How Do You Find Time to Sew?


To sew or not to sew?

This is a conundrum that has dogged me for most of my adult life. How do I fit sewing into my life?

The answer, like most decades-long conundrums, is not easy.

For many years, my husband and I went away for the weekend to a place where there was no Internet or phone. He would go out on the lake and fish, and I would sew all day and watch him drift aimlessly around the lake. (He never came back with anything but tales of the one that got away, I might add!)

Then our lifestyle shifted, and we drifted from being city dwellers with a weekend getaway to suburbanites with a house that demanded a lot of attention on the weekends. That really cut into my sewing time, so I started taking classes at a fashion design school.

The rigors of fashion design coursework definitely took my sewing up a notch, but it left little time for the creative sewing I had done back in the simpler days of life without home maintenance. When I am not taking classes, I find that I can go for weeks without working on a project. Life (and taking care of a home) just has a way of soaking up all that free time. And when I am not sewing regularly, I become very, very cranky.

I have tried getting up a half-hour earlier (too hard!), going to bed a half-hour later (too tired!), scheduling sewing time (I can’t stay on schedule!), and so many other clever ways that have worked for a bit and then not at all.

I had an acquaintance once who effortlessly turned out one couture garment after another. I knew that she had a busy life, and I asked her where she found the time. “Hand-sewing,” was her simple reply.

When I looked puzzled, she explained, “When you are sitting at a sewing machine, it’s all you can do. But if you are hand-sewing, you can take it anywhere: a soccer game, a doctor’s office, a long trip ….” She hand-stitched all of her seams and finishes. I couldn’t argue with the result.

The fact is, there are so many ways to fit sewing into one’s life, and what doesn’t work this year, may be just the ticket next year. Life is a shifting landscape, and sewing time can shift with it.

I am going to try that hand-sewing tip, because that is where the landscape of my life is now.

For a quick set of sewing projects to get your sewing time charged up, check out the CraftTree publications in the Sew Daily Shop.

What about you? How are you fitting sewing into your life? I would love to get some more ideas!

Happy stitching! (And I mean it!)

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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

53 thoughts on “How Do You Find Time to Sew?

  1. my sewing machine is not in a sewing machine “table”, i bought a wheeled sewing machine tote, and when i am working on a project, i reserve a conference room on my lunch hour, (making sure I eat my lunch either before or after my scheduled time), and i take my machine to work. One of my co-workers laughs everytime i do, calling it my dummy case, and EVERYONE always asks, “are you moving in or out?” Hmmmm…i guess with the new embroidery/sewing machine my future husband said he was going to get me, i need to embroider on it, “CAUTION – SEWING MACHINE ON BOARD”

  2. As a seamstress, by trade, my problem is not finding the time to sew, but finding the time to sew for myself! I finally decided that since my sewing is a business, I needed to set hours that I will sew for business (I work from home). Having done that, and learning to keep to those hours for the most part, I find it refreshing to stop at the end of my work day, have dinner, then work on my own projects. It’s surprising how much I can get done from 7:00 – 10:00 (although I’ve been known to get on a roll and stay up until midnight or 1:00 am). Also, I’ve set aside Sunday afternoons s as my personal sewing time. By the way, I, too, do the hand sewing thing when I need to.

  3. I have this struggle, too. So many projects and no time to sew them. I find that having a deadline is motivating – so I tend to get the projects done quicker for things like a special occasion dinner, a birthday present, Christmas present, etc. Those things force me to make time to sew,

  4. I have a question: Is a hand sewn seam as strong as a machine sewn seam? I am very active with walking, bending, lifting during the day and wondered if the hand sewn seam would hold up. Thanks so much….

  5. I am a stay home grandmother so I make time when I’m not busy with house work. I make time in the afternoon or if there isn’t any thing good to watch on TV.I love to make quilts ,curtains ,doll clothes and just find some thing to sew.Right now I have been making my granddaughters doll clothes.There for the birthdays.I have 6 .When I get board from making doll clothes I’ll change to making quilts. I love making my own curtains.Everyone asks were did I buy them from .and when I say I made the they go wow.I make time for my sewing.It’s my passion to sew.

