 responses to “The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour

  1. Haha your house is like a sewing studio in itself 🙂 Oh that Karen Walker fabric, yeah that would terrify my too, but it looks great as a wall hanging. I’m lovin this wee tour and peeking behind the scenes, it’s like being naughty with permission.

  2. I love that your entire house if full of fabric patterns etc! I used to have a corner of our room in the last house we lived it … needless to say a 4th bedroom was on the list for hubby so I was out of the bedroom!

    • I used to have an entire room. It was great – everything in one place, all within easy reach…. And then we had a child and it all got scattered… *sigh* Now the trick is remembering what I’ve stashed where! 😉

  3. That sequinned fabric!!!!

    I’m really enjoying this series! I showed my sewing room (so lucky to have a whole room! but you have a whole house! sorta…) about a month ago, but I’ve changed it again because I love re-arranging, and I always get ideas from poking my nose inside other’s spaces. I must also admit to loving tidying up. Yeah, certified weirdo.

  4. Also, I forgot to say: congratulations on your patterns! It looks great. I have a rule to ‘wait and see’ before buying new patterns, but Jenna is very, very tempting, and I’m looking forward to whatever you come up with next. Love your style.

    • Thanks! 🙂 I’m pretty excited to finally be able to launch it – it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now. 🙂

  5. I have exactly the same system of transferring piles of stuff from the sewing table to the bed. When I first make the pile I’m fairly confident I will sort it out within a day or so. Totally don’t.
    + this is kind of gross but we have to store our toilet brush up high because my little guy finds that fascinating.. kids huh?

    • Haha oh yes, I am so familiar with that delusion of thinking it’ll be sorted very quickly! *sigh* I think I have a coupe of piles of ‘stuff’ that have been migrating for over 6 months now….. Erk. 😦

      I so hear you on the toilet brush thing. We have to hide ours behind the toilet where the little guy can’t see it! Ugh!

  6. that sequined fabric is a stunner! I love the colour of the fabric for the Meissa

    • Thanks! 🙂 The sequins are so crazy impractical, but it was one of those fabrics that I just fell totally in love with and had to have. I suspect it’s destined to be a wall hanging for ever though!

  7. There’s fabric to sew and fabric to keep, though, isn’t there? Sometimes sewing it up kind of ruins it, even if the garment is just right. Loss of potential, maybe?

  8. Pingback: The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour – My turn! | the curious kiwi

  9. Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing and I think I shall also steal “tidal” as the perfect descriptor for my sewing room!

  10. Pingback: The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour of 2014 | Off-grid Chic

  11. Ahh, the ever migrating piles of “things I’ll sort out really soon” – mine are currently on the dining table for the first time ever. I wonder if that will make them go away faster.

    I love seeing all your photos, and I remain completely in awe of your sheer ability to do all that you do!

  12. Pingback: Aww yeah, my sewing space! | rubydust

  13. Pingback: WSBN Sewing Room Tour Round-up! | laulipop nz

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