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On the Cutting Table

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Cutting Table

Things are progressing very slowly on the cutting table. This table is too short, it’s an old dining table and 29.75″ high. I should be cutting at 36″ high. My old table at The Stitchery was 39.5″. The one table that was the correct height was my embroidery work table and now it is our dining table. And, remember, I’m cutting 5 workshirts from a denim cambric

Ouch, I need a break, lots of them!

Lately it’s almost impossible to cut more than 1 piece before my back is in spasms. I cut, I go sit. Over and over. I don’t remember having this happen before, usually I can push on through, not right now.

Ever had a project become bogged down from surprising circumstances?

Well, the mind is willing, even if the body is not. I decided to make the job even worse by pulling the fine shirtings that have been waiting for years upon the shelves.

I always like to cut as much as possible from the pattern before me, it makes more sense than cutting one garment and searching for another pattern, ’cause I can take for—ever to decide what’s next. It’s bad. And old production habits die hard.

I have these lovely fabrics that have been waiting for shirts for the husband. This new piece just came in from in
Acorn 2013, from Acorn, UK

I didn’t know the source of the blue stripped fabric, purchased from The Wool House, until I went to Acorn’s website

The Blue Stripe is from Acorn, The Wool House 2008

This top fabric has the lightest hand of all

Lightest hand of all, not sure if I will cut it

and while I bought it for him, I may cut it into a shirtdress for me. It suggests “feminine”

Purchased 2006? Source possibly Michael's Fabrics

This last piece is the most unbelievably silky hand, the finest denim I’ve ever seen. It may be too good for this pattern. Maybe I should wait to cut this when I find or draft the most amazing shirt ever? Yeah, probably.

Fine Denim Shirting, Italy, The Wool House 2011

I bought it from The Wool House in Toronto when I went to meet Els and Lorna in 2011. This is seriously fine cloth and most likely from Italy, since that’s where their fabrics are supposedly sourced.

So, I’m cutting slowly and wondering how to get this table raised when I really don’t have the bricks or vegetable cans to put under the legs. Oh OK, I should go buy the 5″ tall cans and insist that my husband help me get them under the table legs.

A woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do. Well, if he wants the shirts, right?

Mom's Graduation Project, Traphagen School of Fashion 1936


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

7 responses »

  1. Low cutting tables hurt (mine does!). As you have so many to cut, how about electric scissors?

  2. My husband built me a table that is at 41 inches. I love it, but sadly it is only 2×3 (feet). I have 2 of the Joann style cutting tables on rollers, and occasionally I use 2 at once, but I can really feel the difference, and I don’t have any back problems.

    Hang in there. Sending +ve vibes.

  3. I know what you mean about the height of your table. I use an oak drop leaf table, which is great because I can fold it up when I want more space, but it is too low. My husband is busy designing something that he can sit it on to bring it to a better height. I am NOT going to suggest the cans ;)!

  4. Bed risers work nicely. I think mine were $7.00 for four at Big Lots, but you can find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and lots of other places. Also, for my bed I actually used pieces of 4×6 lumber cut to the height I needed plus about 1.5 inches extra. I then used a hole saw to drill a hole in the top of each one which would keep the leg securely inside the hole. The bed risers are easier!

    Linda in TN

  5. I’m sorry you’re having back issues. I’m right there with you on the back pain from too low work surfaces. My most recent incidence was with peeling/seeding peaches the last couple of weeks. I think I’ll try to eat as many of the pears as I can before I need to can, freeze or dry them.

    What about PVC pipe, big enough to slip the table legs inside, drill pairs of holes on opposite sides (maybe several pairs?) and run big bolts through. Then slip them over the table legs. There would be no chance of slipping off the cans if you lean against the table, and if several pair of holes were made, it could be adjustable.

  6. I’ll second the vote for bed risers…just the right height, strong and they have a lip around the edge to keep the leg from falling off of the riser (unlike a can would). You can order them online if you don’t have a Bed, Bath & Beyond near you. They are a backsaver!

  7. I didn’t realize that you were having back issues. Mine does the same spasming, even with stuff at the right height. If you find a solution, please let us all know. I’ve used the PVC “extenders” successfully-they work great on folding tables.

    The thought of cutting at dining table height almost brings me to tears. Hope you can get some relief.


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