Sewaholic Patterns Headquarters, New and Improved!

Hey, everyone! Finally my office is set up and I’m working from the comfort and style of the new place. It seems like a long time ago already that I finished packing up my old office, moved everything into the new space, built all of the new furniture (including building the bookcase in front of the open door to 90% complete, before admitting that IKEA was right and it did in fact require two people to build the thing, like the instructions said) and shipped out all of the sale orders. Thank you to everyone that bought patterns in the Moving Sale. You sure helped lighten my load!

Want to see where I work and sew now, in the new and improved office? Here we go! (Come on in!)

I now have two expedit bookcases. (Love these!) When I first moved into the office, Pendrell and Crescent shared a cubby and the rest of the cubes were filled with books and fabric.

Now I have room for 24 patterns and eight boxes of fabric and trims! I can’t wait to fill them up with new designs. (Yes, this is the thing I mentioned above, that IKEA recommends building with two people. It’s all fine until getting the last beam in place at the very end, and of course lifting the thing up. Trust me, it’s good to have a friend around for the building and absolutely necessary for the final lifting!)

I can also store my sewing machines on top of the bookcases, when I need to use the sewing table for something else. They’re light enough, and the surface is easily reached, so that lifting them up isn’t too inconvenient.

I have a hanging rack for samples. (Before, I had samples piled on the single back-of-the-door hook, sometimes with extra hangers hanging from a rubber band so I could cram more on to the hook. Sounds a little crazy now, doesn’t it? You do what you have to when you’re working in a small space.)

The hanging storage helps hide useful things, like a lint roller and camera tripod, but keeps them close at hand. The big hanging storage I bought by accident, wanting it to be the small one, but it worked out well for hiding big things. (There are some big surprises hidden in there right now!)

I have a full size floor-standing ironing board, finally! Originally, I’d planned to made do with the mini tabletop one. (You’ve probably seen the tabletop board in a hundred photos at least! This is it.)

It’s been fine over the last year and it sure is space-saving! But as I started to get settled in the new space, I realized there would be space for a real ironing board. (I also realized it was time to replace the ironing board cover, so it was a good opportunity to make an upgrade.)

With the mini-sized ironing board I’d started to dislike ironing out my freshly-washed fabric before cutting because it was so cramped and hard to do. (It felt like before I’d finish one end of the yardage, the other end would be wrinkly again.) Who would have thought that a new ironing board would be so exciting?

I still have a window! I really wanted to still have a window. Besides enjoying the natural light for better photographs, I feel more productive when I can see the outside, even if it’s all in my head.

It’s funny the things that made a huge difference. In the old space, I had boxes piled two rows high on top of the bookcase. No big deal, right? They’re white, they’re unobtrusive, and they’re out of the way. For some reason, having anything piled floor-to-ceiling made the whole room feel smaller, like I was working in a narrow tunnel.

With the open space above the bookcases now, the place feels so much more spacious! (That and the lovely plants in lace-trimmed pots. I couldn’t resist adding these totally unnecessary but very cute decorations. Yup, they’re fake, but at least they’ll be green and ‘alive’ forever!)

I do have a live plant that I’m super proud of – it’s been with me since I first moved into the office last May 2011! It’s an African violet and it has no flowers at the moment, but it’s still very much alive. Flourishing, even. There are way more green leaves than when it arrived.

My desk is a little smaller…

but the sewing table is the same.

I have way more fabric that I remembered, strangely. At least now I have enough room to cut and sew again! Going through my fabric collection reminded me of what I had planned to make. Sometimes I still wanted to make the same thing, with other pieces I thought ‘hey! that was going to be a Pendrell but now I think it would be a better Alma.’

Keeping the fabric in the cube is temporary. I’m crazily rationally thinking I can sew through it as new patterns arrive and take over the cubes. Seems possible, right?

And that’s where I work! It’s only about 30% larger than my previous office, but in here, I have space to relax and room to grow. It’s surprisingly cooler and quieter as well as larger. Everything is freshly organized. It’s challenging to work and be productive while feeling cramped, and hard to make decisions on pattern development when I’m wondering where on earth to put the next pattern.

This is an exciting new chapter in the Sewaholic Patterns world. Thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, buying patterns and cheering me on!

