Sewing Trolley...a tour of the essential sewing items I keep right next to me.

While I was redecorating the Studio I decided to have a little switch around of how my furniture and equipment is laid out as I just felt the space wasn't working as well as it could for me. I will write another post soon giving you a tour of the whole space and how I like to work but I thought today I would share my little sewing trolley set up with you.

I don't like to keep too much on my sewing desk, I like a nice big clear space so that I can easily move the item I'm working around. The Knitters Carry All Backpacks in particular need quite a lot surface room both at the side of the sewing machine and back of it. But obviously, I need to keep all my sewing notions and equipment on hand so I came up with the idea of having a little trolley next me that I can move around easily if I need it near my cutting area or by my machine.

I had a look around and found a trolley online at Amazon (I know, I know, I did try lots of other places first but they weren't right). I wanted something quite basic and at just the right height so when I was sat down it would be at the perfect height for me to grab something.

The trolley came with 4 white hooks to attach the the outside of it and these are great for hanging scissors off, of course I have several pairs as I wouldn't dream of using my precious fabric scissors for paper or anything else (i'm sure we've all seen lots of funny memes about this!).  I also picked up a small metal basket with hooks on the back (I've had it forever and think it might have come from a charity shop but I forget!) that I use for storing spare needles, pencils and pens for marking, my snippers (I couldn't live without some tiny snippers for dealing with thread ends), a hair clip and a piece of off cut canvas. I use this canvas for when I'm changing the thread to test the tension and to check the machine is threaded properly before I start using it on a product, I hate when you've started sewing and realise the stitching doesn't look right and you have to rip it all out. The last hanging item on the side is a basket that I use to quickly drop threads and off cuts into (think bag corners and ends of zips) and I tend to leave it until its full so I can judge, and hopefully celebrate, my productivity!

The top shelf of the trolley has all the important items that I use daily when sewing, I want to keep all those items on the top and within easy reach. On the left side is a largish basket that I collect all the hardware and bits and pieces needed for making a bag. When I'm cutting out the fabric, I will add everything that bag needs into the basket such as zips and straps and as it's quite large it will hold quite a few bags worth of extras and I can easily access whatever I need as I sew. Along with this are two clear boxes that are actually fridge storage containers but the size works perfectly and I picked them up really cheaply from B&M (a UK store). I have one for threads and bobbins which I keep in sectioned bobbin box with the lid removed and one for tape measures, pins and clips. I'm a bit unconventional and prefer to use a standard bulldog clip thats for paperwork but I like the bulldog opening as this means I can open them easily and they are strong enough to hold several layers of canvas which is a must and I find some of the special fabric clips a little flimsy and fiddly to use. Behind this tray is my quilting square which I tend to use for making sure zips are square and for marking off bag corners.

Moving down the trolley to the items that I use less often but still need to have, we'll move onto the middle shelf of the trolley. Here on the left I store all my extra threads in paper boxes, I have several reels of the same colour but just keep one on the top shelf and replace it from this storage when I need to. In the middle of the shelf is another fridge tidy plastic container with more threads in and little items such as extra needles. To the back you may notice a purple item, this is a jar with a crochet cover on the I made years ago (truth be told its quite ugly thats why I'm not offering you a close up but I'm a little sentitmental about it) and this contains the oil, screwdriver, spare foot, etc for my machines. On the right I also have the foot for my machine I don't use often and a tin containing bobbins for that machine.

The bottom shelf is a little sparse looking but it holds everything I need for adding the handles to the Short Tote bags so a nylon chopping board, leather punchers and a nice sturdy mallet.  There is also a large lidded box that I keep all the poppers in that I use for the opening in the lining of my bags (this enables the lining to opened so pin badges can be added easily) along with a pressing machine that applies them.

So, I hope this gives you a little idea for what maybe you could create in your sewing space, think 'outside the box' as it were and use items not necessarily for sewing, things such as plastic fridge tidy boxes, old jars, hooks. I've found having everything to the side of me and on hand so much better that on the desk and it's allowed me to work better and I find I'm sitting more comfortably rather than having to keep moving things and stretching around my desk.

Thanks so much for reading!

Tracy x


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