Sewing Room Nightmares: What’s Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

Sewing Room Nightmares

My sewing room looks like a battle zone or a hoarder’s nightmare on a good day. Over the weekend I did manage to tidy it up, but it still looks like Godzilla went through it. I hear other sewists say they can’t sew in a disorganized space and I have to agree. I find I can’t sew unless my room is somewhat cleaned up. Are you like me where having disorder ruins the creative process?

jP room After Sewing Room Nightmares: Whats Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

Jennifer Paganelli’s lovely studio.

My space is small, but I sure can cram a lot in there. A lot. The trouble is, if I can’t see the fabric, notions or other items, I won’t use it. There is no way I can remember all that I have, let alone where it is. If it’s out and visible, there’s a far greater chance I’ll be using it. So, the solution is that I need a bigger space to hold my hobby, right?

Tell me what your space is like, or send me a photo. Is it super scary? Do you tidy up after sewing? What about your ironing board? Mine turns into a catch-all. Does your space look like the photo above? Lucky you!

And, just to show that even professionals like Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom know how difficult it is to tame that fabric tiger, check out her ‘Before’ photo. Makes me feel a whole lot better!

JP before Sewing Room Nightmares: Whats Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

For those who sew and are neat too, tell us what works for you in keeping your room neat and tidy.  Show me your space, upload a photo (if you’re brave) on our Facebook page or on Instagram, use the hashtag of #sewingIRL and your comment and/or photo will enter you into a three book giveaway, plus mini fabric bundle from Riley Blake Designs.

Leave a comment below and one winner will be randomly picked on Halloween!

3 book GA Sewing Room Nightmares: Whats Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

head+shot200 Sewing Room Nightmares: Whats Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

Jill Case
Online Editor, Sew News

Happy HOme WF  Sewing Room Nightmares: Whats Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

Happy Home

Speaking of rooms. Jennifer Paganelli designs one of the most popular fabric lines in the marketplace and her rooms are every kind of beautiful. In this gorgeous collection, she shows readers how to whip up twenty-one beautiful accessories to transform their space into a sunny, happy home.

Each project showcases Jennifer’s fresh, whimsical style—from luxe drapery to cheery tablecloths and napkins. Featuring simple step-by-step instructions, a comprehensive glossary of techniques, pattern sheets tucked into a handy front pocket, and lush color photos, this book makes it exceptionally easy to pretty up every room in the house.

 Sewing Room Nightmares: Whats Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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48 Responses to Sewing Room Nightmares: What’s Your Space Look Like? + Enter Into A Giveaway!

  1. Kathy E. says:

    My sewing room is rarely “photogenic” and the door is usually closed…so that tells you a bit about its current state! I know where everything is and truly try to keep it tidy. The problem is just not having enough room to store all of my stuff! I have several pieces of furniture with shelves and drawers that will store fabric and notions and patterns, plus a full closet. I also label those drawers and containers so I know what’s in each.

  2. Janie says:

    I try to keep my sewing room organized. When it is cluttered and messy that just means I am in my creative process. When I am in a lull I get in my room and tidy up. That always inspires me.

  3. Lorri O says:

    My sewing room is very crowded with my sewing machines and quilting machine. I have 3 large bookcases full of fabric and notions, my ironing board and a quilt cabinet. Although I try to keep the clutter down, I am working on Christmas gifts right now on the weekends so it’s a hot mess!

  4. peggie purchase says:

    I have a room dedicated to the crafts of sewing and quilting. It is the smallest bedroom in our home and although it is really well organized, every time I add something new, whether it be a fat-quarter or a new tool, I have to rearrange everything. I recently started making purses, tote bags and other small pouches for Christmas presents and now I find I need somewhere to store all the different types of interfacing. Pattern storage has also become a challenge. Between free patterns that I have printed, and those that I have purchased, there just isn’t an obvious simple solution for storing them…well, that’s not really true. I can store them, but I’ll never find them again and will undoubtedly print a new copy and continue to vicious circle of “where did I put that?” HELP!!

