Sewing room makeover

This has been a long journey that began with ordering a new sewing table a couple of months ago that would accommodate all of my sewing machines. The new cabinet kept being delayed, over and over again. Finally, I ordered an Arrow Judy from Sewing Machines Plus that was delivered in a timely manner.

In addition to the new cabinet, I was really lacking storage in my roughly 10′ x 11′ space. Fabric storage, I needed more fabric storage.

The Old

I’ve always prided myself on being a minimalist, one thing in-one thing out. Don’t purchase more than I need, repurpose, buy multi functional tools/equipment.

Previously two lateral filing cabinets (see below) from the office supply stored my fabric and thread. It just wasn’t working because I needed more storage. After becoming and Island Batik Ambassador in 2019 and receiving two generous shipments of fabric and accessories a year I was running out of space. Add being an AccuQuilt GO!Getter and receiving dies various times throughout the year…well you get the picture. There may have also been some IB fabric and die purchases but I’ll never tell.

sewing room before

On top of the filing cabinets was an interior door sitting on wood blocks to raise it to a comfortable height. The door doubled as a cutting and ironing station. It worked well for pressing quilt tops prior to quilting, folding yardage and cutting large pieces of fabric. Unfortunately, it almost took up an entire wall.

The wire rack was something my husband brought home from work, a tenant had left it behind when they moved.

My work table (on the right above) was made to my specifications by AppleWood Shed in Elsah,Il. in exchange for a custom quilt. It is made from 2 treadle sewing bases and slats of oak boards finished with a satin sealer. As it ages the wood will take on its own patina so no need to for additional finishes. You can find AppleWood Shed on facebook.

Moving out day

Wow it was more work than I suspected. Everything that was not staying left the room.

room remodel

Loki helped.

loki helping

Everything had been moved around numerous times trying to find the right layout for me. The only requirements were that I have my work table on my right or left of the machine cabinet and not face the wall while sewing. I thought I had it just right but realized I still wanted more storage and then there was this rolling cart that did not have its own spot. Now was the time because I do not want to do this again anytime soon. So I purchased Kallax units from Ikea.

sewing room during

Trying to put it all back together after the latest additions.

sewing room


On the right is a rolling cart from Ikea. If I will be cutting for a while it is a comfortable height. To make the work surface larger I have added the LINNMON table top, also from Ikea. The cart can be rolled out of the way to gain access to half of my quilt wall. My machines not in use can be placed on the lower shelf.

Next to the cart are the 2 lateral filing cabinets. On top is a pressing station (yellow) that doubles as an additional work area, cutting station for quick cuts or large pieces of fabric. See how I made this at the bottom of this post.

My new sewing cabinet is the Arrow Judy. Wish I had waited until now to purchase it because I see the price has dropped. It is a nice cabinet that was a pain in the ars to assemble. The only thing I do not like about it, regardless of the machine you’re using, you do not set center of the needle.

Cords are unsightly but there really isn’t much you can do about them. Enough space between the sewing cabinet and fabric cabinets to walk comfortably. There is another Kallax unit at the end of my work table to hang my TV on and for additional storage. The Judy cabinet is also not made where you can attach a light so my sewing lamp is attached to the Kallax as well.

Under the fold out table of the sewing cabinet is a couple plastic rolling carts with misc small items.

Kallax units sitting on top of fabric cabinets. They are light and simple enough that I was able to assemble and lift them up there by myself. What is so great about these units, they are multi functional. Some use them as a cutting table or desk base. Plastic shoe boxes will sit 2 high in each cube. For now, they are pushed to the center acting as book ends for a couple of my favorite books but I can always add something else or more books in the future.

SYVDE glass door cabinets for storing my fabric. The shelves will hold folded fabric up to 7″ tall. The wire rack still needs a little organizing along with a few other hidden areas.

I love my updated sewing room

The yellow

These are pieces of drywall cut to my needed dims, covered with two layers of batting. The yellow is like a duck fabric. It was included with some items I purchased from an estate sale and had no idea what it would be used for until now. The cutting mat can be removed and I will have a little more than 6′ for pressing fabric or used as an additional work area for holding my cut patches for quilt blocks. If needed I can also add an extension table to a machine and sew right there.

It doesn’t have to be pretty. Smooth batting and use thumb tacks or a staple gun to hold the batting to the drywall. You can also use duct tape to hold it in place.

pressing board

I like to cover the thumb tacks with tape, it helps to hold the tacks in place.

pressing board

Then wrap your fabric around the drywall/batting. Just make sure it is taut. It may be necessary to untack and smooth your fabric a couple of times to reach a smooth surface. .

pressing board

That is it. Now I need to find some fabric sales to finish filling my cabinets.


  1. Where’s the long arm?? The cabinets look great. I need to get a new cutting station, and plan to use the Kallax for that.

    1. The long arm shares my office. It has a 12′ table and this room is only 10 x 11. Well, the room it is in is the same size and to make it fit in there we had to remove the door. When you walk into my office on the right is a closet that sticks out into the room and the table is on the left. So I have to turn sideways to enter and squeeze between the closet wall and the belly bar.

  2. That was a LOT of work, Denise! I’ve moved my sewing room twice in the last 5 years, and it’s always awful. I’m impressed with your working space design — the U-shape is so functional! I’ll be doing another arrangement in my sewing room soon, and will keep your set-up in mind. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I moved into this room a couple of years ago, added the work table a year or so later. So this is my 3rd time moving things around. My previous room was 10′ x 10′ with no windows. If you have electric quilt it was so helpful drawing my room and placing the furniture as blocks.

  3. Oh my, what a transformation, it looks wonderful. Storage space is always at a premium, we never seem to have enough. I am frequently reorganizing my space to accommodate my needs in my sewing room. But, aren’t we lucky to have a sewing room?

    1. Thanks, after multiple moves I think it will be. The lateral filing cabinets are questionable and may be removed but for now, I am good.

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