67 Responses to Sewaholic Patterns Headquarters, New and Improved!

  1. Michelle @ needle and nest September 24, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Congratulations, Tasia! Your office space is amazing – I can see why you are so happy there. :)

  2. Katy September 24, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    You’ve done the space really nicely! Congratulations on the move!

  3. Marie September 24, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Ha, I’ve put together a 5×5 Expedit by myself and got it upright – but I had a near-death experience in the process. Assembled it on the floor with some planning (my husband was deathly sick upstairs asleep while I was in the basement. I have zero patience). I slid fabric scraps under it to be able to lift one end up off the floor and when I got that end up to the crook of my elbow I realized I was totally &*($#%@’ed. Couldn’t put it down with out crushing my fingers or slamming the thing into the floor. Couldn’t wake husband up by calling as he was too far away to hear and in a drugged sleep. Didn’t think I had the strength to turn my arms and PUSH the thing the last bit upright. It took my three tries, but I did it and then collapsed on the floor in a pile of sweat.

    Good times. Husband just shook his head at it the next day when he made it downstairs.

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Wow! I totally relate to the ‘zero patience’ thing – I couldn’t wait to start building mine too! I’m glad you didn’t get hurt, it’s one heavy piece of furniture. Can’t believe you pushed it upright by yourself! (If I’d managed to get mine together I might have tried, it’s probably a good thing I got stuck earlier!)

  4. Ashley0107 September 24, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    It looks great! We’ve just bought a couple of the smaller versions of those bookcases from Ikea, I love them! I put them together myself, and I also struggled with the last piece and lifting it up. Goodness knows how you managed it with the bigger versions! We also got a couple of the drawer inserts for them which are great :)
    Enjoy your new office!

  5. Jenny September 24, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    Congrats on your new office space! Can’t wait to see all the lovely items that come out of your new space.

  6. Thea September 24, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    That looks great! I totally get the ironing board excitement – I wanted a new one so badly (we had one made from *wood*) that I dragged it home from the shop on foot, for 20 minutes. I got a few funny stares, but everytime I use it and get it out from the cupboard, I am so happy! I hope you like your new one as much. Happy sewing!

  7. Gemma September 24, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    Me yeia! That’s what they say here in Greece when you get something new and literally means ‘with health’. I think it’s such a lovely thing to say to someone – wishing them luck and health and happiness to someone who’s making a new start with something they’ve bought or started (or even when you have your hair cut!).

    Enjoy your new work space and your new ironing board!

  8. Sarah September 24, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    i am totally with you on the ironing board thing–makes a HUGE difference. i’m a totally dork…ironing the freshly cleaned fabric is one of my favorite parts of sewing. i’m a process sewer; not really a product sewer. enjoy your great new space–wishing you many creative break throughs in your new sewing room!

  9. Lholy-chan September 24, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    Congratulations! Your news space seems very nice. It’s always inspiring to have a new start in a clean and organized place. It’s great that you can sew more easily now.
    I can’t wait to discover some of the surprises hidden in that big hanging storage! :)

  10. PepperReed September 24, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    YAY! The new space looks great! It’s so much nicer and more productive to have a space you want to be in. I Love my sewing room, but it is DARK! I wish I had more natural light and am thinking of adding a skylight (mine is in the finished attic).

    A Question: what ‘brand’ of hanging rack do you have? I need one, but the ones found in the stores look totally flimsy and I can’t really judge the ones I’ve found online. Thanks and Congrats on the new space!

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      It’s an IKEA rack, the Portis one. I had the same worry about stability, I didn’t want a crappy rack that would fall down in the middle of the night or if I overloaded it.

      It’s this –

      I thought I could get away with the cheaper one here – – but I played with the display model and didn’t feel it was strong enough for my needs.

      Plus with the rack I have, there are nifty little hooks on the ends to hang keys or purses or whatever. So far it’s great! Really solid. It doesn’t collapse though so think about if portability is important to you. I decided to treat it like furniture and not ever move it, works for me!

  11. Gail September 24, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    What a beautiful new workspace! Congratulations!