  5. Nicole Sender says:

    At the present, I am not comfortable sharing what my sewing space looks like! It has piles of fabric and a cramped sewing table. I start to straighten out the piles and then get distracted by a new project. All I can say is, “What a mess!” On a positive note, my sewing machine is by a southern exposure window that brightens up my day!

  6. AmyScrapSpot says:

    Oh man… We moved 2 years ago from an apartment into our first home-So I have a sewing room, Yay!! BUT.. That poor room is on the bottom of the list with everything else that always pops up.. So I use my kitchen table. ugh. My Scraproom looks like a bomb went off- as it still has a good amount in boxes..and the rest spread on every surface I could find.. I am Scared to try to post a pic of THAT!! haha
    It’s great to see how others “handle” it, Thanks for the post! ha!

  7. Rovella L. De Silva says:

    My sewing machine is in my bedroom.My house is small. When i want to do my project i sew any time of the day on night.I feel it’s my comfort messy but happy.

  8. Valerie Best says:

    I wish I had the space you have. My sewing room is shared with the extra bedroom. I have a 6-needle embroidery machine, a single needle embroidery machine, a serger, and my sewing machine, plus all my material, sewing notions, and thread crowded into a 10 foot by 15 foot room with a queen size bed, my foldable craft table and my ironing board in it.

  9. Cindy says:

    I don’t have a sewing room but just a couple of desks with a mess in the living room. I am renting a room and was given this corner to put my sewing things, it’s a nightmare of organization or disorganization and its hard to work on things. I’m in the process of cleaning it up because I have a lot of projects. I did move one sewing machine into my bedroom so I can sew during my insomniac nights but now I’m cluttering my bedroom with fabric and projects so I might just have to change that. I find its so much easier to like working when it’s clean and organized and I can find things. I am excited though soon we are building me a yurt to make into a quilting/sewing/craft space for me which will be all mine and will be plenty of room to spread out and also easier to organize. So hopefully my space nightmare will be over.

  10. Libby says:

    My sewing room is a work in progress. We are building a home and our plans have had to be downsized due to financial realities. That being said we have made a computer niche for my planning and home office. My large machine will center stage right in the middle of the room. I have plans for serger, cutting board and low storage under my 4 wonderful windows. Scouring thrift stores, yard sales, etc. for other storage options.
    I am Praying it all comes together.

  11. Theresa Packer says:

    I would be ashamed to share a photo of my sewing room or the rest of the house as it looks a bit of a dumping ground at the moment and general mess everywhere else. I lost my husband a year ago and have lost my mojo for sewing as well as everything else. I am in a bit of a rut making myself unhappy and not knowing where to start. I decide to take small steps and I want to try to declutter and I seem to be making more of a mess. I wanted to sew but didn’t because I felt as though I should be doing housework and a lot of the time did neither.

    • Jill says:

      Action proceeds motivation. When I just start doing something, anything, it eventually pulls me out of my rut.

      • becky h says:

        Theresa, I am so sorry for your loss. Take the time to grieve. The sewing will return. My friend who is a wonderful quilter lost her husband and it was several years before she could return to sewing fully. So take the time to heal and see where God will lead your creative ability to next and who it might bless.

  12. Keri Lyn says:

    I am more inspired when my space is cleared and somewhat need. I’ve started taking a few minutes to put away the leftovers from a last project before starting the next. It’s funny. I have always been a multi-tasker at work, but when it comes to sewing, I need to focus on the project at hand.

  13. Chelle says:

    For me, keeping the sewing room organized is an uphill battle, as it is never quite where I want it. Yet every visitor who actually sews marvels at the wondrous organization. They can’t fathom how I can fit so much stuff in such a tiny space and still find exactly that for which I am searching.
    The exterminator, ya know the one guy you let go into every drawer, closet and cabinet summed it up perfectly. He said I have “ordered chaos” Then he went on to quote Albert Einstein as having said a cluttered desk is the sign of a genius.
    At this point, I flat out refuse to verify that quote, as it gives me satisfaction. LOL

  14. Kathy Luehrs says:

    I just moved into my new apartment a year ago – this summer I organized my sewing room – I have the cube organizers and they are all labeled with my fabric – can you believe I have 32 bins and they are all full!

  15. Allie says:

    My sewing room is extra bedroom. Share it with my clothes, collection of machines, books, and various other things. I have a cutting out place located in an outbuilding. My fabric was stored in an old chicken barn. Recently I have been moving it into a new storage shed.

  16. Kristine Clay says:

    I don’t have a dedicated space but just a craft table set up in my bedroom since we live in an apartment. I got a cart from ikea with drawers to organize my fabric. I roll them all the same size and put scraps and strips in bags in a separate box. It isn’t perfect but it works for me!

  17. Gail DeSimio says:

    My sewing room is also my laundry room and includes an upright freezer. Although I lose an entire wall to those appliances I wouldn’t want to move anywhere else as it is on the south side of my home and it is a bright and cheerful space. I am slowly upgrading the furniture. My best addition was Ikea Alex drawers. I have them near each machine and it makes organizing a dream. When things are easy to put away I am really good about picking up as I go. Once I get lax though it gets messy fast! To keep fabric and other notions organized by project I use Iris scrap booking boxes. I label them with the project name and it neatly keeps a project all together in one clean and easily accessed place. My fabric that isn’t for a specific project is kept either on Polar Notion boards or comic book boards. Although comic book boards aren’t as sturdy as Polar Notion boards they are far more economical and work great. Some fabrics have been folded using the ruler method which I also like. Each method has made a big difference in storing my ever growing stash. I can easily see what have and it utilizes my limited storage in an efficient manner. Smaller cuts of fabric and my fat quarter collection are stored in plastic shoe boxes from the Dollar Store. Since there are a lot of Windows and doors in this room my husband helped me install shelves over the window and door frames. It is great storage for items not used very often. Some strong magnetic hooks from Harbor Freight turned the side of my freezer into great ruler storage. It keeps the rulers tidy and easily accessible. An inexpensive bookcase from Wal-mart corralled my bolts of stabilizer and interfacing, thread boxes and collection of Kam Snaps, my Cricut machines and a multitude of other items. The space is a work in progress and while it isn’t my “dream” studio, I know how blessed I truly am to have as space where I can sit and sew when time allows without having to include time setting up and taking down my sewing machines. I am “sew” grateful for all of it!

  18. Rhonda Luther says:

    MY ROOM IS A MESS!!!! About 7 years ago I was granted my wish for a sewing room. At the time the hubby asked if the space I was allotting myself was large enough. SURE, I said. Oh, was I wrong. He was able to get shelving from a local hardware store when it closed and it is great, but I have had difficulty setting the shelf height. Nothing feels quite right. May just need to add more shelves from the barn. Then I added custom built oak furniture and a few years later upgraded my serger so it barely fits in the serger table. Last year I went from a Janome 10001 to a Baby Lock Destiny, which doesn’t fit in my beautiful furniture at all so it sets on top of the cabinet. I am a 4H leader so most of the year there are several quilt projects of others hanging out in the room and also clothing items. Right now the room is a disaster because I have been trying to catch up on everything I put off during 4H season. My worst problem is lighting. I thought it was my 60+ year old eyes, but the kids complain also. Fitting four sewing machines, one serger, an ironing board and a very large Martelli cutting table into a 12 x 14 room. doesn’t leave much wiggle room. I will say that the I beam running down the middle of the house is a great place to hang partially completed projects and quilt blocks to keep them clean and unwrinkled. The kids can always find their stuff when they show up to work.

  19. Doris says:

    My sewing room has taken over my basement, I know I have to organize it because I can’t find what I need & it’s hiding somewhere down there. I don’t think I need to buy anything else, but there I go…oooo pretty fabric, just get a couple yards,..wait I don’t have that foot…..a new notion, you get the picture! I know I’ve grown out of the basement, but I can’t take over the bedrooms because my kids (& grandkids) do come for visits. I figure one day (it might take more than a day, in fact I’m sure it will take at least a week) I will get it all organized.

