How to Set up Your Sewing Room or Sewing Space for Maximum Effect

From sewing rooms to a sewing space, it’s every sewist’s dream to have a designated area for being creative. It helps inspire and encourage us to get the sewing project done.

Using the kitchen table is all well and good, but the constant packing away for meals and having to re-setup can put an enormous dent in your sewing mojo. You might even find you lose pieces in the frequent moves. All this means those projects you were so excited about turn into UFOs.

Unfinished objects.

Worse than that, you lose all interest in sewing. It’s such a hassle to get all the stuff back out, it’s easier not to bother. To combat that, many of us will set up an area, even a small one, allowing us to leave our sewing equipment set up and ready to sew.

Faced with limited space or even an empty room can leave you feeling blank though. What do you fill it with? What needs to go where?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the things your sewing space needs, from furniture to your essential sewing tools. With some handy reviews on products and where to buy them, read on for a full guide on how to set up your sewing room.

What to Consider When Designing Your Sewing Area

Whether it’s a whole room or a small area, let’s look at what you need to allow for when planning your sewing space.

#1 Think About Your Sewing Needs

When you plan any room or space, you need to consider all the items you need to fit in the area. For a sewing room, the basic essentials include your sewing machine, an ironing board, a cutting table, and your serger if you have one. Oh, and don’t forget your fabric, threads, bobbins, rulers, scissors, needles, elastic, and trims. It all has to go somewhere.

If your only option is a temporary area like the kitchen table, there are ways of making it less annoying. The key, consider what items you really need close to you as you sew. An ironing board, for example, can be set up away from the table giving more space for a portable supply caddy.

#2 Storage

Every sewist needs somewhere for their sewing paraphernalia, and let’s face it, most of us complain we don’t have enough storage. One of the key essentials in any successful sewing area is adequate storage space. From bins for fabric to cupboards or drawers for notions, make sure your room plans allow space for you to store your supplies.

When designing your storage, consider the items that need to be out of direct sunlight. Threads do better in drawers or opaque totes and tins. Sunlight can cause the thread to deteriorate over time. So avoid countertop thread stands.

Using plastic totes is an ideal way of keeping your sewing supplies in order and free from dust and damage. Many are transparent, allowing you to see the contents at a glance. Labeling the boxes with things like fabric content or yardage can also help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Your storage solution needs to be something that you want to use to be effective. Stacking plastic totes is OK. But, if you’ve piled them up to the ceiling and need to get in the one on the bottom, moving them all then putting them back is going to be annoying. A shelving solution big enough to fit your totes will make it easier to pull out the box you need. Your boxes will also last longer if they aren’t being squished by the ones above.

#3 Be Realistic With Available Space in Your Home

It’s no good planning a dedicated sewing room if you only have enough space for a small section in a room used by others in your household.

Be realistic when it comes to designing your sewing spot. Pay attention to others who need to use the same space. Measure the area available and cater to the dimensions you have to work with. The best sewing table in the world will be useless to you if you can’t fit it in the space.

It’s not just floor space you need to think about. The height of some storage solutions can be too tall for some homes. Double-check the dimensions of any new furniture to make sure it will clear your ceiling.

Don’t forget to ensure your chosen storage solution will fit through your door. You don’t want to have to store your fabric on your porch.

#4 Be Budget Savvy

A fully functional, all bells and whistles, sewing area is the dream for many of us. Our budgets tend to bring us back down to earth. Gizmos, gadgets, fancy furniture are great, but, a room or space you can use is so much better.

When planning your sewing area, set a budget and stick to it. Make sure to research the items you have ed essential to your sewing space. Shop around to find the best price so you can purchase as much of your needs as you can.

Avoid fancy gadgets if your budget is tight. A gravity-fed ironing system for instance sounds fantastic… and it’s the latest thing in sewing tools… but. They can be expensive. The money you spend on an iron could get you a larger storage cupboard. Or a decent-sized table.

Really think about priorities. After all, when it comes to pressing, any iron will do the job. But, can you work your sewing machine in comfort if running out of budget means you’ve balanced it on a pile of boxes

Choosing The Best Solution For Your Sewing Space

Now, let’s take a look at the best solutions for your area whether you’re using the kitchen table, the corner of your living room or your spare bedroom.

#1 The Portable Option

For some of us, the only option for a sewing area is the kitchen table. But, it doesn’t have to be a hassle to use it. There are ways to make the constant moving away from the table at mealtimes less of a chore.

Caxxa 3-tier Rolling Metal Storage Organizer – Mobile Utility Cart

Make transporting your fabric and notions to and from your sewing area easy with this mobile utility cart. With three handy trays, there’s room for scissors, threads, and extra bobbins. Even your pattern pieces and cut fabric will have a safe place to stay.

