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Be Comfortable While You Use Your Sewing Machine

Protect your eyes, shoulders, and back from aches and strain with these clever ideas for sewing in comfort.

Working at your sewing machine for more than a few minutes can put quite a strain on your eyes, your back, and your shoulders. Here are some great tips from reader Carol Coski that will help you sew more, and more comfortably.

Prop up the back edge of your sewing machine by about an inch, so the bed is tilted gently toward you. You’ll find you can see your work better and there’s less of a strain on your shoulders.

A pair of the brown rubber doorstops from the hardware store work perfectly for tilting your machine. Just be sure you get them both under the real base of the machine, not under the removable accessory tray or any other part that isn’t designed for supporting the machine’s weight.

No doorstops handy? Try a thin quilting book or two!

Carol also offers these tips on posture and position:

Keep your sewing machine as close to the front edge of your sewing table as possible, and keep your derriere all the way to the back of your chair seat. If you’re sitting on the edge of your seat and reaching across several inches of tabletop to sew, you’re asking for a backache!

And when your foot pedal starts creeping away from you, don’t stretch your leg to follow it. Stop, retrieve it, and keep sewing comfortably.

Carol Coski is the owner of Quilt-a-way Fabrics in Westminster Station Vermont. Thanks, Carol, for some really great advice!

Readers’ Comments:

Cyndie writes:

I love your newsletter. A tip I read here about placing your sewing machine on a slant has really changed the way I sew! My neck and shoulders do not get so stiff! We quilters just don’t know when to quit!


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