Skip to content
September 20, 2014 / silvernswan

The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour

Welcome, welcome come on in, you are up to about the 20th stop on our tour. Can I get you a cup of tea? No? Oh well, maybe next time.

If you have jumped in at the middle you can start the tour here at Gemma’s blog, the mastermind of the WSBN sewing room tour. Or you can travel back to yesterday to see Joy’s post or forward to tomorrow to see Jen’s


My sewing space

Fun fact about my sewing space; I can sit in the middle of the room and reach out and touch each of the four walls from my chair. Literally. I tried it the other night. We have a four bedroom house and, as the boys share a bedroom, another larger spare room. But I like that room as a guest room and eventually one of the boys will want it. Although the window is south facing (that’s the not-sunny-side for those of you in the Northern hemisphere), it came painted a light sunny yellow and doesn’t get too dark.

The thing about my sewing space is that as well as being my sewing room, it is also my meditation/quiet space and the we-have-small-children-quick!-hide-all-the-things child free place.

I did not intend to tidy my sewing room when signing up for the blog tour but we are having an international student stay with us for a few months and so I need to fit a portacot in for the little lad I look after as it would normally be in the spare room. Remember how I mentioned this room is also a dumping ground for anything not child friendly? Yeah, major tidy up required! So now I have one clear wall for the portacot to go and everything else can be stored out of reach.

Here we are in the doorway. You can see my gigantic desk and the two sets of rolling drawers with all my notions in them.


And here is the “clear wall”. The box is stuff to be gifted or discarded, seeds and seed raising containers to be used ASAP, and that lovely big mirror I got for $7 at an op shop and haven’t decided where to put it yet.


And looking from the other corner of the room, which is not well framed as I was trying to hold the camera in the very corner of the room. The old writing desk is full of stationary and related items, not sewing stuff. The thing hanging on the ironing board is an old woollen cot blanket and a sheet, to use on top of my crappy ironing board cover.


Here are my lovely machines posing side by side. They are both recent acquisitions, replacing the sewing machine I inherited from my great-grandmother shortly after I left home and the over-locker I got for my 21st. Hmm, actually my over-locker is four years old – but it still *feels* recent. Don’t worry the machine from my great-grandmother was not of fabulous old vintage, but an 80’s Brother, and in any case has only headed off to live with my sister.


An even more recent acquisition is the lovely Singer 201k of 1954 vintage. This was a gift of the “I don’t need it would anyone like it?” variety and I am rather glad I put my hand up for it. I daren’t even place the Singer on my desk, I don’t want the brackets holding up my desk to pull out of the wall. I need to set up on the dining room table to use it. The green thing is my snap press, originally purchased for nappy making but has uses untold (and applications unnumbered). I’ve seen the same press being sold as a grommet press, so at some point I will be able to buy just the die to go in the press and be able to do grommets too.



Β What I’m working on & next project in line

I’m just going to combine these two as I work on multiple projects at once. Anything that is actually in my sewing room I consider in progress, even if that progress is very slow.

So, in the bins on the shelf I haveDSC03882

  • The underwear bin which has several different under wear patterns, and one of each cut out and partially sewn. I’ve been experimenting with matching undies to my (me-made) bras and how to incorporate lace of varying stretch. Also includes my patterns fabric for pads/panty liners.
  • The Tia dress. I bought the craftsy class as it was on sale and included the pattern, and I had been eyeing it up for a while. I’ve traced the pattern onto vilene, but still need to altDSC03879er one piece for the FBA. I’ve got an old cot sheet in there ready to cut up and make a test run. The fabric I’m going to use was originally purchased for the Butterick walk-away dress, but I think the Tia will be easier to fit and more likely to flatter my figure.
  • The start of my steampunk costume. The skirt from Simplicity pattern 1819 is mostly cut out, I just need to cut the lining. I also have a men’s vest pattern to cut out for my beloved.
  • My Muse Jenna Cardi’s. There are three currently, two plain black ones (different sleeve & body lengths) cut out ready to sew, and a brown sparkly one almost completed.DSC03880
  • A shark bag I want to make for my nephews birthday. The internets gave me a free pattern and he loves sharks. I’m just at the assembling notions and deciding on fabric stage. . . with just a month to go till his birthday. Eeekkk!
  • Mending and a few small projects.
  • UFO’s that I’m not sure what to do with yet (finish, re-purpose or discard).

And not it a bin because it won’t fit, all that beige check you see on my desk, is forty odd metres of lightweight caDSC03881nvas which I am sewing up to make a tipi. I’m using the lovely Singer to sew it – it sews through canvas like butter. I’ve sewn together 4 of the 5 lengths of canvas, and will sew the edge finishing bits – door, fastenings etc – to the last piece before I attach it to the rest. I think I’m 1/3 to 1/2 of the way there.

