crafts · decorating · home repairs · house · Sewing

Guest room to sewing room?

Welcome to 2013, you guys!  I spent the rest of my break working on my bathroom and relaxing.  The new semester starts tomorrow, so it’s back to work.  I had, all things considered, a pretty great holiday.

As always, when I have time to think I have time to plan, and I came up with a new scheme:

I’m seriously considering turning my guest room into a sewing room.  We have lived here 4 years and had overnight guests only a handful of times.  To be totally honest, I don’t enjoy entertaining overnight.  I’m introverted, and my house is my refuge – having people stay with me makes me super nervous (I feel like a jerk saying that, but I feel the same way when staying in someone else’s house myself – give me a hotel room any day!)  We can get a nice air mattress for when it’s needed.  My family and friends live in town (except my best friend, but she’s allergic to my cats and can’t stay!) and Marc’s family generally only do day visits.

My current sewing room is on the 3rd floor, which isn’t ideal.   Right now it’s so cold that I really can’t stand to sew, and in the summer it gets pretty hot.   It shares with my exercise equipment and my husband’s Lego collection, so it’s always cluttered.  I can’t control my husband’s clutter (and really, it’s his hobby, why should he have to?) but I do find that being in a messy room makes me stressed out and not at all creative.

I can take over the bedroom entirely, so long as I don’t mind giving up a closet (I don’t!)  I can’t make it dual purpose because it’s not big enough – the bed takes up a good portion of the room.  It’s not super big – roughly 10 feet x 12 feet.  I’ll leave my fabric storage upstairs, so I only need room for my machines, ironing board, and cutting table.  I have a Sullivan’s cutting table, and I might buy the ironing cover for it – that way I only need one surface for both!

Here is the room when we moved in:

Guest room when we moved in

And here it is currently (not this bright in real life!)
Guest room now


I’ll change the wall color – not sure to what yet!

So here is my question: would anyone like to share their sewing rooms with me?  I’m especially interested in seeing what you can do with a small room, but anything is good.  I need some inspiration, and I’m not averse to buying new storage or furniture (we have an IKEA in driving distance.)  I have a nice sewing desk (from Ikea) and a cutting table  – one of the ones that folds up to a smaller size easily.  I have another sewing desk with my Singer which I would like to place in the room, as I don’t have space for it upstairs.  It still needs refinishing, which isn’t happening until the thaw – it’s living in my dining room right now!


24 thoughts on “Guest room to sewing room?

  1. My sewing and crafting room is small- I think its about 8 x 8 feet, with a short hallway to the door and an attached bathroom. Its a room added on to the back of our garage. I have two six foot tables in there, on opposite walls, with my sewing machine on one table, and my beads and other craft supplies on the other. My fabric is in a stacked 6 drawer unit next to the table at the edge of the hallway. Its small, and its a little cramped sometimes, but it does the trick. The downside to it is I have no hat or air back there, so in summer it can be stifling (we have 110*+ summers) and in winter, its freaking cold! Still, it beats fighting for space at the dining room table!

  2. I have a sewing room/guest room, and it works quite well. One thing that really helps is that instead of a permanent bed, the room has a futon couch from Ikea, so that most of the time the room, (small, 9 x 9) is not full of bed, and when the bed is in use for house guests, then I am not likely to be sewing anyway. There is a narrow table along the wall opposite the futon/couch/bed that is where the sewing machine and serger live. There are shelves on two of the walls for fabric storage.

  3. Do it! I love having my own sewing room. I have an IKEA Expedit shelf (5×5) which I’ve had for 6 years now. I’m in the process of moving my quilt design wall into the sewing room (currently in another room) so things are being moved out and reorganised, but having my own space and knowing that I am responsible for my OWN clutter really helps!

    I’m the same as you with overnight guests, although mostly I’m OK these days except for one “friend” in particular. Last time I got so stressed (she is very full on!!) before she arrived I ended up in hospital with an irregular heartbeat! She is now banned from staying with us.

  4. i think ikea has an armchair that folds out into a single bed for guests. that wouldn’t take much room away from your sewing…

  5. My sewing room is an extra bedroom. I have my sewing table perpendicular to the longest wall. This way I have my serger on one side and my sewing machine on the other. And I can use the end which is in the middle of the room to cut on. I purchased bed risers (plastic cubes college students use to lift up their dorm bed for more storage underneath) to put under the table when I do a lot of cutting. This helps my lower back. If you can swing it, I highly suggest storing your fabric in your sewing room.

