What Makes a Sewing Space Great? - Threads


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What Makes a Sewing Space Great?

Koala Fine Sewing Furniture featuring TreasureChest Plus IV

Koala Fine Sewing Furniture featuring TreasureChest Plus IV

Photo: Koala Furniture

One of my early posts on the Threads blog concerned my new sewing room. When I relocated to begin working for The Taunton Press, my new digs contained my first-ever designated "project" room. Although it still hasn't reached my organizational and aesthetic goals, it sure is fun - and easier - to get things accomplished in a designated space. It feels great to have drawers for "Ribbons-loose" or "Glue and small paint." ("Small paint," in case you're wondering, is any paint that will fit in the drawer.) And I can block a sweater on the floor without tripping over it.

I'm returning to the topic of sewing rooms today because Threads is planning an article about Sewing Spaces. Spectacular and spacious, or small but super-organized, sewing environments interest all of us, I think. From layout to decor, organization to furniture choices, looking into someone else's work space is always inspiring and informative. 

We're seeking ideas and recommendations from Threads readers for suggested spaces to cover. Whose sewing workshop would you like to see?

Are you most interested in solutions for small spaces, or would you like to explore a large studios - or see what's in a state-of-the-art classroom?

What do you have the most trouble storing in an organized and accessible manner - notions, fabric, or patterns?

We all aspire to a perfect sewing space, one that will be efficient, organized, and creatively refreshing. I'm looking forward to this feature, where we'll get to examine layouts, aesthetics, and personal touches that make these spaces wonderful places to be creative and achieve beautiful results.

So comment with your thoughts - and we'll get to work!

 

 

Comments (41)

user-879687 user-879687 writes: I'm always looking for ideas to organize my sewing room which is 9' x 9' with 7'8" ceilings. What has been working is I purchased these white organizers that are 12" x 12" x 30" tall from home depot and use the medium sterlite baskets which fit perfectly and have these installed along one wall floor to ceiling and have them each labled.

For a bit of bling I have this awesome leopard print carpeting on the floor and "fortune cookie" color on the walls. It makes me smile everytime I go the room!
Posted: 4:20 pm on June 8th

sewa2z sewa2z writes: I'm always rearranging my sewing room, it never seems to be just right. I'll make a change that seems good for a while then discover it needs tweaking again. I end up with a lot of scraps from making clothing- not cottons to use in quilts, but various scraps. I put them in plastic storage, but they keep piling up. I want to use them for something, to cut down on them and have more space. They are not enough for a garment, and since they are different types of cloth, I'm not sure how they'd work out in a quilt. Can a clothing sewer tell me what they do with their scraps? I'd appreciate it, very much. I run out of room to store more material. I need my cutting table to remain up, because I use it too often to fold it up. I use the space underneath it to store things (I picked that up from a threads article) and also to make it more solid. It is not a big sewing room, so I'm always looking for ways to make it more efficient. I have two inexpensive sewing cabinets that I've butted together to give a larger surface for sewing a quilt when I want to quilt, my husband cut a hole in one to allow my sewing machine to sit flat. It works, it's functional, not nice looking like new expensive sewing furniture, but does the job just the same. Thanks for letting me share, and also for any ideas on what to do with the scraps that keep piling up.
Posted: 9:45 am on May 8th

Doney Doney writes: I AM A NEW CONTRIBUTOR TO THREADS.I FEEL THAT I AM VERY LUCKY WHEN I READ YOUR BLOGS. I LIVE IN IRELAND AND I HAVE A WORKROOM OVER OUR DOUBLE GARAGE WHICH USED TO BE A STABLE LONG AGO AND THE UPSTAIRS WAS WHERE THE FEED AND BEDDING WAS STORED FOR THE HORSES. MY HUSBAND CARPETED IT AND WE HAD WINDOWS PUT IN THE FRONT AND THE BACK GIVING GREAT NATURAL LIGHT. WE HAD SOME OLD FITTED WARDROBES WHICH WE TOOK THE DOORS OFF AND PUT IN SHELVES ACROSS THE FULL WIDTH OF THE ROOM. I ALSO HAD AN OLD EXTENDING DINING TABLE AND A TEAK SET OF DRAWERS THERE WERE TWO RECESSES EACH SIDE OF THE FRONT WINDOW AND THEY WERE SHELVED TOO. I ALSO HAVE A COMPUTER TABLE AND AN OLD KITCHEN TABLE FOR MY EMBROIDERY MACHINE. I ALSO HAVE A BROTHER KNITTING MACHINE SET UP FOR USE. TWO SETS OF DESKTOP DRAWS HOLD ALL MY THREADS . I STILL COULD USE MORE MORE SPACE. THE MORE YOU HAVE THE MORE YOU FILL IT UP.
I LIKE IT TIDY BUT FIND SEWING AN UNTIDY HOBBY UNLESS THINGS ARE PUT AWAY STRAIGHT AFTER USE. LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ARTICLE
Posted: 10:38 am on October 13th

