7 Ways You Can Find More Time To Sew

Pincushion watch

For me one of the biggest barriers to sewing has always been finding the time. In my mind I need to have 2-3 hours of continuous, uninterrupted time that I can carve out before even sitting down at my machine.  But by using simple strategies I have found that I can actually get some work on a sewing project whenever I have as little as half and hour to spare.

With a husband, three kids, and a dog I realize that I sometimes do more daydreaming about sewing than actual sewing. But when I use the tips below I can turn sewing into something "done'  not just something I dream about doing.

 Tip #1 Set My Intention to Sew: It may be in the back of my mind that when I get home my reward will be to sit down at the sewing machine and sew for a while. That is totally different from setting an intention to sew. When I say to myself  "Today, Im gonna sew for one hour from 7-8pm."  I tend to take myself a bit more seriously than when the thought is just a vague idea in my head.  I find too, that when I say it out loud, or even write it down as a goal for myself, everything seems to conspire to bring it about.   Try it and see if it works for you.

Vintage woman at sewing machine

Tip #2 Make Sewing A Priority:  This tip is a sister to the one above.  I don't need to tell you that as mothers, wives, entrepreneurs and/or employees we don't consistently set ourselves, or what we want to do, as a priority in our lives.  Most of the time I used to feel like if I got myself home from work, got everybody fed, got the dog walked and spent a few minutes watching my husband watch TV, that I had a pretty successful day.  But that really is only part of the story.

The real story is that I fell in love with sewing when I was five years old and  watched my grandmother on her old Singer treadle machine.   Seven vintage sewing machines,  4 large bins of fabric and two dress forms later, its time to make this passion a priority. And no one is going to give me permission to do this for myself but me.

Tip #3: Organize, Organize,  Organize The Project:  When I get ready to start a sewing project it helps me to break it down into manageable steps.  If Im organized I find that I can pick up a project from where I left off whenever I have  some spare time in my day.  I think of a sewing project as having 3 steps, with many sub-steps inside. The three steps are:

  • Prep or pre-sewing
  • Sewing
  • the Wrap-Up
Image of woman cutting fabric

These are all of the tasks I do before I actually sit down at the sewing machine.  And while sewing at the machine is the actual best part for me, if I have all of my sewing supplies organized I can get a lot of pleasure out of the prep phase, too.  Prepping is when you:

  • Select the fabric from your stash
  • Press the wrinkles out of your fabric
  • Cut out the pattern
  • Pin the pattern to the fabric
  • Cut out the fabric
  • Transfer the markings from the pattern to the fabric

If you think about it, each of these can often be completed in an hour or less.  And they each can have their own fun factor, if you look at it that way.  Completing a step that helps you make progress in your larger project is very fulfilling and satisfies the "spending some time on me" need that we all have.

Sewing at a machine

This step needs no explanation!  Fun, Fun, Fun!

Sewing Notions
This step comes after most of your sewing project is complete and there are just a few little odds and ends left to do.  Odds and ends might make these tasks sound unimportant, but really this is the step where some of the decisions you make will effect the quality of the overall statement that your project makes. Some of the parts of the wrap-up step are:
  • Button selection 
  • Buttonhole crafting
  • Hemming
  • Final Press
Each of the wrap-up steps could use their own  post related to time-saving, but like the tasks in the prep step, they can each be broken down into smaller tasks that allow you to complete them in an hour or less.
Thats it for now I will cover the last four steps in my next post.
HAPPY STITCHING!