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Sew Paradise

How to find time for sewing

Are you struggling to find time for sewing? I’ll share tips from a busy travel-sports parent on how I find time for sewing, even when I’m driving my kids to some other city 7 days a week!

My kids play travel hockey. One of my kids’ home rinks is 45 minutes to an hour away, one way. I work full time in my own business. And I still sew 30-40 garments a year. How?

  1. Those UFO and mending projects can get you in the sewing groove.
  2. Set time limits to sew of 15 -30 minutes and no more
  3. Protect your time by eliminating activities that don’t have direct emotional value to you and your family

UFOs (unfinished objects) – I keep these in a basket by my sewing bin, and if I’m struggling to start another project, I sew just one seam. Yep. Just one seam! Those UFOs will be FOs pretty soon!

I start with mending – the mending pile is not a black hole in my sewing room any longer! I start every session mending something – sewing on a Scout shirt patch or two, repairing holes in knees, replacing buttons – whatever needs doing, I am doing it with every sewing session.

Protecting time and activities:

The pandemic showed us how we could axe off everything we did and still survive OK. Now that we’re back to travel sports, I realized all the other things I did besides those had to take second fiddle. When you go from nothing outside to back to “normal” – you realize just how abnormal that was. Now, I can’t ask my kids to quit their beloved travel sports, but I can say no to other things. I said no to going to outside fitness class and bought online subscriptions to cycling (Zwift) and to a weight system, used, on FB marketplace. I have my own gym! I said no to business networking events in the evening. I carefully curtailed those because of COVID exposure but also because they took a lot of time and I don’t have it. Most people migrated online for networking and business connection and I get most of my business from a few targeted Facebook groups!

Sew every day. EVERY DAY. For five minutes, or fifteen. Sometimes I set a timer to 15 minutes, I sew one seam, or mend one thing and then I’m done, but at least I started. More often than not, I continue on for another 15 minutes or 30 minutes.

Sewing one seam means you can finish a typical project of 5 seams (a basic top has five seams, basic pants have four) in 5 days.

Log out of socials. I just log off, so that “mindless” scrolling can’t happen because I am not logged into those apps. I even removed FB from my phone (years ago) and keep it logged out on my iPad. It’s there if I need it, but it stops me from mindless activity. And boy, it can suck up hours of time. I still like to discover new sewing pattern designers on IG, so I do scroll, but I try to do it when I can’t be sewing, such as waiting at an ice rink.

Set screen time alarms if you need help with this. We all waste far too much time that we don’t even realize doing things that are unimportant to us or our families.

I sew many garments a year not because I have time, but because I don’t! And that means the time I do have, I use.

By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.