Keeping Your Notions Handy

Last week I showed you my sewing room.

Today, I ‘d like to show you how I organize it.

I was raised by a very organized mother.

She taught me well. When you are finished with something, it goes right back where it belongs.

But I’m not as good as I used to be. I certainly don’t have things back where they belong here. 

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What is a map doing in my sewing space, you ask?

Well, my husband and I went on a trip two weeks ago and I am journaling the trip in that small blue notebook and using the map to remind me of the places we went and the things we saw.

I bet you multi-task in your sewing room too.

We all have clutter.

And we all have to move it out of the way if we are going to sew.

So, here it is after I’ve put things away:

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Do you see the gray square storage unit in the photo above?

Well, my husband used to use it for storing nails, and nuts and bolts in the garage.

But, he “graduated” to a different storage unit and asked me if I wanted this for sewing.

It has 25 small clear drawers in it and I thought it would be perfect for all sorts of notions.

The inside holds various sizes of sewing machine needles, all sorts of buttons, snaps, bridal beads, trims, my jean-a-ma-jig, etc.

I use the top of it to hold a small clock, seam rippers, the tomato pin cushion, and small scissors.

The black mesh container on its left is a pencil holder my husband bought me at Walmart or Target.

I used to use an empty cocoa container, which worked just fine, but this has lots of compartments, which is nice.

The two ends hold all my pens, seam gauge, rotary cutter, crochet hooks, fray block and markers.

The middle section holds my most often used “feet” for my sewing machine, and some “post-it” notes.

Below the counter, on my right, I have several matching wicker baskets. The two top baskets hold all my sewing machine thread.

In one basket, I have spools of blue, purple, grey, black, and white. In the other, there are reds, oranges, greens, yellows and browns.

This isn’t the best solution, because I have to dig through the baskets to find the shade I need. The thread ends work their way off of the spools and get a little tangled from time to time.

I used to have a rack on the wall for my thread. It holds each spool individually so you can see the colors at a glance.

In this sewing room, I didn’t want too many things on the wall, but I think I may go back to that idea.

One basket on the lowest shelf holds my scissors:

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Not sure how I got such a large collection. I don’t think I bought any of them. I think they were all given to me as gifts. Some are for fabric, some are for cutting paper, and one is a pinking shear.

The other baskets hold patterns, notions and other gizmos.

The point is, I like to have most everything at my fingertips so I don’t have to get up and go hunt something down.

In my last sewing room, I had a peg board and I was able to hang all my scissors, needle packages, mini iron, marking paper and wheel, etc. Then, all I had on the counter was my grey storage unit and my pencil holder.

You probably have a combination of things on your counter and things hung up.

You may have your iron right next to you.

I like to get up and go iron (especially with the big wedding dresses) because it gives me a chance to move around a little.

There are other reasons I get up and move around.

Sometimes, I get things out of these drawers:

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They hold serger cones of thread, patterns and books.

They’re the perfect size for what I need them for.

I spotted them both as I was driving past a garage sale.

They were in perfect condition and I only paid $15 for the pair!

I also get up from the sewing machine to meet with customers downstairs.

When I do, I carry this small basket of 4 items with me:

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It has my long tape measure, my seam guage, and both magnetic pin cushions.

And it’s always ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I also use this plastic container to carry all I need when I sew on my dining room table.

Sometimes the dresses or projects are just too big for my sewing area.

With this container, I only have to make one trip down the stairs with all I need.

Well, there you have a brief tour of the layout of my sewing room.

As you can see, there is nothing fancy about it.

And some things about it are rather frugal.

But  I  like to keep it simple.

What about you?

What are your favorite organizational tips?

I’d love to hear how you make the most of your sewing space and how you keep your notions handy.

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One Response

  1. I too decided not to hang my wall thread racks when I moved my sewing to a different room. I have all my threads in stacking clear plastic drawers on rollers that came from the office supply store. The ones for my spool thread are small enough I can have one for each color family ; reds, blues, greens, etc. I have larger drawers for my cones so they can stand up. The spools don’t get dusty this way either.

    My mom always lectured me on not using sewing scissors for paper so I came up with an easy to remember code for my kids – purple (handles) means paper scissors (they can be colored with the new spray paints for plastics if you aren’t lucky enough to find them that way).

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