Sewing room tour

Despite always finding it interesting to take a peek into other people’s sewing spaces to get inspiration on how to improve my own set up, I have never shown my own sewing room on this blog. In February I spend a couple of days doing a much needed clean up and decided that would be a good moment to also take some pictures of the room. It is usually not as tidy, but since taking these pictures I’ve been pretty good at keeping it in this condition.  

I am lucky to have a large space to use as a dedicated sewing room. When we bought our house a little over 6 years ago I sewed very often and a proper sewing room was very high on my list of requirements. This room is on the top floor of our house and while the ceiling is slanted it does not really reduce the amount of usable space since the roof only starts about a meter up from the floor. I can stand upright in most of the room. The large window provides a lot of natural light and the high ceiling makes it feel very roomy. I love this room.

My sewing machines are on a large IKEA desk. I usually have it set up like this with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 on the right, the Janome 3160 QDC in the middle and the overlocker on the left. I absolutely love being able to use two sewing machines at the same time. I mostly use the 3160 for piecing quilt tops and then use the 9400 for quilting or garment sewing. It saves a lot of time changing threads and needles when I am working on different projects at the same time which is nearly always. Next to the sewing machines I have some containers in which spools of thread are stored and some often used notions and accessories for the 9400.

Our old dining room table holds my cutting mat. I find it ideal that I can walk around the table to cut or mark things from every side. At some point I’d like to raise the table so I don’t have to bend down to cut fabric but at the moment I’m also occasionally using this table to work from home so that’ll have to wait a little while longer. Next to the cutting table I put my dress form. I’m not making a lot of clothes for myself these days so I am not using it all that often. It’s a good space to store measuring tapes though.

My ironing board is set up next to the basin. This is mostly due to how the sockets are distributed across the room. Ideally it would be a bit closer to the sewing machines so I wouldn’t have to walk back and forth so much.

On one side of the room a previous owner installed some shelves and a built in closet with sliding doors. The shelves hold my sewing books and patterns. The build in closet is really deep so I can store huge amounts of stuff in there and to be honest the contents of this closet are only semi-organized. This is certainly a part of the room that could still do with some improvement. This closet contains large things like batting and fabric yardage, both quilting cottons and apparel fabrics, but also several coats that we’re not using because they’re out of season and lots of other random stuff that I may or may not need at some point. Above the closet I installed a curtain rod to display the mini quilt and quilted postcards that I received in swaps from fellow members of the DutchMQG so I can enjoy looking at them when I’m sewing. It also holds many artworks created by my daughter while she was playing in this room as I was sewing.

On the other side of the room I put 3 IKEA MALM chests of drawers. The left one currently holds sewing machine accessories and notions like elastics, interfacing and overlocker thread. The middle one contains smaller cuts of quilting fabrics like fat quarters, layer cakes and jelly rolls. The one on the right is a more jumbled collection of yarn, apparel fabrics and miscellaneous stuff. The two on the left are lower so I can store sewing machines that are not in use on top to create more space on my sewing desk when needed. Next to the chests of drawers there are also two large containers that hold a lot of fabric. One container contains woven fabrics for either bag making or clothing, the other container mostly contains knit fabrics. At some point in the past all my fabric fit in those containers. Imagine that! This was prior to my taking up quilting seriously.

Fat quarters somewhat organized by colour. I obviously don’t get too obsessed about this.

One downside of the slanted ceiling and the big window is that there is not a lot of straight wall space that can be used for a design wall. The only space where it fits is in between the door and the basin. The design wall is just a piece of white flannel with a hanging rod at the top and a smaller rod at the bottom to keep it hanging straight. I sometimes would like it to be a bit wider but most of my quilts fit well on this size.

By nature I am not a super tidy person. I’ve found that the trick to keeping your sewing room organized is to have a dedicated place for each item so you know where to put it back after using it. Yes, this probably seems very obvious, but it has made a huge difference for me in being able to find that specific ruler or fabric marker that I need. I am still super happy with the mobile pegboard that I came up with several years ago. I use it to store my rulers, scissors, rotary cutters, markers/pens, bobbins, even more spools of thread and works in progress. The tutorial for the mobile pegboard is currently the most popular post on my blog and I sometimes wonder how many of these are already residing in other people’s sewing rooms.

