Aug 9, 2018489 views

Newbie needs help: How can I set up an awesome sewing space?


I am brand new to sewing. In fact, I'm so new that I don't even know how to use my new Janome properly yet. Before I begin this latest crafting adventure, I need to set up my machine somewhere.
I'm going to be converting my side of our home office into a sewing space, and would love to hear some feedback on any tips and tricks you have for organizing your supplies, notions, and other tools!
  • How do you have your sewing space set up?
  • What are some of the most important things you need handy?
  • What are you favorite storage solutions?
  • What are some things you wish you knew starting out?
Photos are welcomed and encouraged! Please help this newbie get started on a good foot. :)

abart01, KateinIowa, and 6 others

I have 2 tables set up like an L. One table has a cutting board and ironing mat, while the other has my machine. I have a rolling chair between the 2 so I can easily cut, iron, and sew without having to get up! I usually end up standing to cut larger things anyways, haha.
I use two of the 9 space cube shelves set up back to back for fabric storage and a cutting table. A large cutting mat fits on it and the height is perfect for cutting , you’re not bending over killing your back . You can store fabric directly on the selves or get the pull out fabric bins that fit the cubes. I use different colored bins and try to store corresponding colored fabric in each. if you don’t have room for an ironing board use a wooden TV dinner tray stand, cover it first with insulate batting then another layer of batting and finally with fabric. Allows you to have a ironing surface at your sewing level right next to you and folds away when not in use..


There is a Facebook group called Sewing Room Ideas. I posted additional pictures of my room on there, but here are a few. There are lots of inspirational ideas in the FB group. I have been sewing for about 4 or 5 years so I have acquired a lot of stuff. Many items from Massdrop!!
WOW this is amazing! Thank you for posting!
My favorite storage is using a file cabinet for my fabric. I wrap the fabric around a hanging file folder, and file it by color in each drawer. Then, I simply open the drawer and all my fabric is neatly displayed. No messy stacks of fabric on shelves, I use 2 lateral filing cabinets with a board across it for my sewing machine table, so I don’t even need extra space for fabric.
Secondly get yourself self a good chair with adjustable height.
This is a VERY interesting idea! Most of the fabric I've acquired so far are fat quarters, so they all stack nicely on shelves (for now), but I like the idea of keeping them tucked in and away from dust. I have two cats and a fluffy dog, so hair gets everywhere despite my best efforts.
are you still needing help setting up your space yet.
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Did you get that room done?
Not yet. :(
Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space by Lois L. Hallock She's your new guru. LOTS of great tips in her book!
I don't have a dedicated room so I have most things on wheeled cabinets. That way I can keep my table with my machine close to the wall and out of the way when not in use but pull it out to the middle of the room when I'm using it. Same with cutting table. And get as much built-in storage as you can for any furniture you use. 4x8 insulation boards from the hardware store are great, lightweight design walls.
I very much like the idea of having a couple wheeled carts that I can set up around me when working, then roll under the desk/table when not in use.
Instead of an ironing board, I have a dining room sideboard that I bought at a thrift store. It is rectangular, which works so much better for quilting. I then took a metal shelf from Home Depot, covered it with an wool blanket from a thrift store, and mattress ticking from JoAnn Fabric. (You could use batting if you don't have a wool blanket.) That lifts off the sideboard (buffet, whatever), and I can take it to sewing retreats and set it on top of a regular ironing board. It is much less expensive than the $100 - $150 boards sold to put on top of ironing boards. The sideboard has drawers, so the added benefit is that I have storage. If I had limited space, I could use the surface for cutting when I am not using it for ironing.
That's a great idea!
I did something similar with an old dresser. Love having the drawers for storage. You’re right - I put my cutting mat on it and It doubles as a cutting table.
A peg board on the wall is a great help to keep tools, rulers,etc within easy reach.
Peg boards seem like a great way to maximize storage space while keeping tools handy.
Where can I get that fabulous purple cutting mat?? That is a great first step towards a productive and creative sewing room!!
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Thank you!!
Martelli mats are so good! If you can afford it get one of their adjustable tables! I love mine so much!
I start by considering the lighting. If you don.t have great lighting hire an electrician to give you overhead task lights over your cutting area and your sewing machine area. I keep tools, gadgets, thread near the machine table and put the ironing board and iron nearby. If you have enough space to include a cutting table that.s ideal. I have a cutting table that folds to a narrow top when not in use.
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That's a great idea. Lucky for me I have a friend who worked as an electrician for years, so we can combine DIY with some actual knowledge. :)
No electrician needed, because they plug into a wall outlet. Mount a power strip on the wall above your outlet - then it is easy to access for machine power, cell phone chargers, etc.