Organizing My Sewing Room

In honor of National Hobby Month, I have decided to focus on my hobby of sewing(yup, just this one!) I am going to spend the month of January organizing my sewing space. My current sewing/creative space is being set up in our basement. The house is older & the basement is damp during the summer, dry & dusty during the winter (we heat with coal), so my choices for storage reflect that. We will be installing doors to the room SOON, keeping the dust out is a major priority.

Sew, I spent some time down in the sewing room last night to asses the situation. Boy do I need some organizing & decluttering! I know you can’t organize clutter, I just need to sort out as I straighten! SO lets start in with what I have…

I have a good foundation already started. I inherited some kitchen cupboards & counter tops. I love the height of them. It makes cutting on my board comfortable, since I’m not always hunched over a lower table. I have plenty of drawers & cupboards to stash stuff in. As soon as my husband finishes running me an outlet, he says they’ll be level & I can actually use them!!!

I also was able to pick up a large rectangular table I use for my machines from our local high school at the end of the school year, I just had to get permission to take it. I also picked up a couple of old wood desks, a corner table, 2 large round cafeteria tables & an old printer table. Hey I was there!!! The wood desks have our kids desktop on it with the family printer, one of the round tables is a play table in our sons room, the corner table is in our daughters “kitchen”, the printer table has the table saw mounted to it in the workshop. So this is a great resource if you aren’t going for style!

My room layout is working for me, we had a wall of built in shelves thanks to a previous owner so I can put my stored items on those. They aren’t perfection but they will hold my plastic totes comfortably. I love clear plastic storage totes for storing large cuts of fabric. Since, working in a fabric store, I have always been told to buy 3 yards of a fabric you love, therefore, I have a lot of large cuts of fabric. I have found that the smaller 50 quart ones are better than the larger 70 quart ones only because I don’t want them to be so heavy I can’t get them off the shelf! You can use the larger ones for batting!!! In a previous house I had a bedroom as my sewing room, I used the closet & hangers to store larger cuts of fabric. So, working with what you have is the best tip I can give! I also have smaller cuts (1 yard-ers) rolled up & stuck in the pouches of a shoe bag (the horizontal style) I need to put these in a tote too, I don’t have anywhere to hang them, so now maybe I can hang shoes in it…hmmmm.

My elastic, zippers, trims & ribbons are in a 3 drawer storage unit. The drawers are clear so I don’t have to remember which is zippers, I can see it is zippers. This unit came with casters, however I have it sitting on the counter top for easier access & I have a lot of counter space (wish I had this much in my kitchen…)

My thread is mostly organized, at least the spools. I have a clear box that has 2 sides (looks like it would hold hot wheel cars or maybe fishing tackle). The cones are another issue. I am considering a rack (wood dowel like thing). I have my pre-threaded bobbins stored in a Bobbin Saver (TM ). I tried using a bobbin box, but the first time I knocked it off the table I decided to look for a better option!

My Buttons are in a small tackle box, I think I bought at a yard sale…I can’t remember I’ve had it a while. It has movable dividers so I can customize it however I want. I have it sorted by color at the moment.

My current projects are in stackable plastic baskets (I got then at a local dollar store, but they are gone now, maybe the new dollar store will have them…) I only have 3 & I’d like to have more. I go through periods where I just want to do my cutting all at once, but then I have no where to stick things separately.

I have oodles of fat quarters, fabric yardage, & usable scraps that still need homes. I like plastic shoe boxes to store like items in. I started sorting the fabric pieces by fabric type (Halloween, Christmas, Red, Green, Kids, etc.) I have one flat under bed clear storage container, but only 1! I’d like to keep my on going projects in there (since I am in the basement.) I have a couple of larger projects in the new XXL zip lock bags (the t-shirt quilt that just needs the backing, the scratchy blanket that I am binding), I also have some of my usable scraps in one of these.

I love storing my patterns in a file cabinet. I have file folders labeled with the pattern number, maker (KW2222 for a Kwik Sew, S9999 for a Simplicity, etc), what it is (robe, PJ’s, dress) & size (2t-4t, 4-8, 16-20 etc). My problem now is that the file cabinet in my sewing room is legal sized, so I need new racks & file folders (my old file cabinet is staying in the office where my sewing stuff was). I just read a suggestion of using manila envelopes for the pieces, I like this idea as well, especially for patterns with small pieces. It is really a pain when you have to go back & search for the collar interfacing tissue pattern piece…been there done that!

I made myself a portable sewing notion carrier out of an old place mat & some zip lock bags. All of my markers, seam rippers, chalk, hand needles, extra machine needles, tape measure, hem ruler, etc are in there.

My new sewing room has a peg board wall (only part of a wall now, we will add more later) I have my rulers, scissors, rotary cutters, hot glue guns all on there. The hot glue gun & sticks are in a ventilated plastic basket (dollar store item) so I just slipped 2 peg board holders through the holes in the basket. I also have my hoops hanging up here & at the moment my clock!

I still need solutions for the craft “stuff” I have so many odds & ends that they are just dumped in a file drawer right now, not sure how I’ll get that cleaned up! The kiddos & I craft at least once a month, more so around holidays, so I spend the year collecting things to craft with. Right now we like using the CD-Roms that come in the junk mail. We have made hanging fish & Christmas ornaments with them lately. I am thinking of acquiring another set of clear drawers for this stuff. Then I can have my file cabinet back for my patterns!

I have a great start, I just need to get the big stuff taken care of (guess I started too small!!!). Sew, I am off to go spend 15 minutes folding my larger fabric cuts for storage!

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