Sewing ergonomics and new Fall patterns

Threads magazine has an article this month about setting up your sewing room for proper ergonomics.  My wrist scare – which brought up fears of carpal tunel or worse –  has made me think about updating my furniture.  I have the big cutting table from Joann, and it’s ok, but I think I need to raise it up a bit (I’m a little taller than average.)  I need a new chair, because I am using, no joke, one of the vinyl covered chairs from my 1950s kitchen dinette set.  It’s way too low, and it doesn’t have wheels.  But I’m starting to think I need an actual sewing table for my Bernina, and I’m stumped.  I know I want to be able to recess the machine.  And I don’t want anything too flimsy.  But I also don’t want to spend a fortune.  Do you have a sewing table that you’re happy with?  Any recommendations for me?  I’d really appreciate it!

Simplicity has released the rest of their fall patterns (why do it in 2 pieces?) and the Buttericks are out as well.  I only like one of the Simplicity patterns.

The purple ruffled jacket is very Anthropologie-esque I think.  I would not make it purple.  I also like the leather with the ruffled neck.    The less said about the giant elastic cuffs on the bottom two the better.  They also released a new PR dress, but I will have to see it made up… I don’t like the envelope photos very much at all.

Butterick had a few cute patterns this time.  I’ve only made one Butterick pattern before, but sometime perhaps I will get to more.

I like this a lot.  It does look a bit like a coat in the back, but that’s ok.  On that point, whatever happened to the coat dress?  I come across vintage patterns for coatdresses all the time, and to the modern eye they look strange – like you wore your coat indoors to a party or something.   The neck and empire waist of this pattern would work for me.

Cute.  Very dramatic, but the sleeves are long enough to not get in my way.

I like the seaming, and how that top piece stands away from the body a bit.  I’m not sure I would make it, but it does make it more interesting than the standard sheath.

I love a peplum.  I spent an hour last week going through every pattern tagged “peplum” on Etsy.  I also like the sparkley shoulders, which remind me of last week’s Project Runway winning dress.  I’m not sure I like how high the neck is, at least not for me.

The rest of the patterns were ok (really, how many versions of the waterfall cardigan do we need?  And I like them, but still… too many!)

I’m going to finish up my jacket this weekend and get a start on another dress – I’m not sure what yet.  I’m also contemplating placing an order from Fashion fabric club.  I’ve ordered twice before, and it’s sort of like playing fabric roulette – you never quite know what you’re getting, but overall I’ve been pleased.  I need to get some fabrics for the fall projects I have planned (I am in denial about the 100 degree heat today.)

Let me know if you have a sewing table you would recommend!

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14 thoughts on “Sewing ergonomics and new Fall patterns

  1. Have you heard of the SewEzi Table? Here’s the link: http://www.seweziusa.com/index.html. I’ve been using this brand for a few years with good results. It is folding and portable, but still sturdy. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not the most expensive one out there. And it does let you put your machine in recessed so that the needle plate/feed dogs area of the machine is flush with the tabletop surface. Good luck finding the one that works for you!

  2. Hi! I have a very DIY solution to your search for a cutting table. Many years ago, I purchased a simple folding table like this one – http://www.lowes.com:80/pd_183929-74313-UT02S3U541_4294823340_4294937087?productId=3018592&pl=1&currentURL=/pl_Folding%2BTables_4294823340_4294937087_?newSearch=true$ddkey=http:SearchCatalogDisplay – at a hardware store (they also come in 4′ and 8′ lengths). To raise it up to the perfect cutting height I sawed round plastic plumber’s piping into 4 pieces (how long each one is will depend on how high you want the table stand) and slipped each piece onto the bottom of each leg of the table to raise it up. It’s not the most decorative table in the world, but it’s very sturdy and has lasted me for 10+ years!

  3. It’s interesting to see all the ruffles and the peplums in the fall pattern line-up. It may be time to pull out the 1980s pattern stash!

    Christiana
    sewamusing.blogspot.com

    • I definitely think the 80s are back, but I’m glad that some of the 80s trends I like are returning as well as the ones I don’t! I think it’s definitely time to go through that 80s stash.

  4. I made my sewing table from an old door and I love it, it’s exactly the right height because it’s custom made for me. If you’re interested I would be happy to send a pic. Also there’s a great book on designing sewing rooms I got it from the library but can’t remember the name.

  5. My sewing table is just an old desk. But I feel that I should invest in a proper table for the sake of my neck and shoulders.

    I hope your hand is feeling better. I have a feeling I too will have many issues in the future with my right hand due to my scaphoid break.

  6. whitnee says:

    http://www.ikeafans.com/forums/crafts-sewing-workshop/8758-my-sewing-desk.html

    You may want to check this out. It uses a countertop from ikea, i think they have them as cheap as like 40 dollars, with a cutout for the sewing machine and a lift which allows you to easily move the machine up for free arm (and changing your bobbin if i recall?) by just pushing on it, and since it’s not a piece of furniture, you could choose the length of your legs to have it at the best height for you. There looks to be some space around the machine but i think you could make the hole be much more snug to your actual machine with some careful measuring.

  7. Definitely get a decent sewing table, and chair that has an adjustable height. They are so worth it and will make your sewing so much more enjoyable…
    p.s. love your blog!

  8. Susan says:

    I have rather severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and a few prolapsing discs. I had been sewing less and less in the last few years as sitting to sew was a nightmare. It was breaking my sewing heart. But since Christmas last year my kitchen bench has been my sewing table for the last eight months and I am sewing pain free for longer times and suprisingly I am sewing better! Standing up to sew is a revelation.

  9. I own the RTW version of the dress that looks like a coat and I love it so much and it gets so many compliments, that I’m buying the pattern to make another one. Heh. ;)

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