Sewing room organization

I promise you, this post was planned well before the world basically closed and we all suddenly had oodles of time at home to re-organize everything we own. I thought I’d give you a tour of my sewing corner in case find yourself Marie Kondo-ing your life and need ideas on how to get a handle on your supplies.

I’m an extremely organized person, but it’s taken me a really long time to have my sewing space reflect that. I have such a limited amount of time to sew and I definitely don’t want to waste any of that on organizing. My sewing space looked tidy, but only because the mess is hidden in bins and drawers.

My sewing tools hang out in this chest of drawers I got at IKEA several years ago. I love it because the drawers are shallow, which is great for all the little bits and bobs associated with sewing. It’s also great if you have kids because you don’t have to worry about baby-proofing it. I just spin it around so that the back is facing out when I’m not sewing. I can also slide it from side to side when I change machines.

My top drawer houses all of the tools I use regularly, sorted with a utensil organizer. The next drawer holds my rulers and tracing paper. Next is my interfacing, bra cups and swimsuit lining. After that, I have all of my pressing tools: clapper, sleeve roll, press cloth and silicone finger protectors. The last two are dedicated to hardware, closures, elastics and the like. I’ve organized my buttons by colour in a divided bin and my handmade bias tape is on little rectangles of cardboard I cut and stood up in a shoebox lid.

Everything else basically lives in the shelf to the left of my table. On the top I have my WIP (Work in Progress) bin and my thread bin. Inside the shelf, there’s one square for knitting WIPs, another for my fabric stash and the bottom two bins hold my patterns and small scraps respectively.

My thread bin is currently a mess of serger cones, which have been multiplying at an alarming rate since getting my coverstitch, a clear container for my threads, and this silicone doughnut for my bobbins. I never used to keep my threads organized by colour, but my students started doing it at school and I kind of like the way it looks. It’s also really easy to see (and remember!) what I have. I don’t love my serger come set up, so I’m open to ideas on how to store them effecting in a very small space!

My patterns bin is most intense system. I used to keep my PDF patterns in a drawer in my little wheelie chest, but you can imagine that got unwieldy very quickly. Now, everything fits in this bin. I keep my printed patterns lined up in a box that I got at IKEA when bulk-buying some picture-hanging hardware for school. All of my PDFs are in manilla folders labeled with the pattern company and pattern name. I note important things on the envelope so I don’t have to haul out my computer every time I forget the seam allowance.

Are my systems perfect? Absolutely not. But I am working on making my nook more efficient in terms of space but also effectiveness for ease of use. I’m getting there slowly!

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