Show off your stash

When we first moved into our house, I tried out putting my fabric storage unit in my sewing room, but it just overwhelmed the tiny little room. So first it got moved to the guest room, and then got moved to downstairs to make way for spare beds and the portacot. Our downstairs is more like a basement as there is no internal access to it. The previous owners did start converting it into a liveable space so it is lined, painted, has surround sound wiring, a built in wardrobe and a space for a bathroom to go. That bathroom space currently houses a small freezer and my storage unit with all my fabric. The storage unit was until recently half costuming and the fabric had spilled over into the wardrobe. I just re-organised and put all the fabric together and put all the costuming in the wardrobe (it is mostly belly dance costuming).

A brief word about my fabric storage unit. I was working for Barker & Pollack when they went into liquidation in the late 90’s (? can’t remember exactly when) and this was one of the units that patterns were stored in, my manager kindly let me have it for probably nothing much. When I lived in a bedsit, this was my wardrobe which is why I put a curtain rail and curtain on it.

It was kind of hard to photograph this space, there is just standing space in front of the storage unit! This space also comes with random building supplies left by the previous owners of the house.


I tend to buy quantity rather than quality, so that light blue panne velvet you can see? I have about 20m of it and pretty much just because it was being sold for $2/m.


Before the big rearrange I had fabric stored in nappy boxes and in plastic bags on the floor. The nappy boxes are empty now. Yay! I have a couple of old UFO’s stored here too. Ones that I actually want to finish one day – the other kind get biffed; a stuffed companion cube seat and a faux fur cow print winter coat.


My pattern stash only takes up one drawer. I’ve been a bit ruthless with it recently, and also have the intention of moving towards more customised fitting and altering so I only need a few basics and all the costuming/unusual patterns. Here you can see the fabric I have on rolls, usually covered to protect from the sun. The blue and gold roll is furnishing fabric which I got ridiculously cheap on sale. I took the whole roll of 18m and it is 3m wide!! I love it, but will probably never see the end of it, I could make several costumes, re-curtain half the house and I would still have some left. . .


Favourite thing I’ve made

This was pretty hard to decide, so I picked a recent make of which I happen to have photos. My flutterby dress made last summer, worn here at my cousins wedding. The bodice is made from Simplicity 1882 (amazing fit) with a full circle skirt attached. I’m wearing a light nylon three tier ruffled petticoat I made to go underneath it. I actually made a muslin and fitted it, there is a first time for everything!



View of Wellington

People have posted some lovely pics of Wellington, I am going to leave you with the view from my lounge window. I work from home and this is what I see all day, and it generally makes me pretty happy. All the green!




Leave a Comment
  1. 66stitches / Sep 20 2014 6:02 pm

    It took me a while to work out that your international student isn’t a baby! (I know they get younger and younger, but a portacot? oooh, I get it now)
    Also, TIPI.
    And, COW COAT.
    That is so cool and I’m looking forward to seeing both of them!

    • silvernswan / Sep 20 2014 7:38 pm

      Opps, was my wording confusing? I love how we give and get such great support for all the out-there sewing πŸ™‚ Guess I’ll have to finish the cow print coat sooner rather than later. . .

  2. The Dreamstress / Sep 20 2014 7:11 pm

    Ooooh, I’m so envious of your fabric storage cupboard! All the stash in one place!

    And I also actually like to sew in smaller rooms too. Nothing wrong with a cozy space!

    • silvernswan / Sep 20 2014 7:36 pm

      Yes, little spaces are very easy to heat in winter!

  3. missjoiedevivre / Oct 14 2014 5:42 pm

    So much cool stuff. Cow print? A companion cube? Bra and undies? A shark? A tipi??? You’re too cool!

    I laughed when you mentioned Barker and Pollock! The oldest fabric and patterns in my stash, and the start of my sewing hobby, date to the Barker and Pollock closing sale! I got carried away with satin backed crepe and georgette remnants. But your maths confuses me… Your overlocker is 4 years old and a present for your 21st, but you were working in the late 90s? You started working young! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the tour, and I can’t wait to see the goodies. A tipi! Wow.

    • silvernswan / Oct 14 2014 8:04 pm

      You are too sweet, and pretty cool yourself πŸ™‚

      Hehe – my new (4yr old) overlocker replaced the one I got for my 21st!!

      • missjoiedevivre / Oct 14 2014 8:06 pm

        Phew! My fears of Barker and Pollock hiring 6 year olds is assuaged!

        And thank you! πŸ™‚


  1. WSBN room tour | acharmofmagpies
  2. WSBN Spring Fling sewing room tour | acharmofmagpies
  3. Aww yeah, my sewing space! | rubydust
  4. WSBN Sewing Room Tour Round-up! | laulipop nz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: