Behind The Scenes At Did You Make That


Behind the scenes posts are always fun, aren’t they? So without, further ado…


Here’s the sewing machine that is permanently set out in a corner of my living room. Rachel from House of Pinheiro was recently snapped using it, when she came to stay. It’s a Bernina Activa 230 Patchwork Edition. It’s a great machine!


Here’s the dressmaker’s dummy that stands behind the living room door, waiting to scare burglars or dog walkers.


Here’s the table in the kitchen where I take detail shots for sewing projects. It’s next to the sash window, so there’s lots of light. I bought a large sheet of cardboard as a background, and another sheet of foam board as a DIY light reflector. Best purchases ever! I shove them behind a set of shelves when I’m not photographing, and this makes things really easy and no fuss. It also helps that this table is only a couple of strides away from my ironing board!


Here’s the desk where I type up blog posts. Though just as often, they’re written propped up in bed. I’m a real early bird and my favourite thing in the whole world is to squeeze in a couple of hours work in bed before emails start pinging, with a coffee on the bedside table and a dog’s sleeping body pressed against my leg.

And that’s it! How does this compare to your home set up? I’m lucky that I have the space to leave machines permanently out and that there’s no one to mind the roar of sewing whilst the telly is on. I like how much sewing is part of my general living space. Whenever I used to consider turning my spare bedroom into a sewing room, the idea of shutting myself away didn’t appeal. What say you?

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30 Responses to Behind The Scenes At Did You Make That

  1. Nyssa Jayne says:

    I used to have a corner of my living room with the machine permanently set up, but since moving, I’ve had to use the kitchen table. I thought packing up and packing down would hinder my desire to sew, but I’ve found that because I can keep everything much tidier, I approach my sewing in a much more considered way! My old setup was definitely very messy and difficult to sew at (it kind of became a place to put mail we wanted to ignore, that kind of thing), whereas I keep the new one much tidier. It wasn’t the effect I was expecting!

  2. Barbara says:

    Completely agree about not shutting yourself off in the sewing room. I keep my sewing machine and worktable out in our den which is adjacent to the kids TV/video game room. I cut out on our massive kitchen island. I’m a tidy person so I clean up and organize when I finish for the day.

  3. allie J. says:

    It’s nice to peek behind the scenes! I have a little bedroom as my sewing room, which is nice because it traps all the mess into one room where it doesn’t bother anyone else.

  4. redsilvia says:

    Excellent use of space! If you changed your spare bedroom it would be harder for friends to stay, so it’s really more social the way you have it. Plus it is your house, your rules.

    I use the dining room table for machine and serger since I would never in a million years need to throw a formal dining occasion. There is a perfectly good table in the kitchen for that. Of course I have a sewing machine stolen from my mom set up in the bedroom because who wants to change threads when topstitching? No one is the answer.

  5. Allison says:

    I LOVE having a dedicated space for my sewing!!! It’s a very small bedroom/sunroom with windows on three sides and I have my cabinets and my sewing table along the walls and still have room to fold out the cutting table when I need it. My dressmaker form wears a Pokémon hat LOL! After years of having to hide my machine under the kitchen table so we could eat dinner, this is heaven for me!

  6. PsychicKathleen says:

    I have my machines set up permanently at the front window of our living room and my cutting table set up behind the chairs upon which we sit to watch TV. My ironing is folded up behind my apothecary cabinet and I just take that out for sewing time 🙂 I too love to have my sewing in the middle of things and my husband never complains I’m making too much noise. He actually likes to sit in the living room and watch me puttering around sewing 🙂

  7. Andrea says:

    Nice home setup … something like that would work for me as well!

  8. Fiona says:

    I converted the spare room, which has enabled me to build up a large fabric stash without guilt, close the door and leave the chaos behind, and have a little sanctuary I spend time in, without the “world” interfering.
    After 40 years of dining table sewing its my idea of Bliss!!

  9. Anna-Jo says:

    I currently have my sewing corner in the living room, but can’t use it when my 2 year old is about as he is fascinated by machines and gets way too close to the sewing machine, and there’s no way I’m using the iron with him around either! I’m longing for a room where I can shut the door behind me! Also, one I can leave in a bit of a mess if I need to 😉

  10. Magdalena Plewinska says:

    I’m lucky to have a whole room to spread out in (doubly lucky to also have a separate guest room). Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), there is no good seating area there, so I have to take my books out to the living room, thus preventing me from being totally antisocial 🙂

  11. This was a great post, Karen. It is nice to see how other people work and how they tackle keeping all their sewing stuff organised. I love your ideas for shooting garment pictures and might just have to steal them. I used to have a studio out of the house where all my stuff was set up all the time, ready to tackle anything that I fancied and with the door always open for visitors. It was a hugely creative time and one that I miss greatly. Now I have a lot of boxes making me feel guilty and a half-unpacked, tiny sewing room. I do like shutting myself away when I am sewing but that might be to save the blushes of my family when I start swearing at things I have to unpick. 🙂 Xx

