If you could design a dream sewing room…

In January 2016, my dream home found me! It’s brand new – being built from scratch – so we won’t be moving in until the end of September. Check out the progress by clicking here. I’m adding photos (newest first) every time we go to visit, which is every other week or so.

I was super excited when the builder agreed to make a modification to the floor plan, knocking down (not building in the first place!) two walls: instead of having a loft space flanked on either side with a bedroom, my home will have a “super loft” which will become my studio and dream sewing room.

Here’s my question for you:

If you could design a dream sewing room, what would you put in it? 

Do you have any recommendations for:

  • Storage?
  • Sewing cabinets?
  • Embroidery machine cabinets?
  • Thread racks?
  • Organizing – everything that goes in a sewing room!?
  • Anything else you would put in your dream sewing room?

Part of the space needs to accomodate photography and video filming. How would you achieve this? What equipment would you install for the ideal photo/video studio?

I’d love to see your comments below.

This is the space that I have to play with:

Superloft Layout - My Dream Sewing Room


  1. I think you should make it a teaching studio !! I took a few of your early classes at Sew From the Heart and those were the best although I do enjoy the online videos you are now producing.

  2. I love the unique sewing furniture. Cabinets for sewing and serger, chests, cutting tables and ironing stations as well as storage for the stash. It’s solid wood and beautiful. Check out their website.

  3. My Dream Sewing Room…would have someone to keep me organized and who will clean up after I finish cutting.

  4. I think a sewing room needs lots of storage. I can’t wait to see it when it is completed. I wish I had a bigger sewing room, so I could move around without hitting my sewing and embroidery machine cabinets.

  5. Hi Sarah,

    Two things, 20 amp service in sewing room and whole house surge protector. Our home, built in 2010, only had 15 amp in bedrooms and we did not realize the iron and 830 were more than 15 amps.

  6. Judy Argetsinger

    I also am in the process of planning a studio for quilting/embroidery as well as a sleeping loft for guests. Great ideas for movable cutting/storage at ikeahackers.com. Also great sewing studios in pinterest. Good luck in getting yours just right!

  7. If I had it to do all over, I would definitely get a cutting table that had adjustable heights, so I could sit at it if I wished to design patterns, etc., and higher to cut fabric. I would also like storage space underneath it – perhaps shelves. Good lighting is indeed a must, also, and ergonomic furniture! Sounds like you’re on your way!

  8. A Carpenter made me two cabinets that fit under my workspace on either side of my machine. It is on wheels so I can pull it out and around if I need to. It has six drawers each. I also had him made thread stands in 6 of the drawers and has a colour in each drawer. This way my embroidery threads is organized and stored dust free and in relative protected condition. The other drawers are used for my embroidery frames, sewing machine things- feet, oil etc, a drawer for rotary cutter blades and sharpners and a drawer for pencils etc. My fabric are stored in cupboards with glass doors so that my inspiration is visible.
    My cutting table is in the middle of the room a meter from my fabric cupboard. I have a big ironing table that is elevated- higher than ordinary table height. I have three office chairs in my space. I upgraded to a better chair each time but kept the old ones. Now I have a chair in front of every machine.

  9. Karen Williams

    Sarah, I’m so jealous!! I did mine w/ stock cabinets & I love it except it should double the size it is!! In my upper, glass-fronted corner cabinets, I have 18″ (large) turntables on the shelves for serger & large spool/ cone threads, sorted nearest the machines. I like wall racks for other threads, but recently heard about a wall rack unit that swings out like a poster display in stores. Also, if you have the option to make any of your machines store under the counter-tops (lift-up unit or swing down shelf), it greatly increases your counter-top space for quilts or large projects. Plenty of electrical outlets, below & above cabinet levels & cord management. I would use the area under the soffit for deep drawer units or pantry-style storage. If the shelves are deep, have some pull-outs to reach items in back. You have 2 closets for “normal” storage & hanging long/ large items out of sight (consider weather-stripping to minimize dust, so common in the southwest!). So glad to hear your daughter is improving day by day.

  10. Looks amazing. Don’t forget to include a comfy sitting area to browse through quilt magazines or just relax.

  11. Miranda Flinders

    Plugs lots of plugs after living in England as you know. I had a dining room and asked the contractors for four double plugs in the room they just raised their eyebrows. But I got them!!!! a tall stool for the tall tables–you do not want to stand all of the time. Now I live in Gilbert.