kim5757 kim5757 writes: first I sewed in the finished basement until I started to get headaches every time I went down there. Plus there are no windows. I am now using my dining room since we only use this room on holidays. However my cutting table is still in the basement as well as my patterns and fabric. I don't really like my dining room looking messy all the time. What can I do to make my space neater and to keep my stuff right where I need it. like my patterns, fabric and cutting table. My husband did buy me a really nice sewing table. It has some drawers and a place for my serger too. I am not sure I am using it to get the best use of it. Also I keep hitting my head on the dining room chandelier! Help!
Posted: 6:19 pm on September 12th

shanninen shanninen writes: I would love to see cutting table options. I have a really nice designated area in the lower level of our house where I can have my sewing machine set up all the time with the ironing board, and a huge chest of drawers to store things in. Plus I have a wall of mirrors if you can imagine. It was a former exercise room from the former owners of our house. BUT....I still need a collapsible cutting table large enough for garment cutting, not quilting pieces. I need ideas and would love to see this in an article too.
Posted: 1:36 pm on September 5th

TheThreadLady TheThreadLady writes: Sorry I didn't finish my post. I was interrupted by a phone call and thought I had finished. What I meant to end with was the fact that the illness and surgery made me very lazy about putting things away and I was just throwing stuff into my sewing room figuring I could organize it when I got better. Bad Idea!!!!! I am now having to sift through every paper and book and item one by one and find a home for them. I usually do this right away and I should have at least put it into the room in some orderly fashion. Right now I can hardly get to my sewing machine because I am walking over piles of stuff that needs to be put away. This doesn't mean these are new purchases---they are just stuff I have that I used and didn't put away! What a mess!
Posted: 2:46 pm on July 7th

TheThreadLady TheThreadLady writes: I am very lucky that I have a dedicated sewing room in addition to a craft room and a basement that I use as my dyeing and painting space. However, like everyone else it is hard to keep everything organized! I'd like to see articals on inexpensive but imaginative storage for my many fabrics, threads (I have 16 boxes of thread---that's my specialty and why I am The Thread Lady), and especially notions. I have a labeling machine that gets constant use and all my tubs and boxes have labels---the problem is remembering where the box is! Or, I labeled the box but didn't do a thorough enough job and I have to search for something in all kinds of labeled tubs. (I still can't find my silk pins and have decided to give up looking and just buy some more!)I can't even find my latest copy of Threads Magazine! Part of my problem is that I was ill and had surgery which
Posted: 2:40 pm on July 7th

sewinghands sewinghands writes: Can't wait to see the sewing spaces Issue I have a small I mean small sewing area. Not space. Well I'm trying to get back into the swing of things with sewing being my space is limited. I seem to have lost the magic the desire for sewing. I brought myself a new sewing machine and serger. But still I can't find my self in the space long enough to sew. I thought it would make me want to sew again. But for some reason. I can't I have been sewing for 25+yrs But something is missing. I guess If I see new ideas for sewing spaces that would help. I read sewing magazines and go on websites. trying to get into the swing. But still nothing. HELP!!!
Posted: 6:00 pm on July 2nd

