Sewing Room Essentials
So what are the MUST HAVE items in a sewing space? It is actually quite a short list. A few key items and you'll soon be able to sew beautifully finished items with pride and ease.
- A table and chair for your sewing machine
- Ironing Board
- Cutting Surface
Yup, that's basically it. Cover off those few things and you'll be well on your way to sewing bliss.
Let's go through each one in more detail.
Here's mine. It's a desk my husband made in his high school woodworking class. It would probably benefit from a coat of paint or refinishing (you can still see imprints of some homework handwriting scratched into the top). That shelf means I need a low chair otherwise I hit my knees. Not ideal but for now it works.
Table for Your Machine
A good hot iron is essential sewing equipment. No Ifs, Buts or Maybes. Pressing seams flat as you go with give your projects a much better finish than if you wait and press them all at the end. This past issue
of my newsletter is all about ironing v pressing if you need a refresher.
I had to instal all the electrics when we renovated this garage to be my sewing room. I knew this is where I wanted to put my ironing station so I actually told the electrician to put this plug up high. I had small kids at the time and would turn the iron on and off each time I used it (just in case someone thought pulling it down on their heads would be fun). A high plug makes that job much easier. I also swap the outlet between the iron and a pedestal fan on hot days.
I moved into this sewing room in 2011. Before that I was sewing at the other end of our guest bedroom. One of my biggest wish list items was a bench height cutting surface. I'd had enough to bending over a table, especially when I was heavily pregnant --- but it worked, for years!
My cutting bench is made of components of the Bunnings kitchen range with a custom sized bench-top over the top. I bought the handles from Subiaco Restorations. I have a large cutting mat on top. The two large pot drawers hold my kits and ready made products. The two top smaller drawers are full of rulers, notebooks, business cards, spare bobbins, calculator and other bits like that. Paper patterns are in the bottom one. The small vertical draw on the end holds all the clear plastic rulers and templates. The other side is still largely empty expect for some colouring items for the kids.
This cabinet is great but my main point is to just use what you have. If it's the floor, great. If you need to clear your kitchen bench or table, that's fine too. But you'll need somewhere to spread out fabric and get cutting. There's a few ideas of neat fold down tables and refurnished cabinets if you scroll down.
The more you sew, the more you'll collect. Bits and pieces of fabric, tools, thread spools. Each project will add just a little more to your collection. You can definitely keep these in check (I donate many of my scraps to members of the Helpdesk or my local school) but you'll need a little bit of storage. There are plenty of options and not all necessarily have to live in your sewing space. You could sew yourself a basket
with all the current project needs and store the rest of your sewing stuff in a tub in the garage or a spare cupboard somewhere else in your house. My batting lives in this old suitcase tucked under my sewing table. There are plenty of posts dedicated to organising sewing spaces online.