    I hope you thought to have a skylight or two..nothing like natural light in your sewing space.
    my favorite storage units are “elfa”, from the Container Store. you can come up with all sorts of configurations.
    all my threads are in covered thread boxes, keeps them neat and clean, and they are sorted by brand, and color number so I can find them!

  13. I would love to have a design wall – there is no room for one in my sewing area and I have to resort to using the floor.

  14. Closets with doors and shelves. The doors cut the visual clutter. I put mine on the long wall opposite the windows. My cutting table is from Ikea, kitchen counter high with 12 drawers with glass fronts. Holds a 36″ cutting mat with lots of room to store the rulers you are using and a coffee rug and container for what you are working on. Each short end has hooks to hold rulers.

  15. I loved thread racks in my other house, but they did find dust, so I researched a company out of Canada, Best Craft Organizer, and you can build your own wood cabinet modules with trays that fit all of my sizes of threads. I purchased 2 and put one on top of the other and it has wheels. These cabinets were originally designed for paper crafters, but you can get drawer liners that fit our thread spools.

  16. I am redoing my sewing room, the main change that I am making is my lighting. I have a overhead light and fan and I am putting in a canned light in each corner. One can not have to much lighting. Good luck and please send lots of pictures. Kathie

  17. Great floor plan – lots of space..!

  18. An ironing center is a must! Along with lots of wonderful lighting and a place to sit and read/relax.

  19. Your home is really coming along Sarah! I think you have already thought of everything I would suggest (would love to have that much space!), will be anxious to see it all finished.

  20. Lots of outlets, and lighting. I have natural, LED. and fluorescent lights. The fluorescents are the best overall. Plenty of storage like basket units from elfa, you get to decide what size you like, that would be great under the soffit. I have a huge cutting table that I love and a customized sewing table with an electric lift for my sewing machine. If you add a customized drawer for all the embroidery hoops and attachments that would be great. I’m sure yours will be wonderful when finished and you will enjoy it forever.

  21. Lucky you! A large design wall could double as a backdrop for your video area. Cutting, sewing, and ironing surfaces made for your height that have storage for all your tools.

  22. Reading Miranda’s comment, I totally agree, but also need multiple circuits for the plugs, with all these high end machines we use. Uninterruptible power supplies, and twice as much storage as you think you need.

  23. My sewing area is a bedroom in a 50 year old house, so not anywhere near to being called a “studio.” My husband made a cutting cabinet for me. The top is the size of a regular cutting mat, and it was made to a height that allows me to cut without bending over. It is on locking wheels so I can easily move it. I put Command hooks on the sides of the cabinet so many of my rulers can be hung right where I will be using them. Great vertical space saver!

    Love all your designs. So glad to hear that Heather is doing well.

  24. A switched outlet so when you leave the room you can switch off the iron or machines. I would also put some of the outlets higher up on the wall for ease of plugging machines in.

  25. Lots of pot lights, more than you think you will need, outlets EVERY WHERE and a large walk-in closet with lighting and tons of shelves/drawers. So excited for uou and any other who can have such a big space. You deserve it!

  26. Elizabeth I Marlow

    If not too late…..I would have a washer/dryer for fabric care and at least a two piece bathroom, better still three pieces if possible.