Okiestitcher Okiestitcher writes: I have a small bedroom that is half dressing room, half sewing room; storage is a big issue. I have some bookcases that work sort of and use boxes and baskets for the rest. The house is made of concrete so no hanging on walls. It is very frustrating. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Notions, patterns, fabric, craft supplies, etc. Thanks.
Posted: 10:20 am on June 26th

stargirl stargirl writes: The best addition to my sewing room was donated by my sister-in-law who gave me her old kitchen cabinets when she remodeled. I had to screw two of the lower units together to make one long unit that fits almost the entire length of my sewing room. For the counter top, I went to Home Depot and purchased a 3/4" length of fiber board, bought a length of linolium I found on sale, and glued it to the fiber board.
I keep notions such as sissors, markers ect. in the drawer used for forks & spoons. The bread drawer, and another large drawer are wonderful new storage spaces for patterns. I keep interfacings in the more narrow space for cookie sheets, and fabric in most of the other drawers. The long space allows me to have serger, craft machine, embroidery/sewing machine and computer all on one solid space. I just open a door for my knees to fit in and sew. I did purchase 3 height adjustable chairs, one at each machine. In the upper units I have space for fabric, yarns and more notions. Now my room looks neat and is so well organized, I just love sewing there!
Posted: 6:24 pm on June 25th

Kayakbabe Kayakbabe writes: I want to find out more about how people organize a small bedroom sized room. That's what I have. It's been my computer gaming room for 10 years. I just got a new sewing machine to do embroidery and quilting and maybe make a hawaiian shirt or two. But my space is a mess! I need help!.
Posted: 1:57 am on June 21st

Luv4sewing Luv4sewing writes: I recently remodeled my sewing room. I absolutely love my sewing space, but I find myself still struggling with organizing my notions and fabrics. I would like to see the article include the following:
1. notion and fabric organization
2. small and large sewing spaces
3. cutting table idea's
4. Decor
Posted: 11:22 am on June 7th

RStaff49 RStaff49 writes: I have a guest bedroom that has become my sewing room and sort of home office with desk, printer and computer. Most of the room is set up for sewing about 60%. However, my cutting table is in the basement and my ironing board is in another bedroom.
I have put Elfa shelving in the closet and have mostly fabric there. It is fair organization. I have trouble with incoming mail, magazines. So, how to folks manage their stash? Does fabric have an expiration date? How do you keep all the pieces of a project together while you are working on them and when you are not. I love to have a neat room. But I forget about those things I don't see and don't use regularly. How do I find a middle ground?
Posted: 1:31 am on June 4th

bakereliz bakereliz writes: I LOVE seeing other people's sewing/creative spaces and how they deal with storage issues. My biggest problem is storing notions in an efficient manner (i.e., not jumbled in a drawer). I don't have problems storing patterns, fabric, papers, or even beads (lots of containers available for those!) It's all those odd-shaped notions that cause me problems. So, my request is storage for NOTIONS, NOTIONS, NOTIONS!
Posted: 1:31 pm on June 3rd

stillsuesew stillsuesew writes: Since we moved to a smaller location, I no longer have a dedicated room but have to share it as a guest bedroom. The first thing I would change would be to get rid of the carpet!! One of my storage options is a garbage can that serves as a base for a circular lamp table. My husband made a flat top for it and I cover it with another piece of fabric. It holds a lot. And it is not too difficult to get at the stored fabric inside.
Posted: 7:56 am on June 3rd

Seemane Seemane writes: Really, I feel this is such a big topic that it merits being made into a series across several issues? Perhaps start off with the part-1 dream-spaces (i.e. the custom-built rooms with all the bells 'n' whistles), then next part-2 the "spare bedroom" or "half of my garage type spaces", then part 3 the caravan, or only 1-table plus 1-closet/cupboard, or even just the dinning-room table + a crate of stuff (LOL!). You could even carry-on with a half-page feature (next to the regular "Notions" feature would be a great spot!) in each issue with more sewing-room ideas, tips & inspiration :)

P.S. Check out the "Sewing Spaces" series of posts on the Blue Gardenia blog :): http://thebluegardenia.typepad.com/the_diary_of_the_blue_gar/sewing-spaces/ There, Denise interviews fellow sewists about their sewing spaces - lots of clever ideas & inspiration to be found (yay!). There's also a couple of books (I don't own them but would love to flick through a copy some time): Dream Sewing Spaces: Design & Organization for Spaces Large & Small by Lynette Ranney Black, and Setting Up Your Sewing Space: From Small Areas To Complete Workshops by Myrna Giesbrecht, and I'm not a quilter but the preview pages of this title on Amazon look promising Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams by Carolyn Woods.
Posted: 4:50 pm on June 2nd

