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cat_ | Posted in The Archives on

I am renovating my sewing room. Starting with bare walls. Am looking for storage or work space ideas. What works , what doesn’t.


  1. drue | | #1

    I bought a HON sewing cabinet that has a small return that I use for my serger. I can just turn my chair and I'm right there. The sewing cabinet also has a hydraulic lift lift for my machine. I bought a special hard plastic insert that was made for my Janome 9000. Behind my cabinet, my husband installed a combination pegboard & corkboard. I have most of my supplies on the pegboard i.e.scissors, extra blades, rulers, stitch witchery, etc. I keep most of the packages that these items come in and make a hole in them to hang off the wall. There was enough room to also hang a thread rack. I found the corkboard is good for notes but doesn't need to be that large. I have more STUFF than notes.
    My room is large enough that I am able to keep my cutting table open at all times.
    I have a cone thread rack set up behind my serger on the wall.
    I installed fluorescent lights and am very happy!
    Good luck and try to use every spot for storage so you will be able to find all the tools you have purchased.

    1. Jean_ | | #2

      *I have a small front porch that we made into a sewing room. My machine setup sounds very similar to Drue's with my serger set at a right angle to my sewing machine so that I can easily go back and forth between them. I have most of my avialable wall space hung with peg boards so that my conventional machine threads are there in addition to lots of sewing notions. I have an idea for a cone tree that is a miniature version of a coned yarn tree that I have in my knitting room, which will be a great space saver. My biggest problem is my fabric stash--I have to use some of it up before I buy any more!! :-) Yeah, right!

      1. cat_ | | #3

        *Thanks Drue and Jean Yes, I am trying to decide how best to use my wall space. You have given me some good ideas. My room is an addition to our home. Was the screened porch. It's 16'x6' with a wide doorway in one long wall and three windows on the other. I am not sure how to do my cutting area. Would like to have something set up all the time. I now have to share the room with the computer. How large is your cutting area?Cat

        1. Connie_in_NC | | #4

          *Cat, this is not my idea, but I use it and am glad I found it. I have my machines in my large bedroom, so don't want pegboard on the walls (although that sounds so neat for a sewing room). I have my threads in a Jammer Garage. They are plastic, sectioned containers for HotWheel cars. You can buy them in the toy dept of Wal-Mart. It has a handle for carrying and has a snap-closed cover on BOTH sides. Each compartment neatly holds a spool of thread and bobbin. Keeps them dust-free and neat, esp for the colors you won't use often. Do you quilt? Go to your pizza shop and buy (or beg) 14 in. clean pizza boxes to keep your blocks in. Can't give you any more suggestions, cauze I'm still trying to figger out how to best organize my own mess!!!!!

          1. Jean_ | | #5

            *One more thing--I had access to empty computer paper boxes with lids where I used to work. They are great for storing your fabric stash or other craft items. You can buy bankers boxes that work well also, but free is better. Ask around, you might find a source. Mine was the hospital, but a business or school might have some too.

          2. michelle_porta | | #6

            *Hi, Cat...I've turned my spare bedroom into my sewing room. I THOUGHT the pegboard would be a cheap alternative...wait until you start purchasing the do-hickies that go into the pegboard...However, having said that, I love mine. Stored my scissors, hundreds of sppols of thread, serger cones...etc. In fact, I'm going to set up a new one. I've painted mine white but that may have been more trouble than it was worth.You didn't say how much you have to spend but my cutting table is a used cheap secretarial desk with a return. The big portion is used for the cutting which measures approximate 60"x 48" and I use the return portion for my sewing machine and serger. What I'm looking for is a way to store my patterns. I'm sick of the cardboard boxes that don't fit the over-sized patterns....I may end up just buying the cabinets from the pattern companies unless anyone else has a cheaper way to go????

          3. cat_ | | #7

            *Hi everyone!Thanks for the ideas. Never thought of pizza boxes. Were I live, I can buy margarine in 8'x10'x3' plastic containers. They work great for a number of items. Have also used the boxes that the grocery store gets there tomatoes in, for storing fabric. Michelle what about using an old chest of drawers for your patterns. Talk to you again.

          4. Marilyn_in_CA | | #8

            *Cat- hi again-was fun last nite. I am cleaning out and organizing my sewing area-a closet with bi-fold doors and built in flat surface. Shelves above. I am storing fabric stash & patterns in plastic boxes with tops. Bought all on sale. Have been doing this to try to organize garage and other areas of the house over time. Not cheap- but they look very neat and tidy. Hope this helps.

