My sewing mojo is back!!! And it feels good. Read on to see how I did it...
For the last nine months I've only sewn sporadically - a few small things here and there. For much of that period, I was limited by being busy elsewhere. There simply wasn't time to do any sewing.
When, after a few months, I did start to get some time to myself, it was only a little and unpredictable. And so I went to my happy place - my garden. The only time I ventured near needle and thread was clothing alterations for my family
It's only in the last month that more time has become available to me, but still with the constraints of unpredictability, hence making it hard to plan anything, which in turn has led to lack of motivation (to put it mildly) on all fronts.
So, what's brought back my enthusiasm to sew? It's a combination of things...
First up, I had three requests for sewing alterations - shortening jeans and jacket sleeves for my daughter, and darning jeans for my eldest son. I have a tendency to take a LONG time with clothing alterations, so decided if I didn't get stuck into them straight away, it could take years - that's happened before.
I took my own advice - didn't procrastinate - and the alterations were done in no time. What a good feeling.
Around that time, an online friend sent me a lovely email and a copy of one of her patterns. It really brightened my day. I really want to get stuck into making up an item with the pattern, but I've decided I need to work through a few unfinished projects first.
I have so many items cut out or half sewn, and, for me, it's a little overwhelming. The unfinished things detract from what I'm doing, as my mind keeps thinking back to them.
So, as soon as the clothing alterations were done, I dug out twelve infinity scarves I cut out a long time ago. I deliberately chose something that would be quick and easy. I had the overlocking of the seams done in one night. Over the course of a few evenings watching Netflix, and the hand sewing was completed.
My mood was lifting and I was spurred on to do more...
Four produce bags -again cut out a long time ago - sewn, photos taken and notes taken for a tutorial.
I was on a roll. But it wasn't just one thing that lead to another. I still had to organise my time. When I'm down I waste a lot of time on social media - doing nothing really - just looking and looking at the same things over and over. Don't get me wrong, I do like social media, but I was not using it in a healthy way.
And so I cut down on the time I was spending on social media.
Four reusable fabric grocery bags - yes, cut out many moons ago. One is for my youngest son. The three I made him a couple of years ago are still going strong, but three is sometimes not enough. Within a short space of time I had completed sewing items on my desk for each of my kids.
My kids are independent adults living in their own homes, but I still like to do things for them when I can. And that particular week, it was a real bucket filler.
When my work space (and house) is tidy, my mind functions in a more logical way. I tend to stick at tasks longer and not flit here and there as much. Having said that, I'm not naturally a tidy person. I'm making a conscious effort to keep my sewing room tidy.
That doesn't mean magazine or Instagram photo worthy showy tidy.
The rest of the house - not quite so enthused, but I've started. Let's just say that's a work in progress. But hey, progress is progress, no matter how slow.
I should mention that plastic bag in the photo above. As you know, I take my own fabric bags and avoid bringing home single use plastic bags where I can. The jeans came to me in that bag, and they're going back to their home in the same plastic bag.
I have a tendency to want to start and finish projects in one sitting - no matter how mammoth. In doing that over the years I usually only sew when I have substantial amounts of time. No more! I'm now trying to ensure that there is always something on my sewing desk that I can pick up at any time.
Case in point - the cut out grocery bag in the photo above. That was the last of the four, sewn with a few minutes here and there. If you have five minutes, do a five minute job. Or, as Mimi says, using 5 minute windows... And it's working - at least, in my sewing room - I'm trying hard to apply it to the housework.
It would be very easy for me to now start setting goals - finish all unfinished projects before I begin anything new. However, I am not going to. That would create unnecessary stress for me, which I so don't need. I'm taking my sewing one day at a time - not thinking more than one project ahead.
And that includes charity sewing. I'm trying not to feel guilty here, but I'm resisting the urge to get stuck into the latest Sewing for Charity Australia project. They're sewing No Zip Pencil Cases for The Mad Woman Foundation to support kids in foster care. I would normally see a request such as this that appeals to me, immediately stop my current project, and start cutting out - even more so with this one in that they are using my tutorial.
I'm a bit like a kid whose eyes are too big for their stomach. In an effort to be efficient, I'd cut out way more than I could hope to comfortably sew - and the previously current project would be shelved unfinished.
I do hope to join in with making pencil cases, but I'll wait a little while yet - I have till the end of July.
So, as you can see, it wasn't just one thing that brought back my sewing mojo. It was a combination of events and strategies that enabled me to see glass half full and to get things into perspective - looking at the positive and making the most of the situation.
In that frame of mind, the other day Mr TMW and I went for the first day trip we've done in ages. There's a few pics on Instagram. We had a lovely day!!!
What strategies do you use to get yourself out of a sewing slump?