Monday, July 20, 2009

Sewing Room Ergonomics

Margerita McManus, author of Crazy Shortcut Quilts, once again educates us in the quilt room, this time discussing the importance of ergonomics at the sewing machine.


Linda J said...


Great video,, learned so much, BUT, the only thing I have to sew on is the Dining room table.. I do have an office chair that raises or lowers and I do notice my back aching after an hour or sew of sewing quilt tops.
Any suggestions for those of us that only have the Dining room table to use?
Thanks so much again for the video,
Linda J

SewDivaDiane said...

Margerita has some great hints!

Cathy said...

Oh, I loved that! I've seen her U-Tube video about how to put the prefect sewing table together and hope to have some room one day to follow her advice!
Thanks for sharing this video with us!

WoolenSails said...

It really does make a difference being comfortable in the sewing room. I have a table for my machine, one for cutting and piecing and my supplies are hand, so I can move from one station to the other. I also use a good office chair with rollers, so I can roll around the room to do things;)


Marguerita said...

Hi Linda J,

I struggled for many years before coming up with my cheap table system, so I know what you mean about having to make do with what you have!

I think it's great that you have a height adjustable chair and I would suggest raising it up high enough that your elbows are at just about a 90 degree and you feel comfortable. Then take a look at how high this makes your feet off the floor and go searching for some foot support. I have chatted with ladies who have used foot stools, milk crates, plastic storage containers and for some hubby built a platform out of plywood :)

The big deal, I believe, is that your back and shoulders be in comfortable positions, your elbows and knees be at near 90 degrees and that, if possible, you have a flat surface around your sewing machine.

I have also chatted with ladies who, like you, must use the dining table, but they still put the foam (like in my other video) around their machine, with a vinyl cover, and raised their chairs up and they love it!

Now, all that being said, I can't even get my own daughter to believe in this. She's very tall and she just uses her dining table, but she gets up a lot chasing a toddler around, and she's young so she doesn't feel the discomfort like I do :)

I sure hope that this helps and I would love to help in any other way possible - just let me know - and thanks so much Joan for featuring my video - you are a sweetheart!! :)


laura said...

Thank you Marguerita, I am in the process of planning a new sewing table, as I have had serious arm and hand issues. After physical therapy and consultations with an occupational therapist, I also know that I have to lower my sewing table. I am very short and of course growing shorter - ouch, 4 ft. 9 or so. Your advice is great. As I live in Israel, and we don't have all the equipment as in the usa, I am going to bring in a carpenter to make up low table for me, about 24in high and then I will add the styrofoam, thanks laura

Anonymous said...

I like to stand while I piece so at 5'4 setting the sewing machine on my dining table and using the start stop sew button on my elna I find it the perfect height.

Note this is a good solution for sewins who might have stiffness of the hips and where sitting for long time periods is more difficult.