How Do You Make Time to Sew?

Whenever I meet people that don’t sew, they all seem to have the same reason for not sewing – not enough time! I’ve met plenty of people in my office building that peer into my workspace with interest, looking at all of the fabric and half-finished projects, and say ‘if only I had time to sew!’ All summer I wore my Lonsdale dress out and about, and when I’d say I made my dress, often the other person would say ‘Lucky! I wish I had time to sew. I’ve always wanted to learn.’ Sewing is a mysterious activity that’s eluded them because they’re too busy. Or they figure they’re just not the type of person that sews. (I even get asked ‘Do people still do that?’ when I tell them I design sewing patterns.)

Though I do see wistful, longing looks in people’s eyes, and I imagine they’re wishing they could find the time to sew, picturing all of the beautiful things they could be making and wearing.

So if you’re reading this blog, it’s very likely that you sew! I was going to say ‘or you’re my family member’ but most of them sew, too. (Is there anyone reading that doesn’t sew?)

Here’s the thing: even I find it hard to make time to sew! I thought after I was laid off that I’d have unlimited free time on my hands, that I’d use up all of the fabric in my stash (ha!) and that I’d have so much sewing time I wouldn’t know what to do with it all. That’s not the case at all! Running a business takes so much work – with plenty of secret behind-the-scenes work that isn’t all about sewing and fabric, and doesn’t get photographed and blogged about. And even though it’s a sewing-related business, not all of the time is spent sewing. Personal sewing is even harder to fit in!

And then I think of my life before I was laid off. I sewed late into the evenings, got up before sunrise to sew before heading into the office, and spent many weekends sewing. (I’m sure I drove Mr Sewaholic crazy, always sewing through the hockey games instead of sitting down and relaxing in front of the TV. Why sit when you can sew?)

Whenever I wasn’t working, I was sewing – or thinking about my next opportunity to sew and plotting what to work on! I’m guessing that might be what your sewing timeline is like, probably a little less sewing-obsessed with more variety, but with the same hopefulness that your next uninterrupted chunk of sewing time is just around the corner. And I don’t have children or pets, so I could only imagine how much harder it would be to get quality sewing time with little ones running around. My friend with two small children sews from 11pm to 2am. So I understand the appeal of the short, bite-size sew-along posts. If that’s your lifestyle, I would imagine your sewing is broken into small bits of time – and often at odd hours when the rest of the house is asleep!

So how do you fit sewing into your lives? Do you have designated ‘sewing time’ on the weekends? Do you sew in front of the TV in the evenings? What happens when your partner wants to cuddle and watch the hockey game, and you’re dying to work on your half-finished dress? Do you sew as much as you’d like to?

I’m curious how everyone else fits sewing into their lives. How do you make time to sew? What are your secrets? Any tips for fitting sewing into a busy schedule?


94 Responses to How Do You Make Time to Sew?

  1. Marie September 14, 2011 at 6:15 am #

    We have a room in the basement that has my husband’s computer (he games) and all my sewing stuff. That way we can actually hang out and talk while doing our respective hobbies (though it’s best not to be talking about something engrossing when you’re cutting out pattern pieces I’ve found).

    Also, I do a LOT of sewing in 30 to 45 minute increments. Monday I’ll iron all the fabric and cut out the paper pattern. Wednesday I’ll get around to cutting out the fabric. Saturday morning I’ll stay stitch everything. It all gets done eventually. I’ve pretty much never sat down and sewed an article of clothing in one go. I get distracted way to easily.

  2. Rachel September 14, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Unfortunately, my housecleaning goes by the wayside for me to have time to sew. I do clean up, but not like I “should”. Also, sewing is my only hobby. I don’t garden or do anything else. I sleep, eat, work, go to church, and sew. I take every little snippet of time I can find. Also, I have strongly considered stopping blogging and use that time to sew. Yesterday I spent about 30 minutes putting up a new post and realized I could have spent that time sewing.

    • LinB September 15, 2011 at 9:25 am #

      @Rachel: Agreed. I have a sweet, loving, slovenly husband, who seems quite content with my level of housekeeping squalor. A quick run of the vacuum and throwing all the clutter into the front room with a closed door is all that is necessary for him. I love him so much.

    • cassandra September 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      @Rachel: “I spent about 30 minutes putting up a new post and realized I could have spent that time sewing.” Love it. I sleep, eat, work, and sew. My blog posts are about one or two sentences long with some photos, that are sometimes irrelevant. Its a great thing that Tasia can do both!

    • Brandi December 14, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      I have the same problem. When I begin to sew, I lose track of time. I started timing myself to get myself on track. This also helps with my carpel tunnel syndrome.

  3. Lynn September 14, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    I sew in small chunks of time. Tracing off the pattern. Alterations/Fitting. Cutting out. Fusing interfacing… Even if it’s just filling bobbins with the right color and threading the machine I feel like it’s forward motion. I have my machine set up in a corner of my bedroom with a drawing table lamp clamped nearby for late night sewing, and sew in 5, 10 or 15 minute chunks. Anything more is a luxury! (I’m married, work and have kids.)

    • Joanne September 15, 2011 at 6:20 am #

      @Lynn: I’m going to take heart from that – all those little jobs that have to be done (like threading the bobbin) have been getting on my nerves. But to think of them as ‘forward motion’ … that’s a great tip! And so true!

  4. Lindsay September 14, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    With my commute to work, I’m out of the house for 12 hours a day–13 if I am good and go to the gym. This leaves very little time for me to sew during the week, so most of my sewing is done on the weekends. Lately I’ve been keeping a weekly planner and scheduling out small tasks to do on a few evenings during the week (but nothing too complicated because I’m pretty wiped out by that time) and then plan chunks of my weekend for heftier sewing. I try not to monopolize all of my free time with sewing, but it’s hard when there’s so much I want to make! I’ve been taking sewing classes that are held on Wednesday evenings, which is a nice way to break up the week and help me plan what I should do on the weekend.

    It’s hard to balance the little free time I have. The good thing is that since our house is so small the only place for me to sew is at our dining table, which is situated in a small area on the edge of our living room. So even when I’m sewing, I get to spend time with my husband!

  5. Ginnie Wise September 14, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    I do have kids, so my sewing time is pretty much relegated to after bedtime. I sew from about 9 PM until whenever I can’t see straight anymore. Obviously, I can’t manage that kind of schedule everyday or I’d be so tired I couldn’t function with a 2 and 4-year-old in the house. Someday…. * wistful dreaming* I may have some time to myself again. :)

  6. Nikki September 14, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    Sewing is the thing I would do all day long if I was allowed and I relate to your “why sit when you can sew” comment! I have three little kiddos (3, 4 and 6) and homeschool (the two oldest for now) so sewing time can be sparse! BUT, my secret for sewing with kids around–don’t hole up in a “sewing room”. If you strive for time alone to sew, it’ll never happen. Instead, I have my sewing corner set up in my living room. This way, I don’t have to wait until the kids are asleep to sit down to it. I can sew with the kids in the same room, whenever they are busy for a few minutes, and still interact with them. They actually like to organize my button bin into muffin tins, make designs on my pin cushion with my pins and cut up scraps into little bits and bobs for themselves :)

  7. CGCouture September 14, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    I usually make sure that the “boys” hang out together for at least a couple of hours every other day or so and I sew while they have their quality time together. Kids need time with their dad just as much as moms need time to sew, and my husband LOVES to oblige and hang out with the kiddo (or just clean up after me–if he just can’t take it anymore. :-P)

  8. Mary September 14, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    My husband is a fireman, so the best time for me to sew is when he is on duty, which gives me 24 hours to myself. Of course work and the normal chores cut into my sewing time, but I try to get maximize my sewing time when he is gone, so it doesn’t seem like I’m ignoring him. I also try to save hand sewing tasks for when he is home, i.e. hemming or button sewing, etc. That way I can sit with him and watch TV and still sew!

