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Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners

Hey sewing beginner! Are you here because you’re thinking about your sewing room setup? Before you even think about setting up a sewing room, you need to answer some questions, to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot.

Trust me on this – the number of people who think they’ll just do a little bit of sewing when they have time, plonk themselves in a hastily set up sewing room, and then suddenly realise how much time they actually want to spend in their amazing sacred sewing space!

So, let’s get your sewing room setup on point, right from the start!

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may receive a fee at no extra cost to you if you purchase a recommended product. I only recommend items I have had experience with.

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

Sewing Room Setup Questions

So the questions you really need to consider when setting up your sewing room are:

  1. What is a sewing room to you?
  2. What is a good color for your sewing room?
  3. What do you need for your sewing room?
  4. How tall should your sewing table be?
  5. What are your essential sewing room must haves?
  6. What’s the best way for you to store fabric?
  7. How do you currently store sewing supplies – and do you want to change this up?

So, lets gets stuck in breaking those sewing room setup questions down, and I’ll show you some suggested items too, to inspire you! Woop woop!

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may receive a fee at no extra cost to you if you purchase a recommended product. I only recommend items I have had experience with.

What Is A Sewing Room To You?

Think about this one carefully! The very first sewing room I had (that was all to myself) was a chaotic mess. I was using it for everything, from fit meetings with models, to pattern making and sewing for London designers as well as sewing my own clothes and fashion collections too.

I did everything all in the same section of the room, on the one desk, which led to absolute chaos.

Before your even think about a worktable, you need to consider how you think you’ll want to use your sewing room.

What Is A Good Color For Your Sewing Room?

Now, when your sewing room is setup, you’ll find it is going to be your sanctuary. My current sewing room is tiny at just 2m by 1.5m but it feels bigger because of the colours.

I have a wall of light wood shelving, with the wall behind painted a light blue. The opposite wall is white (though covered with photos of loved ones). So too is the cupboard door and the swing doors. There’s a big window, so I get a lot of light, and the white and pale blue helps to disperse what can sometimes be very bright light!

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

It can get so bright in fact, that I cannot write and take photos for blog posts until after midday, when the sun has gone far enough round for the light to soften!

What Do You Need For Your Sewing Room?

This is more of a checklist of things you need to add, and things you’d like to put into your sewing room.

I recommend starting by making a list of what you already have that can work and what would be great to have brand new. See the next question for what I think you should have as essentials when setting up your sewing room!

What Are Your Essential Sewing Room Must Haves?

We all have our ‘wishlist’ of sewing room items, but there are some essentials too. Here’s a list for you to work through – you may be surprised and be reminded of something that isn’t on your list!

  • Worktable
  • Chair
  • Lighting
  • Power source
  • Storage space

Let’s take a closer look at each of these!

Your Sewing Work Table

The table you choose during the sewing room setup needs to be well considered. Yes, you can get started with a second hand kitchen table, if you think you’re getting into sewing for the long game, it’s likely you will want to lay out your sewing patterns and make modifications.

Why is this an important consideration? Because you need to know how tall should your sewing table be for you to be comfortable.

You really do not want to be hunching over a table that is too tall or too low. It’s a recipe for back pain. You can – if budget affords – invest in an adjustable table. There are some very elaborate and full on sewing tables out there in the world, but my honest to goodness recommendation for anyone is the table I use, from IKEA!

IKEA Trestle Table

You do have to build it yourself, but it’s a simple table with two trestle legs and a white worktop.

The reason I love this table? You can buy the adjustable trestles for a little more, and the worktable can then be raised and lowered as needed.

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

Day to day, I use mine with the pegs in the first hole. This allows me to:

  1. Sew at a comfortable height
  2. Write these blog posts at a height that stops me hunching over
  3. Have ‘hanging space’ for cables and tape measures close to hand!

Now, the table also gets used in two other ways. When I’m pattern making, I use the pegs to raise the table up to a more comfortable height – I draft patterns standing up as I do move around quite a bit. My table at its ‘sewing height’ would destroy my back!

The third way I use the table is at an angle. This allows me to use it like a drawing board, fantastic for when I’m inspired and designing on large paper or sketchbooks!

So, for anyone happy to spend around £100, this really is a great table for your sewing room setup!

Trestle Leg Only Solution

Now, option number two would be to buy just the trestle legs and pop an old secondhand table top on top of them. The trestle legs are around £25 each, so you’ll get the table set up for much less.

An additional bonus to having trestle legs is that they can be used as ‘storage’ in your sewing room. On the left trestle I have my work in progress pile and on the right, my Canon printer / scanner. Yes, the trestle choice has been an amazing bonus in this teeny tiny sewing room!

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

Be sure to measure up the space available for your sewing room, and find / buy a table that is the right size for you!

