I occasionally get asked how I manage to sew so much. There are many reasons to that, such as making it a priority (frequently at the expense of other hobbies, like exercising and reading). The sewing experience that I have also helps of course. But another important reason is that I have a dedicated sewing area. During the years when I had to make do with kitchen and living room tables a lot less sewing got done.
I’m a strong believer in the feminist statement about creativity that Virginia Wolf makes in her essay A room of one’s own. But interior wise it’s not always possible to apply that in a literal way. Although the four of us have moved to a slightly bigger apartment, it still just has two bedrooms. Such are the conditions if you want to live in a big city and don’t have tons of money – large apartments are rare and expensive in my hometown. So the only change regarding the sewing space is that I’ve been able to move it from the bedroom into the living room. In the last apartment my boyfriend and I shared “office” in a narrow corner of our bedroom, and while it worked okay, it’s not all that feng shui to sleep among a zillion electrical appliances and loads of fabric lints. So this time we set up shop in the living room, it’s not large at all, but we have divided it into an office area and living room area and it works really well I think.
Although it’s important for me to have my own space, it’s not important to have my own sewing room. In fact I like to be part of the family action – even when I’m doing my own thing. Also I like the convivial time together that I get with my boyfriend this way – our tables are facing each other and it’s such a nice way of hanging out I think.
As for the actual space I think it’s pretty good in all it’s smallness. It’s not a study in perfect organization and optimal functionality, but I don’t mind that at all, since these things often make a space feel less homey and cozy. If I had a dedicated studio I would feel differently, but when you work out of the living room an industrial look isn’t the best option anyway.