sewsilly4ads sewsilly4ads writes: I too am excited to see the sewing spaces issue! I learn from every article, every book, every post I read!
I am very blessed to have one fourth of our basement, an area approximately 24 X 17 feet for my designated 'studio'. I fashion-sew, quilt, make fabric cards.
Although all the rooms I see with wonderfully coordinated furniture look really awesome, I have had fun and a great sense of accomplishment in putting my room together with cast-offs of others. Everything gets painted white so it all comes togher in a sense.
I have a four by eight foot cutting and sewing table in the center of my area. Actually it's a four by eight piece of plywood on top of a desk, a cubby shelf unit, a plastic shelf unit, and this wonderful piece of furniture I got from someone at work - it looks like a wood credenza with doors on each end that reveal three drawers each until you realize the door in the middle pulls out to become a chair and the top flips over to become a bigger top surface! I have one machine set in this table and a 3 x 4' cutting mat on top.
I have a 4 x 8 x 12 foot L-shpaed planning table that is my hub. I have a shelf across the back with plastic tubs that store my patterns in numerical order. I also have photocopies of the pattern envelopes in a binder to peruse thru when I'm looking for something particular. I use several IKEA wood drawer units to support the shelves and store ribbons, trims, etc. I also display my old machines on a shelf on the other side of the L, in addition to project boxes. All projects in process are laid out on this table, so I can just pick up and go when I have time. Under this whole unit I have plastic tubs that are stored on plastic covered wire shelf type units I can buy singly as I add more baskets - these are labeled and store fabric under a yard by color and type.
I have a couple of old kitchen cabinets/counter in another corner that stores paint, frames, general crafting stuff, and plastic containers (that rice, nuts, etc come in) that store my scrap fabrics by color.
My embroidery items are stored in my old baby armoir (mine! - not my kids!)
I got a great bargain this spring when an employee at our company closed a side cardshop business and sold 9, count 'em 9! wood and glass display shelfs for $100! My husband and son were angels to run to the next town over and pack these up for me and help me put them back together. I have six of the units lining one wall in my studio and all my fabric one yard or more is stored by color there. What a treat to go in my litle chick-cave and just stare at my fabric!!!!
And I just updated the wall behind by sewing desk - I moved a sheet of white peg board, bought some new hangy thingies, put my thread racks, some shelves on it and a new big white erase board to track my projects and their next steps. I feel so organized!
And one of my other favorite things in my room - my magnet board......it's my old ironing board!..When the legs gave out, I removed the legs, painted the top yellow and hung it up over my door way. I can display pictures, mementos, clippings, etc.
The biggest thing I learned from all the items I've looked at so far, and what prompted my latest moving things around was organizing areas of the room by activities and not co-mingling...I had a file cabinet and paper work in my sewing area that created chaos and got in the way, embroidery in my sewing desk, etc. Now, each area of the room has a defined purpose.
My biggest and next need is to improve lighting. I have an unfinished concrete floor, but past issues with sump-pump have me a little afraid to put anything permanent down just yet.
And, I always am curious to learn new and improved ways to store and organize notions...this seems to be my most out of control category.
Posted: 9:06 am on June 2nd

pamawar pamawar writes: I have a VERY small sewing space in this teensy, weensy English house. They call the 'box rooms'; mineincludes a large bump-out that is part of the stairs. The room measures 7 ft x 8 ft, BEFORE the bump-out, which takes up half of one wall.
My husband had built 2 cabinets, one short, one taller (about 6 feet), specially built to house my plastic storage cabinets that hold my sewing notions, etc. This space is also my office, other crafts, etc, so it's not just a sewing area. Also in the cabinets on top of the plastic drawered units, where those units won't stack (too tall), I put large, covered plastic tubs that hold my embroidery threads, specialty threads, etc., and can pull them out as I need them.
On two of the long walls, my husband installed countertops that sit right up under the window, and under those is a LOT of storage area. I have more of those drawered cabinets under there, as well. On the 'L' sit my serger and sewing machine, one on each 'leg'. I can just move my chair from one machine to the other.
I hate visual clutter, so I made plain, off-white curtains for the cabinets and for under the countertops to hide everything. When I decide on the designs, I'll embroider them along the bottom to make them prettier. I used tension rods to hold the ones on the cabinets (more asthetic than rod hangers) and cuphooks & dowels to hold them under the countertops. Hubby also made shelves and we hung other shelves and a bulletin board as well, but I keep these pretty neat, again, because I don't like clutter. I have a hanger over the door, too, designed for towels, but I use it for storing projects in progress as well as pattern pieces held with Binder clips clipped over the bars to hold them in place. My fitting dummy just fits into the void next to the stair box, but I've yet to find a place to hang my 2 long mirrors where I can see both front and back simultaneously - I'll figure it out.
There is JUST enough room in there for my office chair and I have to cut things out downstairs, but I have an ironing pad on one L next to the SM and on the other leg is a cutting mat next to the serger - for small jobs. I have to cut out downstairs on the kitchen bar using a cardboard cutting board, but hey, at least I have my own space.
It's not ideal, but it's a far cry from having to sew in the living room! Sewing is not a tidy craft and I HATED that it was the first thing anyone saw when coming to our house. Best of all, the laminate flooring, paint, countertops, blinds, shelves, light fixture, etc., were under 200 GPS/$300 USD!
It's SO nice to have my own space; sometimes I just go in there and SIT. :)
Pam
Posted: 5:03 am on June 2nd