  20. LEE PATTERSON says:

    My sewing room, to say that it is neat would be a huge injustice to the word neat…… when I sew I usually have 4 dogs running in and out or sleeping on the floor. so things have to be at a safe level or they become among the missing (dog theft) the room itself is located in a cabin next to my home, which allows dust and on occasion critters to enter..
    When it is clean(yearly) it is a thing of beauty, organized stocked and ready for use…. but alas that is rare, but I can sew when its neat or disorganized dogs or no dogs, it is my solace where I can make mistakes into decoration….. it is mine……

  21. Gloria says:

    i have some of fabric and sewing supplies in boxes and cubes but the overflow is piled on a chair and floor and on top of a shelf because intern outbof room or don’t have the right organizational methods down yet for this. Right now i can’t find anything because it is mixed in and combined with my craft supplies.

  22. Linda Rattie says:

    Well I just got my dream sewing room done. In the basement….3 huge cabinets that hold fabric, a new sewing/cutting table on top of 2 large storage spaces (custom built by my son-in-law), a peg board on the wall for rulers, scissors, rotary cutters etc. A Thread holder built by my nephew. It is soo nice having everything organized. It looks so nice. I wish I could show you a picture! :-) :-)

  23. Therese says:

    I have a large room off the dining room. Everything gets tossed in there! I really need to purge that room!

  24. Roxanne says:

    My studio is in the basement. We rent so I cannot finish walls or floors. So I do the best I can. I try to add one new thing to the studio in between sewing for clients. So parts of the studio are nice and finished and other parts are in the works and I am downsizing as much as I can. I do have pictures of both the good and the bad I am willing to share.

  25. Christine S says:

    My sewing wall is located in the smaller of the two bedrooms in our home which was a downsize for us last year. Unfortunately I share that room with my hubby’s office space and my two cats (and of course their litter box ) Needless to say, working in comfort is a challenge, but we make do. When I do larger projects I branch out into the dining room where we have a large glass table that is perfect for spreading out. The tile floor of the living room also becomes my “quilt layout wall” at times. But with that said, sewing brings so much joy and peace that it doesn’t matter where I work as long as I have the time to sew, style and create. Of course there is always a kitty nearby to test out the latest creation. (They just love my quilts!) My most recent project was a diaper bag that matches the quilt for the newest addition to our family – due at the end of November. Baby Logan is already feeling the love I am sure… I’ll post a pic of my sewing corner on the FB page as Jill has invited us to do.

    Happy sewing everyone!

    Christine (Pudbudder Creations)

  26. Dawn says:

    I’m blessed. I used the money my Mum left me to build a log cabin in the garden. It has electricity and has carefully selected furniture along with some upcycled items. There’s a comfy chair for visitors, a radio and television too. Jars filled with all kinds of notions are my little loves. Shelves filled with crafting books and cupboards with equipment.I am yet to have my wood-burner installed so I can stay out there longer. I tidy well after each project, I love the space, it’s all mine! Hubby said today “It’s a great set-up you have here”. Shame I’m going to have to leave it soon when we move to look after my Father-in-Law.

  27. Anna says:

    My sewing room is a back corner bedroom, my woodworking husband has helped me make it amazing. One wall has a partial picture gallery of artwork from friends and family over the years, next to which I have a lovely view while sitting at my custom counter top housing my serger, sewing machine, and cover stitch machine. It is looking out the window into our back yard/pond/stream/birch tree (thanks to my green thumb husband!). Two walls of my room have the upper half in custom open shelving (adjustable) housing baskets and boxes of crafting, stamping, beading, sewing notions, and my overflowing button collection. Under one of the shelving sections is a desk and ribbon holder. Under the other shelving section is an up-cycled crib railing that is mounted to the wall to hang fabrics that are my current projects or inspirations. The last open wall is partially the closet (full of clear bins housing fabric)and the open space will soon be my fold down cutting/ironing table with nifty thread shelves hidden behind. (I’m not sure my web link above works to see the photo’s on my Facebook page??) In my mind I clean up after each project, but truth is it’s about every 4th project that I clean up. Or I’ll clean up once a month when my friends come over for sewing Saturday – we all work on our projects together and inspire each other. I realize I am one of the lucky ones with this arrangement!

  28. Connie says:

    I do not have a designated fiber/fabric working space in our small house, (although I would love to have more room!) I put my projects-in-progress each into a bag (like re-usable shopping bags). That way, when I am going to work on a project, I can just grab the bag and take it with me. In addition, I always have a small pair of scissors (like the Fiskars school scissors) in my purse.

