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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, May 24, 2012

How do you decide what to sew next?

I have spent the last few days pre-treating fabric I have bought and thinking about what I will sew here before I go home.

It might not be much. I have a pile of things I want to sew up for my daughter first, plus I want to make the most of the weather, the beach and the produce (yes I am making more mango chutney) too.

Also I have a confession to make. One of the things I find hardest to do is sit still but it seems as if you don't learn your lessons the occasions to learn them keep coming at you.

I really bashed myself up pretty bad when I failed to make that sharp right turn on my bike, I was going too fast. I figured keeping on riding for another five miles and 36 holes of golf would fix it all up but that wasn't true. So the last few days I have been off the course and slowing down and it is helping. 

This made me examine the fact that I treat every event as an opportunity to double up and do more.

Which naturally brings me to sewing and my resolution to stop over-planning, over-committing, and over-scheduling.

I am really going to try to just sew what I feel like on the day rather than working my way down the to-do list. I always want to sew far more than I often have time for, and that leaves me feeling under-achieving when in actual fact I am doing just fine.

So the question I have for you is this. 

What motivates you to sew your next project? 

  • The to-do list you worked out for the season, SWAP, or some wardrobe plan you have in mind?
  • Seeing something fabulous on another sewer's blog?
  • New patterns, new trends?
  • The feeling that you need to start sewing up some of that enormous stash?
  • Because it has been on your to-do list forever and you just want it done?
  • To try out a new skill/challenge as part of your sewing self-education?
  • Wardrobe gap or need?
  • To justify the money you have already spent on patterns?
As always what have I missed?


Lisa Laree said...

I always want to sew far more than I often have time for, and that leaves me feeling under-achieving...
Oh, that is SO me! Especially since going to the part-time job, which has severely cut into my sewing time. But not into my fabric/pattern purchasing, so now I have guilt, and a bit of fear that the moths will get to that lovely wool before I do.

Consequently, the two things that drive the sewing queue are not inspiration-related, but simply what I MUST HAVE in the wardrobe and what I feel MOST GUILTY for letting it sit undone...sigh...

LinB said...

All of the above. Plus, sometimes I just get ... twitchy? Antsy? Jumpy? The familiar motions of riffling through pattern boxes, unfolding the delicate paper, smoothing fabric over the cutting table, etc. are very calming. Plus, these tasks yield a visible, tangible result, unlike so much of my paid employment.

badmomgoodmom said...

All of the above. Plus event sewing like a child's theater costume or graduation dress. Or they've had another growth spurt.

Sewfast said...

Mine is more need based, however it seems like there is never enough time. I think as women we tend to try to do more than is reasonable and that leads to feelings of inadequacy. We should celebrate all the things we are able to accomplish, not feel bad because we don't crank out as many garments as our blog buddy does!

shams said...

This is the million dollar question, isn't it? I find if I start to feel any sort of pressure, that my mojo withers up. So I definitely, for the most part, do what appeals to me on THAT day. I do not create TODO lists of projects, because that makes me feel guilty and withers the mojo.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I work my to-do list and give myself permission to deviate if I'm inspired by another sewist, a photo, etc. I also overplan my sewing times but have learned to say that what was finished was meant to be and to add the other things back to the list. I'm developing a more go with the flow attitude...except for my list! *LOL*

Anonymous said...

All of the above for me.
Sometimes I get fussy and spend hours going through my pattern stash and fabric, trying to decide what to sew next, but I actually enjoy that process as much as I enjoy sewing itself. In general, I tend to sew seasonal stuff that I can wear right away, so I have a lot of dress patterns and summer tops on my list!

BeckyMc said...

I started keeping a simple journal of finished sewing projects to remind me of what I have accomplished in the year. So often I feel that I'm not getting enough done (my fabric collection has grown alarmingly compared to garments finished) but my list reminds me of stuff I would have forgotten, like favors done for friends and dress up clothes made for grand-daughters.

Patty said...

I'm usually motivated by the need of a new outfit for an event, or more often by something fabulous that I've seen another blogger post about. Once in awhile I just look at my stash and something jumps out at me and I match pattern to fabric and away I go. And I love it when I can incorporate a new idea/design/technique to learn from too! I don't do well with a to-do list, too limiting and makes me feel guilty. I like to sew because it's fun!

Calypso Flowers said...

I tend to work on what I NEED, because there isn't much time for much else.Like BeckyMc I kept a journal last year of what I made, and it was really rewarding to look back and see, and remember.
That being said, I was part way through making a robe when you did your blog on sleepwear, so I have decided to enthusiatically follow that avenue for a little while.My 'sleepwear'department leaves a lot to be desired !!

marysews said...

I want to do more than time allows, and often projects get put back so long that they are out of style or undesirable by the time I get to them. Gah!

velosewer said...

In short, there's no real plan.
I adjust existing clothes at the beginning of a season because I've changed shape or the style needs updating. This usually goes on for about 4 weeks and planned projects go on hold.
There is a to-do list and then if a particular project goes on for 'too long' I push myself to get it finished. It's too painful to agonise over a final stage when there are other projects to do.

Anonymous said...

I like to try new things. In my 20s I did it pretty systematically. Now, I just go with new techniques that interest me, not necessarily building from one to the next.
I get inspired by what I see others doing on their blogs. Yours, Barbara, and others.
I also sew to meet my professional wardrobe needs. The jackets all come from Talbots, but most of the other office wear I make. Someday I WILL make that Chanel jacket.
Now I need to read the blogs less and do more real sewing. When I'm too old and ugly, bent over from osteoporosis, I hope my DD will let me sew for her. Right now, she's a fitters dream, but too impatient to wear things RIGHT NOW.
Thanks for the inspiration and your humor.