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ideas for creating a sewing room?

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seashanty

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first off, i don't sew. so i'm looking to those of you to advise me on set up of this room for my darling sister with major clutter issues.
i have cleared out (most of) a tiny room that has been storage ... and am about to move bins and containers of fabric up into the space. as i say, it is a little room and may have to share space with a twin size bed. although there is room UNDER that bed for bins. i'd like to get that bed out of there. but it may have to stay. if i have to leave the bed in there ... the mattress is very hard ... and i am seriously thinking of putting things ON the bed because no one has slept on it in years. i could store the mattress under the bed. the frame is a big, heavy wooden bottom of a bunk bed. in fact, i think it was my sons' til it ended up here for a grandson for a while.
are shelves on the wall helpful? stacking bins?
there are so many pairs of scissors ... all jumbled in with various fabric and projects. a few pinking shears but mostly scissors of various sizes. how do you like to have them accessible? in a big heavy can? what about thread? lots of thread in plastic zipper bags. for now, i thought i'd put all the zipper bags of thread into one big container.
what about fabric? it is not bolts, but a few yards of this and that.
also clothing that she was/is/hopes to make over or repair. how do you organize that?
sewing machines ... it seems she has three but none are in a cabinet so she needs a little table and chair up there to sit at.
lighting i will leave to her husband to figure out. there are two windows side by side that i imagine it would be nice to sit in front of and look out.
thank you!!!
 

Morticia

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Here's what I use...I have 2 metal filing cabinets that can hold supplies. For the sake of not breaking the bank, yes, you can use metal cans to store scissors. However, if you have some money to spend...a magnetic strip on the wall behind the machine will hold a LOT of supplies.
OK, laid across those 2 filing cabinets, I have an old solid wooden door. On top of that goes the sewing machine. There's plenty of room to spread out items she's working on and also tons of room underneath to store the other machines.
I have a drafters table I use for a cutting surface, it can fold up easily when I'm done, but I have the room.
I have all my fabric in clear, plastic bins. BUT, if she will use everything if she can see it, then open shelving is better.
There is only one, tiny light up there, so I'll take a pic tomorrow (it's a mess, as everything gets tossed up there!) I am using the partially finished attic over the inn...no heat, so not very comfy right now.
If they are handy, one of them can make a spool holder for the threads so they are easy to find. A wooden board with dowels drilled in at an angle so the spools stay on. I keep my thread in tackle boxes. Generally, I leave my cutting board and rotary cutters out on the drafting table. I could use some old metal baking dishes, tho, to organize them!
I am still looking for my quilting supplies. All of the fabric is here, that I can tell, but no rotary cutters, no rulers, etc.
Clothes could be hung up on a wall-mounted 'valet' (like in a hotel) so she can see what projects she has.
However, given what you have said so far, if she has not already taken scissors to those clothes, get rid of them. They are probably part of the original 'clutter' problem. People with this problem get overwhelmed by their stuff and they can't do anything at all. (I'm one of them.)
 

seashanty

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haha -- it is a major struggle to dispose of things. i have tried many times to do that with and without her ... but i'll try to get the worst offenders quietly out the door.
 

seashanty

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haha -- it is a major struggle to dispose of things. i have tried many times to do that with and without her ... but i'll try to get the worst offenders quietly out the door..
oh - great suggestions by the way! thank you.
 

Morticia

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haha -- it is a major struggle to dispose of things. i have tried many times to do that with and without her ... but i'll try to get the worst offenders quietly out the door..
oh - great suggestions by the way! thank you.
.
Forgot to mention that I use the old hole for the doorknob as the conduit for running all the power cords. Keeps them all organized and easy to plug in as I know exactly where they are!
 

