The Minimalistic Seamstress

About two weeks ago, I found out that I will no longer be Stockholm based–this Stockholm Seamstress is moving back to France in two weeks!  I haven’t lived there since my student days in Paris, which was seven years ago.  I loved every minute of it, really absorbed and fell in love with the culture, and I am so excited to return and live in a different region!  At this point though, I’m not sure what to call myself or my blog anymore, since Stockholm probably won’t be part of my life again, though I will definitely be taking with me the idea of minimalist design, which is finally sinking in after 3 years here!

My beautiful new town in France

My beautiful new town in France

The move means that we will be downsizing from 75m2 (775 ft2) to somewhere between 35 and 50m2 (322-538 ft2).  We’ve got lovely high ceilings and 3 closets right now full of stuff that will not fit into a tiny French apartment with two of us and a medium dog, so it’s time to donate some things and most importantly, pair down my sewing stuff.

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I have been reading a lot about minimalism lately and have been really inspired by an amazing company (link to their site here) in San Francisco who act as both designers and personal organizers, and I so wish they were in Stockholm because I really need some help right now after two rounds of sorting through clothes.

Some tough decisions were made, including getting rid of my Vanadislund picnic dress (which I did wear a lot and it was looking worn out), my Ladies who lunch dress, and my karmenklänning (pictured above).  I am coming to the realization that I enjoy making cotton summer dresses much more than I like wearing them, and they don’t really fit the northern climate in Sweden or in the region where I’ll be living.  I keep buying fun cotton prints but I really have to be honest with myself– this type of fabric doesn’t fit my current or future lifestyle and I am no Dolly Clackett, as much as I love her fun makes!

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My cluttered and space-hogging sewing area. Scary, isn’t it?

I have come to prefer a much simpler aesthetic while living in Stockholm, and would really like my home and my wardrobe to reflect this.  Right now, our large living room is doing quadruple duty as a sewing area, PC gaming office/household office, entertainment/TV watching area, and a home gym.  It is really cluttered and I don’t love how this feels.  Also, having a great big cutting table and sewing machine desk in our living space just won’t be an option in the new apartment, so I need to cut down on both my fabric and sewing area, and to find a more compact and less cluttered solution.

My future sewing space might be something more compact like this IKEA norden/cube shelf combo, but with less stuff visible.

My future sewing space might be something more compact like this IKEA norden/cube shelf combo, but with less stuff visible.

Becoming minimalistic in terms of furniture, living space, and consumption seems easy. Actually practicing minimalism in my wardrobe and in sewing is a whole other matter.  I’ve made some decisions like getting rid of a coat if I want to keep the wool cashmere in my stash, and donating 10 meters of some cotton fabrics I have had for 5 years and know I will never use, but getting rid of smaller pieces of potential lining fabrics that could be of future use, making decisions on those UFOs I never finished, and being honest with myself about which sewing patterns in my stash I will actually use is not so easy.

Frankly, I’m probably not going to be able to do all of this before we move, but it will be an ongoing project this year.  I want to sew simple, classic pieces with pretty seam finishes that I will actually use regularly, to have a compact sewing space that is inviting and uncluttered, to stop monopolizing the linen closet and our living space with my sewing supplies, and to buy fabric more thoughtfully with a specific project in mind that addresses a gap in my wardrobe.  Downsizing is tough, but I am convinced that in order to continue to make room for sewing in my new life in France, some changes are in order.

Allons-y–let’s do this!

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5 thoughts on “The Minimalistic Seamstress

  1. sewbussted says:

    You may find that you’ll be all the more productive in your new space and then there is the reward, you’ll be in Paris!!!! Best wishes on your new adventure 🙂

  2. gingermakes says:

    Good luck with your move! You’re moving from one of my two favorite cities to the other! 🙂 I bet you will end up enjoying the opportunity to go through your things and downsize a bit. I love sewing so much, but the big downside for me is that it attracts lots of clutter and extra stuff- I’m due for a clear-out, too! Looking forward to hearing from you when you’re settled in your new home!

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