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Conversational Threads

Sewing Rooms

Ann_Cain | Posted in The Archives on

I am trying to plan a new sewing room. This will be a room addition to
our home. I am thinking of a 18 by 20 ft room. Will this be large
enough? I want to have the space for a long arm quilting machine in
the future. My main interest in sewing at this time is machine embroidery
and quilting. Tell me about your sewing rooms, your likes and dislikes.


  1. Paula_White | | #1

    I finally have my dream sewing room. And I love it. My room it 14' by 20'. Everything in my sewing room is totally built-in using white formica cupboards and blue-spruce counter tops. I found a beautiful wallpaper border in a sewing theme which I put at the top near the ceiling and a coordinating wallpaper. I have my whole sewing room decorated with antique sewing machines and irons which are sitting above my white wall cupboards. And all wall decorations are little sewing machine collectables.

    I have six sets of florescent light fixtures plus a ceiling fan with a dimmer light. I have two doors [with locks], one door opens to the front entryway of my house and the other opens to the laundry room and then into the kitchen and the rest of my house. By the door I have three sets of light switches, the first is for the room lights, the second is for the ceiling fan, and the third switch controls the electricity for ALL of my sewing machines and the iron and the radio, so I can leave the room and shut every thing off all at once. [our electrician gave more power to this line because I use it for so many things at once including the iron which may be on for most of the day.] All of my sewing machines have their power source on the wall just inches BELOW the sewing surface. I cut a hole in the countertop behind each sewing machine so that I could bring the cords up through. This way the cords are not in my way and are not in sight either.

    This WAS enough room, but my business has expanded so we are full. I planned the room for me to work alone but now my daughter and a friend joined me and we all do custom sewing, alterations, contract sewing for businesses and we make custom-made garments which are sold over the Internet.

    We have 3 sewing machines, a blindhemmer, and 2 sergers set up all the time. With our type of sewing we have to do a lot of ironing but not with a regular ironing board so I have an ironing surface on countertop with a professional gravity-feed iron, and right beside it I have a fold-into-the-wall ironing board. I have a 52" X 96" island cutting surface in the middle of the room.

    All of the sewing machines are on an L-shaped built in countertop that is set at just the right height, 27" for me. The L wall space of 8'and 7' is big enough for all three of us sewers at the same time. [It sure helps to have all sewing machines using the same bobbins and feet if three people and three machines are sharing these items.]

    Under this countertop/sewing counter I have placed several shallow drawers that are actually silverwear drawer dividers that I purchased at Menards and ShopKo. I used a track designed for hanging up hardware bins for sliders for these drawers to slide in and out on, and then I added a drawer pull to the front edge. These drawers are very handy for all those small and/or tiny items that we must keep handy. I used them for bobbins, specialty feet, scissors, markers, seamrippers, threads, anything.

    I have a 6 foot long closet that has bypassing mirrored doors, one side of the closet has shelves and the other side is for hanging garments.

    I have an office area at the other end of the room which is also a built-in L-shape. This is for my computer and is also used by the whole family. This is big enough for two people to work at the same time.

    1. Karla_Kizer | | #2

      *WOW, Paula, do you give tours? Your room sounds wonderful - obviously very well thought-out. I've been thinking, too. If I could get both kids to move out, knock out the wall between their rooms, replace the carpeting with Pergo......

      1. Pat_Hurley | | #3

        *WOW! You should post pictures of your sewing room on the net so all sewers can be inspired by your wonderful creative area!! Congratulations! I am soooooooo envious, green is NOT a good color for me either! haha

        1. Paula_White | | #4

          *Ann, You are doing the right thing by asking around to find out what other poeple like and dislike about their sewing rooms. Mine was a long time in coming but is did give me time to plan out everything as I really wanted it. We were a family of six living in a small old six room house where I did custom sewing in the corner of the dining room. Part of our house became distroyed by storms and rains so when we fixed it we also added 24 feet to one side of the house. This allowed me to have a sewing room, and more room for the family too, in fact I even decided to have another baby!There are great books available about designing sewing rooms. Two of them are; DREAM SEWING SPACES by Lynette Ranney Black, a Palmer/Pletsch pub. and SETTING UP YOUR SEWING SPACE by Myrna Giesbrecht, Sterling PublishingCo. Karla, Keep on thinking and dreaming and...If you come out for a tour I just may put you to work, I have so much sewing to do.Pat, Greens and blues have always been MY favorite colors. But this is even better it's 'blue spruce'. Just go ahead and dream in PEACH or something, there will be someone who will envy you. [But I just don't get along with 'peach' for anything.] The website may be coming.

          1. Karen_Vesk | | #5

            *If you really have a choice in the matter, the best piece of advice I would give you concerns your cutting table. Make sure it is at a comfortable height for you to spare you MUCH back-ache (ie higher than dining room table height)... and long/wide enough to take a good expanse of fabric without it dropping off the ends if you are doing large projects. You don't want it on casters (it would move around too much), but if it's movable, your workspace is more practical.Lighting is really important too, make sure it supplements any natural light.The really "disastrous" area of my work is hidden around the "L" shape of my workspace, so my clients don't have a heart-attack... that's where all the storage boxes and shelves are. The nice, neat meet-and-greet area is closer to the front door, and I always try to have my judies displayed with some interesting projects, either for clients or for myself.I love hardwood floors (easy to clean up pins,lint, cat fluff).Well organized storage space is useful - bookshelves with labelled boxes, baskets, pencil-holder cups...A large bulletin board for swatches, sketches, inspirational stuff...Ergonomic chair[s]...I think I am going to run out now and buy a lottery ticket :-).

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