SEWING ROOM ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE – PART VII – SEWING ROOM DESIGN

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A PLACE TO CREATE

Whether you have an entire room dedicated to your creative space, closet, guest room, under a staircase, hallway, garage, basement, attic or corner of the kids’ playroom–claim your space!

Nothing is more frustrating than having to drag out your sewing machine and supplies every time the creative bug strikes.

ROOM PLANNING SOFTWARE

Start with a plan by first accessing your needs.  Sewing rooms are as individual as the sewers who use them.  One who sews ladies’ garments will have different sewing needs than one who quilts or sews home decor.

Smart Draw Free Trial

Better Homes and Gardens’ Arrange-A-Room

Jordan’s Room Planner

MyFloorPlanner.com

Room Planner

Icovia Space Planner – Design Edition

Free Furniture Templates

Raymour & Flanigan Room Planner

COLOR

colorwheel

Choosing Color

Selecting the perfect color for your sewing room is a personal choice.  I chose Pink accented with Black and White.  I had originally planned on using Brown to accent the Pink, but decided against it as it is much easier to find Black and White items to coordinate. 

Sherwin Williams’ Color Visualizer

Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer

Pantone’s Paint Selector

Sewing Room Color Ideas

Bella Dia’s Sewing Room and Alicia Paulson’s Romantic Portland Sewing Studio

Magda’s Black and White Sewing Room

House on the Hill’s Little Sewing Space

I Mess Around’s Bright Blue Studio

Happy Zombie’s Inspiring Sewing Room

Melissss’ Craft Room

Jessica Griffin’s Pink Sewing Room

Creative Little Daisy’s Pretty Studio

Elneenya’s Terra Cotta Red Sewing Room

Jenni Apple’s Deep Red Sewing Studio

Syrommet Mitt’s Yellow and Green Sewing Studio

Dog Child’s Pink Studio\Sew Pixie’s Sewing Room

Pink Present’s Sage Green Workroom

Squeaky Monkey’s Orange Miniature Sewing Room

Chalet Girl’s Bright Pink Sewing Room

Amber’s Aqua Craft Room

Quaint Handmade’s Soft Pink Sewing Room

Dharma Lemon’s Retro Green Sewing Nook

Jigabug Baby’s Butter Cream Sewing Room

Liquid Paper’s Dark Gray Studio

Crafty Intention’s Aqua and Red Studio

Lucky Lola’s Bright Pink Sewing Room

FLOORING

Whatever you do, don’t install carpeting if you can help it.  Carpets hide pins, needles and other little sewing notions.  Use flooring that is easy to care for such as concrete, hardwood, vinyl or tile.

Consider an anti-fatigue mat next to your cutting table:

antifatique

Wearwell’s Anti-Fatigue Mats

KEY INGREDIENTS

SEWING WORKSTATION

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There are dozens of ways to set up your sewing machines.  I use an L-shaped desk and a sturdy folding table for sewing machines and sergers.  Figure out what fits your budget and go from there.

Depending if you have one sewing machine or several, you could set your workstation up against one wall, in a U-shaped or L-shaped configuration.  Here’s some sewing workstation ideas:

koala

Koala Cabinets

magicboxstudycraft

  Horn Sewing Cabinets

hornregal

Horn’s Regal Multi-Height Electric Lift Table

 arrowcabinet

Arrow Cabinets

perfexion

Perfexion Tables

slyvia

Sylvia Designs

roberts

Robert’s Fine Sewing Furniture

sullivan

Sullivan Furniture

delta

Delta Cabinets

deluxe

Deluxe Tables

cuttingtablesouthern

Totally Furniture’s $99 Southern Enterprises Sewing Table

southern

Southern Enterprises’ Sewing Cabinet

joanntable

Joann’s $139 Sewing Table

Other Joann’s Homespun Sewing Tables

sauder

Sauder’s Craft Armoire

OMG…is this the ULTIMATE Craft Armoire:

workbox

The Work Box™

hirshdeskwdrawers

Hirsh Craft Storage Stand with Drawers

pneumatictable

BALT Pneumatic (Adjustable) Workstation

adjustablefoldingtable

Adjustable Height Folding Table adjusts from 22″ to 32″

foldtable

Folding Table

CUTTING TABLE

clean

My current cutting table is an old conference room table I acquired from my husband’s old office.  It was a little too low, so I raised the table legs using adjustable bed risers (see below).