Morticia

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haha -- it is a major struggle to dispose of things. i have tried many times to do that with and without her ... but i'll try to get the worst offenders quietly out the door..
seashanty said:
haha -- it is a major struggle to dispose of things. i have tried many times to do that with and without her ... but i'll try to get the worst offenders quietly out the door.
I figured as much. It's been tough going for me to 'clean up' because it is ALL my stuff. Hubs has no collections, no projects, no memorabilia. (OK, he does have a closetful of unworn clothing, but it's not MY closet.)
So, all of the piles belong to me. And I have to sort them, store them and dispose of them. However, I read somewhere that it's not necessary for one person to do it all, so I am going to sort and store, but assign the task of 'disposal' to him. If I am not faced with the 'pile' twice (once pre sort and once for disposal) I will work more quickly.
I have become much better at not accepting 'freebies' that I will have to store once they are home. We got a mailing last week with a keychain in it. Hubs put it on the table and went to throw the mailer out. I said, 'Are you ever going to use that keychain?' he said he wasn't so I said, 'Pitch it now.' One less thing taking up psychic and physical space.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I sew when I have the time and I am a guy. I like to make shirts and some quilts. I just have one of the old Singer Sewing machines from 1965 that has a desk with drawers. That makes it easy to store stuff and then I just have a caddy with the different items with different compartments for each sewing item. I think the best thing to have is a table to be able to lay the fabric out on when you are cutting and doing other work. Doing it on the floor is no fun. Shelving is always nice for the walls but just make sure the screws are bolted in pretty well so the shelves don't fall off the wall.
 

Willowpondgj

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I would have a table (like a kitchen island) with cubbies underneath to store stuff in baskets, you can velcro a skirt onto the table to hide it all, put the table in the middle of the room, so you can have cubbies on both sides and utilize the table from all sides...or a wall of cubbies (book shelf or something) a tabaret or lingerie chest would work well for having all the little stuff in one spot, but still organised in drawers. I just store all of my scraplike material and old clothes in the left over zipper bags from the guest bedding or get some space bags to reduce volume and stash it under the bed! If you can get ahold of them, get some back issues of Mary Englebreit's magazine Home Companion, she features artist studios in each issue and there are just some fabulous ideas for creative spaces in there! They may even have pictures on her website...
Have fun!
 

Morticia

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I would have a table (like a kitchen island) with cubbies underneath to store stuff in baskets, you can velcro a skirt onto the table to hide it all, put the table in the middle of the room, so you can have cubbies on both sides and utilize the table from all sides...or a wall of cubbies (book shelf or something) a tabaret or lingerie chest would work well for having all the little stuff in one spot, but still organised in drawers. I just store all of my scraplike material and old clothes in the left over zipper bags from the guest bedding or get some space bags to reduce volume and stash it under the bed! If you can get ahold of them, get some back issues of Mary Englebreit's magazine Home Companion, she features artist studios in each issue and there are just some fabulous ideas for creative spaces in there! They may even have pictures on her website...
Have fun!
.
It's definitely important to make it a happy space so her sister WANTS to go in and do something with her stash!
 

greyswan

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The sewing room reminds me of a tea room in Russellville, AR that I used to frequent - they used old patterns as wall paper in one of the rooms - that would be cute on the walls of your sewing room.
 

gillumhouse

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My Mom had a board with "pegs" (I think nails or screws would work) in a board and all her threads were organized on that board so she could see at a glance whre the spool she needed was - could be organized by color. I think this board could easily be mounted on the wall to save precious shelf space. yet be visible for when she needed it. Bobbins were on it too.
I have my kitchen scissors on a hook in the kitchen - both pair. Again, easily seen and easy to get to without taking up shelf space. Material is a problem. I have an old army trunk I got a yard sale that I will not give up. It is filled with my material to "some day" use. My sewing room got comprimised when the pvt bath went in - it WAS part of the store room. Now the maching is buried under a ton of crap that cannot figure where else to put it and linens, towels, cleaning supplies......
(I was allowed another 30 min at teh Library for today. Cannot come back until tomorrow)
 

Morticia

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My Mom had a board with "pegs" (I think nails or screws would work) in a board and all her threads were organized on that board so she could see at a glance whre the spool she needed was - could be organized by color. I think this board could easily be mounted on the wall to save precious shelf space. yet be visible for when she needed it. Bobbins were on it too.
I have my kitchen scissors on a hook in the kitchen - both pair. Again, easily seen and easy to get to without taking up shelf space. Material is a problem. I have an old army trunk I got a yard sale that I will not give up. It is filled with my material to "some day" use. My sewing room got comprimised when the pvt bath went in - it WAS part of the store room. Now the maching is buried under a ton of crap that cannot figure where else to put it and linens, towels, cleaning supplies......
(I was allowed another 30 min at teh Library for today. Cannot come back until tomorrow).
Pegboard, perfect solution. That's what I was trying to come up when I was describing the spool holder. Plus, pegboard can also hold hanging items. I have a basket hung from a pegboard in the kitchen that holds those tools you always need really quickly...hammer, screwdriver, tape measure.
 
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