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How to Organize Your Sewing Room and Patterns

A messy space can freeze your creativity!
A messy space can freeze your creativity!
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Having a dedicated room for your sewing projects is at the top of every seamstress's wish list. If you've ever had a situation where your sewing machine is in one room and your supplies are stashed in different places throughout your house, then you fully realize the value of having a room where you have a place for everything you need and that doesn't mandate having to clean up at the end of every sewing session. Your beautiful fabric collection becomes décor in its own right when neatly folded and organized on open shelving. All of your buttons and bobbins and sewing whatnots get efficiently labeled, which means no more wasted time searching for a piece that you're looking for. And of course, there's the matter of getting your patterns organized in good working order.

The best way to start organizing your patterns is by going through all of them and choosing categories for storage that make sense for you. If you have different types of projects that you have patterns for, then that's a good place to start sorting. For example, crafts are in a different category from home décor and clothing. If you have a lot in each category, then you can create additional subcategories. For instance, infants and toddlers sizes would be separated from teens and adults. You can also sort by style, which would mean separating out pants and shirts from skirts and dresses. Just be careful not to create so many categories that it makes it harder to locate what you need. Now is also the time to get rid of any patterns that are no longer useful. Meaning it's time to purge the ones with missing pieces or the projects that no longer catch your eye.

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Patterns can tear easily, so take care of them for future projects.
Patterns can tear easily, so take care of them for future projects.
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There are so many clever ways to organize supplies, but you'll want to choose what best accommodates your workflow. If your sewing machine setup is in the middle of the room, having a craft cart on casters that can wheel around to different work stations is a great way to store all of the small bits. Use mason jars -- inexpensively purchased at your local grocery store -- to sort and organize items like buttons, ribbon and rickrack. These clear glass jars allow you to see everything at a glance, plus who doesn't love looking at shelves full of color and texture? Add a permanent shelf on top of the cart for extra workspace.

Pegboard is an inexpensive way to keep everything in view and easily accessible, while creating a super-cute aesthetic. Paint the board to match your décor and then fill it up with sewing tools like scissors and rotary cutters. You can also use it to hang things like thread and ribbon for easy access. If you don't wish to store your fabric out in the open, shoeboxes are great for stashing your collection of scraps and trims, while larger boxes can hold your larger pieces of fabrics. Snip a little piece off and attach it to the front so you know what's inside. Clearly labeled plastic or wire bins are great places for storing patterns. You can also use clear plastic sleeves that you buy at an office supply store and organize them in clearly labeled binders. Any small systems that are efficient to store and that you can pull out and take with you to a workstation will always make for a smart organizing choice.

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Sources

  • "Organize Your Sewing Room." Allpeoplequilt.com. Feb. 19, 2012. http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/projects-ideas/decorating/organize-your-sewing-room_ss1.html
  • "Storage Solutions." Allpeoplequilt.com. Feb. 19, 2012. http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/techniques/basics/storage-solutions_ss1.html

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