How do you set up/organize your cosplay and sewing space?

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#1 han-pan on 10 years ago

I was answering another thread and ended up with somewhere around a page long response that was meandering off topic, so I decided to make a new thread on the topic I was discussing! I saw another topic of this in the search, but it was rather old and I didn't want to necro it P:

So the big question is...
How do YOU organize your sewing space?

Other things to think about...
If you sew for other things besides cosplay, how does the cosplay work into your sewing room?
Is your space all over the house or do you have a specialized sewing room?
Does your sewing room "travel"?
How do you manage remnants and things you bought for specific projects?
Do you ever throw things away? xD!
Do you use wall-space? Under-the-bed space? Closet space?
How do you store your machine? How many machines do you have?
Do you use other people's sewing space? Do you share a sewing space?
Do you keep your sewing space neat or are things tossed about?
How much do you invest into organizing your sewing space?
Do you re-organize often?






I live in a very small house, and I just moved back from college for the summer. Because my older sister can't do anything with her life, she still lives in the house. However, my parents also moved into my bedroom when I was a freshman, so unfortunately I have to share a teensy-butt room with my sister. Which is no fun because she clears off her dresser and uses all of mine as her "piling surface" and refuses to share or respect BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY ALTOGETHER.

However, I mentioned that information to mention this--I simply do not have the space for my sewing stuff. But I need to sew in the summer o___o;; It is my prime sewing time and I love it so :P So for now, my sewing machine is stored nicely in its carry-case and slipped under a table, out of the way in the living room. Don't even notice it's there. However, everything else...not so nicely stored or neat.

I have one box of crafty/sewing stuff in the storage unit where all my other belongings are as well. And by box, I mean a [url=http://blog.makezine.com/tupperDoor.jpg]tub[/url]. It contains my retired Harley costume, folded up nicely and tucked away in a plastic bag, a bunch of specialized craft supplies (in that, I purchased them for a specific aspect of a costume and do not intend to use them again any particular time soon), all of my Garnet costume (folded neatly and piled into the box), and I'm sure other things I am forgetting at the moment. Fiberfill and pink fleece I think, some fabric remnants I think. The little cardboard box containing delicate parts of Garnet's costume is on top of that box. xD

Then I have another tub/box. It's bright green :D This one is at home and is sitting at the end of my bed. It contains: crocheting hooks, three large bundles of yarn, a couple yards of beige stretchy fabric, a couple yards of red fleece and black fleece, all (3) of my patterns, all my hand-drafted patterns, a yard or so of white fabric, a couple notions for a sweatshirt and a length of leather I never used. It also contains my WIPs, folded neatly. Notice how everything is all folded and crap? I have so little room I don't have the option to haphazardly toss things about, no matter how much I would love to xD

Then I have a basket! I don't really know where to put this one, as it is my "dormant fabric" basket. It holds a few yards of yellow stretchy fabric, some felt, some houndstooth and a couple of other notions (interfacing, etc).

After that, I have my chotchkie boxes. I have a brandy new thread organizer, a box for all my needles and project specific notions (this zipper for this sweatshirt, that elastic for those pants etc) and another box for everything else I use while sewing--scissors, measuring tapes, pens, markers, pencils, seam rippers, bias tape makers, a few empty bobbins, machine feet, etc.

Currently I have a temporary paper bag storage, which has some patterns I cut and altered last night and some fabric I cut. Hopefully it will be gone in a week when I can finish sewing that article.

So I feel really scattered. My "sewing room" has to travel with me and be small enough that I can pack it up and move it out of the way in a short period of time. The best sewing light and area is downstairs, but my mom really doesn't like me being down there and being "loud" whenever she's around. Which is unfortunately often, and at night when I have the most time to sew :P The downstairs isn't set up well for me to sew, simply because of the furniture arrangement and the accessibility to wall outlets. I end up having wires across the room and while I feel conscious about that all the time, it also aggravates my mother. So sewing, while more fun than I can even say, can get really stressful for me sometimes. :(

#2 Shimi on 10 years ago

0.o that's a lot for my brain to read and register...
My sewing space is generally wherever I can sit on the floor. (sometimes it travells a little throughout my house, but it's usually restricted to one room). It's usually messy (scrap material all over the floor) and my mom is usually telling me to clean it. When I finish sewing something, I show it off and bring it upstairs to my bedroom. I do a lot of sewing by hand because I don't know how to use my mom's sewing machine properly.
.... I ran out of things to say... I have a lot of looe pieces of thread on the floor right now.