  27. It looks like there is a lot of natural light. Hope I am right.

  28. Teresa Moffitt

    Sarah, congratulations on finding your dream home! I am sure you will make this space beautiful, although nothing is without it’s challenges..as you know! I have a loft space also, about a third of this size and I have given up on squeezing everything in. So we are moving my space to my extra large garage and converting that space into a sewing room, which will then be adjacent to my wonderful laundry room/bathroom! You have that solution nailed! My loft space saints over our living room and adjacent to an indoor atrium and only one short half wall for storage. The other ceiling to floor wall must have two of my Koala cabinets pushed up to it and they are completely opened out , giving me some storage room behind underneath and behind them and it creates space along the wall for things to sit on. But a long reach for my short arms and therefore wall space above has to be decorative. Ugh! This all leaves me short on space to hang my hoops, to store rulers, threads, etc. I intend to keep my three Koala cabinets in my new space as I do like having the space to lower them into the cabinet and use that space for a cutting area or pop another sewing machine over it. If I were you I think I would think of your entire wall that backs up to the hall as a storage wall. You have the 2 closets on each side and the center space. I would designate one end of your room for your photography….probably the end furthest from the laundry so that you aren’t crossing paths with fabric care/laundry and photography. Since I am short on wall space in my new room….although I will have one wall of the former garage that has 3 sections of really nice 4′ wide/8’tall pantry units to use for storage, I will have a approx 6′ bypass closet storage on the opposite wall. On this, I am planning to possibly design those by passes doors to be a design wall on one half and a magnetic chalkboard on the other side….so I will have at least a small area to keep some Inspiration pictures on display and to work with quilt blocks. You might think of doing something similar to in some way utilize those doors. I would look into craft/ sewing room closet ideas if I were you and possibly try to maximize both spaces for the cluttered type stuff we don’t like sitting out. Then I would use both adjacent end walls of your room for built in desk top work areas….where you could keep your computers-design areas….separating with sewing on one side and photography on the other end of the room. Nice because these busy areas aren’t seen from the doorway. The center section of that wall, I would have a long counter put in if it is a half wall, with cupboards underneath….all with pull out drawers in them…..or with vertical pull outs where you could hang hoops, but keep them behind a door. No dust. This could be a great area for hooping…..even having stabilizer rods installed. I can see that you could use one end, closest to your embroidery side of room….left side to set in your e16 machine. Hoops and thread either in a cabinet above it or beside it.
    If that is a full wall, not a half wall , it could just be full of cabinetry all the way to the ceiling, leaving your window wall open. Or you could do cabinets below with a counter in between and uppers on top. Or just the lower cabinets with a counter top. Any way it turns out, it should take care of your “stuff” storage. Then I would keep the center of the room open for a large cutting table, either built in or on locked casters. Your machines would go into cabinetry built into the window wall corners….or you could do two? Center islands with a machine storage in one or both. You have a long narrow space so I would just be rather intent on keeping the window wall free of anything…..use it as your space to get around your islands…..I do think islands are really nice as they let you go around your table, rather than reaching around, but you kind of need to determine where you are going with them and then put electrical in the floor. I would also put electrical holes for plug ins mounted below the counter top….perhaps storing them in the first drawer, if you have cabinets below that counter. Then you would have no cords on that counter top. Have them give you a space inside a drawer for docking of your devices, too!

  29. Michele Dickinson

    What a lovely large space. A couple ideas I have would be to have the just shelves in the closet for baskets and such and no doors. I would like to organize my items and be able to see what I have. I had a wonderful sewing desk/table that fits my 880, made for me from a gentleman near Spokane Washington, it is absolutely beautiful and keeps me well organized. It is also the perfect height for me, no more sore shoulders. I had it custom stained to match a large 3 piece bookcase unit from Restoration Hardware. The bottom has cupboards and with shelves above. Make sure to include some place for ironing, cutting, a design wall and really good lighting. I would also include a cozy corner for your daughters to come sit, relax and do homework. Good luck and post pics.

  30. Add more overhead built in lighting than you think you need. Then add some more. Looks like you have lots of windows but quilting and embroidery are so much easier, even in the daytime if you have LOTS of light. And since you are in AZ you will want to think about cool lighting options like LED or whatever the latest thing is.

  31. I like pull out drawers for threads with the height right for spools or large cones and labeled red blue yellow ect. Some very good units now available .

  32. I would highly recommend the Koala cabinet that has a place to hold your embroidery unit of your sewing machine. My previous cabinet didn’t have anywhere for the embroidery unit so I had to store it in its travel case when I took it off to do regular sewing. When I got a new “big” machine, I had to buy a new cabinet to hold the bigger, heavier machine, and it has a drawer for the embroidery unit. Even though I only bought it 6 months ago, Koala now makes a cabinet that has a pull shelf beside the drawers for the embroidery unit, so you don’t lose one entire drawer just to the embroidery unit. Even though you have lots of windows, be sure to include a lot of track lights that you can aim wherever you need them. Also, you might want to wall-mount a TV so you can watch it while your machine is embroidering. I would love to have a couple of the Inspira thread cabinets to keep my thread easy to storage, yet keep it clean from dust and safe from sunlight, if I had room for them.

  33. Lots of electrical outlets, all around the room, and put some of them up just above countertop level…you’ll appreciate that more as you get older. Bending down to pull a plug, especially one behind a heavy cabinet with a sewing machine in it, can be difficult. And when a storm is brewing, that’s something you’ll want to do quickly! Lucky girl! Hugs to you & your daughter!

  34. Annette Hourigan

    I am very envious…..but very happy for you.
    Consider your cupboard doors…have them so they retract into the cupboard. It opens up your cupboards and doesn’t restrict areas when the doors are open. Also pegboards for hanging/displaying tools. I am sure that you have probably got all these things covered. Enjoy!!!!! Love to see end pics.

