Sewing Machine Guide - How to Set Up a Workspace
One of the most common mistakes that new and inexperienced sewers make is to purchase their sewing machine without first understanding how it will fit into their available workspace.
This sewing machine guide is going to walk you through the steps needed to choose the right machine and to then set it up in a space designed for the specific type of sewing to be done.
The Things Needed
While you might have already used a good sewing machine guide to choose the make and model of the machine (or machines) suited to your type of work, few sewing machine makers will give you guidelines or specifications about the size of the table or the area needed for you to actually do projects or work.
So, here is a basic list of the things you need in your workspace:
- Excellent light - this could be natural light, overhead light, a desk lamp, or a combination of all three, but you must have strong lighting to remain safe and to enjoy sewing success.
- Flat workspace - whether you recycle a discarded kitchen table or a work bench, you need a large, flat and open area for your materials, for pinning and cutting fabrics, and for using large patterns. This is not going to be the same table, however, that your machine will rest on.
- Table for the machine - a good sewing machine guide gives you the details about the capability of the machine itself, but you need to understand how much space immediately in front and behind it will be required to use it properly. Just consider the machine that can do custom embroidery. These often have specialized mounting rings that can be used for holding work in place while embroidery is done, and when they are meant to perform larger areas of embroidery or quilting, they can need a substantial amount of room in every direction. When choosing your table, be sure you choose one that can accommodate the machine and its uses (don't forget that the room itself should allow the movement needed).
- Pressing area - most sewing needs various pieces to be pressed and ironed. A sturdy ironing board and adjustable electric iron are usually the ideal tools.
- Supplies area - no true sewing machine guide would overlook the fact that you need thread, bobbins, scissors, and an array of tools. These should be easily accessible and yet not laying freely around the work surface.
- A good chair - there is not a single sewing machine guide that warns you of the back and neck pain that might result from hours spent enjoying your favorite hobby or work. Choose a chair that keeps you at a 90 degree angle, with your feet flat on the floor. Be sure it is designed to keep your hands and elbows at the same level as the machine to prevent any strain, and be sure you sit up as you work!
There are dozens of things you can find "how to" instructions for when you start sewing, and yet few sewing machine guides will explain the importance of setting up the working area properly. Follow these steps, and you will soon have a space that works with you rather than against you, and which ensures that your eyes, neck, back, and arms experience no strain as you commit hours to any sort of project. A sewing machine is a wonderful investment because it does so many great tasks, but if you don't have the other tools needed for the work, it can become difficult to get enthusiastic about the work.
Making a special space for sewing usually ensures you always have a project on hand and in mind!