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Dreaming of an adjustable sit-stand sewing desk

My sewing machine sits on top of an adjustable desk. I can crank it up and down depending on my mood and projects. I like to sew garments while standing, since I'm usually running around the room sewing, pressing and clipping. I like to quilt my quilts sitting down, so I can rest some of the project on my lap and desk while I move things through my machine.

I really like a lot about this setup. However I've been wanting to recess my machine in a desktop to give me a larger flat surface than my extension table can offer. My machine also sits quite high even on my desks lowest setting, so I have to pump up my desk chair to its highest setting to sew comfortably at it. With a recessed machine and a different frame, I think I could get things lower and be able to use a different chair and have my feet firmly planed on the ground.

All this got me thinking about what my ideal sewing desk would look and feel like. I would like something 36" deep, to accommodate my 3' x 4' cutting mat on one side. It currently hangs off the side of my larger sewing room table. I would also like the option of having a large pressing area. I've been researching thick wool felt that could be placed on one side of the desk, either temporarily or as a more permanent feature.

The desk would also need some power, for plugging in my sewing machine, iron, light box, etc. Or maybe even a build in light box in the top? Who knows?!

I've found some good examples online of folks making their own sewing desks. One thing to consider is where the adjustable desk hardware and braces will go underneath. I found someone who used a box desk with drawers, and removed the drawer under the machine. That gave them a nice cavity to cut through the top while also giving it a bottom to rest on. That seemed like a cleaner approach to dropping the machine down through a desktop and building a support around it.

Settling on the long box style, I found a lot of mid century modern desks and consoles to guide my inspiration and help me think about construction.

I then started playing with ideas in SketchUp. This allows me to figure out how I might start building it and what it would look like with different materials. Right now I'm thinking of making the desk box and drawers from 3/4" plywood.

Mockup of sewing desk in SketchUp

We'll see how this idea develops. In the meantime, I'm gathering pins for different sources of inspiration or tutorials to help me execute different parts.


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