  9. TMachan September 14, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    I dream of sewing almost all of my waking hours, and I have plans for almost everything in my stash of fabric, but finding the time is challenging for me too. Sometimes, just like Rachel, I’ll slack in the home cleaning department just to find an afternoon to sew for a couple hours. But it doesn’t happen often, say maybe once every other month. But perhaps if sewing makes us as happy as it does, we should make time. Hmm, I think I might dedicate an evening twice a month, just to sew. Hello first and third Tuesday’s of the month. :)

  10. Hapa September 14, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    This is an interesting topic, because I’ve always wondered the same thing. When I browse through all the great sewing blogs and find weekly new projects, I look at them with amazement. I have times when I have nothing new to blog about for weeks. And I too have then thought like Rachel, that perhaps blogging takes too much time, especially when you don’t have time to blog frequently and gather a readership. But then again, I like leaving behind a trace of my sewing life, like a diary. So I do try to carry on.
    Up until 2 weeks ago, I had all my sewing gear at my parents house, which was an hour’s drive from where I lived. That meant that I could only sew when I visited with my parents. I tried to go home as much as possible, almost every weekend, but that was not always possible. Now that I have everything here in the same apartment I live in, I still find it hard to find time for sewing. In my case it’s always been a matter of prioritizing my hobbies. Now that one of the hobbies, singing, has become my career path, it takes priority over sewing. But I’ve recently launched my own Etsy shop, which means that finding time to sew some more is crucial at the moment. Looking forward to all the good advice you have to share.

  11. Sarah September 14, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    I don’t watch tv. At all. That helps. I do some cutting on the floor when my daughter watches, though. I have a designated sewing area in the basement, which means evrything is always ready. I have somewhat flexible working hours, meaning if I work nights or weekends, I get to take the time off from normal work hours rather than extra pay — then I have some uninterrupted time at home when I am not tired. And, if I have some bonus hours off instead of an entire day, I work from home and spend the bonus hour or two at my sewing machine instead of on commuting.
    I find time for it here and there because it is important to me and it makes me happy.

  12. Helena September 14, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    It is interesting that people always say “I’d love to sew, but I don’t have enough time”.The same “excuse” applies for doing some exercise, reading books or cooking. I used to believe them, until I thought: “Hey, wait a moment, how come that I do have time, while I work 40 hours per week, have one hour to commute, learn a foreign language once a week and have a boyfriend, and they don’t have time, although they have no hobbies?”. The answer is very simple: everyone finds time for (almost) anything they want to do, the thing is that you really have to WANT it. If you want to do something, you’ll find your time, whether it’s half an hour on Wednesdays or 5 hours on Satudays. Where there’s a will there’s a way! :)

    • Seraphinalina September 14, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      @Helena: I completely agree. The problem isn’t time, it’s passion. For me Family > Sewing > Bowling > Ballroom dancing > Housework I like the concept of knitting (for example) but I don’t have the passion to exclude something else in favour of knitting.

  13. vrai-lean-uh September 14, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I don’t have kids, but do have a job and a dog and a spouse and other hobbies. I go through fits and starts with sewing. Mostly I sew on the weekends and after work. For a little while, when I was in the midst of a dress that was making me crazy, I would sew a bit in the morning before work. I work from home, so I don’t have commuting time, which makes it easier.

    I’ve started doing more garment sewing by hand so I can sew on the couch with my husband and watch TV.

    I lose momentum which is hard, and it’s particularly hard when I realize I have to rip out a seam or something like that– it means that my next block of sewing will just involve fixing a mistake.

    I’ve been playing around with making my own patterns, which meant the last three (very simple) dresses I made took a long time because of fitting and because I wasn’t following directions on auto-pilot. There were so many decisions to make at every step. I’m thinking my next project or two will be patterns, which I’m hoping will be easier to crank through and also easier to put down and pick back up.

  14. Michelle @ If Toys Could Talk September 14, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    I’m a homemaker with two children, one 4 and the other almost 2. I love to sew but only really have time for it when my kids are napping or asleep at night. I’m pretty conscious of balancing my spare time between sewing and spending time with my wonderful hubby, so while I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like sewing the time I do have is good enough for now.

  15. Samina September 14, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    I work & have a 3 year old, so my sewing time gets relegated to the occasional weekend day when the housework is somewhat caught up. My son likes to hang out in my crafts room, so that’s not a problem, but it’s had to find the time to do it.

  16. Funnygrrl September 14, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    I don’t have children and I have a very supportive husband. I do most of my sewing in the evenings, days off work and weekends. I always ask him if I can sew because if he wants to spend time together I won’t let a hobby interfere. More often than not, he says, “If you sew, can I turn on the (insert sport here) game?” It’s a good compromise.
    I love the idea of a sew-cation. Taking some time off to just sew. Maybe this winter…
    I never thought of blogging as taking up too much time. I love the record of my progress and interaction with fellow sewists.

  17. K-Line September 14, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    In truth, I forgo a lot of other things. I have a full time job, a child, a house and a blog. Not to mention a husband. So there’s lots of juggling and I don’t see much daylight on the weekends I sew (which is most of them, till recently when my family told me to knock it off).

  18. Lauren September 14, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    i do work full-time (9-5 weekdays), but i don’t have kids or after-work obligations so i have time every evening to sew. sometimes life gets in the way – i need to go grocery shopping, or vacuum, or clean the bathroom, or something – but it’s pretty easy for me to make the time to sew. i sew in chunks – giant chunks, ahahaha, i actually have to force myself to stop when i start getting cross-eyed from fatigue. cutting & marking one night, sew up the bodice another night, attach the skirt & insert the zipper the next time… etc etc.

    as far as making time for others, my friends understand when i am ~in the zone~ but i am also willing to drop everything to make time for them. my boyfriend is really good about it, too, and it doesn’t hurt that he stays at the office later than i do so i have at least 2 hours alone to get sewing out of my system :) when it comes to cuddling on the couch, i have been known to bring handwork with me so i can keep busy :) drives everyone crazy haha!

    • sewing princess September 20, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      @Lauren: I am a bit like Lauren. I have a full-time job and a partner, no kids, a long commute to work. So I have some time to dedicate to sewing and blogging. Sometimes I enjoy sewing so much that I forget house chores or I don’t feel like getting out of the house because I am happy where I am. I am lucky because my partner has also stuff to do at home and we have a small place so we can talk to each other even if we are in different rooms.

