As I mentioned previously in my first post about my sewing room, I have spent almost two years renovating, organizing and decorating my sewing space so that I could get it just as I like it. Much of my inspiration is from Pinterest, but I also found useful ideas on blogs and through Youtube. I am happy to share things that I have found or come up with myself. It doesn’t cost thousands of dollars to create an organized space!
Truthfully, I am not an extremely organized person. If you walk into my bedroom closet, you will see so! Although, I do try to get things organized on a bi-monthly basis. It just seems that there are other things I could be doing…. like sewing….or thrift store shopping…. However, I do try to keep my sewing space clean and organized. When I first moved into my dedicated space about two years ago, I would often leave a lot of stuff out and in piles and I always had to search for things. That did not help me at all when sewing or crafting and I figured out how to get things cleaned up and organized. I found that if everything had it’s own designated spot, that I would be more likely to put it back there, especially if it was in easy reach. Also, when I painted and decorated my space, I felt like I wanted to keep it up, so I make an effort to put things back and keep it all tidy. I enjoy my space VERY much and I rarely ever want to leave it. In fact, my husband often has to come down and tell me what time it is and that it’s time to come up. I could spent an entire day and into the evening down there if I was left to my own devices.
I guess I will start with my patterns. I keep them organized in fabric bins in a closetmaid organizer that I picked up from Target a few years ago. I only had a few fabric boxes when I bought the organizer and have since filled them all up, so another one is in my future as I can be a bit of a pattern hoarder….
Even large pattern envelopes fit in these bins and by having the patterns organized, I can easily find what I’m looking for, just as long as I have put the pattern into the right box. I do not have many vintage patterns, but if you do, I’d probably suggest putting them in envelopes to protect them or in specially made pattern boxes (my MIL has some, but I don’t know where to get them…). A plastic sleeve is nice, but the plastic will deteriorate the paper in time, FYI. I also spent the time (yes, I am a geek) to make a database of my patterns…. I buy my Big 4 patterns when they are on sale and stock up on them and I was starting to buy repeats, so I needed to be more organized in that aspect. In my database, I also put down if I have made it and what type of fabric I used and how it turned out. I also keep a running list of patterns that I want, so that when they are on sale, I purchase them. I keep those organized in the Evernote app, which I can use on my PC, tablet, and smartphone as it’s all synced. I used to write them down in a tiny notebook I kept in my purse, but I found this to be easier, especially when I am looking at patterns online and see one that I want. I wish I had been doing these things all along!
I also label everything…… my Brother ptouch labelmaker is the best invention EVER! I first started just labeling the boxes, but these labels don’t last long on fabric, so I came up with this idea recently of labeling index cards and just pinning them on the boxes. This method stays put and can easily be moved around. I dressed up the cards with this dressform stamp I found on etsy.
I also keep patterns out for things that I want to make and found this shoe organizer to work well for that. I had bought this from Target to put shoes in, but it didn’t work for me, so I found this use for it, which works well! It does not fit those larger patterns, like the older Vogues or Folkwears, so I put them in another organizer. This way, I have at my hands patterns that I plan to use in the “near” future. I say “near”, as sometimes I do not get around to them as planned…. I blame bloggers, sewalongs and indie patterns that I “have to have”….
I keep the bigger patterns in that pink desk organizer on my serger table. That wicker organizer is one I got from my grandpa’s desk. It was old, ugly and dusty. My dad blew it out for me with his air compressor and I painted it pink. It’s now new and pretty and didn’t cost me anything! I also keep my machine manuals, patterns I’ve made and a notepad in there. All easy access. My serger table is one I bought from Target and put together. It has a little drawer and that’s where I keep my serger stuff. I keep odds and ends in that little light pink basket on the shelf (bought at Hobby Lobby). That notepad you see hanging on the wall is where I write down my plans for fabrics and patterns and cross things off my list as I do them.
This pegboard is a scrap leftover from my Dad’s shop renovation. He cut it for me to fit in that space and it is the perfect size for my scissors. I have all of my scissors labeled, not so much for me, but so that someone (like my husband) does not take my expensive Gingher’s that I use for cutting silk and ruin them to cut paper….. If you notice, on the left (and on the right) there are these spool looking things stuck in the pegboard. My MIL just recently gave them to me as they were a gift from someone else and she didn’t know what to do with them. They are corn cob holders that look like spools of thread. They fit in the pegboard, so I stuck them there. Not sure what they’re use will be other than they look cute!
One of the best things ever is having all of the colors of thread at my disposal! I buy thread when it’s on sale and this is the culmination of probably two years of doing this. That’s hundreds of dollars worth of thread and I didn’t buy it all at once. I used to buy thread when I was making something, regardless of whether it was on sale or not. I found this method to be much cheaper and always have what I need. When I am running low, I write it down on my ongoing Joann list on Evernote and buy it when it’s back on sale for 40% or 50% off. I live in the country and my nearest fabric store is 30 miles away, so this is the best for me, plus I like looking at my thread…. lol! These thread racks are from Joann’s, purchased on sale or with coupons. I recently spray painted them purple.
I don’t why it bothers me that there is a yellow thread missing …. it’s on my sewing machine
I bought this ribbon rack at Joann’s on Black Friday last year for about $10. It’s pretty chintzy, so I wouldn’t pay alot for this. I’ve seen some nicer racks on etsy and before I got this, I kept my ribbon on a pants organizer, but this one works better for me. My MIL got one, too, it’s not big enough for her. I don’t use much ribbon, so I doubt that I will fill it up.
These are repurposed glass jars that my mom and MIL saved for me starting last year. I washed them and delabeled them and they work well for odds and ends, which I, of course, labeled.
I really love storage containers, BTW…. The rolling cart on the left is where I keep my other notions that aren’t in those glass jars. You can buy that at Joann’s, but I found mine used for $10 on a local Facebook swap site. The plastic containers are from Target. I keep some fabrics and interfacings in those drawers. The fabric bins are ones I picked up at Ross last year and it’s where I keep projects I’m working on. With back to school sales going on, right now is a good time to find those.
This rolling organizer came from Joann’s on sale for about $15. I LOVE these and am always keeping my eyes open for a good deal on one.
And yes, I label these, too….. Like I said, if everything has it’s place, I’m likely to put it back.
This is another plastic drawer cabinet I bought at Target. I have this under my serger table and keep tools and craft supplies, etc in it.
I keep my beads in this container I got at Joanns for about 90% off. My beads are also in little plastic containers in there. I keep this in the ehelving under my cutting table.
This is another desk organizer I got from my grandpa’s desk. It was an ugly old yellow and I painted it pink. I keep my rulers and cutting tools in it.
I bought a bunch of these fabric storage bins at Joann’s last year on clearance for a few bucks. I use this one to keep fabric in that I’m getting ready to use. My other fabric is in bins and boxes under my cutting table.
I keep my fabric scraps in this bin on the shelving under my cutting table. As you can see it’s full…. I can never figure out what to do with all of my scraps. Last year, I donated them to a local 4-H club so that they could make baby quilts. I use them for stuffing things sometimes and small projects. But there is always more and more and I can’t bear to throw the scraps away…..
Hopefully, this can help you with some of your storage problems. You can find storage organizers everywhere and many things can be repurposed for sewing/crafting. I keep a look out for sales and at thrift shops and garage sales. Keeping things organized really helps me be more productive. And yes, if you stopped by my sewing room for a visit, it would look like this! I try to keep it up, although my cutting table is a magnet for setting things on top of…..