I’m so excited to talk to you about my sewing space today. I have worked really hard to make my space as functional as possible with the limited amount of space I have and I’m sure many of you are in a similar situation. I hope this can help you think more about how you can make your sewing space work for you.
I’m going to talk about three things; my actual sewing space, fabric storage, and pattern storage. I have linked a ton here for you, but none of these links are affiliate links. Let’s go!
My Sewing Space
^^This is the Breezy Dress from Ellie and Mac in the Black Plaid DBP!
My entire setup is in my bedroom. It’s the Master in our house and I share it with my husband. All my sewing things are on my side of the room. It might sound tight, but it’s really not as bad as it seems. I’ve lived in many houses since we’ve moved around frequently and this is the biggest master we’ve ever had. My husband made me a long table that sits on my side of the room and that’s where my two sewing machines (one of these is actually my soon to be 13 year old’s) and my two sergers live. He built this based on the space and dimensions available in our room, I don’t think he used any specific plans. We just bought wood from Lowes, stained it, and used hairpin legs to support the sides where my machines are. This is also where I project patterns and underneath that are some built in cubbies where I keep fabric scraps. The only thing I don’t love about it is the space where the cutting mat is. In hindsight, I wish I had asked him to make that part of the table taller so that it’s easier to cut patterns. As it is, I have to bend over just a little and it does wear on my back pretty quickly. I’m actually thinking about asking him to build a hutch type piece that would extend the height and maybe create some extra storage under that. Underneath the table I have a surge protector where all of my machines and lights can be plugged into together. It helps keep everything neat.
^^Here is some of my ALD fabric on my cutting mat! I project most of my patterns here and cut them, but I do still use paper pieces sometimes.
BUT. Let me tell you my favorite thing about this space. It’s the peg board mounted on the wall. We got it at Lowe’s and painted it white. This is the full size, we didn’t trim it to make it smaller. It’s amazing. It’s perfect for storing all the things I need. I have places for my scissors, my sewing clips, my thread, serger cones, odds and ends, rulers, even new packages of rotary blades and notions. Some of these accessories were also available at Lowe’s and some of them I ordered on Amazon. The reason it’s so great is because I can easily rearrange it at any time. I keep the things I use less higher up since I have to stand on a chair to get them. I don’t need the serger cones all the time, so they are at the very top. However, I use my adorable and handy little Ginger scissors every time I sit down to sew (I am seriously obsessed with these), so they are one of the easiest things to reach. I have my sewing clips in one of the gray cups as well, kept lower so they are able to be easily reached as well. I also keep some of my Cricut tools over here too. I have rearranged this several times and since the only thing screwed into the wall is the board itself, it’s so easy to move around anything at any time, which I’ve done probably about 4 or 5 times since it’s been installed. I definitely don’t have room for all these accessories and tools on my desk, so this is an incredible space saver and I love it even more than the day we hung it. If you are working in a limited space, I can’t recommend this enough. I’m a very cluttered and disorganized person by nature. It’s hard for me to find a system that works for me and that I can stick to over time and I can tell you this has worked for me beautifully. I’ve had it for almost two years now so I can definitely say that it’s holding up and working well in the long run.
I would say at this point, I cut patterns out on my projector more than 90% of the time. There are some patterns for which I don’t have projector files (although I really don’t buy those anymore unless they are an amazing deal and I absolutely love it, it's really pretty rare for that to happen) and there are some patterns that I’ve altered in some way such that I find it easier to cut from a paper piece. For example, I’ve made many Dream Tee dresses. I always have to adjust for my height on this pattern. I decided that it was going to be easier going forward to alter the printed pattern so I don’t have to do it on the fly anymore. Now I can cut it out much quicker without having to make the adjustments each and every time.
I keep my paper patterns in a binder. I will either print out the cover page from the pattern or just write the name and company of that pattern on a bright piece of paper. Then I put all the pieces for that particular pattern in a binder sheet protector so that they all stay together. I try to note the size on each piece since I do have patterns printed for both myself and my daughter and I don’t like having to scrutinize each piece if it’s written in a small type. It’s one of those quick and easy things that make my life easier in the future. I do have one “random” section in the back where I keep small extra things, like the heart pocket pouch from P4P or this winter hat from PSCO.
I’ve seen a lot of other great systems from other sewists. Some use manila folders or envelopes, I’ve even seen some people that print A0 sizes and hang them from hangers. This is just what I find works well for me.
For the very few tissue paper patterns I own, I just store them in one of those plastic shoe boxes you can buy just about anywhere. They are the perfect size and allow me to thumb through them easily. This one box here is the entirely of my tissue pattern collection. But when I'm done sewing Easter outfits, I can't wait to tackle that skirt!
If I have a pattern that has multiple little pieces, sometimes I will store them in an envelope like this and these just live in the front pockets of my binder.
This is not all my fabric, but this is what I’m going to show you, haha! I bought this bookshelf from Target. It works great as fabric storage, and as you can see I even have some books slid in there as well and my pattern binders live on the bottom shelf. I also have some fabric stored in a linen closet I wasn’t really using and some shelves in our garage. I love this method of folding. I originally saw it on an IG video of Diana Austin, who said she got it from Katie Kimmell. Here is a quick reel showing you how it’s done. As you can see, it’s super easy! I don’t have the ruler that they use and didn’t want to purchase it, so I just cut the flap off a cardboard box and trimmed it down to the same size. It works great and it was freeeeeee. I do have a few boxes where I store scraps (for me, these are pieces that are usually less than a yard, but still usable for color blocking, undies, or small other projects) and I also keep them in the cubbies in my desk. It’s nice to have them all together so that when I have a project where I can specifically make use of scraps I know where to look.
And that’s it! I wish I had a beautiful, dedicated sewing space where I could spread out and make a huge mess, but that’s just not reality for me right now, and maybe not for a lot of you too. I feel like I’ve done really well with what I do have, and I hope you find some inspiration in these posts about people’s sewing space!