Now that you have everything in its place, it's time to address another subject that most of us don't really enjoy...keeping the studio clean and regular maintenance. You have spent so much time and effort creating a place that is both functional and inspirational. If you can spend 5-10 minutes at the end of each sewing day doing a quick clean up job, you will be amazed at the results. Not only do you avoid the tendency to "just set things here for a bit," which often means more like a few months, it means that each day when you enter the studio you can get right to work. There is nothing worse for stifling a bit of creative energy than having to clean up beforehand.

To keep things clean while you are in the studio, here are some suggestions:

  • Clean your cutting mat
  • Wipe off your sewing tables
  • Place trash cans around your sewing studio (cutting table, sewing area, desk/office table)
  • Keep tools stored near their designated work area, such as rulers and rotary cutters by the cutting station
  • Use pegboards to hold items and to keep the floor space free
  • Try to avoid keeping multiple projects out at once. Unless your studio is large and can accommodate multiple projects, a smaller space can very quickly become buried. If you do need to switch projects, put the current project (pattern, fabrics used, and any other items that need to be included) away for the time being, in its own container. This way, when you do come back, all of the elements are there for you to get right back to work.

Dust and Vacuum
Every so often you should do a thorough cleaning of your space, especially if your fur friends hang out with you. Mark your calendar and take an hour or so to vacuum, sweep and dust to keeps things fresh and orderly. If you have carpeting, you might even find a few random pins that escaped without your knowledge.

Cables and Extension Cords
Worn and damaged cables are a potential fire hazard, so they need to be inspected on a regular basis. Katie Fowler (Show 1807) went to church one Sunday morning only to discover upon her return that her home was on fire.  A worn cable, buried under a pile of random items, caught fire in her basement studio.

Iron and Ironing Board Covers

Remove the cover from your ironing board and toss it in the washing machine. Over time, there is a lot of build up on the ironing surface, especially if you use starch or similar products. If you have made an ironing board using MDF or heavy plywood, remove the old cover and replace with a new one.

While you are at it, check your iron to make sure that it too is in tip-top shape. If your work includes a great deal of fusibles, or other 'glues,' these residues, over time, can build up on the sole plate of the iron. Keep your iron in good working order with these tips.

Here is a great recipe for making your own cleaner for a steam iron.

Cutting Mats

Cutting mats can become 'fuzzy' after extended periods of time. A simple cleaning trick from MadebyChrissieD will have your mat looking brand new in no time.

Needles and Pins

Old needles and bent pins have served their purpose and need to be disposed of in a proper manner. Old pill containers, spice jars, or small mint containers are perfect for holding old needles and bent pins until they can be thrown out. Label the container and keep it near your sewing area.

We wanted to share a cute pincushion thread catcher pattern (from MerrimentDesign) that will help to keep those stray threads off the floor. These little holders would also be perfect by your cutting station. Happy sewing!

Click here for more organization blogs.


#14 Carroll Lee 2018-08-21 10:40
I taped an empty short cone spool (like from Coates-Clark rayon thread) to my table next to machine. I use the veritcle hole to hold my (Clover) tapered awl. I can grab the awl without looking when I need it. I also magnetize the awl to "grab" pins as I sew along, then scrape the pins into a magnetized dish!
#13 Carroll Lee 2018-08-21 10:36
I love Fran's idea of using a piece of batting next to the machine for those pesky threads! I am heading to my studio this minute to arrange one for my machine!
#12 Bobbi 2018-08-20 15:13
What is Chrissie D. using to clean her cutting mat ?.
#11 Cathie Vaughn 2018-08-20 10:31
I dispose of my broken/used needles in an old flip top spice container...and I keep one in my traveling retreat tools kit too.
#10 SashieGirl 2018-08-20 08:10
This shouldn't need to be said, but if you are sewing at a friend's house, don't leave her a huge mess when you go. My SIL thinks she is Eleanor Burns and tosses scraps and threads over her shoulder or drops them on the floor when she snips them. UM, hello, this is my house, not your's or Eleanor's, for that matter. I've even offered her a scrap bag and she says, "Well, you were going to have to sweep anyway." Please respect your host.
#9 Dillyew 2018-08-20 04:27
I use 3 old Pringle (crisp) tins covered with fabric for my small electric tools, mini iron, stencil cutter and heat gun. That way they can be stored hot/warm end first into the metallic lined interior to take back home after a workshop and then the cable folded down inside when it has cooled! I can send pic if you like!
#8 Joan Curtis 2018-03-12 10:39
:-* I use an empty Truvia (artificial sweetener) jar.
It is rather short and squat and fits into my top sewing. drawer. The whole top of the lid flips open and it's so easy to drop in spent rotary blades, pins, needles.
#7 Teri Caplener 2016-11-08 13:04
This was great,only comment I have us rayon and poly threads should be stored in a dark place out of sunlight, dust, humidity, dryness as if done, these threads will outlast us.
#6 Fran 2016-10-25 21:45
I keep a small square of batting next to my machine and collect all the threads on that. Toss it away and haul out a new one when necessary.
#5 Teresa Hoagland 2016-10-25 13:56
I use the sharps container just like I did as an RN at the hospital. They can be purchased over the counter for less than $6.00. Easy to recognize where to put your sharps and disposal is identified by your container for the refuse managers and workers.
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