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Thread: question on sewing table height?

  1. #1
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    question on sewing table height?

    I keep reading that to make my sewing table ergonomically correct my elbows should be at a 90 degree angle while sewing. I have taken the casters off my store bought sewing table, bring my drafting chair up (but too high and my legs dangle uncomfortably) but still don't get the 90 degree--it's still too high. With my table the machine does not recess in the table top. Short of cutting the legs down on the table, any ideas? I find that piecing really gets to my legs and shoulders--much more than long arming!

  2. #2
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    Cut the legs down or recess the machine sounds like the only options with the table you have right now.
    I'm facing a similar situation.
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  3. #3
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    I do workplace assessments for office and seating position, should be the same, for computer use. If you can raise your chair and that is comfortable, deal with dangling legs by having a footrest if you can. Otherwise you are going to have to reduce table height. Remember everybody is different, so make your furniture work for you, not the other way round ��

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    Being vertically challenged, I use an adjustable sewing chair raised to the correct height. Then I use a foot rest large enough to hold the foot pedal and support my other foot. It is slanted. It is lovely to sew without aches and pains. Hope this idea helps you.

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    My little neighbor is only 4'9" and does this. And she takes breaks. She is not in a guild for this very reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by quilttiger View Post
    Being vertically challenged, I use an adjustable sewing chair raised to the correct height. Then I use a foot rest large enough to hold the foot pedal and support my other foot. It is slanted. It is lovely to sew without aches and pains. Hope this idea helps you.

  6. #6
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I keep my iron away from my sewing machine because it is important to get up and stretch every hour you are sewing.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    We are in our RV for a couple of weeks in the UP of Mi. I have to try to adjust my table that I sew at today. Have been getting a band of discomfort around my rib cage every time I sit down to work on my quilt. This has been a timely thread for me! No one want sewing to be painful!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    My little neighbor is only 4'9" and does this. And she takes breaks. She is not in a guild for this very reason.
    I'm a bit confused. What does her height and taking breaks have to be with being in a guild?
    Patrice S

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    I'm a bit confused. What does her height and taking breaks have to be with being in a guild?
    If the guild has several sew in meetings a year, requiring sewing machines and supplies to be brought in, the tables may be too high and the chairs may be those folding type chairs. These would make sewing uncomfortable and difficult. Breaks are good, and if breaks are not available, well....

  10. #10
    Junior Member jjs56's Avatar
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    I have the opposite problem. I'm 5'11" and have a Horn Quilter's Dream table. I lowered my chair as low as it would go and wear one of those counterweight things. I also do upper back strengthening exercises.

  11. #11
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    I have the opposite problem too - I'm 5'9". About 12 -15 years ago I took my vacuum in to be repaired and the shop had a cutting table that I swear was made for me. It was the perfect height, it folds up into a full length mirror and easy to move around. Luckily I had my daughter with me and she talked me into buying it because it was $400.00 and I am not used to spending that kind of money on me. I have never regretted buying it. It saved my back and knees - because I can use it when sandwiching a quilt.

    What if you bought a desk at a Thrift Store and you pay someone to cut the legs down. (I just assume the table you have has metal legs - but they could be cut too.) Our ergonomic specialist at work would provide angled foot stools for the people that needed them. It is not good to have your feet dangle.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 05-17-2016 at 01:54 PM.

  12. #12
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    I would recess the machine, if possible. I found it very difficult to sew with my machine up on top of a table, including not having good control of the fabric as it goes under the presser foot. I learned to sew on my mom's machine that was in cabinet so got used to that flat surface. Then you only need to adjust your chair.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggersmom View Post
    Cut the legs down or recess the machine sounds like the only options with the table you have right now.
    I'm facing a similar situation.
    I did this and everything was fine margee

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    Recently I have been doing some of my planning at my very old Proctor ironing board lowered to a conveniently low level for sitting in front of it. Very restful. Maybe this would work for the very short person with the sewing machine set up on it. My serger table on casters, no longer available unfortunately, is only 25 inches high and works very well with my Janome 7700 and my 5'1" height. Seems like the sewing machine industry is focusing more on embroidery and long arm machines than on ergonomic issues - just like clothing manufacturers think that what works for size "0" works for the rest of us.
    Passing on the heritage

  15. #15
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    I am 5' & I use a stool that was my brother's when he was a kid. Since my sewing machine is on the dining room table it makes it just the right height with the stool which is about 25" high. On another sewing machine that is in the cabinet & use a very large pillow to get me up high enough.

  16. #16
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    I am 5' 2" and am shortwaisted so I have long legs for my size. I had be working on one of those plastic tables and hated the table shaking when I sewed and it was too tall for me to sew comfortable...used adjustable chair, added pillows....Then I found a computer desk and that was just perfect, just my size.. Desk is big enough for cutting board
    and drawers for sewing stuff... happy, happy, happy..

  17. #17
    Super Member nanacc's Avatar
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    When I worked in a payroll office (many years ago), a very sweet little custodian lady surprised me with a footrest made from a wooden coke crate covered in wood-grained contact paper! Now I have a footrest at my favorite chair made from the lift of a recliner that I took apart after hubby busted the chair!

  18. #18
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    My sewing table was the perfect height for me till I got the table extension for my D1. Now its too high but there is no way to cut the legs down so I'm either going to have to remove the extension table or just live with it. I do like having the extra flat surface when I'm sewing though so guess I'll just deal with it.
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  19. #19
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I think I've decided that when my DS is in town , I'm going to ask him as my birthday present, to change the support on the table in the front (which hits my thighs if I sit up higher) and cut down the legs (wood) on the table. That why I don't have to worry about a footrest, or have my arms angled up (not at 90degrees) while sewing. At 5'6" you'd think it wouldn't be such a problem, especially with my adjustable office chair, but I can sure feel the pain of wrong posture when I'm sewing for very long!

    A tip for those that find the table too high when at retreats or guild sew-ins--if the chairs are not truly folding, ladies in my guild will stack 2--this will give you extra height without being wobbley.

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