I’ve been sewing clothes and home decor for more than 20 years, and I’ve had my sewing space everywhere from the kitchen table to my own sewing room. Sadly, our house now doesn’t have a room just for all of my sewing gear, so I converted one of our closets into my own little sewing closet.
This is the first of three post about how I turned a clothes closet into my sewing room. You can also read about My Sewing Closet: Storage and My Sewing Closet: Fabric.
Sewing machines need electricity, so first we put an outlet in the closet. We were lucky that there was an unused outlet in our living room on the other side of the closet wall. My amazing husband cut into the closet wall and connected the wiring from the the unused outlet and put on a new outlet cover. The process is more than I can explain in this post, but you can watch our video about adding a new outlet from an existing one.
The biggest problem with using a closet to sew is lighting. I need lots of light to sew well, especially task lighting, so I can see all the little details. It’s the details that make handmade clothes look professional. But a closet is usually very dark, with no windows and usually no lights. We added two strips of LED lights along each side of the closet. It made a huge different. From a dark cave to a well-lit space.
Next, we painted the walls a bright white, so they would reflect all the light and make everything brighter. I probably should have painted before installing the LED lights, so I didn’t have to paint around them.
The closet used to be a dingy white, so I quickly put on a new coat of white paint. Very quickly because I wasn’t too worried about brush lines or missed spots. I knew that very little of the walls would actually end up showing. Even so, the new white paint made a big impact. It really lightened up the closet.
When we first installed the lighting, I just left the cords loose until we figured out where everything should go. They were always messy looking and always in the way of my foot pedals. To clean it up, I attached the cords to the walls with circle cable clips with steel nails. The clips worked perfectly to keep the cords secure and out of the way.
On the right side of the closet, I measured the height of my sewing desk and attached the cords where they would be hidden.
The cable clips work great, but the steel nails are 10mm and make a good sized hole in the wall, so be sure you know where you want the cord before nailing in the cable clips.
Once the desk and all of the storage stuff was put in (see Thursday’s post), I attached a moveable light to the desk so that I can aim the light at whatever I’m working on and adjust it to be closer to either sewing machine. That light is my best source of task lighting. This is the first time I’ve had a desk lamp by my sewing machine, and I love it! I can see every detail and every stitch.
So, I must have a lot of stuff crammed into my sewing closet because there are still 2 more posts about it. This post was just getting it set up. My Sewing Closet: Storage shares where I put everything, and My Sewing Closet: Fabric shows how I made my mini bolts of fabric.
Where do you create? Share how you found space to make your creations in the comments below!
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