      At times I feel blogging is taking up too much time because posting pictures is highly inefficient. So I cut down to once a week hoping that my readers won’t mind.

      One problem for me is that when something is not turning out well, I get hooked to the project and spend far more time than I should on it… and never get enough sleep. I always say I should be in bed by 10 and then it’s 11.30 at least…

      But I love having found the sewing community and having learned loads through this.

  19. Seraphinalina September 14, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Sewing comes in bursts for me, a mix of inspiration and opportunity and sometimes therapy. When I’m really excited about a project then I find time. If there isn’t anything that has my creative juices particularly going or a due date for an event, then I will be more sloth like and stay on the couch with my husband rather than breaking away to sew.

    When I need to sew, I make the time. I will decline evening activities in favour of sewing, I will encourage my husband to do things that don’t include me (golf perhaps) so I don’t feel like I’m missing time with him. We have a few overlapping interests but our true hobbies are really different. There are many evenings where he wants to play video games or watch/produce zombie movies that I *really* don’t want to participate.

    The other pull away is being too tired. Sewing takes a level of concentration and if I’m just too wiped, all I’m going to do is make mistakes. I opt to read instead. That is generally light fiction, but sometimes if I’m tired but interested in sewing, I’ll dig out patterns and try to match fabric so when I am alert, I’m good to go.

  20. Vicki Kate September 14, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    This is a headache for me! Sewing and creating is my de-stress time. I get grumpy if I can’t be creative (the same way runners do when they can’t run!) as it’s a form of decompression for me. As today my deparmtment has been given the timeline for redundancies, all I want to do is go home and create.
    I have a young (under 2) son, a hubby and I work in an enforcement role. Quite often I sew late at night after boy has gone to bed and I’ve done and tidied up tea and done any business paperwork for my husband. Sometimes this is for an hour, others it’s longer when I get engrossed in what I’m doing.
    If it’s hand sewing (hemming etc), I’ll often do that in front of whatever hubby’s watching on the telly so that I’m with him. I’ve got some cutting to do tonight which will be done on the floor whilst he’s relaxing on the sofa. Knitting also helps in meeting my desire to create whilst also spending time with my husband. I sometimes feel guilty when I don’t spend my evenings with him, but evenings are also the only time frame I currently have to sew. It often feels like a catch 22.
    Weekends have very little sewing done in them as we’re usually busy or husband is doing maintenance / persuing his projects during the day so I’m attempting to keep boy out of the way! A toddler in a loft is not a good thing, and given half a chance that’s where he’d be if his Daddy is up there… When they are off doing boy things, which is for at least a couple of hours each weekend, I often end up doing housework. Maybe I should just ignore it sometimes and sew?! Having sait that, washing up and cleaning is done whilst plotting the next project(s). Sometimes I treat myself to a day off when boy is with Grammy or the childminder and all I do is sew. Selfish, but also soothing!

  21. Tanit-Isis September 14, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Good question. Weekends. And whatever I can bring myself to fit in between 8:00 and 10:00 pm, that magical space between getting the kids to bed and my own bedtime. It’s a matter of commitment, though—you have to WANT the time badly enough to push other things (like vegging or doing dishes ;) ) out of the way.

    • LinB September 15, 2011 at 9:31 am #

      @Tanit-Isis: My mother’s mantra with her four young children was, “Those dishes will still be dirty tomorrow. Let’s play a game together.” And she was right — the dishes sat patiently awaiting her attentions after breakfast the next day. We grew up with loving memories of our family time together. (45 years later, she’s more prompt to wash up. Also, she now has a dishwasher.)

  22. Kate September 14, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    This past summer was a bit of a sewing drought for me, largely because I don’t have a dedicated sewing space. We live in a condo and I usually sew at the dining room table, and will frequently leave all my sewing stuff and ironing board out for several days in a row when I’m working on a project. However, this summer my husband was studying to take the Bar Exam and he needed the dining room table for continuous study. Although I could have gone out to my mom’s house (20 minutes drive) to sew, this additional barrier greatly reduced my sewing :-(

    I really wish I had dedicated space, but that doesn’t seem possible in our current location. On the upside, I have several fun projects planned for fall (and a halfway completed dress that I hope to finish for plenty of fall/winter office wear) so I’m hopeful I will be inspired to make more time for sewing!

  23. Caroline September 14, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    wellll…. knitting is commensurate with snuggling and sports watching! I’ve learned recently that even if I have only 20 minutes I can usually get something done on a project in progress (unless it is tracing a pattern – that’s better done in one go) so taking advantage of small bits of time has been good for me. Sometimes those small bits are amazingly productive. In the past I would wait for those big chunks of time which are few and far between!

  24. Melissa September 14, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    I am still newish at sewing and need more than 10-30 min at a time to make any headway on any non-quilt sewing I do. I tend to sew on the weekends. Friday nights I start when I get home and sew till the wee hrs then work for a few hrs on Sat/Sun. My husband always gets amused when I get so focused on sewing I forget to eat dinner :p. Also, like Marie said, my sewing space is shared with my husband’s gaming/desk area so we tend to jam out together while I work.

  25. Lenora Jane September 14, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    No children, part-time job, shiftless layabout student life. It works for me. I also find that leaving half-finished projects lying out all over the table in the front room so that I have to do something about them in order to have a place to eat dinner helps.

    • LinB September 15, 2011 at 9:32 am #

      @Lenora Jane: And, if you don’t move your projects to make room to eat, you get to test the fabric’s washability! Sounds like a winning plan all around to me, lol.

  26. Suzie September 14, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    This is something I’m still trying to figure out for myself acutally! After work I always seem to be busy cooking, cleaning and spending time with my boyfriend. At the weekend I sometimes get Saturday morning to sew as my boyfriend will be off mountain biking, which is great as it means we get to do our own hobbies at the same time so that still have time to spend together as well. But my main problem is that my sewing room is also our storage room and laundry room….and almost every time I go up to sew I have to spend a big chunch of time clearing stuff out of the way to get near my machine! Sometimes I look at the mess and don’t have the energy to do that and so nothing gets done…not good! We plan on moving soon though so I’m going to be looking for a house that will have the perfect little sewing nook for me (everyone needs their own nook don’t they!).

    On an unrelated note, you mentioned in your post about “plenty of secret behind-the-scenes work that isn‚Äôt all about sewing and fabric, and doesn‚Äôt get photographed and blogged about” – oh how I would LOVE to know all about that! If you ever run out of post topics (impossible for you I’m sure….you always have such interesting things to post about), feel free to give us an idea of what is involved in running your own business – it really facinates me!

  27. Sofia September 14, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Oh man, I seriously wish I could marry a rich man to be the breadwinner just so I could stay at home and sew all day in a fabulous huge sewing room made to my specifications. In all honesty, that won’t happen because, well, I’m not that kind of person. BUT anyway! Because I work all day, and have a pretty busy life outside of work, I can only squeeze in sewing on the weekends. It’s funny, I think about it all the time, I constantly am saving pictures on my work computer of garments I’d like to make, and good outfits, and I’m always wishing I was sewing. But then I think – well, I’d probably have TOO many clothes if I had that much time, so maybe this is a good medium?

