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Thread: Sewing space?

  1. #1
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    Sewing space?

    I live in a tiny house with my husband and two kitties. I have all of my "stuff in bins" stored in every corner I can find. I love to sew and create but sometimes it just seems like to much trouble to drag it all out. Anyone have any ideas on tiny sewing spaces or any pictures to give me some creative ideas?

  2. #2
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I used to sew in the "breakfast nook" of our townhouse. It was a room about 6' x 8'. I shared it with the dog dishes. I put shelves on the walls to get as much off the floor as I could. I had a drop down ironing board mounted on the wall and a set of cheap stackable drawers I bought on sale at Target in one corner stacked 5' tall. It wasn't ideal, but it worked for years.
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    Thanks, that sounds like my setup. Especially the 5' tall stack.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    If I were in close encounters, I would set up my sewing centre into a closet.
    That way the machine could be left set up all the time.
    Lighting could be easily addressed.
    Shelving for long term storage, including for setting things on between work sessions.
    Then close the door .... and out of sight, til the next session.

    Yes, some need to bring things out, but it would be cut to the minimum, as it would not be packed away in the sense of hidden into plastic totes and such.

    Of course, it all depends on what space you have available to you in the limited space.


    I've also seen some pretty interesting sewing areas built under stair steps.
    That'd be another place I would focus on for my sewing area, if I was faced with the challenge.
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    Sounds like me! My sewing room is currently shared with bf and three kitties, and doubles/triples as a computer room and bf's hobby room... and it's in a smallish bedroom in a smallish house! Luckily we live right near an IKEA. I use double-wide IVAR shelves and SAMLA totes (they're see-through, which helps a ton!)to organize my fabrics, then I have a smaller dining table pushed up against them to use as my main surface (but I can pull it out into the center of the room if I need to). There's also a little coffee table next to my sewing surface that I can use for ironing if I need both at the same time, but I'd like to get a real ironing board someday....

    The biggest thing for me right now has been keeping on top of projects so I don't end up with a huge stash of stuff I may never get to. But that's easier said than done!

  6. #6
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Honestly, once the kids moved out, I thought I would be in one of their bedrooms, both of which are fairly small. But DH wanted one for all of his video games and the other has stayed a guest room. That's fine. I took over the family room. DH goes in the living room in the evening and watches sports, sci-fi or scary movies - none of which I want to see. I stay in what is now my sewing room. It has a tv, computer and all of my rather messy stuff.

    I wish there were someplace I could close it off, so the mess wasn't so visible, but guess I've gotten old enough that I don't care much any more. It's not dirty, just cluttered! But it's cluttered with the things I love, so I am happy.

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    Super Member SuziSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmmaJudy View Post
    I live in a tiny house with my husband and two kitties. I have all of my "stuff in bins" stored in every corner I can find. I love to sew and create but sometimes it just seems like to much trouble to drag it all out. Anyone have any ideas on tiny sewing spaces or any pictures to give me some creative ideas?
    One idea, keep your basic sewing/cutting items in one area or tub and whenever possible put each project in a zip-lock bag, that way you won't be dragging it all out, just the thing you are working on.
    Sue

  8. #8
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I just googled " how to organize a small sewing space" and there are some great ideas, especially this closet one, Wow!

    http://livefreecreative.co/2012/08/a-closet-seamstress/

  9. #9
    Super Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    How small is small? I sew in a room that is 8 x 8 with a good sized closet. It works great and I have every
    thing I need.

  10. #10
    Senior Member himnherr's Avatar
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    I’m sharing my sewing space with a guest bed. Not ideal, but to store my stash we bought a bed frame (doesn’t need a box spring) that has 17” clearance. We bought totes that slide underneath the bed. I put felt runners on each tote so when I slide them under my bed it doesn’t scratch the bamboo flooring. I have 8 totes stored under there! I wouldn’t have agreed to buy this house if I would’ve had to give up my stash. Now I’m just waiting for my husband to build me a Murphy bed. Use to have one in my sewing room in a different house. Perfect solution!

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I use a trundle bed for the bed in my sewing room (for g-boy) and use the trundle underneath for storage of quilting stuff. Use the wall for pegboard to hang rulers, etc. you can even hang bags of stuff if you get big "zip-locs". I use a folding, adjustable drafting table for my cutting table--not huge but big enough and it sits in middle of the room so I can use both sides--if need be I can clear it off (admittedly this doesn't happen often!), fold down and reclaim the floor space, too.

  12. #12
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvstoquilt301 View Post
    How small is small? I sew in a room that is 8 x 8 with a good sized closet. It works great and I have every
    thing I need.
    My room is about 8X8 with my computer and sewing macine also bookshelves with fabric it is cramped but doable. No closet for me the computer is in the space that was a closet about 4 feet of space by 3 feet my desk fits perfectly in there.. You don't say if it is one or two bedroom if only one then I guess a nice closed shelving unit or amuare (sp)

  13. #13
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I'm looking at going from 1900 sq ft house to a one bedroom apartment. It's an overwhelming thought so I will follow this thread with a good deal of interest. Now I sew in the family room and store fabric in two large bedrooms - yikes!

  14. #14
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    We took the folding doors off a closet, and put a work station in there. Two "file cabinet" sized sets of drawers are fastened with brackets to the bottom of the 5' top, with knee space between them to sit and sew. (Yeah, IKEA!)
    Retired math teacher --
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    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000 View Post
    I just googled " how to organize a small sewing space" and there are some great ideas, especially this closet one, Wow!

    http://livefreecreative.co/2012/08/a-closet-seamstress/
    This just might be my solution, I am downsizing to a 1 bedroom apartment from a 3 bedroom house. The apartment has 2 closets so I'm thinking of trying this. Won't know for another month or so, will follow this thread to help me make this move to my advantage.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    All of our extra rooms are full since our daughter and our twin grandchildren moved in with us. I sew in the unfinished basement, share the spot with aforementioned children and my gym eqiptment. It works out pretty good. I just got a very large shelf unit from sams and about 20 bins that I have filled with stash and "stuff". I also have 3 drawer sets that sit on one shelf for cutters, scissors and assorted necessary "things". I also have an antique tall cedar cabinet for extra stuff, and a cedar chest and a good sized oak cabinet that I keep more stuff in. Some day I might have a nice dedicated room, but this does work out nice for me. Almost everything I do is located in one space.

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    In the summer when we go camping in our 24' 5th wheel, I cut and organize everything before we go. I use the kitchen table to sew (sometimes the picnic table outside) and have a little ironing board I sit on the kitchen counter. I can stash a lot in our little closets if it is organized. I get a lot done, especially if it is raining or cold outside.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    If I were in close encounters, I would set up my sewing centre into a closet.
    That way the machine could be left set up all the time.
    Lighting could be easily addressed.
    Shelving for long term storage, including for setting things on between work sessions.
    Then close the door .... and out of sight, til the next session.

    Yes, some need to bring things out, but it would be cut to the minimum, as it would not be packed away in the sense of hidden into plastic totes and such.

    Of course, it all depends on what space you have available to you in the limited space.


    I've also seen some pretty interesting sewing areas built under stair steps.
    That'd be another place I would focus on for my sewing area, if I was faced with the challenge.
    The closet set up was going to be my suggestion as well. Have not done it with a sewing space but did have that as an office function for many years. Worked very well.

  19. #19
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I use a bedroom but the best thing about it is - my husband took the doors off the double closet and made shelves. It holds a ton.
    I hope you find a solution because it sounds like you're having trouble getting motivated with all your things in bins. I don't blame you.

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    When I had less space I kept the project I was working on in one bin so that I could grab that bin and have everything I needed. It was also fairly easy to put it all in the bin when I was done. It would still seem like too much work to pull things out and remember where I was if I only had a short amount of time to work, but it mostly worked.

    I do something similar now if I'm going to put a project aside to work on something else. I put everything for that project in a box so that I can find it again when I want to get back to it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member maudeflanagan's Avatar
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    I also have a smallish sewing space and was very close to building my own sewing armoire. There are many ideas for this online. Many of them reuse old TV cabinets or computer desks. Just as I was starting the construction of the armoire, I found an older Horn cabinet for sale for $25, so I bought that and repainted it instead. Here are some of the ideas I came across online:

    http://www.remodelicious.com/diy-sew...xtraordinaire/

    http://kennethwingard.com/home-famil...craft-armoire/

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/38/77...4c887a23b6.jpg

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    For years (way too many), I had to use whatever tiny spaces I could find. It seemed we kept taking in more and more kids and they really take up space!!! The only cutting table, quilt assembly spot I had was the bed. I got 2 pieces of cheap paneling and slid them under to bed for storage. When needed, they were easy to take out, put on top of the bed and make a fairly sturdy but definitely safer place for my cutting board. I also had 2 rollaway storage bins that I kept under the bed for supplies. This kept the stuff close but out of the way from curious little fingers. I put plastic storage bins for fabric in my closet with my shorter clothes hanging above them. This way I could see what was in the bins and only pull out the ones I needed. It also kept me from adding too many more clothes (fabric storage was more important!). One wall in my bedroom had pegboard and I had wooden thread caddies on it with clear plastic piece over the top to keep them clean and rulers attached to the pegboard. Much easier to close the bedroom door than to put stuff away when company came by! I have always found that we use what we have and fill up anything we get!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000 View Post
    I just googled " how to organize a small sewing space" and there are some great ideas, especially this closet one, Wow!

    http://livefreecreative.co/2012/08/a-closet-seamstress/
    That space is amazing! I am moving this summer and will be going into a much smaller sewing room. I really am working on downsizing now but that has definitely given me ideas. Thanks for the post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceandjoy View Post
    Honestly, once the kids moved out, I thought I would be in one of their bedrooms, both of which are fairly small. But DH wanted one for all of his video games and the other has stayed a guest room. That's fine. I took over the family room. DH goes in the living room in the evening and watches sports, sci-fi or scary movies - none of which I want to see. I stay in what is now my sewing room. It has a tv, computer and all of my rather messy stuff.

    I wish there were someplace I could close it off, so the mess wasn't so visible, but guess I've gotten old enough that I don't care much any more. It's not dirty, just cluttered! But it's cluttered with the things I love, so I am happy.
    Research folding screens for privacy and you 'll find all kinds of options for height, width and material. Whatever the screen is made of you can decorate it any way you want with paint, fabric, etc. If you have a very wide space to cover consider covering only part of it to break up the line of vision or perhaps arrange your stuff so the main 'mess' is in the area behind the screen.
    Sally

  25. #25
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I would suggest that for organizing your fabrics it might help to either staple bits onto 3X5 cards and write down how much and where you're putting it (bin number or some such) or take pictures and keep them digitally organized in a folder on your computer. For a time my sewing table was in a 6' wide closet. A peg board right over my machine was a big help for a lot of smaller tools, rulers and such and on my right a magnetic strip (sold for kitchen knives) was a good place for scissors and other things that were metal. Less used stuff stayed in overhead shelves, but not all of that was for sewing. Thread can be kept on something as simple as a board with nails tapped in at an angle so you can hang it on a wall. I had plastic drawers for fabric next to my machine. I have more room now, but the closet arrangement I used to have tended to stay neater from necessity, and the best part about it was I could close the door and it was all out of sight.

    If you have room for something like a large upright TV cabinet, a lot of people are abandoning them since flat screens came along, and you can find them cheap at resale shops. You can put bins where the TV used to be, and there are usually cubbies or drawers that can hold other things. A silverware divider will hold a lot of sewing stuff neatly and accessibly, and might it tuck into the space where a VCR used to be.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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