A question that I get many times when I post my monthly makes on my social media is how I manage to be so productive and create so many clothes in a short amount of time! Well, not having kids yet really helps with free time, haha, but there are also a few tricks of the trade that I’ve picked up after sewing for a living for 6 years. So, in this post I am sharing my 10 tips for productive sewing. Ready?
1. Plan your projects in advance so that you always know what you want to make. Gather all the supplies you need for each project (fabric, notions like a zipper, matching thread, buttons etc). My sewing planner can help you with that.
2. Always wash your fabric as soon as you get home from the fabric store. Don’t store it in your stash unless it’s already pre-washed.
3. Devote a day to cutting. Having big cutting sessions will allow you to cut many projects in advance. Store each project in a zip lock bag or in a box along with the pattern and the notions. That way when you are feeling like sewing, you can grab a project and start right away, rested and with a clear head.
4. If you don’t have many hours a day to complete a sewing project, just divide it into smaller tasks. That way, when you have 20 free minutes before dinner is ready, you can insert the zip to your skirt. Sew whenever you can, even if it means half an hour per day. It will get your creative juices flowing and you will finish your garment much faster.
5. Make sure your work area is clean and tidy, even if you are sewing on the family’s dining table. Working on a clear surface with all the tools you’ll need beside you, makes a huge difference.
6. Disconnect. Turn off your computer and your phone and spend some time without distractions.
7. Make multiples of the same pattern at the same time. If you are using the same pattern for a jersey top, cut a few of them in different colors and sew them in batches. Or use the same pattern to create variations of a garment, for example a pair of palazzo pants can easily be turned into a pair of culottes by chopping off a few centimeters from the length.
8. The same applies if you are making many items with the same material, for example knit fabrics. If you sew all knits together, you will only have to change to a ballpoint needle once, use the same settings on your machine etc. Talk about saving time, right?
9. Press wisely. Sew as many seams as you can and then press them all together instead of standing up to iron every little seam separately.
10. The most important piece of advice I can give you is to not rush! Rushing leads to mistakes and these take A LOT longer to fix. Take your time, enjoy the process, practice mindful sewing!
I hope you found these tips useful. I am sharing loads more in my first book “Sewing your dream wardrobe” which is a detailed guide to creating the handmade wardrobe of your dreams.