Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

My Sewing Space: The Sequel

Since my post about my IKEA-hacked cutting table & my organized closet drawers is by far the most popular post on my blog, I thought you might enjoy seeing the rest of my sewing room.

Here’s a reminder of what the cutting table looks like:

My IKEA hack: the fabric cutting table

My sewing room is a 10’ x 12’ bedroom in my house.

My sewing room floor plan

My goal was to create a space that was both pretty and functional. I didn’t want to feel like I was boxed in by shelves & tons of supplies but I wanted a lot of storage space.

I decided to put shelves on the wall of the room to make use of the vertical space and went searching for the most aesthetically pleasing yet strong shelving. I found my visually simple solution at The Container Store: suspension cable shelf brackets that can hold up to 100 lbs. per pair!

I waited for a sale at The Container Store to buy the brackets and saved even more by buying the actual shelves at Home Depot or Lowes (I don’t remember which one had a better price on laminate shelves at the time).

One of the best things about these shelf brackets is the fact that you only have to put two holes in the wall to hang one shelf (but I will admit they are a bit of a pain to level when you first hang them).

I filled my shelves with clear storage boxes in various sizes. I find that unless my storage is see-through, I forget I have stuff and I don’t really read the labels.

My assortment of clear storage containers on the shelves.

Originally, my husband and I built a crude table for both my sewing machine and my serger by using a long laminate shelf and attaching six legs to it.  It served me well for many years, but I found myself wishing for a drawer or two.  (I never bothered to take a picture of it even though I used it for so long!)

Then IKEA started selling the BESTA BURS desk – it was literally only about ¼” different in length and width from the table we had built and it had two long drawers! I decided to splurge and buy it (after all, my cutting table only cost about $100 to build) because there would be no hacking involved to get exactly what I wanted. How often does that actually happen??

I discovered that an adhesive ruler fits perfectly on the edge of the table
in front of my sewing machine.

I have my thread storage on the wall over my machine and the cones of serger thread hang behind the door to the room. (Since I don’t change that thread as often it doesn’t have to be right next to my serger.)

My cone thread rack behind the door to the room and next to the closet door.

I plan to expand my standard thread racks a bit in the next couple of weeks (I seem to have outgrown what you see in the pictures), and I will explain how I hang them once I’ve done that – it’s actually really simple to do.

You might remember from this post that I keep my ironing tools on the shelf above the ironing board in my ironing corner.

My ironing corner complete with “backwards” board.

I have since added another RIBBA picture ledge to the wall above my cutting table for storing some spools of bias tape and elastic.

The newer second RIBBA picture ledge on the bottom
(to the Left of the one I had previously hung).

And I have been mulling over the idea of moving the tea cart out of the room and expanding my cutting table, or even setting up one of my other machines in a more permanent way.

Now if only I could always keep it as neat and tidy as it looks in these photos! It’s amazing how fast it gets messy (and creeps into other rooms) when I’m in the middle of my projects!

Of course, when am I not in the middle of a project?

Related posts:

How I Organized My Sewing Room

I’m in a Book! So Let’s have a Giveaway!

26 responses to “My Sewing Space: The Sequel

  1. purplepincushion July 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    My handy hubby built my sewing and cutting tables for me years ago as well:-) They are holding up great, but I would so love to indulge in an Ikea shopping spree!! I love the art work on your walls!

    • Brooke July 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      We have another IKEA project going in our tv room right now. It seems I am always trying to hack something, hehe.

      The dress sketches on my walls are hand-painted Vera Wang sketches that I copied from a book because I loved them. =)

      • amberjena July 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm

        I was just going to ask about your wall art! LOVE IT!

      • Brooke July 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        Thanks! I found them in this book in my personal library and copied them onto transparencies. Then I projected them onto the wall, traced the outline with a pencil, and painted in the pencil outlines. After I traced everything, I think it took me and my sister (thank goodness I had her help!) 2 or 3 days to paint them all in – our hands were sore for days!

  2. Cation Designs July 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Wow! That looks amazing…I am swooning over your lovely thread racks and mural. I would love to have a room like that one day! My dad and I have been going house-hunting and I keep looking at spare bedrooms, secretly evaluating how they would fit all my sewing stuff.

    • Brooke July 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks! I’m sure you will find a perfect sewing space of your own eventually. =)

      When we found our house (almost 9 years ago!), that’s exactly what I was doing – is there a room for all my sewing stuff? At first, I thought I would end up using a formal dining room because most houses built in the 90’s or later have puny bedrooms and one HUGE master. (Our master bedroom is stupidly big, but at least the other bedrooms aren’t ridiculously tiny.) And it was so nice to finally get my machine off the kitchen table!

  3. dressesandme July 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Wow this is an epic sewing room!

