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Behind The Scenes / From The Workroom

2016 Tour of my workroom

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

At the end of last year I shared a little tour of my workroom, and now that 2016 is coming to a close, and i’ve changed a few things up, I thought you might like to see my current updated setup!

The biggest change this year was falling out of love with open shelving. I loved the idea of open shelving for my fabrics (see here), so that i could look at their prettiness and access them easily, but in reality i found it got really messy really quickly. And after a while i had to come to terms with how much fabric, equipment, tools and samples I have and come up with a better solution. And here is what i’ve learnt: pretty open shelving only works if you have a huge cupboard to hide all your junk in.

So we decided to fill the entire wall with the tallest cupboards we could find and make it super organised. And guess what? I love it!

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

Now all my fabric, samples, tools, supplies and filing are stored behind these lovely glossy white doors. Ah serenity. I even managed to hide my printer and shredder which are my two most hated office items but are super necessary.

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

Once we changed that, a lot of other inefficiencies became clear. My husband Chris is an app and web developer  and he had been using my cutting table at the window to work at intermittently and it really wasn’t efficient for either of us. So we  decided it was time to set up a dedicated desk for him, and I think it’s made a huge difference in his work efficiency. As a side note i get a lot of laughs out of how small a space he needs compared to me!

We kept the couch as its turned out to be really useful for meetings and as it’s actually a sleeper couch i like to tell myself this is a possible emergency guest room if we ever needed one. Oh the things i like to tell myself hehe.

I also moved my iron and ironing board to our laundry room… which is on the other side of the house. I really hate it there, because walking back and forth from my workroom wastes time – but it was all taking up way too much room in my workroom and i needed to make everything more efficient. Sometimes you just have to compromise, and not having my iron in my workroom was one i had to make.

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

Other changes included moving my massive pattern plotter to the other side of the room closer to my desk. Wow increase in efficiency. It’s a big deal having that so close to me, i’m so glad i moved it! The downside is that i lost the wall space that housed my huge mirror, and that was really useful for fittings. I also lost access to the bifold door that joins my office to the playroom. I must admit, that made me really sad. I loved that my office and the kids play area were joined, but if i’m really honest, I hadn’t been opening it much recently anyway.

Above my plotter I have a really simple 3M hook. I clip together all the patterns i’m currently working on with a bulldog clip, and hang it off the hook. It takes up minimal space and was a nice easy quick solution to my masses of paper.

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

I also added a new overlocker and coverstitch machine to my equipment – so i had to try and find a way to house 3 machines on my limited desk space. What i ended up doing was moving a big set of drawers i had (that house my art supplies, notions and miscellaneous small equipment) next to my desk. I put my overlocker on that, my coverstitch on the far corner of my desk and my sewing machine stayed next to my computer.

Working on an overlocker on a set of drawers is a little awkward, i’m not going to lie, but this setup has worked best for me given my limited desk space. I generally do short bursts of overlock and coverstitching, so it hasn’t been a tragedy. I prefer having my sewing machine most convenient as i use it by far the most.

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016) Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

So that’s a peek into my little world! I really love making constant little improvements and adjustments to my space. It’s so much easier to be inspired and efficient when my workroom is neat and attractive, and I’m really happy with my current setup.

Megan Nielsen Patterns workroom tour (2016)

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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PsychicKathleen
PsychicKathleen
5 years ago

I just love being invited to take a peek into someone else’s sewing room! Ideas, inspiration and a sense of who that person really is just shines through in a space you can see they love to occupy using their imagination to create. It’s soulful and magical :) Your space is so full of light, white with warm splashes of colour around but nothing that grabs the eye too harshly. For a woman who creates patterns, obviously must sew a great deal and mind children it’s amazingly neat! Sewing does have a way of spreading out though doesn’t it? Mine has wandered alarmingly all over my husband’s create cave (as he points out to anyone that will listen to his laments).

nicolecnoops
5 years ago

Oh what a lovely room! I have a much smaller workspace but iT works really fine for me. But maybe I neef to paint all items white so beautiful.

knitbunnie
5 years ago

How can you sew without an ironing board in your sewing room??? I think I could live without a plotter in my sewing room much more than I could live without my ironing board. Don’t you iron as you sew? Do you use the plotter more than you’d use an ironing board?

Totally agree with non-open shelving. My fabric stash is all enclosed – no dust, no fading, no worries.

knitbunnie
5 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Thank you for your great reply. Your patterns and sample garments are so beautiful that I couldn’t imagine that you didn’t press as you went along. I sure would love to have my own plotter! I didn’t think about its having to be hooked up to a computer, but that makes perfect sense. Your sewing room is quite lovely, and so much more organized than mine.

Rin @SewinLove
5 years ago

Oh wow, your workspace is beautiful! Thanks so much for the detailed tour, it’s so useful in planning my own work space in the near future. Just wondering, where do you do your cutting?

Rin
Rin
5 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Aaah makes sense! My mum cuts on the dining table too :) Thanks for your reply x

Charlotte E
Charlotte E
5 years ago
Reply to  Rin

Isn’t the purpose of a dining table for cutting fabric on :-) I get annoyed when we have guests over or family to stay and I have to clear away my fabric and scraps to revert to using the dining table for eating.

Jane Claridge
Jane Claridge
5 years ago

Your room looks lovely, such a wonderful place to create and make. Can I ask please where di you get the drawers you have your overlocker sat on?

Jane Claridge
Jane Claridge
5 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Thank you so much, Happy New Year :) xx

karen
karen
5 years ago

Megan, I empathize with organizational quandaries that require heart wrenching decisions. With regard to the banishment of the iron and ironoing board, I have a suggestion. Buy a small travel iron (I picked mine up in a thrift store) and use your sleeve board set up on top of any small surface. I reallized long ago, that I was mostly pressing seams and stitching “as I go” so the ironing board was mostly redundant. My space is crowded and not having toshift the ironing board was a blessing. The sleeve board handles most of my sewing pressing anyway. Just a suggestion.

Linda Doyle
Linda Doyle
5 years ago

Cover a piece of plywood with batting and fabric. Store under couch. When using – lay sofa back pillow down and put board on top:)

Linda Doyle
Linda Doyle
5 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Glad you liked it. I have learned a lot from you so its nice to give back:)

Kimberly L.
Kimberly L.
5 years ago

Hello! I love your workspace and how bright and white it is. Would you be able to tell me where you purchased your main desk? I’m looking for something like that for my workspace so that I can fit my sewing machine and computer on there. Thank you in advance :) -Kimberly

Kelsey
5 years ago

I’m so jealous of your sewing room. My space is just one wall in my tiny bedroom. But yours looks great! And it’s so nice that your husband has his own spot in there, too :)

Wendy
Wendy
5 years ago

I spy that ultra cool Elna on the shelf–is it a Lotus? I have an old Stella–so great for travelling!