Now that you have decided to take the plunge into the sewing world, you’ll want to have a small area set up for your sewing machine and supplies.
Not all of us have the luxury of a room all to ourselves, so becoming creative in finding ways to set up easily, and then store away conveniently can be very helpful when your sewing area is the dining room table.
I sewed at my table for many years, and developed a simple system to set up my machine and supplies quickly and easily. I cleaned out a closet that wasn’t being used, and purchased a Rubbermaid 3-drawer rolling cabinet. I placed all my sewing supplies in the cabinet, and placed my sewing machine on top.
This all fit neatly into a corner of the closet, along with my folding cutting board, and ironing board. When I was ready to sew, I simply rolled out my cabinet and set up on my dining room table. Since I had little ones at the time, I also installed a simple hook and eye latch at the top of my closet door that kept out curious hands.
If you can spare a room to set up for sewing, there is a great book on the market that covers this very topic. It is entitled, Dream Sewing Spaces, by Lynette Ranney Black and Pati Palmer. It touches on every possible combination for every type of sewing venture, from garment construction, to home decor, and quilting.
When I moved my portable sewing setup to its own room, I used this book as a resource to set up my sewing space. Being on a tight budget, I purchased 3 folding tables, and used one for sewing/serging, one for a general workspace and bookshelf, and the third for a cutting and pressing table.
I raised the workspace table as well as the cutting/pressing table to a more convenient height by cutting 4 appropriate lengths of 1″ PVC pipe per table, and sliding them over the ends of each of the table legs, raising the tables up to a height that was kinder to my back. I made simple tablecloths and covered the tables, draping the tablecloths to the floor, allowing for some hidden storage space under all three tables.
I purchased a few more plastic cabinets and some plastic storage bins, and slid them under my tables. I visited a used office furniture store and picked up a great rolling, ergonomic office chair for a song. My biggest investment besides my sewing machine, were two Ott Lights to improve my lighting situation. Although they are pricey, the investment has been well worth it, as the lighting is color-true, and allows me to match my colors accurately, as well as providing enough light to sew into the wee hours of the night.