    • Brooke July 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      hehe, thanks! It took me about 5 or 6 years to make it what my dream sewing space was on paper, and I’m still improving it all the time. There have been days I wish I could take the whole room to work with me because I’ve added details I like from multiple costume shops all in my one room.

  4. Karen July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    It’s SO important to like the space you’re working in – and you have created a perfect environment! Thanks for letting us see it!

  5. Athene July 26, 2012 at 6:43 am

    This has always been a very efficient use of space! I don’t know if this was intentional, but I also like the fact that it’s the first room in the hallway of your house. That’s convenient for when you need to have people over for fittings, etc. You don’t have to take them through your entire house!

    • Brooke July 26, 2012 at 7:54 am

      I actually use the front living room area where the mirror is for fittings (and that’s partly why I never bothered with a formal dining room table). Some people never even see the sewing room, but it is nice that it is where it is for business purposes – I picked that room because it was a little bigger than the other two rooms and I could have a bigger cutting table. =)

  6. jeanne e. August 2, 2013 at 10:05 am

    i am in love with those shelf brackets…and that window. 🙂 very nice space. thanks for sharing!

    • Brooke August 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Thanks! I have a love/hate relationship with that window – it lets in wonderful light but it takes up so much wall space and lets a lot of heat into the room (it’s the hottest room in my house year round!). Glad you enjoyed seeing my space! And thanks for the comment! =)

      • Judy A Cooper May 29, 2014 at 8:40 pm

        Get some of the film for windows that blocks the heat and sun. We put this on big windows in the living room and it made a world of difference. It isn’t easy to install and you need 2 people to do it.

      • Brooke May 29, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        I have plans for window film (I even have the samples already) but I just haven’t had the time and money to do it yet. Soon, I hope!

      • Sandy August 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        Brooke, I understand the love-hate window problem. My sewing room is the same way–recognized the light pattern. LOL Currently, there are sheers hanging and a room darkening shade that works well in the summer when the sun is high. Winter is usually too cloudy to bother me. What I really want is the honeycomb shades that open top or bottom. For a palladian window, I’d put the standard fan-type cover in the arch and the honeycombs on the remaining rectangle. That way there is light control and heat control. (Hmm…Maybe I should just make some for mine; i like a challenge.)

        Also, is it possible to get the solar screens for windows in TX? I have a girlfriend in AZ who got them for her house and it made a huge difference in the heat coming the window and the light was reduced to comfortable plus you can still see out. I was testing her sewing machine one time and found it just right. Here’s a site to see the screens: Yes, they make them to fit arched windows,

        I don’t think you would like the window film because it would alter the colors you see in the room. Not a lot but it could be enough worse than annoying.

        Just found your site and enjoy it. I have a bunch of Ikea things in my sewing room too. 🙂

      • Brooke August 21, 2014 at 11:57 am

        Sandy, thanks for the comment! Glad you like my blog!

        I actually have a fan shade in the window and and fun curtain that helps quite a bit – you can read about it here. Yes, it’s possible to get solar screens but I hate how they look and I’d have to do all the windows on the front of my house. The film I plan to get is not the color altering kind because I made sure I carefully researched my options. And luckily, the tree in front of my sewing room is now larger and better shade during the hottest time of the day. =)

  7. Brenda Matthews September 10, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I love your sewing room 😉 its wonderful! I’m just converting one of my ground floor rooms finally, after nearly a year working in my dining room! i hope I can get mine to look as pretty and organised as yours ! 😉

    • Brooke September 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks! I really need to clean my sewing room right now (might possibly do a little rearranging soon) because it’s a mess.

      Congratulations and good luck with your new sewing space! =)

  8. Michele Connell April 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Brooke, I just stumbled on your blog, and right away I have ordered sets of LACK tables and RIBBA shelves. I cant wait for them to arrive and get started. I also managed to get a offcut of a gel self-healing mat (I have arthritis and have to use a rotary cutter most times) which will easily fit on the top once I have marked out a grid on the table tops first. Thank you for the inspiration – I have wanted a decent cutting table for years, and in one afternoon I got all the fixings ordered and for less than £150!

    Thank you again – Chelexx

  9. martidiy February 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I came across your blog while searching for an adhesive ruler for my sewing table. Is yours on a tape like masking tape, or a plastic tape? And how well is it wearing and staying put? Thanks!

    • Brooke February 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      It’s just a Dritz brand adhesive tape measure – plastic with a clear layer over the printing. They will last for years as long as you aren’t picking at them, and it’s usually the clear layer that starts to come off first from what I’ve seen on machines in costume shops where I’ve worked. You should be able to find one for yourself on the notions aisle of any fabric/craft store.

  10. Eileen April 16, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    My daughter sent me your link. Great ideas!

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