Minimum Width – 23 inches.  Ideally, 36 inches would be sufficient as it equals the length of folded decorator fabric.  However, 60 inches would be even better as you could spread most fabrics open.

cuttingtablenew 

Minimum Length – 36 inches (1 yard).  72 inches would be ideal for most.  However, if you work with larger lengths of fabric, purchase the longest cutting table you can fit in your space.  My new cutting table (pictured above) is 4 feet wide by 16 feet long–the big industrial type  table I need to transition from home sewing into apparel manufacturing.

Minimum Height – 34 to 36 inches.  Ideal height would be the at 2 to 4 inches below your waist.  If you’re under 5′ 3″, you might be comfortable with a table height of 32 inches while if you’re closer to 6′ tall, a 38 inch height would be great.  If you need to raise your cutting surface, use:

bedrisers

Adjustable bed risers which raise the cutting table 3.2 to 5.2 inches more or

bedrisersxtall

Extra Tall Adjustable Bed Risers which raise the table up to 8 inches higher

Kathy of Pink Chalk Studio used PVC pipes to raise her folding table from 28 inches to 36 inches…how clever!

cuttingtableorg 

Cutting Tables

regalcutting

Sullivan’s $99 Cutting Table

arrowcutting

Arrow Cutting Table

robertscutting

Robert’s Cutting Table with Storage Drawers

saberpowrpax

Saber’s Pow-R-Pax Industrial Cutting Tables

alvincraftmaster

Alvin Craftmaster Hobby Station adjusts from 0 – 30 degrees

What about that big freezer chest?   Surely it would make a great cutting table. You could add a sheet of plywood to the wall mounted with piano hinges…and add a latch hook to keep it from knocking you in the head when digging in the freezer.  Or if you’re not that handy, you could just put a large cutting mat on top of it.  LOL!

If you have a handyman around the house, enlist them to build a custom cutting table for you:

diybuildtable

DIY.net’s Build Your Own

PRESSING STATION

 

tablecover

Sullivan Ironing Cover for Cutting Tables

bigboard

Nancy’s Notions’ Big Board

Here’s a bunch of iron board cover tutorials:

Vain and Vapid’s Design Studio Details – Ironing Board Makeover

U-Hangblog’s Super Easy Iron Board Cover

Feed Dog’s Cover for IKEA Ironing Board Tutorial

Innovative Sewing’s Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

Instructables’ Fabulous Ironing Board Cover

Marma Daisy’s New Ironing Board Cover

Purl Bee’s Ironing Board Recovery Project

STORAGE

jumboorganizer

Jumbo Organizer

moragadrawercaddy

Moraga Drawer Caddy

miniworkbox

Mini Workbox™

ScrapbookCart

Container Store’s Scrapbook Cart

pinkjuxta

Container Store’s UMBRA Pink Juxta Drawers

robertsstorage

Robert’s Storage Caddy

fabriccollection5

Metal Storage Cabinets from Staples

ssarmoire

South Shore Armoire at Staples

whitebookcase

Simple White Bookcase under $50

For lots of ideas on how to organize and store your supplies, check out:

Custom Cabinetry

Wall cabinets are available in several heights and widths. The height(s) you choose depends on your ceiling and whether your design includes a soffit. Wall cabinet widths range from 9″ to 48″ with adjustable shelving.

Standard base cabinets are 34-1/2″ high and 24″ deep, and range in width from 9″ to 48″, increasing in 3″ increments. Base cabinets are available with full-height drawers, door and drawer combinations or full stacks of drawers.

