Organize Your Sewing Space in the New Year

Happy new year, friends! Have you set sewing goals for 2017? I think one goal many of us can agree on is to simply get organized. There’s something about tidying up your sewing space that’s so creatively inspiring, and I have a great project to share today that can help you with that. Keeping sewing supplies organized is always a struggle, especially when it comes to the big, bulky products and you’re short on space. This wall organizer designed by Shannon Miller for the May/June ’10 issue of Sew Beautiful can help. It’s perfect for out-of-the-way storage of rolls of interfacing, stabilizers and pattern paper. Have fun picking out coordinating fabric, trims and buttons — then stitch it up and hang it on the wall or a door for easy, orderly access.


Wall hanger will finish 14″ x 29″.
• Cotton fabric in a chosen print (You will need 2 pieces 15″ wide x 30″ long) 
• Medium to heavy weight fusible interfacing (1 piece, 15″ wide x 30″ long) 
• 2-1/2 yards of 2″-wide grosgrain ribbon in a coordinating color 
• 1-3/4 yards of 1″-wide elastic or decorative elastic trim 
• Steam-A-Seam 2, 1/4″-wide (optional) 
• Marking chalk or pen 
• Basic sewing thread in a coordinating color 
• Pearl cotton embroidery floss in a coordinating color 
• 10 large, two-hole decorative buttons 
• Embroidery needle 
• Metal thimble 
• Dowel or 13-1/2″ piece of a yardstick for top support

1. Cut two lengths of grosgrain ribbon, 60″ long each, and two lengths of elastic, 33″ long each. Set aside.

2. Fuse interfacing to wrong side of front base piece of cotton fabric. 

3. Pin back lining to interfaced front with right sides together and stitch all the way around using a 1/2″ seam and leaving a 2″-wide opening at the top side for turning (fig. 1).

4. Turn the piece right-side-out. Press seams flat.

5. Apply ribbon to rectangle 1-3/4″ from outer edge on each side: Press ribbon to front using Steam A Seam 2 tape along each edge or cut 4″ tape to same width as ribbon. Fold bottom ends under 1/4″ even with bottom edge of wall hanger. Allow remaining ribbon to extend from top edge (this will be tied and serve as the hanger) (fig. 2). Do not stitch ribbon.



6. Topstitch a casing large enough for wooden dowel or yardstick piece across top edge (fig. 3).

7. Divide front into four equal sections and mark edge of ribbon. Then mark each length of elastic into 4 equal sections. Pin each length of elastic down the center of each ribbon so that the marked segments meet, including the top and bottom. NOTE: The marked segments of elastic will be longer than the marked segments of ribbon, allowing for room to insert rolls of stabilizers and pattern paper.


8. Stitch horizontally across elastic to secure in place at each mark, backstitching through all layers of elastic, ribbon and base fabric several times to ensure stability (fig. 4).

9. Using short lengths of pearl embroidery, sew on a decorative button at each place where the elastic is sewn to the ribbon. TIP: Use a metal thimble to help push the needle through all layers. Starting from the front, stitch floss front-to-back down through one button hole, then stitch floss back-to-front through the other button hole. Tie off with a double knot on the front and trim floss to about 1/4″ and fray ends.

10. Insert dowel or piece of yardstick into casing through side opening at top and hand stitch opening closed (fig. 5).

Click here for a printable PDF of these project instructions. 

Last Chance to Save Big!

Need to stock up on materials for your 2017 projects? You can save 80 percent off many items in our online shop through Jan. 9. This sale is your last opportunity to purchase physical products from our online shop before they’re gone, so take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Moving forward our shop will focus on digital products — video downloads, machine embroidery designs and digital patterns and books. You will still be able to purchase fabrics, laces, trims, notions and more at all of our live events in the Martha Pullen Co. booth, however, so be sure to join us at an in-person event this year.

In 2017 we will be putting our time and energy into two main areas. First, our digital products: including the fabulous, unparalleled value of our Internet Embroidery Club; and our online education, with more online courses launching every month in 2017. Second, our in-person events, including at least two licensing retreats this year; the School of Art Fashion Boutique and Licensing EXPRESS; and many classes at Original Sewing & Quilt EXPO with your favorite Martha Pullen faculty members.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin



2 thoughts on “Organize Your Sewing Space in the New Year

  1. Susana

    This looked like an interesting project to undertake after I’ve moved to my new home, where I must establish a whole new sewing area. But in reading the instructions, I found some apparent math errors, so if a sewist were to go out and buy materials according to the list, the instructions would not work.

    The materials list calls for 2-1/2 yds. of grosgrain ribbon. 2 X 36″ + 18″ = 90″ The instructions then say to cut 2 lengths at 60″ each. 2 x 60″ = 120″ so the ribbon would be 30″ too short.

    Similarly, the materials list calls for 1-3/4 yds. of elastic, which equals 63″. The instructions say to cut 2 pieces at 33″ each, which equals 66″.

    Therefore, the materials list SHOULD call for 3-1/3 yds. of ribbon, or 120″ and 1-7/8 yards of elastic, or 67.5″.

    Perhaps the designer first made the project with smaller dimensions and forgot to change the lengths when she enlarged it. At any rate, I would rather buy materials at the longer lengths I have suggested and risk having leftovers than to come up short while sewing at midnight when stores are closed.

    Otherwise, it appears to be a charming and useful project.

  2. Susana

    On looking further at this project, I would not stitch and close the end of the rod pocket. It will be so small that leaving it open will never be noticed. Even the tidiest room attracts some dust, and I can foresee wanting to take this holder down and launder it, at which time I would first remove any dowel or stick from the rod pocket.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.