How to Set Up Your Sewing Room - Ideas & Essentials


Sewing Room Envy? Don’t be.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on kitting out your dream sewing room. Because you CAN create a fresh sewing space with a shoestring budget to get yourself started.

I’d like to share some tips on setting up a fresh creative space to help you get the most out of your sewing. It’s totally ok to start small – you don’t even need to have a whole room :-)

And if you DO have a whole room – scroll down to the last section for some practical room planning tips. Happy designing!



The Nomad


For those who sew on available space – most commonly the dining table – don’t you feel like a nomad sometimes? We’ve all been there :-)

A few small, inexpensive tips can make a huge difference. The idea is to be organised, and create a designated space – even if it’s temporary. You’d be surprised how little it takes to enjoy productive & distraction-free sewing sessions!

Claim Your Space

When you don’t have a whole room for sewing, it’s important to make a dedicated space just for your session. It’s perfectly ok to take over the dining table – just make sure it’s temporary. By setting down a cutting mat , you’ve instantly claimed your creative place. Even if you don’t plan to do any rotary cutting, it’s still good practice to lay it out. And nothing like replacing a worn mat to make your space feel ‘new’.


Replace & Replenish

The smallest things like pins and needles can make a BIG difference your sewing. Blunt or bend needles are the No.1 cause for fabric damage. Same goes for pins. When did you last change your needles? Are you struggling with blunt & bend pins? Begin a new project with sharp new pins and plenty of needle varieties on hand :-)


Be Organised

Messy bobbins. Messy minds. Taming your bobbins makes a huge difference. Get rid of that tangled mess by filling your bobbins with thread and sorting into boxes before you even begin sewing. This way you’d be able to keep going even if one bobbin runs out – and not have any bobbin-related interruptions!

Tip for the Nomad:

Set aside ONE drawer. Instal pegboard insert – and your thread collection will forever thank you!



The Full Makeover


Kids finally moved out, and you suddenly have heaps of room – and a budget to furnish it?! Lucky you.


Optimise the Space

Draw your room to scale – easiest on on graph paper – and make little paper cutout of the furniture you have in mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect, though it helps a lot if you get the scale right.


Better still – make actual-size cutouts to place in your room to get a real sense of space….


Have a play and see the flow between the pieces – you want it to be effortless – bearing in mind that sometimes having an island in the middle of the room works better then having everything against walls.


Double Check Measurements & Weight

Remember to check your sewing machine weight – because there might be weight limits to sewing machine cabinets.


For example, our flat-pack sewing table can carry up to 12 kg. If your machine is heavier than that, consider a fully assembled (non-flat-pack) cabinet, with a mechanical lift – just let us know if you’d like one.


Think About Light Source

Having the right light saves your eye sight, helps with colour matching, AND gives you more hours to enjoy sewing. Even if you don’t have a lot of natural light, or never get to sew during the day, you can still enjoy the benefits of endless daylight – as long as you chose the right lamp .



Keep it Neutral & Modular

While it can be tempting to colour your creative space in your favourite shades, it is worth keeping in mind that you WILL be using colourful materials, and you want to make sure your sewing room doesn’t date (does anyone remember mission brown?) – keeping it nice and fresh so you can create the best work :-)


Also, keep in mind that your needs might change. Perhaps a new additional machine ? Need more room for your stash ? A place for  tracing ? A design wall?

Modular pieces give you more flexibility, so you can move them around and re-arrange – with the options to add more pieces and make a larger surface. A full size cutting table by putting two together, perhaps?


This is no joke – a well-known fashion design company recently bought 6 of these cutting tables from us – and putting them back to back in two rows of threes :-)


What would YOU like to do with your sewing room? Do Tell :-)





P.S. Still want more? Here's a FREE Comprehensive eBook for you:

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You'll find heaps of useful (yet non-boring) information to actually help you sew easier (with less unpicking) - no matter where you are in your sewing journey :-) 

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As I am about to get my new furniture for my sewing room I just need to spend time and get all organised.

- Lynda


You could say my entire apartment is my sewing room. We make costumes.

Since my husband also enjoys creating his own, we literally made the house into our sewing space.

The former balcony is enclosed making an 8 x 17 foot area. Long tables from Home Depot are placed on the window side for light. Tiny book cases (3′x 6″ x 18″) with fabric covered bins sit on the tables, with mountings to hold them in the spaces between windows. They house Fray Check, various adhesives, turning tubes, marking tools, and an assortment of other things. Small storage units fit under the tables to house plastic bags, hoop wire, boning, hand sewing thread and needles, operating manuals, etc..

