Hila of Saturday Night Stitch recently posted photos of her workspace. It was so much fun to see how another sewista organized her stash, patterns and equipment. I decided to follow her lead and show you photos of my little crow’s nest. This is the name my cousin’s wife gave the area I am in the most during the day. When I’m not using it as a studio on weekends it becomes my home office on weekdays. The sewing machine is replaced by all my computer equipment and there are notepapers and files on any surface not covered by something. To preserve my bisque dolls from fading I cover the display cases with a throw cloth. The light comes in when I’m sewing or doing close-up work. But many days I have to close the curtains. Bright light combined with noise can trigger a migraine so I keep the atmosphere in the apartment subdued and as conducive to relaxation as possible. These photos were taken on a day full of cloud cover. Such days might be gloomy for some but for me it’s lovely. The sunlight is so soft and even all day and for some reason I never get migraines during a day with heavy cloud cover.
The likening of this workspace to a crow’s nest is rather appropriate. It’s got a good view of the area below. Plus I’m just six blocks from the Verrazano Narrows. On a rainy or cold day I can hear the horns of the ships passing through the Narrows. On other days when the weather is beautiful the noise from the street drowns out the sounds from the Narrows as well as the birdsong. Then the streets are filled with the sounds of trucks and punctuated by the motorcyclists and drag racers who live in the area.
A look at the RetroGlam Crow’s Nest
I keep things simple as I do more hand sewing than machine sewing. My sewing machine is a Janome 3/4 machine with basic stratight, zig zag, buttonhole and a few decorative stitches. There are rolling file cabinets that I use to store all supplies. Plastic bins are hidden behind an inexpensive folding screen I got for $50 at Amazon. All rulers and a few pressing accessories are kept handy in a hand painted wooden wastepaper basket from Victorian trading. Other pressing equipment is stored in a bin behind the screen.
Since I’m sensitive t bright sunlight, I’ve invested in a desk lamp to use when the curtains are drawn. I also have a floor lamp that provides enough light. I’ve found that the right lighting makes all the difference when sewing and doing other kinds of close-up work. A comfortable chair is also important. I find an office chair that can be adjusted for height even better than the low stools that come with a sewing cabinet.
For me having a professional dress form is more important than a sewing machine that has many bells and whistles. Fitting on a form is an important tool in building skills. I’d say that if you can’t afford a Wolf form, then get the one that fits your budget and work with it. The most important thing is that you’re able to stick pins into the form. This will help you when you want to learn draping or need to play with fabric on the form to see its effects.