  28. karen September 14, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Like yourself, I’ve been known to creep out of bed at 5am to get some sewing done. (We must REALLY like what we do!) I don’t have children or dependants and two days a week I work from home, instead of going into the office – that is two hours of sewing instead of commuting. My boyfriend is very patient with the sewing machine going in the living room. But there can be swathes of time when life just gets in the way and I have to put the dust cover over the sewing machine. I think it’s like anything – if you enjoy it enough, you’ll find the time.

  29. Sharon September 14, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    I am a very new sewer, with 5 children, 2 dogs and a job and I have struggled to make time to sew, specially during the summer holidays. BUT, I am determined to get to grips with sewing more, and so need to start setting my alarm at 6 to get up earlier and have an hour before kids are up and I have to be at work. I am inspired that so many of you manage to fit sewing in around your busy lives.

  30. Katharina September 14, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    I dont have a TV and therefore save a lot of time i can spent sewing :D. People often ask me how i can live without a TV or if i watch movies on my PC instead. No i dont. I seldom read books, too. I sew every evening i dont go out. Well i live alone and my boyfriend is only here at weekends so i have enough time during the weekdays.
    Even if i leave the house in the evening i often sit down afterwards to sew…

    I guess everybody could make time to sew. If she/he had the passion for it.

  31. Amy September 14, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    This is precisely the conversation I was having with my sister last week. She tends to feel guilty when she’s not constantly productive on projects (we have a how every year where we sell items and she runs it). So I told her how I do it. I carve out one night a week that’s completely dedicated to sewing/crafting. So my hubby does the cooking and cleaning up after dinner and usually watches a game. That way I don’t feel guilty the other nights of the week when I really just want to sit on the couch and stare at the wall. Plus, during football season, my hubs goes to games most Saturday’s, so I get the house to myself at least part of the weekend. Of course, it’s never enough time, but at least that way I have the time set aside!

  32. Tasha September 14, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I still really struggle with making sewing time. I think in part because I’ve been a knitter for so much longer that when my hands are free, my first thought it to grab knitting. Also because it takes less effort for me… grab a project, plop on the sofa, or a bus, or anywhere. I don’t have a dedicated sewing space so my sewing shares the dining room table and it can be a struggle to make the time to move things around, prepare for a project, etc. Then sometimes if I let the “sewing space” get overrun with other things, it makes me less motivated! Unfortunately the space situation isn’t changing anytime soon so I need to really figure out how I can force myself to make more time to sew! I’m going to keep coming back to read comments for thoughts and suggestions people give. :)

  33. Ashlee September 14, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    I work full-time (rotating shift work for a police service) and part-time, I have a house with my boyfriend and three pets – I know they’re not kids, but they are still work! I also play volleyball, beach volleyball, do yoga, participate in a book club, and have two side crafting businesses – one solo and one with a girlfriend. And yet, I still manage to find time to sew, knit, crochet, and craft! I think like many of the above readers have said, it’s about passion and time management. I have friends who don’t understand where I find the time, when they themselves work and maintain a household and are completely tuckered out by the end of the day. I somewhat think the less you have going on in your life, the easier it is to be exhausted. Odd, but it makes sense to me! Sure sometimes my house may be a little more cluttered than the next door neighbor’s, but I honestly feel better after I’ve spent some time making something. It allows my sports fanatic boyfriend time for his buddies, sports playing and sports watching without feeling guilty, and I’m fortunate to have friends who share my passion so we’ll plan crafting nights and kill two birds with one stone by catching up while we create. Like the quote goes, I firmly believe “sewing mends the soul”!

  34. Maria September 14, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    I don’t have time to sew. I have a shift dress I started about 6 weeks ago and I haven’t been able to pick it up since. I’m currently training for a marathon which takes up a lot of time, and afterwards I pretty exhausted and ‘frail’ and just want/need to recover. I also have an 8:30am – 5:30pm office job so there’s no opportunity during the day either. I have a house with a yard, so with the lovely summer weather at the weekends I’ve been weeding, planting, mowing and making it look like someone cares about it. I have a couple of days vacation this week and intend to use them both for working on the dress!

  35. Stephanie September 14, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    This is a problem I’ve been working on lately as I went from being an unemployed person all summer to being a full time grad student with a part time job. I think it’s really all about prioritizing so that when I do have free time, I can get stuff done. I used to play a lot of online games but just gave them up this week because they are such time suckers! (And frankly, I’d rather sew or knit.) And I’ve also had to prioritize my sewing projects since I won’t get to do that many.

    And I totally get sewing through sports. I ABHOR sports so I do generally sew through sporting events my hubby watches. (If I have my homework done, that is!)

  36. Jessica September 14, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    I actually find that I do *a lot* more sewing now that I’m working full-time than when I was still in school. It’s easy to find time because I have a pretty low-stress job and I live alone, but I attribute it mostly to my TV. I love to watch TV (don’t judge me) and movies and what have you, but I always feel so useless just sitting there staring at the screen. Like unbearably useless. So usually if I want to sit down and watch something (which happens often), I have to find something to do with my hands. This results in a lot of started (and nearly-but-not-quite-finished) sewing and crocheting projects, and lots of spontaneous cooking.

    I also find it easier to work on a project (like the first commenter) if I can break the thing down into chunks- today I’ll cut out the pattern, later the fabric, then i’ll start sewing until I can’t get any further without pressing seams, then another day I’ll press the seams…etc.

  37. Susan Tiner September 14, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I am semi-retired with a part-time home based financial consulting business, so theoretically there should be plenty of time, but it’s a struggle every week! There are endless household chores, cooking, gardening and other obligations and competing personal interests, like reading, that get in the way. I am doing better the last couple of weeks carving out more sewing time.

  38. Janice September 14, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    I work 9-6 and am at the dojo 3x a week for 1-2 hours at a time, and I still find time to sew. :) I sew late into the evenings, and use the weekends for muslins/perfecting fit. Even half an hour here and there helps, and I always remind myself it’s about the process, not about rushing through a project.

    • Germania Solorzano September 15, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      @Janice: Ahh the dojo! I practice aikido, crochet, work two jobs. I’m a beginner sewer. I use the summers when I don’t teach to take sewing classes. I get very excited about my project and then get very ambitious about all the things I want to try to make. But it’s summer, and I want to be on my bike as well, going to concerts and doing summery things. So, even in the summer, I don’t do as much as I’d like. Everyone is right. It’s about prioritizing. I like sewing. But, to be honest, I like a perfectly sunny day in Chicago better than seam ripping. There’s a limited supply of those days. I’m ok with my choice. I’m not going to become a master seamstress or designer. But little by little I’m learning and I’m ok with the slow progress. Nice to see another crafty lady who can also kick butt.

  39. Stevie September 14, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I’m really lucky as a student! I have plenty of time on my hand but patience can sometimes be in short supply.

