photo credit: BHG
Do you ever feel irritated because you just cannot get time to sew? If meals and clean-up and laundry are putting demands on you, here are some suggestions to free up your time:
1. Clean house the night before: Clear away all clutter, and get children to cooperate with you so that they too, can have a day to pursue a homey interest. Catch up on the laundry and clean the kitchen.
2. Get the next day's meals organized in the refrigerator. Put the ingredients for the slow-cooker in a container so that you can pull it out in the morning and get it started. Have sandwich ingredients in another large container or box in the fridge. For breakfast, try something that requires very little clean-up.
3. During the sewing day, use paper plates and cups.
4. Get out your sewing supplies and prepare your fabric by washing it and ironing it if necessary.
5. Get up before the family starts to stir, and get yourself ready and dressed to face the day. Resist the temptation to be too casual, and dress your best. It will keep you alert and energetic.
6. If possible, cut out your sewing project the night before, so that you can easily sit up to the sewing machine and begin.
7. If you still have trouble getting started, you might need a day to go through your books, patterns, and fabric to assemble the ingredients for your project.
8. Insist that everyone clean up after themselves so that you are not more burdened after sewing.
9. Avoid confusion while sewing. Mark with colored chalk SF for side front, and SB for side back, F for front half of sleeve. There is usually a single notch to indicate the front of the sleeve and a double notch for the back. Sew up all seams you can first, and iron them all at the same time, including facings and ties and sleeves. Iron all hems in place. Once seams are sewn, start joining parts together: skirts to bodices, sleeves to bodice, back to front.
10. Stay organized by continually cleaning up your sewing space as you sew.
11. Find a place to sew where you can keep your cutting table and sewing out, so that you do not have to gather it all up and put it away every time the room is needed for something else. I have mine in the bedroom, as it is not a high traffic area, and it is not in anyone's way. The sewing things and machine are on a table at the foot of the bed, so that it does not clutter the rest of the room.
12. Look at fashions in catalogs and online to get inspired for your sewing. I found these at Australian online Targets and K-Marts, and have used the pictures to give me some ideas. It is summer there now and these are some of the clothes that are being sold there, which can easily be imitated, adding sleeves or changing necklines, etc. to suit your needs.
This is from a US catalog called The Paragon.
Look at a garment and then mentally add the things that would make it perfect for you: sleeves, collar, higher neckline, longer hem, and so forth.
After looking at some catalogs and pictures of designs, you might get more of an idea of what to make, and be able to make a decision about patterns and fabric.
When I teach sewing, I first show my student the catalogs and point out good features on a dress, to look for. Then we go to a fabric store and look at fabric, feeling it and determining what would work best. After that we look at the patterns that are on sale for 99c or $1.99 and try to find something that will work with the fabric. We may also do this the opposite way, by picking the pattern first.
Once you get a sewing area set up, you will find it easier to take a few minutes each day to sew. Try taking time to sew one part of the garment, such as the bodice or the sleeves. Each day's sewing will bring you closer to a completed item.