How to Layout a Sewing Room

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A sewing room is every sewer’s dream come true. No dragging sewing items out every time anything needs to be repaired or to create something new; it takes the whole sewing experience to a higher realm of enjoyment. And not having to put it all away after a long day at the sewing machine is a huge plus as well. That's why it’s important to lay out the sewing room before putting anything in it. Fortunately, it’s a relatively straightforward process.

Consider Your Options

Determine what type of sewing will be done predominately. If quilting will be the main focus of the room, consider all the necessary equipment needed for that particular type of sewing, such as a frame and a comfortable chair to sit in and an overhead light. Alternatively, a garment-making center may require two types of sewing machines, room for a dress form and a full-length free-standing mirror.

Measure the room to get it's dimensions and then draw a scale map of it on graph paper.

Create a list of all the available items and those needed for upcoming projects. Remember to include the basics: the sewing, pressing and cutout tables, but also include items that will make the room comfortable such as lamps, air-conditioning and maybe an air purifier since sewing gives off a lot of lint and new material often has chemicals that are released while being manipulated.

Draw all electrical outlets in the room onto the graph paper to see the possible arrangements of the electrical equipment you will be using. Using too many extension cords can be dangerous.

Group the extension cords together and include them when you plan the layout. Remember to tape them down, using wide clear packing tape when you actually put them in the room to eliminate tripping hazards.

Draw the Sewing Areas

Draw the sewing room area. Draw the sewing machine table or tables in front of the window or where they will receive the most light. Draw a space around the table. The minimum area of the sewing table should be the length of the sewing machine plus 18 to 24 inches more for maneuvering room.

Pencil in the pressing area. Locate the ironing board close to the sewing table at right angles. Most sewers put it on the left side to leave a little room for the right side of the sewing table to accommodate the fabric. Leave plenty of space between the two so you can turn your chair and sew comfortably. At installation time, the table can be set at the height of the sewing table for easy access. If the room is small, consider getting one that attaches to the door or wall. Mark down a place for a hanging rack. If space is limited, use a rack that can be suspended on a door.

Delineate the cutting area, comprised of a table, free-standing island or a fold-down table from a wall. Include plenty of space for you to walk around the table. The lighting for the cutting area should be soft natural lighting and should not interfere with your movement as you walk around the table.

Draw the storage area, leaving space along a wall if using plastic bins or portable wire mesh drawers and bins. Reserve space for shelves and cabinets. The flat areas on top of the cabinets offer ideal locations for small baskets and boxes of thread, patterns, interfacing and quilt squares.

Place Objects in the Sewing Room

Place the big and heavy stuff first. Put the sewing and cutting tables, storage shelves and other large items in the location you’ve marked on your graph paper.

Add the smaller stuff, including the ironing board, bins and other containers.

Add the detail items, such as the needle and thread and scissors to complete the room.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Graph paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine and table
  • Sewing accessories and paraphernalia


  • Draw more than one layout in case things don’t work well with the first go.


  • Adding too many appliances to one electrical outlet can cause overloads. Be sure to put electrical cords out of the way so you they won’t be a tripping hazard.