If you’re anything like me, you have a dream list of sewing wants. Maybe you would like a state-of-the-art machine, a Pinterest-perfect sewing space, or a an all-expenses-paid fabric shopping spree. But not all sewing dreams require money. For many seamsters and seamstresses, more uninterrupted sewing time is tops on the list.
While we may not all have as much sewing time as we’d like, there are ways to maximize our productivity and keep the sewing going through life’s busy seasons. After all, it’s when our lives are the most chaotic that we are most in need of time to decompress and take care of ourselves. So with this in mind, we’ve created this guide to sewing even when you don’t have time to sew.
How to make time for sewing
These are just a few of the ways that we make time to sew even in life’s busiest seasons. Take a look at the list; you’re bound to find at least tip that resonates.
Make a plan
This is probably the most important tip for maximizing your sewing time. Plan your projects in advance, mentally choosing patterns and pulling fabric before you get to the sewing machine. That limits the amount of time spent waffling over decisions, allowing you to start sewing straight away.
Complete like tasks together
Sometimes this means altering the pattern instructions somewhat. For example, don’t press after every seam. Wait to head to the ironing board until you can’t go further without pressing, and the press a bunch of seams at once. The same goes for finishing seams. If you are overlocking or zigzagging seams to finish them, you can often wait to do that until after you’ve sewn several.
Doing it this way helps keep the sewing momentum going, moving you towards the finish line.
Sew in batches
When you plan your sewing ahead of time, consider fabrics and thread colors. If you can cut multiple projects from one fabric, or sew successive projects that require the same thread color, you’ll minimize the amount of time you spend rethreading. This is especially helpful if you’re using an overlocker or a coverstitch machine. I know that threading those machines really doesn’t take that long, but I still procrastinate doing it.
Use the time you do have.
When you have more time, use it to your advantage by cutting out several patterns at once. Then you’ll be ready to sew when you have a little more time at your disposal. But don’t get stuck in the trap of feeling like you need at least an hour to get going on anything. If your pieces are all cut out and your machine is threaded, you can sew for as little as a few minutes at a time. Even if you can only one seam, that’s one seam more than would otherwise have done.
A personal story: When we were going through a family crisis a few years ago, I had very little time to myself, let alone for sewing. The crisis season lasted many months, and eventually I realized that I could still sew. I just needed to adjust my expectations. By taking 10 or 15 minutes here and there to sew a few seams or do some pressing, I eventually completed the project. If I hadn’t tried, it never would have gotten done.
Choose simple projects
Sometimes you just want to sew, and it doesn’t really matter what you’re making. Quick, simple projects are great for scratching that itch. or maybe you just want to make something that doesn’t require any complicated alterations or fussy fitting. Either way, we have you covered. Check out the following links for projects that are easy to sew:
Let’s hear from you
These tips are effective, but they aren’t the only ways to wring the most from your sewing time. Do you have any suggestions to share? We’d love to hear them. Comment below!