Set Up Your Sewing Room or Sewing Space

It is really useful to have a sewing room or a sewing space of your own. While we can't all have the dream spaces you see in sewing or quilting magazines, a place where you can set up your sewing machine and pressing equipment will give you a good place to work. Not only that, but you can leave your unfinished work out, ready for your next sewing session. It’s also handy to have somewhere to store your tools and supplies, such as small tools, thread, fabric, and patterns.

If you can't manage a permanent sewing space, you'll have to work with what you have.

When I lived in an apartment, there was no room for a permanent set up--I had to sew on the dining room table. We had a large cupboard in the room and a set of drawers I could use to store my stuff when I wasn't sewing. Otherwise, I spread out everything on the dining room table.

A Tedious Arrangement

What a nuisance it was, to have to fold everything up and stow it away for meal times! I spent an awful lot of time just getting out my equipment, setting it up, and then putting it away when the table was needed--which was every meal, since that was our only table! 

I was so glad to get some more space when we moved to a house. I had the corner of an attic room, which at least allowed me to leave my sewing machine out and whatever I was working on. It wasn’t ideal… there wasn’t that much storage space and not much room for shelves since the attic had “knee walls” — those type of walls you see in attics where the ceiling is slanted and starts only about two feet up the wall, then slants up to a peak. I managed to find a “flatish” place along one wall to set up my sewing machine. 

Now I’ve got a lot more room in a finished basement, but storage is still a “work in progress”. Oh, well, nothing is ever perfect. 

A friend of mine had her sewing space behind the furnace in the basement. It was tiny and pretty dark, but it was all hers and no one disturbed her down there. Still she managed to turn out some beautiful costumes for her stage act down in that dark hole! 

See if you can find some place to sew up your sewing work area. And you can always add to it later, as you learn more what you need to have.

My Sewing RoomAn example of a good sewing space in a small area

An Efficient Sewing Room

When you set up your sewing room, be sure you arrange your equipment where you can reach everything you need easily. See this picture above for an example. The sewing machine is set up on a sewing desk — you can get some very nice sewing desks if you can afford them. But you can use any surface as long as it is sturdy and won’t shake around as you sew. A sturdy table may be just the thing, especially as a large one will give you more room to work.

In the picture, an ironing board is set up to the left and a serger to the right. Naturally, you can arrange these things the way they work best in your space. Just be sure you aren’t constantly having to get up and walk across the room or deal some other awkward set up. It will get tedious fast! If you have more than one sewing machine, you will have to have a sewing surface for each machine. Again, how you set up will depend on your particular space and what is available to you. 

I often cut out my doll clothes on the kitchen counter. I have a large island, which gives me a lot of room to work with, even for human-sized clothes. But a folding table or the surface over storage shelves or drawers will work just as well. You don’t actually need a lot of space to cut out doll clothes. This is where it’s handy to browse those idea books on sewing rooms. 

Just don’t get hung up on having the perfect sewing space! Actually, you can pretty much sew anywhere if you have to. 

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