  6. You know what they say “A Clean House is a LIfe Un-lived”. I always remember that the house and chores will always be there so I just take time out for ME and sew when I need to. I put some laundry in and get lost in my “Therapy Room” as I call it. It makes me a happier person and I feel like I am creating something instead of feeling like I have not accomplished a thing. Life is too short not to create 🙂

  7. I have an Etsy shop. Some of my items are sewn some woven. I feel I am in a state of creation all the time. I struggle with feeling that I get enough done in a day. I have the most trouble sewing for my self….big pile of my families mending and alterations too. With a family, big gardens…when is the big o’ ? Anyways, deadlines help, hand work while watching tv with the family, every now and then I take a me sew hour or two. But mostly I cut myself a break. I KNOW I have more ideas than I will ever have time to complete. So I “count” creative thinking. Another “trick” I teach private sewing lessons. I have found that a great way to teach is for me to sew a step then have my student sew the same step on their project. At least I get a lot of tote bags sewn this way…a student fav. Sew ON!

  8. I have an Etsy shop. Some of my items are sewn some woven. I feel I am in a state of creation all the time. I struggle with feeling that I get enough done in a day. I have the most trouble sewing for my self….big pile of my families mending and alterations too. With a family, big gardens…when is the big o’ ? Anyways, deadlines help, hand work while watching tv with the family, every now and then I take a me sew hour or two. But mostly I cut myself a break. I KNOW I have more ideas than I will ever have time to complete. So I “count” creative thinking. Another “trick” I teach private sewing lessons. I have found that a great way to teach is for me to sew a step then have my student sew the same step on their project. At least I get a lot of tote bags sewn this way…a student fav. Sew ON!

  9. I make time for sewing the same way I “eat an elephant”, one bite at a time…lol … Now I really don’t eat an elephant, but if I break a project down to 15 (or 5) minute projects I can really get things done: Lay out your pattern pieces in one “bite”, cut them out or some of them in another “bite”.

  10. I recently quit my day job to work from home, hoping I’d have more time to do my hobbies like sewing too. Wrong! I’m so busy working, I haven’t made a single thing.

    I don’t have a dedicated sewing space, and as we live in a very small house, there’s no way I can get one. It’s so time consuming to get my sewing machine or serger out, thread it up, sew, then put it all away again afterwards. I have a huge fabric stash, loads of ideas for garments, but the time and effort of it all discourages me. Now I’m running my own business, I can’t afford to take all that time just sitting at the machine unable to do anything else.

    I’d love to try the hand sewing route. I want to recaptute the spontaneity and fun of sewing I had when I was a kid. I’d grab one of Mum’s old dresses from the rag bag and just start sewing it into a dress for me! I wore one of those dresses all summer long, and my clumsy elelven year old stitches held up no problems in the wash.

    I’m reading Natalie Chanin’s lovely books, and feeling very inspired to start sewing again!

  11. Great question and my solution is to invite a sewing buddy over to sew with me. I have a wonderful friend who is willing to travel with machine and bring her projects to my house, (or I go to hers) and it forces me to focus on sewing and keeping that scheduled time. Otherwise, I find a million work related/household things to get in my way of creating. You would be amazed how much sewing we get done, as well as loads of laughs and of course, some wine drinking! Being creative and making time for it is something to celebrate after all!

  12. Back in the 90’s Nancy Zieman published 10 20 30 Minutes to Sew, and it revolutionized my approach to sewing. As a super busy single working mom of two small children at the time, I had no time! I loved the idea that all projects can be broken down into 10, 20 or 30 minute segments, making it easy to work on your project a few minutes at a time every day. I no longer had to clear an entire day dedicated to sewing. Instead I could slot in a few minutes after the girls were in bed each night, and in no time I was finished! Progress is measured and steady, and working in a step by step fashion is very satisfying as you see the project come together. That being said, I did recently do a sewing marathon and made a couture dress for New Years Eve in 3 days – how? I used the same appraoch and broke the project down into segments, doing all the prep, the cutting and the muslin of a particularly tricky spot over a few weeks before the holidays, before I did my marathon seaming, fitting and finishing. As usual, this appraoch worked like and charm, and my dress was amazing!

  13. First of all, thank you for addressing this subject! Sewing is my passion and if I had it my way, I would sew every single day of the week. Reality is, that it’s just not possible. I have learned that it’s really not about “finding time”, but “making time”.
    I am a designer for a national sewing magazine and a designer/owner of my own home-based business. “Making time” to sew is a priority, but can be very difficult since I am a SAHGrandmom and I keep my 5 y.o. grandson everyday. It’s hard when I see others pop heirloom creations out right and left, and post them on facebook on a daily basis. I wonder how in the world are they are doing it. I know some people probably wonder how I accomplish “sew” much. My secret is that I also do a lot of hand-sewing. My other secret is that I have to block my time out to fit sewing in. When I can’t sit at the sewing machine, I have hand-sewing, such as hand-smocking, that I can take anywhere and work on. When my grandson is at preschool 3 out of 5 days, I can spend those hours he’s in school, at my machine sewing the things that I have hand-prepared on the days that I can’t be at the machine. In the evenings when the TV is on, I do hand-sewing, smocking or create machine embroidery on my computer. I don’t get up at the crack of dawn to sew and I don’t stay up late to sew – I block my time out by making time to sew when it’s not affecting anyone else. When you have a strong passion for something, such as I do for sewing, you work even harder to make time for that passion. The real trick is working that time in and balancing your life out with all the other demands that life throws at us women!