#3 skydragon119 on 10 years ago

I have a small room and i liveing in an army base so i don't have alot of space there
all the sewing i am doing on a litel room near the aircraft hangar

#4 silent_dreaming on 10 years ago

I [i]wish[/i] I had a sewing room, but I've pretty much spread out all over the house. I like to think of myself as being very organized, but projects do tend to get out of hand. My current setup - I have four dress dummies set up in the entry hallway that all have different projects on them. I have two large baskets under a nearby table that have all the scraps, trim, and notions for those projects so I never have to go very far to get the supplies that I need when I'm working on them. My sewing machine is set up on the nearest desk, and my serger is on the floor underneath the desk so I can easily pull it out if I need it. I guess this qualifies as my sewing area, since it's all within a 10 foot radius and it's out of the way of the flow of traffic.
As far as scraps, I'm proud to say that I'm very organized! I read an article some years ago that completely changed how I handle leftover fabric and such. What I do is I cut a small sample, about 2"x2", and I staple it to a 4"x6" note card. Then I write down a short description, how much of that fabric I have, the fibre content, and which box the fabric is stored in (F1, F2, etc for fabrics, R1, R2, etc for ribbons, T1, T2, for trim, and so forth). Then I just have to keep the labeled boxes full of fabrics somewhere where I can get to them, and I keep the note cards in a shoebox that I keep in my room. When I need to use a certain fabric I just flip through the note cards and find what box it's in and go straight to it, no endless searching involved. :D I need to do something similar with my patterns. I have a ton of patterns, and I've started transferring them from their original envelopes into large manila envelopes. I cut the pattern envelope and glue the front and back to the manila one so that I can see at a glance which pattern it is and all the yardage measurements. I really need to photocopy the envelope fronts and keep them in a ring binder so I can have a handy catalogue of my patterns. It would definitely cut down on digging through boxes and boxes of patterns.
I store my costumes out with my sewing leftovers. I bought a bunch of those $20 clothing racks from Wal-Mart and set them up out in the garage. The first one is for in-progress stuff that I'm not working on, the second is for Lolita clothes and cosplay, and the last is for historical costumes. Each finished cosplay gets its own garment bag to protect it and keep all the pieces together. I tape a list to the outside of the garment bag that lists all the pieces that are included, plus all the things that are needed to complete the outfit like stockings, boots, props, etc.
I wish I had a better way to store notions and accessories, but I don't. I just have a bunch of plastic shoe boxes that I've tried to organize as well as I can. I have all my thread in one, all my grommets, buttons, and beads in another, and then I have one that's a sort of catch-all for stuff like scissors, machine needles, corset boning, and such.
Most of my cosplay stuff is stored in my room or out in the garage. I have the rest of my dress dummies and all my boxes of fabric out there, as well as the clothes racks and pattern boxes. I'm in the middle of reorganizing -again- because no matter now nicely I have it set up, the rest of the family always ends up dumping a bunch of random crap in the middle of it and jumbling my nicely organized boxes so that I can never find what I need. :sulk:
I've probably spent allot of money over the years trying to keep organized, but it's worth it when I don't have to spend 50% of my time trying to find that fabric that I -know- is in a box -somewhere- if I could only remember where I put it! :p I've become very good at budget organizing, though, so it's not quite as expensive as it used to be. ^^

#5 Valkyrja on 10 years ago

How do YOU organize your sewing space?
I have a sewing table against one wall with a three-drawer storage unit and garbage can underneath. The industrial machine is built in and has some handy storage space underneath that part of the table as well. Above the machine is a corkboard to post photos, notes and calendar info to remind me about deadlines and such. Next to my machine I keep a table with some storage drawers/tubs and chairs. And floating around that area you'll find a full length mirror and full wig stand.

Is your space all over the house or do you have a specialized sewing room?
At the moment, it's in my apartment's dining room. I'll be moving in about a month and will have a special room for it after that.

Does your sewing room "travel"?
Way too difficult. The machine and accompanying table weighs a ton.

How do you manage remnants and things you bought for specific projects? Do you ever throw things away?
I try not to throw fabric or hard-to-acquire items away. I often store the excess in boxes in my cosplay storage area (a hallway closet full of labeled plastic tubs).

Do you use wall-space? Under-the-bed space? Closet space?
Lots of closet space.

Do you use other people's sewing space? Do you share a sewing space?
It's all mine and I don't use anyone else's :)

Do you keep your sewing space neat or are things tossed about?
Depends on how busy I am! I prefer to keep it neat and tidy.
The storage drawers are THE BEST. If you don't have them, you should consider it!

