Sewers are at the top of the list of craftspeople with a need for storage. Between fabrics, thread, notions, patterns, along with a cutting table and sewing machine, there is often little space left in a room for the sewer themselves! A carefully designed and crafted storage cabinet can bring much of this related clutter into control.
Make a list of the sewing room needs. Review how and where you currently have items stored. The fabric alone can overfill any available storage, and a common problem is what is stored out of sight, is often out of mind. This can result in purchasing things you might already have! Therefore, this can actually be a money saver in disguise. Cabinet material should be light-colored if possible. It will reflect the light of the room and be much easier on the eyes when working.
A smooth surface is recommended simply because of the possibility of snagging fabrics on a surface that is not smooth. Consider how your thread and notions are stored. Again, visibility is often key-feature that is lacking. With these considerations in mind, along with the need for a cutting table, a combination of these features alone will bring into focus a very useable design for a storage cabinet.
Start by basing your overall dimensions of the cabinet on the cutting surface. A self-healing cutting pad can become the top of the cabinet. Available in different sizes, many even come with a ruler designed right into them. If the one you choose to use is not large enough for the dimensions you have in mind, consider using two or more. One note to keep in mind when designing the top; do not set the cutting pad into a recessed top, but actually make it the top of the cabinet, otherwise you will lose cutting space and fabric will not be able to lie flat and hang over the edges evenly.
In addition, the height of the cabinet should be based on the height of the user for optimum comfort. If you normally sit in your work area, consider what chair you will be using. An adjustable chair is a great addition. If wheels are going to be added to the bottom to make this an even more versatile cabinet, consider those when figuring the overall cabinet height. A two-sided cabinet will use the provided space much more efficiently than a four-sided cabinet. On one side, you can have block style storage for stacks of fabric. Leave these either open or enclosed behind doors.
On the opposite side, create numerous cubbyholes and spindles for notions and thread storage. If you use larger skeins, such as yarn on a knitting machine, you could even create some larger spindles for storage. If drawers are included, dividers of varying sizes and shapes will be another advantage.
Other small additions that can be assets to your cabinet:
Include a magnetic strip on the top or inside a drawer for stray needles and notions.
A supply of zip-close bags for tossing fabric scraps so they do not just pile up.
Baby food jars with lids used in a similar fashion as commonly seen for storage in a workshop. Screw the lids to an underside area, allowing you to unscrew the jars to use for storage of small items
Add a swing-arm lamp to the top.Add a swing-arm
Add a foldout rod to one side to hang things on as you are working, but that can be folded down when not in use.