Time to sew is precious. No matter what stage in your life, there's never enough time. And, the more I sew, the more I want to sew. So I need all the help I can get to cut corners. Not cutting corners as in sloppy sewing, but ideas to maximise the time I have to actually sew.
One time saver for me requires thinking ahead. If I have a pattern out for a current project, let's say a pair of shorts, will I be wanting to sew any more shorts in the near future? If the answer is yes, do them all at the same time.
If it's a PDF, it only needs to be traced once and there'll be no searching for pattern pieces at a later date. Cutting out several pairs of shorts, really doesn't take that much longer than cutting out one pair.
I was originally sewing for Evie & Flynn, but knew I'd be wanting to sew shorts for Dress A Girl Around the World at a later date.
Second thing that helps me save time, is having an extensive fabric stash. It's a luxury, I know, but having the fabric for nine extra pairs of shorts on hand, meant that I could quickly pull from my stash, without having to drive to the shops, or wait for an online purchase.
The majority of my fabrics have either been purchased when on sale, or online from overseas when the dollar is right. A few years ago I bought a lot of sale fabrics from overseas and at the time I saved considerable money compared to purchasing the same fabric in Australia. That's not the case now, with increased postal costs and the exchange rate.
I'm a little more selective when buying fabrics now, but it's still hard to resist a good bargain.
I have Sandra to thank for my third time saver. When I cut these shorts, I popped them into bags according to size and as Sandra says... kitted them up with everything needed to finish the project. In the case of the shorts, this was just elastic, but it was cut to size. I also scribbled the waist casing and hem measurements onto a piece of paper and popped that into each bag, saving me having to look up the pattern.
When I cut out zippered bags, they'll go into a ziplock bag, together with interfacing or wadding also cut to size. A zip and any embellishments are added as well.
Cutting is the part of sewing I least like, so I tend to do a whole lot in one night. Kitting up each project prevents things from becoming muddled, makes them easy to store and each project is ready to go when you are - no searching for notions. In fact, there's no need to leave your chair, for example - just to measure and cut a piece of elastic. Just grab the bag and you're good to go.
These nine pairs of shorts were not all sewn at the same time. They were sewn over the course of a couple of months, sometimes with great gaps in time. And that brings me to time saver number four. Some projects lend themselves to sewing a bit at a time.
As I was sewing other projects that required the same coloured thread, I would sometimes just sew some seams on the shorts. At another time when I was overlocking (serging), a different garment, I'd quickly overlock a few seams of the shorts.
When I got them out to finish off the other day, they were in various stages of completion. Because so much of them were already sewn, it wasn't a huge job to finish. The Sydney chapter of Dress A Girl Around the World is having a Christmas drive and that was my motivation to finish.
Although I save lots of time with the methods above, there is a fifth thing that would save me even more time than all four combined - GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA & THE COMPUTER!!! There is simply no reason why I need to spend as much time as I do checking into my social media accounts. I am getting better, but there is definite room for improvement.
I tend to use social media as a way of procrastinating when I'm about to tackle a new, or difficult part of a sewing project. And judging by the comments on my Why Do I Procrastinate When I Love to Sew post, I'm not alone - although none of you mentioned social media as a way of procrastinating.
I've found a few articles showing how to find time to sew. I haven't yet read them in depth - just skimmed. It does seem however, that organisation is the key to gaining time...
- Finding Time to Craft
- How Do You Make Time to Sew?
- Seven Time Saving Sewing Tricks
- How Do You Find the Time to Sew So Much?
- Sewing Productivity
- Nine Ways to Find Time to Sew
- Making Time to Sew
- How Do You Find Time to Sew?
If you have any ideas to help me maximise my sewing time, I'd love you to leave a comment.
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