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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mastering the Mojo - How do you manage your Sewjo?

We've all had problems with our Sew-Jo from time to time.  If I'm honest, I have problems with it much of the time.  So I break every project down into manageable steps - otherwise what with the 200 plans for garments you already have in your head, plus everything you have to do with the current one (sort out the pattern, go through the stash, pre-shrink and iron fabric, prepare pattern pieces, do muslins (if you do them) , thread machine, check notions, master techniques, fit the garment, and finish it), you can just get overwhelmed.  Especially as you probably already have a full life...

This week I have been working on a project step by step:

Day Three's effort
Day One:  I found the fabric and the pattern I was going to use.

Day Two: After a day at work, traced the pattern pieces.  I always trace the pattern pieces if the pattern is multi-sized.  That way, if I have chosen the wrong size, at least I have a master to go back to.  And tracing patterns is not my favourite activity.  I also cut the pattern out in the evening - it was very simple.

Day Three:  In the evening...Stabilise and sew the pockets.  Tack the pocket bags in place ready for top stitching tomorrow.

Day Four:  In the evening.... Top stitch pockets and sew skirt together at side seams.

Day Five:  In the morning ... Overlock band, overlock hem, turn band over and stitch down, insert elastic,  hem by machine. Finished.  Go to work...

A little pile of basics ready to blog about - all done bit by bit.

This was a very simple project that only needed about three hours total.  So it was easy to break down into small parts.

I've nibbled away at quite a few simple  garments  in this manner - it does keep the momentum up.  Which makes you feel good about your progress.  Which helps the motivational mojo, which in turn keeps the sewing going.

What about you - how do you keep your Sewjo going?    I'm sure we are all different in our approaches to sewing - it would be lovely to know how you manage your sewing time :)

Sarah Liz


18 comments:

  1. Before I lost our spare room (to babies) I was able to snatch short sewing times. I do miss it.

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    1. I would too - it makes it much more difficult without a small dedicated space.

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  2. For me managing my always active Sewjo means balancing it to the world outside my sewing room. Today is my day off and I would love to work on my
    Garment of the month for hours in a row. When I'm in a sewing flow I have to use a loud timer, otherwise I would forget to walk the dog, have my lunch and other worldly stuff. Somewhere between the pockets and the side seams I'll have to squeeze in the laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, garden jobs, cooking and more. My Sewjo wants to break free!

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    1. Oh dear, the real life phenomena:) It certainly does interrupt the flow, you are right :)

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  3. Ideally I would spend all day sewing but that isn't an option (except for this weekend where I have to sew all weekend). Generally I break my projects into steps and do as many as possible in the time I have available. I love making use of the mornings before work. 30 mins a day can make such a difference!

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    1. That's what I do as well Claire. I think a lot of us would love 'whole days' but they are few and far between :)

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  4. Sometimes I have to walk away from my sewing altogether - I've found that when I sew with low sweep my work is usually lacking in care and attention and the garment doesn't look that good because I just want to get it done! As much as I don't want to create UFOs, sometimes if I get mentally stuck n a project I'll whip out something more exciting and then go back

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    1. Yes, there are some days when sewing is not possible. I also have those moods when all I want to do is finish the garment - and then things usually start to go wrong :)

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  5. Always a great topic of discussion!

    I just spent a time the other day, thinking through and writing out the steps for construction of my S2700 trousers, hopefully to crank out pair #2 a little faster than the last one. I also spend some time just cutting patterns, then cutting fabric. I have $1 store plastic baskets that I keep the cut items in that are ready to sew.

    I have teens so they're pretty busy too, making it easier for me to get in bursts of sewing. Most of my sewing is done early morning before work (you can accomplish a lot in 20 minutes!) or on weekends because my kids sleep until 10 or 11.

    I'm also a very avid reader and have recently picked up knitting. It's HARD to balance it all!

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    1. It is hard to balance it all. I knit too, and tend to do a few rows at night. It takes ages to complete a garment, but then, as you say, sewing as well. I do the morning before work stints as well :)

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  6. Love your idea of breaking it into sewing spurts..
    Feels good to get a little sewing in..

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    1. Yes, Judy - it may even be what you need to do at the moment with all your current challenges :)

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  7. Interesting! I don't know if I could keep up the momentum that way, I tend to start something and roar through it enthusiastically. I have way too many ideas in my head to get stuck for something to do next :)

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    1. Yes, it certainly is not momentum sewing, but I found that I just never had the blocks of time for momentum sewing, which I prefer. And then nothing got made - so I have had to use discipline :)

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  8. I love the ideas you've shared in this post! Motivating and doable.

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  9. I'm so glad I read this post. I was just feeling as though I'd lost a bit of my sewjo (love that term, by the way!). Thanks to your advice, I'm feeling better :-)

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  10. Sewjo is the word we all use :-). It's not easy learning to sew, so just take easy steps - you will get there :)

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