DIY Drop-In Sewing Table Hack- Yes, you can!

April 14, 2015
drop in sewing machine table tutorial DIY Bernina 380 Bernina USA

Welcome to another week of Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays!

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I found this table at a flee market and I just loved how quirky it was. Its crooked legs, banged up and dented top, with paint splatters and cracks from the screws. I think that’s why I was so drawn to it –  it has a workshop feel. I could do anything with/to this table and I wouldn’t feel like I ruined it. I’ve been using it as my sewing table for about a year now (since we’ve moved into the new house) and I really needed to improve it to do bigger quilts on my Bernina 380 domestic machine like I want to. Even the baby quilts I’ve done get caught up under the ledge of the sewing machine table. It was time…..

The table had to get hacked

Buwahahaha! (<—- mad scientist laugh)

Here’s how I did it: but I must warn you – I am not a wood worker. I only recently picked up the power tools and put on the safety goggles, so bear with me. I will tell you this though – If I can do it with the little help of my 3.5 year old daughter ….anyone can do it! I hope this inspires you to look at power tools a different way. Like Rosie the Riveter would say, “We can do it!”

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Supplies:

  • sewing table (preferably not an antique heirloom piece)
  • sewing machine or the measurements of the base of the machine
  • marking pen
  • jigsaw and blade. I used an all purpose semi fine blade
  • sander and 50 or 80 grit sandpaper – or just sand paper as you can easily do this part by hand
  • drill and drill bit
  • wood screws – the length I used was 3 inches but this is unique to each job
  • wood glue
  • a 2″ x 4″ piece of wood that is the length of your machine plus 6 inches or more. This will be the base that your machine sits on.

Step 1: Know what you’re working with. Check underneath the table and see what obstacles you might face. You may need to adjust your sewing machine placement accordingly.

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Step 2: Mark your shape. Remove your machine’s sewing table if you have one and with your marking pen trace 1/4″  around the base of your machine.

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Step 3: Cutting. Drill a hole into the table using your drill and drill bit – the largest drill bit in your tool box should do the trick. Make sure the hole is big enough for the blade of your jigsaw to fit through.

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Step 4: Check the size of your cut. Make sure your machine fits through the opening with enough room for cords that might need to be plugged into the sides. I left an extra inch of room.

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Step 5: Sand your edges. You can do this part by hand if you don’t have access to a hand sander. Sand until there are no sharp edges.

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Step 6: Assess the bottom. First go to your machine and measure the depth from the sewing surface to the bottom of the machine. If you have a sewing table that came with your machine  measure from the bottom of the sewing table to the bottom of the machine. This is the depth that you will want to drop your machine into your opening. Cut wood to give you this depth. Example: my depth was 3 inches. The table top itself as 1 inch thick so I needed to add on 2 inches to the bottom of the table to give me the depth I needed.

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Step 7: Glue and screw. Stack your wood pieces and secure with glue in between each layer. Ideally it would be just one piece of wood the size you need but in this case I’m working with what I have on hand. I wouldn’t suggest stacking more then 2 pieces of wood. Stack and glue your base 2×4 across this gap and secure with wood screws. Make sure the screws are long enough to go through each layer of wood without going through the top layer. I used 3 inch wood screws.

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Step 8: Check the fitting. Make sure the machine sits inside the opening and that sewing surface is at the desired height.

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Step 9: Revel in your masterpiece!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Tip and Tutorials Tuesday’s and will give this DIY sewing table a try! Be sure to check out these other great tips and tutorials by clicking on the images below:

See you soon and until then, happy sewing ya’ll!



Michelle Alderman

About Michelle Alderman

Michelle is a wicked fast sewist and pattern designer (according to her friends). Stephanie is quite sure there is magic involved.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Pieces to Patch April 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Another Brilliant Idea!

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  • Reply quiltingjetgirl April 14, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Wow, that is super awesome! I am so proud of you for doing it all on your own (ok, with a little helper, too). It looks great and I would be drooling with pride, too. 🙂

  • Reply Terri Ann April 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Love this! One of my concerns is that I’ve recently taken to standing while sewing (no my sewing machine isn’t on top of a crate on top of my desk…..) cause I’m in a carpeted room and the chair doesn’t slide so well in there so getting up and down is a pain. I want to bite the bullet and get this drop in table setup and especially now that you’ve pointed out that it’s not as scary as I thought! Got a few things to think about….

  • Reply Rike April 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

    That’s fantastic! Thanks for the docu!
    Greetings, Rike

  • Reply thothwife April 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    All I can say is “Wow”. Now I have to make one!! I love it! So much nicer that the sterile looking white ones. You rocked it!

  • Reply Wanda Dotson April 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    You’ve inspired me. I’ve worked for years with my machine on a table and I’m convinced sewing that way is the root of my tennis (sew) elbow. I don’t know where to go from here, but my mind is racing!

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  • Reply Louisa April 15, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Thank you for a fantastic tutorial with great pics… I have a 20yr old Ikea table that would be perfect for this! Great website too!

  • Reply lori landenburger April 19, 2015 at 1:36 am

    heck yeah!! I’d be calling everyone I knew and making them come over and look at it and lather me with praise!! Hmm, you’re right, I can do this…

  • Reply Rachel @ Quiltineering April 22, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    This is awesome!! You make it look so simple – I’m jealous!

  • Reply Elizabeth July 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I guess to change the bobbin you have to remove machine from table? I have a Bernina and a Pfaff that have the side load bobbin, not drop in. Looking for an easy way to change bobbins without taking machine out of table but not sure that is possible. Great table and clear directions. Really appreciate it.

    • Reply Lori January 17, 2016 at 11:55 am

      i also have a bernina with the side loading bobbin. i was hoping the instructions would address this and the knee lift. I love the idea of making my own table but now sure how to “hack” those issues.. any advice appreciated

  • Reply Holly February 25, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Love the tutorial! My biggest fear and the reason why I haven’t cut a hole in my table yet is because I’m worried about the machine “bouncing/vibranting”. Then I tell myself the very expensive cabinets have the same type drop in too,nothing different or fancy except the CRAZY cost. Do you have any vibrating from your machine? Thanks

  • Reply Lisa in Port Hope May 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Ah yes, those little helpers who sometimes are actually helpful! Looks great, do you still like it?

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