When you enter your sewing space it should be a place of creativity. A place where you can let your imagination go wild and craft wild and beautiful things.
But all that wild creativity can sometimes leave your workspace in a mess. That leads to those frustrating cries of, “Where did I put my scissors?” “What happened to that blue cotton material I bought last week?” “Where is all my black thread?”
Somewhere between crazy chaos and military style organization lies a happy medium.
A place where everything is in its place so you can find what you need, when you need it. Thus, allowing your wild side the ability to create without stress.
If you’ve been sewing for a while you may have already discovered the best method of organization for your space. But there’s often room for improvement.
And if you’ve just started sewing you may be piling in tools and supplies without a clear plan for organization. This can lead to big mess down the road.
When You Don’t Have a Sewing Room
If you’re not lucky enough to have an entire room than organizing is harder but even more necessary. You still need to have a dedicated space where all your sewing supplies are stored. Move other items from a closet so you’ll have room for your tools and supplies in one space instead of scattering them throughout the house.
Here is a convenient storage unit that works well and even allows you travel with your sewing supplies.
Your Own Room
A room dedicated to sewing is a dream for many crafters. The problem is, with all that room it’s easy to get lackadaisical about organizing. You can set stuff around on counters and tables planning to put it away later. Before you know it, your room is covered in stuff and the items you need are buried under piles of material and patterns.
Start your room off the right way by already having an organization plan in place. You can always make changes later when you find better ways.
Material can be stored in plastic bins so you can see what is inside without opening the container. Metal wire containers also work.
Another option is wrapping the fabric around carboard making mini bolts. They can then be placed in shelves where it can be easily seen.
Some sewers prefer to place their fabric on towel racks, the kind that are often used in laundry rooms.
These can be good for placing the fabric you are currently working with.
It is important to decide how you want to categorize your fabric, so you are consistent. It can be by type of fabric, by color of fabric, or by the type of project you plan to use the fabric. Do whatever works best for you but be consistent.
Patterns should be filed so they are protected and easily accessible.
First, sort by men, women, and children then by type of clothing.
Decorative items can be sorted by what they are; pillows, tablecloths, etc.
You will have to make decisions on whether to put all baby items together or to sort baby items with clothes and baby pillows with decorative items. Either method works if you remain consistent.
Place the patterns in file cabinets or storage bins.
A counter that is high enough to cut fabric is an important part of any sewing room. It needs a durable surface that is easy to wipe clean. Cubes with baskets or boxes are good for storage and usually inexpensive. Do yourself a favor and label each one. Don’t throw items in baskets randomly. Make sure each basket has a purpose.
If you have the money, a sewing cabinet or table would be a perfect addition to your sewing room.
Use wall space as much as possible. Place tools on pegboards so they can be easily seen as opposed to placing them on tables where they can quickly be covered up.
Corkboards can be used to pin up patterns or photos of current projects you’re working on. When you’re done, file them away instead of letting the corkboard become a mess of past projects.
Here is a storage product that sewers found useful:
This is a rolling unit with storage, but the top can also be used as a small cutting board.
A turning carousal is the perfect thing to keep pens, scissors, markers, and other objects within reach. Here are two popular ones:
Large Plastic Storage Bags
These can be used to place your pattern, fabric, and thread for upcoming projects. When you get ready to start work all the materials will be together.
Staying organized isn’t just about keeping your “stuff” in order. It can be a helpful idea to keep a log or journal about your projects. Make a note about the pattern you use, the tools and methods, and the material and other supplies used in the project. Then state how satisfied you were with the final project. Make a note about any changes you would make the next time.
When it’s time to make the project again you’ll have an advantage and it will often go quicker the second time. You won’t forget and repeat the same mistakes.
A comfortable, quality chair might not help you keep organized but it will save you a lot of back pain. Invest in a good chair but also make sure to get up at least every hour and take a quick walk, even if just around the room and do some stretches. Sitting for hours at a time will cause a lot of problems over time.
Plenty of Light
Natural light is best but if that’s not possible a good floor lamp is needed.
Prepare for each Project
When you start a new project, take a few minutes to organize for that particular task. Make sure you have all the items you need. Place them where you can reach them easily. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to track down the thread or buttons you bought for a project. Or realizing you don’t have as much of a specific fabric as you thought.
Clear Your Head
Along with organizing your space it’s always a good idea to get into the right frame of mind for sewing. Forget about the laundry and other chores, they’ll still be there when you’re done.
Explain to your family that you’re going to be sewing for the next hour (or two) and they need to fend for themselves. If your children are young, you’ll probably have to work during their naptime or after they’re in bed. Even better, put your spouse on childcare duty while you work.
Eliminating distraction will help you get more done in a shorter amount of time. Though we’re a generation of multi-taskers, it’s rarely the best way to do quality work.
A little organization can not only make your sewing go smoother, but also make it more enjoyable and less stressful.