What Do I Need In My Sewing Room?


A lot of sewing enthusiasts dream of having fully kitted sewing rooms. If you have been planning to get your very own sewing room, this article will cover everything you need to have in it to make your work more efficient than ever before.

Your sewing room should enable you to get the most out of your sewing. You’ll need a detailed floor plan, proper storage for your sewing equipment, and a comfortable working space.

Having your own space for sewing is very convenient. Here is a list of everything you need to get for your sewing room, including essential tools and materials that you should purchase. 

1. Floor plan

Before setting up your sewing room, it is important to come up with a proper floor plan first. You can come up with a floor plan for an entire room or a section of the room.  You can adjust the floor plan of your sewing room to meet your sewing needs.

If you are designing the room from scratch, you could include extra electrical outlets in the floor plan. This is because you may have to plug in several equipment in the sewing room.

You should also design the room to be safe especially if you have small children. All the sewing implements that may be dangerous when handled by children should be kept out of their reach.  

2. Ambient lighting

Lighting is a very important aspect to be considered in a sewing room. Diffused natural light is the best for crafting and sewing. It is comfortable on your eyes and has little effect on the fabric. Strong and intense sunlight, however, can be very problematic. Intense sunlight is not only too hard on your eyes but it also damages fabrics and bleaches the colors. Light that is too dim, on the other hand, makes it hard for you to work.  

The right amount of lighting is easy on the eyes and makes it easier for you to match colors. If you do not enjoy the benefits of natural light, you can invest in a lamp whose brightness can be adjusted to best suit your needs. For close-up work, you can use task lighting. You should also avoid directional light which may cause unwanted shadows when sewing.

3. Storage solutions for fabric

One of the biggest challenges you may experience is finding storage space for your fabric. This is especially true when your stash of fabric grows. It is important to remember to store your fabric away from direct sunlight. To solve this problem, you need to be creative. You can find solutions that suit your preferences and the amount of space available.

One of the solutions is filing your fabric. This is an effective way of organizing and storing small pieces of fabric. Use hanging files to hold fabrics that have been neatly pressed and folded. The fabrics can then be stored in a filing cabinet, or in cardboard or plastic filing boxes. You could also preshrink the fabric immediately after purchase before storing them in containers. This helps in keeping the fabric clean and odor free while in storage.

You could also use the open shelf technique to store the fabric. You can use this technique if you do not have space available for filing cabinets. Neatly fold the fabrics and store them in open shelves where they are easy to view. Keeping the fabrics in open shelves ensures that they are off the ground and that they are easily accessible when you need them. The downside of this technique, however, is the fact that the fabrics are more susceptible to damage from light and dust.        

4. Fabric organization

The fabric in your sewing room should be neatly organized. This will help reduce the frustration associated with finding the right fabric when sewing. You should sort your fabrics into fabric bins and label them according to the material of the fabrics, the amount of yardage and the width of the fabrics. This will save you a lot of time that would have otherwise been wasted looking for enough fabric for a project. You should also try to store similar types of fabric together to make finding what you need much easier.   

5. Sewing machine tables

Your sewing room needs to have enough table space. Sufficient table space makes sewing comfortable. Having table space makes it possible for you to work with ease. Enough table space has a positive impact on your output. However, having large enough table space at a low cost may be challenging. If your resources are limited, a kitchen or dining room table can be a good alternative for a sewing machine table. 

6. Cutting and sewing table with storage

A cutting table is a must-have in the sewing room. The table should be sizable and sturdy enough for you to work on. Having a cutting table in your sewing room saves you a lot of trouble. Cutting fabric on the floor may leave you with back pain. There is also a higher risk for the fabric to be damaged while on the floor.

You could also use your kitchen or dining table as a cutting table, but having to clear it out every time is a hassle and time-wasting. Having a cutting table with in-built storage is even more convenient as you will be able to access the equipment you need without having to move around too much.

The sewing table should be strong enough to support a sewing machine. This will prevent the sewing machine from bouncing or wobbling while you sew. The table should also not be too high such that sewing becomes uncomfortable.

You could install a specially built drop-in table that accommodates the added height of sewing machine’s deck. This allows the machine to be level with the surface of the table, allowing you to work more comfortably.