With plenty of space for temporarily housing the biggest of sewing projects, this caddy will make clearing away your sewing area a breeze.

Key Features

  • Durable steel frame
  • Three spacious mesh baskets
  • Easy to assemble
  • 4 heavy duty casters with locking capability
  • Ideal for kitchen or craft room

Pros

  • Easy to assemble without the need for special tools
  • On casters for easy mobility

Cons

  • Top shelf may not be large enough for moving a sewing machine

Sterlite 18 Quart Ultra Latch Box

When space is at a premium, you need to be organized. This set of tote boxes will keep you on top of your sewing supplies.

Clear sides mean you can see the contents allowing you to keep your notions and fabric tidy and out of the way. Tidy up in no time at all by keeping your essential supplies in totes, ready to move at the drop of a hat.

Ideal for storing fabrics, current projects, and supplies, these totes will make a welcome addition to any sewing space that needs portability. The durable latched lids enable space-saving stacking and dust-free storage.

Key Features

  • Comes in a pack of six
  • Durable and stackable
  • Clear sides make finding supplies easy
  • Heavy-duty latches

Pros

  • Tough and rugged
  • Easy to stack and see what’s inside
  • Perfect for keeping items for specific projects in one place

Cons

  • Expensive

Lifetime Commercial Height Adjustable Folding Utility Table

If you have a slightly bigger area, a foldaway table can be a fantastic solution for a temporary sewing area. The height-adjustable folding utility table from Lifetime gives versatility and durability to your sewing solutions.

Simply push to the edge of a room when not in use and leave your sewing in place for your next session. This table can open up a sewing area in your bedroom, living room, or even your garage. When you aren’t using it, simply fold it away.

Not only does it allow space for your machine, but it can also double up as a cutting area. Set the table slightly higher for cutting and eliminate the achy back associated with too much bending over scissors.

When not in use as a sewing table, you can even use it for extra workspace in your kitchen, or for summer barbecues.

Key Features

  • 3 height settings
  • Durable and rust resistant steel frame
  • Ten year limited warranty
  • Stain resistant

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for children and adults due to different height settings
  • Can be folded away when not in use
  • Can be used as a sewing or cutting table

Cons

  • Only folds flat. Does not fold in half
  • Might need two people to set it up

#2 Sewing in a Limited Space

When you’re looking at a more permanent location like the corner of the living room, you need sewing furniture and storage solutions that fit in with the rest of the room.

Studio Designs Multi-Use Sew Ready Craft Armoire White / Birch (13375)

Small spaces need a compact solution. Studio Designs Multi-use Armoire is a cupboard with a difference. A built-in table allows room for a sewing machine or serger. Integral shelves can store fabric and sewing notions, keeping them tidy and out of the way.

The table can be folded down to become the base door of the unit. Allowing your sewing supplies to stay out of sight when not in use. A larger shelf in the base of the unit could even house your sewing machine and serger.

With dimensions of 24.5” W x12” D x 58.5” H, this cabinet can fit in many smaller areas and can become an attractive addition to your living area, dining room, or bedroom.

Key features

  • Fold out table
  • Four floor levelers for stability
  • Range of inner shelf sizes
  • Suitable for small areas
  • Compact and attractive design

Pros

  • Keeps your sewing equipment out of the way
  • Space saving foldaway table
  • Multiple shelves for sewing supplies

Cons

  • Larger sewing machines may not fit on the table

Project Center Desk With Two Bookcase Sides

Ideal for a small area or even a central feature in a sewing room, the project center desk ticks so many boxes. With ample storage in the two bookcase sides and a large work surface, even the larger sewing machines can be accommodated.

Available in four finishes, there’s sure to be an option to suit any décor. The Project Center has space for sewing, cutting, pattern matching and more.

With space for storage baskets, the organizational capacity of this solution is amazing. You can even add extra stackable bookcases to the unit.

Key Features

  • Extra large work surface
  • Available in four finishes
  • Increase storage space with additional bookcases
  • Can utilize storage baskets to store smaller items

Pros

  • Comfortable height for cutting fabric
  • Large work area
  • Room for a sewing machine and serger

Cons

  • Made from particle board rather than wood

#3 The Designated Sewing Room

Many of the solutions in the previous sections can be used in a designated sewing room. With a whole room to play with, you will have more space for storage desks and cutting tables.

The one thing you will also have more of is wall space. Utilize the extra storage with things like peg boards, hooks, and hangers and keep your scissors, rulers, and threads out of the way but in easy reach. You can even make one of the walls a design wall.

Brewer Quilting & Sewing Supplies 72″ Quilt Wall

This design wall is made from felted cloth and allows you to position and reposition your work until you are happy with the layout. There’s no need to pin your fabric to the wall making it easy and convenient to use. The Quilt wall is a 6ft x 6ft square but can be folded for smaller spaces.

