Reclaiming my sewing room

sewing room

I got my sewing room back a few weeks ago, after it was taken over for an extended period by a houseguest (my sister), and I’ve been slowly doing a little reorganise on it. I’m so happy to have my own space back, even though I’m a bit busy to really enjoy it at the moment (I haven’t sewn anything in like two weeks!). This room overlooks the garden at the back of the house and gets plenty of light throughout the day so it’s great for sewing. This is also our spare room and my home study – a lot of functions for a little room – so getting a bunch of useful storage in was my main concern.

sewing room

I got this new ladder desk from the Futon Company with handy integrated shelves. It’s even got a desktop organiser which will be super perfect for threads, machine feet, and other notions. I’m glad to finally have separate desks for my machine and computer, so I don’t have to continually switch between the two.

sewing room

Next to the desk is an Ikea Raskog trolley, which I picked up after spotting it in Tilly’s sewing space. This holds more essential tools and notions and my current works in progress.

sewing room

I’ve got an Ikea rack for my sewing mags, and a wine crate on its side serves as a makeshift bookcase. One thing I haven’t sorted yet is a good system for printed PDF patterns. Right now they’re stuffed in a large ringbinder but it’s far too full! Any ideas?

sewing room

I made these storage sacks to hold fabric scraps – they’re my Minerva blogger network make for this month. The outer is a sweet dotted canvas and they’re lined with a plain canvas for extra structure. This spotty canvas is really nice and comes in a bunch of pretty colours: I want some more for trousers!

sewing room

There are plenty of tutorials online for making this type of thing, like this one, and they have a million potential uses, from scrap bin to a tote for work-in-progress projects.

sewing room

If I was to make more I’d make them shorter and perhaps interface the fabric first so they stand up better. I fitted two of these large sacks onto 1m of each fabric. As ever, you can grab my kit to make your own here.

sewing room

The elephant in the room right now is the tragedy that is this corner. I installed a rail in this awkward little alcove with canvas hanging pockets to store my fabric stash, which seemed like a great idea – until it crashed off the wall one day under the weight, aaaargh. I’m currently mulling what else to try here.

Sewing room

I’ve got loads more plans for this little room: you can see my Pinterest board for some ideas. What’s your sewing space like?

26 thoughts on “Reclaiming my sewing room

  1. AvatarLauren

    Ahhhhhhh… I know the feeling of multiple use space! My spare room is my boyfriends art studio and guest room, so I use the window alcove in my lounge, which is a teeny space, but nice and sunny. I turned my old Singer table into my sewing desk – it was too beautiful to get rid of it – but probably isn’t the most practical in terms of space! So I’m also trying to find good storage solutions… The ikea trolley is cute! (Might just join in the trend and get one too!)

    That extendable wooden storage box is gorgeous, can I ask where you got it from?

    Lauren x

  2. AvatarMarilla

    Wow, that is a very tidy space! We’re still working through the house in terms of decoration, so my space is neither beautiful nor tidy (hopefully soon!). Re: patterns, I trace all mine and place them in cellophane sleeves with a printed picture of the garment on the front. They are currently stacked upright in a box, so I can flick through easily. Sounds a bit tedious, but it’s easy to organise once it’s done! Love the sewing desk BTW!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      It’s only tidy because all my stuff in in boxes in the hall waiting to be sorted :) That sounds like a good system, just have to get in the habit of keeping it tidy I suppose.

  3. Avatarhelen siddon

    Love your ladder desk! Must be so nice to have a separate sewing room, I have to take over the dining room when sewing I’m afraid! Can be a bit of a pain having to put everything away when you have finished but at least I’m near the kettle!

