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A Complete Guide to a Perfectly Organized Sewing Room

What gets sewists more excited than a new project or even a finished project? Organizing the sewing room, of course! I haven't met a crafter of any kind who hated organizing their space, but that doesn't mean it isn't a daunting task. 

If you've put off organizing or rearranging your sewing room because it seemed like too much to take on or you weren't sure where to start, don't worry! We have you covered with our step-by-step guide on how to declare your command over fabric stashes, rogue needles, and giant sewing tables.

"Outer Order Contributes to Inner Calm" 

Gretchen Rubin likes to remind people that outer order leads to inner calm, and her famous quote certainly applies to craft or sewing rooms. A common phenomenon is that sewists will keep the area around their machine generally well organized, and then the rest of the room is a disaster and likely a fire hazard. 

You'll see that once the room is organized, you don't just have a long list of things to do, but an entire room of opportunities! 

Step One: Sort Out Your Priorities

If you're not careful, your sewing will take over the entire house—a sewing box left on the kitchen table, a tape measure on the couch. You need to reel it all in and also establish some clear priorities for your work and storage areas. 

Answer the following:

  • Which projects are most important right now?
  • What do you use most often? (Rotary tools, fabric, scrap stash, notions, etc.)
  • Why are you holding onto some unfinished or unstarted projects? Are they worth the space?
  • Where can you put your sewing table for the highest productivity?

Step Two: Decide on Your Fabric and Notions Solutions

Fabric is a big pain point because you want to see it all but not have it all out in the open. There are a few different ways you can solve the big fabric problem. But of course, the fabric isn't the only behemoth in the room, is it? Notions can quickly build up. 

How to handle fabric:

  • Fold the fabric around a piece of cardboard.
  • Hang fabric in snazzy hanging wrapping paper organizers.
  • Place fat quarters folded in page protectors or hanging folders to easily see patterns and keep them separated. 
  • Fold the fabric, so it stands up using the KonMari method. 
  • Use foam rollers or boards to store them fabric shop-style.

How to organize everything else:

  • Use a binder clip or pegboard to store your ribbons, elastic, and anything else that comes on a roll. 
  • Use rubber bands and a slip knot to keep spun bobbins and their matching thread together.
  • Hang scissors, measuring tape, and everything you can on a pegboard.

It is all too easy to rush out and buy a ton of organizing tools, but you can certainly organize your room on a budget. You can reuse nearly everything from around the house. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Old ice trays are great for storing buttons and sewing machine feet attachments.
  • Have an old filing cabinet? Use it for fabric storage!
  • Use bathroom towel racks for ribbons and fabric storage.
  • Make your own pincushion, or use erasers!
  • Coffee cups make great containers for scissors and rotary cutters.

Step Three: Clear Out Unused Items

If you don't use it, toss it out. If it doesn't bring you joy, in the words of Mari Kondo, then let it go. You can certainly donate many items, but it's worth noting that sometimes you just need to let a tool or project move on. 

The idea of organizing your sewing room isn't to put things into tiny boxes and nest those in slightly larger boxes. Organizing involves focusing only on what will actually serve you in the future if you're holding onto everything but putting items into different boxes that's storing, not organizing.

Step Four: Establish Work Zones

Your sewing machine area is certainly your most frequented work zone, but what about the others? Where do you cut your fabric, and where do you measure your projects? Where do you display half-finished work to keep it at the top of your mind? These are all work zones and should be as clear and organized as possible. 

Within your work zones, look for an opportunity to build up your environment. Better lighting, ergonomic chairs, and tables at the appropriate height for your size can dramatically improve your crafting experience. 

The big step in establishing work zones is to move or rearrange your furniture. Measure everything out first, and never move anything that's too heavy for you without help. Commercial machines and their motors can weigh a ton!

Step Five: Display Your Projects 

There are two stages for displaying projects. If you hold onto your finished projects, then you should certainly hang them so you can celebrate and acknowledge your achievements often. You should also display your in-progress projects. It's easy to forget about a project when it's tucked into a drawer, so keep your projects out in the light. 

Hacks, Tricks, and Tips for Every Type of Sewing Area 

How many hacks could we have for organizing a sewing room? I mean, it could be endless, but let's keep it reasonable. These are hacks, tricks, and tips to make your sewing area extra organized. 

  1. Superglue your measuring tape to your cutting board or cutting table.
  2. Dowels are a great solution for storing thread and bobbins. Stack them, put them on a pegboard, or tuck them in a drawer! 
  3. Avoid placing anything out of sight. Drawers, cabinets, and cupboards aren't actually good organization solutions because it's all too easy to undo all of your hard work. We have all thrown a pair of scissors into a drawer they didn't belong in. 
  4. Make boxes in the color of the items, fabric, or notions that you'll have there. For example, use your stash of orange fabric to create a shallow tote with boxy corners (like we did with this Easter Basket craft) and store all of your orange fabric in that box. 


On a final note, get creative! You don't have to do everything right away, but set aside time to delve into organizing the room. Then, when you really do have to get to work on something, think about what you'll do for your next organizing window. There are 1,001 ways to store fabric, buttons, feet, and more! Find what works best for you!

If you need any products for your sewing room, new or replacements, feel free to contact us! We are here to help you be the best sewer you can be.