There are a plethora of sewing cabinets and chairs in all shapes and sizes available today to fit the needs of causal sewists, professionals, and everyone in between.
With all that choice in brands, styles, and features, how can you find the right cabinet for you?
These tips from seasoned sewists can help you whittle down the selection so you can find the perfect cabinet, whether you’re looking at something with lots of features like the Sylvia Design Model U2810Q Wraparound Unit or a more simplistic cabinet with just the basics.
How Big or Small?
The first consideration to make before any other is how large or small your sewing cabinet and chair setup needs to be to fit the space where you plan to set it up.
In a large room, you could choose a whole modular unit, a corner unit, or even a U-shaped wraparound unit that gives you multiple surfaces to work on; in a space with less square footage, you could find a smaller cabinet that stores small but has expandable surfaces to give you comfort while you sew.
Work Surface and Machine Fit
Your next consideration is the size of the work surface you need and which models will fit your specific machine.
The larger the projects you tend to make, the larger your work surface should be whether they are permanent surfaces or fold-up leaves to expand the collapsed work surface size.
While most cabinets fit most sewing machines through the machine opening, double-check to make sure your model actually does and that there are inserts available to fit.
This ensures you’ll have comfortable flatbed and tabletop use of your machine.
Make sure your cabinet and the machine lift mechanism is built to bear the weight of your machine if it’s a larger, heavier model.
When choosing any cabinet, whether it’s one by Sylvia Design or another company, think about ergonomics, especially if you like to spend hours on end seated at your machine.
The work surface should be at a height that allows you to work with your arms at your side and your forearms straight, from elbow to hand and your feet flat on the floor.
A cabinet that’s either too tall or too short can be uncomfortable for you to work at and cause body strains and other injuries that could become painful over time.
Today you can get a sewing cabinet that offers you everything from the bare minimum of a solid, sturdy workspace to use your machine to features that make it an all-inclusive sewing center.
Consider these different features found on different, how important they are to you, and what projects you make with your machine:
- Machine Lifts and Positioning - Flatbed and free arm positioning as well as manual, airlift, and electric lift options.
- Expandable Surfaces - Included or add-on expansion leafs behind and around the machine to increase total available workspace.
- Storage - Drawers, cubbies, slide-out racks, exterior shelves, and more in different sizes to store a variety of sewing needs.
- Portability - Collapsible with casters that let you roll the cabinet around as needed.
- Adjustability - Height and surface adjustability so it fits you, your machine, and your space.
What Should You Avoid?
In keeping with the above tips, there are a few things you can also cross off your list when searching for the perfect sewing cabinet and chair setup to do your best work:
- Pre-Assembled, Hard to Assemble, or Super-Heavy - Getting it into your house and moving it around can be a real problem.
- Cheap and Poorly Made - Lacking in essential sturdiness.
- More Cabinet Than You Need or Can Afford - If you’re on a budget, you don’t need every last bell and whistle. Something well-made that fits your machine and has a decent workspace is more important than a lot of extra features that you may never use.
Wrapping It Up
Strive to find a sewing cabinet that serves your important needs first, then let any extras be considered a bonus.
A Sylvia Design or other brand sewing cabinet and chair that fits your space, your machine, and you in whatever configuration and size you need for your projects should always be your priority.
If you do have extra space and an enhanced budget, some additional storage space, roll-out accessory cabinets, and pull-out racks would really be nice!