Review: Sauder 411615 Drop Leaf Sewing Cabinet

I’ve been sewing since 2005, and I’ve never had a proper sewing cabinet/table. (Before I used a one of a heavy 30″ x 48″ folding banquet tables.) This year I decided to reorganize my room, and decided that everything aside from my bed, desk, and dressers must fold, be easily disassembled, and/or have casters for maximum flexibility. (I know it isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world, but I am a HUGE fan of wire shelving.) This sewing cabinet was a very good fit for my needs and at a very affordable price point.

Sauder sewing cabinet
The white specs are bits of Styrofoam from the shipping box

Price

I paid $150 through Amazon. Shipping through FedEx was included in this price.

I had also looked at the South Shore Crea but decided to save the $110 and go with the Sauder sewing cabinet instead. The Sauder also provided the same sewing space while folding down to a smaller footprint when not in use.

I ordered the cinnamon cherry finish (which is basically a fake dark wood). There’s also a lighter colored wood finish and a white version. Both of these are more expensive for some reason, so I went with the cinnamon cherry.

Assembly

The cabinet comes entirely in pieces and needs to be assembled. You’ll need a hammer and Philips-head screwdriver. Each section of the desk has a sticker label (“A”, “B”, “C”, etc) and the bag containing the hardware parts is also labelled. The assembly booklet was well illustrated and not at all cryptic. There’s also assembly videos on their website, but I didn’t need to look at them. Assembly was done entirely by myself and took around two hours from start to finish. It comes in a 45″ x 23″ x 8″ box that’s 83 pounds, and since I wasn’t up to dragging that down the hallway, I ended up cutting open the box in its original location and taking out the pieces as I needed them. As I assembled I carefully inspected every piece for flaws/cracks/damage. (Perhaps this is why I didn’t have the problems a lot of other reviewers had.) I also made sure to double-check what I was doing, not strip the cams/screw holes, etc.

Post-Purchase Upgrades

I found the included casters rather cheap (they are plastic). I was going to be moving it on a medium pile rug and they didn’t roll that well. I replaced them with 2″ hooded ball stem casters. They were only around $2 each, much sturdier than the included casters, and greatly improved the mobility. If you decide to replace the included casters you’ll need a total of six. Likewise, if you find the height of the table not quite high enough you can get larger casters to help bump it up.

Space and Storage

Once assembled, you have the following:

  • A 11″x 24″ x 16″ cabinet with door on the right. There’s two inside adjustable shelves included. My Janome 1100D serger just barely fits inside.
    Sauder sewing cabinet
  • A 23″ x 9.5″ storage shelf inside the cabinet (meant for your machine). It is a perfect fit for my Janome CoverPro 2000CPX.
    Sauder sewing cabinet
  • An unopened table top surface of approximately 20″ x 39″. I just leave my Janome 6500P on it all the time. As you can see with both a serger and sewing machine on top its a tight fit, and depending on the project may require some machine reshuffling as you work.
    Sauder sewing cabinet
    Sauder sewing cabinet
  • A drop leaf that’s approximately 23″ x 20″. It is supported by opening up the front cabinet door and sliding a plastic slider which is hidden inside the cabinet door into a hole under the drop leaf.
    Sauder sewing cabinet
  • A couple of plastic trays within the front cabinet door for odds and ends, which come with removable dividers.
    Sauder sewing cabinet

Since there’s no space to push in a chair when the cabinet door is shut I bought a folding chair, which I keep folded up against the side when it is not in use. I’m just under 5’9″ tall and have no issues with bumping my legs against the inside shelf/sewing machine.

Sauder sewing cabinet

The one thing I miss about my old folding table is that I was able to keep the machine set up with the knee lift. Now I need to take the knee lift off every time I want to close the front cabinet door.

Quality

First of all, this is a $150 cabinet. It is basically the Ikea of the sewing cabinet world. It is unreasonable to expect it to be as durable or have the same features as a $1000+ cabinet. (At one point my father started building a sewing cabinet for my mother, and said that the hardware for the machine lift alone is around $350!) That being said I had none of the issues some others had with it arriving with broken/chipped/missing pieces. (The Amazon reviews are all over the place and kind of funny to read – one person has it stuffed to the gills with an industrial machine and their Labrador Retriever sitting on top, and another claims it collapsed from having some tulle and a glue gun resting on it.)

That being said, aside from the casters I really didn’t like how the back of the right section (behind the shelves) is basically a strong piece of laminated cardboard you nail on. It is possible it is stronger than it looks, but it was such a ridiculously cheap finish. I suspect that the people it fell apart on somehow compromised this section of the cabinet, but I’m not entirely sure. Just be mindful of this section when moving it around or if you store something sharp inside.

This cabinet may not work for you if you have strength issues and no one else to help assemble (you need to make sure you properly line up and tighten everything when assembling it), have kids that will jump on it and smash their toys against it, or move a lot. I am not rough on things, live in an adult-only household, and keep this cabinet in a low traffic area, so it works for me. Eventually I’d like to upgrade to one of those four figure cabinets, but I can’t justify it at this point.

I have no idea how much weight the drop leaf can hold when extended. It isn’t completely flimsy but at the same time I wouldn’t trust it to hold a separate 20 pound machine. Be sensible and use it only for its intended purpose – providing extra space for your project while you sew.

The first time I set up the drop leaf I was careless and did not hold the leaf up long enough when closing the front cabinet door, and ended up rubbing the top of the front cabinet. It is only noticeable when the door is halfway open. But it is something you should be aware of.

Sauder sewing cabinet

Conclusion

This is a well designed and inexpensive sewing workstation for those having to work in small spaces. I love the small footprint, handiness of the drop leaf, and the mobility provided by the casters, as well as the fact that I can store a sewing machine, serger, and coverstitch machine all in the same piece of furniture! There also aren’t a whole lot of dedicated sewing cabinets/workstations out there that are under $500. Just don’t expect it to be a forever table, especially if you move a lot and/or tend to be hard on your furniture.

27 thoughts on “Review: Sauder 411615 Drop Leaf Sewing Cabinet

  1. WOW! So glad to have your blog and voice back online. Great cabinet and post to point out how you weighed your options between the 2 cabinets, and made the best choice financially, as well as for your space and usage. Shall we expect to see your first make with your new set-up? Hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was wonderful to see your blog pop up in my feed this morning–I hope you are well!

    Thank you for reviewing this cabinet. We have a Sauder product also, a kitchen pantry cabinet. We bought it because we needed something temporary until we can afford to remodel our kitchen–that’s pretty much what their products are good for (their factory is very close to our hometown so we know of them), and so far it’s been great to have around.

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    1. I’m thinking of just making my own when this one eventually fails. Between my father and one of my brothers I have access to every single woodworking tool known to man…

      Good luck with your kitchen remodel. My parents are in the midst of one, completely renovating a kitchen that hadn’t been updated since 1959. They’re in their late 70s/early 80s, doing the entire thing themselves, and the project just keeps dragging on and on. Progress is slow in part because some people that offered to help backed out, they had to maintain use of the kitchen while working on it at the same time, and now they’ve run into some problems with the wood they were planning on using to make the cabinets. Hopefully when you’re ready it will get done quickly and painlessly!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ll see. I don’t have a good photo indoor photo spot right now, and just haven’t been doing all that much sewing in general. I doubt anyone wants to hear about taking prerequisite classes for grad school or self-biohacking adventures 😛

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    1. I spent about $1200 last month for wire shelving, the cabinet, storage boxes/bags, plus a new 18″ high bedframe (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017YETH8K/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) which allows me to fit a TON of stuff under the bed. The difference it has made was completely worth it. It felt so good to get rid of the sad tattered cardboard boxes and random piles of fabric, and If I need to make room for something I just roll the wire shelving away as needed. As I work down my stash I can eventually break down the shelving and store it away somewhere else (or use it for it something else in the house). The key to organizing in a small area is to put everything on casters, and to go up as much as you can 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just jumping in to say how much I have missed your wise advice and reviews of your makes, Anne! You have been missed. I also appreciate the review of this cabinet. I have been using a sturdy table just like you, but it is messy, and it does not provide organization for supplies. So I will have to look into this one. I hope to see some future posts.

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  4. Thank you for the review. It was a lovely surprise to see your email this morning. You have been missed. Wishing You and Yours all the best for 2019.

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  5. So glad to see you back! I’ve really missed your posts since you and I have the same body shape and I always look to your impeccable garments to see what looks good. I hope you’re doing well and also (selfishly) hope to see more posts from you in the future. Best wishes Anne!

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  6. I was so excited to see your post pop up in my emails this morning. I too have missed your posts and it’s so great to have you back online!!

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  7. Hi again Anne! I’m rather a little jealous that an option like this is available to you – where I am the base sewing cabinet (Horn is the brand) is $600 – although I can better understand this now knowing the lift mechanism is worth a considerable amount! I ended up with a second hand Horn unit I sourced from a buy-swap-sell website… which is serviceable, and functions much like what you have here. Although sewing time is light on the ground these days – it at least keeps everything tucked away and neat and tidy!

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    1. Yes the lifts are very very expensive…$300 seems to be on the low end, I’ve seen them going for almost $800.

      I looked into finding a used one locally on Cragislist but the few that were there were either too big or more than I wanted to spend at this point. Even the used ones are going for around $500.

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  8. So good to ‘see’ you again, Anne! You have been missed. Thank you for the review of the cabinet — nice to have a place for things!

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  9. Like Poppykettle I have a Horn cabinet. It is now 23 years old and still going OK, which I guess partially explains the cost of the lift mechanism. My machine will need to be replaced soon and the newer machines are two large to fit my cabinet.

    I would like a cabinet that allows more knee space on the left side of the machine and they don’t seem to exist at the moment. My husband has offered to make me a new one, with a newer (larger) lift mechanism harvested through Gumtree or FB marketplace. I’m guessing this will be a long term project!

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    1. All depends on his work style!

      I think that like with the camera bracket I bought, the cost is partially due to the fact that they don’t have a huge economy of scale to work with. I mean, how many people buy sewing cabinets every year? Factories certainly aren’t using them.

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