Sewing can sometimes feel like a chore, right? I know I’m not the only one that thinks this. I’ve recently had a few conversations with friends where they expressed that pulling out their sewing machine and getting to work seems like such a big task. I totally get it! Up until last year, when I decided to really focus on my sewing, I dreaded sitting down to my machine. I have no idea why! I loved sewing and hated sewing at the same time. Over the course of the year, I made a few changes with my sewing habits and found that I loved sewing again! I look forward to any moment I can sit down with my machine. Here’s my tips for how to love sewing:
1. YOUR SEAM RIPPER IS YOUR FRIEND, NOT YOUR ENEMY. Often times, when we use our seam rippers, we think it’s because we messed up. This needs to stop! When you pull out your seam ripper, think to your self. “I can do better, so I’m going to try this again.” When you watch a toddler learn to walk, and they fall down over and over again after a few steps, you applaud them, you don’t get mad at them. Give yourself the same encouragement with sewing! Sure, you may mess up over and over again, but don’t get frustrated with yourself! Keep going, grab the seam ripper, and be nice to yourself.
2. WHEN YOUR PATIENCE LEAVES THE ROOM, LEAVE WITH IT. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been working on a sewing project, got frustrated, continued sewing, and messed up what I was working on. As soon as you feel yourself growing impatient, stop sewing. Take a break then go back when you’re up for it again.
3. ACCEPT AND APPRECIATE IMPERFECTIONS. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, every single item I’ve made so far has not been perfect. It’s impossible to make a perfect garment, and it’s okay! Instead of noticing all the things that you “messed up,” take note of the things you’ve done well. Appreciate the small skills that you’re improving on: notice that you sewed the buttons on straighter than you ever have before, appreciate that the first time you tried to match up the fabric pattern along the seam lines didn’t turn out half bad. Sure, the zipper may be wavy, but you think you know why and can work on that on your next project.4. ONLY SEW WHAT YOU WANT TO SEW. I used to see other bloggers posting about the clothes they made for their kids and feel bad that I wasn’t doing the same. Currently, I only sew for myself. For a long time it made me feel selfish. I finally realized, that sewing what I wanted to sew wasn’t selfish. Sewing what I wanted and not feeling bad about it has really helped me to love sewing again. It’s a treat for me and not mean to my child that I don’t sew for him. I do plenty to show him that he is loved, I don’t have to sew for him to show it. Now that I love sewing again, I’m kinda itching to sew some things up for my little guy, like some superhero capes or a few bow ties. Funny how that all works out.
5. DON’T SEW FOR AN EVENT. Say you have a big work party coming up, and you think to yourself, “I should make a new dress for it!” Great idea! Until the party is tomorrow night, all you’ve done is cut out your fabric, and you find yourself in a panic. So now you stay up all night, swearing at your sewing machine, and hastily sewing this dress together only to have it not turn out the way you wanted it to. In the end, you decide to not wear your handmade dress, then panic about what you’re really going to wear, and just end up wearing something you already own but aren’t completely satisfied with. Ugh. This all makes for a horrible sewing experience. Here’s my tip: Don’t sew for events. But sometime sewing for an event is fun, you say. So here’s part two of this tip: Make your handmade dress your backup plan. Start by picking out an outfit for your party out of your closet that you already love. Plan on wearing it. Now, start making your handmade dress. You know that no matter what happens, you will go to the party looking amazing. You will not be rushed to make your dress and it will have less mistakes and will turn out much better. On the night of your party, if your dress in complete, wear it! If not, wear the outfit your picked out first.
6. SEW FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY UNTIL YOU LOVE IT! If you’re really struggling to get in the sewing groove, set aside fifteen minutes everyday to sit down at your sewing machine. Set a timer, turn on your favorite CD, sew until the timer goes off, then be done. After some time, you will find yourself looking forward to those fifteen minutes, and when the timer goes off, you’ll be sad your time is up. Slowly, you will find yourself loving the time you’ve spent sewing and look forward to it everyday.
7. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER SEWERS! There will always be someone that sews better than you. Always. It’s only going to bring negative feelings if you compare yourself to someone that’s more skilled that you. So stop it. The people who you compare yourself to are better than your for two reasons. First, they have been sewing longer than you. After you put in your time, you’ll be as skilled as they are. Second, they have developed skills that make sewing easier for them to pick up. For example, I’m not athletic and I don’t participate in sports. I have a sister that is athletic. If both of us try volleyball for the first time together, she’s going to pick it up much quicker than I will because she’s done things similar and her muscle memory will help her be good at volleyball. But if we both try knitting for the first time together, I will probably get the hang of it more quickly. Now, does this mean that I shouldn’t try volleyball, that my sister should give up on knitting, or that you shouldn’t try to push yourself to improve your sewing skills? Of course not! We all just may have to try a little harder, but the reward of finally getting down something that is really hard will be so much sweeter.
There you have it! My tips for how to love sewing! I hope this helps you get your sewing mojo going. What have you done to learn to love sewing? Are there any tips you would add to the list?