7. Sewing cabinets

Installing sewing cabinets above the sewing machine or your work station provides you with extra storage space where you can keep your supplies and work tools at hand. The cabinets should be installed at a usable height where you can reach for the tools and supplies with ease. You can install unfinished kitchen cabinets in your sewing room to function as sewing cabinets. Having the tools and supplies readily available close to where you are working helps to improve your productivity.

8. Sewing machine

Most of the sewing done today is not entirely done by hand. Even though it may not be necessary to have a sewing machine, owning one is convenient. There are different types of sewing machines. You should therefore get a machine that is best suited for the work you plan to do. If you intend to work on quilters, long-arm machines are the best option. If you intend to work on embroidered embellishments, you should get a machine capable of handling computerized embroidered patterns. If you are contented with basic sewing, you could get a machine that is capable of doing straight and zig-zag stitches at varying lengths and widths at the very least. Apart from your preferences, you should also consider your budget when getting a sewing machine.

9. An idea board

An idea board may come in handy in a sewing room. Idea boards provide you with a way of comparing the textures and colors of fabrics side by side under the lighting of the room. You can also include information related to the project such as measurement sheets and reference images. It is easier to work on a project when all the information you need is available in one place. In addition to storing information, idea boards are also aesthetically appealing.

10. Computer desk

A computer is an essential tool to have in the sewing room. Computers have several applications in sewing. Computers are a good source of reference and free patterns that you can incorporate into your designs. There are also plenty of design ideas on sites such as Pinterest. You can use your computer for machine embroidery using pattern-making software. 

11. A comfortable seat

Being as comfortable as possible while sewing is important. This makes it possible to work for extended periods of time without getting tired. Being comfortable may help improve your work rate and the general quality of your output. Using an adjustable office chair instead of an uncomfortable stool could result in a significant improvement of your work.

12. Marking tools

Marking tools help you visualize the project you intend to create better. They include tailor’s chalk, marking wheels, transfer paper, fabric markers, etc. These tools should always be close by when working on a project. You could place them on a shallow tray on the sewing or cutting table, or somewhere where they are easily visible and are close enough.

13. Measuring tools

Measuring tools are a must-have in the sewing room. This includes measuring tapes and rulers. Measuring tapes help you determine the amount of material needed for a particular project. Rulers help you cut material in a straight line and cover for other measuring needs in the project.

14. Pressing space

The impact proper pressing has is very significant. It could be the difference between a sharp, neat, and crisp fit and a crooked seam. It is important to have a place to iron in your sewing room. You should have an iron and iron board always on standby in the room when you start working on a project. 

15. Scissors (Fabric, non-fabric, paper, embroidery)

Fabric scissors are a must-have in the sewing room. They are high-quality scissors that are designed specifically for sewing. They may be expensive but they are worth every penny.

Embroidery scissors are also important to have in the sewing room. These are the scissors to be used for cutting button holes, snipping threads, etc.

Non-fabric scissors are an essential tool in the sewing room but are often forgotten. You should have a separate pair of scissors in the sewing room for cutting other materials that are not fabric. You could use them to open packages or cut new pattern pieces. These scissors are meant to preserve the fabric-only scissors which are usually pricey. 

16. Reference and research section

You should also consider having a reference and research section in your sewing room. Having one readily available enables you to access your sewing references with ease. The source of reference could be your sewing machine manual, or a reference book. You should designate a shelf or two for all your references and problem-solving manuals. 

17. Calendar

One of the most common problems associated with sewing is procrastination and missing of deadlines. Most of the time you’ll find yourself struggling and rushing to finish a project in the last minute. As the deadline approaches, you grow more and more frustrated. You are more likely to make mistakes when you are frustrated. Having a calendar and a working schedule in the sewing room helps improve your discipline.

18. Mirrors

You should have at least one full-length mirror in the sewing room. Mirrors are a necessity in the sewing room especially if you do any garment or fitting work. The more mirrors you have the better. You could get a fold-out trio of full-length mirrors. With the fold-out trio, you can adjust the two mirrors on the side to allow the client to view the front and back of the garments he or she is wearing. Mirrors also create an illusion that the room is larger. This gives the sewing room an aesthetic appeal. 

Final thoughts

The design and arrangement of your sewing room should be flexible. As you improve your skills in sewing, your needs also change. As you advance, you may switch to a better machine or different material. You should consider this when planning your sewing room.

You should also develop a habit of organizing the sewing room regularly. The moment you are done with a project, you should clean up the room and put items away. This makes it easy to transition from one project to another. 

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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