Finding the time to sew

I occasionally get asked how I find the time to sew and if I am on my sewing machine every single day.

Well, no, I don’t sew every day. But I sew most days and always have at least two projects that I am working on at any given time.

One of the many projects I am currently working on

But I also have a boyfriend and friends that I spend time with and a life beyond sitting at my sewing machine.

It is still a question I get asked though, so I thought I would dedicate this blog post to sharing how I find the time to sew. 

1. I have a sewing related job

As regular readers will know, I am a textiles teacher in a secondary school. This means I spend my days in a classroom full of sewing  machines, a huge cutting table and sewing equipment. Obviously I can’t ignore my class to work on a private project when I am teaching but I do utilise my breaks and time after school to get on with my hobby. I like to get all my PDF patterns stuck together and my fabric cut out while at school – the big cutting table just makes it so much easier and quicker (as well as being a lot less painful on my back). I get a little sewing done in lesson time too. For example I might make something in my GCSE class as part of a demo. Or I will sometimes work on a project alongside my A level class. They love this and seem to find it inspiring, so I do it whenever the circumstances allow me to.

Sewing a Fifi set at school on an old Bernina

2. I don’t have children or family members to take care of

It’s just me and my partner at home and I am lucky that he is not at all needy. In an average evening when we are both at home, we’ll spend some time together and also some time doing our own thing. So if I want to do some sewing, I can, without anyone feeling neglected. (The cats sometimes feel a bit neglected but I am fast become a pro at sewing with a needy cat on my lap).

Sewing with Daphne on my lap
 

3. My sewing machine is always out 
This makes such a difference in terms of how much I can get done.  I would love to have my own sewing room but we live in a small(ish)  flat in central(ish) London so there is not that much space.  I don’t have the luxury of a sewing room but I do have a table in the corner of the living room that is just for my sewing machines. I keep my current projects in a box under the table so I can quickly get on whenever I want to. Sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours. Which brings me nicely to point 4…

4. I make the most of short sewing sessions

Five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. It’s amazing what you can get done in short sewing bursts. I literally set an alarm on my phone for however much time I have. For example, yesterday I was cooking and had 8 minutes to go before I had to get a pizza out of the oven.  That became 8 minutes in which I got all of the stay stitching completed on my new Ogden Cami. Again, this is helped by the fact that my machine is always out and I have no dependants – I know not everyone is in this position. But if you can sew in short bursts you get an awful lot done.

A production line of Juniper Cardigans
5. I really love my machine
I love sewing and making things no matter what sewing machine I am using, but I really love my new sewing machine. I got a Brother Innov-is 350 Special Edition earlier this year and it is just amazing. I get so much pleasure from using it that I just always want to be on it. This has definitely made me more productive than I ever have been before. 

So much joy from one little machine

I appreciate that my life and circumstances are probably very different from yours but this is how I find the time to sew. I would love to hear how you do it.

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2 comments

  1. You are so right about the benefits of taking advantage of small amounts of spare time. Every little bit adds up! If I find myself with a couple of spare minutes before I leave for work, it’s the perfect time to pin up a couple of seams or do some basting – and that’s a couple of minutes saved for when you sit down with your machine. And always having your machine out is vital! I’m in much the same situation as you – we have cats, not kids – so I can leave my machine out without worrying about it (although I make sure all of my pins are out of the way of curious kitties).

    I found your blog in someone else’s sidebar and I’m enjoying having a read through. 🙂

    Like

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