How I organised my sewing room

crafts free advice my home sewing transformation Apr 18, 2020
A sewing room with a red mannequin at one end, white cube storage in the middle, and a desk at the other end with a sewing machine set up. A skylight fills the room with natural light.

We moved house in August of 2019. Our previous home was set up PERFECTLY for us. We had renovated every inch of that property to suit our needs – but we were starting to outgrow it so knew it was time to move on. One of my non-negotiables for the new house was a separate space for sewing – I was so lucky to have a little cabin outside our last home, so my sewing machine, overlocker and sewing table were permanently set up. This meant that when I was struck with inspiration to sew, I could get in and do it without the “admin” of setting everything up. 

I couldn’t believe my luck when we first looked at the home we eventually bought – the main house was great, spacious and had character (I need a home with soul)…. And it had a loft bedroom above the garage with amazing natural light and a good amount of space. It ticked all of the boxes and we were very excited to move in. I procrastinated and procrastinated on setting up the craft room – I wasn’t feeling inspired to sew and there was PLENTY of stuff to be setting up in the main house, and of course I had a business to run that was experiencing its busiest time ever. 

Until lockdown came along. All of a sudden, I wasn’t able to serve my clients, I was less able to focus on the admin side of my business with Otis home during the day, and I started to crave the peace that always came with sewing. So it was finally time to set up the craft room. It took me about 2 hours all up – this didn’t include any product research, measuring, or shopping (I used what I already had at home) or setting up the furniture (we had done that when we first moved in). The time was mainly spent unpacking the box of doom (a moving box that had 6 drawers emptied into it when I was “packing”, as I was too lazy to properly pack all of those small items… I came to regret that laziness), detangling all of the ribbons and notions that had unravelled, and then setting up the cube shelves.

Other sewists out there will know… you don’t mess with the fabric scissors! Every pair of scissors I own has a purpose and I use them a lot when I’m in the making zone so like to keep them handy. This concertina wall organiser (similar available here from Kmart when lockdown shipping restrictions are lifted) was the perfect solution to use the otherwise useless space behind the desk.

Believe it or not, I love second hand shopping and picking up interesting and unique pieces. The vintage printer’s tray came with us from our last home as it is the perfect solution for storing embroidery threads and other knickknacks that make me happy. I’m also a sentimental fool…. When my grandmother passed away, I inherited her sewing notions and knitting needles – displaying them in my craft room makes me feel connected to her. I’ve used an old jar and a vintage milk bottle for the knitting needles, and made a mini-display of her old notions boxes using a pantry tray (available here). It’s also the perfect spot for my craft notebook where I record the details of everything I make. That’s the holy grail of organisation right there: functional, sentimental, attractive. Woop!

The cube shelves have moved with us for our 13 years of home ownership! Not bad for some kitset knock-ups from The Warehouse (similar available here https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/living-co-mason-4-cube-white/R2070612.html#q=cube+shelf&start=1). To keep the inside of the cubes tidy and easy for me to find what I’m looking for, I’ve used a variety of containers to store my sewing patterns, notions and wool. I don’t mind that they don’t all match – always better to use what you have rather than shopping for brand new. 

And of course, this wouldn’t be a Ship Shape Shoppe transformation without a turntable! To keep the desk as clear as possible, I have used a turntable in one of the cubbies to store my less-frequently used tools and accessories. It will keep the cubby from getting jumbled while I rootle about looking for stuff – I can just spin it around, grab what I need, and get on with doing what I love… stabbing my fingers with pins! Ha! 


Seriously though – after the perfect sewing set up at our last home, I realised how important it is for me to have an organised and functional creative space. Juggling all those things that come with adulting (parenting, businessing, housekeeping, good-personing etc) can be a lot; for me, having an organised space means I can make the most of the very limited time I have for sewing. 

Do you love to sew? Do you have a dedicated space? Want any tips on setting up your space? Here are the ways you can work with me at the moment: 

  • Free : Ask me anything

  • $75 : 30 minute virtual consultation

  • From $175 : Virtual decluttering

It all starts with a call – we talk about your goals and together figure out how I can best suit you, within your budget.

Book a time for a free 15 minute clutter busting strategy session now.

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