          5. Other_Marian | | #9

            *I recommend drawers over boxes whenever you have a choice, at least if the drawers seem stable enough for your items. When reorganizing the medicines/toiletries shelf in the linen closet, I was able to find some small (well, maybe 5"w x 4"h x 12"deep) plastic drawers that came in stacking units from discount stores. I just put the units on the existing shelves. We've done the same with a lot of the odd-shaped or easy-to-jumble-up hardware items--telephone cords, chair glides, weird stuff--in the basement.You can move things in and out of a drawer without worrying what's above it, and you can often do so with one hand. For lazy slobs like me, that means that I'm more likely to keep things in their assigned places.

          6. Ann | | #10

            *We renovated our house last year and I got a new sewing room out of it. My husband had built me a cabinet that's similar to the Horn ones (small shelf on the side for the serger - it collapses into the cabinet when not in use, which is never!). I like the corkboard idea. I'll use that in behind my sewing machine to hold the pattern instructions. Over my table and around the walls of my sewing room I have installed shelving, about 18" below the ceiling and I have two shelves running along two of the walls. I use that to store reference books, notions, Threads, old pattern magazines, my stash, etc. My cutting table is custom made (again by my hubby) to fit my cutting mat - 54X32", and it has cabinets underneath for storing material. I keep patterns in a three-drawer rolling cart I bought at Home Depot. I have a thread drawer with separators in my sewing table, and I have a hanging rack as well. Lighting includes a torch light and some spots. I love it. Now I just wish I had more time to use it!

          7. Susan_in_CA | | #11

            *I'm so jealous. My dream is to have a sewing room. I'm keeping all these suggestions for that day. Susan

          8. judi | | #12

            *michelle: I bought a rubbermaid container for my patterns. I keep the patterns themselves in large zip lock bags. hope this helps.

          9. Rene'_McCarty | | #13

            *> Cat, I have a very small sewing room but have made the best of it. I bought a secretarial desk (L-shaped) much cheaper than a table special made for a sewing machine. Get one of the cutting tables that have sides that fold down flat. Great for cutting out patterns then folding down. I have dozens of large plastic see-thru boxes to store my stash, patterns, and accessories. I contructed wooden sshelves to place them on (the one I needed was always on the bottom!). Buy the biggest desk or sewing cabinet you can afford, it will be worth it. Don't bother with those sewing cabinets that fold up if you are a serious maachine bug, you will never fold it up to put it away.

          10. Karen | | #14

            *Hi,Cat. I have an idea for a quick and inexpensive sewing surface for sewing machines. Just purchase a solid-core luan door (the kind with no knob holes) set it on 2 2-drawer file cabinets, and you're all set. You will have to clean them up and maybe sand a bit, but they work great. If the cords get in your way soming off in the front, use a doorknob drill bit to cut some holes toward the back. I have used mine in my sewing business for the last 7 years. Hope this helps.

          11. S._Roman | | #15

            *Well, I have had my sewing area in my bedroom for years and then I finished off a porch and now have a very small room. I have a Roberts sewing table that allows the sewing machine and serger to be a flatbed like and then they rise with a lever to be free arms.Anyway, my biggest problem is not enough storage. So I have one of those closet organizers that allows you to add drawers, shelves etc whatever you need. I have my pattersn in a wire basket that slides and I put them in numeric order and then I have a book with the jackets organized by skirts, suits, blouses etc. Then I put the patters in ziplock bags with the instructions, which have the numbers on them. Since they are in numeric order when I need one I know exactly where it is.Anyway depending on how much money you have you can add to these closet organizers and build as you go along. I hope you have fun putting you room together.

          12. barbara_ | | #16

            *I designed a storage area for cone threads that keeps them flat instead of projecting out from the wall. I used two boards, 1/2" x 2" and 36" inches long. I purchased cafe curtain rod brackets, and placed them about 1" apart. The boards were screwed to the wall about two feet apart making sure that brackets line up. The cones were threaded on a dowel rods and set into the brackets. At two feet apart, about 5 full cones will fit on each dowel. My 2 feet by three feet wall area will store 75 cones. I am working on a minature version to store the regular machine thread spools.

          13. alexandria | | #17

            *My son got married, and very quickly his room becamemy sewing room. We had a skylight window put in forhim, and now my machines and I take delight in being"up in the trees!" For storage of my patterns, I usean old file cabinet that I found at a yard sale. Itis deep enough to fit all sizes of patterns. Likemost everyone, wish I had many more hours in the dayto devote to sewing.

          14. cat_ | | #18

            *Thanks everyone for your storage solutions and ideas. Plans are starting to take shape. I have really enjoyed hearing from all of you.

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