A PLACE TO CREATE
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.
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.
Sewing Room Color Ideas
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:
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:
OMG…is this the ULTIMATE Craft Armoire:
Adjustable Height Folding Table adjusts from 22″ to 32″
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.
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:
Adjustable bed risers which raise the cutting table 3.2 to 5.2 inches more or
Kathy of Pink Chalk Studio used PVC pipes to raise her folding table from 28 inches to 36 inches…how clever!
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:
Here’s a bunch of iron board cover tutorials:
For lots of ideas on how to organize and store your supplies, check out:
- Fabric Organization
- Thread Storage
- Needles, Pins and Stabilizer Storage
- Laces, Trims and Ribbons Organization
- Patterns, Magazines and Books
- Other Notions Storage
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.
Don’t skimp when it comes to your sewing room chair. Your back will thank you!
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.
DESIGN WALLS AND INSPIRATION BOARDS
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:
If you don’t want to make your own, you could just buy one:
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:
DRESSFORMS AND MANNEQUINS
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.
THE LITTLE THINGS
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.
Bowls, baskets and other containers make great organizers and add your personal touch to your room.
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?
Be sure to shop flea markets for vintage items to complete your sewing room. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
REAL SEWING ROOMS
Now get moving! Although it’s a work in progress, you can create the sewing room of your dreams!