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By Judy from Birmingham AL
I sorted all her notions in a chest of drawers. Sewing machine parts and accessories go in the top drawer, scissors, needles, etc, in the second, and so on. I just made sure that all like-type items were together. All thread was put neatly into a small Rubbermaid container to sit on the table next to the machine. All magazines were put into magazine holders from Walmart so that they could be put into the bookshelf and quilting and sewing books in the bookshelf as well.
I hope this helps. It just takes some time and patience. My mom was so happy with her sewing room when we were done that she is trying to hire me out to folks!
Clear tubs can be used for storing material, or even clear drawer style storage units. These can also be used to store patterns. Personally, I prefer to store my fabric with a pattern so I can "pick a project" as time allows.
Be a little ruthless w/scraps, etc. Only keep what you KNOW you will use, not something "still usable". Be generous with your overflow to other "crafters", day care centers, etc. By limiting your supply to items you can use now, you free up space to be creative, instead of hoarding materials you will never get to.
For fabric: if there is a closet in the room you could hang the fabric. I don't sew, so I don't know the proper way of storing some of these items, just an idea. If you don't have a closet, and the hanging idea would work, you could buy a portable clothes rack or something.
If you have large rolls of fabric, maybe you could install some brackets that hold the closet rods, and use the rods to slide the fabric rolls on. Then you could just roll off what you needed. (08/10/2005)
One drawer I used for lace and ribbon, another for appliques and other similar accents. On top of the dresser I used a set of three nesting tins. I put my thread in one, bobbins in another, and pins in the last one. With the dressers you have a way to keep your material and other supplies clean and contained and have to top for extra storage space or for displaying other items.
I found that file boxes are a great way to store my fabric. I get the cheap six pack from staples (around 6$ per 6 pack) then i am able to label the boxes so I know what fabric is in what box. these are also great for patterns if you take a spare piece of cardboard to separate the rows.
Next I purchased two of the large bookcases from walmart, and bought an extra shelf and pegs from Home Depot. You are able to fit 10 file boxes plus have an extra shelf at the top for notions.
For my notions I use a couple of different things. For my threads I use thread racks from joann Fabrics, I bought one at a time using the 40-50% off coupon from the mailing list. I now have three full racks.
The next thing I use is the photo storage boxes from Joann's. About 3 or 4 times a year they go on sale for $1.99 a piece (this is usually on the big 3 -day weekend sales like memorial day, labor day and Thanksgiving, maybe others like christmas, columbus etc.) Keep your eye on those fliers!
You can also use the clear storage boxes from Wal-Mart they are about the same price, more durable and come in different sizes. I like the photo storage because they are pretty and I can color coordinate.
I made my own ironing board with plywood heat resistant padding (available at Joann's or Wal-Mart.) and a fabric from my stash. put together with a staple gun. Then I put it on top of a shelf constructed with 2x4s and then covered the shelf with a coordinating fabric.
My sewing and cutting table is an 8ft dining room table which was a hand-me-down. I also manage to stuff 8 file boxes of fabric underneath the table. And a 24 x36" cutting mat.
I hope these hints help. And even though my room sounds rather organized I always manage to make a mess. And i am rather obsessed with change so I rearrange my room every 3-4 months or so. Happy creating and remember; Just Laugh.
Some of us don't like our kitty to help us sew. Mine has fairly long hair and will immediately lie down on any piece of fabric I lay down.
Tape a common paper lunch bag to the top of the back of your sewing machine to dispose of thread and fabric snips as you sew. This keeps your sewing area neater.
Like most people, I find myself trying to find uses for my grocery store bags. I don't like to spend money for something if I can avoid it. I bought waste cans for all the areas where I thought I would need them and forgot my master bedroom.