Come behind the scenes at Elefantz Designs for a #CraftRoomTour and see Jenny's Australian sewing room.
It's mine, really mine. Since we married in 1991 we rented 21 homes across 5 states and 12 towns...and then last year we bought a home of our very own. Now we can work with the 'bones' of our house and slowly bring it to life in style and purpose, making it a true expression of who we are and our plans for the future.
Tell us about your space
Our new home is a small 3-bedroom so I'm using one of the bedrooms as my sewing studio. It's been a challenge to set up because running a design business from a 10 foot x 10 foot space whilst still maintaining order, beauty and a workable flow is not easy. This space is where I keep all my fabrics, threads, waddings, notions, patterns, sewing machine, cutting table and planning table. There's natural light through the big windows along one wall which makes working in there bright and cheery, plus an air conditioner - which is essential living here in the hot and humid tropics - to keep me cool and the fabrics dry.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
The room can't avoid being cosy due to its size, so I have used a lot of white and light colours to make it feel a bit larger than it is. We pulled the wardrobe doors off and I added in some shelving and a small bookcase to make space for all the supplies I use as well as projects on the go, completed designs, background embroidery fabrics, laces, buttons etc. My husband built me a corner shelf above the cutting/sewing table which really lifted the whole room and allowed more space to display some of my work as well as hold books, sketching paper and current design files. Earlier this year we bought an adjustable height white multi purpose table which allows me to sit in there and sketch, plan my days, have my morning Bible study or spread out fabrics and threads for the next design. I like to keep greenery around me and love that as I sit or sew I can look out the window and see birds flitting to and fro in our native grevillea trees.
How do you keep organized?
In a small space it must stay organised. Everything has a place and at the end of each day I spend about fifteen minutes putting things back where they belong, wiping down the tables and preparing the room for my quiet time the next morning. I have found that being mindful of where things go and tweaking the craft room to flow with like things being near each other that it's much easier to stay organised.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
Plan areas of the room to hold similar items. For example - I keep all my embroidery threads in the same shelving area, all my embroidery backing fabrics are in two tubs beside each other, all the quilting fabrics live on my beautiful large bookcase and are sorted by colour and size (fat quarters or yardage) across the shelves, all my buttons are kept in white boxes on top of each other, my vast supply of vintage laces reside in two boxes near each other, my sewing scissors and rotary cutter are kept in the same drawer at the base of the fabric bookcase, and my collection of embroidery scissors hang beside each other...and the same system goes with everything else in the room.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I have a number of my originals on display, the projects which have particular sentimental meaning mostly, and I also love the sewing machine cover my daughter made years ago which has the angel stitchery she designed and embroidered at age 16 across the front and the pincushion she made for me from an old skirt and some calico when she was just 9. Hanging from the original wooden rail inside the wardrobe area we converted there's also a very old hand pieced Dresden quilt which I bought at a charity shop for $2 about nine years ago.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I have different folders for ideas, rough sketches, swatch samples and current designs and they live on the corner shelf above my sewing machine and also out in the living room where I have a little corner all my own for an office space.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Really, it can be anywhere. Nature always fascinates me and I take loads of photos outside or on road trips, but I can also be inspired by two random colours which catch my eye working beautifully together, a verse or phrase in a book or magazine, an afternoon refolding fabrics on the bookcase, seeing the work of others and appreciating it.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Knock down one wall and take over my husband's study (he also has a bedroom to work in from home) - but then I'd feel bad so perhaps I'd best not pursue that wish! So.….
Build storage space under the cutting table so I can remove all my past projects which are kept in plastic tubs there and place them somewhere pretty and more functional.
Remove the bones of the built in wardrobe and build proper shelving from door to ceiling to window, all painted white.
Remove the curtains and add a gorgeous handmade Roman blind in floral fabrics by Cath Kidston.
Whose craft room would you love to explore? Send us a message!