    When term starts again I’m going to be balancing volunteering, Uni,
    housework, commuting and working. God knows how I’m going to find time but I know I will. I tend to get into bed half hour earlier and sit and handsew whilst my beloved is downstairs watching a action movie or playing his xbox. Finding time for you is important! Especially the Mama’s!

  40. Rachel September 14, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    I have 2 kids (6 and 3), 3 animals (1 dog and 2 cats), and a husband, I’m a stay at home mom.
    Sewing happens during naptime, on the weekends, during baths when its husband’s turn to do them, and anytime I can grab a spare moment or two.
    Unfortunately I don’t have a designated ‘sewing area’ so when husband is working late my seat at the dinner table becomes the sewing room and we just play musical chairs at dinner time. Otherwise when my machine is packed away it may be weeks (!!!) before I’m able to get to any sewing but I still try to do something towards my next project. (cutting out a pattern, washing fabric, cutting fabric out, gathering the notions)
    So before I’m able to sit down and sew I may have 5-6 things cut out and organized so when I do sew I just have to grab the bundle and go.
    In a magical world I’d have loads of time for sewing, my house and children would be managed, the pets would be fed and cleaned, and I would manage to turn out beautifully constructed garments.

  41. Sunni September 14, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Reading this sounds like I’m reading about my own life! Running a business is hard and even though I thought I would have all this time to sew, I don’t. It’s crazy! I think its one of those things though that you’ll find the time to do if you really want it. Now I’m also saying that as one who doesn’t have children and I think that would play a huge part in not sewing. I look at my sister who has kids and she says that she allows herself 15 minutes everyday to do something alone. 15 minutes! I would die! Still, she finds time to sew little things here and there for her little girls. Gosh, it’s hard though. I think sewing is one of those true hobbies and in today’s world, a woman usually has to work too. So sewing and other hobbies get shoved to the side as you try to put food on the table. That’s hard. Whipping out a garment in a week is definitely not in the cards.

  42. Angela September 14, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Making time to sew is about time management and prioritization. I am self employed, running my own business, attending college part time, with four kids (including activities and sports) and a partner and I squeeze it in.

    I often use weekend mornings when the little kids are watching cartoons and the big kids have yet to drag their teenage bodies out of bed, to get some productive time in. I sew weekends and evenings when everyone is sleeping.

    Just yesterday I frittered away a couple of hours of my afternoon, daydreaming my way through online fabric stores. Then stayed up until 1 am completing my procrastinated “day job”. It works for me. :)

  43. Alice September 14, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I sew in chunks too; my bf and I don’t live together but we cook together, mainly at his place. This cuts down on my evening sewing time :( maybe I need to suggest we spend more time at mine (so that after cooking dinner, i can easily move over to the sewing machine, and he can make art… mainly doing digital photo work on his computer). We’ve been thinking about moving the serger and knits over to his place so that i can get some sewing in while i’m over there – and because i think he is keen to learn how to use the serger to make tshirts.

  44. Holly September 14, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    i didn’t think I’d have time to sew what with working full time and making eggs for my etsy store but I was tired of buying boring clothes because that’s all I could afford so I was determined to sew. Luckily I have 3 days off a week and two of those are not shared with anyone I know so that becomes my sewing time. That and I also have no kids or pets and I “listen” to tv I never watch it :)

  45. Audrey September 14, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I work full time, am married and have 2 teenage sons. Sewing is done in the evening after dinner ( I had to give up TV) or on weekends. I sew in the unused formal dining room, next to the kitchen so I can keep an eye on things that are boiling or baking during meal time preparation while I sew. I have a cleaning service, and my DH knows I will not watch generic sports, or Mel Brooks directed movies with him just so he can have company. When our University team plays I will watch, but I also do hand sewing, or look through old BurdaStyle magazines so the time is not totally wasted. Sewing is my creative outlet, I get grouchy when I go long periods without doing any.

  46. Val September 14, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I take snippets of time to sew when I can throughout the week and then hit it hard on the weekends. NEVER for myself however. My girls always want want want… I JUST finished a wedding gown for my almost daughter in law and 1 of the two bridesmaid dresses. The other bridesmaid dress needs a wee bit of work and then finish up a dress for me to wear to this shindig. My husband is very supportive and when I get in a mode to sew, he will make supper. It offsets his hobby of killing zombies…

  47. Zilredloh September 14, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I loved reading through everyone’s comments on this topic. I have to agree with most everyone else on here, you have to WANT it and have the passion to sew in order to make time for it, no matter what the other priorities are.

    I work a 9-5 job, don’t have any children but have 2 active pet bunnies that need attention as well as my husband. So most of the free time I have in the evenings 8pm-11pm I try and spend either sewing or knitting. I’m learning that I can spend my weekends making muslins, doing research for fitting solutions, running errands, and blogging which gives me the weekday evenings for straight sewing (no mods needed, if I’m good & lucky).

    So I usually don’t just have one piece I’m working on but anywhere from 3-5 projects all at various stages. That way I can pick which piece to work on, given how much time I have in that particular evening to dedicate to the task.

    If I only have 45 minutes or less, I’ll just pick up my knitting needles and work on my knitting project while watching some Jane Austen.

  48. Sallie September 14, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    i think just like everything in our lives, finding sewing time requires balance. most of us HAVE to work, we HAVE to eat, and we HAVE to take care of our kids, our homes, our pets etc. so the WANTs end up getting divvied out into the remaining time. i would love to sew all day. sometimes on the weekend i can take one day where i do chores all morning, and then sew the rest of the day. and its blissful. i live in a very open planned apartment so its easy for me to pick up whatever i’m working on quickly and sew for 15 – 30 minutes at night before bed. but i also think, as much as i love sewing, there just has to be times when i can be okay NOT doing it. like a lot of other people that don’t sew, or blog, for a living, i sometimes feel like i need to spend every spare moment sewing to keep up with the amazing production you see on some of these blogs. but thats not really realistic for me either – so i just try and keep everything in proportion and try to be as patient as possible.

  49. Debi September 14, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    It’s been really great reading through the comments. I agree with Karen and others that passion and really wanting to sew is essential. Also, for me, weekly sewing deadlines ensures that I prioritise sewing along with my many other commitments. I work full-time in addition to conducting consulting work in the evenings and on the weekends. I have a super supportive partner and two adorable kitties. I also try to blog daily (though that doesn’t always happen! lol.) I often steal from sleep or try to sew in chunks of time. I keep track of how much time it takes me to sew anything and am really good at finding appropriate projects for my given free time each week. I also sew a lot from the same pattern company and time period–meaning I know exactly how their patterns will fit me and the alterations I will need to make. This save me a lot of time in getting the perfect fit. David, my partner, is super creative and he wants to start sewing too so that we can spend more time together! It’s so much fun to cut out fabric together! The only downside is that I don’t often get out as much as I should. lol.

  50. Jessica September 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    I have a very supportive husband! We both work full time but do not have children – just 3 dogs. We both help out around the house and usually I get some sewing time after dinner before we spend time together in the evening. We also converted our 2nd bedoorm into a game room/sewing room. So, he will be on his computer playing on the internet or some video game while I sew a few feet away.

