Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sewing Studio Safety

I spent some time this school year sewing with a few students during  lunch hour. It wasn't a rewarding activity. Sewing is an expensive hobby and it takes a lot of time and patience. And there are always safety issues with any machinery.

Below are a list of sewing room safety rules that I got from a high school teacher. It assumes more independence than my 7th graders have.


  1. Follow all directions given by the pattern.
  2. Inform the teacher if there are broken material / tools in the room.
  3. Keep a clean workspace while working and clean up your area when you are done.
  4. Think before you sew!  Be resource savvy.
  5. Choose the proper tool for your task - ask the teacher if you need help.
  6. Concentrate on your task:  avoid distractions and do not rush.
  7. Cooperate with others and take turns as needed.
  8. Goofing around and throwing things can cause injury and will not be tolerated.
  9. Report any injury no matter how small to the teacher.


  • Choose the proper tool for your task – NEVER use fabric scissors for ANYTHING but fabric!
  • Keep your work area clean and return material to their storage when you are finished.
  • Keep pins in a pin box, never in mouth or clothes.
  • Keep scissors closed when not using.
  • Pass sharp objects, sharp end down, to another person.
  • Keep all supplies in your sewing box when not in use.

Sewing Machine
  • Wear safety eyewear. (Or choose eye glasses over contacts during sewing class)
  • Keep the sewing machine cord out of people’s way.
  • When sewing, keep hands flat on material, fingers away from the needle, and guide the material through the machine. Never push or pull the material as it could cause the needle to break.
  • Use a slow speed when learning how to use the machine. Keep your machine under control at all times. Do NOT speed!
  • DO NOT sew over pins!
  • Do not place objects in openings on the machine.
  • Use sharp needles – replace bent or blunt needles.
  • Switch the machine off when threading the machine.
  • Switch the machine off if you leave your workspace.
  • Unplug the machine by pulling on the plug, never on the cord, when you are finished.
  • Replace the sewing machine cover when you are finished sewing.
  • Don’t touch a hot iron except on the handle.
  • Iron on the ironing board only.
  • Keep your fingers and face away from the steam.
  • Keep the electrical cord out of the way to avoid tripping and pulling the iron off the ironing board.
  • Rest the iron on its heel when not in use.
  • Unplug the iron when finished. Empty water when not in use. Let the iron cool and then store properly.

What do you think? Is anything left out?


  1. Maybe, "No food or drink is allowed near the sewing machines."

    1. Yes, good point. ANd wash your hands before beginning just in case they are sticky from the snack you just had on the way to class...

  2. nice blog! a kiss from spain :)

  3. This brought back memories! When I taught Middle School Home Ec. I had to monitor sewing machine needles, making sure that students were assigned to one particular machine that I would check at both the beginning and end of class. Unfortunately, needles can be " repurposed" into blow darts by using easily obtainable drinking straws from the cafeteria or the casing from a BIC pen.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up! It is amazing how students re-purpose things into dangerous items!



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