How to Create a Sewing Space without a Dedicated Room

Posted by Jen Lopez on Jan 22nd 2020

A sewing room of any size is a luxury that only a few can afford. Maybe all of your spare rooms have tiny humans living in them, or perhaps you live in an apartment, a dorm or even a trendy “tiny house”. You don’t need a dedicated room in order to have a space to create. You can carve out a portion of an existing room or you can make your sewing setup portable – easy to put up, take down then stow away. Here are some suggestions:

  • Carve out a portion of an existing room – Be sure to choose a space that doesn’t have carpet. You are going to be dropping lots of pins and needles, not to mention the endless rain of thread and little fabric bits. A smooth surface is going to be much easier to keep clean.
  • Not the bedroom - I speak from past experience when I say, “don’t use your bedroom for sewing”. This is a bad choice because of the likely probability of stepping on pins with bare feet. Additionally, it’s pretty much the most used room in the house: you are going to be tripping over half-finished projects all the time.
  • Invest in a sewing machine cabinet – Hide in plain sight with an inexpensive sewing machine cabinet. They all have a mechanism to fold away the machine when not in use. My mother had a fancy dining room that housed a sewing machine cabinet for over 30 years. She had a space for fancy dinners a few times a year and a place to sew nearly every day.
  • Repurpose office furniture – Computer desks are great for turning into a compact sewing space. They hold a lot of equipment in a small space, they usually have lots of cabinets and shelving and they always have cut-outs for wiring. They are inexpensive and available everywhere.
  • Smart Storage – The bulk of items that will take up your sewing space is your fabric stash! It need not live in the same space as your sewing machine. All the big box stores have under-the-bed storage bins (some even have wheels!) that will hold a tremendous amount of fabric, notions and patterns. Cute storage crates can hold fabric and patterns, and fit on any bookcase.
  • Dual Purpose – The best cutting table in the world is, believe it or not, the kitchen island, which is a very popular construct in many living spaces today. Using it for cutting will also give you good reason to clean it off now and then!

My own sewing space is actually a four season porch built on to a tiny 1889 antique colonial. The floor is slanted, it’s hot as an oven in the summer and cold in the winter – but it’s my space and it works great!

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