How to Create the Ultimate Sewing Room

How to Create the Ultimate Sewing Room

Written by Jennifer Karami of Redfin

A sewing room is a space where you can concentrate and indulge in your passion. It’s the perfect place to keep your supplies organized, plan projects, and concentrate without interruption. If you have small children, it's also the best way to ensure that curious fingers aren't hurt! 

For those who take clients professionally, the sewing room may be your show space for completed projects or a private spot for fittings and consultations. If you’re serious about sewing, having a dedicated sewing area is a must.

Here are some guidelines for what you need in your sew zone, what you don’t, and how to optimize the organization of your sewing room.
What you need in a sewing room
You don’t need a ton of space to establish your sewing area. If your square footage is limited, like in a smaller condo or apartment, your sewing room could simply be a corner with a table and some storage shelves. Your particular needs will depend on the specific type of sewing that you'll be doing, but there are a few universal basics all sewers should know.

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Sewing machine
Obviously, you'll need a good sewing machine. You may also wish to have a serger or industrial-strength machinery for leatherwork. If your sewing projects include embroidery or beadwork, then you'll need an embroidery machine and specialty equipment, while quilters may find a long-arm machine useful.
Electrical outlets
If you're able, have a few extra electrical outlets installed in the space. You'll be surprised how many things you'll need to plug in! If that's not an option, invest in some industrial-strength surge protection power strips, and make sure that they can accommodate a three-pronged plug.
Sewing Table
Cutting and sewing projects can damage a regular table, so a sewing table is a worthwhile investment. The surface should be sturdy and able to handle the movement of the equipment without shaking. You can buy one or make a DIY sewing table relatively affordably. 

Opt for a folding table with wheels – that way, you can expand all the leaves into your space when you need it, then fold them up and roll it away when not in use. This prevents you from having to use your dining room table, where you may either damage the wood or get your fabric dirty.

Invest in a high-quality rolling office chair - preferably one without arms - for maximum mobility at your sewing table.
Storage Bins
Storage in a sewing room is essential, and the more organized, the better. Chose clear bins that allow you to view the items inside. Bins that are stackable and square, instead of round, help maximize the area in your storage space. 

If you don't have a designated closet at all for your fabric, consider pre-shrinking it and storing it under
your bed in opaque containers.
Shelves and Cabinets
Make use of vertical space! Instead of simply stacking tubs one on top of one another, invest in some
shelves. This will make it easy to grab what you need without having to pull down and restack
containers each time. You can purchase plastic storage shelves from your local hardware store, or
you may go a step further and install some cheap kitchen cabinets along the walls of the room to hold
your fabric and supplies. 

Pro tip: Install a garage bicycle holder into the ceiling to keep a dress form, cushion forms, or rolls
of batting out of the way when not in use.
Buy some clear sign holders and write the contents on index cards - for example, the quantity of
buttons, or the yards of each piece of fabric. This makes it easy to find what you need for a project
and to see what supplies you need to restock.

What to avoid in a sewing room
Avoid overcrowding your workspaces. Make sure that each piece of equipment has room behind it
for the sewn fabric to fall without damage, and that you have enough space to navigate the room
comfortably. If you're creating a corner sewing nook, be sure to reinforce the surface with
weight-bearing table legs or something similar.
If you’ve ever threaded a needle, you know how important lighting is! Be kind to your eyes and
incorporate plenty of bright light into your workspace so you can see what you're doing. Natural
light is a great option. You may also want to install wall lights with long, moveable arms to position
over different spaces for close detail work.
While natural light is a great way to brighten a space, direct sunlight can actually damage your fabrics.
For this reason, it’s best to store fabric in a clean, dry, space like a closet - away from direct sunlight.

Stash N Store Organizer from Fabricworm

Sewing room organization tips
Your sewing room should be a space where you can readily access everything you need, or see if you
need to restock anything. Here are some tips to organize your space quickly:
  • Create an inventory spreadsheet determine what you need on each shopping trip
  • Pre-shrink your fabric and store it away from light
  • Remove the cabinet doors and for easier access – and to avoid bumping your head!
  • Use a laptop for patterns instead of a larger desktop computer
  • Create a "dream board" of the projects you want to start or as a collection of ideas & inspiration
As for decor, consider adding a small speaker to listen to your favorite tunes or soothing white noise. Hang photos of your favorite past projects on the walls, or snapshots of your friends, family, or clients wearing your creations. The decor and design of the room should inspire you without getting in your way. Your sewing room should be a reflection of your creativity, rather than a cluttered space. 

Plan the layout of the room to accommodate your particular flow and the needs of your special projects. Remember, this is your place to express yourself! 

How did you create the sewing room of your dreams? Let us know how you organize your sewing room in the comments!

Author bio: Jennifer Karami is an author at Redfin, a technology-enabled real estate brokerage whose mission is to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor.