Start your sewing adventure with us.    Join Seamwork

Articles on this site were all published prior to 2017 and this site is no longer updated. Please visit our current Articles, Patterns, and Classes for the most up-to-date content and products.

Aspiring to Neatness

Carrie’s musings on a creative space yesterday got me thinking about the kind of space that inspires me.

First, I’ll say off the bat that I am not a tidy person by nature. My long suffering and very neat husband can attest to this. I think I’m just impulsive and get excited about moving on to the next thing rather than finishing up and cleaning after myself. Stuff tends to accumulate on my desk, on my dresser, wherever.

However, I’ve also had to face the fact that cramped, messy rooms stress me out. I just feel stifled and overwhelmed by unorganized mountains of stuff, and I hate not being able to find the tools I need when I want them. So these two impulses are constantly duking it out in my brain. I aspire to be neat.

Now that I have this gorgeous new studio to work in, I’ve been dreaming up ways to organize everything. My fabric is shelved, but there are so many little tools and notions to take care of! Most are floating around in drawers at the moment, but I’ve been scouting around on the Craft Rooms and Pretty Organized pools on Flickr for more ideas, and there are some good ones!

I’d say the things that get me ready to work are lots of space to move around, tons of natural light, plenty of work surfaces, and having my materials visible but organized and accessible.

{images above: (1) by *jenny b allsorts, (2) by Three Red Apples, (3) by puddlekins, }

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



July 20, 2010 #

I’ve always wanted a linen cabinet like in the third photo for my fabric stash. Someday!!

Laura Eliason

July 20, 2010 #

that first paragraph could have been a description of me too! oh how i too aspire to be neat.
lovely spaces!! thanks for the inspiration!


July 20, 2010 #

This makes me so jealous. I’m relegated to putting my sewing stuff in a corner of the family room that acts as our computer room. The room’s nicely sized, but with file cabinets, a big bookshelf, the computer desk and a fireplace taking up all of the wall space, I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to stash everything. I knew I should have claimed one of the two spare bedrooms as a sewing room…


July 20, 2010 #

I love the inspirational photos .. I recently conquered a room in my house for the sole purpose of crafts/sewing/whatever else comes to my head but it is definitely messy. I like the feeling of clean and organized but can’t seem to ever keep it that way. :P The way you described yourself could easily be a description of me .. my husband too is much cleaner than I. *sigh* one day ..


July 20, 2010 #

Thanks for this post and the links. The same dynamics exist at my house: my neat, organized fella cringes at the piles of half-finished projects that land in the bedroom, the office, and occasionally on the dining room table. I’m looking at these photos with envy.


July 20, 2010 #

Ooh, I’m jealous of the owners of ALL of these beautiful rooms. I’m a slob, and I aspire to being neater…but my sewing room is in the loft of our pottery studio, and my stuff is tucked in around packing materials and paint cans and booth parts. I’m up in the eaves, so I have no straight walls to decorate (or to hang shelves on) and I don’t even have sheetrock; I have to look at the lovely spray-foam insulation! Not a very inspiring atmosphere…Sigh. Maybe in my next house I can have a prettier, more practical space…


July 20, 2010 #

I like how the fabrics are all neatly organized in the bookcase. Great idea! Very pretty too.


July 20, 2010 #

“Aspiring to neatness” What a great title!
I love your new studio and all th epics you shared from others. In fact, I am shutting down Reader and going upstairs to tidy up my own space. Thank you for the gentle nudge.


July 20, 2010 #

I aspire to neatness as well :) even though once I get started, it’s hard to keep control and the project supplies ‘spread’ across any available spaces!
I just re-did my sewing room recently, it’s so much fun going through all your supplies and re-organizing. I keep my fabric on shelves too, it lets me see my entire collection at a glance!


July 20, 2010 #

I too am a bit on the messy side with my creative projects, but quickly become overwhelmed by chaos! I decided this year to undertake the task of (slowly! ;) organizing my sewing space. Partly because I got fed up with the constant digging that had to occur to even start a project (since I never knew where anything was!), and finally having my own corner of our spare room to use as my sewing “studio”. Ikea has become my best friend for cheap storage fixtures, although seeing these pictures with some of the vintage/antique pieces is making me want to go thrifting and find things with a bit more character! :D It’s definitely paying off to have some semblance of order in my sewing area though–I feel like overall I’ve been far more productive this year (since I’m not wasting time digging…). ;)

Thanks for sharing these inspiring spaces!

♥ Casey
blog |


July 20, 2010 #

I used to have the luxury of a small workroom – it was cramped but everything had it’s place and working was so efficient!
Now I am at home everything seems a bit of a frustrating jumble and takes twice as long – I can definitely vouch for having an organised space!
I am loving that cabinet full of fabric – only thing is you should really store fabric long term on roll to prevent permanent creases, and away from sunlight to avoid discoloured edges -it looks pretty though!


July 20, 2010 #

Sherry, that’s a very good point about folded fabric fading in the sun! Thanks for mentioning it!

Rachel Red Lips

July 20, 2010 #

oh man! i’ve been working on my sewing studio ever since we moved to Portland (2 months ago) and the hardest part is storage! i have a few shelves for my fabric and a sewing stool, but i think i need to explore more options like you’ve shown!

i did “wallpaper” with pages from a rose calendar and it looks pretty cool, but there is so much more work to be done before i actually want to work in there on a regular basis! anyway, i posted some pics here:

The Sew Convert

July 20, 2010 #

I have a long suffering husband with a neatness fixation too! I just organized my sewing table a few weeks back and discovered notions I’ve long forgotten! It’s back to it’s usual messiness again… Oh! I didn’t know about keeping fabric rolled. Thanks for the tip sherry!


July 21, 2010 #

I have the space for a sewing room, but having 4 young children means that I sew on the kitchen table…otherwise I’d never get a chance to sew, as I’m always keeping an eye on them. (Except after bedtime) So my things are all over the house in various cupboards. With the photos, I find the top room so inviting to work in, but the more colorful ones more inspiring.


July 21, 2010 #

I love the glass-fronted cabinet for the fabric. Some day, when I have a place and income and all!