sewing machine, fabric, and threads

How to Turn Your Spare Room into Your Very Own Sewing Studio

Sewing studios are no longer relegated to dark, dingy attics or cramped basements; they can be beautiful, functional spaces where you can do your thing in peace and quiet. All it takes is a spare room (or space within a room), a well-thought-out plan, as well as a lot of time and effort to create a sewing studio.

Make Sure to Take Measurements of Your Space

The first step is to take measurements of your space. Write them down, and figure out how much workable floor space you have. Also, measure the ceiling height. If it’s less than nine feet high, you’ll need to use an adjustable sewing machine table so that you can comfortably sit at your machine or serger while standing.

Measure the largest piece of furniture that you’ll want to put in the room so that you know how much free space you need around it. This way, you can leave enough space to walk around the furniture, and so you have room for storage. Also, measure any doorways or hallways that will adjoin your sewing studio.

Invest in a Sewing Machine and Other Equipment

Once your measurements are taken, you can decide on a sewing machine and other equipment. For example, if the largest piece of furniture in your space is a bookcase, look for a sewing machine with a low-arm or “drop-in” bobbin so that it won’t hit your built-in unit.

If you want to use your machine and serger at the same time, choose a sewing machine with a free arm so that you can slip your garment around it and work on hard-to-reach areas. Plus, you need plenty of table space for your sewing machine and ironing board, an adjustable cutting surface, and a large drawer or storage cabinet for supplies.

Organize Your Supplies into Different Stackable Bins

One of the keys to creating an excellent sewing studio is organization. Stacks of fabric, bins of threads and zippers, and bolts of lining—all these can swallow up precious floor space if you’re not careful. To keep your work area clean and clutter-free, buy stackable bins to keep your supplies neat.

You can also mix and match storage furniture to create a more customized look, such as using antique wire spice racks for your spools of thread instead of buying the plastic containers that are available on the market. Just make sure that your dowels or racks fit inside your storage cabinets or stack on top of one another.

Store Your Fabric Vertically, Not Horizontally

Flat files are a great way to store your fabric. They free up floor space, so you have more room for sewing, and they protect your fabrics from fading in direct sunlight. You can buy commercially available flat-file cabinets or make your own.

If you’re handy with tools, try making one out of plywood that’s about three inches deep and has a bottom shelf. However, if you’re short on floor space, invest in a vertical plastic file system; this will allow you to store large quantities of fabric without causing damage to the selvage edges.

Install Drawers Under Your Sewing Machine Table

If you don’t have room for a small filing cabinet, you could always use deep drawers on your sewing machine table to store your supplies. They’re easy to install, and they keep your materials handy while freeing up floor space. Plus, you can assemble the drawers in advance so that when you bring them into the sewing studio, everything is set in place.

The drawers can also be the perfect place to store your couture patterns by Vogue and other templates that you often use for sewing. This way, they’re always accessible, and you won’t have to worry about damaging or misplacing them.

Hang Shelving Units Around the Room for Storage

If you’ve got an extensive collection of patterns, fabric, and sewing books, consider hanging shelves around the perimeter of your room. Shelving units are great for displaying all your sewing collectibles as well as keeping them organized.

You can hang ready-made shelving systems on the wall or buy freestanding cubes that you can customize to your liking. Just make sure that the shelves are at a good working height and put together so that they don’t obstruct any doors or windows.

Sewing can be therapeutic in more ways than one. It provides a way to express your creativity and allows you to tap into your brain’s cognitive functions and natural tendencies that are proven to produce positive results when it comes to achieving success.

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