020 8520 5268 | Ashlins Natural Health, 181 Hoe Street, E17 3AP sarah@saraholiverosteopathy.com

I really enjoy sewing – I love sitting down with some fabric and finishing up with something useful and pretty a few hours later.

However, it can be pretty hard work on your body, leading to tight achy shoulders, necks and backs.

Back Pain in Sewing - Click through to learn how to stop sewing related back pain and improve your posture

Here are a few ways to keep comfortable:

– Tracing and Cutting Out Patterns

– Find a high table, rather than the floor or a titchy, low table.
– Try using pattern weights rather than pins. Might just be me, but less fiddly = less bending.
– Hold your scissors or rotary cutter with a firm grip but not too firm!
– Assembling/Machine Sewing

– Your machine should be level with your elbows, so your arms are bent at 90° to reach the needle.  Most standard height tables seem to be a bit high for this.
– A lot of people find it easier to stand, with their machine on a high bench, if the lead is long enough.  Again, your elbows should be level
– Keep your machine close to you, easily within arms reach so you don’t need to lean forward.
– Use a padded, comfy chair. Sit back against the back rest often so you’re not hunched forwards all the time.
– Keep your foot pedal close by so your feet are flat on floor, not stretched out in front of you



– General Tips

– Keep your work space clean and tidy and allow plenty of space to move around.
– Make sure you have plenty of light! Avoid squinting or bending forwards to peer at your work.
– Look after your tools – sharp scissors/cutter, sharp pins, fresh needle, quality thread and a properly threaded machine will make the process much quicker and smoother.
– Take regular breaks.  You need to get up and take a break at least once an hour.  Set an alarm on your phone so you remember!
– Sit upright on your sitting bones.
– Stretch during your breaks. (1, 2, 3)

How do you look after your posture when you’re sewing?