Sewing Space Tours… Our Vanessa’s Sewing Nook!

January 18, 2017   /   byLexy (Tilly and the Buttons)  / Categories :  Feeds
Vanessa's colourful sewing space!
Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

Howdy, sewing fans! We have a special treat for you in this, our latest instalment of Sewing Space Tours. Today, we're having a look around (our very own pattern cutter) Vanessa Allen's space. Vanessa has transformed a corner of her room into a sewing haven, and we are so excited to be sharing it with you. Over to Ness for more...

Hello all! My name is Vanessa. I’m a dressmaker, pattern cutter, and an all-round lover of time consuming DIY hobbies. I've had the pleasure of working at Tilly and the Buttons for the past year and a half helping to make the patterns, sew up gorgeous samples and eating all the studio biscuits. When I'm not sewing for work, I like to take a nice busman's holiday and sew for pleasure – such is the addictive nature of this amazing hobby! 

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

My current sewing space resides in a cosy little corner of my bedroom in South London. I’ve always enjoyed inhabiting small spaces, and my sewing area is no exception. It’s my haven, with Radio 4 turned down low, copious amounts of tea and snacks, and more fairy lights than Stranger Things.

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

After really getting into minimalism this year, I’ve whittled away a lot of clutter that can make creative spaces feel a bit chaotic. There's a place for everything and (mostly!) everything is in it's place, so it's pretty user friendly. I've tried to get lots of storage in the right places. My most used machines and the cutting mat are always out, as is a big roll of drafting paper ready to roll when I'm pattern cutting. On the shelves in front are sewing books, tools, and a book stand for easy reading. My beloved Pattern Masters and mini ironing boards are stored down to the side, and tucked underneath are lots of storage boxes filled with trims, interfacing, pom-poms, discarded shoulder pads, offcuts…the list goes on!

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

I keep sewing patterns in Manila envelopes with little illustrations on the front. Going through this pile is a joyous cringe down memory lane!

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

I came to sewing at the tiny little age of 6. My mum was making me a Snow White dress, and with the leftover fabric, I sewed a strip to a rectangle and fashioned a charming, very rudimentary little doll’s wrap skirt. Over the years I graduated from doll's clothes and tie-dye cushion covers (!) to basic dressmaking patterns. I found them so frustrating and hard to use (sadly, these were the days before Tilly and the Buttons existed!) that I realised I'd have to make them from scratch in order to understand them – and the seeds of my future career path and lifelong love of dressmaking were sewn! I later earned my postgraduate qualification in Creative Pattern Cutting at London College of Fashion, and it's one of the best things I ever did.

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

Over the years, I've come to realise that my favourite things to sew and wear are super simple and easy to make. Personal projects need to be a bit mindless! Shift dresses, miniskirts (my all time, forever and ever fave!), soft shirts and cosy pyjamas. For me it's the fabrics that induce the giddy happiness – bright pastels, polka dots, jazzy prints, fleece backed fuzz - ooh! I have a fabric stash that I justify to nobody and it fills me with endless joy. I keep boxes in my attic with the majority of my collection and a little potter through them always lifts a low mood!

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

I hope other sewists can relate when I express the pangs of guilt I feel when I spot once loved and now abandoned sewing projects ferreted away into a someday/ probably never bag. Mistakes happen and sometimes there I can't muster the patience to sit with an unpicker and get back to square one. In a bid to maintain momentum and keep my sewing mojo bubbling away, I hung some bamboo poles from wall hooks, and can now keep all my an ever changing rotation of favourite fabrics out. Seeing the beautiful textures, patterns, and colours every day keeps me inspired and eager to start another sewing session - and definitely cheers the whole room up!

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

Sewing is the best hobby I've ever come across and I couldn't imagine my life without it. Being able to dream up something lovely to wear and then make it come to life is so satisfying and fun. One unexpected side effect of making my own clothes has been a spaciousness growing around my consumption habits. I don't feel any anxiety to follow fast trends, stay a certain size, or buy lots of cheap stuff made in bad conditions that gets thrown out after a few wears. I know what I like and how to make it to fit - so that's one less thing to worry about!

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

There a few sewing bits and bobs that hold a lot of meaning for me, and I hope to pass onto any crafty offspring I may have in the future. One thing that is particularly special is a big box of buttons we found in my Nanna's flat when it was being cleared out. It is full of a beautiful array of colourful, retro buttons that were taken from garments over the years - even ones my Mum remembers from her childhood. It brings me such much joy choosing just the right one for sewing projects, imagining the little lives they've lived and where they'll go next. It keeps me connected in a really nice way to a family member who is sadly no longer with us.

