Sewing Space, Singer and Stash

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Hi all,

Sorry I've not posted over the last couple weeks, been working my way through the Frankenstein Dress (chickened out at the zip, but don't worry, it's in now!) and was at the Birmingham meetup last weekend, which has totally converted me to Birmingham fabric shopping. With a railcard, its only £14 return from Kent on a Saturday if you plan it far enough ahead. Which is cheaper than a travelcard to London for me. And, even with missing out on shopping in Fancy Silks, it beats Goldhawk Rd for me on this occassion! I'll have to take a few pics of my fabric haul tonight and pop them up for you to appraise!

Since I hadn't finished my dress, (although it is in the background of this post, whoops, pretend it's not there, shhhh) and because I had a belated spring cleaning, I decided to take some photo's to show you my sewing space.

My sewing space is basically the far end of my sitting room! Thankfully, due to the fact that my flat is the ground floor of a Victorian semi, so the ceilings are huge, and the rooms are large. I don't know how I would manage otherwise! I spread out a lot when I'm sewing and take over most of the room when I get into it.

So the space consists of my sewing table, my dining table, my mannequin and my ironing board. The sewing table has my Janome, and all of my accessories/implements/notions in random tins and boxes. I would kill for some shelving above the table but I'm renting so no holes in the wall for me. I keep my stash in boxes underneath the table so I can always see it and it can be close to me. My precious.

Some of my favourite things on my sewing table are the lamp that my Mr.G's mum got me. Its super strong and bright for when I'm hand sewing or unpicking. Usually unpicking. 

I also love the striped tin with all my scissors, its the perfect size and never falls over!

One thing missing from the picture is my corkboard, which I use when I want to trace things or cut things out on my lap. Which I do quite a lot when I'm lazy and they're small enough.

The clear boxes are a new addition during the spring clean and house zips in one, buttons in another and random notions in the last. I like that they are all segregated now. My patterns used to live on the sewing table too, but they were stressing me out because I couldn't rind a decent storage box, so they now live in the drawer beside the ironing board for the time being. The drawer next to that has some small fabric scraps and items I'm refashioning/altering. Let me rephrase that actually, item I'm (supposed to be) refashioning/altering.

My dining table is usually covered in scattered pattern pieces and random offcuts but today it houses my new pride and joy, my 1938 Singer 201k.

This was recommended to me by a quilter I befriended at work. For those who don't know about the different Singer models (and not that I do - but I know about this one!) - The 201k has been noted as the finest domestic sewing machine that the company ever made and many enthusiasts say that there is no machine that will stitch better, even today. I haven't had much use yet as I had issues with a ghost-ridden pedal, but my friend prefers to sew on it than her £2000 Bernina. 

Back when they were made they could cost up to 6 months wages! I have seen a receipt from 1940 which showed one would set you back about £13. They ceased production in 1961 as they became to expensive to make. The older ones weighed a tonne too, which I can definitely attest to! about 20kg I think, I can hardly move it. The pedal is fixed now and I've bought new needles so will use it for my next make I think! It runs so smooth, and from what I can remember, can sew through something like 6mm of leather like butter. Not that I'm a leather fiend myself but everyone gets bulky seams every now and then!

Lastly theres my stash. I have it in 3 boxes technically, but one is hidden in the back. That one has my wool & knitting needles and my embroidery hoops and embroidery threads. The two at the front are all my fabrics (although there may be a pair of curtains thats in that plastic bag). The top box is my most precious!

It is a bit ridiculously big for the amount of things I've made and the rate at which I sew. 
( I like to tell myself that you all have more than me to make myself feel better about buying!)

As I said, the top box is my most precious. What I like about buying new bits is that what used to be the most precious gets pushed so far down the line that I feel like I can use it without fear.

I'll give you a sneak peek into the box of treasures

I don't pre-plan purchases, or match patterns with fabric before I buy one or the other. I just fall in love. And I fall in love a lot. 
Thankfully, I feel like I've gathered so much beautiful stuff that I have a benchmark now. If something doesn't live up in price/quality/love quotient to what I already have, then its not worth it! And yes, most will be dresses. Mostly because I have no tops to wear with skirts. Which would make you think - make some tops so you can make skirts! But I also had a look through my wardrobe the other day and found out I have over 50 skirts already. Don't know how that happened.
Whoops. (not sorry).
Bit it does not take away from the fact mean I should make plan block colour tops.

So now I proposition each and every one of you. Show me your sewing space and, most importantly, show me your stash!


  1. you're so neat and tidy. i am a pigging messy lady. :(

    i've also got a pile of stuff i'm supposed to be refashioning. i wish i could be more like that lady from charity shop chic! maybe then i'd stop acquiring so many preciouseseseseseseses...

    what is the make of that little lamp on your desk that Mr G's mum bought you? i've been looking for a bright but small lamp. is it an ikea one?

    nice light and feel of space in your flat, too. :)

    1. It is definitely not usually this tidy! I asked and the lamp came from BHS Home,

      the yellow is £6 , and there are other colours for £12. It os very bright, and also very warm to be near!

      Thanks I love my flat, was so lucky

    2. oh yay! bright, yellow, warm and cheap. perfecto!

  2. Your Singer is gorgeous!! I didn't realise there were different model numbers. I have one that belonged to my Granny, it's built into a small table, and it lives in my hall. I've just had a look at it, and the model number is 306k. Mine is from the 1950s, and your's is definately a nicer shape. Sadly, there is no power going to the foot pedal, so occasionally I open it out, stroke it, and tell it how gorgeous it is! I'm going to google 306k and see if I can find a new foot pedal. Thanks for the inspiration! ;)

    Oh, and your sewing table is so neat and tidy! I have the same blue tin from Marksy's, I keep my zips in mine.

    1. Thanks! I really love the table ones too, was looking at a treadle table for a bit; thought I would be able to go slow with it, but they're quite a pace! Just googled yours, that's what the 201k looked like later on in the 50's.

      Hope you can find a pedal!

      God, my table is not usually this tidy, but I had an extreme clean up, and am trying to tidy away each time now! I feel more at ease when things are neat. It think my tin has scraps and thread offcuts at the moment, try to stop myself just dropping them all over the floor!

  3. VERY nicely organized fabric. And the Singer is beautiful!!! What a wonderful machine to own and get to sew on! And your sewing area looks like a great place to relax and enjoy your hobby. ~Laurie

    1. Thanks! I really love it now! I feel i need to be more organised as Mr.G is about to move in, and I don't want to drive him crazy with sewing stuff all over the place!

  4. Hello! Visiting via 's post on her space and stash. What a lovely blog you have! Great flat too - I used to have a Victorian conversion ground floor flat in Stourbridge with a near identical front bay and view.
    I love how you've organised your space and integrated your sewing with your home. The Singer looks particularly at ease! V. pretty stash too :)
    Anyway, I have done the same on my blog, which should be linkable from my name rather than spam you with links. Thank you for a great read, looking forward to reading a bit more later today.


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