Made by me

A space of my own

My new sewing corner.

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 use Ikea wooden drawers for all the notions and the vintage string shelf also hosts some beloved memorabilia from my family.

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.

An old wooden hanger now takes care of my rulers.

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.

I have a loads of jugs and baskets to store my pens and tools.

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.

No inspiration board yet. But I bought a poster! The Horst P. Horst cover with the red ball was OOP so I got another classic Horst Vogue cover instead.


  • luckylibbet
    April 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Johanna, you produce miracles out of a space much smaller than mine, and I thought I had a pretty small space! I love your space – it just radiates YOU.
    Question – where/how do (1) draft patterns, since I know you do a fair amount of that and (2) cut out fabric?

  • Johanna
    April 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    >>Luckylibbet: For drafting I just I just shuffle my machines as far away as I can on the table and if I'm cutting out smaller pieces of fabric I do the same. Otherwise I crawl on the floor (which I hate, since it kills my back) or use the kitchen table. A cutting table would be number 1 on my wish list. Do you have a dedicated cutting/drafting table?

  • geek sewing
    April 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    We have to have a space to call our own! I couldn’t get anything done quick enough when I had to put my things away. It was frustrating! Mr Geek put a baby gate around my sewing space and it made a HUGE difference.

    BTW, one of my faves: “To the Lighthouse.” You have to be up with the lark . . . only if I can smell the coffee brewing.

  • Faye Lewis
    April 7, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Beautiful sewing space.

  • gwensews
    April 8, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Nice digs! Enjoy your space. Sew on!

  • SuBoo
    April 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I know ALL about the sore back that comes with crawling all over the floor and sewing on kitchen benches with chairs that aren’t the right height and I think your space is fantastic! So well organised for a small space as well.

  • djStoreRoom
    April 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    How true..

    When I got my own corner, I sew more often. Now that I cleared out my space to make way for storage space, I hardly sew…

    I should really go and get my own space out.. Now, where should I use??


  • laura
    April 11, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    In our one bedroom apartment we are fortunate enough to have a dining room that’s now my sewing room. My boyfriend’s ‘office’ is in the living room where he uses his mother’s old desk. We are within talking distance to each other and we like that. We can do our own thing yet still be together! Your space looks great and I love the Vogue posters.

  • Nancy W.
    April 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It looks great. I have stuff for sewing spread out over 2 rooms and really need to consolidate it.

  • Morzel:
    June 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    What a nice sewing space! I will also move into the living room some time this year, I guess. Got to watch out for those pins better then! I LOVED to see the String shelves – My parents still have those and I've never seen them anywhere else.


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