Tall cabinets are 84″, 90″ or 96″ high, range from 9″ to 36″ wide, are 12″ to 24″ deep and include a toe kick area. They’re available with doors or a door and drawer combination.

Prices vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, type, hardware and installation.  Consider shopping home improvement stores for the best prices on cabinets and countertops.

CHAIRS

Don’t skimp when it comes to your sewing room chair.  Your back will thank you!

taskchairblack

Black Leather Task Chair under $50

potterybarnchair

Pottery Barn Swivel Chair

checkerboardchair

Checkerboard Chair

globaltaskchair

Global Task Chair

Design*Sponge’s Office Chair Upgrade Tutorial

Turkey Feather’s Desk Chair Cover Tutorial

LIGHTING

Lighting in a sewing room is one of those things which is constantly overlooked.  Yet, it is one of the most important elements in designing a sewing room.  Although there are several different types of lighting, the two most important types in a sewing room are:

Ambient Lighting, also known as General Lighting, provides overall illumination.  This type of lighting is created by using recessed lighting in the ceiling, table lamps, chandeliers, track lights, and other ceiling fixtures.  Ambient lighting radiates an even amount of light in the room.  If you are using fluorescent bulbs in your overhead lighting, check out the “sunlight” replacement bulbs to give a more natural light.

Task Lighting directs light just where you need it.  Desk lamps, ceiling pendant fixtures and track lighting are considered task lighting fixtures.  Task lighting performs a specific activity.  Consider an Ott Light in your sewing room for true color.

BONUS INGREDIENTS

DESIGN WALLS AND INSPIRATION BOARDS

anthropologie

Design Wall

A Design Wall is a wall in your sewing room or work area with a felt, flannel, or similar fabric to which your quilt pieces will stick.  Sometimes this will be permanent; other times it consists of this fabric tacked to the wall.

You can easily make a wall to plan your next quilt or garment.  Here’s some great ideas:

The World Wide Quilting

Quiltmaker’s Building a Design Wall

Get Creative’s Make Your Own Design Wall

Jan Myer’s How to Create a Quilting Design Wall

Linda P. of Moonlight Quilters’ Portable Design Wall Instructions

If you don’t want to make your own, you could just buy one:

Block Butler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cheryl Ann’s Portable Design Wall

Inspiration Boards

ideaboard1

You can also make an Inspiration Board (aka Idea Board) like mine above.  Simple use some spray adhesive to attach fabric to a cord board and use some decorative trim to cover the fabric’s raw edges.  Here’s some other tutorials:

Not Nigella

iHanna

Charity Grace

Fresh and Vintage

Martha Stewart’s Framed Bulletin Board

Martha Stewart’s Homasote Bulletin Board

Make an Inspiration Board from Associated Content

Inspiration Boards on Flickr

DRESSFORMS AND MANNEQUINS

divaisin

Consider adding a dressform or mannequin to your sewing room.  Not only can you use it to size garments, but it can be a decorative element for you to display your unique trims and lace.

Dressforms are available in canvas, wire, wicker and even paper mache.

victorianmannequin

Wicker Dressform

wiremannequin

Wire Mannequin

Make Your Own Dressform

THE LITTLE THINGS

aprilpin

It’s the little things that make your sewing space your own.  Don’t be afraid to re-purpose household items and antiques to decorate your sewing room.

