Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Organizing sewing room - AFTER!!

I've been in a mega "home organization" mode for the past few months, and it finally came time to re-organize my cluttered sewing room (check out my BEFORE post).  It's been in order now for over a week (I had problems with my camera, hence my super delayed "after" post) and I have to say I LOVE IT.
This post is wordy.  If you're not interested in the details and reasons behind my organization methods, ignore the writing and just look at the pictures :) 

Short story long... Shortly after I moved into my new home, I posted this post showing how I organized my sewing things.  It worked alright, keeping fabric scraps on the top shelf, and full pieces of fabric and patterns on the bottom shelf of an armoire. 

But, I needed to give that armoire the boot when I got my new sewing/embroidery machines so they could be left out all the time.  So then all my fabrics were separated by type in clear plastic tubs... which then turned into a gigantic opaque tub... which quickly turned into complete chaos. 

Anyways, here are the before and after pictures of my current sewing room storage area:

The logic of this (the before) layout... all the full fabric was stored on the shelves, and the scraps were in the tub on the bottom right of the picture.

The tub of scraps was just NOT working... it was too deep so any order to the fabric was quickly lost whenever a piece from a lower layer was extracted.  Plus it was easy to forget what was inside of this.

 Now here come AFTER pictures and explanations. 

There are tons of ways to store sewing patterns and everyone has a little different method that works best for them. 

You've probably seen it before, because I think it's fairly common, but I take my patterns out of their original envelopes and put them in large clasped envelopes.  Each gets its own large envelope, which is labeled with the company, pattern number, size, style, and any other useful descriptors (just be sure to put the labels in the same order and location on the envelopes and in a place that's easy to see while flipping through them quickly).  Storing patterns in bigger envelopes works well because once you use a pattern, they just never seem to fit back into the original sleeve!

Next, to easily see what patterns you have, I take the original pattern envelopes and put them in clear page protectors which are then organized in a binder.  My binder is organized by style of pattern (ie tops, skirts, dresses, etc.) but there are lots of other great ways that also work.

I store my newly made pattern envelopes in clear plastic tubs, and separate them by pattern company.  Within each company, I order them numerically.  And, of course, I use my trusty label maker to label the outside of the tubs showing which pattern company is inside each tub.

Above you can see my solution for stray ribbon rolls.  I removed the clothes hanging pole from this part of the closet and put a thinner dowel in its place.  Then I strung the ribbon spools onto it and secured the cut ends of ribbon on each roll with tape (so they don't all unroll onto the floor!).

Below is my favorite part, the 9 cubby shelf Hubby assembled for me.  It works perfectly for my fabric collection.  The right hand column of the unit currently holds all my scraps, separated by size and type, I love that they are all visible.

The other cubbies are full pieces of fabric, sorted by color.  Except for the top center cubby, which is dedicated to items for embroidering.

I used plastic shoe box containers to keep my sewing accessories in order and stacked them on top of the shelf.  I have boxes for things like zippers, Velcro, and enclosures.  Plus boxes for felt, scraps from curtains and other home decor, interfacing, and my favorite: a box for my current sewing project.  It keeps all the little pieces in order (extra thread, zipper, buttons, etc.) and all in one place if you have to put the project on hold for awhile.

To keep my sewing machine manuals and books in order I set a plastic magazine holder on the top left of the shelf too. 

Now that I can see and find things, I'm excited to sew some more clothes!

Whew, that was a long post.  If you have other helpful ideas for sewing room organization, let me know :)


  1. Looks great, if it was me it wouldn't last very long like that though :( Loving the colour coordination of the fabrics :)

  2. Looks great!! I love having an organized sewing and separate craft area. It gets away from me when I'm working on a project, but, it always gets re-organized. Stopping by from Fabric Bows and More linky party and a follower.

    Here is what I shared this week:

  3. This looks great! I would love if you would link this up at Grits & Giggles "I Made This" party!

  4. Awesome! So glad that you shared. Thanks for helping make Things I've Done Thursday a success!

  5. Wow, that is impressive! I need so bad to get organized, thanks for your ideas!!


I love comments and advice! Thanks in advance :)