Sewing room

Last December we moved house, and one of the most exciting things for me was that I finally got my own sewing space!

This weekend I finally got around to re-covering my ironing board and some pillows, which means the only thing to do now is to put some more fashion plates on the wall. Nevertheless, it’s done enough to do a little tour!

Just as a quick note: these pictures were taken right after cleaning up, and in no way reflect the natural state of messiness which prevails in creative spaces…

A little video tour:


The Desk:

I knew I wanted a large desk in this room, to fit both my computer and sewing machine. It’s not a very deep desk, but that’s not a problem as I have plenty of storage space with the shelf and drawers.


The shelf above the desk houses my sewing box, two drawer boxes, a tin with boning/busks, and my pattern weights. In the grey drawers I keep practical supplies such as boning, twill tape, etc. The green drawers store pieces of lace and ribbon.




In my sewing box I have little things such as buttons, hooks and eyes, and spare measuring tapes. At the bottom some larger supplies I don’t use that much. The little Delft-blue box I use to store my pattern weights.

The drawer cabinet is used for sewing supplies I need most readily on hand. The top drawer is for scissors, thimbles, seam rippers, and pens etc. for marking. The one below that I use for office supplies. The larger drawers house thread spools, more scissors and heavy tools, and notebooks respectively.


Right next to my desk I have my ironing board set up, so I can use the plug beneath my desk for the iron. I re-covered this with a fun Victorian-style print cotton I got ages ago. I did not have any plans for it, but just couldn’t leave it. When we moved in here, I knew it’d be great for accessories!



The costume closet:

One this wall, I have the closet in which I store most of my costumes and some supplies. Next to the closed is the ‘messy space’, with my crinolines, sleeve-ironing board, hem marker and some fabric bits. My dummy is also here when it’s cleaned up, but she’s usually somewhere in the middle of the room when I’m working on things.



On the other side of the closet are an antique clock which used to belong to my grandmother, and some boxes. These store some masks, hats, and the little suitcase is the perfect size for my Truly Victorian patterns.



The main hanging space in the closet is taken up by costumes. This is not everything, but the most recent/worn things. I have some extra space upstairs for the rest.



Below the costumes is a box with old sheets/fabric for mock-ups. Next to that are boxes with gloves, fans and stockings. The spray-cans hold a vinegar-water mix and vodka-water mix, for setting pleats and cleaning respectively. At the bottom of the closet are more boxes, these are filled with some of my traditional Dutch clothing pieces.

The right side of the closet is for more storage. At the top some things for my dancing group (wooden shoes are a pain to store…), at the very bottom photography bags and camera etc. The other shelves hold hair stuffs, antique bits and pieces, and crafting things.



The remaining storage:


The wall opposite the desk holds more storage, and a lazy chair. This chair used to belong to my mother, and has been in my room for as long as I’ve had one. The pillow has seen quite some iterations! For this room I re-covered it with fabric matching my ironing board.



The book closet holds my sewing and costuming books. One section is for historical patterning/how to books, one section for traditional costume books, one for hand-craft boos, and one for misc (museum books, 1940’s bound magazines & lace-making).



Two of the fabric boxes hold patterns, one commercial and one my own drafts. The bottom right box is for fabrics for modern projects, the bottom left is for putting away in-progress projects.



The other closet has one of my antique Singer’s on top. I have two, one having belonged to my father’s mother’s mother, the other to my mother’s fathers’ mother. Both are from the 1920’s I believe. I only keep one on display at a time, but will probably change them out every once in a while.



This closet is for all my historical fabrics. Silks are at the top and middle, linen in the middle, cotton at the bottom, and the wool on the right.



Finally, on the walls I have a collection of fashion plates! I currently have plates ranging from the 1830’s to about 1880, 14 in total. 6 are currently up, and I hope to fill up more of the space with the remainder! (Also, my mouse-mat is printed with a painting from the Rijksmuseum, because I could!)