During the clean up I realized that I still don’t really have a good spot for storing my hand sewing supplies and that is something I will need to fix because currently I am just moving these items from one place to the next which is a well-tested recipe for creating chaos. One thing piles on top of each other and before I know it complete table surfaces have turned into mountains of stuff.

I’d also like to get a better container for storing scraps. They’re now in 2 open containers on the floor. A situation grown from sewing with my daughter so she could easily grab the fabrics that she wants to use but it is messy. Something with a lid is probably a better idea.

Well, this post turned out much longer than I expected. Do you also enjoy peeking into other people’s sewing rooms?

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19 comments on “Sewing room tour

  1. katechiconi says:

    What fun to see your room! Two things for me to envy: your big sewing machine, and having running water – I have to walk quite a way to get water for the iron or wash my hands… Also, you do have wonderful light…

    • Emmely says:

      The big sewing machine was a serious splurge but the throat space and built in walking foot have made such a difference for quilting.
      This is the only tap on this floor so if it wasn’t here I’d also have to walk quite a distance. It does take up a significant amount of wall space though, if it wasn’t there I could have had a much wider design wall.

  2. You have a wonderful sewing space! What a great tour! I loved looking at your pile of scraps of course – you can make a lot of fun things from that pile. Sorry your ironing board is not closer to your sewing machine because of the sockets but then you get to move around and not get stiff when sewing! Looks like you made the best of the space with how you set up your design wall – nice!

    • Emmely says:

      Thank you! The set up of the room has changed a couple of times since the beginning, the tables have been in different locations, but I think I am going to stick with this one, it has worked very well for almost 3 years now.
      Moving around to get to the iron is certainly extra excercise! I now often first press with a seam roller and then batch press larger pieces later on if there are a lot of seams.

  3. I have so enjoyed seeing your sewing space and I did notice how neat it is!

    • Emmely says:

      Thank you! I am super proud that it still very much looks like this since taking the pictures several weeks ago and am motivated to keep it like this. It works so much better without clutter around.

      • I agree, but it is hard to avoid creating clutter

      • Emmely says:

        Unfortunately that is so true. My new strategy is to take a little time to clear items away when I stop or, when that is not possible (child requiring immediate attention usually), to tidy up a bit before I start when there are items still out that I don’t need for that session. It’s working so far and if I can keep it up a bit longer I hope it’ll become a real habit.

  4. Marianne says:

    Lovely! My space is very similar. I don’t mind the slanted ceiling either but it’s quite the challenge to be limited to lower closets. For your cutting table dilemma I can recommend the Ikea skarsta sit/stand desk. I bought just the legs and mounted an existing table top. No more back pain!

  5. francispaul says:

    ik heb dit bureau van Ikea https://www.ikea.com/nl/nl/p/bekant-bureau-zit-sta-wit-s69022537/
    dat had ik 10 jaar eerder moeten kopen, wat een genot om m omhoog en naar beneden te kunnen doen 🙂

    • Emmely says:

      Ik ben het nu ook serieus aan het overwegen. Een hogere snijtafel wil ik al heel lang en dat thuiswerken gaat ook nog wel even duren helaas.

  6. Lulu says:

    Love your room! So much light and character with the slanted ceilings. My son treats his slanted ceiling as a wall and simply thumb-tacks his drawings up there too. Maybe some sort of magnetic sheet (and strong magnets) would enable you to use your slanted ceiling-walls as inspiration boards too.

  7. faeriestarvbusiness says:

    Now that is what I called a sewing room. :3 I always loved looking at hobby rooms and wanted to have one of my own once I get my own place. I want to have my own arts and crafts room since I have so much art supplies that I can’t fit in my bedroom.

  8. […] am unashamedly copying Tierney (https://tierneycreates.com/2020/12/19/in-the-studio/) and Emmely (https://infectiousstitches.wordpress.com/2021/03/27/sewing-room-tour/). So here follows a set of snapshots of my workspace. It comes with a viewers’ warning that I […]

  9. Wow looks soo organized and clean. And all those fabric colours!!🤩♥️

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