    It is nice to be able to support eachother’s hobbies.

  51. Stephanie September 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Mostly machine sewing happens between 7-8 am and on weekends. I do handsewing during TV time. No kids helps a lot, as does having a sewing room where I can leave the machine and ironing board set up. The two cats get into *anything* however (one thinks my sewing table is her personal toy shop) so a certain amount of getting stuff out and putting it away again goes on.

    I’m also self-employed and work at home, so I can sew for an hour in the morning and still be at my desk by 8am. I try to confine blog-reading time to when I’m taking a break from “real work” but some days I’m less disciplined about that than others… okay, okay, I’m getting back to work right now.

  52. Lucy September 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Weekends are it for me really. I’m also self employed, as a copywriter, and work from home, and I find that when I sew in the evenings I usually can’t get to sleep very easily because I end up thinking about the next step in the pattern etc. It’s too mentally taxing for me for any time after about 8.30. I also find that I have trouble not wasting work time on sewing blogs, especially if I’m having a problem and can’t help googling it. So knitting is my evening thing now, especially because what I’m working on is nice and easy and doesn’t require toooo much attention!

  53. Katy September 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I spend some of my lunchtimes at work shopping for fabric/notions etc. I also spend lunchtimes/downtime at work designing new ideas/thinking through how I’m going to do things, and catching up on blogs.

    When I get home (as it’s just me) I do an hour or so pottering in the sewing area before making dinner, plus breakfast and lunch for the next day. I eat in front of the PC, then later in the evening I get to sew again. At weekends it just depends on what else I’ve got on, but if I can get away with it, I get all my chores out of the way on Saturday morning, and spend the rest of the weekend playing with my fabric/catching up online :o)

  54. Tilly September 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I really struggle with this – see the Sewing Productivity posts on my blog! If I’ve got an evening at home after work I am usually doing blog admin or feeling far too stiff from a day in the office to do something as physical as sewing. I get most sewing done at the weekends, but the problem is that once I start I find it difficult to stop!

    My mentor gave me some good advice the other day about something else I’m struggling to make time for. She said that time management is really about energy management, so you should work out what gives you energy (for me it’s reading about inspirational or innovative projects, getting some exercise, having a tidy house, and talking to people in a similar mindset) and make sure the conditions are right to motivate yourself to do the thing you want to do. Really good way of looking at it.

  55. Sigrid September 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Like Tilly says, I really think it’s more about the energy to focus on the sewing. Sometimes I save a chunk of time, but then I’m sleepy or distracted and know it’s best to wait. But, I always find time to do my creative stuff or I go crazy.

    But there is another issue here too. Sometimes when people say they “don’t have time to sew,” (or knit, or bead, or cook from scratch) I detect a passive aggressive critique of HOW I choose to spend my time. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I have been getting this comment for about 20 years now, and I often sense a bit of that “must be nice to have so much free time” tone. My feeling is that if people wanted to, if they needed to, or if they got excited by sewing, they would find some time somewhere. Gosh, I sound grumpy huh?

    • LinB September 15, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      @Sigrid: Oh! I never thought of it that way! I always just interpreted those comments as envy or jealousy of my superior sewing skills (ego maniac that I am), or resentment that I was judging them negatively for not sharing my delight in my hobby. I agree that one always finds time to do what one wants to do. Fortunately I want to sew, rather than to develop a heroin addiction, or plan and carry out bank heists, or maim and torture strangers.

      • Marcy September 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

        @LinB: I wouldn’t take it personally. I’ve learned that people will ‘judge’ whatever you spend your time or money on if it’s different from what they spend their time and money on. I think it’s human nature. I also get ‘must-be-nice’ type comments about cooking from scratch or all the money I supposedly have with me and my husband both working professionals and no kids, and in the same breath they’ll pity me for not being able to eat ‘normal’ food and not understand we have school loans to pay off, so… none of this has to do with sewing. Everyone gets to choose what to do with their time/money, and how to order their priorities, and it’s nice to share tips and tricks on how to fit sewing in with careers, families, and other hobbies.

  56. Susan - Knitters Delight September 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    I cut patterns and fabric while playing with my LO. I sew while watching tv after she has gone to bed.

  57. Elizabeth September 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I’m lucky now to have a sewing room, so I can leave projects in whatever state. I pop in and out of the room throughout the day and do one or two little things if I can, but mostly my dedicated time is during my kids’ naptimes. I can reliably get at least 1.5 hours to myself. I make an illustrated list of monthly goals and then break down projects into daily goals. It’s kind of anal, but it helps me stay on track, and my organized little heart loves feeling productive.

  58. Corinne September 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Like many, there is never enough time. When I “retired” from my day job, I thought I would have oodles of time. I do track my time to monitor myself, but I need inspiration, motivation and spurts of energy. If anyone comes up with a good idea, please let the rest of us know. Please.

    • Catholic Bibliophagist September 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      I’m a quilter as well as a garment sewer and don’t seem to have as much time as I’d like for both kinds of sewing. One thing that helps is having an official sewing day. I have a quilting friend whom I invite over once a week to sew. Because she’s there and we’re officially supposed to be sewing, I find it easier to stay on task rather than letting myself get distracted by other activities whenever I hit a sewing difficulty or boring bit (such as ripping out a mistake).


      • Catholic Bibliophagist September 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

        @<a href="#comment-137@Catholic Bibliophagist: Oops! My previous comment was supposed to be a general reply, not a specific answer to Corinne. Sorry — not sure how that happened.

  59. Brandy Layton September 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Sewing is my calgon moment. I try to find quiet times throughout the week to work on sewing projects. Army Man is away until November and with the 8 year old and the 6 month old, and the whole routine on me, this can be as little as 30 minutes at times. However, I have found on the weekends, my big boy will entertain his little brother so I can sew and complete my projects. He says its mommy time! It usually takes me about a week to sew something this way. I break it down in stages, 1)prep fabric and cut pattern, 2)cut fabric and prepare sewing station, and 3)sew in 3 stages to completion. So far, it works well for me, and it is the most gratifying feeling when someone asks me where I bought that garment and I can say “Oh! I made this!”

  60. Jane Elise September 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I like what Nikki said about not shutting yourself away. I found I got a lot more time to sew when my eldest turned about 4 and she could do things ‘with’ me while I sewed. She liked using the scraps and sticking them onto paper for a collage. We got her a toy sewing machine so she likes to sit next to me and just sew lines on scraps. She is now 6 though so she’s now wanting me to stop and help her actually make something, which is great! But not great lol. My sewing room is off the kitchen so the family can see me. Also I sew little bits while dinner is cooking :)

    The weekend is when I get blocks of time to sew. My husband is really good at clearing an afternoon for me to sew. He takes the kids out or plays with them.

    I could sew while my baby was little and slept a lot but she is now 9 1/2 months so she is awake and on the move.

    And I think it was Sarah who said she doesn’t watch TV. Ditto! When people ask me when I find time to sew I say “While you’re watching The Biggest Loser!”.

