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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Sewing standing up and over all posture ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Sewing standing up and over all posture
jynclr
jynclr
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TX USA
Member since 12/20/11
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Date: 2/12/12 11:27 AM

Are you conscious of your posture as you sew? I tend to slouch and so I'm slouching when I sew and I'm trying to be very aware of that. (I also curl my toes on the foot that's on the sewing machine pedal. LOL )

I ask this because I've been looking at some blogs online for organizational ideas for sewing/craft/home offices. Some of them show sewing/serger machines located on shelves that look like the person needs to stand.

I've also been reading about how more people are working standing up. So I'm wondering who here sews standing up, how it has worked out for you, and why you started. I'm wondering if I should do the same.

Thanks!

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Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to jynclr
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Date: 2/12/12 11:44 AM

I'm very conscious of my posture when sewing. Twelve years of ballet will do that to you. Throw in a couple of injuries to the neck with improvement that was hard won through physical therapy and you'll never forget to be conscious of your posture.

Next few times you are at a red light look over into the other vehicles and see how people are sitting. That will get you to straighten up, fast.

I sit in my sewing room. When I worked in an office I made sure that there were some tasks that I could do standing up to provide some postural variety to the day. Usually there was a bank of in between height file cabinets that made a handy work surface.

I have three machines set up now and each one is set at a height that works best for me to be able to sit properly. Oddly, the sewing machine and the new combination machine are more comfortable to use at different heights.

On my old sewing machines I've used good quality gum type erasers to prop up the back side of the sewing machine so it sits at an angle that helps me to sit more upright.

And, this will make some folks shudder, when I splurged on the Baby Lock Evolve serger I felt so hunched over working inside the short harp area that I sold it and bought a serger with a much more open harp.

Glad you are thinking about this. There's a book out there, Posture, Get it Straight!, that is a simple and straightforward guide. The author, Janice Novak, has been on tv and shown a few really simple tricks to help maintain posture throughout the day.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 2/12/12 11:52 AM

I try to be conscious. I once worked in an office which required a lot of getting up and down, and that meant I would sit on the edge of my chair until I had to get up again--bad! Now, my sewing room has mostly ergonomic features, with the exception of my serger. Because of the way I have the room laid out, and the serger is put away most of the time, I don't have a special table for it. So when I have to serge something, I drag it out to the end of my sewing desk and stand up to serge. Not a good thing, because not only is it hard on my back, but also I can't see the bed as well as I should.

Of course, I cut out my patterns standing up.

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"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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Date: 2/12/12 11:55 AM

I use my main machine (a treadle) in a straight backed wooden chair. While my posture is always ramrod straight (my back hurts if I don't) and even sewing, I don't slouch even when I bend over my work, so I just look awkward. My serger I use on the treadle cabinet in the same chair, or at the kitchen table...in a different straight backed chair.

I use my electric Kennmore standing up, but it is just used for buttons and a mock cover stitch for knits. I started because I don't have the room for (what was two, now three) all the machines to be out. I don't even have room for the Kennmore to be anywhere BUT standing up, and I have a baby, so I have to keep it contained to one area so she won't get into anything, pull anything down on her, mess with anything I have to fix or other safety issues.

I find it less comfortable then sitting down, but I don't do it for very long at any given time. Placing buttons isn't a huge deal (and I could do it by hand, I just don't), same with the hems, which I technically could do on my treadle. As far as it goes, it works out fine since I may use the electric for about 10 min at a stretch. I don't think I could stand to sew garments, tho.

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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CA USA
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Date: 2/12/12 12:27 PM

My mom always had her desk at work changed to be at standing height. She did 90% of her work standing up and had them order a higher chair for the occassional sitting. She was more comfortable throughout the day... I always thought it was a GREAT idea, but I personally sit myself and just try to be aware of my posture. I did create some PVC legs for my cutting table to be tall enough so I wasn't hunched over so much - and my back thanks me!

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Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
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talisdesign

talisdesign
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Date: 2/12/12 12:48 PM

I stand while I sew. One reason is that I keep my sewing machine on a "cutting" table, and it is too high for most chairs I have. I found that I liked it that way. Now my serger and coverstitch machine are on tables of the same height. I find it easy to move from cutting table, to ironing board to whichever machine I need at the time. Since I sew professionally I am sewing a lot. I am aware of my posture, and have very few problems with my back. One thing I make sure of is that I change which shoes I wear every day or two. All my shoes have good support, but effect my body different when standing many hours. Changing them alters the way I stand slightly, but keeps my body from getting used to standing just one way. I hope that makes sense.

I am getting ready to buy my first industrial machine and will sit when I use that. Since it is for heavy fabrics and leathers is will not be what I use all the time, so there will still be some standing involved.

elizajo
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elizajo  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/12/12 4:44 PM

I have been standing to serge lately and can't decide if I like it or not. I relocated my machines around the house while my MIL was staying in the guest room after surgery. Strangely, I was able to sew more than I have in the past few years, because I was at home more.

My serger is in the breakfast room on the built-in breakfront counter, which is 36" high. I like the height for seeing my work better, but standing there for even the short spurts that I use the serger makes my hip hurt. I can't decide if it's just from the weight-bearing on one foot or that I need to have my feet more underneath the work surface like a table.

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Elizabeth

jynclr
jynclr
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TX USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 868
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Date: 2/15/12 8:30 PM

It really seems like this is a personal preference and what works best for the individual sewist.

Over the course of this year I plan on getting my office/craft room organized and I am currently in the planning stages. (It's a bedroom, of about 11x12 ft. Nothing major.) So I'm taking notes, finding out how other sew / craft. Trying to decide what I want, etc.

Thank you for the responses.

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Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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CA USA
Member since 9/18/04
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Date: 2/15/12 8:56 PM

OSHA Ergonomics for Sewing and Related Procedures

I realize that most of us are not running sewing factories, however, I've found this website helpful when thinking about how to set up my sewing machines, cutting tables, etc. The drawings and pictures of what to avoid are particularly thought provoking and worth considering.

CMC

n45
n45
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MD USA
Member since 6/26/03
Posts: 253
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Date: 2/16/12 11:26 AM

I sew standing up. I have a high table for my machines and props. It has totally resolved my achy shoulder that is originally work related. I do sit for hand sewing and serging. I use a backless padded step ladder- no slouching. I feel much better standing. If your work is sedentary, it is nice to not have your hobbies sedentary too.

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