  12. Sallie September 24, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Congratulations Tasia! The new space looks great! Isn’t it amazing what a new space, some organization and a little breathing room can do for productivity and your state of mind?!?

  13. Annabelle September 24, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Oh wow, it looks lovely. I can’t wait to see your next pattern releases as a result of the new sewing space. And hopefully there will be some sewing for yourself too :)

  14. funnygrrl September 24, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Great space! It’s nice to be organized. You can be much more productive without spending time clearing off surfaces and finding notions.
    Can’t wait to see what Sewaholic has in store!

  15. zilredloh September 24, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Your new space looks great Tasia, so bright and cheery for being an office. Congratulations!

  16. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) September 24, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Fantastic workspace, looks so nice and light-filled. You must be so proud every time you glance at that pattern collection. Congrats.

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Thank you! The pattern collection one is my favourite picture of the bunch, the one with the patterns and plant pots. Sometimes I look and think ‘wow, I did that!’ when I see them still!

  17. Rachel September 24, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Congrats! The office space looks great! Your bookshelves are cute I need something like that for the sewing area in trying to set up.

  18. LLBB September 24, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Congrats and thanks for sharing!! It is exciting for all of us that you have room to grow :)

  19. Ginger September 24, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Yay! Happy new office! What a beautiful space to work in!

  20. Becky September 24, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Congrats on the new space! I can’t wait to see what’s hidden in the hanging storage bin!

  21. Stephanie September 24, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Congratulations on the new office!

  22. didyoumakethat September 24, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Aw, it looks super lovely. My favourite detail is the shawl over your chair! I have never knitted a shawl, but I may come over to the shawl side…

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      Thank you! I’ve been keeping it as the ‘office shawl’ because it gets super cold in here! The AC comes on so strong it can blow the pattern pieces off my fabric. I bet you’d look gorgeous in a shawl, and if you feel self-conscious about wearing it shawl-style it makes a great thick scarf.

  23. Marie September 24, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Wow, your new office looks fantastic Tasia…I love how you’ve used the space and how you’ve organised everything! It’s just perfect, well done!!!

  24. Lauren September 24, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Ah, I love your new space! It’s so bright & cheerful – and yay for having enough room for everything (including the full-size ironing board)!! Feels good, huh? :)

    I totally know what you mean about needing 2 people to assemble that Expedit… I made the same mistake haha. Put the whole thing together, tried to lift it, realized I needed another set of hands… so I had to run across the street & beg a neighbor to help me in exchange for a beer. Actually, he didn’t accept the beer. Nice neighbors, haha!

    I cannot even wait to see what you cook up in this space. Yay!

  25. scuffsan September 24, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    what a great new office you’ve moved into!

  26. Qui September 24, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Lovely office space! I agree, it’s hard to work when things are feeling cramped (and in my case, disorganized). I too upgraded to a full size ironing board and love it!! I asked for the big board for Christmas, and my mom teased that it was a boring gift, but she surprised me with one anyway :) It took so long to iron a few yards of fabric on a mini board—what a difference the tall full size one makes :D

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      Totally agree – it may be a boring gift but I do love gifts that improve your life!

  27. PerlenDiva September 24, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Congrats! May your new office inspire you to further gorgeous patterns ;-)

  28. Tasha September 24, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    That looks great, what a light and airy space! Congrats on getting moved in!

    I didn’t have a full-sized ironing board until we moved into our house this spring, and made do with one of those table top versions. I absolutely loathed it, Now I really don’t mind ironing nearly as much.

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Me too! I started to dislike ironing with the table-top one too. Plus I’d always put it in weird positions, like behind the machines on the same table, or next to my laptop on the desk.
      Congrats on the new house by the way!

  29. Far September 24, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Congrats! The new space looks really comfy! :)

  30. Seraphinalina September 24, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    That’s a great space you’ve got. I also have an Expidit bookshelf. The shelves are a nice size – big enough to fit a good sized box but not so big that you need sub boxes. Fortunately my husband was around to help me set it up.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of that new space!