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

Other treasure items are a little cross-stitch needle case made by other Grandma in a bomb shelter during the war, Sheffield steel pinking shears, and a duck shaped wooden tape dispenser (don't ask!) as well as a photo of me wearing one of my first me-made outfits - cat ears and a tail :)

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!
Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

I hope you've enjoyed having a peep into my little sewing space. I hope it inspires anyone who'd like to set up a permanent base for themselves, but perhaps only have a little bit of space going spare. With a bit of storage and plenty of fairy lights - anything is possible!

Thank you so much Vanessa for sharing your space with us! It is colourful, creative, and crafty - we love it! 

Can't get enough? Want further sewing space inspo? Have a peek at some of the places that have been featured. Want to see your place included in the series? Have a look at our submission guidelines. We can't wait to see more of your amazing spaces! 

Photographer: Zuzana Pa Image

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Tilly and the Buttons

You may like


Pattern Hack: A Curvy Bruyere Shirt (Hacked via Lenox Dress)

When it was released a few years ago, the Deer & Doe Bruyere shirt pattern felt like a breath of fresh air. At the time, the relaxed-fit Grainline Archer was everywhere, and the Bruyere offered some unique details for a button-down shirt: a fitted bodice, a waistband, and general fit-and-flare shape. I instantly fell in…

Read More »

read more

· Sewing Pattern Buddy app ·

Happy Monday, everyone! 🙂  I was approached by Megan of Kwirky Kiwi about trying out her app for organizing sewing patterns and I loved it so much that I wanted to share this with all of you!
I don’t know about you, but I tend to amass patterns in batches and I’m quickly reaching the stage where I can’t remember every detail of every pattern I own…. I’m happy to report that the Sewing Pattern Buddy app is the end to my woes!  Megan has designed the app with so many opportunities to organize and categorize patterns according to your personal favorite method and I’ve been so impressed by how intuitive and easy it is to navigate. 🙂  This app is free for up to 25 patterns and is just $6.99 NZD (approx $4.99 USD) for unlimited storage!
Despite being a Millenial, I’m very decidedly *not* tech savvy, but I’m here to tell you- if you already have a smart phone, you’re tech-y enough to figure out how to utilize this resource too. 😉
The app has a wide range of customization already built in with different filters for Pattern Company/Number, Garment Type, Era/Year,  Personal Rating scale, Tags, Previous Makes, Pattern Completeness, and Pattern Type.  There is also space on each pattern listing for measurements, fabric requirements, personal notes, skill level, place/time acquired, purchase cost, printed/unprinted, condition, relevant website URL, location in your stash, and number of copies!
The categories come empty, all the better for using your own organization method.  I really love that I’m able to add specific design elements to the “tag” section.  Frequently I’ll be looking for a pattern that incorporates princess seams/long sleeves/collar/etc and having an easy filter to find them is so helpful!
After backing up the photos and info, the app is fully navigable without internet or data- which is huge for me since I’m on a no-data plan!  The images are clear and zoom-able, so if I need to see details from the envelope back I still have access to that information. The app takes up less space on my phone than any other app I’ve downloaded- I really haven’t found a negative to this app. 😉
This app really is all could ask for as a pattern database and I’m excited to keep adding to the database!  This probably settles me firmly in “nerd” category, but I’m not ashamed.  I love organization so much that the thought of spending this evening adding more patterns to my personal catalog adds a little spring to my step today, haha! 😉
· Disclaimer- I did receive the expanded app as a gift from Megan without the requirement for posting, and all opinions are my own! ·
read more

Crisp

 Crisp white shirting and comfy gray trousers make for an easy summer work outfit. Hope you have a great start to your week and thanks for stopping by! *** Shirt – Ann Taylor (plus today is the last day for 40% off! here | similar styles: here, here and here) Trousers – Ayr (old | similar […]

The post Crisp appeared first on 9to5Chic.

read more

McCalls 7125

About a year ago I attended Melbourne’s first restash event.  It’s a get-together where you take fabric, patterns, and any other sewing supplies that you no longer require, put them onto long tables, then take home things that other people have brought along!  I think that I came home with less than I took (which… Continue reading McCalls 7125

read more
Jan 2016 Accuquilt Sale