Peg boards on the end walls keep pliers, hat wire, webbing all available. A lateral filing cabinet on the opposite wall holds patterns. Flanking the filing cabinet are two small 3-drawer chests that hold art supplies.

The second bedroom is costume storage. One entire wall has a hanging arrangement from The Container Store. Next to the wall is a hanging shelf unit and a small table that house all the ironing supplies. The ironing board hugs the wall perpendicularly to the costumes.

The dining room is home to the cutting table. Made by Spiderlegs it folds up into a suitcase-sized package should we need to put it away. It has a large, tabletop-sized rotary cutting mat to protect the wood beneath. A large Two large standing cabinets hug the far wall and hold all our stash and a considerable amount of mockup material.

- DannyJane


Perfectly time newsletter article Shelly!

I spent most of yesterday sorting out my fabric stash so that I may find what I want when I need it. I also need to reclaim some room in my linen cupboard!

So I went to Bunnings looking for a system and returned with plastic shoe boxes. After searching on line I found a system that was perfect but not available in Australia. Sigh!

The next step is to recreate my work space and triangle. I also need to fit in my desk & computer. As well as my paper craft stash! My space is the activity room and thoroughfare. I do need it to look tidy .

I only miss my daylight access as the room is internal. I have even set up a telly on a cube with wheels so it goes between family room and my craft space.

We are empty nesters and I can imagine my grandchildren using this space also one day- if they are interested in learning to sew or stamp!

I love your newsletters Shelley.

Thank you for the inspiration. All the best for 2018.

- Sharon


my Sewing room is the far corner of our dining room it is a cupboard where the door opens down to become a bench that when i need to I can sit my embroidery machine and sewing machine side by side, there is a shallow draw above the machines where my cotton lives and also scissors and many other machine bits.

Sitting on the top of the cupboard are nice patterned gift boxes of material, packed by colour, also the over locker sits up there, and underneath is a cupboard for anything too large for the drawer.

A good magnifying lamp stands next to the cupboard.

In a small bedroom there is a bookshelf, on that is work boxes for buttons, ribbon, patterns, and the current project to live, and a carry out bag for items needed for sewing class. and my carry out sewing machine in its trolley.

It is not always tidy in fact mostly it is the opposite, but it works for me.




Here's a photo of my sewing room.


Cutting board to the left - sewing machine to the right - fabric storage in the dark cupboard - ironing board behind me and extras (wool embroidery, patterns and anything else sewing in a cupboard to the left.

This was my son's room until he left home, I now use it and just love it.

Saves moving things on and off the table for meals, homework, craft, - you name it - now I have a room for my sewing!!! Ha Ha.

- Lee


Hi Shelley
Here are some pics of my finished room with furniture from you... I love it!




I could’t be happier with my purchase. I looked at all the options & Tailormade had that clean uncluttered look. Not to mention the amazing prices.

I haven’t touched my sewing machine in 6 years & I haven’t done any quilting in 8 years. Now that my machines no longer need to be unpacked (and put on the dining table) to be used, i’m looking forward to getting back into it.



Hi Shelley

This is my sewing shed.



I converted our dining room (which was never used) into my own sewing room.easy access, cupboards all good.



good morning Shelley

I am lucky enough to have a small bedroom at the front of our house for my sewing room. Mine is not as neat and tidy as those in your email probably because I am working in it up to six hours a day. Not only do i do my craft but i am also the alterations lady for our small town on the mid north coast of nsw. Well hidden in this room is three sewing machines, lots of patterns , a fabric stash, a fur stash and a yarn stash.



Hi Shelley

Here I've attached a pic of my sewing area .. besides computer desk and book case in other corner, room also includes an Ikea chest with 8-spotty fabric drawers, and an old 6 deep-drawer dressing table with mirror removed .. all soooo handy. Look forward to seeing others' sewing areas.



Hello Shelly,

I thought I would share my sewing space with you it should be the dining room end of our combined lounge kitchen dining space in our small home unit.

The Sewing cupboard I purchased second hand as it was space saving and exactly what I wanted, I can push both machines inside and lift the bench to close the door, for my purposes the top had to be reinforced with an extra shelf as it was bowed and I store my quilting material sorted by colour in the boxes.

The top drawer has threads etc in it and just behind my chair is a fold down cutting table, I did promise when I got it that it would be folded away, and it has been once! In the last few years the sewing cabinet has only been closed once and that was Christmas Day! When we needed the space for the family.

The photo of the cutting table was taken the day I got it, today it can’t be seen for the sewing things on top of it, and the overlocker is on it as well.

I also use about half of our second bedroom to store material and other craft supplies.