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New Sewing Room Set-Up

August 13 2023 – Lindsey Neill

New Sewing Room Set-Up

New Sewing Room Set-Up

After two years of sewing in small apartments, where my sewing items were spread through out the space, I'm happy to share that I finally have a dedicated room just for sewing again 🥳🙌🏻

This is technically my 7th time setting up an area for sewing in the last 10 years. I've sewn in almost every room of a house now - Dining room, kitchen, loft, bedrooms...All of that moving and setting up from space to space has taught me a lot about what I find most necessary for an enjoyable sewing experience. I hope you find this information helpful too!

In this post I will link to as many items as I can - Everything linked is underlined and in bold in this post. If I missed anything, you can reach out to me at penandpaperpatterns@gmail.com. I'm happy to share!

This new space is on the small side - 10ft x 10ft to be exact. I did a lot of planning beforehand to determine what I would be able to fit in my new space. There were some sacrifices and compromises made, but overall I'm so happy with how it turned out.

One thing that was a non-negotiable in the new space was a counter height pressing and cutting table. If you're on the tall side and also experience lower back pain then you understand why. I planned to DIY something - Even buying the supplies not once, but two times to make it 😅 Unfortunately, neither idea fully panned out. I was not only feeling frustrated about that, but feeling very overwhelmed by new house shenanigans (ie: unpacking, unreliable contractors, and, oh yeah, black mold) that I decided I just wanted something pre-built and ready-to-go. I searched for kitchen islands online and found this gorgeous one on West Elm. It was the perfect dimensions as well (30" x 50") - Not too big, not too small. I could comfortably fit my 24" x 36" cutting mat or six of my Oliso Pressing Tiles on it.

The kitchen island has a marble top (West Elm carries a wood top option as well) and open shelves on one side with plenty of room for storing stuff. I love it SO MUCH. It's even more stunning in person.

The rug underneath the kitchen island is from Rugs Direct HERE. I got the 3' 6" x 5' 6" size.

The base of the kitchen island is metal allowing me to use magnetic hooks to hang my Olfa rotary cutter and most frequently used 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" Creative Grids ruler from. Because the less space I take up on my work surface with sewing notions, the better!

I realize this island is on the pricey side so I'm linking to another really great option from Ikea: Tornviken Kitchen Island. I love this island as well!

The next most important thing I wanted to include in my space was a design wall. I have been using floors or beds for the last five years to lay out my quilt blocks so I was pretty excited when I realized I had the wall space for a design wall. Felt Right reached out asking if I wanted to try out their felt tiles and I jumped at the opportunity.

I went with their 12" square Parellel tiles in Latte and created a basketweave pattern with them. The design wall measures 72" x 84" - The perfect size for all the throw size quilts I make. Felt Right also gave me a discount code for you all to use! You can save 10% on your own Felt Right design wall with the discount code PENANDPAPER10. This is an affliate code so I will recieve a small commission on any purchases made with it. 

You might be wondering why I went with so many neutral colors in my space...Something I've realized about myself recently is that I get easily overwhelmed by a lot of color in my living or sewing areas. Which is ironic because I LOVE color. I think, because I regularly work with a lot of color, that having both colorful quilts and a colorful space around me 24/7 is just too much. Going with a neutral color pallete to balance out all the colorful fabric I regularly sew with was important.

 Another item I wanted to include in my new space were these Ikea Skadis pegboards. This is the fourth space I've used them in and definitely won't be my last. They come in various sizes and are so customizeable. I hung three 22" x 30" pegboards in a column and put my most used rulers on it. I also used the Skadis containers on the pegboards to store all of my binding clips, needles, diagonal seam tape, scissors, etc.

I really wanted to have an extra long desk along the wall with my window so I combined the Alex drawers I already owned and bought a countertop from Ikea to create it. The total length is 98". I love that this can serve as another area that I can also cut or press at.

The lamp on my desk in the image above is from Canvas. If you regularly film videos for social media then I highly recommend checking them out!

My desk chair is also from Ikea and the sewing machine is a Janome Memory Craft 9450 QCP.

I store most of my fabric in these Ikea cabinets that were gifted to me by my mom. I've had them for about 5 years now and they've held up great! The cabinets are from Ikea's Hemnes collection. Ikea no longer sells the one on the right, but you can find the one on the left HERE.

