Category Archives: Organization

I Could Have Sewed All Day!

O.M.G. I really am not into cleaning, and would vastly prefer to spend a TOTALLY OPEN DAY sewing. The only thing that tops that activity is spending time with my DGD. So, you might ask, why did I spend all day Sunday and all Monday morning cleaning out, purging, shelving, boxing, and cataloging things in my sewing studio? You know the answer: desperation.

Cutting table with bookshelves behind

I moved the cutting table orientation in the room so I can walk all the way around it now. And the bookshelf on the right in the above picture and the wire rack? Totally cleaned out and re-orged.

Book Shelf Closeup

Here is a bit of a close-up of the shelving area. Goodness. Lots.of.stuff.

Sewing Machine Storage

I am super excited to have this sewing machine storage area set up. There used to be a file cabinet in this area, which I moved next to my desk. Now all my sewing machines, pressing tools, and student projects are organized right in the studio entry area. Sweet!

Sewing Machine Tables

Not any structural change to the sewing table area – just super clean. Now by tomorrow….sigh.

Staging Table behind Sewing Machines

The view from the other side of the sewing table area, looking toward the back of the room. Clean from this side too!

Sewing Desk Area

The desk area is still a yet-to-be-organized area. Paperwork is not really my specialty, but at least I have a file drawer nearby which (hopefully) will help.

Behind Sewing Desk Area

This view behind my desk is stacked mostly with projects that are in various stages of completion or mending/re-doing projects. I feel about those projects the same way I do about scrubbing toilets. They may never get completed, but I WILL clean up and organize them donate them to the Goodwill.

Staging Table Closeup

This closeup is another “longed for” area in the sewing studio. Even tho this table stacked with “ready to sew” or “ready to cut out” projects may look horrendous to you, with a quick pull to the right I have a photo corner. White walls and natural light to help produce better shots. Yes, more work is needed. but if I had actually sewed yesterday the stacks on this table would be smaller!

Happy sewing!



Obsessive sewing studio organization

Sewing machine tables

My sewing studio has never been perfectly tidy. Not ever. I consoled myself that sewing is a messy art form, and since I generally had many projects underway at once, of course my sewing space would have a few piles.

Last week I got a little inspiration from a sewing friend to tackle some of my thorny irritations. Kris Collins, of Sound Stitches, gave a presentation at our local ASG chapter suggesting some ways to organize a sewing space. At first I thought I would just try one or two of her suggestions, but I became obsessed! I spent hours folding, sorting, throwing out, categorizing, and cleaning. And I loved the process, as well as the result. How crazy is that!

This large Ikea storage unit my DH bought contains knit, outerwear, silk, linen, wool, and some cottons. The center and right top drawers hold all the shirting fabrics for my DH’s shirts. Sheesh, I’d better get busy.

Ikea storage unit      

Thank goodness I finally wound my assorted interfacings on cardboard fabric holders. Those messy piles always falling on the floor made me nuts.


I bought one new bookcase (used from Craig’s list), and folded all my cotton prints over a 24×6 inch ruler before filling the shelves. When Kris suggested this I thought there was no way I would ever do anything that compulsive. But once I tried it, I just couldn’t stop. So satisfying. Kind of like folding clean diapers when the kids were all little.

Folded cottons

So many books! And thread – but I did clean out loads of serger cones. What was I thinking with all those colors?

Books and thread

More books, buttons, a container of zippers, some antique laces on the upper left, and my Amanda smocking pleater.

Books etc

See all the binders below the books? They contain all my pattern envelopes, separated into categories (women’s knit dresses, women’s woven dresses, menswear, etc). It is a great way to flip thru my pattern stash quickly and easily. (Thanks Shelley!)


These boxes contain large manila envelopes with the pattern tissues and instructions, organized by pattern number.  How did I ever buy so many patterns?!?!?


 I went thru every pile, box, and bag in my sewing studio. I donated 2 large bags of scraps to the Bellevue Boys and Girl’s Club Pre-school, 2 bags of clothes to charity, and a gi-normous pile of fabric, serger threads, and notions to my local ASG yard sale. My sewing studio feels so much “lighter” without the weight of unnecessary supplies and projects that I had no intention of ever finishing.  I definitely recommend making the effort to clean out and organize your sewing space – thanks for the inspiration, Kris!

Cutting table and storage

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen