Making Time to Sew, by Marie (@sewdisorganised)
Hiya, Marie here (or @sewdisorganised on Instagram) I’m coming to your screens today to talk about making time to sew.
But, before I dive in, a minute of real talk. I started writing this blog post at the beginning of May and it’s taken me this long to finish. The irony taking weeks to write a blog about making time isn't lost on me.
But the thing is, there will never be enough time. Whether you have a million responsibilities or just the one, it's all relative and we're all trying to cram in as much into our day as we can.
Sewing for me is more than a hobby. It's my escape and helps keep my mental health in check. I can feel my anxiety levels going up if I’m not able to find time to hide away in my sewing room and get stuck into a project. But, I'm also a parent, and a girlfriend, I have chores to do, meals to cook, and I’m currently working towards a BA in business management with the OU, so sewing can never be my top priority, nor would I ever want it to be. However, that doesn't mean I can't prioritise time for sewing during my week.
Long gone are the days where I could spend an entire day behind my machine, ignoring housework, forgetting to eat, and only moving when I couldn't put off going to the toilet any longer. I once scoffed down an entire chocolate gateau and binged a full Netflix series without having to leave my sewing chair, ah nostalgia.
Instead, I now had to become smart with my time, planning ahead to fit it into my day. Nap times are a must (for my little ones not me, although I do miss having time to nap during the day) I put my kiddos to bed at 12 and then can usually get a good hour sewing. I remember my partner once suggesting we should try and cut out our eldest's nap time, however, he quickly stopped talking when he saw my face. That hour of peace is gold dust and helps me keep my sanity!
I also try and get some sewing done in the evenings, although I try not to hide myself away every evening as I also want to make sure I’m getting in quality time with my other half. Even if he has had to get used to the fact that quality time of an evening will usually consist of me taping and cutting together PDF’s whilst we watch a film or planning my next project.
It’s weird, when I had what felt like unlimited time (aside from working) I was all about speedy sewing, churning out as many projects as I could and not really caring about the quality of my sewing. However, since my life has changed for the busier I now see the value in slowing down, taking the time to make sure what I sew fits and taking extra time to do more detailed finishes and reinforcements.
I think it’s because when I had all the time in the world it didn’t matter if I sewed something bad and hated the end result, I had the time to make something else. Now time is a premium I want to make sure that I am making the most of it and sewing clothes that I love and will get lots of wear out of, I don’t have the luxury of wasting my time with poorly sewn projects.
I’ve also learnt the value of planning. I find that if I plan projects in advance, not only does it feel like I’m making time for my hobby, if I don’t have the energy to physically get behind my machine, but it means that when I actually do get time to sew I’m not stuck with project paralysis or lack of inspiration. I can just get started on my project and work through it at my own pace.
Batch cutting is also another really useful way to utilise your time. Having at least two projects cut out and ready to sew means you can smoothly move on to another project once you’ve finished the first and not have to try and psych yourself up to tape or trace, which I know I’m not alone in thinking is the worst part of the process.
Unfortunately making time is not a one-size-fits-all solution as everyone has different circumstances and works differently, but one thing I always try and repeat as my sewing mantra is, even if I only find the time to sew one seam, it’s one less seam I will have to sew next time.
And the truth is, although most of the time I feel like I don’t have enough time to sew, sometimes I’m just too tired to get behind my sewing machine and sew something up. This usually results in feelings of guilt and feeling like I’ve wasted my precious free time, but this is a PSA for you, and also myself. It’s ok to take time to do nothing, if you don’t feel like sewing, don’t sew! It’s meant to make you feel joyful, not stressed.
It’s easy to get lost down the Instagram rabbit hole, seeing other sewists churn out what may feel like an insane amount of wonderful projects, but you don’t know their circumstances or how they work. I’ve had people saying they don’t know how I find the time to sew as much as I do, but the truth is, I don’t. I like to do my makeup and get myself ‘ready’ when photographing my outfits, not because I feel I need to, but because I like the process. However, I often cannot be bothered to do this after each project, because, as is the nature of this blog, who has the time?? So instead, I tend to take photos of multiple outfits at a time, when I’m feeling up to it. I’ll preen and beautify myself then take pictures of the last few things I’ve made, this can be as much as 5 at a time, depending on my output, or length of time in between photographing. What you're seeing is a curated version of my life and not the genuine article. So please be kind to yourself, do what works for you and make sure you’re sewing because you want to, not because you feel that’s what you should be doing.
And most of all have fun and look after yourself!
Happy Sewing x