Most of the baskets in the cabinets are from Target HERE and HERE.

The jars that I'm storing my thread in is from Ikea HERE.

I had some wall space behind my door that I wanted to utilize so I decided to put up towel bars to hang up some of my favorite quilts. The quilts that are currently hung up are Up North, Fresh as a Daisy, and Forest Fungi.

This area could have been used for a more fuctional purpose, but I love how the quilts add some color to the space. And, if I get tired of these specific colors/quilts, I can easily swap them out for different ones.

Last, but not least I wanted to share the set up in my closet. On one side of the closet is an Ikea Kallax and some Ikea Dronjon containers for storing my solids. As you can tell, I put no effort in making these bins look pretty. I just shove the fabric in and go.

On top of the Kallax I've displayed some of my most prized possesions - My cheese puff barrel filled with Auriful spools all sent by Instagram followers, a Lego sewing maching that my BFF Sewtopia gave me, and books/magazines either I or quilt-y friends of mine have been featured in.

Maybe the least exciting part of my room is on the other side of my closet where I'm storing my cutting mats*, vacuum, and printer.

*I've since rotated the cutting mats so they're laying horizontal to the floor - Sharing for anyone who might have been worried about them 😉

UPDATE - I got some requests for a visual of the layout of my room so that's below. Everything shown is to scale.

And that's it! If there are any other items you want more information on, feel free to email me at penandpaperpatterns@gmail.com!

Tagged: crafting room, hemnes, ikea, kitchen island, new, organization, quilts, sewing room, west elm

13 comments

  • Vicky: November 28, 2023

    I try to keep my sewing room organized but I also share it with my husbands office. Thanks for some great ideas on how to maximize space.

    I have an Ikea near me and will be making a trip soon!

  • Lori: September 07, 2023

    Thank you SO much for sharing this. My sewing corner is a hot mess and I needed inspiration. This is amazing!

  • Mian Umair: September 07, 2023

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  • Olivia Sporinsky: August 21, 2023

    So happy to see a well-designed small sewing room! I’m about to move & consequently I’m going to be working in a 10×10 room. This post gave me several ideas to maximize my space.

  • Alyson: August 15, 2023

    To the person asking about a TV, I mounted mine on a wall mount that swivels so I can view from different areas of the room I may be working in and it takes up no desk space.

  • Alyson: August 15, 2023

    I love your space, and so many things that you incorporated are things I used in my space as well! Many IKEA Alex units desk tops, kallax units with hyacinth baskets for fabric storage.. I’d just like to add for those who are looking for ideas, that the folding sullivan table from Joann’s is a great counter height low cost cutting and ironing station table. It can be opened all the way for cutting and layering quilts, or folded up completely and pushed out of the way, it’s on wheels. I leave it with one side open and keep my large cutting mat on it, and a large wool pressing mat. I hang my rulers behind the closet door on command hooks – you have a beautiful space! Enjoy!

  • Maryanne: August 15, 2023

    I also would love to know if fabric sticks to tiles

  • Candy: August 14, 2023

    This all looks amazing! That island is perfect for a sewingroom!

    I’ve been considering felt right tiles for my design wall but they say on their website that fabric doesn’t stick to it, is this true? I’d hate to have to pin up every single thing on their while working…I would understand if things weren’t as stable as on a cotton batting design wall (like I have now), but would love to know how “sticky” the fabric is. Thanks!

  • Alisha: August 14, 2023

    I love your space!!!! That is about the size I am trying to design so I appreciate your ideas. A couple of questions do you wish you had a TV in your space? I kinda want one but am having a hard time figuring out where to put one. Also how much space did you give yourself in between the towel bars that you displayed your quilts on? I love that idea and I think your spacing is awesome!

  • Sherrill : August 14, 2023

    Lovely space! Thanks for sharing, I enjoy seeing how other people use their space.

  • Amanda: August 14, 2023

    Absolutely beautiful space! It may be on the small side, but you’ve made such great use out of every corner. I’m also like you and prefer a neutral sewing room so that when I’m creating with all of the colors there isn’t a contrast in my mind :) Enjoy your new space!

  • Elizabeth : August 14, 2023

    Hi Lindsey—thank you for sharing your space! So happy that you’re finally in :). And all of your ideas are so helpful as I change my own space around. 🩵🩵🩵

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