Quite often on blogs I see apologies for lack of posting and sewing being done because “life got in the way”.  Trust me – no apologies are necessary!

I have been busy – no spare time to sew, no time to blog! C’est la vie!

There are only so many hours in the day and we must prioritise our time between going to work, spending time with our families, looking after ourselves (exercising) and other necessary daily activities.  Sometimes having a coffee with a friend or just sitting to read a book to unwind is what is needed. In my house, household chores seem to be the first thing that are neglected when life is busy.  Sewing is a hobby that I enjoy but it is at the bottom of the pile.  If I don’t get around to it, then it is ok.

Sometimes there just isn’t any free time to sew, but mostly it is about making time and using the time you have effectively.  

Do you struggle with finding or not having time to sew too? If I really have no time to sit down at my machine, I will do what I can when I can.  Often I have a knitting project in my bag to do when I am stuck waiting somewhere.  There are some sewing projects that can be done away from the machine too.  Think outside the box – like hand stitching hems or embroidery.  I know how much time I waste, waiting for the kids, occupying myself with my phone and looking at facebook/twitter/instagram when I could be sewing.

Here are some of my tips when you have no time to sew:

Sewing space

The first tip is to have a dedicated sewing space.  That way everything is always set up and ready to go.  Try and keep it clean and well organised to reduce wasted time searching for things.

Gather your Supplies

I create project bags, then when it is time to sew everything is ready to go.  I gather all of the supplies required for a project and keep them together in a zip lock bag, large envelope or a small box.  Ok sometimes they are not even in a bag, they are a pile on my table or sewing room floor.

Schedule your time

Set aside some time in your day or week and dedicate it to sewing.  Write on your calendar or day sheet.

Turn off the computer, turn your phone to silent, sit the kids in front of a movie, close the door – do what ever you need to do to free yourself from distractions. Set a timer for the allocated time and just sew. When the timer goes off, tidy your workspace, get up and get on with your day.  You will have achieved something and not feel like you have done sewing when you should have been doing something else.

Small projects

If you only have a small amount of time, work on something that can be finished quickly.  Do some mending or make a pillow case.  Any sewing is good sewing and a finished object is very satisfying.

Avoid WIPs

WIPs (Works in Progress) are a time waster.  If you have a stack of things that have been waiting to be done for a long time – there is generally a reason they haven’t been finished.  You might be at bit that is “too hard” or you just don’t love it anymore.  Its time to suck it up.  Pick up the project and decide to finish it, throw it or return the supplies to stash.

Don’t stress out

Don’t self impose unrealistic deadlines.  This should be fun and not a chore.  Yes it would be nice to wear a new frock to that party but if it doesn’t end up happening it is really not a big deal.  If you are making a gift I am sure the recipient would totally understand if it was late because you are using your precious time to make them something.  Take your time, do what you can.

Life is too short for Cheap fabric

Cheap fabric often creates a downward spiral for me.  When I am working with something that I paid a pretty penny for I take so much more care.  I make a muslin to ensure the right fit, I finish the seams, I undo mistakes, I make an effort.  Cheap fabric projects are generally the opposite and are rushed with little care taken. They often don’t fit and they rarely get worn.  Not a great use of my time.

Make a  List

I love my to-do list.  Write down everything that you want to make.  What do you have fabric for, patterns for and what goes together.  Then sort it into some sort of priority.  Do some project have deadlines?  Is there something new and shiny that you just have to make.  I often sew what is screaming at me the loudest.

Break it down

Big projects can be daunting when you are pressed for time.  Break it down into smaller tasks and do little bits when you can.

  • read the pattern and gather supplies
  • print, cut or trace the pattern
  • wash and iron fabric
  • make a muslin
  • cut fabric
  • sew!

Next project prep work

If you only have a spare 5 mins, there are lots of things that you can do to prep for your project

  • change your sewing machine needle
  • thread your machine or overlocker with the right colour thread
  • tidy and organise your workspace or set up your machine
  • read the pattern instructions
  • google or you tube any techniques that you are rusty or not familiar with.

Do some research

Instead of jumping straight in front of the machine, make some time to do some research work for your project.  Research what you are making.  Have a look on Pattern review or google images to see what others have done so you don’t make the same mistakes.  I often google the pattern name/ number with the term “blog” and generally find the most popular reviews of the patterns.

Make a muslin

Making a muslin doesn’t take as much time as you would think.  You don’t need to make the whole pattern either -omit the pockets, facings and fastenings.  Make sure you use a similar type of fabric that your finished project will be from.  Taking the time here will reduce the time down the road.  It also gives you the opportunity to fully understand the construction of the garment and to practice any steps that initially appear confusing without worry of mucking up the finished article.

I am sure that you have your own ways to deal with lack of time to sew.  I would love to hear about them.

If I don’t have time to sew then I tend to lust over patterns, plan projects and buy fabric.  My to do list just keeps geting longer! It seems very counter intuitive.