Ask the Sewcialists: What are your work-arounds to make your sewing more accessible?

Many sewists make accommodations — little work-arounds — that help them overcome the hurdles that keep them from sewing. Just as everyone’s sewing situation is unique, so are accommodations! We would love to heard about the tips and tricks that get you going.

Graphic saying "What are your work-arounds to make your sewing more accessible?"

As a teacher, the word “accommodation” has a very specific meaning. In the classroom, an accommodation is a change to how a task is done, but the student still achieves the same end goal. Common accommodations include extra time, chunking of tasks, graphic organisers, use of technology like voice typing, or completing the assignment in another form, like a slideshow instead of an essay or speech. Every child is entitled to accommodations, without the need for any kind of extra paperwork or Individual Education Plan. This to me seems very similar to the sewing world — everyone can do a task in whatever way suits them, and we all end up with a garment in the end!

Here are some examples of accomodations in sewing:

  • Ergonomic tools, as we covered in this recent post (the comments include all kinds of great tips!)
  • Machines with air-threading or automatic threading gadgets
  • Machines with a push button instead of a foot pedal
  • Taking frequent breaks
  • Chunking steps and making notes so you don’t lose your place in the instructions
  • … And so on!

We hope you’ll share your accommodation strategies that make sewing easier or possible for you. You never know who will read the comments and learn something that will help!


Gillian is co-founder of the Sewcialists. She lives in Canada with her three cats, three sewing machines, and just one husband. Gillian teacher English as a Second Language for Grade 1 – 8 students. You can find her at @craftingarainbow and https://craftingarainbow.com/


Dear Reader: Our goal is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. We support crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes. Regarding sewing challenge themes, we ask that you take each challenge as you see it fitting in your life, and express your involvement how you like, at the given time. Our challenges are for the pure enjoyment of participation and the love of community. Extended Mission Page Here.