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Bowls, baskets and other containers make great organizers and add your personal touch to your room.

sewingroomsigns

Have fun with wall art, paintings and other items to hang on your walls.  You could even use decoupage letters to spell SEW or CREATE.  What about a huge pair of scissors?  Check out these neat sewing room silhouettes.  Or what about a vinyl zipper, a humorous saying, or some vinyl dressforms?

vintagesewingbox

Be sure to shop flea markets for vintage items to complete your sewing room.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

BOOKS

quiltingspace

Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space

quiltspaceplanner

Perfect Quilting Space Planner

dreamsewingspaces

Dream Sewing Spaces

yourcraftspace

Organizing Your Craft Space

wherewomencreate

Where Women Create

creativeperson

Organizing for the Creative Person

scrapbookspace

Organize Your Scrapbook Workspace

organizedinspiredscrapbooker

The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker

organizationtipsforscrapbookers

Organization Tips for Scrapbookers

homeworkspaceideabook

Home Workspace Idea Book

Homestorageideabook

Home Storage Idea Book

cabinetshelves

Cabinets, Shelves and Home Storage Solutions

REAL SEWING ROOMS

A List of Over 100 Links of Sewing Rooms

Sewing.org’s Behind the Seams Sewing Rooms

Pictures of Sewing and Quilting Rooms

Now get moving!  Although it’s a work in progress, you can create the sewing room of your dreams!

lisasiggie2 

Comments

  1. Wonderful! I love all the pictures, and the links will give me hours of pleasure!

  2. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! I had just been re-visiting your organization challenge series I, the past few days, to get my room in order. So this series is especially helpful to me right now as it’s all fresh in my mind and a work in progress. thanks so much for all the links and info and especially the room planning software. I am off to get started!!

  3. Holy Smokes! What a wealth of information Lisa – you are amazing!!!

  4. Thanks for this post full of great links!
    I’m one of those frustrated one, that has to drag her sewing machine out. Then to get to my fabric and supplies, I have to climb a pull down attic ladder. (I live in a very small house)
    But my husband is fixing a room above our garage for me, so I’m planning, planning and excited about it. This post will really help.

    PS. Just wanted to let you know we are thinking of your daughter.
    ~Big Hugs~

  5. WOW!! Great post!!!
    Very comprehensive well thought out description, images and links to resources. Thanks

  6. Wow, this is alot of information, links and pictures. You are amazing! Can’t wait to hear more about your clothes line and the bbq this weekend! Have fun and take lots of pics so we can enjoy through the web.

  7. WHEW!!! You have given us so much good information and wonderful options. I’m going to have to take my time and assess it all. It was kinda fun to see some my own personal pieces in your line up.

    I hope your princess is doing well.

    Thanks Lisa.

  8. Lisa, I’m glad to see you repost this. My sewing room is usually an ongoing tragedy, but I FINALLY got it finished. The before and afters are on my blog!!

    Cheers
    Chey

  9. WOW, Lisa. You’ve truly outdone yourself. What a great post! Must’ve taken months or years of research. Thanks for sharing!!! :)

  10. My favorite post of the day! And, let me tell you, I’ve been reading blogs like crazy this morning.

  11. Glad everyone enjoyed this part of my Sewing Room Organization Challenge.

    Yes, it took months to compile all the info, but I enjoyed the process trying not to leave anything out.

    Have a great day!

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  12. Wow, quite a website. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas. I had to find space for my new Diamond. Great investment. You gave me some good ideas for my sewing room.

    Thanks for all your research. I can tell you spent a lot of time pondering and research.

    Thanks
    Cathy

  13. Absolutely love the Sauder Ultimate craft armoire! Where can it be purchased and what is the price range?

  14. WOW!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very very very Great post!!!
    Very comprehensive well thought out description, images and links to resources. Thank you Thank you Thank you

  15. I enjoyed looking at and reading everything you’ve so thoughtfully provided. Your sense of humor, talent, personality, and style are a true inspiration to me. Now, I have to get to work on my mess. Maybe I’ll show a few before & after…

  16. I want the Ultimate Crafters Armoire! Where can I buy it?

  17. Hi Lupie! I’ve updated the link for the Ultimate Crafter’s Amoire…aka The Work Box:
    http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/

  18. What a wealth of information Lisa – you are amazing!!!

  19. Awww…thanks! Happy to hear you find the info useful!
    With friendship,
    Lisa

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