We all have different commitments and responsibilities in our personal lives and although we have every intention to sit down and start sewing, this can be difficult because other things take priority. The tips I’m going to share are what I find useful when I need to have sewing time and let my creativity roam free. I stay at home with two small children, run my own business, and university beckons as part of a career change, so I can completely relate to having limited sewing time. However, it’s really important that we look after our mental health and wellbeing and we find time to sew for pleasure, if at all possible.
Gather together the patterns for your projects, your chosen fabrics, then start cutting. To make this process worthwhile, I batch-cut 2-3 projects at a time, over the space of up to a week. Once the week is over, I have piles of ready-cut fabric, and when I next have time to spare, I can get straight into sewing. The amount of projects you batch-cut and the time you allocate yourself to complete the process is up to you. I understand that it isn’t the most exciting of tasks, but it can be an efficient and effective way to organise your projects. Knowing that your projects are ready and waiting to go may give you extra motivation to get started.
Allocate Sewing Time
This is definitely easier said than done and is often sacrificed for other things, but when you become more intentional about protecting your sewing time, it becomes easier to find it. There are several steps you can take to do this:
1) Allocate your sewing time in advance, so that you can honour it and avoid the temptation to replace it with other things. Put it in your diary/calendar as a visual reminder. You can even go a step further and set yourself a notification for when it’s nearing time for you to sew.
2) Make it a regular occurrence and it will become habitual. How regularly you want to sew is completely up to you. It’s about choosing a time that best suits your schedule. For me, sewing time happens most evenings, once my children have gone to bed. I set aside a few hours to dedicate to my creativity. Of course, there are times when sewing time has to be cancelled, but because I am accustomed to regularly setting the time aside, I reschedule and then commit to keeping that time for myself.
3) Set aside a realistic amount of time. Decide on the minimum amount of time you will need and hold yourself accountable. When you’re starting out, small increments of time are best. When I first made the decision to allocate my sewing time, I began by putting aside 15 minutes at the end of every evening. I knew I would be too tired to do any longer than that after the children went to sleep. I was less likely to exchange that 15 minutes for something else because it was a short period of time. I would find myself looking forward to having those 15 minutes to myself every evening, doing something that I loved, and I started making it a priority. Eventually, without me realising I started taking 30 minutes, then an hour, etc. Before long, I had found a sewing routine that worked well for me.
4) The act of sewing needn’t be involved. There is so much that goes into the process of sewing, whether that’s creating a mood board, searching for fabric, choosing patterns, and much more. All of these things count, which means that you can enjoy your allocated sewing time wherever you are.
Join Sewing Groups
Whether they are online or in-person, sewing groups are a wonderful way of meeting other sewists who share your passion for sewing. You can use the groups and the sewists in them as a form of accountability. Seeing what everyone is making can inspire and motivate you to get creative and keep sewing. You will also have people on hand to ask questions of, and who can share in the trials and tribulations that are a part of our sewing lives. The act of sharing your sewing journey really does spur you on to take time for yourself and your creativity.
I really hope that you find these tips useful and can implement one or two of them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll establish a sewing routine that suits your schedule, and allows you the opportunity to be creative and to progress in your sewing journey. I’ll be back soon with more tips on how to sew savvy.