Lizothelake Lizothelake writes: One GREAT thing about my current Sewing Space; a Glass Paneled Door. Originally intended to allow cats to observe me at work without being able to access short ends of thread, pins, and fabric scraps, as well as inviting sleeping nests amongst my stash, it also allows light from the Patio doors to flood into an otherwise internal and underlit hallway.
Second good thing is; A Wooden Floor; no carpets in my house, in fact I have a small rug in front of my as Fireplace, a runner in the hall, and a couple of 'pick-up-and-shake-outside' Rag Rugs from a certain Swedish Store, otherwise it is Laminate or Parquet or Ceramic Tile throughout.
The bad/sad thing is that I shall soon be moving house, and my next place will be even smaller. But I'll be near my DD's so can store excess there. ;-)

Liz
Posted: 12:45 am on June 2nd

deemail deemail writes: The greatest thing about my sewing space is that I had the opportunity to buy a property with a barn that has one finished room 12 x 32, and another, more 'garage-like' room, but still wallboarded and painted, 20 x 32. The long skinny room fits my Nolting longarm as tho it was designed for me and the other room contains storage and woodworking areas but approx. 2/3rds of the space has a sewing center, 3 knitting machines, large cutting table, 6 ft. worktable, tv/disc player, 24" loom, ironer, ironing board w/another iron, and one wall with shelves from floor to ceiling that is 10 ft high and 32 ft long....i could just LIVE there. A friend told me she was selling her place and I made the deal within a couple of hours and have not regretted it one bit.
Posted: 5:54 pm on June 1st

topside topside writes: I have to use a room that's the upstairs t.v. room/guest room with limited storage space (in an English house!). I'd love to learn how to create an oasis of creativity with the little I've got! I can't wait to see your suggestions.
Posted: 3:11 pm on June 1st

lmyates lmyates writes: My husband and I live in a rather small duplex...approx. 1000 sq. ft. That said, we use our spare bedroom for a home office, so using it as a sewing space just won't work. We're thinking of using our attached garage as my sewing space. There's actually a vent in there for A/C or heat (the folks who lived here before us used it as a rec room).

Our biggest issue right now is trying to determine how to put the space together, as it also has to be shared with storage, our upright freezer, and maintain a way to get to our hot water heater and heat pump mechanisms.

In other words, whatever we create has to be temporary. It can't be a permanent redux, as we rent.

Ideas?
Posted: 3:05 pm on June 1st

anttibear anttibear writes: I converted a walk-in closet into my creative haven. Before converting it I made sure it was large enough for my chair to be pushed away from the machine. And, there had to be enough room to make a counter that would hold my sewing machine and serger comfortably. I also wanted shelves to store fabric, sewing manuals, notions, and all the things that one needs.

My space isn't fancy but efficient. I had counters installed along the walls in the form of an "L". The shorter one is a higher height and the top slides off to reveal a light table. I can just swivel my sewing chair and work at either counter. I also had a 20" shelf unit installed along the long wall that has my machines, which has drawers to store my threads& misc.

Above the counters I have shelves to store all the items a seamstress/crafter accumulates. The shelves are wire ones purchased from a home improvement store.

In order to improve my lighting (I have a florescent light in the ceiling) I purchased small florescent lights and attached them to the wire shelves with nylon tie downs.

I also hung a curtain rod under the bottom shelf and have curtain clips where I can attach patterns or other items I want in front of me.

