August 19, 2009

Operation Studio Recovery

Ok, this is it. It's time that I reclaim my workspace! I've been poking around at pictures of other sewing rooms, and there's so much fantastic inspiration out there that I've decided it's time to clean up my act! The hard thing about this is that every time I begin to try and straighten up my studio space, before I know it, I've come across a piece of fabric that's calling to me to be sewn into something and I get sidetracked! The room remains a disaster area. I think if I can get sorted out and organized once and for all, implement some organizational measures, then perhaps I will be inspired to keep it in a calm and workable state! This great original artwork above is by the talented MicheleMaule - I love the colors, this would work in my new studio! Somebody please buy this! It totally needs a home in your sewing room! I'm going to get around to posting some of my finds and makeovers along the way and some before/after shots. It may take some time, but I'm determined to give my studio an overhaul! Until then, below are some of the tips I've put together to help remind myself that it will be for a greater good, a happier place to work - maybe you'll find some inspiration here too! 

Tips for organizing + loving your sewing room:

  • Label storage boxes on shelves so you know the contents without having to pull each box down one by one until you get it!
  • Organize buttons/zippers by color in clear jars.
  • Keep small swatches of fabric in a binder or notebook with a glue dot and write the designer and line name for future reference. (something I don’t always do, but wish I did!)
  • A fishing tack box or small toolbox works well for sewing tools and small notions – lots of little compartments...
  • Make oversized cardboard folders for larger pattern pieces you don’t want to fold, then hang then, open side up from skirt/pant hangers in the closet (the kind with the clips on them).
  • Keep a separate bin for small fabric scraps so you can chuck little pieces in when you’re finished cutting. Every once in a while I visit mine to see what little creations I can come up with from the scraps.
  • Store folded fabric, organized by color in a glass door cupboard to keep it dust free, but easily seen! This also looks really great!
  • A large table provides hidden storage underneath; you can tack a pretty fabric around the perimeter to hide storage bins.
  • Use magnet boards or pretty cork boards to pin up inspiration pieces and other beautiful treasures! I think I will start a collection of prints from our talented neighborhood artists at etsy…
  • Do you have any bare wall space? Invest in wall shelves to get small boxes and baskets up off the floor.
  • Keep fresh flowers at your desk - they look great and are a good reason to visit your local Saturday Farmers Market (get out and support other local artists!) 
  • If you can position yourself in front of a window, the natural light is awesome. I am lucky to have two large windows in my studio, the light, plus the great breeze I get when I open both is great. The fresh air really does work wonders!
  • Keep a thread rack to organize all your spools of thread. It looks tidy, plus you can easily see which colors you have. Or you can make your own, any nice piece of wood will do, drill some holes and stick in some dowels.
  • Yard sales and flea markets are a great place to find old cabinets and desks for good prices. You can give old, dingy pieces new life with a fresh coat of spray paint. An armoir retrofitted with shelves or a small table fitted with a pretty skirt to hide bins! 
  • Surround yourself with the things you love. This makes your room your haven, someplace you look forward to being... 
  • Try to clean up at the end of your session so your space is neat and fresh the next time you go in. It’s easier to be inspired and motivated when you have a clean, tidy space to work in! (I only wish I had the energy to do this after sewing for so many hours my eyes are crossed! But if you can, it’s totally worth it for next time! I need to start taking some of my own advice!)


  1. Really useful and well-timed (for me, anyway) tips! I'll be setting up my first designed/decorated project room in the coming months, and some of these suggestions are good reminders for me to reduce the visual and mental clutter. Hooray!

  2. Speaking of sewing room ... I've been wanting to organize my little sewing corner but just didn't make time for it. Hence, sewing hasn't been attempted for a while too ...

  3. Great Tips! lol. Now I just have to wait for the boy to graduate high school. His is the room I want for my craft/sewing room. :)


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