#6 han-pan on 10 years ago

I'm getting SO many great ideas from this thread, thank you all sooo much!!!

#7 EgnirysFaye on 10 years ago

My main sewing stuff is up in a loft (Which is kind of attic-like) the staircase is kind of hidden so whenever I have someone over it suprises them that I have a "Secret room" lmao

The room is also used as a guest room, since there is a bed there. It has a lot of space, a big table, lighting, and a ton of sewing storage avaible. The only down side is that sometimes it gets too hot or too cold up there.

Occasionally I do bring stuf down however, like fabric and the sewing machine and place them in the living room so I can have the TV. I have a radio up in the loft but sometimes I just want to the tv moreso.

#8 Ion on 10 years ago

Does your sewing room "travel"?
I kind of travel with my projects most of my stuff stays where it is. I kind of commandeered half of my father's workshop/show room. He's a gunsmith on the side and built this huge showroom space which he really doesn't use much. I bought 2 folding banquet tables; one has my sewing machine and serger, the other I try [unsuccessfully] to keep absolutely clear for cutting and such. However, if I'm really into watching something, I sometimes work in the loft inside our house.

How do you manage remnants and things you bought for specific projects?
After you make a few costumes, you realize you have a lot of remnants and leftovers. I bought several of those clear plastic drawer storage units and tried organizing my scraps etc. I always buy more than I need for projects if it's a color I'll use again so I have a drawer specifically set aside for longer pieces of fabric. Since these drawer units are usually outrageously priced for the plastic that they are, I cruise people's garage sales and get them when I see them for a dollar. Who cares if the drawer has a crack? Duct tape fixes all.

I saved one drawer unit for specific projects. All the stuff I bought [if it will fit] goes into a drawer. That way it's quick organization and easy access to my projects and I can allow the Cosplay ADHD to take over and work on multiple things whilst not losing pieces here and there.
[B]
Do you ever throw things away? xD![/B]
Sadly no, it's some sort of packrat curse. I have been known to keep little shreds of fabric. Even more amazing, I even use them sometimes. I think I may just start giving the really small scraps to quilters and let them have fun.

Do you keep your sewing space neat or are things tossed about?
Things stay fairly neat so I can find what I need without tearing things apart. XD An absolute must have is the thread rack. I haven't hung it on the wall yet but it makes zeroing in on a thread color much easier than digging for the right one in a drawer.

For being disorganized in many other way, I think I'm surprisingly organized with sewing goodies. When I get a chance I want to install some peg board on the wall so tools I use often e.g. different kinds of scissors, etc can be located and put back easily.

#9 Devkyu on 10 years ago

How do YOU organize your sewing space?
I have to say it's really unorganized at the moment.

When it's time to actually sew, I lug what I need out onto the floor of my bedroom on a towel or (if someone isn't using it), the coffee table (and floor) in the living room. It gets annoying with three huge dogs and a cat lumbering around and constantly wanting your attention and stepping on your workspace. Thankfully I have fast enough reflected to keep them from sticking their noses on the hot iron or stepping on the sewing pins.

Is your space all over the house or do you have a specialized sewing room?
>.> Yeah, my crap is everywhere, especially in the middle of projects. I tend to make a huge mess of everything.

Does your sewing room "travel"?
Yes! I take as much as I can to the con with me for last-minute projects and repairs. I usually toss it in the trunk of my car, though it's a bit like playing Tetris with everyone else's crap in there.

How do you manage remnants and things you bought for specific projects?
They usually sit in the plastic bag I got them in during the duration of the project with the receipts... then thrown in a random corner of my room.

Do you ever throw things away? xD!
Only tiny scraps that I can't possibly use for anything (that are small enough to get sucked up by the vacuum cleaner), but the rest of the scraps I stuff in a bag and throw in the closet. Originally I used a grocery store bag, but have since upgraded to a reusable back that's much more durable. I end up raiding it for school projects often enough.

Do you use wall-space? Under-the-bed space? Closet space?
Most of my fabrics are stuffed in two Sterilite plastic drawer-like containers that previously were stacked in my closet, but where relocated to side-by-side under my bed. I managed to fit most of the unused, folded fabric in one drawer, and miscellaneous unfinished costumes and other odds and ends stuffed in the other. The rest of my costumes are stuffed in plastic 16qt boxes in my closet.

As for actual sewing supplies, they're scattered between three sewing kits and half usually thrown on my nightstand in a teetering pile, partially buried by Pokemon cards.
[B]
How do you store your machine? How many machines do you have?[/B]
My sewing machine (a very tiny Shark) usually gets shoved behind a bookcase that sits partially in front of my closet (which is wide, but not very deep). I keep it in its box so I don't lose pieces that often. I actually have two sewing machines, the other one being this Kenmore from the 60's, but I don't know how to get it to work, and don't know what needles will actually fit it.