  61. Suzi September 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    I use to be one of those people that always wished she had time to sew, my grandma had taught me to sew and knit as a child and it was always a large part of our holiday’s together. When I discovered this blog I was a ‘lapsed’ sewer (I hadn’t touched a sewing machine in over 8 years), and remained that way for over a year. I would check Sewaholic every day and devour any new post, imagining how I would have created the project, what materials I would have used, if I would have made adjustments, and generally just be a sewing voyer. I was putting so much effort into thinking and dreaming about potential projects that I wondered if I would actually enjoy the actual reality – so I decided to try my hand at the crescent skirt…

    Now I schedule and plan my sewing like every other aspect of my life (just to ensure it happens!)… some weeks I may sew for an hour, other weeks I’ll finish an entire project (or two) – it really depends on what’s happening in my life! I sew in my study which is more of a mutli-purpose space and struggle to keep everything neat, tidy and organised!

    When people see my creations and sigh about how they have no time to sew, I’m always quick to ask them how much TV they watch in a week!

  62. Lydia September 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    These comments are so refreshing to hear. I agree that if we want something, we make time for it; however, I have to admit, while I think of sewing often, and love planning new projects, sometimes, I think I want to sew, but I don’t really — sometimes, I want to just plan sewing projects, or browse through sewing blogs, and read about techniques and projects.

    Once I realized this, I stopped feeling guilty for not snatching a moment here and there – I don’t have kids, and I do have evenings where I do extra work at home, but I could certainly make time for sewing. I am tired after a full time job, and more work when I arrive home, but I know when I am in the right mood, and frame of mind, I will enjoy and appreciate sewing more — after all, it is a creative outlet for me, not a routine chore!

  63. dixie September 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    A fellow sewer gave me a wonderful tip. Set a timer for 20 min and just work on one thing for that whole time. Could be sewing, could be cleaning, could be anything else. You’d be surprised how much you can do in 20 min chunks. And I’ve found that 20 min is about how long I can sew before I need a five min break.

  64. Rachel September 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    I’ve found scheduling sewing time helps – I have converted quite a few of my friends so now often when we hang out we will have “sewing dates”, so i’ve combined my sewing with my socialising. I also like going to Sit and Sew days with my quilt club. And as you’ve said about the hockey games – multitasking is the key! sewing while watching tv or hanging out with people.

  65. TeaMyDear September 15, 2011 at 5:03 am #

    My question is: where do you find the time to gather your notions and fabric?
    That’s my biggest issue!
    I have a fabric stash, but almost no notions, so it ends up taking ages before I make something… I also find fabric shopping to be difficult, not many nice shops around… And the internet is often expensive.

    • Marie September 15, 2011 at 6:19 am #

      @TeaMyDear: Atlanta Thread Company (online) is a great resource for me. I bought a bunch of invisible zippers (so the color matters less), thread, serger thread, buttons, covered buttons, hem tape and stuff and the price was pretty reasonable. Between that and buying thread and buttons whenever Hancocks has a 50% off sale I have a notion stash as substantial as my fabric stash. It helps a lot when I decide at 930pm to start a project.

      Try to remember what color thread you already have though. I somehow have three spools of various shades of purple now. :)

      • LinB September 15, 2011 at 9:43 am #

        @Marie: You can always use a grey thread for your projects, if you aren’t sure what thread you already own. Light, medium and dark greys have served to make many a late-night, this-only-needs-four-feet-more-of-thread rescues for me.

      • TeaMyDear September 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

        @Marie: Thanks Marie for the tip! I’ll have a look and see if they have reasonable international shipping. Otherwise I’ll consider your message a good kick in the pants to take a moment to find a go to online store for notions :-) I’ll make sure to make a thread inventory, haha :-)

  66. Joanne September 15, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    My weekly sewing at the moment is roughly two nights a week and maybe about six or seven hours over a weekend. I’d like more time to sew, particularly during the daylight hours as in the UK we’re heading into Autumn and the nights are darkening.

    Since I moved my sewing machine into the spare room (more of a closet really), I’ve managed to get more time sewing because I’m not having to shift my machine about. That’s made a massive difference. However, I do sometimes wish I could be in the living room or kitchen with my husband just nattering about our day – my sewing closet is simply too small for more than one of us!

    When I first started blogging I thought I’d do a couple of posts a week and if was lucky I could maybe produce one or two items a month. But it’s overtaken me to the point where I’ve been getting agitated if I don’t sew for a few days and/or pushed out at least one item a week. My gut feeling now is to take a step back and enjoy the sewing process more and concentrate on my technique, rather than getting sucked into the ‘And here’s another one!’ whirlpool I seem to find myself in currently. Although, if you have an easy pattern you love and can whip up in an evening then why the hell not… ;-)

    The only tip I can give as a beginner is to STOP and walk away for a well-deserved rest if it’s not going right – don’t work yourself into a big old bundle of nerves for the sake of getting something finished. For example last night I was working on my lining for a skirt and the sewing machine just kept chewing up the material. I persevered for a while but I knew I was in a foul mood because of it and the skirt was going to have bad memories if I kept going. So I went for a cuddle with the cats and the husband instead, and caught up on Coronation Street.

    Hmm I think I’ve gone off topic!

  67. Katitarian September 15, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    I sew whenever I have the time and energy (which is not nearly as often as I like!) I am generally gone for work before 7 and not home until after 7…. closer to 11, twice weekly. Plus an online graduate level course and grading take over my other evening hours.

    I usually have to set aside Saturdays… and if I am lucky a bit of time on Sunday afternoons. Which means I need to be very proactive about my sewing calendar months in advance. I mark when i need them item and usually need 2-3 months to be on the safe side… which typically entails finishing it the day before no matter how good I am about working when I have a chance.

    I also try to turn sleepiness nights into positive productivity by getting up and working for a bit. It’s more rewarding than staring at the ceiling!

  68. Jo @ a life in lists September 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    It’s been so interesting reading all of these comments! Great to glean a few extra tips on carving out time.

    I am self employed and have two children (3 years and 6 months), so sewing time can be hard to come by. I’ve developed a few mechanisms to help maximise my sewing time.
    – I try (not always successfully) to keep my sewing room as tidy as possible. If I get five minutes, it means I can spend it sewing instead of clearing my cutting table/finding scissors etc.
    – I try to do chores while looking after my kids during the day. The toddler can be reasonably easily entertained helping me scrub the kitchen floor or put on laundry or vacuum the hallway, which means less time doing those chores once the kids are finally asleep.
    – I use my iPhone to run as much of my business stuff as possible while the kids are occupied, wherever we are. It means if we’re at a toddler group and one is asleep and the other is occupied, that I can check my emails, etsy listings, reply to queries or whatever. I appreciate that makes me sound like I ignore my kids, but I promise I only do that when they are safely occupied and/or asleep!
    – I have a couple of projects on the go at any time. Any sewing project usually involves a bit of handwork, which I’ll have with me in the sitting room to work on if I get a moment there, and a project up in my workroom for when I get time up there. I also usually have knitting/hand piecing (for a quilt) in my bag for when we go out and about.