The blank wall has a sturdy rod that I use to hang projects in the making on.

This space is a work horse ... no corner is unused, and may look cluttered and small to a visitor. But, it is organized for the way I do things and what is comfortable for me. I know where everything is, I can sew/create without having to put everything away.

The only thing I would do different ... I would not have carpeting on the floor.

Would I like a bigger space with a cutting table, etc. Absolutely. But I've carved out a studio that is perfect for now. And, when I move it can be converted back to a closet with ease.
Posted: 12:47 pm on June 1st

leftyReno leftyReno writes: The most important piece of furniture in my sewing room is a cutting table I can walk all the way around. Of course I have trouble putting away the fat quarters I tend to collect, haven't figured out a good storage system.
Posted: 9:09 am on June 1st

wrighax wrighax writes: Im not so interested in the rooms with lots of space, focus on the 12 x 12 spare room and smaller. Love to read about gadgets tools and furniture solutions that people have found to address storage of patterns, fabric, notions and tools. I would love a detailed set of instructions by an organizing specialist on how to do a serious clean out and makeover of an overly cluttered sewing room. I love before and after pictures. Thanks!!
Posted: 6:30 am on June 1st

Sewaholic Sewaholic writes: Would love any and all info pertaining to sewing spaces - big, small and anywhere in between. I'm very lucky my newly developed sewing space is probably larger than most, but efficiency with my current and entirely functional sewing furniture to be economical as well is what I'm looking for. Decorative, functional efficiency with pictures, please and thank you!

PS. Love, love, love your website! Thanks for sharing and inspiring so much
Posted: 11:40 pm on May 31st

Carolebarrel Carolebarrel writes: I am fortunate to finally have taken a space in a room of our 200 year-old farmhouse. It was once a library (lots of shelves), den (TV), childrens' play room (centrally located). It is near a pie safe I use for fabric storage in the adjacent room. There is a a fireplace (for cooler days), a back staircase to escape unnoticed) and heart pine floors (easily swept). The sewing room has evolved to my convenience--my threads and notions surround my L-shaped sewing machine/serger area. The ironing board stays set up and pressing materials at hand are stored in the library bookshelves. Behind the door of a small closet I hung a full length mirror. Over the years I've found three pegged thread holders at garage sales along with antique thread containers. The esthetics of the room revolve around a vintage machine base and wrought iron dress form. Tomorrow I will install fabric covered roller shades on the windows that I found at the flea market--darling vintage fabric discarded when they staged their house for sale. My button collection is housed in 25! color coordinated tins I have collected for 35 years. A bulletin board with ideas serves as inspiration. At 70 years old, I realize we sewists are an exclusive breed. My second machine ( an unused vintage Necchi) I am saving for my 13 year-old grand-daughter who I encourage to join me in a hobby that has served me well since home-ec classes through 48 years of marriage. I am excited to hear about the newest trends while hugging onto the good old days happy as a clam.

Posted: 10:56 pm on May 31st

Lookingpast Lookingpast writes: I'm lucky to have a small spare bedroom for my sewing space. It doesn't have nearly enough natural light (so big windows would be on my wish list) but I have lamps scattered throughout the room. There is never enough storage space, but I use Polar Notions and just love 'em. Still, there is never enough room. I have my sewing machine on a table made from old nightstand tables and a big piece of plywood and my embroidery machine and serger on a regular sewing table. The nightstand table is perfect for me because it's lower than the regular sewing tables (I'm short). I have a cutting table I made from three unfinished kitchen cabinets and more sheets of plywood but lately I've had better results cutting my fabric on a regular cutting table (the fabric doesn't fall off one end)-- but there's no room in my sewing room for that table so it's in my dining room and I unfold it as needed. I'd love to be able to get it into my sewing room. A couple of other items on my wish list: a good radio, a small tv, a good task chair (no arms!) and spots for my kitties to curl up and keep me company.

