Baskets Make the Best Sewing Storage

Jan 30, 2013

I have a very, very tiny weekend home, which also happens to be the place where I do most of my sewing. So I have had to be very resourceful in determining how to organize my sewing supplies. Limited storage space can quickly become a conundrum for any sewist. From sewing machines to notions and tools to fabrics, sewing can just take up a lot of space.


I even had room for my yarn!


The other baskets fit perfectly
above my bed.

  The fabric peeking out
makes me happy.

I scratched my head for a few months, and mostly relied on the patience of my husband to help me tote sewing supplies back and forth on the weekends. But his patience ran thin, and I knew I needed to figure something out quickly. (The fact that we lived on the fourth floor of a Brooklyn brownstone walk-up didn't help his patience either. And he is a very patient man.)

Finally, I landed upon the perfect solution: shelving and baskets! We went to the hardware store and bought some inexpensive shelving that I had him install around the side and top of the window above our bed and some more above a set of drawers. Then I filled the shelves with big baskets for storing fabric and supplies.

It was shocking how much storage space this solution gave me. I even had enough room to store my skeins of knitting yarn. And even more shocking was how pretty and cozy it made our bedroom look. Every time I see that room, it gives me pleasure to see the tools of my trade neatly placed and easily accessible.

For plenty of ideas for your sewing, check out the Sew Daily Shop.

Do you have a clever storage solution for your sewing supplies? I would love to hear about it.

Happy stitching!


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on Jan 30, 2013 3:19 AM

I have lots of totes and and few baskets in my sewing room, but I'm limited on space as well because it's a shared space.  Love the idea about the shelves around the windows.  When you need more space, go up!  That's awesome, and I'll be sending my husband to the hardware store very soon!

LuLu Thomas wrote
on Jan 30, 2013 7:14 AM

I too use baskets, but not to the extent you do.  My organizing tip to sare is this.  I use fishing tackle clear boxes, that are made to put  fishing supplies in, that have removable clear slots inside.  I remove the clear slots and lay my threads flat down so the color of each spool shows.  I make row after row and fill the box up.  Close the lid that snaps, and I can easily see which color tones I have in each box and they keep my threads together and they never get dusty!  The boxes stack very nicely on each other and do not take up much room.  I hope you give this a try.  You may really like it!

mrsthomo wrote
on Jan 30, 2013 7:29 AM

My sewing room is off my lounge and is visible as it has a clear glass door.  I therefore need to ensure that it is tidy at all times!!!

I am lucky in that i have a sewing room, and although it is quite small it has open shelving along two walls.  I love the fact that i can see everything.  I use jars which contain ribbon whereby all my ribbons are wrapped around dolly washing pegs then pinned in place - looks really pretty.  I then use the same method for ricrac and other trimmings.  I have clear partitioned boxes for my beads so i can see where things are, and then a long box where i have my bindings laid in. Then i have my fabric on a low shelving unit so i can see everything.  

it is personal choice but if i had things hidden in baskets, i wouldn't be able to keep track or feel inspired.  Instead i feel that my method is that everything looks pretty, organised and inspirational.  Th biggest compliment though is when non-sewers see my room (off my lounge) and go 'Wow, I love it' these people are mostly men too!!!

wingor wrote
on Jan 30, 2013 10:17 AM

Try picnic baskets!  The hard-top surface can also provide a low work space...and they are stackable with the handles dropped.  I buy them at flea markets and thrift stores very inexpensively.  I like those that have an interesting weave design and have found them in wood and very retro plastic over metal.  They look great on a shelf or in a stack.  I have added a lining to a couple that were a bit rough so that yarn did not snag.  

I espcially like those that have an internal shelf.  WIth the addition of a drawer organizer on the shelf, a picnic basket can also provide storage for smaller items.

wingor wrote
on Jan 30, 2013 10:17 AM

Try picnic baskets!  The hard-top surface can also provide a low work space...and they are stackable with the handles dropped.  I buy them at flea markets and thrift stores very inexpensively.  I like those that have an interesting weave design and have found them in wood and very retro plastic over metal.  They look great on a shelf or in a stack.  I have added a lining to a couple that were a bit rough so that yarn did not snag.  

I espcially like those that have an internal shelf.  WIth the addition of a drawer organizer on the shelf, a picnic basket can also provide storage for smaller items.

sanyara wrote
on Feb 3, 2013 3:21 PM

Baskets do look cosy, but oh, the dust!  The clear plastic boxes which our Tesco supermarket sells for storing sweaters/jumpers are the perfect size for storing fat quarters, which I sort into colours, and stack.

Of course, the colour box you want is always on the bottom of the pile, and the 'neutrals' are in a double sized box, but at least I know once a box is so jam packed full that not another scrap will fit in, then that is the colour of my next project!

AmberStitch wrote
on Feb 4, 2013 11:15 AM

Great ideas! FYI, I have heard concerns from some fabric-holics about storing fabrics in plastic for long term. But then if they are out in open air, you do have to be aware of sun and dust. Any thoughts?

4dogs wrote
on Mar 4, 2013 12:54 PM

I have found a good "basket" storage system to use. You know those big half bushel baskets you see at places like the farmers markets,etc that hold peaches, or fresh beans, etc............they are a good size, they can be spray painted for bright colors, they can be covered with fabric and glue..........I found a store that gave them to me, FREE, after they were empty. You can type out a title for each box (like "patterns" or "rulers" etc.) Ihave about a dozne of them, some sit atop my cabinets(that hold fabric) and some are on book shelves (the kind  you do yourself, with L holders, and inexpensive sheets of book shelf lumber (mine came from Lowes). I am currently looking for another dozen, for various other small things.