Whoever wants to have posture problems, a sore back, and suffers body pains while sewing? Even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration relayed that there are reported sewing-related injuries like muscle disorders in the sewing stations. Being uncomfortable because of the body aches can cut your enjoyment, you might get frustrated and you’ll easily quit sewing because you might think that it wasn’t very much fun.
But the problem is not your sewing project but the ergonomics of your sewing table and chair. The best way to prevent this from happening is choosing the right sewing table and the best sewing chair that fits you. Height will really matter in this case, so let me be your guide to finding the right sewing table and chair just for you!
Things to consider when looking for a sewing table and chair
There are three important points to consider to make sewing easier: the chair, the height of the sewing machine table and the sewing table dimensions. If you are looking for these three items just like me, the best advice I can give you is to start with acquiring the best sewing table and chair.
The Sewing Table
It’s worthy to note that the height of your sewing surface and that of your sewing table is different from one another except if your sewing machine is fixed into your table or cabinet. If you place your machine on top of your table, this will definitely make the sewing surface higher than your table; thus proper proportions must be checked carefully to achieve the proper height. If many people are using your sewing table, you may consider purchasing one with adjustable legs so that changing its height will not be faster.
Let me go into details by sharing my views on choosing the suitable sewing table height:
- Consider your height while choosing your sewing table. If you’re tall and your table is too low, you will have to lean forward and this will cause neck, shoulders and back strain. In contrast, if you’re short and your table is too high, you’ll get tired of raising your shoulders and will result to shoulders, neck and upper back pain.
The average height of a sewing table is 4 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 3 inches. If you’re 5 feet and above, the ideal table height for you is around 28 inches; thus you might need to increase the height of the table by adding cinder or wooden blocks. But if you’re a petite woman, you’ll have to reduce everything even more. Because of this it’s possible to custom made your sewing table to suit your height.
- Make sure that you fit right underneath the table and your knees are not hitting the lower part. Secure that your shoulders are down, your arms and elbow must be a little bit more than a 90-degree angle and you are centered in front of your sewing machine needle. Your hands, wrists and forearms must be in a straight line and not bent forward while sewing.
- Trying to convert your dining table as your sewing table might not be a good option. This is because dining table is generally way too high for you to set a sewing machine on top of. This will be ergonomically bad for your back, arms and shoulders and might strain your entire body.
The Sewing Table Dimensions
I personally love being centered on the sewing table when doing my projects and therefore, the dimensions of the sewing table is also important to me. I also like to have a lot of work space beside the sewing machine so that I can keep cloth and whatever projects on the table secured.
There are some however, who prefers their sewing machine at the edge of the table so that they can run off and work with a huge thing and just let it fall to the floor without worrying. Whatever the case maybe, it will always boil down to your needs as the sewer.
Here are some thoughts I would like to share to you about the table dimensions:
- Consider measuring the size of your projects and the size of your sewing machine. Again, an ideal size will be one which will get you centered on the table surface of your machine while having more space for your fabric and other materials.
- A 31.5” x 19” workspace table is already a fine choice, yet you may still need an additional large space for some of your works. An excellent size will be those as large as 58” x 24”, enough for spreading your project plus a bonus area for cutting some parts of your fabric.
- If you don’t have a large table, there are extendable ones which allot extra workspace for pinning, cutting or even ironing the fabrics. You can check on some extension tables available from catalogues, websites and local dealers. You can also use those cheap plastic folding table to extend your sewing table.
Another important thing to consider is your sewing chair height. This must be ensured since it will be good primarily for free motion stitching and other sewing jobs. Having the right chair will lessen the stress on the rest of your back muscles and will prevent back fatigue.
The Sewing Chair
Now, here are the things to look through on a sewing chair:
- Choose a chair which will take all the pressure off your spine when you sit on it. You must ensure that you are not hunch down or that you’re not too stiff when sitting.
- Again, consider your height when looking for a sewing chair; this is especially true for those who will pick a customized chair. If you have an adjustable chair, it will be easier to achieve the right height for you. You may also consider adding chair cushions or having several stackable chairs but this will not give you so much comfort.
Just make sure that the chair is not high that you’re hunched or low enough that you’re already reaching up while sewing. You have to achieve a good seated position on which your arms are not raised or too low and that your feet lie flat on the ground.
- If you’re transforming your old office chair as a sewing chair, you might consider taking off the arms of it. Since you’ll be placing your arms most of the time on your sewing table, it will be more convenient for you to freely move when seated on your chair.
- You must see to it that you have a little bit more than a 90-degree angle for your legs when seated and there is no pressure because pressure ridge on your legs will cut off the blood circulation and might lead to your discomfort and being sluggish while you’re sewing.
- If other persons with differing heights will use the sewing machine, identify the height of the taller person and choose a chair that is adjustable for those shorter persons.
To Sum It All:
Here is a checklist of what to observe in order to achieve the appropriate height for your sewing table and chair. Firstly, seat on your chair and make sure that:
- Your feet must lie flat on the floor;
- Your knees and legs should be at a 90- degree angle;
- You are able to sit up straight; and
- Your spine is relaxed and not tensed.
Now check your sewing position by placing your elbows on the sewing table. Again, you must make sure that:
- Your elbows are well rested on the table and at a 90-degree angle when sewing;
- Your arms are not raised; and
- Your arms are not too low.
If you’ve ensured all of the above… congratulations! You’re perfectly set and you will now be able to work for long period of hours and I’m sure you’ll have loads of fun while doing it.