Robbie
www.robbiesews.blogspot.com
Posted: 10:36 pm on May 31st

JandLand JandLand writes: A GREAT SEWING SPACE FOR ME WOULD BE A SPACE WHERE I DO NOT HAVE TO "SET UP" AND "TAKE DOWN" OR PUT AWAY, MY PROJECT'S. IT SEEMS LIKE ALOT OF TIME IS WASTED SETTING UP AND PUTING AWAY~~ WHERE IF I COULD JUST WALK INTO "MY SEWING" ROOM, ( PINS ON THE FLOOR OR NOT ) ND JUST BEGIN WHERE I LEFT OFF. ALOT OF IRONING TIME WOULD BE ELIMINATED AS WELL. :-)
Posted: 10:21 pm on May 31st

ustabahippie ustabahippie writes: Windows, light, lots of wall and floor space. Music and talk radio. When I spend a lot of time alone sewing, I need to hear live conversation!
Posted: 9:06 pm on May 31st

kaychan kaychan writes: I can hardly wait for the article to appear. I love seeing all kinds of sewing spaces. Small space, large space. I get ideas from all of them.
My MAJOR problem and one I hope to see a solution for is STORING FABRIC! Dressmaking fabric. There are a ton of solutions out there for quilting fabric, but we are talking major yardage here and limited space.

I have two dedicated space across the hall from each other. One I call my cutting room which has a large cutting surface in the middle of the room and floor to ceiling shelves for books etc.

Room across the hall has lots of windows and is where the sewing machinse reside at one end and computer at the other.

I would love neat and tidy and a place for everything, but long narrow spaces are hard to deal with.

I'm so anxious for this article to appear.
Posted: 8:48 pm on May 31st

sewnutt1 sewnutt1 writes: When we moved to our new home, we needed a rec room and a place for me to sew. when I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, I spent my savings to finish the basement--MY way! It was a process finished over four years but I have a 12 x 12 laundry room where the ironing board is always up, a 20 x 22 sewing area with a 4 x 16 counter top that passes thru to the rec room side.I keep a collection of old irons here to use as weights for fabric cutting. It is lit by a metal, chain hung 'factory light'. My table is an old government surplus 4 x 8 foot that holds my machine. My serger rests on a garage-sale purchase of a dining credenza top that I put casters on...rests beside the sewing machine table. This table has a very wide, centered drawer that is on ball bearings and glides open so easily to hold utensils separated by plastic trays. I have a metal utility cabinet, also government surplus, which holds zippers, thread spools, other notions. When a fabric store went out of business when I was doing the basement, I bought shelving...now on each side of the sewing machine table...to hold fabric, books, scraps, and all the Threads magazines I have saved over the years. Lighting is important so I use 2 2x 4 recessed fluorescents as well as a chain hung 4' fixture over the sewing machine table. I have had several magnifier lights and found the plastic models gave out after a few years. I invested in a Luxo table magnifier which utilizes a circuline fluorescent bulb and I recommend this to anyone who sews as it is efficient and durable.
I have some deep sliding drawers attached to shelving on one side to hold patterns. I bought dishpans at a dollar store to hold other misc notions, projects in process. Some salvaged slot board made great uprights for shelving, utilizing masonite to slide in. It was good for toy storage for our child but I confiscated it for storage for books, quilt fabrics, jewelry fixings, and to hold a cast-off stereo unit. I recovered some foam board pieces and they serve as bulletin boards above the sewing machine table. Since I designed the area myself (and built it!) I could be selfish and included a closet that is about ten feet long. It holds completed garments, more fabric, shelvest recessed into one end, and my collection of ALF!
I am fortunate to have an older laptop computer near at hand so I can easily do sewing research.
The flooring throughout the basement is a commercial grade, low level loop nylon with no padding. It collects threads but is easily vacuumed. It holds pins so the rule is that no one is ever in this room without shoes!
Our home was built 25 years ago and is on ground that is high and dry. The basement exterior has foam core board to insulate and the inside is insulated as well as drywalled. In summer it is cool and in winter warm as well as the quietest area of the house.
Posted: 8:30 pm on May 31st

DARMaryAnne DARMaryAnne writes: When I remarried I lost my sewing room to free up a room for my husband's "toys". Now my sewing things are spread out in three different rooms. It's hard to sew because by the time I get out everything I need the available time for sewing is used up. Then I have to put everything back.

My sewing room was 10' x 11' bedroom with a small closet. In in I had my grandmother's 1908 armoire which my father had fitted with shelves. It is over 5'wide and 7.5' tall. Most of my supplies were stored in this piece. I had room to leave my ironing board open all the time. I could leave the machine out and just toss a dust cover over it when I left. I could close the door and no one would see the mess. I did have to roll my cutting table to a larger room for cutting fabrics.