  29. Patty S. says:

    Oh gosh, I would be afraid to share a photo of my sewing studio, lol! Non-sewing folks would think I am a hoarder for sure. It’s even made my youngest daughter cry! I have space that is basically an average sized bedroom, 14 x 14. About 1/3 the size I really would like or need. But I fear that Parkinson’s Law would simply apply: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Only in my case, it would be, “stuff expands so as to fill the space available for its accumulation.” OMG! So, I just force myself to “put the rotary cutter down”, and spend a day getting it back to rights. About every 6 months if I’m lucky. Meanwhile, I just tread carefully lest I fall down, never to be found, again!! HAH!

  30. rose pryor says:

    MY sewing room is in my very large bedroom. I have half of it for my sewing tables and office desk. Half is set up like a bedroom with a queen bed, chair, cedar chest and triple dresser. The tall dresser chest houses fabric, computer and sewing cables and equipment. The tv is on top of the tall dresser. I have a massive double closet which is 3/4 crafting supplies. My DH set up shelving on one wall of the closet. My fabric tubs are stored so there are no more than two layers on a shelf. I can now get to the fabric I want and not have to dig to the bottom of the pile. Very neat.
    I place two fabric tubs on the bed and a 2×4 fiber board on top of that to make a cutting /work table. It works for me. It keeps me organized. But when I’m working on projects, it can become a creative mess.
    See my website for pictures of my setup.

  31. Connie says:

    At the moment, I don’t have a designated fabric/fiber space in our small house, so I organize by putting each project-in-progress into a different bag (like the re-usable shopping bags). That way, when I want to take a project with me to work on, I just grab the bag and take it with me. I also keep a smallish pair of scissors (like the Fiskars school scissors) in my purse, so I don’t have to carry scissors in each bag.

  32. Melody says:

    I have a very small bedroom that’s used as a sewing room, that houses my 3 machines, books,cutting table, the whole works, but I’m in the process of packing it up to move in with my mom. I will only have room for 1 machine in my small bedroom there until I’m able to get back on my feet and into my own place again. I’m really going to miss my little sewing room, but I’m hope when it’s time to fine a new place my sewing room will be bigger.

  33. Diana Salmon says:

    I went into my sewing/craft room that I share with my husband and his “train table” that fills about a third of the room and stared in disbelief as to how in the world my space had become so disheveled! I wonder what I was doing with this and why is that not where it should be. Where do I start. I start to walk out of the room and tell myself, “Not today. since I found my yoyo maker it must not be THAT bad” and leave the room. Now to add “straighten project room” to my to do list.

  34. Maria says:

    I have, like most of us, the best intentions….. and some of them work!
    When I take or teach a class, everything that I need for that class goes in a clear tub. When I buy for a specific project, it goes in a tub. The stack of tubs – okay, the stackS of tubs – are now taller than I am. But they look nice! So I can call it “decor” can’t I?!
    Fabric that doesn’t have a destination goes on shelves, which used to be organized by color. I am trying not to abandon that idea, but when there are three “best friend fabrics” that just have to be used together, it certainly doesn’t help.
    The cutting table has turned into a flat surface for piling recent purchases that don’t fit on the shelves …..
    I have lofty goals of using last-minute holiday projects to make a dent, we shall see!
    I also have a long, LONG-term goal of adding a second story to the house so I can move everything upstairs to a bright sunny loft……

    • Jill says:

      Oh, I like the sunny loft idea and good tips. Being organized takes effort, at least for me. But, once you discipline yourself it’s worth it.

      • Barbara says:

        Jill, I agree with you that being organized takes effort and time; but unorganized takes even more time and effort when you want to do some quilting. Now if I could only follow my own advice more often. LOL Happy quilting everyone!

  35. Trish Peters says:

    I have one small sewing room that seems crammed to the rafters with furniture and fabric. I am in the process of moving into a larger room, but it is crammed as well. I have good intentions for the new room, but no time to follow through. I’m still trying to sew and quilt and just manage to move the stacks out of the way. IF it ever gets completed, I’ll have a nice organized room AND a guest room. But, some days that seems to be a pretty big IF. In the meantime, I am working at putting everything away when I’m finished with a project so that I feel more motivated to start the new project. Ah, this obsession of ours!

