Sewing Studio Up-Do

(originally posted August 23, 2011)
It’s not really a redo, that was done last year, but this month, it got a definite up-do, or upgrade, anyway, with two great projects!

Today: Project #1, Making a Recessed Sewing Table (a Project ANYONE could do!)

I started with this, my Ikea bookcase and table that I’ve used for sewing for almost two years.

A shot of my studio in June 2010

But when I needed to do any quilting, especially free-motion quilting, I would pull out a little drop center table from JoAnn’s to put my machine in.  However, the Janome was too large to fit into the table from JoAnn’s.  And quilting with the machine too high was just too hard on my neck and shoulders to quilt for very long.  So… I traced the footprint of my Janome onto the table top, and my sweetie got a jigsaw and drill out,

and cut a big hole in the table.  We figured the worse that could happen is that we would ruin a $55 Ikea table, and have to replace it.  The core of the table was a paper cardboard honeycomb core, with two 1x3s running lengthwise for added support…

Sweetie added some more 1×3 strips to enclose the exposed core, added wood filler, sanded, primed, painted and eventually we added this shelf, attached with 4″ L-brackets to the table.  Here it is without the machine sitting in it:

and voila– A recessed sewing table, custom fit for my Janome Horizon! As you can see, there is extra space to the right of machine, that I allowed for access to the power cord, feed dog switch and power switch.  Remember to take that into consideration when determining the footprint of your own machine:

I removed the feet from the plexiglas table that came with my machine and made sure the machine would sit just high enough above the surface of the Ikea table to accommodate it–a perfect fit! If your machine doesn’t have a plexiglas insert, you can have one custom cut at a local hardware store, or glass shop.  Just make sure they have a very accuratetracing of the bed of your machine.

We finished this project on Saturday afternoon, and I spent much of Sunday sewing, it was such a pleasure to have the machine at the correct height for a change!  I think I could sew an entire day without feeling any strain in my shoulders.  A very nice UPGRADE, indeed.

Of course, once we finished I needed to clean the shelves and rearrange everything (sawdust everywhere!) but they needed cleaning and reorganizing anyway.

DIY Tutorials for the other parts of my sewing studio:

Project #2; a sassy new cutting table with storage!

DIY Design Wall anyone can make!

Big Board Ironing Board Tutorial

Fabric Storage (Stash Management)

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22 thoughts on “Sewing Studio Up-Do

  1. Look at you go, Doris! You have a machine like mine — minus the tattoos, of course. Have you, by chance, joined the Yahoo group for the 7700? Lots of great tips and stuff on there.

    You will love using it that way! Seriously love it!

  2. This is a great approach to making this do-able: the hole for the footprint, but the clear lucite shape for the actual shape of the freearm. Genius! To top it off you have a hunk who can do that sort of handyman work for you. Wow. Did you make a good pick or what!?

  3. Love it! I have some Ikea furniture that my dad gave me. It's a table like yours, and I keep contemplating cutting a hole in it. Mine has formica all over the top and bottom, so I'm not sure how that would work out. And I'm pretty sure mine's solid wood, because it is REALLY heavy. But it would be so nice to have my machine recessed! Love what you have done!

  4. Pingback: Know Thy Machine | made by a brunnette

  5. Wow, you have a lovely space. Do you ever use your free arm on the machine? I think I would miss having that ability easily accessible….but maybe it’s not necessary if you only quilt.

    • Anita, I do use my free arm, as I do sew clothing and other things besides quilts, but I have a smaller table I set upo and lift the machine out onto that table to use free-0arm. Works pretty well.

  6. Pingback: Sewing Studio {Round Up or rooms} -

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