How to Design a Sewing Room

sewing machine
Designate your space and spread out!
Polka Dot/Thinkstock

For anyone who sews, the possibility of having an entire room dedicated to your craft is a dream come true. Without room for proper organization, sewing rooms can turn into a mess -- quickly. There are lots of little parts, like thread bobbins and needles and pins, and then, of course, all of the waiting projects and their pieces. Trying to cram everything into the corner of a room or a closet can create a cluttered area that makes you want to avoid going anywhere near your beloved sewing machine.

Now you have the opportunity to create an area where there's actually a place for everything, which is very exciting. You'll definitely want to look at lots of photos of existing sewing rooms and pull out ideas that you can incorporate into your room. But remember that at the end of the day, you want to design a room that truly supports your needs and the work that you do. If you're a quilter, your needs will be much different from a garment seamstress. So, grab a cup of tea and read on for lots of ideas for designing the sewing room of your dreams.


Sewing Room Ideas

organized sewing shelf
Organization will make your sewing life so much easier.
Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock

Sewing is a creative pursuit, and the sky is the limit when it comes to designing a room that brings out your creativity. One of the biggest challenges is configuring your storage, especially all of the ancillary tools and supplies. When brainstorming ideas, it's good to have a list of everything that needs a place.

Every sewer has a stash of fabric, probably a pretty large one, waiting in the wings for an inspired project. A wall of cubbies or a chest of drawers is a great way to store folded fabrics that are organized in a way that makes sense to you -- by designer, by color, by fabric type or by project.


Clear glass jars arranged on a hanging shelf are a perfect solution to store buttons, extra thread, ribbon and elastic, keeping them handy and visible. Pegboard is a great place to organize and hang tools that need to be accessed regularly, and the empty spaces ensure that they get put back when not in use so you don't have to go on a scavenger hunt next time you need it. To dress up the pegboard, paint it in a complementary color to the wall, and frame it like a piece of art.

And don't forget your sewing books and magazines that need homes, too, so be sure to add plenty of shelving to accommodate. It might not be a bad idea to pick a time of year to weed out publications that are no longer relative to your work.


Sewing Room Décor

If you do choose white walls, leave your thread and fabric visible for punches of color.

Your room doesn't need to just be a utilitarian workspace that holds all of your stuff. You'll want to decorate it in a way that keeps you and your work fresh and inspired. White walls are for museums, so pick a paint color you love that also accents the room's features. Blues and greens are cool colors, which could be a good choice if you want to inspire some calm during your sewing hours. They also make the walls appear to recede, which is helpful in small rooms. Reds, oranges and yellows are warm colors that can make a larger room feel cozy and comfy.

You can always decorate with art that you like, but sewing supplies often lend enough color and texture to a room that you may not even have to bring in extra decorations. If you have a colorful collection of fabrics that you love, don't tuck them away behind closed doors; store them on open shelves so they become part of the décor.


Decorate the room with your sewing creations by sewing slipcovers for chairs, valances or drapes for the windows and cushions for benches. Dress forms and mannequins are good sewing décor, even if you don't sew clothes.

Carpet may be preferred from a comfort factor, but remember that you're going to have tons of little scraps of fabric and snips of thread to clean up on a regular basis, so it may be easier to use a broom and dustpan on bare wood floors than to drag out the vacuum.


Setting Up a Sewing Room

sewing machine
Putting the machine in front of a window will give you amazing natural light.
Polka Dot/Thinkstock

Coming up with a room organization scheme can be a little stressful, because this is your opportunity to put your ideal workflow into action. Every sewing room has at least one sewing machine, natch, so first up is your sewing station. The number of machines you have plus the shape of your room may dictate how to set them up. U-shape is ideal, but if the room is long and narrow, a long straight line or an L-shape may be the best way to go.

Close by, you'll also need your cutting table and pressing area. Ideally, your cutting table should be a sizeable table at counter height that can accommodate the full width of fabric that you usually use, but your pressing station can be as simple as an ironing board.


Storage, storage and more storage will probably take up every extra bit of wall space. Drawers, cubbies, shelving -- whatever you need to put everything in its right place. And don't forget to leave space for an inspiration board, or even a design wall if you have room.

Don't skimp on lighting. Natural light is great if your room has a lot of windows, but you'll also need a good overhead lighting source and plenty of task lights at each work station. Last but not least, be sure to invest in a comfortable chair, since you'll hopefully be spending many hours a day in your new favorite room.


Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • "Designing a Sewing Center.", August, 2001.
  • "Sewing Room Organization Challenge - Part VII - Sewing Room Design.", 2010.
  • "Sorting Out the Sewing Room.", 2010.