Before I start I want to point out that there is no right or wrong way to approach sewing. Some of us have to have everything planned out and others just sew when the mood strikes them. Some sewists sew in daily chunks and others indulge in sewing binges. Multitasking tends to be an issue for us creatives, but some like to focus on slow sewing. All of these are great!
Like most of you I’m pretty busy, I have a full time job, a husband, two tween/teen (step)kids that we have 2 or 5 days out of the week (our schedule is odd) and I try to workout 5 days a week. Add to that sewing for myself, pattern testing, sewing for others, blogging twice a week and vlogging when I can and it seems like I never have enough time to do it all.
I’ve been asked how I find time to sew and the answer is I make time. I don’t sew every single day but I do do something sewing related most days. Now all of those days aren’t spent at the sewing machine and sometimes I will take a break for a week or even two depending on what’s going on in my life, but sewing is really my passion so I seek to do it often.
I’m a strategic kind of person so I do a few things purposely. Cutting patterns and fabric are two of my least favorite things about sewing. So much so that I often bribe Miss Socialite to cut simple patterns for me and she’s pretty good at it. Because I know that about myself on the days that I really don’t feel like sewing for whatever reason, I try to cut out two or three patterns that I’d like to sew soon while I watch TV.
I do the same thing for cutting the fabric, I have “cut days”. Typically when I cut fabric for one project I cut the next two or three projects I plan to sew as well. If not, I’ll sew up that one project then have to work up the will to cut another pattern later. I take it a bit further, since I usually have a more than a few patterns planned for a season I group projects by the types of fabric and color of thread they require. Is that a bit much? Maybe …but if I can group three knit patterns together that can use the same color thread I can save myself time on changing thread in my machines. I’m one of those people who prefers my serging to match my garment so this can really save time. *Tip-gray is the best color to use if you hate re-threading your serger, it blends with almost anything. The projects don’t have to be the same type or color (it can be pants, a top and a dress and three different prints that just all contain black). It’s more important that they just are the same type/weight of fabric and a common color so that I don’t have to change my knit needle or my black thread.
So I’ve done all that and I still haven’t done any actual sewing! Really that may be two days every week or two depending on how many projects I prep, so the rest of the days I can sew with very little time necessary to set up. You’d be surprised how much sewing you can do in 30 minutes when you already have everything prepped. You can sew a bodice, a skirt, insert a zipper or knock out some buttonholes. I sew a ton of knit dresses so I can break up like so…
- Day 1: Sew the bodice (shoulder seams, sleeves, side seams, neck or arm finishes and serge)
- Day 2: sew the skirt (inseam pockets, darts, side seams and serge)
- Day 3: finish (attach skirt and bodice, finish raw edges…ALL DONE)
Part two of this will talk about my project bags, which are a great timer save for me!