{organizing the studio workspace + tips!}

Yeow! — I’m soooo excited to share this post with you. I’ve been waiting for just the right time to post it :] My studio is one of my favorite places to be in, especially because it has little memories of family/friends and encouragement {more on this below}.

I have changed it around a few times since we moved in. I’ve added some more furniture, including a new worktable + sewing machine, and overall have modified some workflow processes. Having a creative workspace makes sewing 100x better. One thing that calms my must-move-the-furniture urge is that nothing has to be permanent. Because I’m da boss! :]

OK, here we go…


2011 brought me a new sewing machine {above}!!! This investment was a new idea/dream within the last month or so and I can’t believe it came true so quickly :] To see two sewing machines in my studio = happiness! On this wall you see a handful of embroidery hoops — I took some fabric and stretched it across a hoop, then hung some favorite things on them. My original idea with this was probably to switch the pretties out, but I haven’t yet.

On the wall: yellow clock from Target ($3.99!); red, pink, yellow fabric-covered hoops with… mini-heart wreath (also from Target); posy pins from The Pleated Poppy and Joy’s Hope {thank you, friends); Gussy name hanger; two sea green fabric hoops (made from Amy Butler fabric); ceramic sign from my mama.

There are 4 windows in this room, two doors and a radiator {never had radiator heat before but I love it (for one, there’s less dust!)}. All of these “things” really put a damper on my ability to respond to my urge to re-arrange things often because… there just aren’t many options! Right now I have both work stations pushed together and I really love how large/helpful this set-up is. It takes up a lot of “middle of the room” room.

In this photo you can see my first love: the sewing machine Zack/his mom/his grandma gave me two Christmases ago

A week ago I blogged about organizing workflow and one thing I don’t think I mentioned was having a workflow process in my studio. I have file folders to organize invoices {and the different steps to processing an order} but I want to share another process that has been super helpful ~

    I have bins throughout the studio to help track the process of an item. The bin above is where work that’s been cut & ironed goes when it’s ready to be sewn. I have another bin {it’s blue and is to the right of me in the above photo} where items go that are 100% complete {sewn} and area ready-to-ship. Then there is a purple bin {under the blue bin} and that’s kinda an overflow bin — items that are sewn but aren’t married to an invoice.

See that file folder in the bin? That’s for the invoices that are married to the materials inside the “ready to be sewn” bin.

:] I love my rotary mat! It’s used daily so I never need to put it away.

This wall holds my degree from Central Michigan University, two paintings from my friend Lindsay with Paint Me a Picture, some of the notes I’ve received in the mail :] Plus a print {red frame} from Becca with My Soul Shines, Gussy’s Sweat Shop embroidered on vintage/heirloom quilt fabric {made by my MIL}, the infamous Gussy the Goose…

Shipping station! This bin holds my business cards, tape, scissors, ribbon for tying packages, stickers, plastic bags — all the things we need to package an order. Throughout the room are boxes and bubble mailers and USPS mail bins.

Since Zack and I share a dresser {cute, right?}, we decided moving mine into my studio would be great for many reasons. It’s perfect for storage, plus the large mirror helps bounce light around. I keep fabric for my tote bags in one drawer, upcoming fabric prints in another drawer, zippers in another… Using dressers for storage is something I learned from The Nester.

I think this is my favorite corner of my studio. It’s simple yet colorful and happens to have one of my favorite gifts from the blogging world — a custom Gussy print from Red Letter Words.

See? There’s the print again. And both sewing machines {Hi, babies! Yes, you still look great!}

So there it is, the room I spend most of my time in :]

If you’re looking for tips to organize *your* studio workspace, make a list of things that are important to you, things that inspire you, and be sure to keep in mind how you work best. For me, I need my computer in another room. Some times I bring it in so I can listen to music, but it doesn’t have a handy or permanent spot.



Some sewing tips that I couldn’t live without…

* wind multiple bobbins at a time so you aren’t winding every time you run out
* keep a basket of commonly-used items nearby. Inside mine is thread, scissors, a brush for removing lint, Q-tips (also for removing lint), GUSSY SEWS tags, small scraps to sew on when I adjust tension/change the stitch/etc.
* dust/wipe your workspace, and dust it often. The less dust bunnies/threads you have on your table the less you have to pick them off your fabric
* keep all accessories (basket, push pins & pin cushion, scissors) to the right of your machine

5 ideas to save on space:

* use book shelves that are tall & wide
* use a dresser (for hidden storage!)
* use the space underneath work tables
* re-organize your closet, placing items in order of most-frequent to less-frequent
* create simplicity throughout your studio by creating clusters of art on your wall

3 easy work stations you *must* have in your studio:

* cutting (keep templates, scissors, rotary cutter/mat together)
* shipping (create a fun box to store all the little items if you aren’t able to have a permanent work station)
* organized workflow (I kept in my office!)

Simple ways to store materials

1. Keep like things together, and keep those things organized
* fabric, zippers, shipping materials, glue sticks, thread, etc. — they ALL have their own hang-out place in a drawer or basket
2. Ikea has some fabulous storage options {I use a 3-wire drawer wheeled cart for fabric and notions}
* if you fold your fabric nicely and use pretty containers to stay organized, having see-through storage containers can be a fun way to organize {and decorate} your studio
3. Add hooks to the inside of a closet, or on a wall, to store extra materials
* how cute would fancy hangers be on the wall? drape fabric over one bar… sooo pretty!
4. Don’t be afraid to use what you already have
* remember the dresser in my studio? it’s so perfect for storing fabric and zippers, or whatever you buy in bulk

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  1. 2


    love this! it’s great to see your space. it is gorgeous. i love all of the encouragement and paintings. also, love the dresser idea. functional and looks so much better than plastic!

