26 August 2015

Making the Time to Sew


Do you ever catch yourself saying or thinking, "I don't have time to sew"? Yeah, me too sometimes. Our lives are getting busier and busier, while sewing is a slow activity, requiring patience and a significant chunk of time to dedicate to it. And that slowness is precisely why we should be making time to stop rushing around and get into the meditative flow of creating.

In my latest column for Simply Sewing magazine, I talk about some of my tips for getting sewing done, even when you feel rushed off your feet. It's a topic I've talked about before, in my book and on the blog (such as this post on sewing in short bursts), and one I think is worth revisiting as "not having time" is an excuse that most of us make occasionally.


One of the things I mention in the column is my new morning routine. Inspired by an interview with Hal Elrod on the Smart Passive Income podcast (more fun than it sounds!), I've started being intentional about how I use the first hour my day, before getting sucked into the never-ending vortex of work and emails. I get up at 6.30am, have breakfast, then sit at my sewing table for 15 - 20 minutes or so. I'll admit I don't manage to do the sewing part every day, but I'm trying to make it a habit - and it feels good :)

Even if all I do in that time is set in a couple of sleeves, I feel satisfied at making progress on a project. Moreover, I've got in some enriching creative time - just for me (no I'm not going to say "me time"!) - before the day has properly begun. And just taking that small step gives me the motivation to return to the sewing table as soon as I can. It's addictive!

Do you have an early morning routine involving sewing?



Also - are you coming to the Handmade Fair? I had such a nice time there last year, as did everyone I spoke to who went. We'll be there all weekend on stand E4 in the East Shopping Village. Come along to browse our sewing patterns and chat to us about your projects. You can also enter our prize draw in partnership with Janome to win a DKS100 sewing machine worth £499 - the lovely turquoise ones we use in our studio. And we will love you forever if you wear something you've made with a Tilly and the Buttons pattern!

The Handmade Fair runs from 18th - 20th September 2015 in the gorgeous grounds of Hampton Court Palace. You can get your ticket here, and if you use the code ‘EXM27’ at checkout I believe you get £2 off. The ticket price includes access to a certain number of talks and workshops - check the website for the full deets.

Hope to see you there!

16 comments:

  1. I make time for sewing my combining it with my morning yoga routine. I wake up, do as many sun salutes as I can to fully wake up and then I sew, cut, or a plan a bit in my home studio. About a half hour later, I go back to my yoga mat to finish my morning practice. I call it "sewga".

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will be at the Handmade Fair on the Friday, and I'm coming to see you for my Bettine pattern! :-) I am only just starting sewing and haven't got into any routine, but since the end of July I have made a footstool cover, a cushion, two little girls' dresses and a not-very-good dress for myself, because I freestyled it! Now I need an adult dress pattern! I am managing to fit in a bit of time here and there, which I think is plenty for now, but I can totally see myself getting addicted (if I am not already!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely - looking forward to seeing you there.

      Delete
  3. I can only sew in one hour increments because then I start to make mistakes and loose concentration so I sew after school when all the children want to to do is flake out and watch TV. I do one hour then chat to them when they are themselves again then I have to crack on with some cooking but 3:30 to 4:30pm works really well for me! Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's ridiculous how we sometimes get too busy working, to actually get work done. lol I've been caught in this loop way more times than I'd like (and still find myself in it often). I'm working on a serious editorial calendar to which I will stick to and succeed (well, or so I keep repeating to myself.. hahaha)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Short bursts of sewing sounds a good idea. I do this with my ironing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I try not to put too much pressure on myself to sew constantly. If I produce one solid project a month -- something that turned out really lovely and that I didn't rush, I'm happy. If I do more than that, even better, but I'm not going to stress myself out about it. If I just finished a project that was fairly time-consuming (like a solid week or two of sewing), I give myself a breather. Then maybe I'll pick something really easy to sew next, like a simple tank top, just to cleanse the palette. For me, the appeal of sewing is, like you said, that it's meditative. So why ruin that by making myself feel like I have to start sewing when I come home. Sometimes all you wanna do is watch the next episode of Project Runway instead. Am I right?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I definitely find that having a specific time of day for a creative break works the best. I used to do mine first thing in the morning as well, but then I found I needed some yoga/stretching before the day gets started, and my morning routine was just getting too long before I'd actually get any work done! Now, I give myself a break to make whatever I want right after lunch, and it also gives me a creative boost for the rest of the day. I'm definitely more likely to actually block out the time if it's scheduled for a specific time, than if I vaguely say I'm going to do it "sometime" every day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is great advise! I've been trying to do similar since sometimes sewing for a living leaves you pretty drained for personal projects. But then I end up with "nothing to wear" syndrome!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am signed up to many Craftsy Classes. When I get up in the morning I watch 45 mins. of Craftsy while I am doing my hula hoop. I love combining two productive hobbies that I love to do, into one. So far it is working well :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sewga and hula-Craftsy - so great!!

      Delete
  10. I used to sew as part of an early morning routine, especially when I had long commutes. It definitely was helpful, since I was normally far too tired at the end of the day to think about sewing when I got home from work. Now I normally sew for an hour or so most evenings. It's a nice way to unwind before I go to bed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have recently developed an early morning habit, where I get out of bed an hour before the rest of the house, in order to do something purely for myself. I don't do it every single day, but most days - and tend to alternate between going for a run and sewing. It depends on the weather and if there us something in particular I want to sew. Either way, I feel really good about it, and am convinced it sets me off in a better mood for the rest of the day. The last two early morning makes were my Lilou dresses - sewing those in chunks of time meant I managed to make them and enjoy wearing them before the British summer disappeared. 😊

    ReplyDelete
  12. I definitely believe in the idea of doing a little bit at a time, although I don't have a set time of the day in which to do it. It's much easier to approach a project in pieces (literally!) rather than as a whole. If I only have time to pin up a sleeve, when at least it's taken me a little step closer to a finished garment.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to chip in! Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID. Comments on older posts are moderated for spam so won't show up immediately.