Blue Barn Farm

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Sewing Speedy

After my frantic Easter sewing and a few other things going on around here, I needed a break! I absolutely love to sew, but sometimes I do this weird thing to myself…and it’s not limited to the area of sewing or crafting. This thing I do can happen with any interest.

I go overboard. I get too intense. I take it too far. Whatever you want to call it, that’s what I do. For instance, instead of sewing here and there for fun and to love on my kids (or friends) with special handmade things, I suddenly feel that I should sew my five children the entirety of their wardrobes. As in, no shopping ever. Except for underwear and socks. Or how about the bug that hits me around October when I think I’ll just sew every single Christmas gift and save us SO much money?!?!? Piffle. Similarly, I once decided that I needed to create each ingredient in my daily cooking. No more store bought bread or even yogurt. Can you say insane?!?!? Honestly, what is wrong with me? I find myself in that position lately with my sewing (again), and it’s time to readjust (again). To stimulate this readjustment I went out shopping for some clothes for myself and kids. They are decidedly not handmade and it feels great. Back to picking the projects that inspire me and taking a freaking chill pill.

I did want to write about something else though…and that is the answer to the question I get most often in my life (I’m not counting the “Are they all yours?” one): “How do you find time to sew?” I’m going to give you some tips for sewing quickly and efficiently. However, first let me make one disclaimer…we all make time for the things that are important to us, even to the expense of other important things. Meaning, since sewing is important to me and a source of sanity, I may choose to sew rather than clean my house or catch up on laundry or dishes. You can’t have it all. You choose some things and let others go. Still, my time is premium so when I do sew it needs to be quick. Here’s what works for me:

1.   Set up a designated sewing area or room. You’ll be surprised how much time you have to sew when everything is already set up. Along with this idea, get a reliable sewing machine rather than trying to make your mom’s old one work. It’s worth it. I go into my sewing room and work for ten minutes here and there throughout my day. And things. get. done.

2.   Don’t use pins. You really don’t need them most of the time. Just trust yourself and get better. You may make mistakes but you’ll learn as you do.

3.   Don’t refer to the directions constantly. I will admit that this is an acquired skill from years of sewing. I really rarely look at the pattern sheet. Sometimes I read them over with my morning coffee just to make sure there aren’t any fun techniques I’m missing but most of the time I wing it. There are basics to construction that are true for every pattern…steps you do first. Kind of like if you’re making cookies you pretty much know you cream the butter and sugar together every time.

4.   Use your weekends to cut out patterns and your weekdays to sew. This works for me. If a pattern is cut and marked and grouped together with trims, zippers, buttons, etc, then when I get a chance to sew during the week I can zoom right through a project.

5.   Sew things with the same color thread all at once so you don’t have to change thread often. Similarly, do several knits projects at once so you can use the same needle…things like that. I most often use grey thread because it works for almost everything.

6.   Sew several seams at once and then press them all and trim the threads after.

7.   Sew simple. Stop trying to make the coolest outfit or most ruffly skirt or the perfectly lined coat. Don’t get me wrong I like those projects from time to time. But the bulk of my daily sewing is wearable and simple…because that’s what we need and that’s what actually gets used rather than sitting in the back of the closet. It’s so satisfying when things actually get used.

8.   Finally, know when something is unnecessary. For instance, if the dress can slip over your daughters head, omit the zipper. Or, if your son always pulls his pants down rather than actually unzipping and unbuttoning the fly, then use the faux fly! An example of this for me is that I usually omit facings and just finish a bodice with bias or fully line. It’s cleaner and I really can’t stand when the facings in a bodice flip out all the time.

There…that’s all I’ve got for now. Any questions? I’m sure I’ve left something out so feel free to ask!

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4 comments on “Sewing Speedy

  1. Laura
    May 11, 2014

    I love your blog, friend! So informative and transparent. Just like you! Happy Mothers Day to one of the greats!

  2. Jennifer
    May 11, 2014

    These are some great tips! Efficiency isn’t my strong point, so thanks for sharing!

  3. Suzanne Makinson
    June 11, 2014

    good morning, or whatever time you read this. thanks for hosting the family Sunday afternoon. It was a lovely time. Have a wonderful day. Love to all, Grandmama

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This entry was posted on May 10, 2014 by .
Sanae Ishida

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Wiksten

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Made By Rae

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

skirt as top

suō ergo sum :: i sew, therefore i am

Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

probablyactually.wordpress.com/

where i talk about the stuff i make

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