  12. sewandsnip says:

    Great to se your sewing space. When my children were young all my sewing was done at the kitchen table with them playing around me. I loved it all going on together but cutting out was restricted to after there bedtime when I had the floor to myself!
    Now I have a sewing room which is my little haven full of knock-knacks & trinkets bought by my children & grandchildren, as well as all my sewing stuff. It’s great to be able to escape into it but also to be ble to close the door on my creative chaos 😂

  13. Nicola says:

    I have a sewing room and I love it . No one touches stuff in there , it’s all in one place and I can see and use my stash . It’s my happy place . (But the knitting spills out into the rest of the house)

  14. I love your sewing space, it obviously works well for you; you’re so productive! My sewing room is in the works. We are converting the old master bedroom into my space. At the moment, my machine is tucked into a corner of the laundry room, so ironing board/cutting table both double as folding surfaces/stacked laundry shelves and work space for sewing supplies, etc. Ooops. Looking forward to my completed space with room to spread out.

  15. Tallulah says:

    We decided to dedicate the spare bedroom for my sewing room, oh I had such plans….6 months later I’m back to sewing in the living room where my family are around me(I did miss them) but main reason is that my dedicated room is now so messy and bursting at the seams I have a tiny path which weaves its way through to my desk…I’ve given up 🙂
    How do you find your bernina, I’ve been looking at that model as I’m to buy a new machine can’t decide between the Pfaff passport, bernina or singer quantum x

  16. jocolumbine says:

    I redesigned our garage to become a studio for my art/sewing/knitting – a beautiful space with French Windows into the garden, lots of light, plug sockets galore, a secret laundry cupboard and a downstairs loo. Bliss. And then my husband got a job working from home and I now sew where I can. Sob.

  17. Heather says:

    I knit and had a knitting room that I never used. Would much rather be with the family. Its been turned into a guest room. Yarn stash is still in the closet though.

  18. Jenny says:

    I don’t think I could be without my sewing room now! I know I could never be as prolific as you if I had to work in the main living rooms. I’m not obsessed with tidying but I know the mess I sometimes make in my own room would drive me to distraction elsewhere. And then there’s the little problem of 3 machines (sewing, overlock and embroidery) all out at the same time and my stash, what would I do with my stash!!

  19. Roobeedoo says:

    Very organised! A bit like circuit training, with a station for each exercise LOL the way my brain works these days cracks me up!
    Love that solar print tee 🙂

  20. Arletta says:

    It’s nice and interesting to see behind the scenes! Since working from home I would really love to have a dedicated space, as work spread through the whole house just makes me very nervous and it’s difficult to concentrate on specific topics sometimes when the house (and garden too!) looks like a mixture between testing center, laboratory, library and photo studio. I can roll out of bed and there is my desk where I write my blog posts, this does not make things easier, as there is no possibility to draw the line between work and private.

    • Yes, I love my little office at home but it is VERY difficult to know when to stop working – and moving my laptop down to the sofa in the evening so I can watch the telly whilst sending emails, is not the answer!

  21. Sheree says:

    I have a sewing room with sewing machine, overlocker and ironing board permanently set up waiting to be used. Yet, only these tasks are done in there. Everything else is done in my living room – the light is much better and besides I like the company!
    Regarding sending work emails, can I advise that you set a strict deadline each day. No emails after 5 o/clock for instance. Working from home requires getting a good balance – no harm in answering those emails the following day.

  22. When we renovated a little brick cottage, and added on, I made sure my sewing room was open to the kitchen/lounge with lots of storage/cutting room. I have my machines permanently out and the walls decorated with shelving/peg board/white board. It’s the heart of the house and I love it!

  23. Robin says:

    I have a dedicated hobby room – sewing, music, art, books. It is a small bedroom, and well organized. One wall is composed of mostly organizing cubicles for fabric and sewing tools, and fencing uniform storage. The opposite wall with window has a desk mostly used for sewing, and it is flanked by two bookshelf units. The closet wall is where I maintain my dress form, ironing board, and a small table for radio and ironing that needs to be done, and it is directly beneath a full length mirror. The final wall has a small table for my fiddle, with art supplies tucked underneath, and a small dresser is filled with patterns and also holds books. A shelf above the dresser is for favorite knickknacks. It is my cave and refuge.

  24. Cecilia says:

    I like your photos of behind the scene! It gives life to what you do! Great, thanks.

  25. esewing says:

    Great to have a peak behind the scenes , smiled about the dummy , mine is always lurking ready to make people jump ! I quite like to shut myself away am far more productive . I have the same bernina agree is a great machine . Not sure I would like to share the creative chaos of my sewing room though ☺

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