7 Practical Tips for Designing A Sewing Room

Designing A Sewing RoomA sewist that delights in making sewing projects deserves a room solely intended for that craft. Sewing as a hobby, or an income-generating activity, needs a room where you can keep everything you need in making your projects. We have gathered some practical tips on designing a sewing room from choosing your room to decorating it for added motivation.

We have written some in the past about how to organize specific parts of your sewing room, but not a lot about how to organize and plan out your entire sewing room.  Have a look back at this article called Have Sewing Space, Will Sew for more ideas.

1.  Decide what room you are going to utilize as your very own sewing room

Designing a Sewing RoomIf you have a spare room, that is a perfect location. It doesn’t have to be big unless you have a companion/co-worker that will occupy the room with you. Make sure that the room has at least blank walls that you could fit your shelves or cabinets into. Decide also where to put your electrical outlets for your sewing equipment, computers, light fixtures, and others.

2.  Determine what equipment and furniture you want to place your sewing room.

You don’t have to buy or make new furniture for your sewing room. If you have an existing table that is of no use or a computer table that your kids have grown out, you can use that as a sewing table. You will also need a cutting table and an ironing board for your projects.

3.  Make the floor plan of your sewing room

Designing a Sewing RoomOnce you determine the size of the room, the furniture, and equipment you are going to place in the room, draw your floor plan. Plot the measurements of the furniture and equipment, the storage area and other areas you want to have. If you are lucky to have a large room, you can place your working table in the center of the room. This allows you to easily work around the area.

4.  Ensure good lighting

Designing a Sewing RoomMake sure that your sewing room has a good lighting. You will be more inspired and effective in working in a well-lighted room. It may be natural light or a nice lamp focused on your working area.

5. Bear good storage in mind

You may have equipment and things that you would like to be concealed when not in use. Include this in planning out your storage. Also, make sure you have a place for your fabrics and keep these fabric storage tips in mind. Keep a place for your small and essential sewing tools so that you could reach them easily.

6.  Add a splurge of color

If you want to paint your sewing room or apply wallpaper on its walls, keep in mind they must be calming colors. There are colors that help you with concentration and creativity.  Here's a nice summary of colors that boost your creativity from Inc Magazine.

7.  Have an inspiration wall or board

On this wall or board, you can display any kind of material that inspires you. It may be a project that you have done, or a book/magazine, or some scraps of fabric and ribbons, or just anything that enhances your motivation to work and do more beautiful projects.

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33 Responses to 7 Practical Tips for Designing A Sewing Room

  1. Anne Stewart says:

    This has been very helpful. I have a sewing room but over the years it’s become a jumbled mess. It needs a makeover and I didn’t have any idea where to start. This article and the comments have been a lot of help.

  2. Janie says:

    Make sure your boxes are see through. I have many boxes both clear and solid and I never can remember what’s in the solid boxes.

    I use industrial shelving to store my boxes, they can handle thousands of pounds stored on them without bending. I have two 8′ x 8′ x 6′ and one 4/4/6 so there is lots of fabric and boxes on them. the large ones I can walk around so boxes on one side and fabric on the other. The top hold my rolls of fleece, interfacing and other rolled stuff.

    • Wynn says:

      I think I don’t understand your measurements. 8 feet high by 8 feet wide by 6 feet deep? That sounds like a a bookshelf the size of a table to seat 8 people stacked 8 feet high? That’s gigantic. Lucky you!

  3. Donna says:

    Have one switch that will turn on/off all electrical outlets when you enter or leave the room. Save electricity and don’t worry about leaving an iron on.

  4. Cindy Brinkman says:

    Use surge protectors for each area, so you can just turn them off during thunderstorm or when children are “helping” or when you leave town. I put task lights on them as well, so I know which surge protector s are on.
    Place all tools you use daily to the right of the machine (left if lefthanded). Use box lids or thin stacking trays to separate different projects.
    I organize fabrics by content (wool, linen, vinyl, leather) or use (quilting cottons, stretch knits, interfacings) or type (decor, napped, pleated).

  5. Glynda Meyerholtz says:

    I had my electrician son install track lighting in key areas. The lights are adjustable, so my whole room is well-lit. I also had him put in a 4-receptacle floor outlet, and I may put in more of those. My room is a sunroom, so light is good, but not enough space for shelves. I made a portable ironing station from a small rolling kitchen island. A six-foot-long cutting table on bed risers to make it counter height. Antique dresser, hutch for storage. Room’s getting a little crowded.

  6. Jan says:

    @Joan
    Padded brackets on the wall, will take care of long bolts of fabric – think fishing rods longways in brackets – only bigger! Make sure that the brackets are fully supported by studs. You can go from waist height to almost the ceiling (get a small safety ladder with a platform for getting down the top bolts). Having the space by the laundry is great – laundry for live flowers, if the space is big enough.
    Have as much lighting as you possibly can in all areas. When you burn the midnight oil, the windows won’t help much. Without a floor plan, it’s hard to help much – whatever electrical you think you need, double it, spread it around, even behind cabinets – you may need to rearrange in future.

    Good luck with it! How nice to have a large space to play with 🙂

  7. Mary Beth Figgins says:

    Here’s the wall with the sewing machine. My husband made the counter to my specifications to hold the sewing machine and serger and a laptop which I can hook into the tv to watch videos.

    Here's my pic:

  8. Mary Beth Figgins says:

    Here’s my room. There are two posts because I took two pictures of different walls. Between the two pictures is a sofa bed and a window. It isn’t clean at this time but it works. My husband is going to build another cabinet by the sofa bed but I had to work with it before deciding what I want. There are some bookcases on the 4th wall. The large wood cabinet is one I got from my mother when she downsized. There is none sewing boxes also stored here. The table is 3 x 5.

    Here's my pic:

  9. Holley McCree says:

    I’ve seen sewing spaces that had fabric stacked up on display. I would be concerned about sunrot, colors fading, bugs, etc. I have some woolens in a cedar chest in my basement, and several years ago I spent days and days washing and sorting fabrics, taking them out of the dryer still damp and ironing them. I put them in bins according to type and color and labeled them. Right now I have a whole bunch I pulled out and didn’t put back where they belonged, but overall this helped me a lot.

  10. MindyK says:

    I’m not very good at organizing myself, but making a sketch on graph paper should help to set designated spaces. Also, at least 3 sets of outlets spaced on each wall, will allow you to change things later, if your building will allow it. That way whatever changes you may want to make will be okay. Also, Ikea has many storage ideas, that you may want to check out. For the bolts of fabric I only have 2 but making a crib area to store them, since you have so many, might be beneficial. You could also try finding a used baby crib for this. Good luck and May God Bless You!

  11. Joan says:

    How do you blend a sewing/quilting/upholstery/homedec studio for a fabriholic with her crafting studio? I also arrange flowers (live and silk), paper craft, smock, crochet & knit, felt etc. I want separate spaces yet a blend where overlap make sense to save space, ie, crafting table can be for all crafts but cutting table is sacred for fabric, whereas some decorative trims ribbons & such are used for both craft and sewing. I have a space the size of a 2 car garage (About 23 x 21 roughly) next to my laundry room. I also have at least 1500 pounds of fabric on rolls, bolts etc (don’t ask- I have collected for over 50 years!) that need efficient storage. Unfortunately it is only standard 8 foot ceilings so that doesn’t help. Basically rectangle shape with one 1/2 of one wall (garage door size) having a bay window with lovely seating, and the adjacent wall having 2 normal sized windows spaced 1/3 of the way from each corner. The other 2 walls have an entry door and no other interuptions. Since we are remodeling I can add electric anywhere as well as interior modifications. I have a cutting table, 2 sergers, 2 sewing machines, and ironing board, a craft table, a pattern cabinet and lots of shelves I can use. I also have several other cabinet and storage pieces in the house I can use if I knew what I needed. The builder is going to need to know about lighting and electrical soon, so all ideas will help! Thank you fellow creators!

  12. Patricia E.l. No nnnnn n. L says:

    Bell & Howell offer gooseneck lamps desk and floor models that simulates natural daylight to help reduce eye strain and brighten your mood at $ 39.98 and $ 49.98 in http://www.HarrietCarder.com.

  13. Mary says:

    This is do timely. I will be moving and as a result will have a smaller space. I am still in the planning stage going from 20×20 with 8 windows (4 season room) to 12×12 (spare bedroom) but this time I will have a closet and more walls. What I lose in space I gain in organization

  14. SHIRLEY CALDWELL says:

    I have often thought about doing another Shirley’s sewing shop but when I think of all the things that were done in the original one,was open from 8 in the morning and closed at 8 at night with appointments for special items.I made wedding dresses,to horse blankets for racers,to shrouds for burial.Once in a while I made app.for the home bodies.I miss the start drawing of something special and finishing of a customer wearing something gorgeous.With ETSY it would be a wonderful adventure.hmm!!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      All hands on deck Shirley, you seam to me more than qualified to make it happen. Best wishes to you, let me know how you call your shop to visit.

  15. Ana Sullivan says:

    I do not have a sewing room, but I have a sewing corner. All of these tips still apply even if the space is small. I love the idea of an inspiration wall. I use Pinterest for collecting ideas, but physically having them on a wall is great.

  16. Sarah says:

    Thanks for your article. I will have a sewing room for the first time in 30 years soon! Great ideas are wonderful so I don’t waste time in re-planning! Your article was very timely for me. Thanks so much.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      You are most welcome Sarah, and good for you to carve a little space for yourself. Do share a picture or two when you are done. I am always happy to look into people’s creative sanctuaries.

  17. Peggi Chambers says:

    I am trying to order those practice sewing sheets on paper for my 7 year old granddaughter. However, I can not figure out how to order them. Thank you!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Are you using Adobe Reader to print them?

    • Janie says:

      You can use a coloring book for curves and notebook paper for straight lines. You cold have her draw a picture and then sew the lines. Remember the needle can be an old one since it will not be doing real sewing.

      I did this, my children and grandchildren also learned this way!

  18. Valeria says:

    It’s good idee,for my is the perfect advise.

  19. Amanda Mumford says:

    I already have storage boxes with my yarn in them stacked under the table, thanks for the great idea if putting pieces on the outside with the amounts this will save heaps of time in the future.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes, I do the same with my fabrics otherwise I waste at least an hour looking around for the right piece.

  20. Helen Cranston says:

    Very practical

  21. Samina says:

    All great ideas! My problem is that I’m a knitter too, & my yarn stash has taken over my craft space. I’ve got to do a thorough reorganizing so that I can work in that space without getting overwhelmed with all the stuff.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I have knitting supplies as well. I have purchased containers with lids at Ikea to keep them clean and dust free, but cut a piece of the yarn and taped it on the outside with the amount I have available inside that way I do not have to open any box. Works wonders!

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