How do you find the time?!

fabric basket sewing quilting

This seems to be the question I get asked the most lately: “How do you find time to sew?” and “How do you get so much done?”

Mixed with comments like: “I can’t even get my machine out!” or “I wish I could get {insert UFO here} finished that I started 10 years ago!”

I’m no super mummy. Life is busy! Whether you are married or not, have kids or not, work in your home or out of your home, we all have a lot on our plates.

Here’s my tips for getting more crafting done:

  • Make the most of alone time. My kids are both at school this year so I try to make the most of crafting during the school day, knowing I can do chores when they are home. When the kids are home, I plan to craft while they are watching their favourite TV program or after they go to bed.

piano

  • Create ways for the family to keep you company. Sometimes the kids hang out with me in my craft room. I move a small table in so Little Miss can craft, or she practices the piano. Mr Happy likes to drive his cars all over the room. When they were younger, I’d have a basket of toys in that room to keep them happy.
  • Keep your space set up, ready to go. I understand not everyone can do this but I’m lucky enough to have a room where I can leave my sewing machine set up. If you can’t leave things set up, leave it all together in a basket or box where you can grab it all at once to set up quickly.

 

fabric basket

 

  • Have inspiration in sight. I have my newest fabrics in baskets on the floor near my sewing machine. I see them every time I go into the room. They constantly remind of things I want to make with them.
  • Have a “regular use” basket on your work space. I have an open basket with my scissors, rotary cutter, pins, etc – the things I use all the time – right there on my table where I can reach them easily.
  • Tidy up as you go along. For me, clearing my workspace as I go along means I don’t waste time looking for things under other things, and it only takes a second to fold up a piece of fabric as I finish cutting it.
  • Break projects into smaller steps. Don’t always expect to get a whole project finished. Plan to just get the painting done, or the cutting done, or the photos trimmed – one part of the process. Some steps can be quicker than you realise.

 

sewing room

 

  • Set up a chain of steps if you can. I often make items with zippers. So while I have the zipper foot on the machine, I will try to sew zippers on a number of items, then switch the foot and do all the rest of the sewing on those items.
  • Stop when you need a break. I learnt the hard way that I make mistakes when I’m tired and then it takes time to fix them. Usually a cup of tea and I’m good to go again.
  • Have spare supplies. Things like thread, glue, wire, needles, interfacing and so on that you use a lot in your craft will run out. Have a some spares so it doesn’t stop you crafting when you have a moment.
  • Maintain your equipment. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to continue because your scissors are blunt or your machine stops. Clean your machine regularly. Wipe down your scissors and iron if they get sticky. Change needles reularly. It will all keep you going.

 

sewing basket

 

  • Give your self permission to work the way you want to. I used to feel guilty about switching projects or starting new projects before I finished what I was working on. But I realised that I actually get more done if I go with the project I’m enthusiastic about at the time and then go back to the other one later.
  • Just do it! I used to spend a lot of time thinking about what to do next. Now I walk into my sewing room and work on whatever I have left sitting on the table, while I think.

I hope these tips help you get more crafting done. Do you have any more things that help you find more time?

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Comments

  1. Wonderful advice! I often get asked “how do I find the time”, or, “I wish I had as much time as you do to sew” (which i find really annoying). I don’t have extra hours in the day – I just try to use the ones I do have, wisely.
    Organisation is key. Knowing what you have on the go and what steps are required next, so that when you have a spare few moments, you can get straight to it, rather than have to spend a lot of time seeing where you were previously up to.

  2. sewsurprising says:

    Thats wonderful advice CM, the one thing I think people loose track of is if they for a week kept an honest little log of when they pop into a place of Pinterest ;) ,or other such sites, that hour, or half an hour a few times a day adds up to a lot of lost sewing/crafting/knitting/crocheting time.

    • Thanks, Sewsurprising. I skipped out saying that we always find time for things that we REALLY want to do – our favourite TV show or shopping for a present. I suppose I REALLY want to get my sewing done – it’s important to me.

      Mind you, I could still lose hours on PInterest! So addictive!

  3. Great advice – thanks for such a thought provoking post! I’m retired and have my DD’s former bedroom as my sewing room so, yes, I can just walk in and start working. I think keeping everything in it’s place makes it a lot easier to get going! Because I’m new to quilting, I keep one project for class work and work on other stuff at home; and I have learnt to keep small pieces of “handwork” (in my case, aplique) ready to go!

  4. With three kids under 5 I often get the same comments “you don’t have time for sewing” etc. I find that the motivation comes in spurts and when I’m making something I throw myself in completely, neglecting house etc. I need the craft for my sanity!

    dxx

  5. Love this post! I’ve often wondered about how people manage to do so much. It’s just as I suspected – excellent time management. The art of which I am a long way of perfecting! I suppose having triplets might catch me up a little in this area… God’s training program I guess.

    • I love the idea that your gorgeous triplets are God’s training program!

      Although I just read your most recent post about a little girl needing an urgent bath after “accidents” on Mummy and I’m not sure you’d be enjoying that particular aspect of the “training”!

  6. Hi there, thanks for following my blog! It would be nice to be in Queensland right now, it is getting very chilly here in Japan!

  7. I get asked that question so much too. Sewing/crafting is my favourite thing to do, so I head straight into my craft room when I get my two littlies down for a nap. Housework isn’t a priority for me at the moment, but I try to clean as I go and when the kids are awake as much as possible. It’s true that you set your own priorities and make time for what you love!

  8. Oh I so wished I had a crafty bone in my body!! I love designing a room, I love decorating but I have no desire to sew :)

    Love the colours of your fabrics that you have ready to use!

    Cheers
    Lisa

  9. Thank you for this post. Although it was a few years back, it is so relevant to me at the moment. People say the same to me and often I feel guilty about sewing whilst my 2 year old is awake, even though he is occupied with his cars/trucks/trains or dinosaurs…
    Knowing that I am ‘not the only one’ makes me feel better :)

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