Friday, May 8, 2015

Sandy's Sanity-Saving Sewing Snippets: #3 Creating an Efficient Sewing Work Space

Well, I apologize for the long absence.  I have been somewhat "off the grid" since my husband had three surgeries in January.  Two were done on the 16th and two weeks later, he had a third one!  He's doing much better, now, and is back to most normal activities, which is a wonderful praise to God!  From all the prayer by our praying friends/partners and great doctor/nursing care, he's on the mend.

Today, I worked with a private beginning student and we got into a discussion about being organized and efficient in our sewing space.  One of the things I suggested to my student is to make sure her work table is at the proper height so she isn't bending over to lay out her fabric and pattern pieces.  A comfortable table height is one that should be at about the upper hip level when standing next to it.  I suggested she get some bed risers to place under the table legs to raise it up to a higher level, if necessary.  The higher table height will cut down on back strain from bending over, as well as fatigue that can occur from bending and reaching so much.

As you can see in the photo below of my studio, I have two chest of drawers of equal size and height backed up to each other.  They are sitting on bricks, which make them the perfect work height for me.  Sometimes we can make "do" with what we have available at the time, and since the bricks have worked so well, I just left them there!  They're sitting on felt mats that I cut from some leftover scrap felt so as not to scratch the floor.

The organizer hanging on the end is something I made from a length of denim fabric.  I sewed pockets from old jeans to hold scissors, rulers, and various other items, and the straps that are holding my rotary rulers and cutters are made from belt loops and strips of denim sewn into lengths that fit the size needed.  The length of fabric was long enough to place one end underneath my cutting mat and pressing board, which is covered in canvas cloth.  I had intended to paint the chests white when I acquired them from my Mother, but still haven't gotten that done.  I'm too busy with other things to take time for painting furniture!

Another thing I suggested to my student is to make her sewing work space in a "L" work space configuration.  By using a rolling office chair, she'll be able to roll in a smaller area to reach her machine and table surface easier.  I have found this to be a very workable solution to an efficient workspace.  I used this set-up when I was a high school principal's secretary in my school system career of 23 years.

I like to use what I call "arm's-reach space" where most of what I need is within arm's reach.  The less wasted movement I have to make, the more efficient I can be.

Please share your ideas on efficient sewing work space in the comment section, below.  I'd love to hear and/or see how yours is set up!  Thank you in advance.

"Be creative and learn to sew!"