Sunday, March 11, 2012

Setting Up a Sewing Area on a Budget

My sewing area needs to be set up on a budget and I've modified my plans to buy an expensive machine. I can have a fully functional sewing area without spending thousands or even hundreds of dollars. I'll need the same basic elements as mentioned in my last post but there are places I can save money.

The Machine

I've researched budget machines and found the Singer Stylist 7258 has good reviews on and Pattern Review. It has won awards and for around $200 you can't beat it! It has 100 built in stitches, a top drop-in bobbin, adjustable stitch width and length, automatic needle threader and comes with 10 presser feet. It makes 6 automatic buttonholes (out of the stated 100) that I'm sure would cover my needs.

Furthermore, it's only $188.00 at my local Meijers department store, the attachments, needles and bobbins are readily available and did I mention that it's inexpensive? Fits right into my budget and I won't have a heart attack bringing it home because I spent so much!

A Serger

Again, I've looked all over the internet for cheap sergers that would do what I want them to. I found good reviews on the Brother 1034D lay-in thread serger. It's $199.00 from and again, fits in my budget. No heart attack there either.

I expect to have a big learning curve with the serger since I've never had or used one but it comes with an instructional DVD and I've read that it's very helpful.

I could explain the stitches it does, the feet it comes with and describe how easy it is to thread but I wouldn't know what I was talking about. I'm simply choosing from advice received from Pattern Review on the boards, and from the reviews on I simply want to sew knit fabrics without difficulty nor do I want to be limited when choosing patterns because I don't have the right equipment. I'll post more information after I've learned to use it!

The Sewing Desk or Table

I spent as much time researching sewing tables and workspaces as I have on the machines. For those of us who are older, being comfortable while sewing is important. We don't have the stamina for pain or fatigue that we did when younger.

I love the Scrapbox and Koala sewing desks but unfortunately, the price puts them far out of line for me. I researched the cost of other sewing cabinets, desks and tables and found that nothing was going to work for me. My sewing area will be a part of my bedroom and very small. Some of the cabinets I saw would take up my whole bedroom! Not an option in my small 600 sq. ft. apartment.

What I found was the VIKA Annefors table legs from IKea. Each costs $40 and I would need two. They are open shelves that you put on each end of the table top. I would prefer closed storage but it isn't in the budget at the moment and this option will give a nice look at an affordable price. Add the table top for $25 and I have a sturdy sewing desk. Another option would be to use the VIKA Alex drawer unit on the other side and it would be more convenient storage. It's $79.99 and might require more thought before I actually purchase it. The height of these are 27 1/2" which is the right size for me when you add the width of the table top. Unlike some of the other options, I've not heard of the table being flimsy or bouncing when sewing - that would drive me nuts!

Those three options will get me through setting up a workable sewing area. By the way, I found a great article about sewing ergonomics at OSHA. It's talking of professional spaces but who wouldn't want to be as comfortable while sewing? The measurements are the same no matter if we are professionals or hobbists!

Next post will be about decorating the sewing area - my favorite part!

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