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New *Empty* Sewing Space

pamici | Posted in General Discussion on

Wow … I’m frozen with potential.

After several months of sewing at the dining room table, my family & I realized we had some under-used space in the play room. Since my kids would rather watch and “help” me sew than play with their toys, I moved in!

Now I have four shelves, a 6-foot work table, and a 3-drawer filing cabinet. All empty … I don’t know what to do with myself!

So I know I can organize my patterns, remnants, and notions … any other favorite organizing tips anyone would care to share???


  1. lovestosew | | #1

    Hi Pam,
    I have lots of wide plastic bins in my sewing room, both for fabric and for notions. It's much easier to find things in the bins instead of the cardboard boxes I used to have. You might want to consider arranging your fabrics by type (cotton, wool, silk) or by colors or even by planned projects (jacket fabric / quilting fabric), etc. Come up with a system that works for you and post a picture when you're done. Personally, I think it's great that your kids prefer to watch you sew than play with their toys. Maybe you could even encourage one to start sewing with a simple project - if they're interested. :)

  2. jkimes | | #2

    Congratulations on your new space!

    I have one rolling cart with plastic drawers. I use it to store all my small tools: cutting blades, third hand, transfer paper, etc. You can roll it next to where you're working. I bought mine at Target.

    For my patterns, I use a small filing cabinet. Most patterns fit two across, the large envelopes I put in back. For the patterns I've drafted, I use hanging file folders.

    If you have the space, install a large work/cutting table.  Mine (4' x 8') is in the middle of the room, but you should be able to mount it to a wall and flip it up and out of the way when not in use.

    Here's a link to my work space: http://www.jkimes-studio.com/studio.html


    1. mimi | | #4

      J:  Wow!!  I am extremely jealous of your sewing studio.  It looks efficient and spacious and even has great views. 

      I have a question, which I hope you won't think too personal:  How long did it take you to build a client base?  Did you find "word of mouth" to be sufficient advertising or did you take other measures?

      I imagine a lot of us would like to do what you have done :)  Bravo!


      1. jkimes | | #6

        Hi Mimi,

        None of your questions are too personal!  I'm just starting up my business here in Texas. I've sewn in my spare time for years (in California), but am doing it "full-time" (hopefully soon) here.  I have handed cards to everyone I know and to the local dry-cleaners, and leave them on every bulletin board I can, I post ads on Craigslist twice a week, and am now trying display ads in some of the local papers. Word of mouth is always the best way to get clients, but it is a very slow way to build a business.

        I am also planning to make a "spec" wedding dress to donate for the live auction at a local fund-raiser.

        Enjoy your new space!


  3. sewingkmulkey | | #3

    Hi pamici,

    Your new space sounds creative - just make your kids understand how special and important your sewing tools are to you.  I would also add that good lighting is a must!




  4. mimi | | #5

    These are a few of the things I have found essential for my sewing space (my grown and gone daughter's bedroom):

    • natural light
    • a good swivel chair, ie, secretaries chair
    • a strong magnet for picking up pins and needles from the carpet
    • a thread rack or drawer
    • a peg board to hang cutting impliments up and out of reach of small hands (also good for hanging rulers and yardsticks, etc)
    • a light over the sewing machine and cutting table
    • a cork board for hanging pattern sheets and notes
    • a hook in the ceiling, with a chain attached, for hanging garments.  The chain can be double up to keep it out of little hands.

    Happy sewing!


  5. MTothill | | #7

    You have not stated what sort of flooring you have. I prefer to have a solid surface floor in my sewing space. I find it to be much easier to keep clean, and keep pins our of my feet.

    If your children will still be using this space you will need to define which area is Mummy's and which is the kids'. Also which tools that may or may not use.

    My daughter has her own sewing basket and she loves to choose from the scraps.

    Also make sure that your iron and the cord will be safe (you have not said how old your children are, so it is hard to know what safety concerns you may be dealing with.)

    I also use plastic bins (from Ikea) for individual projects, as well as for storing the stash. My stash is stored by type of fabric and/or girl or boy fabrics. The bins go onto two shelving unit (1 from Ikea, the other bought from a store that was going out of business).

    My books are on a long shelf, patterns are in a 2 drawer filing cabinet. I took the patterns out of the envelopes, put the envelopes in plastic sleeves and the contents in large manila envelopes with the pattern type/name, company, number and whether or not it had been cut (size) on the outside. The plastic sleeves went into a big binder. Now all I have to do when looking for a pattern is go through the binder. This system works very well for me.

    My sewing machine sits on a thrift shop table ($4.00) and the serger on a donated computer desk (free). The desk and table make an "L" with the ironing board making a "U". I am lucky to have a window, and one wall is a bulletin board. I am also lucky that I do not have to share this room.

    One other thing that I got at Ikea is a metal kitchen shelf.
    http://www.ikea.com/PIAimages/19783_PE080700_S4.jpg I use the outer most rail to hang garmets, projects etc.

    The only thing I do not have is a mirror for the room. I have to go to the bathroom to check on the fit of things, and it is not full length.

    1. sewhappy | | #8

      goodmorning.just had a look at your sewing room,and many thanks for allowing the viewing.

      I have to re-arrange mine,my sewing area was shared between myself and my husband,who died suddenly on Easter Monday.

      Now I need to sort-out his side of the room,and make it my own.Wish I did not have to do it,but need to try and get back into my sewing.

      So basically starting from scratch again.

      Do-not have any young children,but,over the years,children and grandchildren and husband,learnt not to touch my material scissors to cut out paper with!!!!!!

      From a nice autumnal day here in the UK.Maureen

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