1 June 2022

Low Sew-Jo? Three Tips to Motivate Yourself to Sew (with Video!)

Three tips to motivate yourself to sew - Tilly and the Buttons

Lost the motivation to sew? How do you reignite your sew-jo - by which, of course, I mean your sewing mojo - when you're just not feeling it?

Let's face it, even if you lurrrrrve sewing, sometimes it's hard to summon the will and energy to cut something out or sit down at the machine and actually, you know, sew it. 

I know the feeling, particularly during the current phase of my life while I'm juggling running a business with looking after two children, one of whom is a baby who hasn't yet understood the assignment to sleep through the night. When they're finally in bed at the end of the day, I'm absolutely zonked and either want to go straight to bed myself or collapse on the sofa!

But, when I do sew, I feel really good. Even if I'm tired, spending even just a few minutes sewing a few seams makes me feel fulfilled. Making things really does nurture the soul, and it feels great to do something that’s just for myself.

So here are three tips I’ve learned that motivate me to sew when you I don’t feel like it...

Tilly's home sewing space

1) Make your sewing space appealing

I don’t know about you, but I'm more likely to want to spend time in my space when it looks cute – it makes me want to dive right in! 

So it's worth making the effort every so often to tidy away the clutter, organise your tools and sort out your supplies stash. 

Ask yourself how you can make it look and feel appealing to you – for me, this means adding colour with pastel tools and accessories, a rainbow thread rack, and cute pattern envelopes on display. Maybe for you this means adding pictures, plants, a comfy chair or motivational quotes – whatever it is that makes the space inspiring so you actually want to spend time there! Hopefully a little makeover will make your sewing table lure you in more often...

Sewing machine tools and project bag

2) Keep everything to hand

If you have the space, it's a great idea to keep your sewing machine out where you can see it. If it's hidden away in a cupboard, you're much less likely to use it - partly because you can’t see it, partly because it's an inconvenience to get it out and set it up. (I mean, how often do you use that smoothie maker that's stored under your stairs?)

I also like to keep my most-used tools - such as scissors, pins, tape measure and, of course, a seam ripper - in one pot that I can easily grab when needed. 

I also keep works-in-progress in a dedicated bag so I can easily find everything I need for that sewing project, such as thread, interfacing, buttons or elastic. I either use zip lock bags or re-use cellophane bags from online clothes shopping, which are great as they're easily resealable and you can instantly see what’s inside them.

Making it easy to find what you need makes it that little bit more convenient to stitch a few seams together when you have a bit of free time!

Tilly's hands sewing

3) Sew for just ten minutes

When life is busy and/or you're really tired, if you tell yourself that you should be sewing for an hour or two, that can feel overwhelming and unachievable. You're much more likely to get started if you don’t make it a big deal - try telling yourself that you're only going to sew for ten minutes. What can you get done in that time? Maybe you could insert a sleeve or two, sew a couple of seams, add some buttonholes... or even just tidy up a little for next time (see tip number one!).

If you do sew for ten minutes, you'll most likely still feel great and make progress. And, once you've overcome the hurdle of starting, chances are you won't want to stop and that ten minutes will turn into a fair bit longer :)

Those are my three tips for motivating yourself to sew when sew-jo is low. I hope they may be helpful to you if you find yourself in a sewing funk too!

P.S. I wrote a similar post about kick-starting your sew-jo back in 2016 - it includes some different tips to this post so is also worth a read (back then I didn't have children, so they're written from a different viewpoint!).

Author: Tilly Walnes