  35. Dear Sarah,so glad that you are designing your sewing room from scratch.I will recommend you have a small refrigerator under one of your cabinets,you’ll always have a cold drink,a small snack & you will be well hydrated & your creative juices flowing galore for the benefit of us all.Thanks for posting the pictures,tell those builders to hurry up.Hugs.

  36. Does your laundry have a sink (or double sink) in case you want to rinse or do dyeing? Also a counter for folding fabric. Also in your electrical setup include a permanent, whole house surge peotection/battery backup.

  37. My sewing room is the fourth bedroom in our new house. But it is small but I love it. A contractor kindly called it ‘the office’, with all the mess with fabrics etc.
    My husband is very happy that he could provide me with this room, and still have 3 massive bedrooms available. Gotta love him. He is my biggest fan.

  38. I was thinking of putting up a new building for my sewing studio would be great to start from scratch and have more space. I am going to have to stay in the space I have. I would love some closed storage and wall space.

  39. Kathy Goodnight

    You won’t go wrong with Tracy’s cabinets
    He does beautiful work and will make them anyway you want,
    He is reasonablely priced and delivers right to your doorstep.
    All my friends have used him and I am in the process of redoing my room and he will make mine also. They are very nice people to work with and they are at most quilts shows in my part of country.

  40. Glad to see bathroom is near. My husband suggested one for my room. My first reaction was did not want to waste precious space. So thankful he won that one.

  41. Make sure your electrical outlets are all on separate 20 amp circuits. Also lots of good lighting–as you get older you will appreciate it more.

  42. Virginia Stein

    Love the space you have to work with. Some suggestions from my interior designer side. Make the doorway(s) into the room 36″ wide – not 32″ which is standard. This will let you move anything into the room including (if still needed) you daughter’s wheel chair. Also, lights on ceiling fans are not the brightest and the fans when spinning tend to obscure the light. Have can lights or track lighting installed over all counters and use energy efficient “natural daylight ” bulbs. You might also consider one or two skylights ( which can have screening or blinds built in ) to bring in more natural daylight. Don’t know which way the house faces – lighting could be very important if not for fabrics and threads then the photography. Look at having 2 moveable islands with drop down sides so you could open up and move together or apart as needed. Make them a comfortable height (normal is 39″ for kitchen counters) so you are not bending over and straining your back and arms. Look at the Container Store (online) for wire/solid shelving and many neat organizing items and free planning of the closets and other storage space. Don’t forget about an ironing board & its space – they do make them that fit inside your walls and fold out when needed. On one of the by-pass doors, make them mirrored by pass-doors as this will let you view anything without taking up other wall space. You could put all your computer equipment, printers, Cameo and other hardware on the wall that backs to the hall. If your windows on the outside wall are 36″ from the floor then you can put a 2 ‘ wide counter along that wall. However, you would have to move the windows on the outside right and left walls 30″ from the corner to allow for the 2’ counter. This would also allow you to “L” the counter top down one or both of the outside side walls. The outside right wall from the window to the corner by the closet could be used for hanging quilts or as a backdrop for you photography. Closet shelving could be wire and/or solid, but allow you the flexibility of changing the heights of the shelves as your needs change. Also floor electrical outlets.
    I love all the other ideas ladies have sent in, but I tried to look at your room from a functional aspect. Have fun building your new home and sewing room. Keep posting house photos and so happy your daughter is improving every day.

  43. Marilyn Cooley

    I am planning my own new home with a sewing room. It will have a Murphy bed for guests, two walk in closets for fabric (I find my open shelves attract pollen, dust and fading so I want them in closets). It will have wonderful lighting, plenty of wide, deep drawers for projects, lots of smaller drawers for all my scraps to be sorted by color. I’m against too many things that you have to dust like thread racks, jars and so on unless they are behind glass doors. I’m debating a super large table (depends on how much space I end up with). I want plenty of space on my walls to hang some of my beautiful quilts and high ceilings. I like lots of counter space for spreading out several projects at once. I need two design boards (extra tall for large quilts). I want my desk and computer in there so I can easily hook my sewing machine to the computer and/or shop online for fabrics and designs. I have loads of ideas – I hope they work out!!!!

