Sewing in urban condition

Back in the days, houses and flats were spacious. My mum had a dedicated area she could organised or not at her leisure without having to pack away at the last minute and didn’t have to apologies to her visitors for the mess.

Today, things are different. I live in London, in a tiny studio flat and all in one living space. The end of my sewing sessions resemble the aftermath of a sewing warzone.

The first year was hard. I was cutting on the bed and bedsheets would undoubtedly be cut, the carpet was incrusted with threads and my dining table was constantly covered in bits and boobs.

I have since then developed a system and here are my 6 tips for sewing with limited space:

Cutting

Invest in a cutting mat. From £4 to £21 and sometime £1 in car boot sales. There is a wide range. Handy if you cut on your bed like I am. Will provide a much stable base and less chance of a cutting disaster.

You can also buy 2 or 3 rectangles of MDF from your local DIY store to place on your small dining table. Or buy 2 strong trestles to rest your MDF. Once you’re finished they can be stored away.

Make it pretty and fascinating

Make a feature of your fabrics and your thread rack. Make a pretty rainbow out of them

Display your most complicate tools to make you look like a maverick. They will become a conversation starter and suddenly the mess will be justified and interesting

Carpet cleaning

Threads on the carpet…..I have no solution. You have to be on your hands and knees am afraid. I brush off the excess with a soft brush, then hoover the rest with the suction hose

If you are renting, buy the largest rug you can find to take the rough and leave the landlord carpet pristine

Fabric waste

This can quickly mount up to a few bags a month depending on your productivity. Don’t let them take over. Gives the bag away to schools, charities who will happily use the fabrics in their art and craft workshop

Box it up

Stored away your project in a show box: pattern, fabric, thread and haberdashery when you don’t have time to sew. They will be out of sight but will make it easy to pick up exactly where you left it at a moment notice.

Have a supportive partner!

Mr. E doesn’t complain that the carpet is a mess or the sofa and dining table are full of stuff. He actually encourages me because it means that I am creative, passionate and have fun with my craft. Double bonus, he cooks and cleans while I am sewing. Ok this last tip is tongue in cheeks, just my way of acknowledging the supporting and patient man in my life

I have to move out at some point this year. I cannot wait to get loose in my dedicated sewing space!!!

 

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