If you sew, sooner or later you'll discover that space is your best friend -- and the more space you have the more likely you are to fill it up with supplies. A sewer's life is one big tussle between collecting lots of goodies and inventing enough efficient and useful places to keep them all -- while still maintaining enough elbow room to work. It can be a real life example of having an embarrassment of riches.
Devoting a bedroom to the art and craft of sewing, whether you're a dressmaker, home décor guru, doll enthusiast or quilter (or all of the above), can seem like an inspired solution to cramming your supplies under the bed. Unless the bedroom you have in mind is large, space can become a problem fast, even in your new digs. To help keep bloat under control, two of the biggest tasks in a bedroom-to-sewing-room conversion are organization and storage. These tips will help:
- Go vertical - Floor space in a sewing room can be a valuable commodity, even if you aren't trying to keep a futon, daybed or other emergency guest sleeping solution in the room. Your cutting table, sewing table and ironing station will all take up quite a bit of real estate, too -- this before you've even started dealing with storage. One of the best ways to make use of the space is to install wall shelves or even built-in cabinets. You'll be able to use the perimeter of the room for storage, up to the ceiling if you want, and still have prime space for your workstations. Cabinets can get pricey, but there are lots of wall mounted shelving solutions that are modular and easy to install. You can even keep adding additional components as you need or can afford them.
- Make the best use of the space - Don't be shy about using every bit of space you can, either. This includes putting a shelf in the space over the window (just tack a valance on the edge and call it a window treatment), and using corner storage units (check out kitchen and office accessories for some neat and inexpensive corner storage options). You can also put shallow shelves or an over-the-door pocket organizer on the interior of the entry door to make use of those few inches between the open door and the wall. Eventually, you'll appreciate every inch.
- Keep things you use often in plain view - Your sewing room wish list may include lots of wood cabinets to give the space a finished look, but consider clear plastic for some of your storage pieces. Organizing thread, buttons, zippers, ribbons, yarns and fabric into colors or other categories makes good sense, and keeping it all in view will help you distinguish silks from flannels at a glance.
- Keep things handy - You should also have a special location for current or upcoming projects, like a file cabinet or chest of drawers, as well as general storage areas for your other supplies. That way you'll be less likely to use an item by mistake that you'd originally intended for another project. Why not keep current project supplies in drawer organizers under your cutting table? You'll make use of the vacant space under the table while keeping your materials close to where the action is.
- Make storage easy to use - Storing boxes on top of one another is just asking for trouble. There's the obvious potential to hurt yourself lifting and toting, but you may also be tempted to leave things lying around if putting them away is a hassle. Design your sewing room shelf spacing to accommodate your supplies without stacking. Employ more shelves with less space between them, and use drawers and pull out shelves to make getting at supplies easier. Since sewing makes use of lots of smaller items and tools, consider using a DVD storage drawer unit, jewelry cabinet, printer's cabinet (where they used to keep the little printing press letters) or library reference cabinet to keep small accessories in order.
Now that you have some elbow room and know where everything is, you can finish a few of your works in progress -- and start planning your next big project. Hey, your increased productivity may even justify buying some new equipment. Now wouldn't that be nice.