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Sewing Room Ideas

kelker | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m ready to have an area converted into a sewing/alteration room and would like suggestions on the must-haves.  I do have a cutting table that is 3.5′ w x 6′ long and plan on that to be in or near the center of the area, but other than that, I’m open to ideas.  Help, please.


  1. beo | | #1

    Handy storage!  When I put together my room a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to have a carpenter friend, together with my husband, build me a sewing table.  An outside door we had never used became the table top and my friend built two bases complete with custom sized drawers to hold thread and other notions and supplies.  Also, I invested in a steam generating iron from Reliable Cororation.  Love it!  Also, make sure you have good lighting.  Have bunches of fun putting your room together!

    1. kelker | | #2

      Thanks for the info.  Is your overhead lighting flourescent?

      1. beo | | #5

        No.  Overhead is incandescent, as is a torche light in one corner and a lamp in another.  However, I have three color true lamps at each work station, one with a magnifier.  Another thought...years ago I set up a home office and bought a mid-line adjustable office chair, which now is in the sewing room.  If I am spending long streches of time at the sewing machine I try to remember to make slight adjustments to the chair so that my back isn't killing me at the end of day. 

  2. Ralphetta | | #3

    If you search, you will find a lot of past discussions and ideas on this subject. It comes up often. There is also a Website with lots of photos of people's actual work rooms/spaces. If you don't find it when you search, maybe one of the current readers remembers the name of it.

  3. marymary | | #4

    Kelker, do a web search on "sewing rooms" and you will be able to see a lot of different rooms.

    As someone who has moved a lot and had to set up a sewing room in available space, I have used a lot of mobile pieces of furniture.  Each room has by necessity been different.  You already have a great start with a cutting table.  I use closet organizer pieces to create the kind of storage I want.  They are the base for my 4x8 cutting table.  Furniture from Ikea works great, too.

    Visible storage seems to me to be the very important.  Every once in a while I rearrange and then can't find things again for a while.  Good lighting is a must.

    Only you can really decide what you need most and where you need it. 

  4. PowellPat | | #6

    You need to be able to walk around at least three sides of the cutting table. If you don't have room to do this, try having the table on wheels so that you can slide it out when needed.

    I do have florescent lighting. I just switched from halogen track lighting. The florescent lighting gives me better coverage w/ less shadows and it is cooler. (The heat generated by the halogen lighting was unbearable.) And the cost of bulbs and electricity is much lower. Unless you have someone who can install regular ceiling mounted florescent fixtures, check home stores (Lowes, Home Depot and the like) for florescent lighting systems which allowed multiple light fixtures to be surface mounted and connected in a configuration that fit the room. These systems comes w/ conduit covers to cover the wires between fixtures for a neater looking installation.

    1. marymary | | #7

      I can attest to what pati says about the surface mounted track lighting.  Mine came from Home Depot and is Hampton Bay brand.  I have had it for a number of years with few problems.  Sometimes the connection where the wiring enters the track comes loose.  We don't know why, but it is a simple problem to push it back in, sort of like inserting a plug.  I really like that I can adjust the direction of each fixture to shine where I want it.  The lighting it offers is great and you can determine just how many fixtures you want.  I am sure there must be an upper limit, but I have five over my cutting table. 

  5. User avater
    bethaten | | #8


    My favorite Threads inspiration was the article with different sewing rooms and one woman's workspace in her mobile home......I think of that often when I feel I don't have enough space!  Not sure of the issue, it's been a few years back.

    Have fun with your project!


  6. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #9

    Kelker, working in a sewing room is much like working in a kitchen. Each activity or machine becomes a part of the work flow. Think of your cutting table as your prep area, the sewing machine as your cookstove, and your ironing area as your sink, and your storage area like the cupboards and fridge. Look to an efficient kitchen layout for your placement, as well as great storage ideas. Lighting should be arranged to make the most out of each work area. Just one caution to keep in mind. If you use a lamp near your sewing machine, make sure it does not shine directly on your machine. The heat from most tabletop lamps can cause the oil and grease in your machine to dry up, and the machine to seize up. I bought a battered old work cubical from a 2nd hand office supply place for my sewing storage and work needs. It was a little more than $500.00CDN (including a wonderful chair) and worth every penny. Cathy

  7. marymary | | #10

    kelker, thank you for bringing up this topic.  It got me to looking at other's sewing rooms and evaluating my own.  I really need to push the walls out, but that isn't going to happen.  What I did decide to do was add some wire shelving.  I had a large expanse of wall, above some vintage machines, where I had hung pictures.  I decided that area would be better used for storage.  My DH and I hung the new shelves yesterday and I can't wait to rearrange my room.  Of course, I will spend the next few months trying to find everything again.

  8. Teaf5 | | #11

    I just bought full-spectrum flourescent tubes for an overhead fixture (to help with SADD symptoms) and am amazed by how wonderful they are for seeing colors! They cost more than typical flourescents or "sunlight" flourescents, but the difference is incredible. They are shelved in hardware stores near the plant light flourescents and also come in the compact bulb style. Energy efficient and inspiring--check them out!

    1. Ceeayche | | #12

      thanks for the tip!  I'm going to check them out tonight!

    2. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #13

      I have had these types of lights in my sewing room for years. They are wonderful, as I suffer from SAD myself. Just a caution however, as these lights do not have a filter on them, and can cause fading over time, to exposed fabrics and such. From a ceiling application, it is not as bad as when they are close to what ever is stored under them, it can happen. Enjoy the light however, and I would not change mine for the world. Cathy

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