Is it Time for a Sewing Studio?
Is it time to move your sewing out of the dining room or off the kitchen table? Is there space somewhere you can carve out so you can just sit down to sew and don’t have to drag out your sewing machine every time you need to sew a quick seam? If you don’t sew as much as you like it’s time for a Sewing Studio!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you start to think of your new sewing space.
1. Do you work on larger or smaller projects?
2. Do you need to put your sewing machine away or can it stay up and ready for use?
3. Do you have a dedicated room for sewing or do have to share it with another hobby or as a spare bedroom?
4. Do you sew in the family room or dining room?
5. Do you want your sewing machine and a serger in the same cabinet?
6. Do you need extra storage for thread and fabric?
7. Do you want the extra workspace to flip up behind the sewing machine?
8. Do you have a heavier machine or an embroidery machine that needs an electric lift?
9. Do you need the cabinet to match the rest of your furniture?
10. Do you have a cutting area or do you need a taller place to cut?
11. Does more than one person sew at a time? Sister, children, grandkids, friends, or a spouse?
12. Is this your last sewing room in the house or will there be more space when the kids move out?
13. Are you going to upgrade to a bigger machine in the future?
Build for Today and Plan for Tomorrow
No matter how you answered the questions make sure to leave yourself a little room to grow. As sewing habits change or grow you may need more space for storage or guests. Will you be retiring and having more time?
Where to Start?
The sewing machine station is not the only area of your studio to consider, there are three areas of your sewing studio to think about.
- Sewing Space
- Cutting Space
- Storage Space
For today’s post let’s focus on the one we all think about first. The sewing space. Are you going to build out your space and go DIY or purchase a piece of furniture designed for sewing so you can get right to creating your fabric masterpiece?
If you are going the DIY route and need plans or ideas let me google that for you and get you started HERE
Glad you stayed with me there are so many other things to consider when looking for sewing furniture.
- What is your budget?
- What is your time frame?
- What color would you prefer?
- Do you want to put it together?
- How much space do you have for your first piece?
Here is a list of the main manufacturers of sewing furniture. If you work with a local sewing machine store these are the names you will see in their stores.
- Arrow Cabinets – For Arrow, Kangaroo, and Americana
- Horn of America
- Koala Studios
- Sylvia Designs
- Tailor Made Cabinets
Why work with the local sewing machine store? The first reason is cabinets are bigger than you think and if you are like us you will want to sit in front of it and make sure it feels right. The manufacturers above have different qualities and finishes that are hard to see on the internet. If you are near Sioux Falls, SD we will be happy to give you a tour of our showroom at Heirloom Creations. We carry Arrow, Kangaroo, Horn of America, and the semi-custom Koala Studios. If you visit the links above for each manufacturer they will have a list of dealers in your area.
Lift or No Lift?
When you are working in your cabinet will you want to be able to move your machine up and down? For free arm sewing, embroidery, or for some machine just to change the bobbin. If you have a top load bobbin and always sew with your machine in the table you could consider a table without a lift. If you move up and down frequently you will want to look at a sewing table with a lift.
Manual Lift or Electric Lift?
We work with both types of lifts. Mechanical lifts are great if you are only moving the machine up and down once in a while but we usually lean towards an electric lift if the budget allows it or if you have a heavier machine as the electric lifts have two points of contact with the sewing platform and tend to be a little sturdier.
Reasons for an electric Lift:
- You move your machine up and down frequently
- You have a front-load bobbin case
- You use more than one machine in your cabinet
- Different machines can be at different heights
- You do machine embroidery
- You are planning on upgrading machines in the future
How big of a cutout do you need?
Another often overlooked feature of cabinets is how big a machine cut-out they have. Standard sewing cabinet cutouts currently range from 18″ wide to 27″ wide. Make sure the sewing machine you have fits or the machine you want in the further will fit! If you have or are going to get a new top-of-the-line from almost any of the sewing machine companies you will want to limit your search to furniture with the 27″ opening or you may need to upgrade cabinets in the future too.
Sewing Cabinet Inserts
Don’t forget the sewing cabinet insert! It’s the part that makes your machine fit seamlessly in the cabinet giving you a smooth sewing surface. These are generally ordered separately from the cabinet and custom cut for your machine. Most stores that work with furniture can order these for you.
Insert Picture Courtesy of Arrow Sewing Cabinets
Many of the cabinet options have table extensions adding extra sewing surface to the cabinet without making it take up more room every day. The most common addition is the back extension and a front drawer extension.
Wheels and Doors
Would you like wheels? They are standard on most sewing cabinets but you will want to check if you work on larger projects and need to move the cabinet away from the wall for bigger projects.
Doors can be a blessing and a curse. If you are working within a cabinet like Koala or the Horn of America Combo Sewing Center the doors can become extra workspace. But if they open the wrong direction in the room they could also block a doorway or the ironing table. The biggest advantage of doors is keeping little fingers away from your sewing machine! They can also be great if you don’t have a studio yet and are working in the dining room you can throw a tablecloth and instant serving space!
I hope we have given you some ideas on where to get started and some things to look for.