Dave’s Sewing Cabinet

This was my summer project in my un-air-conditioned garage shop in central Virginia. Judy requested a sewing cabinet for her quilting work. She liked the basic idea of the plan from Rockler, but the leg room space seemed too cramped. Instead of building the two plywood boxes for the base per plan, I built a base of legs, mortise and tenoned stretchers and plywood panels. I also added a back leaf to expand the work area. The one plywood box for storing a serger and the drawers is just screwed into the base. The Hohn lift is solidly built and works as advertised. I finished it with 4-5 coats of Arm-R-Seal Oil and Varnish Topcoat.

In the end, it all came together well although I would do a few things differently (and correct a few errors) if I ever reprise this project. The important thing is that Judy loves the look of the piece, appreciates the customized work height, and enjoys having the extra space. And best of all, our dining table no longer has to do double duty as a sewing station!


  1. TennesseeYankee August 31, 2012

    Awesome. My wife would love this.

    I love it when people take basic plans and improve upon them.

    Looks great.

  2. Bob August 31, 2012

    Good work. I like the drawers with open handles and the way you made the top workspace.

  3. daniel drabek August 31, 2012

    Wow! Look at all that work surface. I can imagine how nice it is, if you’re seriously into sewing, to have a dedicated work station that is designed just to your needs. And where you can leave everything in place if you need to break-off in mid-project. Looks like you did a fine job.


  4. Nick J August 31, 2012

    My wife would love something like that. Beautifully done.

  5. Very cool. I’ve looked at several lifts in the past for my wife’s machine but wasn’t confident about any if them as most were online sources. I have a feeling one of these is in my near future and now I know the lift to use. Like the amount of work surface you were able to put into such a compact piece when closed up. Great job!

  6. Ned September 1, 2012

    Dave – Awesome craftsmanship and redesign.
    What did you use to support the drop leaf?

  7. Juan September 1, 2012

    Beautiful work!

    Would you happen to have the plan i.e., dimensions of the each of the components?

  8. KT September 2, 2012

    I think this just made it to my honey-do list. I’m curious what the total price of this project came to?

  9. Riley R September 4, 2012

    I better not show this to my wife, she will want me to build her one. Very nice job

  10. Cal September 7, 2012

    An excellent job of packing an expansive workspace into a compact, attractive package!

  11. Ian September 7, 2012

    Dave – I purchased this same plan to build for my daughter. So in terms of legroom, did you increase the height or the depth? Love the addition of the back leaf. Definitely pirating that idea from you. Very, very nice work!

  12. Rickterscale September 7, 2012

    Wow. Very nice. I love how compact it is when not in use, and how much working space it gives when in use. Great job.

  13. Todd Eckelberg November 19, 2012

    Great design. I’m new to woodworking and would love to build this for my wife. Anyway you could go into a little detail on what changes you made to the plan so I could follow suit? I’d greatly appreciate it. Like the dimensions you ended up with. I’ll be buying the plans so if needed you could make reference to them.


  14. Char Voigt February 4, 2014

    Lovely cabinet! I have someone in mind who could make this for me. What plans did you use? What are the dimensions?

  15. Art April 7, 2014

    Wow my wife just got into sewing, and has been asking me for a table/cabinet for her sewing machine. The problem is I don’t think with my disability I could build anything so beautiful. I am a medically retired Veteran (USMC) in wheel chair. Is their anything out there less complex maybe I could build? I can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on an already made one.

  16. Rick Deppe April 10, 2014

    Where do I obtain the plans? Would like to surprise my wife.

  17. Lucie August 26, 2014

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