Do you keep your sewing space neat or are things tossed about?
It would make a neat-freak cry.... and throw things at me.

How much do you invest into organizing your sewing space?
Too much >.>. Plastic containers get expensive after a while.

Do you re-organize often?
NOT OFTEN ENOUGH! Even then I usually end up making more of a mess than actually cleaning up.

#10 xMandiex on 10 years ago

If you sew for other things besides cosplay, how does the cosplay work into your sewing room?
I just sew for cosplay so we're good there.

Is your space all over the house or do you have a specialized sewing room?
Only because I live in someone else's house, my stuff tends to stay in my room. I have two rooms, one for sleeping and one for cosplay. Currently I sleep in my cosplay room. xDD It's comfier.

Does your sewing room "travel"?
Nay.

How do you manage remnants and things you bought for specific projects?
I have a shelf that I've stuffed with different cans of spray paint/primer/Gesso/handpaints/brushes, etc. fabric is...er...tossed in the general vicinity of a container I bought for it that it now overflows. My ringblade is hanging over an exercise machine lol.

Do you ever throw things away? xD!
...er... -guiltily eyes my pile of 1" clippings- ...no. My OCD doesn't let me. I have to hoarde 'cause if I don't hoarde I will throw something really really important out.

Do you use wall-space? Under-the-bed space? Closet space?
I sleep on an airmattress, so no under the bed... the closet is stuffed with my roomie's stuff so no... I do lean things up against the wall a lot.

How do you store your machine? How many machines do you have?
My machine, the one that I have since I can't afford the serger I want yet, chills out on the table I sew on.

Do you use other people's sewing space? Do you share a sewing space?
HA! No. I would never be able to share sewing space, I take up too much damn room.

Do you keep your sewing space neat or are things tossed about?
Um... ... well at FIRST it was neat. Until I moved into this room because the other one is such a mess. Gawd I need to be less of a slob. I plan to clean up tomorrow. Really.

How much do you invest into organizing your sewing space?
Well I plan to TRY to really give it at least a once-weekly sweep. For now my sewing space is a disaster area.

Do you re-organize often?
Yeah. A ton. When I actually have organization to "Re."

#11 moogles1989 on 10 years ago

lol i dont organize, all of my stuff is in organized chaos, the wrought iron detailing on my bed frame is used to drape pattern peices that needs sewing and im the only one that knows wat order they are placed in or wat number they are, my floor is covered with scraps and thread and pins....again im the only one that dares to walk barefoot in there.....my sewing machine sits on a night stand at the foot of my bed and my chair is in the closet so when i sew i open up the third closet door sit in the closet yeah.....the drawer of my night stand (the small skinny top drawer) is usd for bobbins and thread......other than that every thign is in piles, or hung in the closet....

#12 farawen on 10 years ago

my sewing space is spread between two areas: the corner of our living room, which is about a 3-5' space with a table, stool and a dress form, and the dining room, where my machine lives (since my siblings moved out, my family only really needs two chairs to eat)

but my space is highly disorganized, which I need. I can't work in an organized workspace XD

#13 xMandiex on 10 years ago

Note: I loathe you all. This made me stare at my sewing space ALL DAY yesterday and finally at like 7pm I broke out the hairtie and trash bags and cleaned it.

-grumbles-

Of course now I feel better since I can see my floor. XDDD It really was due for an overhaul.

#14 Saturn Neko on 10 years ago

My sewing room traviles... but I manly try to keep it all in one place, (my mom gets anoyed when it is all around the house)
I use everyspace I posibly can think of for storing my sewing stuff. I usaly have all my diffent sewing projects seperated, My cosplay will be in one box were my Garb is in a nice pile together and my desighens of reaguler close are in another box.. and one box for anything that needs fixing :P

#15 DeathOfSoul on 10 years ago

Gahhh, I wish I had a sewing room! It's kinda my dream right now.. for now I just have my pretty small room (thanks to all my furniture.. I really should get a smaller computer desk and a new shelving unit to replace this desk.. *thinks about it now* )
Either way, I keep all my sewing supplies on my sewing desk. The little things like buttons, studs, eyelets, etc. are in a plastic organizer while my thread and such are lining the wall. All my fabric are stored in tubs at the end of my bed, in two drawers in my dresser, and in a small 3 drawer organizer.

And that's about it, haha.

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