Tip #4: Set up a Dedicated Place to Sew I know, I know….you would if you could! But even a closet or space against an unused wall in a bedroom can be big enough for a folding table and a hook to hang up the current project. Having your projects close at hand will increase the time you can actually spend on sewing by reducing the time spent taking your project out and putting it back, but it doesn’t come without its own drawback.
But there can be drawbacks. Even when I finally had enough room to have a separate sewing room/office I was reluctant to move into it. For years I had sewn on the dining room table while my husband watched TV near by and my kids ran around under my feet. Moving my sewing into the room upstairs took me away from them but increased the amount of sewing I could get done in one sitting with the added advantage that I didn’t have to put everything away when I stopped. I could merely close the door.
Tip #5 Destroy and Banish all UFOs: Anyone who sews has at least one or two UFOs hanging around. UFOs stand for UnFinished Objects. I had a dress on a dress form in my dining room looking at me everyday for a year. Looking at this dress daily stopped me from sewing anything – for over a year. What a waste of time think of all of the projects I did not do because I felt deep guilt from having this project around unfinished. I finally moved it up to the attic – out of sight although I should have thrown it out! When UFO’s are lying around they remind us of what we have not done and that can keep us stuck. When we are stuck we can spend our time ruminating and feeling guilt instead of getting stuff done!
Tip #6: Have Realistic Expectations of What You Can Get Done. Am I the only person who has agreed to make a prom dress, bridesmaid gown, or Easter dress and then spend the day before sewing ‘til dawn? I often think that sewing projects will take a lot less time than they actually do – even though experience tells me how long things actually take.
In my past life as a computer programmer a good rule of thumb I would use when giving a client a time estimate for a project was to take the time I thought it would take and triple it. For example, if I thought a project would take 20 hours, I would tell the client 60 hours. It might sound like overkill but more time than not the tripled estimate was the right one.
Tip #7: Have the Right Tool for the Right Job. Wow! This is the tip that should have been number one. I can’t tell you the time I’ve wasted trying to rip out a seam sewn wrong with a pair of open scissors and the seam held taut between my knees all for want of a seam ripper! Or how I’ve used heavy household objects to hold down pattern pieces when I’ve run out of pins. The right tool used at the right time, in the right place saves massive amounts of time! So now, I make sure that everything I need is within reach before I get started. All I have to do is sew!
I hope these tips will save you time and make you a more productive, more stress free sewer. Have Fun and Happy Sewing!!