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This post and photos are from Fred Berry of Downright Prolific.
I live in a small apartment condo with my husband, two daughters, and until last spring, a cat named Binna who really liked to dig in her litter box,which was in the storage room.
Sadly, Binna passed away last June, so I have redone the 7’x4’11” storage room, to turn it into a tiny sewing room.
The room went through cycles of clean and messy. Clearly, when I took this “before” photo, it was in a messy cycle. The room contained a lot of sewing supplies, and some household items, like painting supplies, the toolbox and vacuum – oh, and don’t forget a 22”x32” freezer. I needed to find a way to make everything fit in a functional way.
I started by clearing out and cleaning the room, locating the studs, and painting the walls. I chose a satin-finish bright white paint to reflect the most light possible in such a small, windowless space. I also installed low-profile under-cabinet lighting.
Space for Sewing Machines
Next, I needed a surface for my machines. I was on a tight budget for an odd-sized surface, so the table is a sanded and painted 20”x55” piece of MDF with holes for cords, installed with anchored brackets. It has a little wobble when I serge at high speed, but it’s plenty sturdy for most of what I do. It fits my machines, the small bin for my manuals and current pattern, and my Bluetooth speaker.
I have room under the table for some bins of fabric, and my spare machine. The rest of my fabric and supplies are in two of the upper cabinets. I’d love to take over the rest of the cabinets too, but since this room has to do dual-duty as a storage room, the other three hold boring things like laundry supplies and wine-making gear.
Space Saving Ideas
Since this is a small space, and sewing is a space-expensive endeavour, I’ve made the most of every inch.
– I wall mounted my tracing paper.
– My A0 size patterns are all rolled together. (This is a pain in the butt when I want to use one.)
– I marked the lower edge of a cabinet with hatches every 6” and 10 cm for easy measurements.
– There’s a thread rack on the wall by the serger.
– I made a pressboard the size of the freezer. (It looks amusingly like I’ve upholstered my freezer – stitchers will cover ANYTHING in fabric!)
– I have another piece of painted MDF to sit on top of the freezer for tracing patterns, or putting a cutting mat on.
– My fabric scraps go into a wall mounted bin.
– You can’t see it, but there’s a shoe organizer on the back of the door.
– My dollmaking supplies are all in bins in the corner, and I can set the laptop on top for viewing patterns.
– I have a great pegboard that I can reach from my sewing chair.
Thank you, Fred! Make sure to check out The Self Sewn Wardrobe Facebook Group for more discussion on Sewing Spaces.
Do you have a tiny sewing space? Tell us about it!