Best Sewing Room Chair

You may be wondering what the best chair is for sewing? And all i can tell you is that it should be a chair that is comfortable. That is definitely an essential investment for your sewing room. Again, do as I do and just use a kitchen chair for now, but bare in mind that at some point you will want a chair that doesn’t cripple your back.

I once had this Herman Miller chair which was amazing – but far too big for the sewing space I was inhabiting at the time. So I gave it away. Sob. (I did get it from someone for £10 though – they were giving up the contents of their art studio, and I couldn’t say no to that bargain price!!!)

Now that I’m nearing my 40th, one of the next investments I’ll be making to get my sewing room setup perfect is a chair that is comfortable and great for my posture. Watch this space! 🙂


Getting decent lighting for your new sewing room really is a no-brainer. Especially as we get older, or start sewing in the dark winter evenings.

Our eyes are precious and we need to be kind to them.

I have two lights, either side of my table, which are great for the spring and summer, but will need upgrading as we go into the autumn. These are the lights I currently have and I love that they are sort of adjustable – I can bend them to point exactly where I need the light!

When Autumn nears though, I’ll be investing in these LED desk lights which will allow me the same flexibility, but with MORE ‘DAYLIGHT’ LIGHT! They’re a little pricey, but it’ll be worth the investment to look after my eyes! 🙂

Power Source

Again, another no-brainer! If you’re limited with sockets, you’ll need to invest in extension leads. I use surge protecting versions, and I have two:

Storage Space

Storage space is definitely essential. While it is amazing to have your sewing room setup and left as you like it each day, it can be frustrating if you don’t have storage space, and sometimes just want to have a cleared work area.

In the London flat we lived in for 2 years, I had a cupboard. That is all. One cupboard, which would burst open at random moments due to all the things inside it. I had hooks on the inside of the door for my card patterns to hang on from their pattern hooks.

I had stacking boxes filled with fabrics, tools, paper patterns… everything was squished into that cupboard, because my work table was against a wall in our main living area. I didn’t have the option of leaving projects and patterns on my table ( ← which was another IKEA table actually by SIGNIFICANTLY smaller!) 😉

Now I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated – albeit tiny – sewing room, with lots of shelving for books, tools and tech kit as well as a built in cupboard for fabrics.

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

Items To Store

So, consider the storage you need. You’ll want to store (at the very minimum!):

  • Patterns
  • Fabrics
  • Threads
  • Buttons, zippers and other fastenings
  • Sewing machines
  • Scissors and tape measures
  • Pens and pencils
  • Coveted sewing books
  • Iron and ironing board

The reality is, sewing machines and an ever growing fabric stash are likely to be your biggest storage sucks.

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

If you’re a sewing beginner, you likely only have the one sewing machine – you can learn more about the parts of a sewing machine here! Yet, as you become a more experienced seamstress though, you may find yourself longing for other machines, like sergers / overlockers and cover-stitch machines.

I never have coveted such things, ‘cos I have my beloved Bernina, but I have seen sewing rooms with sewing machine back-ups and backups for the back ups. Seriously, I kid you not! 😮

What’s The Best Way For You To Store Fabric?

As your fabric stash will grow faster that your sewing skills – another truth, deal with it! 😉 – you’ll need to make sure you have adequate storage space for your fabric when setting up your sewing room! This is something you want to ‘future’ proof.

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

You can store your fabric folded on shelves, but beware of light causing faded areas. You can fold it and place fabric in plastic or card boxes, and store these on shelves or in cupboards. You can even add a chest of drawers and fill those with fabric.

I personally have mine on shelves in the cupboard in my sewing room, and once my boxes are out of storage I’ll be confiscating one of the drawer chests upstairs for the rest of my fabric stash! I love having fabric ‘behind’ something for protection, so that moths, light and other things don’t damage it.

Current Sewing Supply Storage

Another thought – how do you currently store sewing supplies, and do you want to change this up?

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

It may be that you’re looking into setting up your first dedicated sewing room but have been sewing from the dining room table for a while. In that case, it is possible that you already have favourite ways to store your sewing supplies, and these should also be factored into how you set up your sewing room.

Alongside what you already have, you may want to buy some baskets and boxes, or even sew some of your own DIY sewing boxes – these can be a great way to add some creative touches to your sewing room rather than just shop bought items!

For things that are frequently used, and metal, you can use a magnetic strip attached to a wall. This one is for kitchen knives, but works just as well with scissors! As you can see in my sewing room below!

Sewing Room Setup: Tips For Sewing Beginners!

Ok. That is is everything I think you need to know about setting up your sewing room as a sewing beginner. Another consideration is a sewing basket or sewing box – something that you can use to take around the house with you – or like me, to sewing meetup groups! 😉

I have a post coming dedicated to sewing baskets and another on sewing boxes, so stay tuned for those. For now, have fun with your sewing room set up!

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