A 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
If 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
Once 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
Make 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.
I recently took over a bedroom after my daughter moved out (previously I was using a portion of my computer room). I was lucky enough to have my hubby paint the walls a pale blue. I moved all 6 of my machines (4 sewing & 1 serger & 1 coverstitch) into the room. we had a couple of spare tables lying around that I grabbed & my daughter left a 9 drawer dresser which has suited me well for tons of storage. Finally got most of the room organized the way I think I want it, but continue to tweak things as I go along…just so happy to have a dedicated room all to myself.
All six machines? WOW! you indeed have quite a room!
Thank you for all the ideas. I too bought the boards from Amazon & was trying different ways to secure the fabric, all the ideas you have already. So far any clip, like the plastic paper clips seems to hold them tighter for longer bit I’m always happy to see the collaboration for all the possible ideas I might not have thought of. A plastic box that hangs folder files has become the way I have been storing patterns I have printed from your site especially. I think you have had many of your free patterns out before a company decides to make their own similar pattern. If there are a few in a category a labeled folder hangs for their home. I have many dress patterns so they needed holes, got put in a binder which also fits directly into the same plastic box. My most filled binder happens to be filled with recipes I have printed that have become family favorites. Soon they will need their own box! I hope all the ideas for covered storage keep coming. I have “borrowed’ so many, I thank all of you!
I’m blessed to have my own sewing room. I’ve added furniture & machines. It’s growing & ever evolving. Nice fabric stash, but I can always look for more. Sewing is my passion. Setting up a sewing space is rewarding.
Don’t forget room to move around the furniture when you make your floor plan! I moved from an upstairs sewing space (too warm) to part of the guest bedroom for my two machines. I like that but it I do have to dance a jig to get to the machines. It is worth it but tiresome to maneuver around one (regular sewing) to get to the other (programmed quilt stitches. Fabric storage is still upstairs.
I have my sewing room in my basement and have many lights, 7 tables; 3 sewing machines and a serger, a Brother Scan n Cut, lots of fabric on 9 bookcases, two enclosed cabinets for ribbon, thread and sewing books, a sewing cabinet my dad made me with shelves on one side and 4 slide out shelves with grooves that hold thread with a large drawer at bottom that I keep sewing notions in, also have 6 plastic drawer cabinets with 3 drawers in each with notions in them, a cabinet that sits beside my embroidery machine with 3 drawers with sewing notions related to it, an 8 drawer roller drawer cabinet on left side of machine with notions and thread, etc. then a rolling 4 drawer cubbine made of cloth that I have UFO’S in. One sewing machine sits on a desk and it has drawers in it, I have another desk that is on the wall behind my cutting table and it has more sewing supplies in it and on top of it. Well I went through all this stuff last fall to organize and thought I was doing really well. Oh and I have another 2 drawer cabinet 4 feet long sitting on top of a 6 foot long cabinet with two drawer cubbies, the 2 drawer cabinet on top has one drawer with all my embroidery designs many, many, many. As I said I thought it was organized but I was wrong because when I go to look for something it is like a scavanger hunt. Have a large mesh laundry basket full of yarns, along with knitting needles, crochet hooks, etc. But it is so much fun to collect all this stuff and you can never have tI oo much fabric. I have been collecting for 70 years so guess I am a sewing hoarder.
This article is unbelievably timely as I am in the process of converting a bedroom into a sewing room. It would be very helpful to have the names/brands of the organizing items and furniture others have used. I’m particularly interested in finding a sewing machine table/cabinet such as the one pictured. Many I have looked at online are made from pressed wood and comments indicate that they fall apart easily or they are over a thousand dollars which is not in the budget! I prefer to use something that is made specifically for sewing machines as tables and desks have not worked for me. Thanks!!!!
I recently bought a used machine in a sewing table for $100. Didn’t need the machine but got a lovely sewing table and my friend got a used machine that I cleaned and oiled and worked like a charm. Often older machines are offered on resale sites for very little and they are in nice tables.
I love my Koala Serger Station and I plan to buy the Koala Sewing Station as soon as my new sewing room is ready to move into!
I have made my Sun Room into my sewing room. I repurposed a table with 2 cubbies for my cutting table and I bought 2 plastic boxes to use in the cubbies for scissors, rulers, patterns, etc. I also bought a 3 drawer cart on rollers that fits perfectly under the lid of my sewing machine table. There is plenty of light with 2 large windows on the corner of the room. (1 window on each wall.) I also have a tall lamp on a “Baker’s Rack” that I use when I need extra light. I also have a tall cabinet in the guest bedroom, which used to be my sewing room, where I have various fabrics and patterns. It will be going in the Sun Room as soon as I can make room for it by rearranging what’s in there already!