  6. Go for it! Threads magazine has has some great articles on sewing spaces over the years (search for “sewing space” and “sewing room” on their website ). There’s also some magazine articles of theirs that I’d be happy to scan and send copies to you 🙂

    I also keep a Pinterest board to keep a track of sewing spaces I admire, and ideas for organisation I like too:

    P.S. Check out the “Sewing Spaces” series of posts on the Blue Gardenia blog :): There, Denise interviews fellow sewists about their sewing spaces – lots of clever ideas & inspiration to be found (yay!). There’s also a couple of books ‘ Dream Sewing Spaces: Design & Organization for Spaces Large & Small’ by Lynette Ranney Black, and ‘Setting Up Your Sewing Space: From Small Areas To Complete Workshops’ by Myrna Giesbrecht, and I’m not a quilter but the preview pages of this title on Amazon look promising ‘ Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams’ by Carolyn Woods.

  7. Ah, my dream! Right now I sew out of my bedroom, which is a decent size, but not big enough because I have no storage space so EVERYTHING is in there. When I live in company housing my bedroom gets even smaller but I leave most of my belongings behind anyways.

  8. I agree! You should definitely do it! My room is about that size, I think maybe 12 by 12? I have maximized the vertical space with lots of shelves and plenty of little tricks from ikea. I have a few old pics on Flickr here:

    It pretty much still looks like that, but not usually so clean! My favorite things are the hanging tool storage and the lazy Susan on my sewing table. There are also some things that I would change, but it’s mostly functional and I’m so happy to have a space to spread out!

  9. My sewing room doubles as a guest bedroom too and isn’t very big to start with, but hop on over to my blog to see some photos. Just click the Sewing space tab.

    Good luck with your new sewing room (exciting isn’t it, I’m getting all giddy for you :))!

  10. My sewing space is a corner of a room in my apartment- I’m actually considering posting a photo of it on my blog. It’s pretty miserable! It’s cramped and hard to be creative. Luckily, after I match, my husband and I are looking to buy a house, so weeeee!
    I look forward to seeing how your room turns out- it’s got so much potential!

  11. I use our loft conversion as a sewing room (it needs renovating but is very useable) and we used to use it as a guest room prior to that. But, like you, we had so few overnight guests, and I too see my home as a refuge, that we decided it was a waste of space so put it to better use.
    I’ve had a sewing room in a small bedroom before too, and in that one I used kitchen cabinets for storage (they can be quite inexpensive). Kitchen worksurface is also relatively inexpensive and great to make a sewing machine table. Pinterest has some superb ideas and inspiration for sewing rooms.

  12. if it is in the budget, consider a murphy bed. then it’s dual purpose and no sacrifice–you might even get some extra shelving! personally, i converted a very tiny, very sloped loft in my house into a sewing space, mostly by making sure i had two really good tables and a place to sit. still working out the lighting situation….

  13. One recommendation: wheels! Putting casters on every piece of furniture in my sewing studio makes it so flexible. You can lock the casters so they stay in place when needed. Nothing like a cozy dedicated sewing space.

  14. When my sewing room doubled as our guest room (and it was also small, only 10×10, I think), we had a nice futon in there. I had plenty of space for two tables for sewing and cutting and my fabric stored in my closet. The futon gave me a place to sit and handsew and there was plenty of space to fold it out for rare guests. We bought a memory foam pad to make it more comfortable for them. It also fit the under-bed tubs perfecting under it for more storage.

  15. So freaking exciting!!! I’m a huge fan of the Expidit shelving system from Ikea (and all the rad boxes/baskets you can get for patterns and notions) and also a huge long table. So exciting and can’t wait to see the results!

  16. I don’t really have a separate sewing room. My sewing stuff shares the space with my other home office stuff. The sewing stuff is just a small table with the machine and an ironing board as well as some fabric and patterns stored in the closet. But then again, I’m not a big time sewing person. I would love to have room for a cutting table, but I have to cut on the dining table. I do have a suggestion for seating — I’ve seen some nice convertible chairs that convert to single beds, and I bought one from that’s pretty comfortable both as a chair and as a bed.

  17. I would check out Fabricate and Mira’s blog. She had a new sewing room last spring, and came up with some great ideas (magnetic paint on one wall so she can post things up with magnets!)

  18. We just bought a house over the summer, and rather than have a formal dining room (who has formal dinner parties these days??), I use the dining room as my sewing room. The room was slightly outdated with mirrors lining one wall, but that works perfectly for a sewing room. And I did have to shorten the chandelier chain so I wouldn’t bump my head, but I’ll probably replace it with a different lighting fixture in the future. It’s a fairly large room, so I can’t share tips about setting up small spaces, but I’m glad to see someone else who isn’t afraid to turn a basically-unused room in their house into something they will use all the time.

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