    I’m also working on turning my workroom into more of a family studio, so that as the toddler is more able to occupy himself we can spend time there together. hopefully the baby will be occupied enough watching us all!

  69. Sneryl September 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Now my little one is at preschool in the mornings I do my sewing then, although I should really be doing the housework. I have just inherited my mums lovely sewing table which I am really happy about and it is set up in the corner of our dining room, which means the table is now always free. Usually I sit in the evenings watching tv and crocheting something or other, which is another newly learnt passion. Life is so much better when I can indulge in my favourite crafts. I have just recently come across your blog and have just purchased the crescent skirt and Lonsdale dress patterns and can’t wait to get cracking on them!!

  70. Lizzy September 23, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I make time at nights, after we have dinner, husband and daughter are in bed, then I take my fabric and machines, I start sewing at 9 pm or 10 till 12 or 1 am, also after lunch, well we have lunch at 2:30 pm , then my husband come back to work, then my daughter makes her homework and I do my sewing.

    Sometimes I think I would like to spend all day just sewing!!

  71. Melissa M. September 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I thought I’d left a comment but guess not but meant to. I usually have a decent chunk of time for sewing/crafting when I get home from work till it’s time for me to pick up the hubby. That amount of time can range from 4 to 6 hrs. Usually when I get home, i’m not up to sewing and sometimes I am. I usually have the weekends dedicated to cleaning and laundry because we are rarely home during the day for messing it up and by the weekend it needs that touch. I do clean during the week, straightening up and stuff, cleaning up after the herd of kittes (7). Sometimes those weekends get takin over by a sewing/crafting project, but rarely. My teenage daughter is now old enough to be primarily self sufficient, she’s just lazy. Hehe.

    I’ve noticed that many comment about working, family and other commitments that are personal. Of all the day to day stuff that can and does cut into sewing/crafting time, I find that my biggest killer of time is not anything external, it’s internal strife. That internal turmoil can be rather debilitating sometimes and zaps what little energy I have for my hobbies, which are many and tend to be on some kind of cycle. Right now I am in the sewing cycle and I do enjoy it. I find myself wishing I had more time and then upon reflecting, I do, just no energy or desire though i’m sitting their doing nothing. Last night was one of those, got home had 5hrs to do whatever and I spent the 1st few hrs sitting on the couch staring at a silent TV and stereo debating if i wanted to listen to music, sew or goto sleep. I did finally grab a small pillow project and finished truing up the edges and started pining on the decorative piping, that took about an hr and had time to sew it on but no desire. Sometimes when I hear a person say they don’t have the time, I wonder if it’s because of those external obligations or because of the internal strife we deal with from all the external or if it’s a combination of both.

  72. Claraines October 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm #


    Je suis fran√ßaise et je couds bien √©videmment ! J’ai d√©couvert votre site aujourd’hui et je suis devenue une grande fan !
    Je traduis vos textes sur un traducteur pour certains mots ! Help vous pourriez traduire vos textes anglais / français, je suis sûre que beaucoup de françaises vous lisent !
    Autrement j’ai cr√©e mon entreprise et je donne des cours de couture et de mod√©lisme dans mon atelier sur Paris. Je cr√©e des patrons pour des cr√©ateurs et couds pour des particuliers. J’ai une petite fille de 4ans que j’√©l√®ve seule.
    Entre les cours que je donne chez moi (environ 14heures par semaine), la couture pour des clients 12h oar semaine, faire le m√©nage tous les jours puisque les cours se passent chez moi 5h, m’occuper de ma fille ! il me reste le soir apr√®s son coucher, et le dimanche apr√®s-midi pour moi et ma fille √† qui j’adore faire des robes…..

  73. bela saudade December 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    As has been said before we make time for things we want. I have a job and a partner (no kids yet), and there are times I still feel like I don’t have time, but really I haven’t made time or used my time wisely (like being on the internet too damn much). Consider the days before cars and modern conveniences when people spent many hours a day doing hard physical labor in and outside the home and still managed to make garments by HAND. It’s all about the priorities and being honest. Sometimes I’d just rather read about sewing than actually do something. That’s ok. It’s a creative outlet, not a prison sentence. I do want to be a more productive seamster (I have to because I committed to not buying any new clothes for 1 year), and so I try to get the odius tasks like cutting out the way on the weekends and then sew a seam or two a day after work and more on the weekends. I’m also in love with hand finishes and basting seamlines now. It makes sewing portable, relaxing, and far more accurate when I do get to the machine. If you are exhausted at the end of the work day, sometimes getting in appropriate physical activity can do wonders to perk you up and recharge you for the many other demands of your life. Likewise, quality sleep and hydration.Our stamina (mental/emotional/and physical) can really take a beating without a balance between rest and activity.

  74. Inna January 19, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    it’s definitely depends on how you prioritize your free time. You’ll find it when you really want it. As many of the crafters who commented here, I have a full-time job that requires me to travel every 6 weeks, study a language of the country I recently moved in, study in fashion school after work, dance flamenco and practice yoga. With all that I try to spend some time with my boyfriend and friends to remember I need a social life too! And, of course, I spend lots of time reading blogs of wonderful crafters around the world! This bring me a lof of inspirations (sigh)

    I am lucky enough to sew and draw patterns in my fashion school. Very ofter I stay a bit after lessons. Besides that I try to sew at least once during the week before bed and on weekends.

    Again, as many people said, if you are passionate enough you’ll find time.

    My dream is to stop working for 1 year and craft craft craft.

  75. Leslie Harris January 27, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Wow, fantastic discussion. And a lot of feedback. I have been sewing most all my life and I taken periods of years that I didn’t sew at all. When my children were young I sewed in the middle of the night. Now I have an empty nest and I work two jobs. I still sew till about 11 or 12 pm and sometimes if I sewing for someone else will stay later or go to bed and get up early like 4 or 5 am. Recently, I just pulled out all my knit patterns that didn’t require zippers, linings or pockets just to have a sense of completing a project quickly. It was very fulfilling. I am still looking at patterns to do that same sort of quick turn a round. It is frustating because I wish I could sew for a living and make a lot of money doing it. Nevertheless, I love the craft so I make time.


  1. Quick Projects = Instant Gratification | Smash Knits - September 23, 2011

    […] :)¬†This revelation was confirmed after reading¬†Tasia from Sewaholic’s post asking¬†”how do you make time to sew?”. Excellent question, and it sparked a lot of interesting replies from her readers all […]

  2. Fall Items to Make « Sweet Creek Sewing - September 30, 2011

    […] about actually completeing things. ¬†Its hard to fit everything in though. ¬†Tasia had a discussion on her blog about this last week and it seems I’m not the only one who works, has kids pets, husbands etc […]

  3. Fall Items to Make « Sweet Creek Sewing - September 30, 2011

    […] about actually completeing things. ¬†Its hard to fit everything in though. ¬†Tasia had a¬†discussion on her blog¬†about this last week and it seems I’m not the only one who works, has kids pets, husbands […]