Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sewing Space Complete!

Like many people, I don't have a sewing room.  I live in a small space shared with 2 cats and DH so I take what I can get.  DH was kind enough to surrender most of one closet to me but he drew the line at dresser drawers.  I claimed one drawer anyway.  He's been griping for 2 weeks about that and the fact that my sewing space looked like a bomb went off.  I spent most of New Year's day cleaning out my sewing space and reorganizing the closet to accommodate sewing and general storage.  I'm exhausted and my back is killing me but I almost wanted to sleep in my new sewing space last night.  Almost....


Desk before


Closet before

Yes, folks.  That is a litter box in the sewing/storage closet, which is why I didn't sleep in my newly cleaned sewing space.  The litter box is a fight I'm never going to win so I compromised by storing ALL my sewing stuff in plastic.  DH is happy to be able to actually walk into the closet and he got his dresser drawer back.  The cats are happy that the crapper, sorry...litter box, is still in place.  And I'm happy to be able to see what I have and stop buying duplicates of everything.

Kinda cleaned off.  My UFOs wouldn't fit into my storage space so they are still sitting on the desk but at least there is room for my Singer CG-590 when it returns.  I had under desk storage before but everything was haphazardly thrown into drawers.  Plus I didn't have enough storage so I added 2 more plastic drawer sets.

Desk after

Most of the stuff under the left-hand side of the sewing table is DH's storage.  If I could only figure out how to make that go away without him noticing....

This is where I keep all the tools I most use, plus some notions.  I also found a place to store all my straight & curved rulers (sitting below the desk, on top of the plastic drawers).  Part of my sewing smarter resolution: organize so things can be found quickly.

Desk organizer

Pens, seam rippers, scissors, pin magnet, sewing machine repair, and presser feet
(I first used the toothbrush to clean my wedding dress.  Now I use it for cleaning my sewing machine.)

Drawer cutting & machine supplies

marking & pinning supplies, hand & machine sewing needles, fusing and gluing supplies
I use paper first aid tape (the Nexcare roll) for taping tissue pattern pieces together.  It doesn't melt under the iron, it's sturdy, and I can write on it easily.

Drawer marking & pins

Thread--I'll have to go back and sort by colors.

Drawer thread

Tons of zippers, my supply of organza selvedges, and pattern weights (these wouldn't fit with the rest of my pinning supplies)
I use organza selvedges for stay tape and stabilizing small/narrow places.

Drawer zippers  organza & weights

Buttons and other non-zipper closures
This will need another hour of organizing--buttons by color. 

Drawer buttons

After downloading my pictures, I realized none of the before pictures can show how truly trashed the closet was.  You don't even see the mess on the shelves, the huge stash of luggage and fitness equipment in the back, or the disorganization stuffed into my hanging shelves.  Trust me, it was scary.

Closet after

The cat litter box is still there but now we can get around it. The most used pieces of luggage are stacked on the left where we can get to it quickly but all the other pieces are stacked on the shelf at the back. All the coats, gloves, hats, and scarfs were moved to another closet after we donated all the stuff we don't use. All the fitness equipment was moved to our master bedroom walk-in closet. I wish THAT closet was my sewing storage. It's HUGE! The remaining boxes and general supplies were better organized so we know what we have.

Closet after 1

I purchased a third hanging shelves unit but I could really use a space left. I positioned the 3 hanging shelves and my stacked drawers as best I could so I could still open them.

Closet after no litter box

In the back left corner is my tucked away drawer organizers and rolling cart. The fabrics were organized by type (wools, shirtings, knits, etc.) and projects in progress.

Closet corner after

I used to hang my half-completed garments up in the bathroom on the shower curtain rod and on any available doorknob. In the dress garment bag, at least they are all in one place and protected from the cat litter dust. The rolling cart contains most of my interfacings and can be pulled out easily so I can access the bottom drawers in the corner.

Organizer bottom

The bottom drawers only contain patterns.

Organizer top

The top drawers contain more patterns and then random notions (seam tapes, shoulder pads, ribbons, velcro, elastic, etc.) are in the topmost drawers. The smaller drawer organizers used to be where I kept marking and pinning supplies. I'm going to use each drawer to hold all the assembled notions and threads for a particular project. I also found a ton of papers on my sewing table (sewing machine manual, fabric order packing slips, instructions for various tools). The binder will keep them all neatly organized.

It's not perfect but I don't stress out just looking at my sewing space anymore.  I discovered I have TONS of zippers, buttons and threads.  There is no earthly reason for these to be here unless they are going to be used for a particular project.  Now I can shop my stash first.

Palmer & Pletsch has a sewing room book out and a new edition coming in the spring.  It has great reviews but I don't know that I want to invest in it just yet.  How is your sewing space organized?  Do you like it?  What would you do differently?


  1. WOW, how super organized. I know how much work you put into. I'm in the process of reorganizing too. I just made room to put my cutting table back in the sewing room. It had migrated into the living room. Where did you get those hanging bags from in the closet?

  2. I got the hanging "sweater" bags at Bed Bath & Beyond. That was the only store where I could find the clear bags with a zippered front. BBB also takes expired store coupons so I used a $5 off $15+ purchase to save a little money on each. I WISH my pressing and cutting stations were in my sewing space. I cut in the dining room and press in the living room.

  3. I'm really impressed with your organizational skills - you've got a lot of stuff packed into your sewing space! It looks like you've made a really great start to 2010.


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