  2. 3


    THanks for the tour and the tips! I love your organization. I’m about to change my never used dining/school/office room into a sewing haven for my new business. There will have to be bookshelves with tons of books in there (since we homeschool). I may be able to fix it so I can use some of the shelves for my storage. I will have to let you know which ideas I used in my decorating/organizing.

    • 4



      and having some books in there will be so cute {even if they are for school}! i’m slowing growing my sewing book collection and can’t wait until i can make some space for them :]

  3. 5


    I envy your great space AND your ability (should you choose) to move things around at will.
    I live with a man who thinks once something is in place it stays there for the next few decades and then we’ll “discuss it.” Of course the its “it’s worked this long…”
    I live to rearrange!
    So many cute things about your space to make you smile as you work and know that others care about you.

    • 6


      my mom tells me i used to re-arrange my bedroom furniture while i was “napping”… isn’t that crazy? how can small people move furniture?! hah.

      thanks for your kind words!! :]

  4. 10


    awesome post gus! i am redoing my sewing room right now. my hubs just painted it an awesome teal and i am waiting from my ikea order. def be reading this as we re-set up things!!
    thanks for sharing some awesome ideas.

  5. 11


    I love your room:) One of my favorite things is to organize my studio. It needs a good cleaning right now and paint job. It used to be my daughters room. The walls are pink and little butterflies everywhere.

    • 12


      ohhhhhh, cleaning. yes!

      when we got home from Christmas i spent 2 days cleaning & dusting fabric bits. and of course enjoying how ORGANIZED and neat it was. now? well, it doesn’t look like these photos anymore *snort*

  6. 14


    Love seeing other people’s creative spaces! I want one so badly. I think our third baby might be sharing her room with me via my craft stuff :) She’ll be sleeping in our room forever anyways, probably. Thanks for all your tips too! Eventually I’ll have my own space and I will be putting your advice to use :)

  7. 15


    Completely unrelated to this blog post: I have the exact same coasters as the “W” one on your dresser…except mine have a T! My mom gave them to me for my birthday. I’m probably the only person in the world who would be excited to receive coasters as a birthday present!

  8. 22


    Oo, your studio is gorgeous! We’re moving at the end of the month, and I have my fingers crossed that we’ll have enough space for me to have a craft studio. :)

  9. 23

    Saira says

    One of my goals this year is to have a organized sewing room. With the help of a friend I’m on my way. Thanks for the tips…I’m going to incorporate some of your ideas in my space!

  10. 24

    Saira says

    One thing I have a problem with is I have a craft table that has an ironing cover and I love it for ironing big items like quilts and even sewing on it, but I feel like I never have enough room to cut…so I usually have to clear it to iron or put my cutting mat on floor…not good on the back when you have alot to cut. I almost need another table but it won’t fit in this small room.

  11. 26


    love this post. i love seeing how others organize their creative space. i am so impressed that you taught yourself to sew and are so successful. good work!

    ps what type is your new machine?

  12. 30


    now i know where you work! ;) stalkerish, much? haha!
    no, really. you are such an inspiration, and if i ever decide to start being crafty, i’ll def. put some of your tips/advice into action!

  13. 38


    Beautiful studio! I love organizing and finding new things that make it easier. I am about 90% done organizing my crafting space, but at the same time I am getting rid of other things. Unfortunately for me, my craft room is at the entrance of our house. This means the things I want to get rid of end up in a pile by the door. It doesn’t help the craft room organizing, but helps overall.

  14. 40


    thanks for sharing your awesome space with us! d and i are in the process of converting the 3rd bedroom into my sewing space and i am just so excited to decorate it. I am on the lookout for a good sewing table:)

  15. 45


    I started following you on twitter (@MamaSleeveShirt) because I recently had a baby boy: Named Gus! I love, love, love your creativity and organization. I have a SIL who is launching her own sewing business at home and I can’t wait to forward her your information so that she can be inspired. Congrats to you!

  16. 47


    Thanks for the post and pics of your studio! One tip I found online which I LOVE is that I made my own little fabric bolts out of foam core board, making my stash look like a cute, little fabric store :)
    I’ll have to send you a picture…

  17. 48


    I am loving reading your blog! I found you I think from Nester…I just signed up for Indie 3.0! So excited!!!!
    Question for you ~ do you do your tags or do you order them for your products? I have been doing lots of research on making tags and was curious as to your experience or what has worked and held up well.

  18. 49

    Shon Valdry says

    Wow, thank you so much!! I am right “there”, wanting to teach myself how to sew and dreaming of projects and a studio/workroom!! You are awesome and well on your way. Thanks for the tips!! SEW ON!!

  19. 50


    Stumbled on your site and wanted to say that you have some great information here,also the way you have the organization is real nice.Keep up the good work,i see that many follow this site for many reasons.

  20. 54


    “Mind your words. I am not interested about what is going on among some ppleoe.”Yes, Yes Nambi. You are not interested in some poor ppleoe here. It is obvious that you are interested in only one person – your close friend. Right? :-)”What I try to highlight here is in order to condemn one’s act, you pointed innocent ppleoe who need care in this soceity.”Hey Nambi, I explained already that the target here is not an innocent person.”If you cant understand the basic difference, I dont care the heck.”Nonsense. இங க ய ர சர ய கப ப ர ந த க ள ளவ ல ல ய ன ற பட ப பவர கள ம ட வ ச ய யட ட ம . :-)சர ப வட ட ம . ஒர ந ள ச ங க க க த ர ம ப வர வ ங கத ன . அப ப ப ச க க றன .


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