How do I set up a good sewing room?

Cutting Surface Size

Your cutting table or surface should be at least 30 inches wide and 60 inches long. The cutting table should be accessible from both sides.


Stools are great for working at higher surfaces, such as ironing boards and the cutting table. To get the right height, use an adjustable stool or buy one with wooden legs and cut to the right height for you.


Full length mirrors need to be large enough to see the whole person being viewed, from top of the head to the floor. Test mirror placement on persons of different heights. Three-way mirrors and free-standing mirrors that can be moved to different angles are great.


Keep in mind where electrical outlets are when deciding how to set up your sewing room. Extension cords can be dangerous; their use should be limited. Power strips and surge protectors with circuit breakers are recommended, especially for irons and machines.

Machine Height

The bed of your machine should be 25-29 inches high. If your machine sets on top of a table, the table height needs to be lower than if you have a sewing machine cabinet with a recessed area that the machine sets in. The depth of the sewing table should be at least 20 inches.

Hanging Area

You will need a place to hang clothing. Whether a bar or hooks, it needs to be about 70 inches off the floor so full length garments can hang freely.


Fabrics are often treated with chemicals for shipping and storage. Dry-cleaned material and garments release chemical fumes. Working with fabric produces large amounts of dust and lint. To reduce fatigue, make sure that your work area is well ventilated with fresh air.

Efficient Work Area

Design the layout of your work area for maximum efficiency. Consider the three basic functions performed in this area: cutting, sewing, and pressing. It is important to be able to move quickly and freely between these areas. Keep this “work triangle” in mind when designing your sewing area.

Pressing Surface

An adjustable ironing board will allow you to find the most comfortable height for pressing and change the height depending on whether you decide to work standing or sitting. If you have a fixed height pressing surface, make sure it is set so that you can work without excessive bending or reaching.

Fitting Area

A good fitting area will be located in front of a full length mirror. The floor surface should be hard and even for measuring hem heights. The area needs to be large enough for a person to work on all sides of the person being fit.

Sewing Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up a good sewing room?

How do I select the right pattern?

What kind of cutting equipment should I use?

What kind of sewing machine should I buy?

How do I mark the fabric?

How do I iron fabric?

How do I choose the right fabric?

What makes a good cutting table?

What measuring tools should I have?

How do I choose the right size pattern?

Where should I buy my fabric?

What is the best lighting for my sewing room?

How can I get custom fitting patterns?

How do I hold the fabric in place?

Where can I store things in my sewing room?

What can I use to store sewing gadgets?

What is the best way for me to store sewing supplies?

Do I need to preshrink interfacing?

What are some useful tools to have for sewing?

What kind of light should I use for sewing?

What kind of seam ripper should I get?

What kind of tape measure do I need?

How do I remove gum stuck to my clothes?

How should I store patterns?

How often do I need to clean up my sewing room?

How do I deal with difficult customers?

How should I store my scissors?

How do I get rid of scorch marks?

Is it safe to use magnets around my sewing machine?

What kind of seating should I use when sewing?

How do I press seams without getting imprints?

What kind of thimble should I use?

Do I need a needle threader?

How do I preshrink interfacing?

What kind of interfacing should I use?

How can I protect my back when sewing?

How do I apply interfacing?

How do I hem thick fabrics like denim?

How do I cut open buttonholes?

What kind of needles should I use for hand sewing?

How do I hold the pattern in place?

How do I build a business reputation?

What pressing tools should I have?

How do I baste?

What color thread should I use?

What is basting?

How high should my sewing table be?

How can I organize my thread?

What is full spectrum lighting?

What is a third hand?

How do I stabilize knit fabric?

How do I clean my iron?

How do I get curves seams to lay flat?

Can I shorten a zipper?

How do I sew a smooth dart?

How do I sew over thick seams?

How do I gather?

What kind of patches should I use?

How do I do a gathering stitch?

How do I make an invisible hem?

What is microfiber?

How do I learn new techniques?

What is a nap?

How much time will it take me to do a project?

How do I layout the pattern pieces?

How can I focus my advertising?

How do I work with fabric cut on the bias?

How do I learn about my sewing machine?

What kind of pin cushion should I get?

How do I make buttonholes?

How do I preshrink my material?

What kind of floors should I have in my sewing room?

How do I remove lint from my machine?

How do I make a top-stitched hem?

What kind of documentation should I keep for work taken in?

Do I need to follow the steps on the pattern in order?

What is a seam allowance?

What is woven fabric?

can I use a magnetic seam guide?

What kind of sewing business should I start?

How can I keep my button organized?

How do I remove creases in fabric?

What kind of ironing board should I use?

How do I lay out my fabric?

How do I develop a niche?

Where can I get support for my business development?

When should I cut on a single layer of fabric?

How do I keep my thread from getting tangled up?

How do I sew an invisible hem?

How determine the proper care for my fabric?

How do I cut out the pattern?

What are pattern notches?

Do I need to keep my sewing machine covered?

How do I get a smooth finished seam?

Can I use generic parts and accessories for my sewing machine?

What is knit fabric?

What kind of pins should I use?

How often do I need to oil my sewing machine?

How do I clean out the tension discs in my machine?

How do I change the light bulb in my sewing machine?

Do I need to preshrink my zippers?

How do I keep the seam straight?

How do I prepare my pattern before using it?

How should I store my thread?

Should I use a surge protector with my machine?

What color should my walls be in my sewing room?

How do I deal with customers?

How do I prevent job burnout?

What is a point turner?

How can I save time cutting fabric?

How often do I need to change my machine needle?

How often should I have my sewing machine serviced?

What kind of thread should I use in my sewing machine?

How can I store sewing machine needles?

What kind of thread should I use?

How do I straighten my fabric?

What is done during routine servicing of my sewing machine?

Where should I buy my sewing machine?

How much should I spend for a sewing machine?

How can I sharpen my machine's needle?

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Byron White