  31. Sue September 24, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Congrats I have been looking for a new sewing table now that I have a room versus my dining room. I see the maple coloured simple table…looks like it has adjustable legs to get the right height. Do you love the table or would you go with something else? Thanks sue

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 10:58 am #

      Hey Sue! It doesn’t have adjustable legs, I wish it did. I’m pretty sure there are adjustable leg options at IKEA though. This is from one of those choose-your-own table top and leg series, I picked the most basic legs and the most basic non-glass table. It’s satisfactory, I already own it so until it breaks I’ll be sticking with it. I think I’d look for something with adjustable legs so it’s easier to cut on, when it comes time to replace it.
      Great to hear you’ve moved on from the dining room to a real room of your own! Yay!

  32. GorgeousThings September 24, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Congratulations on your new space!!!

  33. Carla September 24, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Looks awesome! Congrats Tasia! =)

  34. Amanda September 24, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    You’re just too cute, Tasia! I love the new space and I can hear the excitement in your words. Even though the last space was cramped and you wondered how you ever made it work, I’m sure you’ll look back on it fondly as Sewaholic Patterns continues to grow! And I definitely know what you mean about having an actual ironing board. I tried to make do with a table top version and pressing fabric was just the pits. And, yes, I’ve been there trying to make IKEA furniture by myself so I know the frustration of almost having it done before realizing I needed a helper. :) All the best in your new space!!

  35. twotoast September 24, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    How exciting – it looks lovely! I have two of the 5×5 Expedit units with the desk ‘thingys’ so that no matter how much I put in them, they won’t fall forward! Hubby built them but I was required to assist with the lifting – boy, they are heavy!

    I like the idea of a ‘samples rail’ and when we move into our new house next year (we are downsizing but I get a bigger sewing room – clever eh?!) I think one of those will be in order!

    Happy sewing :-)

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      That is clever – smart thinking! I tried to take over our spare room but ended up here instead :) Have fun setting up the new room when you move!

  36. Loretta Houben September 24, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Oh Tasia; how lovely your new office is. The shelves are wonderful. I love Ikea things. My hubby puts them together for me. I can see the end of your building from my sewing room down the hill, and also that neat “boot” shaped Telus building. I remember that an old row of houses used to be there before it was built, and one of them was turned into a bakery for a while. This was back in the early 70’s. Central Park has always been the same though. I love this area; it’s very pretty with lots of history. I’ll think of you designing and sewing, while I sew.

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Thanks, neighbour! It must be weird then to see that whole block demolished for new condos eh? You’re probably looking up at that empty space then. I love the area too. It’s great to be able to bike home through the park (while it’s light out of course, I stay outside when it’s dark!)
      There are so many businesses in this building, it’s hard to imagine it as a row of houses!

  37. Sue September 24, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Love your new work space, Tasia! It is so light and spacious it will surely inspire you to be creative! The new ironing board gives you a new sense of freedom too; I had one for 20 years that squeaked, it was such a relief to finally get a new one! I was just wondering where you do all your pattern drafting and cutting out? The sewing table doesn’t look wide enough? I use a cutting board on top of our double bed but it really gives me backache! What do other sewers use for bigger projects?

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      I’ll clear off the desk or the sewing table when I need a big working surface! It’s not huge, but I’ll drape the extra fabric or paper down the back of the table and it does the trick.
      I wonder what everyone else does for bigger projects, too? The floor? (If you don’t have carpet that is?) At home I used our expanding dining table with both sides pulled out, that was the closest to an ideal big flat surface.

  38. learningnewtricks September 24, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Love your new space — inspires me to clean mine. I can completely relate to the new ironing board. I saw a lady at Costco with a really nice, sturdy looking one. Well, I now have that same one, too! It makes such a huge difference when using a good ironing board. I had two others — one kept falling down, and the other one was plain flimsy.

    I use my garment rack to dry 80% of my clothes — try avoid the dryer as much as possible. I bought mine at Linens & Things, and it’s really sturdy.

    Look forward to seeing your new patterns. Wishing you continued success.

  39. Manda September 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Congrats, your new space looks great!

  40. Nothy September 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Congratulations Tasia! I wish you all the success in the world!

  41. Jan September 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    It looks great! I would never want to leave. Well, except maybe to buy more fabric!

    • Tasia September 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      Ah, but I can get it delivered! :) Thanks, it is a great new place to work. I feel more productive already!