Taking your work off the floor or desktop, helps you get a better picture of the finished design, saving you time. It also allows you to leave the pieces in situ rather than clearing them away after each work session.

Key features

  • Felted cloth sticks to fabric removing the need for pins
  • 72′ x 72′ of design space

Pros

  • Work on the wall saves bending to use the floor
  • No need to tidy work away
  • No pins

Cons

  • No grid markings or angles for measurements

Your three main tools, sewing machine, cutting table, and ironing board, need to be in a workable triangle. An extra bonus would be if that triangle can be traveled without you leaving your sewing chair. Chairs with castors can greatly reduce the pressure on your knees from constantly standing up and sitting down.

A key thing for any sewing room is ensuring there is adequate lighting. Before designing your room, look at where the light fittings are. Will they be in the right place for your preferred sewing layout. While it may not be possible to move the lighting, you can add more in areas where you need it. Desk lamps and floor lamps can add a hint or an array of lighting to suit your needs.

Beacon Triangle Corner Light

Ideal for small, dark corners, the Beacon Triangle Corner Light is a plug-in solution. It does not require any wiring so you don’t need an electrician to install it. Although it does not come with a bulb, you can use any standard CFL or LED light bulb with it. As long as it’s a maximum of 26 watts.

The 17 feet of cording gives ample length to reach the nearest outlet. While the acrylic diffuser softens the light. The package includes everything you need to fit this light yourself.

Key features

  • Easy DIY Installation
  • 17ft long white cord
  • No Electrician required

Pros

  • Takes standard 26 watt CFL or LED light bulbs
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Only light up a small area
  • Fits corners only

Daylight Slimline 3 LED Table Lamp

The Slimline 3 LED Table Lamp by the Daylight Company has 4 brightness levels and a full-length diffuser. With a sturdy, brushed steel frame and an aluminum shade, this lamp is stylish and modern.

Flexible joints allow it to be positioned wherever you need the light. A large clamp attaches the lamp to any desk or table giving either a permanent or temporary solution to your lighting needs.

Key features

  • Brushed steel frame
  • Aluminum shade with full-length diffuser
  • 4 brightness levels
  • 2-year guarantee

Pros

  • Can be attached to any desk or table
  • flexible joints allow optimum positioning of light

Cons

  • Expensive

Addlon LED Floor Lamp

With 4 brightness levels and 3 color temperatures, this gooseneck reading pole lamp is ideal for sewing and crafts. Its energy efficient LED bulb will save money on your electricity bill and will not cause glare, flickers, or ghosting.

The flexible gooseneck design allows rotation to any angle. The one-tap control panel is simple and easy to use. This floor standing lamp has a stable base and can be used anywhere.

Key features

  • 4 Brightness levels
  • 3 Color temperatures
  • Gooseneck design for flexibility

Pros

  • Energy saving
  • Stable base
  • 3 year warranty
  • Protects the eyes from glare, flickering and ghosting

Cons

  • Not height adjustable
  • May be tricky to assemble

A modular approach is a great way to go when you’re looking at fitting out an entire room as a sewing space. This option allows you to build your room to suit your needs and makes setting up a workable triangle a lot easier.

Arrow Cabinets

Arrow cabinets are available in a range of styles and sizes and can be fitted together to create your own unique layout.

The cabinets can be placed around the room forming an “L” shape or split to be placed individually depending on your own needs. You can also pick and choose which units you go for and combine them with other solutions on this list.

Designed specifically for sewing, Arrow cabinets are stylish, practical, and offer an affordable all-round solution. Available from many sewing machine dealers, they can also be purchased from online retailers like Connectingthreads.com.

Key Features

  • Modular solution
  • Can be arranged in any layout
  • Designed specifically for sewing
  • Cabinets can be used with different machines
  • Buy the set or buy pieces as standalone cabinets

Pros

  • Versatile layout options
  • Sewing Orientated
  • Modular units

Cons

  • Some machines may be too big for Arrow cabinets
  • May not be able to use knee lifters for some machines
  • The full set can be expensive

Conclusion

When it comes to setting up your sewing room or sewing space areas, creativity and optimizing your available space is key. Knowing the options available to you helps you determine what’s best for you. Measure the area you are working with and shop around for the best products for your home. And then make sure you do some research into available solutions that fit your space.

In this article, we’ve given you a range of suggestions and ways to make the most of your sewing space. With the range of solutions available, you’re sure to get a workable result for your situation.

And if you already have your sewing space arranged, what’s your own setup like? And is it working for you? What do you like the most about your setup, and what do you wish you could change? (I can almost hear you say more space, lol). Lets hear from you in the comments.

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