Tuesday, September 10, 2013

From Chaos to Creative: Organizing Your Sewing Space

My sewing area consists of a folding table in one of the corners of my room. It's bright, sunny and a great place to work, as long as I'm able to get to it under all of the clutter.Unfortunately where my table is situated it tends to be a little bit of a cluttered catch-all. If I'm not careful it quickly collects a huge collection of sewing projects, school books and other miscellaneous stuff that has no other home. Maybe you're in the same boat... So I'm going to go through my quick list of things to keep my sewing area neat and organized.

I find that if I don't keep my sewing area in order, I don't like to be anywhere near it let alone sew there. Messes are distracting, frustrating and generally not conducive to a productive sewing time. Normally I don't let my sewing area or my room in general get messy, because I just don't like it. But during the past two weeks my room and the table I use for sewing had become my dropping area in the midst of a busy schedule. Here are some things that I do to try to keep my mess managed and the creative juices flowing.

  • Have a home for your sewing stuff. I have a table, but maybe you have an entire room or just a corner. Either way have a place that your sewing stuff retreats to once you are done with it.

  • Evict any foreign objects. School books, flashlights, anything that isn't sewing shouldn't be mixed in with sewing stuff. It takes up room and just makes things cluttered.

Once you've got everything thing limited to just your sewing supplies you will want to make things as neat and organized as possible. I find it very helpful to keep my sewing tools and projects as visible as possible. Then there is less of a chance for me to lose them or forget the projects I have to work on.

  • Recycling plastic sheet or curtain bags is a great way to store fabric and patterns
  • Fabric that is too bulky to fit in a bag can be neatly folded and stored in a basket, suitcase or large sewing machine case.
  • Don't leave patterns loose! That's one of my weaknesses. It's a whole lot easier to take the time to put the patterns away or in a bag together than it is to have to sort out and organize a ton of loose patter pieces.  

  • Cork boards are a great way to keep your scissors and other tools that can be hung in plain sight and away from the fabric that they get so easily lost in. 
  • If you have a drawer on your sewing machine, it's a good idea to keep a seam ripper or a small pair of scissors with your machine, then no matter where you sew you always know where those handy tools are. 

  • Small zippered bags are a great way to store little odds and ends like thimbles and marking tools, plus if you make them yourself, they are a great way to use up some of your stash.
  • Keep a trash can near by at all times. Little scraps and threads pile up quickly or get strewn around if you don't toss them right away. Collect them up early and often.
If you have a permanent or semi-permanent sewing area like a nook, table or room, you might want to consider coming up with some cute, simple ways to decorate and organize all that the same time. 

  • Zippers can easily be fit into a mason jar, it keeps them handy, organized and the colors are pretty.
  • My mom and I have fun with our novelty pin-cushions. They are look cute enough to be left out all of the time so that they are handy when you need them. No more excuses for me to leave loose pins about my sewing nook.  
  • I found some decorative baskets on clearance at one of our local craft stores. They are a great size and can fit a few cuts of fabric or patterns that I'm not using. 

It's way too easy to get lazy and not keep on top of things. But with a little time and setting some good habits, it's very possible to go from bomb site to neat. It's so much more relaxing to live and work in a clean and orderly space.

I'm always on the look out for more great ways to keep my sewing area under control. Obviously I'm not anywhere close to being 100% organized. If you have any good tips I'd love to hear them, please leave a comment below!

Happy Sewing!

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