I’m done making the masks I was working on so now it’s time to get busy with certain Tote Bags I want to make and I also need to upload photos into my One Of A Kind Jewelry Etsy Store: “MariFlor Creations”.
Doing all this is difficult for me to do since my husband is disabled and also has Dementia. He calls me quite often and I have to stop what I’m doing to go take care of him. One of my Granddaughters helps in the afternoon with making dinner, then she fixes my plate, then fixes his and feeds him. She helps me with him in other ways too. I’m so thankful to God for blessing me with her.
I hope that I will be able to make some Tote Bags soon. I also plan to make some Coin Purses using a pattern I got from this website! I bought the closures on Amazon.
I’m so excited!
Well done Maria & lovely to hear your story, I hope that your sewing is Something that is good for you in these challenging times. Xx
Thank you for your kind words Michelle! I’m working at it little by little and I do enjoy sewing very much. I like being creative.
I finally have my own sewing room and so happy. I used to use my dining room table. I purchased furniture from ikea to set it up. The small cabinet with draws has been awesome. Every draw has a label and allows me to separate and organize. One has extra machine feet, one has elastic, one has specialty threads, one w bias tapes etc. it makes it so much easier to find things I need. I have two bookcases that I put my fabric on but they are separated in plastic storage containers that open from the front so I can just pull out what I need without having to take it all out. I also have the cubbies with baskets that I not only use as legs for the table but each basket has it’s own purpose. I don’t think I’ve ever been so organized. Lol
I dont have a sewing room as such but use the one corner or my bedroom and dinning room for sewing. This means i have to move my sewing machines all the time depending on which corner i feel like using and is causing a lot of frustration. So i have decided i will use the loft on top of my house and make it my sewing room this advise has come in handy as i did not know where to start. Buying fabric to a sewer is like a kid who loves candy they cannot resist the temptation of buying fabric and before they know it they accumulate loads of fabric which they will never use. Your idea on how to store fabric is great too! Only wish i can have some self control when it comes to buying it.
lol-Good luck with that! I finally made myself finish at least one project between shopping sprees. Rather like dieting for a week, then eating banana splits over the weekend.
I bought clear plastic bins with interlocking lid halves. I never have to look for the lid that way!
Oh god do I agree. I love buying fabric but I have so much that I haven’t used. When I buy it I have a purpose in mind but I buy several to choose from. Once I choose the others sit on the shelf. Lol. Ohhhh it’s bad. Lol
$1.00/yd fabric at Walmart was my downfall! I bought fabric just because I liked it. That was several years ago and now I only buy fabric for a project if I don’t have what I need. I’m 67 and I definitely will not out live my fabric stash!
We have an unfinished walkout basement. I purchased a large end piece of padded carpet for the floor and painted the walls. Hubby bought about 8 feet of discounted counter top at the local store and attached it to the wall. Lots of room for my machines! I put some rolling plastic cabinets under the counter for storage. Hubby bought a 4×8 sheet of plywood and made my work table. He covered it with a thin smooth melamine and also covered the edges. He added a set of purchased table legs and added an extender to the bottom of the legs so the table height would be 38 inches. This is a nice height so I am not hunched over a table trying to do things. On one area of my table I have a large cutting mat, and the other area is for whatever I am doing at the time. This is just to show that you do not have to spend thousands of dollars to have a nice sewing area and spend thousands on cabinets for your machine. (Special cabinets are beautiful, but spendy). Finally, as Mayra said, plan some good lighting and lots of outlets.
The room sounds great & your husband is a keeper!
don’t know how I missed this article earlier! I moved my sewing room to a new spot, a previous office/dining room. Was able to start from scratch and found Ikea to be my new friend. I have the exact folding table which I use for cutting, it’s huge when opened up and tidy when closed. I bought 2-6′ Kallax shelves with cubbies for fabric, lots of folding baskets which fit the spaces are for my smaller precuts or scraps, otherwise fabrics are folded so I can admire them and pick what I need for projects. I also bought several rolling drawers which I use for craft supplies, they tuck in spaces when not needed and can be even used with a small cutting board. Love my new room, I quilt, sew bags, knit and crochet, and have organized space for everything now.
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.
So happy to read your comment 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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 🙂
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 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.
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.
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!
For extra table space, I used an interior door placed on top of 2 plastic drawer units at each end. Lots of storage space and table top at no cost.
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!
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.
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
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Are you using Adobe Reader to print them?
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!
It’s good idee,for my is the perfect advise.
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.
Yes, I do the same with my fabrics otherwise I waste at least an hour looking around for the right piece.
Thank you, Helen 🙂
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.
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!
Thank you Pat!