Making time to sew
For those of you who are wondering and/or have asked me - yes, I am still working on the Tamarack Jacket. Four months and counting...I remember getting the fabric for that jacket in the mail back in October when my friend Lisa was visiting!
On Tuesday morning I thought I was getting past the most time intensive and, I think, difficult portion of that pattern: the quilting. I was mistaken. I had quilted all of the larger pattern pieces for the front and back of the jacket which is the first step after you wash, dry, and cut out the pattern pieces from the fabric. But then the next steps were to assemble the pockets. Ends up you also need to quilt those. At least all I have left to possibly quilt is the hood of the jacket. I'm hoping to finish the jacket in the next few weeks. Famous last words! :)
Now that I think about it, I have a lot of sewing projects that are on-going for seemingly ages. My current on-going projects: a ton of mending sitting in a pile on my sewing room floor, multiple unused slopers I made from taking courses or reading books on pattern-making, and patterns and fabric for one pair of pants and one sweater that I haven't found the time yet to work on.
I thought I would start to feel overwhelmed as I often do when I think about how many sewing projects I would LOVE to be working on if I didn't have to do my day job, but actually I'm feeling rejuvenated. You see, the last few months I have felt like I have so much going on that it has been difficult to make time for and feel motivated to sew and blog as much as I would like. Just thinking about those slopers sitting there, folded in one of the cubbies in my sewing room has reminded me of how far I have come in my sewing abilities. The first project I sewed on my machine was a tablecloth in 2017. I had cut out all of these squares of fabric and sewn them together. It was a mess, but my roommate at the time and I did use it a few times.
Much of life is about learning and growing which takes a lot of commitment over time to whatever it is you are in to. I spend a lot of time thinking about sewing and how I can "make time" to do it. Here is what I have learned and put into practice (errr...many of which I'm still trying to put into practice).
1. Reflect on your progress - this is not something I would have included here until I started writing this post! But as I mention above, it has reminded me of how far I have come in my sewing abilities and given me renewed inspiration. I would suggest journaling and thinking back on your very first sewing project, the other projects you have worked on or completed, and what you're working on now. You've likely sewed a lot of things and improved your skills a lot!
2. Find inspiration - I'm not much into social media and I don't spend a lot of time on it, but for sewing, I find so much inspiration there. I have cultivated my @dailybumblebunch Instagram to be almost exclusively sewing and other crafts I'm interested in. Additionally, I listen to podcasts about creativity and how to harness/develop it. Those don't directly inspire projects, but it helps me keep it all in perspective and keep moving forward.
3. Make sewing a priority - I often hear that you need to 'make something a priority'. And I have wondered, but what does that mean in practice? What steps do you take? Firstly, understand that 'making something a priority' means it is treated as more important than other things. That means you devote time and resources to it. The next few bullets dive into this.
4. Devote a set time every week - Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7AM-9AM are my designated sewing times. I have purposely cleared my mornings (I don't do Crossfit, I don't clean, I don't read, etc.) so I can focus on sewing. To be honest, though, I do slip. I started drafting this post Thursday morning when I should have been sewing.
5. Tell those closest to you that it is a priority - much of the advice I have read on making time for hobbies or side hustles includes this advice and I think it is great. For me, this has included making sure that my boyfriend knows that Tuesday and Thursday mornings are sacred sewing time. This looks like making sure I go to bed early and get enough sleep so I feel motivated to wake-up early enough.
6. Even when you don't feel like doing it, stick to your schedule - like I mentioned above, I sometimes feel unmotivated to sew, despite loving it so much. I acknowledge that there are ups and downs. The way I handle this is to put my schedule on auto-pilot. I do this with Crossfit, my day job, and anything else that I need to put consistent attention towards. I have set times and days that I do them, even when I don't want to. This ensures I stay committed and consistent.
7. Setup your space and make sure you have all of the tools you need - these two go hand-in-hand. I've been reading a meditation book called Start Here Now by Susan Piver. She describes setting up a space - it can be a corner, a room, or even just a cushion - devoted to your meditation practice. She encourages making the space comfortable for mediation with something comfortable to sit on, a candle, photos of loved ones etc. I think about my sewing room the same way - that space should be setup to encourage me to sew: organized and clean with everything I need to sew. In my old apartment, my sewing space was just a table with my tools (scissors, rotary cutter, rulers, etc.) hanging on the wall above, and my fabric stash folded on shelves nearby. I am extremely lucky now to have a whole room devoted to my sewing. Since the move, setting up my sewing room has been a work in progress, but I am slowly getting there. I have my fabric folded on shelves or hanging in the closet, my pegboard to hang my tools is almost all setup, and I'm contemplating hanging some bars to keep current projects organized on. After that, I'd love to add some inspiration to the walls like quotes or artwork.
I hope the ideas above on how to make sewing a priority are useful for you in your sewing practice (or really any other hobby)! Let me know in the comments if you have other ways of making sewing a priority in your life.