Tips: Create a Sewing Center


You love to sew, but your supplies are squirreled away in random drawers and cubbies all over the house. What to do? Transform an extra bedroom, a large closet or even a quiet corner into a comfortable, productive sewing center where you can sew in peace.

    Store hand tools, such as scissors, a rotary cutter and a magnifying glass, in stackable plastic drawers. Mount Peg-Board on the wall and hang up your frequently used tools, or slip them into a shoe organizer hung on a door.

    Put good task lighting in your work area. A full-spectrum light source—direct sunlight through a window or a bright lamp—is important for seeing true colors.

    Use a rolling suitcase to stow your sewing machine and a plastic box of supplies if you have to operate in a small space. The box holds zipper-lock plastic bags of all sizes with like items grouped together (threads, needles, trims, Velcro). If you’re taking the machine on the road, toss in an iron and a mini pressing board.

    Move the machine to the project rather than vice versa when working on large projects (sails, curtains, comforter covers). Re-hem drapes right at the source, without even taking them down.

    Keep a list of measurements for projects you are considering tucked away in your wallet or purse and take advantage of buying opportunities as they arise. Keep a couple of fabric swatches from your couch, linens and so on to match colors on the fly.

    Store extra fabric in gallon-size zipper-lock plastic storage bags. Organize these bags by color in a filing cabinet, filing boxes or clear plastic bins. Place your sewing patterns in plastic bags, too (picture facing outward), rather than forcing them back into their envelopes. Or, just fold and press patterns with a warm iron—they compress right down to slide back in their packets.

    You can also store patterns by rolling them around gift-wrap tubes to keep them smooth and flat.

    Keep a separate sewing kit with tiny thread spools and needles in a convenient location for quick mending. Save the hassle of getting into your big sewing kit just to sew on a button.

    Pick up pins and needles with a magnet.

    Many of these ideas also apply to craft rooms.

    Who Knew?
    Fabric glue is your best friend. When working with materials such as decorative trims, glue is much more efficient than sewing. (Duct tape, however, has been proven to last through only a couple of washings.)

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