Come behind the scenes at Molly and Mama for a #CraftRoomTour and see Lauren's sewing room in Toowoomba, Australia.
To me, the most important element in any work space is the availability of natural light. All of my photography (including the step-by-step pictures for my PDF patterns) is taken in my studio because it has the most amazing light. It's bright and airy, fresh and open. So I find the space really inspiring! I'm also completely in love with the view. My studio looks out onto two small dams in a gorgeous paddock filled with gum trees and grazing cattle. The view changes by the hour. So does the colour of the light. It's a little bit magical and makes me feel so at home. It helps my creative brain so much!
Tell us about your space
My sewing studio is a small room at the front of my single-story home. It's all mine and I feel so grateful to have an area where I can complete all of my sewing and crafting, design new patterns and make new projects. It's also lovely to have everything close at hand and easily accessible. Computer work and photo editing happens in the study, and painting and sketching usually takes place outside on the verandah. But my studio is definitely the place where I spend the most amount of time.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
If you're going to work in a space for hours every day, then it has to be inspiring, right? I find the best way to stay inspired is to surround myself with things that I love. So I display a lot of my favourite mini quilts and hoop art projects on the walls. And I change them around a lot! I use pin cushions and needle books that I have made from my own sewing patterns. Notions like buttons are kept in small glass jars with pretty lids or dainty bows. Other trims and tools are found in delicately scalloped metal vases, ceramic jugs and decorative dishes.
How do you keep organized?
Two long tables are set up along one wall to give me a large workable desk space. Fabric is folded and stored in large plastic tubs that are stacked under the tables and away from the light. (There's nothing worse than having fade marks on the fold lines of your favourite prints!) Small sets of drawers are used to hold other tools and trims that aren't on display. My sewing machine and overlocker are permanently housed on the desks. And my ironing board seems to be permanently set up, even though I'd prefer for it to be put away daily! And I also have a large bookshelf that holds books, patterns and more. It's not the prettiest set up, but it's practical and it works.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
The things I use every day are closest at hand. So they live out on the desk top in my work space. Other items are safely stored until needed. Large plastic containers with interior plastic dividers help me store my laces, braids, binding and trims in individual sections. I keep my fabrics away from light to reduce the possibility of fading. I also keep the plastic tubs sealed to protect the contents from creepy crawlies that might find their way in. I use a lot of wool felt. It's beautiful but expensive so I want to care for it well!
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I have made many pieces for blog hops and tutorials, pattern testing and book projects. Some of these pieces turn out so well that I can't bare to part with them and I keep them displayed. I also display some of the little felt creations, pin cushions and other small projects I have made from my patterns. My Miss Molly pin cushion is with me every day and I love to see her pretty face smiling up at me. She's a reassuring presence when I am working on a new project and hoping it works out.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
There are ideas pouring out of my head every day. I keep an art journal beside my sewing machine for sketching and designing. And I have another in my handbag for when inspiration strikes when I am out and about. I'd have another beside my bed, but I don't sleep long enough to need it! I just get up and head to the sewing studio instead. I also keep several notebooks for ideas, to-do lists and other notes. And of course I have a planner to keep track of deadlines and other dates. I'm a lover of paper so I tend to keep it all in print format rather than having an online diary. A calendar on the wall helps me stay on track too.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. And I'm never really short on ideas. Much of my inspiration comes from nature; colours inspire me, flowers in my garden, games my children play outside, and animals in the paddocks. Beautiful fabrics often speak to me and ideas just pop into my head so I know immediately what to make with them. Other times, I'll use sketches or ideas from my notebooks and art journal to create something new. If I don't find inspiration around me though, I head to Pinterest or Instagram to see beautiful inspiring images. Then I spend a lot of time with an idea and work carefully to make it my very own. It's important that my pieces have a distinct Molly and Mama feel to them!
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Three wishes? Wouldn't that be magical?
1. I'd ask for more bench space. You can never have too much!
2. I'd have a cupboard where I could keep my ironing board set up all the time and I wouldn't find myself running into it everyday!
3. I'd have a magic fairy that would clean up for me everyday so I didn't have to. I love walking into a new, fresh working space each morning and this would save so much time!
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