  36. Valerie Williams says:

    My sewing room is an upstairs bonus room with my office, a futon and a full bathroom. So I can pretty much spend the day up there. I keep my sewing room tidy 90% of the time. On each side of my desk are two lawyer bookcases filled with patterns, magazines and books. Sitting on top of my Featherweight case is a long mirror. My three in-use machines are set up in an U-shape under a dormer window. The 40″x72″ cutting table stands open with lots of stuff stored under it. There are five tubs of yarn, the case of embroidery frames, a sewing machine case and a serger case filled with thread, an orig Bernina 830 machine, more thread and a four drawer cabinet filled with notions and supplies. At the end of the cutting table is the ironing board. I really try to keep this clear except when I’m working on a project. In the walk-in closet are two large metal racks filled with fabric, a old dresser filled with notions (zippers galore found at yard sales) with even more notions on the closet shelf. What’s in disarray are the racks of fabric. I really need to rearrange by fabric type, scraps and samples. My husband is really accommodating, because whenever we move, he always makes sure we only look at houses that have a room big enough for my sewing room (which by the way can take 5 days to pack!).

  37. Sandra Cunningham says:

    When I am in the middle of a project my sewing room is a disaster (and so is the the family room often times!) Just the bits of thread and snips of fabric littering the floor gives one nightmares! Right now my excuse is that the carpeting needs replaced BADLY after years of a teenager living in that room. My cuz and I took the bookcases and everything in them out to the family room in the hopes it would spur me to get estimates and begin the process, and that’s where it has been for MONTHS. sigh the middle of the room still has the messy air of discontent as I go through my voluminous “stash” in hopes of downsizing and the closet has 3 large plastic tubs of fabric I couldn’t even reach! sigh again. Every new box or bag I add from shopping trips which have never found their forever home or drawer equals a project I had enthusiasm for…when I bought it!
    In the past, though, I always liked to tidy up, as you did, before I begin a large project. Here’s hoping that day comes around again soon! Jennifer’s room gives me that hope (yeah, the ‘before’ photo that is)!

  38. Natalia says:

    Oh my! You sound just like me! I have lots and lots of fabric and notions, did I mention notions? If they are not in plain view I don’t know they exist. Or if I remember, I dont know where I put it. I need some good glass fronted organizational storage. HELP!

  39. Barbara Schneider says:

    My sewing room is in our barn. We had a corner enclosed for storage that I finally got to convert to my sewing room. The problem is – for me anyway- that I have a hodgepodge of shelves, cabinets, tables….. Nothing matches. I have intentions to make it bright and cheery and, of course, organize all the fabric and notions. Now it is just a mess, but it is my mess for my eyes only.

  40. Kathy says:

    I make it a rule to clean up after every project and to do any mending jobs BEFORE starting a new project! Having a proper storage place for everything helps.

  41. I am blessed with wonderful space. Unfortunately, I am a messy creative artist running a business which usually has at least 3 projects going at the same time. When the mess overwhelms my space, it prevents me from getting anything done and causes a lot of anxiety. To keep the Zentangle quilting/drawing from mixing up with the Block of the Month patterns and kits I design, I have assigned each project a specific area of the room. I also started keeping the supplies I use to design in a labelled bin so I’m not using up my inventory because I can’t find my tools/pens/etc. I also set up a file cabinet with files labelled by class number so I can find my masters easily when it is time to teach a class.

  42. Trudy Double says:

    Currently my new sewing room is under construction so MESS covers it very well. I have too many extension cords to keep everything going and all my supplies, fabrics and projects are in plastic boxes. I have my cutting table set up but the other tables are well, one is a plywood board on saw horses and the other is a long table that was used in a church fellowship room! SLOWLY my husband is getting the wiring in and soon there will be a furnace too (right now I have a propane heater). When it is finished it will be wonderful so I am blessed to have the area and I still am working away trying to stay organized.