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Making Room for a Sewing Studio
Any hobby demands some working space or storage for materials, but some are more demanding than others. Sewing is one of the more demanding ones. The sewing machine is quite large, you need space for your sewing thread and notions, plus space for pattern layout and fabric cutting, and there are untold numbers of small accessories.
Having a dedicated space to work in makes it easier to keep all the necessary equipment together. And saves loads of time when you can just get on with sewing without having to unpack and set up every time.
Make the Space You Have Work Harder
If you have an entire spare room you can turn into a sewing studio, that’s the absolute best you could hope for. Not all of us do, though. If the best you can manage is carving out a section in a room you normally use for other activities, that can work too with a bit of ingenuity.
So start by looking closely at your existing rooms. A couple of examples where you might be able to claim some space include a bedroom currently used as a guest room, or a dining room where you have a large dining table you don’t use every day.
If you need to clear out some furniture but don’t want to get rid of it, consider self storage. (There’s plenty of self storage in Leeds, my home area, and across the rest of the country). Instead of a large dining table, you could invest in a smaller drop leaf version, putting the bigger one into storage for when it’s needed. With the drop leaf, you can extend it for laying out patterns but keep it tucked against the wall at other times, which also clears space for a sewing table for your machine.
You could also make a sewing corner in a bedroom or living room. Much as you might install a small workstation for a family computer, there’s nothing to stop you choosing a handy corner and popping in a sewing table. As long as your surface is big enough to hold a sewing machine, any sturdy table will do the job.
Finding the best place in the house is the hardest task in some ways. Once you have it, you can figure out how to make it work.
Put Your Designer Hat On
Having chosen a space, the next step is to work out the best way to use it. You may have a picture in your mind for what your ideal sewing studio will look like. If you make a rough physical sketch, ideas become more concrete. You can make sure you don’t forget something – like not having a handy plug to power the sewing machine.
Making physical sketches can also help if you’re unsure whether an area will work. Make it roughly to scale and you can more easily decide if tables and chairs will fit without getting in the way. A sketch will also help you note important elements. Such as having natural light for close work, or the best type of suitable alternative lighting depending on space.
You can also work out where you’ll put organisational storage for sewing supplies and equipment.
Get the Most Out of Storage
You’ll need plenty of storage for sewing supplies. For large fabric stashes, you could consider for your overflow rather than trying to squeeze everything into cupboards at home. For everyday items, a storage system close to your working area is handy:
- Use the walls. Put up shelves close to your sewing machine to hold cotton reels, patterns, tools, elastics or ribbons. Having things up high keeps them out of reach of little fingers if you have children. And when everything is neatly stored you can instantly see where things are and when supplies are running low.
- Pegboards are easy to install on the wall behind your work area and provide alternative storage for tools. Add hooks to hang scissors from, and small shelves or pots for bodkins, empty bobbins, or any other small accessories that are easily lost.
- If your sewing studio ends up being a corner in the living room, consider using a bookcase as a kind of barrier. If you turn it out from the wall instead of standing it against the wall as we usually do, it makes a handy room divider without taking up much space. Use the shelves for pattern storage or inspiration and instruction books. Or line them with attractive, labelled storage containers.
A sewing studio sounds a bit fancy, but broken down it’s just a dedicated space where you can get on with sewing without having to do a lot of setting up before you can start. With a busy lifestyle, you might only have an hour to indulge in your favourite pastime. When you have a dedicated space, you can use every minute for sewing, not waste half your time setting up and packing away.
*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post – for more details see my Disclosure Page