Craft a sewing space wherever you are — on the dining table, or across the universe!
Meet the Sewing Space Station, a sewing machine mat with so much more to it than meets the eye … a design that has been gradually coming together in my head forseveral years now.
This whole project has a story that is intricately woven into my past and brings elements of things I need right now together, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Let’s take things back quite a few years now … when my kids were little, and space was tight.
In those days, I didn’t have a sewing room or a dedicated space to keep set up for sewing. The days were full of chubby hands and runny noses, laundry to wash and scrapes to kiss better. Those precious little bodies took up all the space I had both physically and mentally.
I was able to fill snatches of time at night with a little crochet or knitting – things that were easy to just pick and work on without needing to set up. I always had that pull to create something with my hands, no matter how small.
But my first love has always been sewing and I really really wanted to sew. I just didn’t have the space, even if I did have snatches of time.
I felt a huge barrier to setting up the sewing machine and even starting to sew, because without a dedicated space for it, everything that was needed was usually scattered all over the house, and the whole process was just too hard.
I had so many things interrupting and intruding into the short space of time that was available that many months would go by sometimes where I never sewed anything, and it felt like my soul shrivelled a little inside me.
During this time of raising a family and developing tips and solutions for everything (that you wish you would have known before you started!) I learned that making something as easy as possible is key to getting it done. Simple is always better, and simple systems are the best path to this.
What if there was a way to create a space, that was simple and easy to set up? One that didn’t take masses of brain power and moving mountains to set up.
And that, my friend, was how the Sewing Space Station was born!
My intention was to create an all-in-one system that corrals all the things needed to make sewing easy to set up quickly, sew productively and pack away again easily.
I named it this because it creates a ‘sewing space’ just for you, when you need it.
And you we’ve embraced the whole ‘outer space’ aspect of the name with all the sc-fi references we can think of ;)!
In short, this is a sewing room in-a-box, where you don’t need to go searching for your project, your notions and your sew-jo.
Motivation in one sweet package, because when you’ve been able to fit in time to sew, you feel your creative heart is nourished, and you have renewed energy for the future!
I see this a launch pad for future sewing – a whole universe of possibilities emerges when you suddenly find your path cleared for creating.
The Sewing Space Station
Create your own special space with the ultimate sewing organiser — designed to keep everything together.
Innovative Tool Storage
Here’s how I approached the design from the ground up.
I needed a solution that was really a solution – a machine mat that worked differently from all the others.
- It needed to hold tools, but they shouldn’t hang in your way
- It needed to have pockets that hold a wide variety of tools and notions
- It needed to have options for extras like pouches that clip on, and a functional pincushion that’s also super cute.
You’ll notice the tool panel hanging down on the right side.
So much thought went into this! I know there are many mats out there with tool storage across the front – but it tends to get in the way, and the pockets don’t fit the tools you need effectively.
A side-hanging tool panel answers this problem by hanging out of your way, while still having everything in easy reach.
Let’s take a closer look at the design of the Sewing Space Station.
There’s plenty of pockets in this panel, with space for your rotary cutter or large scissors, small scissors, seam ripper, mini ruler, marking pen… or… let me know what you absolutely need to keep right next to you the most!
Having all your most used tools at your fingertips is what really gets your sew-jo flowing!
When what you need is right there ready to grab, life is good!
It’s one of those simple joys that you take for granted when it’s there but miss like crazy when it’s not.
Stay organised, stay focused and get more sewing done!
Now, I know a lot of you will want to know if this panel is reversible for left-handed sewists … the answer is absolutely!
As a leftie myself, I understand how important it is to have a project work for you the way you need. For me personally, I use a lot of tools with both hands, so the side the panel hangs is not vital to how I work. But do like to keep my lap free from clutter so there's space for a large project or quilt to hang down when needed.
But all the pieces on this are easily flipped. If you’d like a more in-depth tutorial on this, leave me a comment below.
Two Bonus Removable Extras
Hanging at the bottom of the tool panel I've designed a removable pouch called the Cargo Bay.
