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Sewing Room in a Closet

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television

Introduction

Just because you can't devote an entire room to a hobby doesn't mean you can't create a well-organized space to suit your purpose perfectly. A "room" in a closet provides storage for equipment and materials, and, with fixtures like a pull-out table, becomes a comfortable, convenient work area as well. Another advantage: When you're finished working on a project, you can simply close the closet door or doors -- with no visible clutter remaining to detract from the furnishings in your room.

Martha was so happy with the office in a closet constructed previously in her television studio library that she decided to create a similar space for sewing. For the sewing machine, carpenter Jim Comstock designed an extendable work surface with slides strong enough to support up to five hundred pounds of weight. This sounds like a lot, but it assures that the surface won't slip or sag over time.

The table has a drop leaf to provide plenty of space for working with fabric; the leaf is permanently covered with a self-healing mat, which retains no trace of nicks or cuts. The sewing machine sits on the portion of the table that is always flat, so it never has to be moved. Directly underneath the drop-leaf table, Jim installed a separate sliding support shelf. This additional support eliminates the need for a leg to hold up the outermost edge of the table when the leaf is folded out. Martha will be able to place a chair wherever it best suits her task on any of the three unattached sides of the table.

Jim also affixed a thread rack and magnetic bobbin holder to a vertical panel that slides out behind the sewing machine. Directly above are three drawers with shallow sides for an array of sewing supplies such as thimbles, scissors, pin cushions, glue, machine feet, spray bottles, jars of buttons, embroidery hoops, a calculator, and a magnet for picking up spilled pins.

These drawers are lined with felt, so tools will be less likely to shift and scratch each other. Above, a stationary shelf holds books, large jars, and other bulky items. At the very bottom of the closet, a sliding shelf provides easy access to a wastebasket and plastic storage boxes for fabric. The doors of the closet are lined with cork, creating handy bulletin boards for lists, ideas, swatches, and photos.

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