Improve Your Sewing Experience with Correct Sewing Posture: Avoid discomfort and fatigue, enhance your productivity and enjoyment while sewing.
A few years back, I experienced the discomfort of cervical pain and stiffness in my shoulders while sewing. It was a wake-up call that made me realize the importance of proper posture while engaging in creative DIYs.
Not only I began paying closer attention to my body's signals and made a conscious effort to sit correctly, I completed a Yoga Teacher Training Program to understand each and every aspect of correct posture.
I implemented all those things and I'm excited to share them with you today.
By adding these adjustments into my sewing routine, I not only found relief from my discomfort but also discovered a newfound enjoyment in my sewing sessions.
In this blog post, I'll be sharing those valuable tips with you, so you too can experience the joy of sewing while maintaining correct posture. Let's get started!
Table of Contents
1. Sit up straight and align your body:
Keep your back straight. Your neck in sync and your feet on the ground. Your arms should have ample room for rest and moving around.If you are not sitting straight, your neck,arm,shoulders,spine,back, in fact, more or less the whole body will start aching after a while.
Maintaining proper alignment is crucial for a healthy sewing posture. Sit up straight with your back against the chair, and avoid slouching or leaning too far forward. Imagine a string pulling the top of your head gently towards the ceiling, elongating your spine. This simple adjustment will help you stay comfortable and prevent unnecessary strain on your neck and back.
I remember, during school time I used to practice manual typewriting for 2 years as it was part of my office management course. I learned that the sitting position we were taught that time, helped me keep my straight posture now.
Example: Picture a tall, elegant dancer gracefully extending her spine towards the sky as she sews, maintaining perfect alignment.
2. Relax your shoulders:
Tension in the shoulders can quickly build up while sewing, leading to discomfort and fatigue. Make a conscious effort to relax your shoulders and keep them away from your ears. Roll them gently back and down, allowing them to rest in a natural and relaxed position. This will prevent unnecessary strain and promote a more enjoyable sewing experience.
Example: Imagine you're enjoying a relaxing day at the spa, feeling the tension melting away from your shoulders as you sew with ease.
3. Position your elbows and forearms:
Ensure that your elbows are positioned at a comfortable 90-degree angle while sewing. Avoid reaching too far forward or extending your arms too much. Rest your forearms on the sewing table or armrests of your chair, maintaining a relaxed and supported posture. This positioning will reduce strain on your wrists and help you sew with greater precision and control.
Example: Think of a skilled pianist effortlessly gliding their hands across the keys, their forearms supported and relaxed as they create beautiful melodies.
4. Support your lower back:
Providing proper support to your lower back is vital for maintaining good sewing posture. Consider using a cushion or a lumbar roll to support the natural curve of your lower spine. This additional support will alleviate any discomfort and help prevent backaches that can hinder your sewing enjoyment.
Example: Imagine sinking into a plush, cozy armchair, feeling the gentle support of the cushion against your lower back as you sew with ease.
5. Position your sewing machine at eye level:
Don’t keep your domestic sewing machine on the floor. Keep it on a raised platform.I have seen that acute postural problems arise in people, who place their sewing machines on the floor or on a small platform and bend in a half circle to thread the needle of their machines.
Ensure that your sewing machine is positioned at a height where the needle is at eye level or slightly below it. This adjustment will allow you to maintain a relaxed and comfortable neck position, avoiding the need to strain or tilt your head excessively. Consider using a sewing machine table or adjustable stand to achieve the desired height.
Example: Picture yourself looking straight ahead, effortlessly glancing at the needle as it dances through the fabric, without any strain on your neck or eyes.
6. Take regular breaks and stretch:
Sewing for extended periods without breaks can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Remember to take regular breaks to stretch your body and relax your muscles. Stand up, walk around, and perform simple stretches for your neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists. These breaks will refresh your body and mind, allowing you to return to your sewing with renewed energy and focus.
Example: Take a moment to envision yourself standing up, stretching your arms high above your head, and gently rotating your neck to release any tension, feeling rejuvenated and ready to continue sewing.
7. If You Feel Discomfort, Should You Stop Sewing?
Stopping to do something is not the right thing. Just pay a little attention on your sitting position. If needed, consult a doctor.
Because, excess of everything is bad and knowing but not implementing measures on how to avoid the negative effect is worse.
8. Get right size of furniture
Here, it’s important to understand that we all have different height and size.
What is an ideal height for my sewing machine chair and table may not be right for you because your physical height may be different than mine. Therefore, adjust your table or chair height as per your requirement.Sit or stand comfortably while stitching, cutting or ironing.
While planning your stitching work area, you should give attention to your chair, sewing machine table, cutting table and ironing board height in sync with your height and size.
Your personal preference and size should determine whether a particular chair is fit for you but it should not be too comfortable to slouch. Your chair should be padded for comfort. It should have a soft back and hand support. The height of a chair should be adjustable. Seat should be ideally tilted a bit.
While buying a chair, sit and adjust it’s height to your comfort. Assume as if you are working long hours sitting on it and how your body should feel. When sitting, your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. Your seat and hips should be fully in the chair with your back against the back of the chair.
Place your legs out in front of you at a comfortable angle with your feet touching the floor.
If your sewing table height is not adjustable and the chair is, you may raise the chair to fit the table and put a footrest under the chair to support your legs.
There should be proper lighting in the place where you are stitching to reduce strain on your eyes.
There is a difference between sewing surface or needle area height and the sewing table height particularly with free-arm machines. If your machine is set into a table, the sewing surface and table height are one.
If your machine is placed on top of a table, then the sewing table height is lower than the sewing surface (needle area).
First of all, find the proper sewing surface height; then raise or lower the table so the needle area is at that height. To find the proper sewing surface height, sit in your chair, hold a book in front of you and read comfortably.
When sewing, your hands should be in a straight line with your wrists and forearms.
Height of cutting table is as important as the sewing surface because of the many hours spent cutting, marking and pinning the fabric prior to stitching.
If you’re bending over a cutting table, and there are adjustments that can be made to achieve perfect height for you; then, it would be better that you call a carpenter to build a cutting table, or alter your existing one to correct it’s height.
There are many adjustable furniture available in the market for stitching professional and enthusiasts. Cabinets that accommodate a sewing machine with containers on the doors that hold supplies, threads etc.
If these ready to use furniture pieces aren’t the right height, have someone alter them so they are the correct height for you.
Whether you stitch as a hobby or as a profession, it helps if you are aware about the right way of Stitching.
It would be nice if more and more awareness is created to combat this underlying problem in and around our homes so we could really say – Happy Stitching:)
Correct sewing posture is important for enjoying your sewing journey to the fullest. By following these simple tips and making small adjustments, you can ensure comfort, prevent strain, and maintain focus while sewing. Remember, sewing should be a pleasurable experience that allows your creativity to flow freely.
So, use these correct posture tips, find what works best for you, and let the joy of sewing take you every step of the way. Happy sewing
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