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Finished: My Sewing Space

sewing space (3 of 11)

It’s easy to forget that the garments we make are the end product of a process not only involving creative inspiration, but also plenty logistical details. Most often, these mundane and unglamorous operations occur in our sewing studios and go undocumented, save for the work in progress (WIP) Instagram uploads. Whether it is a separate space solely dedicated to the hobby or a dining room table turned workspace, it’s our place of zen. It’s also storage facility for supplies, piles of junk and all the other quirky doohickeys that we have on hand for no apparent reason. In my case, that’s a vintage Barbie doll. More on that later. You can’t hate until I explain.

If you didn’t know, I just moved. When I settled into my previous apartment, which was four years ago and in West Philly, I wasn’t as active in sewing. Now, I’m a very passionate seamstress who doesn’t go more than a day or two without touching her machine. So, the first decorative element I considered when I settled into my new digs? My sewing space. It had to be special and it had to be me, but at 550 square feet, finding and fitting room to sew comfortably would take some creative thinking. An image I’ve always kept on Pinterest featured a closet turned sewing. With all the right elements – florals, wallpaper and simplicity – it served as the basis for what I was going to do.

The splurge was the wallpaper. Boy did I splurge. I went back and forth between several patterns, but I couldn’t get my mind off flamingos. I guess I’ll always be a Florida girl (I was born and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale). The blue desk was a serendipitous purchase. On my first search for a desk, I found not just any desk, but a blue desk that matched the color of the wallpaper. Destiny. It’s from the Etsy shop, Nan and Pops Attic, and the owner, Linda, refinished it herself. Did I mention it’s maple wood? Just thought I’d throw that in there. The shelves are simple and cheap IKEA shelves. I hung them myself, but let’s just say I’m not the handiest handywoman, and there are many holes behind each one. On top are my most prized items and authors that represent me as a sewer and a person – Edna Bryte Bishop, Claire Schaeffer, pictures of my mom, pictures of my grandma, spools of thread, and pink hyndrageas. They’re not my best sewing books, but definitely my “prettier” ones. Oh, and that Barbie? What’s the deal with that? Well, when I was creating the post for Leslie’s interview, I spotted an item in one of the photos she sent me. It was a vintage Barbie. I told her that if she ever wanted to part ways with it, I would give her a new home. After much reminder, she caved and sold it to me. Iconic and controversial, I think she’s a cool, American knick-knack to have. A little kiddish, but that’s okay. Last is the orange polka dot rug. Another IKEA buy that in my opinion, pulls everything together.

Happy sewing to me, amirite?

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30 Comments

  1. Reply

    Roni Arbel

    Such a lovely space! Wish you many hours of peaceful sewing

  2. Reply

    Gemma Roberts

    Ohhhh I’m in love!! Happy sewing to you indeed!! : )

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  3. Reply

    Amber

    This is absolutely gorgeous. I am currently converting my bedroom into my sewing room (going to swap my 8’x8′ den and bedroom functions) and I am trying to find inspiration and ideas. I love how you were able to create such a tranquil space. Would you mind giving me some information on your chair? I love that you can adjust the height (or so it seems). Thank you so much for your post. This is my first visit to your blog and I am so happy I found it! 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I actually got it on ebay. If you search for “white modern chair,” it should come up. Email me if you can’t find it.

  4. Reply

    Guest

    so serene and lovely! the pale pinks with that blue gray are totally working. wonderful styling!

  5. Reply

    Melissa Wehrle

    It’s lovely! I especially love the wall paper. I wish my closet space wasn’t so cherished in my small NYC apartment, I would love to do the same.

  6. Reply

    oonaballoona

    oh maddie. that’s utopia.

  7. Reply

    Aleksandra Robinson

    Lovely! I also love how in the second to last pic, the flamingo looks like it’s sticking its head into your thread spool. Poor flamingo just can’t bear to gaze upon Barbie’s beauty! 😀

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Ha! I didn’t know that!

  8. Reply

    CraftedbyCarrie

    It looks wonderful! I love it – especially the flamingos 🙂 I can’t resist a good animal pattern

  9. Reply

    zilredloh

    Lovely new space, Maddie.

    Not caring for Barbies myself, this one looks outstanding in your sewing space. It offers up a perfect snippet of contract with the B&W stripes; so great!
    And the desk & wallpaper is a perfect match. 😀

    Cheers on your new, fresh space.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m not a huge fan of Barbie either, but when I spotted this one, I had to have it. No rhyme or reason.

  10. Reply

    Crab&Bee

    You should add set designer or stylist to your list of skills. 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Actually laughing out loud at that statement.

  11. Reply

    Angela

    I have the Pfaff Ambition 1.5, all I see on blogs are BERNINA’s. Thanks for letting me see your space and that I chose a good machine.:)

    • Reply

      Natasha Estrada

      Bernina’s are the bomb. You can get all kinds of attachments not available on other machines. The leather roller foot #55 is usually an industrial only feature. It’s bc the shank is higher so gives it more room for interesting feet.

    • Reply

      Aleksandra Robinson

      I just bought that machine! It’s my new favorite thing in the world. 😀

  12. Reply

    Charlotte Phillips

    LOVE that Big Ben ring dish – it’s adorable! Such a cool idea, turning a closet into a sewing room 🙂

  13. Reply

    Kat Skinner

    It looks absolutely amazing! I wish my room was as neat as yours. Even when everything is packed away it still feels like a mess.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m kind of a neat freak. Scratch that, I’m a total neat freak.

  14. Reply

    Carolyn Norman

    What a cute creative space!

  15. Reply

    Ginger

    I’m green with envy! What a beautiful space!

  16. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    Glad to see 9 Heads made it up there. I took sketching with Nancy Reigelman. She is the sweetest thing and a true fashionista. She looks exactly like her drawings.

    nursetonutrition.wordpress.com

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      It’s a great book. Lucky you that you met the author!

  17. Reply

    Stacia

    What a beautiful and happy sewing space!

  18. Reply

    Angela

    I’d love to know where the chair is from. It reminds me of a swan!

  19. Reply

    Nilla

    Your sewing space is BEAUTIFUL!

  20. Reply

    thequirkypeach

    Love love love!!! That wallpaper is perfection 🙂

  21. Reply

    Paulette

    Thank you for sharing your sewing space, love to see beautiful sewing
    spaces very inspirational. I’ve yet to work on mine hoping I finish it soon.

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