  42. Irene September 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    What a lovely workspace! Congratulations on the move!

  43. Denise September 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    What a great workspace Tasia. Congratulations! I, too, tried to put together an Ikea bookcase by myself (aka a new holder for my fabric stash). I did ok, until I put in the door and put it upright and the thing almost fell forward onto me. I had visions of being crushed by the bookcase and not being found until a few weeks later. My worst thought–if I died, then who would get my fabric?

    • Tasia September 25, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Ha! That’s both a funny and a depressing thought, isn’t it? Motivation to use up those lovely pieces we’re too afraid to cut I suppose. I wonder why so many of us ignore the IKEA recommendations and think we can build their bookcases alone, it’s probably because we’re good at making stuff and figure it’s just one more thing to make!

  44. Sandra September 25, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    Love the new space – wish I had a dedicated sewing space, rather than dominating my dinning room on the days that I sew (which isn’t often! – just wish it was). I tell myself I would sew more with a dedicated sewing space!

    I was just admiring your shelves for fabric, you can see at a glance what’s in stock! I just had my fabric out of their bags in the weekend, trying to think what I brought it for and what I might now sew with it! To which I thought – I wonder if there is a magic number for the amount of fabric you might buy when you like the fabric but just not sure what you would sew with it yet? I kinda buy 1.5m if I think it’s a top or 1m if it’s a skirt and 2m if a dress – because I’m one of those people who buy fabric then decide later what to do with it. What is your guiding rule?

    • Tasia September 25, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      That’s a good question! I tend to think of a comparable pattern and remember what the fabric requirement was. If you’re at the fabric store, you could look in the pattern books for a similar style and how much fabric it requires. I tend to overbuy in case I change my mind – 3 metres is a good standard amount that covers a full-skirted dress, a skirt, a blouse and skirt, just about anything I can think of making takes about 3 metres or less. I prefer full or A-line skirts so I know 1m won’t be enough for me. But if you prefer slim skirts, 1m is fine. (I also save my envelope backs as PDF files on my iphone, that way they’re handy for reference if I need to know fabric requirements.) Hope this helps!

  45. Sølvi September 25, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Congratulations on your new space, it looks so fresh and I love the green plants!

  46. Caroline September 25, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    This is lovely!! I bet it is inspiring you to create. I sew in the corner of the playroom / library – but at least it is a dedicated space. Usually the ironing board is in the living room.

    I’d love to see how you recovered your ironing board. You didn’t happen to take pictures during the process, did you? What did you use for the padding? I keep meaning to do mine but so much more exciting sewing beckons … so I haven’t. so there it is, all grungy …

    • Tasia September 25, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Hi Caroline! I didn’t recover it, I switched from the little one to a big one and just bought it new! I have recovered an ironing board before though, I think I kept the same padding and just replaced the cotton cover by lying the old one down on the new piece of fabric, tracing around it, and hemming the edge with a casing, then inserting a string and pulling it tight. I even saved the little plastic toggle that tightens the string from the old cover and used it on the new cover. I know I’ve seen tutorials online, try googling and see what you find if you want to watch a demo!

      • Caroline September 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

        I’ve seen tutorials too. Thanks for your input! My padding is kind of scrunchy and uneven, but maybe with a new cover I can make it work. Sewing to wear stuff is so much more fun though…

  47. Tilly September 26, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Congrats on your new office, Tasia! It must be very exciting to see the shelf space that future designs are destined to fill. It’s so wonderful to follow your progress as you grow your business. (Oh and I have both those ironing boards – the old and the new one. Ikea makes it a small world!) xx

  48. Betty October 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    Your office looks so nice! I realized that I actually pass by your office at least 2-3 days a week last year, and now about once a week. It would be so exciting to see you work! =)

    • Tasia October 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Thank you! It’s very colourful in here although not always that clean :)

  49. Lora February 20, 2013 at 10:58 am #


    I love seeing your organized office and your approach to your business. It looks like a very pleasant place to work. Thank you for sharing so much of your sewing-self with us. You always give me ideas to springboard off of for my own sewing aspirations.


  50. Vernelle April 17, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Your workspace is absolutely divine! Gives me lots of ideas for my own space – even though my room doesn’t appear to be as large.


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