Goodies and lace

I recently found a couple of wonderful shops in the town where I live, and picked up a couple of lovely things. In addition, I also recently went to a lace-museum and an accompanying 2nd hand sale where I found more goodies. So for this post, lovely things!

In the first antique shop I entered I found a lace cap which is worn traditionally by women in Volendam, and called a ‘hul’. It’s part of the most classic of Dutch folk costumes. The lady running the shop didn’t know what it was (called it a farmers cap), but I’m pretty sure its from Volendam. Given my love for traditional costume, I just had to add it to my collection.


Most recent (and iconic) version of the Volendam costume. (photo from the 1950’s, but due to it getting extinct it hasn’t changed anymore since then)


1926. This is an older version of the costume. You can see that the caps are smaller (less pointy) and the ‘wings’ are slightly different.


This is mine. I think it's a bit older than the 50's one, judging from the photo's above.

This is mine. I think it’s a bit older than the 50’s one, judging from the photo’s above.


The shop also sold a lot of old lace, and I couldn’t resist. So I picked the prettiest. I haven’t checked how much is on the spool, but it looks like plenty.




The second shop I entered had these lovely vintage gloves. Gloves are usually too big on my as I have small hands, but these fit me!



The lace museum I visited was really lovely. They had a lot of old mechanic lace machines which were also demonstrated by the guides. The cotton-machines were bought second-hand in the 1920’s, and they still run! The museum-shop also sold the lace made on their machines, and I couldn’t resist buying some of it. So it’s not antique lace, but it was made with antique mechanical machines, so completely historically correct!


Nylon lace machine. The number of needles and threads on this thing is astonishing.


Cotton lace machine at work (hence the blurry spools).


The lace I bought, made on a machine as in the photo above:


IMG_8900b IMG_8899b


Next to the museum, there was a small 2nd hand market selling things to do with sewing, embroidery, knitting, lace making etc. I found these two spools of lace. Not the best or prettiest I’ve ever seen, but they cost me a whole of 2,00 euros each. I can think of something to do with it for that price! Maybe I’ll make a skirt with a double row of lace at the hem… Anyway, there’s plenty of it!

IMG_8902b IMG_8903bIMG_8901b


They also had a lot of old sewing magazines. Most were from the 90’s, 80’s and late ’70s, but I found three from the early 60’s! They cost 25 cents per magazine… (the prices at this market were almost ridiculously low, it was very busy!) They have a lot of great images, and some patterns are included. Only in one size though, so there’s 2 patterns in there which might fit me. They’re both great though, so I’ll definitely have to try them! Some of my favourite pages:

The covers! I like how weird the first one is. I don't think many fashion magazines today would have their models pose with a banana that way...

The covers! I like how weird the first one is. I don’t think many fashion magazines today would have their models pose with a banana that way…


IMG_8915b IMG_8916b


The right dress has a pattern

The right dress has a pattern


IMG_8912b IMG_8909b

This one also has a pattern.

This one also has a pattern.



I was walking through the city after work recently and stumbled on an antiques market. I don’t really go to the market a lot, but I should do this more often, as it was great! I found a couple of small treasures.

The first one was this flower hairpiece. The comb and flowers are all plastic, so it’s not that old but I was immediately put in mind of 1860’s style hairpieces. I don’t have anything to wear it with (as my 1860 dress is black), but who knows…

20140518_194050 (440x587)

Along with the hairpiece were some black ostrich feathers. Again, I don’t know what I’ll do with them yet, but they’re pretty, so I’ll think of something!

20140518_194254 (440x587)

Just when I’d decided that I wouldn’t buy anything more I didn’t know what to do with yet, I stumbled upon antique lace… I couldn’t resist, so I now have 7 meters of this very pretty lace. It is telling me it wants to be an Edwardian blouse, but I’ve never done anything from that era, so who knows. For now, it’s just pretty to look at.

20140518_194354 (440x587)