  44. susan sendelbach

    Hi Sarah I have what I think is my perfect sewing room. It has a very long closet on one wall. In it I put storage racks from Home
    Depot and in the racks I put plastic tubs. they are all labeled (Christmas, etc.) great for storage. I also house my stash in the closet_ I store different colors in CD cases- just the right size. I am in a basement with cement floors so the flooring is f=great- I used those foamy 2 foot puzzle pieces- could install myself and great to walk on also they can get wet if there is a flood. I have the perimeter of the room lines in folding tables from Costco. Lots of stations to set things up and not remove them. My embroidery threads are on a spool rack from Joann and put on the wall near my emb. machine. They are organized by color so they are easy to find and return. I have LOTS of outlets put above table height so I don’t have to go under the table to use plugs. Also, there is tons of light – nothing s worse than not being able to see. Of course, there is a design wall- I put 2 Fons and Porter flannel design wall pieces together to make one large wall. This is a good idea. You might want to put something behind it so you can use pins. I wish I had. I also have 4 tables together in a square in the middle of the room . I use this for a cutting area. Works well. Also, I have a 4×8 foot sheet of . can’t think of name, but it had parallel grooves to place hardware in to hold things. I use it to hold my templates, rulers, etc. Lastly, I have lots of little cabinets and storage areas fitting under tables. They are on casters so they are movable. Have fun planning this. You are an engineer, so I know it will be wonderful!

  45. Hi Sarah,
    Congratulations!! Goodness what a dream. It’s going to be beautiful and a breeze to work in. My suggestion is to have a Bose radio in your sewing room. I have one in my sewing room and absolutely love it. I can’t imagine sewing with no music.

  46. Sarah, Its looks great and I know you could enjoy it. When you are as smart as you are you need a place to create. Keep producing wonderful things and I will keep buying them and making them. Thank you so much for being a Bernina Ambasador. I love my Bernina machines and they work wonderful with you designs.

  47. I have a microwave in my sewing room which saves me from going up and down the stairs so much. I have lots of storage, but would change the depth of the cabinets from 24″ to 12″ as it is hard to always see what is in the back.
    Have fun designing your room and have a special place for your daughter, Heather, there.

  48. Definitely hide your cords and put in many electrical outlets,

  49. I have an Amazon echo my sewing room that I love. I can listen to music or audible books among other things all with voice command. Love it.

  50. What I would love is to have a bank account/sponsor and who could supply all those gadgets you say I need.
    That is my dream. But your dreams are changing all the time. Good luck with the studio because you will do what you want without all the suggestions. That is one of your dreams. The other of course is your family.
    I wish you all the good luck and happiness that your family needs.
    Love Your work.

  51. I also built my studio from scratch by putting an addition on to the house. I filled it with Koala Cabinets in addition to the sewing furniture and antiques I already had. I have wood floors which I love and two in the floor outlets. You might consider that. I put custom shades on the windows and I can adjust the light – I love them. Get as much storage as you can in there – it’s amazing how fast it fills up!!! I hope you enjoy your new studio as much as I do mine.

  52. Sarah, My husband made me a 60 x 120″ table which has an ironing surface/pinning surface on top with a grid. We got the idea from a drapery work room. The table can be customized to your height. I Love it as it accommodates more than one project at a time and more than one person at a time working. Underneath the table is storage for home dec rolls or batting etc. Enjoy planning your new room!

  53. My dream sewing loft would be big closets!! I have a loft sewing room and have to get on my hands knees to get into my “closets”. So “normal” size closets with a lot of shelves are a must!! I would love to have Koala tables that fit each machine! Especially my 8 series Bernina machines that I do my embroidery on. Plenty of windows to look out to enjoy your day while in your room! A design wall is important to, the bigger the better.

  54. Christine Martinson

    I would make sure I had lots of lighting and plenty of electric outlets.


  55. I’m also building a new home with a dream quilt studio, so exciting. One thing I can’t do without is having a sewing center that is U shaped. That way I can sew on one side, iron on another side, and cut on the third side with just a swivel of my chair. Speeds up the process tremendously, and is easier on my poor back. Another must have is a separate sewing station for my 12 year old granddaughter, so she can come and work anytime she wants and not have to worry about getting in my way. Best of all, my new house is only 1/2 block away!

  56. Having been a Contractor & Remodeler I looked at plans all the time. Have you thought about combining a couple of windows on the back wall into one window instead of two? This amount of windows breaks up so much wall space. I have my machine sitting in front of my main window so I can look outside. My cabinets, sewing machine, serger & cutting table are all in a “U” shape. Works very well. The rest of the area is my desk, computer, storage, etc.

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