The Cargo Bay Quilted Pouch
This is where you keep small but mighty cargo - things like binding clips for binding a quilt. Rolls of thread for when you need to change colour. Sewing machine feet for when you need to insert a zipper or sew a rolled hem. And any other notions you might want to interchange later with the upper pockets, but don’t need right now.
This also works well as a thread tails and snips bin because those pesky ends need somewhere to go ... not just on your pants! And being detachable means it’s easily emptied or taken to use somewhere else. It hangs with little elastic loops onto the buttons on the front panel, and is held shut with a loop of elastic.
So versatile, so useful!
Now I want to make multiple versions of this Cargo Bay, all packed with different supplies, where you can just grab the one you need for the project you’re working on! Plus, they're super satisfying to make!
The PinPod Pincushion
I love to have a functional ‘work horse’ pincushion at hand when I'm sewing, and so I came up with this simple but charming boxed cushion. It's modelled after a French tufted seat cushion. I'm sure you can see the resemblance.
Once again I've added weight to this pinnie for extra 'presence'. It's stuffed this with rice and polyfill, so it’s a not a lightweight pincushion that gets easily knocked off. You can stuff it with pins with one hand and have it hold it's ground.
You'll notice the sweet hand stitched seam detail. This is added after construction and is really simple to do, as are the dimples in the centre.
I think you’ll love making a bunch of these just for fun!
The Sewing Space Station
Internal Mat Storage
Sometimes in a project you come across features that you didn’t even know you needed. That's what sets this project apart as truly unique.
Waiting for you under the sewing machine is even more storage.
When it's time to pack up, the Sewing Space Station has a range of pockets in the mat itself that hold everything from quilting rulers to a whole project - yes, you can fit a finished flimsy in here, complete with the pattern.
The flaps fasten with a satisfying ‘SNAP’, and everything is secure.
Then, the whole Station folds up and ties shut, with all your tools, notions and projects inside.
This enables seamless set-up and pack-up, helping you sew that much more often.
Store Rulers and Cutting Mats
The first pocket is sized perfectly for holding a 6.5” x 12.5” ruler, probably my most used size for everyday cutting. You can also stack several smaller rulers together into the pocket as well.
Store WIPs, Patterns & Fabric
In the middle, larger pocket, there’s room for a WIP, a pattern and some fabric. It fits a small quilt flimsy, quilt blocks, or pieces for a bag. No more searching for your pattern and project when you’re ready to work on it!
Don’t forget the Little Bits
The top right pocket fits notions in it, from scissors and rotary cutters to pens and glue.
It’s also the perfect size to hold the Cargo Bay pouch if you’d like to stash that in there instead.
And the last but not least, the smallest pocket at the front holds the PinPod pincushion once you’ve removed the pins from it.
Just pop those pins into a tin or container and add to the notions pocket above.
With the space, the project and all the tools being sorted into one compact parcel you’ll find yourself feeling super organised and sewing so much more often.
Now, in just three easy steps, this whole mat folds up into a neat parcel, and ties shut, keeping everything safe in there. Now your dining table is clear for dinner, your bedroom is tidy for sleep, or whatever place you need to keep neat, it’s a cinch to pack away to play another day.
Now of course this Station isn’t just for those who sew at home. Let’s not overlook how convenient having a portable space is for travel. This Station was also built for travelling!
Simply grab your machine and your fully packed Sewing Space Station and head off with everything you need no sweat! You can imagine how easy this is to set up at your next class when you just open it all up and find everything you need!
So now you’ve seen everything this mat can do, I can’t wait to see how you’ll make this your own. There are so many possibilities and uses, and so many fabrics to showcase that would look stunning in this design.
If you’d love a little extra motivation to sew a big project like this and would like a community of like-minded sewists to sew along with, we’ve got you covered!
I’m delighted to share that we have a sew-along planned, starting in June.
I’ll be sharing lots of extra sewing support and inside tips.
Join my Facebook community
If you're a social bee, get involved with over 1100 sewists, quilters, and creators from around the world. Share your creations and get inspired!