I am feeling very pleased with myself!!! I have just finished 30 easy to sew items in the space of two weeks - a first for me. When sewing multiples of the same thing, my initial enthusiasm usually wanes fairly quickly. I imagine myself sewing heaps and consequently cut out more than I can often finish. But not this time.
This project started like any other...
I saw the call out to make library bags for disadvantaged kids. Enthusiasm kicked in immediately and I could see many bags already sewn in my head.
Previous experience has taught me that cutting out less will usually result in them all being finished, but of course I ignored this, and in one night I had 18 bags cut out.
As always, I collected all the extras - thread, interfacing, labels, etc - so as to reduce the chances of the project stalling.
First up, I did the colour blocking (about ⅓ of the bags), knowing I could get through a lot quite quickly. Impatience set in when I started sewing individual fronts and backs. I needed to see a few bags finished.
And so I changed tack and finished a few bags. Three bags with the same fabric sewn in a row was all it took to again lose interest. Instead of stopping, I started sorting through my stash, looking for totally different fabrics and combinations. And another set of bags were cut out.
For a bit of variety, I'd pulled out an old paper pieced block - linked squares. However, each time I looked at the patchwork block, I put it further down the pile. At some point I realised that it was better to pack the block away for another project.
Any bags that needed a change of thread colour were put to one side. Don't ask me why, but stopping for less than a minute to change a bobbin or spool can bring everything to a standstill for me.
I was on a roll and powering through the bags.
Sometimes I sewed for lengthy periods, whereas on other occasions, it was a few minutes here and there. At no point did I push myself past what I felt like doing. This is in stark contrast to my normal mode of operation where I set myself goals - either time wise or number of items.
Extra motivation was created with two fabric vouchers I'd been given for Christmas. I so needed to make room for the new fabric I was going to purchase with these vouchers. And 30 bags does use up a reasonable amount of fabric.
As I sewed, I made three piles...
- finished bags
- partly finished bags
- fabric not yet started
Much to my surprise, watching the three piles changing in height spurred me on. By the time I was down to two piles - finished and partly finished - the job seemed like it was over, when in reality it wasn't.
It wasn't until I'd finished all 30 bags that I actually analysed why this project seemed so effortless - why I was able to repetitively sew multiples of the same item...
- finish a few items to readily see the outcome
- vary the fabrics used
- combine the same fabrics in different ways
- experiment with colour blocking
- apply no pressure
- vary the sequence of sewing
- utilise forgotten fabrics from my stash
- discard items that bog me down
Whether my system works for future projects, only time will tell. What tips can you add to help me maintain enthusiasm during repetitive sewing?