If your struggle is like mine that you have almost equal to none- sewing space in a small apartment here are my best tips and advice I would give away to you.
The reality is that when you are eager to get going with your new-found hobby of sewing you will manage to figure out a way around with sewing in small space no matter what.
But until you do there ain’t no harm in attending to some words of wisdom from others who’ve already been there so that you can be a step ahead by the time you start to figure it out by yourself.
So here it is.
The key thing to keep in mind when you are stretched for space is to be able to work methodically.
What does that mean?
To work methodically is to work in an organized fashion (duh Shazia obviously and !?) Now, without realizing it I had already established a methodical way of working!
It’s worth mentioning because it’s what has helped me to simplify my working style because of the fact that I have a small sewing space.
Before I dive into explaining how this works I quickly want to add in a much-needed point here:
be conscious of the way you work- pay attention to your body language.
Now that I look back at the ways in which I used to work I realize how important it is to be conscious about what your body is trying to tell you.
Take a close look at your posture when you are doing your fabric cutting and read your body language because I found that for the longest time whenever I did my fabric cutting on the floor I was rushing it!
There came a day where I wondered “Why am I rushing it?”
It turns out I wasn’t comfortable in that posture that I was doing the cutting- bent down on my knees– moving here to there on my knees to cut out the fabric from different angles.
The discomfort naturally leads me to rush the cutting process! not realizing I was, in fact, doing myself disfavor by not paying attention to this.
Here’s what you should know from what I ‘ve learned through the years of sewing:
“As well as being organized in the way you work seek comfort because discomfort or any sort of unease will lead to poor execution which will reflect back to a poor sewing outcome.”
There’s more discussion about this throughout the article where I found fit of mentioning so keep reading to find out.
How to work methodically when you have a small sewing space
When it comes to sewing clothes there are two major components of the process of clothes making and that’s the Cutting and the Sewing.
What I do is I take the two components and I split them into two different sessions of tasks.
Meaning, I don’t do the cutting and the sewing at any one time.
Instead, I will do the cutting using the whole tablespace then, once I complete it I make sure to clear away all my cutting mess ready for a fresh start for the sewing.
Conveniently I have laid out this working style of mine for you to capture into your routine with my Free Guide which you can get here if you like.
What sewing table is best for a small apartment?
Ideally, you want one that is extendable and definitely sturdy!
- Extendable because sometimes I find I tend to make garments that are full-length gown-type dresses and you need the length of the table to hold your fabric.
- I would make sure my table is sturdy because I don’t want any mishaps happening while I am cutting into my gorgeous fabrics.
My two-in-one table solution for small apartment
I live in a two-bedroom flat where my kids are in one and of course, the other room is mine and husbands.
Now I ain’t someone who’ll easily give away space from my bedroom for sewing because unfortunately, I’m very much in tune with the aesthetics of my home AND to be honest I don’t want to come into bed at the end of the day with thread and fabric mess scattered all around my bedroom, I like to come to a fresh bedroom at the end of my day.
So I decided to buy a solid dining table that expands– they make them for families that think about future family expansion- of course, my only future plans are always going to roll with my sewing plans
Bonus Tip: Your Table Placement
I find if you keep your table away from the wall allowing for room to walk around it makes it extremely helpful for when you do your fabric cutting. That way when you lay out your fabric on the table for cutting you are able to walk around the table to get into all different angles while cutting 😉
How do you store fabric scraps?
I would say storing away fabric scraps isn’t much of a fuss but one thing to be aware of is to keep it away from an area that reaches a lot of sunlight.
This is to avoid color fade from excess sunlight exposure.
When you get fabric scraps have a look at the pieces you have and determine whether the piece has a decent amount to become something if need be.
The rest like small pieces I ditch them. I have this box that I store my scraps in- anything will do just make sure that if its see-through like mine to keep it away from sunlight.
What kind of chair is best for sewing?
There are two things I’d look for in a chair as a seamstress.
Comfort because currently, I am using the dining chairs but I need to tell you that comfort is EVERYTHING. My lower back and hips ache from the constant sitting and find that a completely flat surface on a chair doesn’t help with that.
Plus from long hours of sitting on a flat chair, my bum tends to get numb and to avoid that a well-cushioned chair for that will help too.
For comfort in a chair, I would look for something that’s well cushioned with support for the lower back region.
2. A chair that swivels
When I am sewing I set up my iron and ironing board on one end of the table and the sewing machine on the other so that when I am sewing I can quickly go between pressing and sewing as swiftly as possible.
However, when you are having to get up every few seconds between sewing and pressing it can get a little tiresome so the solution for that is a swiveling chair. That way you can move between the iron and sewing machine without having to get up and back down within every few minutes.
So with keeping these two points in mind I highly recommend you check out a chair something like this over here.
If you’re all about added lower back support like me then be sure to check out this which is called a Lumbar Support Cushion.
What is the best way to store fabric?
I am someone who’s always buying fabric!
My favorite sport of pass time is to browse shops for pretty fabrics, however, the trouble with that is that I find myself buying more fabric than making something out of them!
Which is why my stash is ever-expanding and so I thought it’s better to organize them in such a way that when I have a new idea to make something, I can easily see what I have or otherwise will have to buy for that project so that I am able to sift through the ever-expanding stash that way.
So that is why my best advice would be to store your fabrics within reach and in sight.
Also keep in mind (as discussed earlier) is that when storing fabric to make sure your fabrics are not exposed to sunlight because exessive sunlight exposure can start to fade color off some fabrics through time.
Here’s a peek of my fabric stash of how I’ve done mine:
I also managed to find more ideas for storing fabric. I haven’t gone that elaborate as the ones mentioned in this post I linked to because I am quite simple in my tastes but you might want to explore some of these ideas yourself- I think its worth a look!
Do I need a cutting mat for sewing?
Cutting mats are mostly preferred by quilters because the grid lines help them to cut many layers of fabric (with a sharp rotary cutter) straight.
When it comes to dressmaking and clothesmaking -I find any way that, it’s easier to cut with a scissor.
I have one and I mostly prefer to use my rotary to cut out the small pieces like the neck facings or the pockets or the cuffs, collars or sleeves I find that it’s easier to cut the small delicate pieces while attempting to keep the fabric laying flat with the rotary cutter.
Well, you don’t have to have one however, it depends on your working style and situation.
Some people prefer to use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to do all their cutting.
I use one to protect my table surface. As you know my table was expensive and it’s wooden it’s my dining table and I ain’t getting it looking scruffy especially that guests sit around that table.
So yes you do need one if that’s the case for you. I wrote an article a few months back about 6 things to look for when buying a cutting mat as a dressmaker– be sure to check that out!
Of course, I want a whole room dedicated to my sewing- I’d love that in fact, I and hubby have already agreed that whenever we are capable of buying our own house one day then there will be a dedicated sewing room all for me!
The final thought is that it is doable with little to none sewing space where if you are able to make wise tweaks here and there you’re well set for smooth trouble-free sewing. So to recap here are the key points to takeaway:
- Be methodical to simplify your working process
- Find comfort to achieve ease while sewing and cutting
- Organize goods in a way to prevent damage also keep them so their easily accessible to prevent yourself from buying unwanted excess stuff
I hope my small sewing space tips from this article help you to bring some order to your small sewing space too.
I’d love to hear from you on how you get on so don’t forget to leave a comment down below:)