I don't need an expensive sewing cabinet to hold all my machines. I don'teven mind getting out my serger or cover stitch machine as I need it. The room would not need to be decorated. I just needs to be a small private room that is ALL MINE!
Posted: 7:20 pm on May 31st

marydinkel marydinkel writes: I have a dedicated sewing space (extra guest room) which I thought would be perfect. After a number of years, it is filled! I know I could take over another room, as I keep improving and adding to my equipment, notions, and fabrics. I would like to see ideas dor organizing interfacing and stabilizers. I've got a less-than-ideal system for the rolls, scraps, and packages of the products that are similar but very different products.
Posted: 7:01 pm on May 31st

sewinggal1 sewinggal1 writes: I'd love tips on organizing a SMALL space. My studio is used for sewing, crafts, painting, and scrapbooking, plus my husband often puts boxes in there to get them out of his way.

Storage is at a premium in a house that's barely over 1000 sq ft!

My main organization issues are with notions.
Posted: 6:23 pm on May 31st

copywriterMT copywriterMT writes: I, too, am a voyeur of beautiful dedicated spaces! I have a second guest room, which is luxurious compared to many, but I still have a little fold out bed to accommodate, and still not enough cutting table space. Storage is also an issue, since like a lot of sewers, I am a bit of a fabric junkie and can't resist something special or a great sale. I was lucky to inherit a solid surface countertop from a local retail store, about 24" wide and 10' long where I set up two machines and a serger. It is impregnable! My husband gave me an in the wall ironing board to free up floor space, and I took the closet doors off and added a bureau and shelving to fill that space. Two sideboards and a hutch hold more fabric and books, patterns, etc. Can't wait for the article, and maybe it becomes a feature.


Posted: 6:04 pm on May 31st

dreamie dreamie writes: Small spaces seem to be more the norm these days. (I'm saying that because it's what I have), and I know a lot of others do too. Mainly, I like a space away from everything else, no distractions, no noise unless I want to turn some music on, just some peace and quiet when I want it. Then I can turn my attention to what I'm working on and the time just flies by.
Posted: 4:50 pm on May 31st

Elaray Elaray writes: My sewing room is small and it has evolved into a functional space. However, I don't have lots of room to store fabric. I'd be very interested in seeing fabric storage options. But then, if I had more space to store fabric, I'd only buy more fabric to fill the space.
Posted: 5:50 am on May 30th

Sewista Sewista writes: I'm a bit of a voyeur when it comes to sewing spaces. I would love to see the over the top, won the lottery, type of spaces as well as the tiny, highly organized rooms as well. I am always on the lookout for highly functional and good looking organizational remedies. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

I have a dedicated 10x11 foot space with a BIG area beyond for storage of my mannequin, hanging fabrics, many books, etc. Can it ever be large enough?
Posted: 7:07 am on May 28th

SewTellMe SewTellMe writes: I can't wait to read what you find! We recently finished our basement and designated a sewing room for me. A blank slate can be very overwhelming, so I'm excited to see what comes from this article.
Posted: 1:09 pm on May 27th

SeaSprite SeaSprite writes: I'd like to see some very compact space ideas as well as some "what dreams are made of" huge sewing work rooms.

I'd really like to know how to make successful "sewing room" in impossibly small shared places like:
A tiny 24 foot caravan (trailer home): -0 space available
A 45 foot ocean going yacht: 0 space allocated
A 20ft shipping container: I have 1/4 available for my sewing and computer work.

Im looking forward to the day I finally
A. Get all my sewing equipment together in one country and one place!
B. Have my own sewing space with not a Ham radio or model aeroplane in sight!
C. Have the storage space for fabric, patterns, taylor's hams, sewing bits and pieces, laces, fabric cutting boards, heirloom sewing lace-shaping boards, rotary blade cutting mats etc.
D. Have room for a cutting table, a full sized ironing board, the overlocker and sewing machine permanently set up.
E. Have the required mirrors set where they are most useful.
F. Have all the power points necessary without having to unplug (or change international converter plugs) part way through, just to press or sew what Im working on.
G. Where the kitchen gear is in the kitchen and not taking all the shelf space for my sewing stuff!!
H. Space enough for a bookcase for the many sewing books.
I. When my sewing equipment no longer vanishes on husband's boat building expeditions... french curves, pencils, newspaper roll, small seam clipping scissors...

Posted: 9:14 pm on May 26th

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