  4. AvatarJen

    I agree, the ladder desk is amazing. Tempted by one of those! And I love what else you’ve done with the space. For my PDF patterns I just put them in A5 envelopes, mark on the front what it is and store them with the rest of my patterns in a wicker basket. It’s pretty good because it means the they’re then the same size to store as most printed pattern packs. x

  5. AvatarFabric Tragic

    Lovely space, always loved that wallpaper! PDF pattern storage is a pain. I’m ruthless with any patterns that don’t work out well. Once I’ve traced something I only hang onto ithe original if it’s gold. Those I do keep I roll up now. I used to sticky tape PDFs, but now I glue which makes rolling a lot easier. I’ve got a tall narrow ikea cupboard for my stash, I think it’s actually a billy bookcase with a door…..good use of space being tall. I’ve got a vintage sewing box similar to yours, cute but a bit impractical! I’m too messy to put things back where they should go on it!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I think i need some of your ruthless approach, and to trace off the ones I do end up re-using. I like the tube idea a lot. Thanks!

  6. AvatarColette

    Maybe a shallow bookcase/ shelves for that alcove like ikea laiva? I have two of them holding all sorts of things in my seeing room and they don’t cost very much

  7. AvatarBella

    Your sewing room looks great! Lucky for me I have cupboard doors that hide my stash, although admittedly I’m running out of room at an alarming rate. I also keep my PDFs and self drafted patterns in a ring binder. My rather un creative solution for more storage would be, get another binder! For me it’s still the best way to store PDF patterns.

  8. AvatarGinger

    What a great workspace! There’s so much light! I keep printed PDF patterns in manila envelopes, tucked in a drawer of a vintage file cabinet that I found at a second-hand store. Before I had the file cabinet, I kept them in a dresser drawer. They’re always kind of bulky and annoying- that’s the downside of PDFs. I’m interested to hear how other people store them!

  9. Avatarlisa g

    such a cute sewing space! aside from the crashed down shelving… eeps! for my pdf patterns i keep them in the large manilla folders and store them in those standing magazine storage boxes. i bought the super cheap ones from ikea (not super sturdy, there are much better quality versions) and they work great!

  10. Avatarmichelle

    It’s looking good! When I reorganized my space I bought some muji stackers, they come in lots of sizes and look very slick and minimal. Although their delivery charge is huge so I had to take them home on the tube which wasn’t so fun ;-)

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I do have some of those for my printed patterns (buried under all that junk in the last pic!) they are ace.

  11. Avatarseamsoddlouise

    I love the neat side of your room. I can imagine those hangers crashing under the weight of all your fabric. How upseting. Hope you find a way to display and store them that works well. Can’t offer PDF advice but for traced off patterns I store in Several plastice display folders They have the plastic sleeves built in and the sleeves hold there shape better than a ring binder.

  12. AvatarCaroline Joynson

    Hi Katie, glad you have finally re-claimed your sewing space – it looks great so far.
    For PDF patterns I use these plastic wallet folders from Paperchase £3 for 5 ( give you a section for the font image of the pattern on the left and you can pop all the PDF pattern pieces on the right – blogged about here:

  13. AvatarCorinne

    I am in LOVE with your sewing desk! You’ve done a great job with your sewing space – looking forward to seeing what more you do with it. As for PDF patterns, I have a pattern punch & patterns hooks so I punch the pattern pieces & instructions then store them in the closet of our spare room. Before that I used wooden pant hangers from Ikea to hang them in the closet. :)

  14. AvatarSally

    Awesome space! That ladder desk is such a great idea! Do you stand up to serge, or swap them out?? I’ve got the aqua rolling cart as well and I love it!! And bummer about the falling fabric rail! I have mine folded and stacked by fabric type on a big bookshelf :) Thanks for sharing your space!

  15. AvatarAbigail

    Wow, that’s lots of fabric! My fabric is shoved in a container, so I understand your problem. I’ve seen many good shelves for fabric, so I’ll need to check them out.
    I love the room–I’m working on my own sewing room (currently it’s my bedroom. But I’m working on the details & decorations, since the room is going to be a room in my house), so what would you recomend for the room?

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