  14. The way I forced myself to spend more time sewing was to volunteer for a little sewing for our local hospital. I sew for them for about 20 minutes, then figure as long as I’m in there I might as well add another 20 minutes for myself. I really have made alot of items this way over the past 8 months I have been doing this.

  15. i have to determine that other things can wait and let the house go…for awhile. Also, I want to have a sewing room that you can close the door on and come in and out as you can.

  16. i have to determine that other things can wait and let the house go…for awhile. Also, I want to have a sewing room that you can close the door on and come in and out as you can.

  17. I am like many who have millions of ideas and so little time to put them in place. I work also and have now set my schedule to record my shows I like to watch, save my house cleaning for the weekend and sew from 7 to 11 during the week. Doing so has allowed me to make more clothes for my twin grandchildren. I love it. I really like and i’m looking into the idea of hand sewing.

  18. My grandmother made lovely things all the time. When I was a young mother and busy (as are all mothers) my Mama Edna came to visit. I was explaining how difficult it was to sew and have a toddler and a baby under foot. She said something that I have never forgotten, “Retha, you should keep something going on you sewing machine at all times. Schedule only 15 minutes if that is all you can do, but schedule in that 15 minutes each day. Soon you will have a something new! If you try to make lengthy time limits to sew, if may never happen, but 15 minutes will happen and so will a new thing to wear.”

  19. My grandmother made lovely things all the time. When I was a young mother and busy (as are all mothers) my Mama Edna came to visit. I was explaining how difficult it was to sew and have a toddler and a baby under foot. She said something that I have never forgotten, “Retha, you should keep something going on you sewing machine at all times. Schedule only 15 minutes if that is all you can do, but schedule in that 15 minutes each day. Soon you will have a something new! If you try to make lengthy time limits to sew, if may never happen, but 15 minutes will happen and so will a new thing to wear.”

  20. When my children were small, I learned to smock and do French handsewing. I just put all the pieces of a project into a ziploc bag and took it with me wherever I went – ballpark, swim meets, afterschool car line, backyard, etc. As they grew into teenagers/college students, I found I did not have the time to complete the machine sewing part of the project, so I just did handwork and stacked them in a box to be completed later. Now that all of my children have graduated and moved out, I am beginning to get those UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) out and complete them! So, I find that sewing is like life – we pass through many seasons and we just have to adapt as we go.

  21. One thing that made a big difference for me was having a place where my sewing was set up permanently. Ten or fifteen minutes here or there can be used creatively if you just have to sit down at the machine and sew a few seams!!!

  22. I’m now in my 60’s and have been frustrated with waking up early. Once I decided to quit fighting it and get up I found that’s it’s a perfect, quiet time to sew.

  23. I have quilted for forty years and made over 200 quilts and gave them all away to churches to raffle off, to cancer awareness, animal shelter and the neonatal critical care unit. I do not own a sewing machine. All my quilts are hand pieced and hand quilted. I used to try quilting using a frame but i felt like your friend, i was tied down to one place. Now i completely safety pin the entire quilt. This makes it portable to sit in a comfy chair or snuggled under the quilt on the couch while quilting. I have even taken them to the hospital with me. I also try to have one cut out and everything i need in a tote scissors thread etc that i can take anywhere.
    babscorbitt@gmail.com

  24. Handsewing garments??! I get that was done before sewing machines were invented, but I am having a hard time grasping that concept now. I guess because garment making is a little intimidating at the moment and handsewing in itself–OUCH! LOL Maybe when I can handsew without stabbing myself the entire time I will have just enough confidence to give handsewing garments a try. I think that hexis are so popular right now because you have to handsew those and like you bring attention to, you can sew anywhere.
    For me the problem is finding energy to sew. I have time to myself after I’m done teaching the kids and I just can’t get to my sewing room.
    I do have to say having a crock pot meal set really helps on uniterrupted sewing time! I hate my sewing interrupted to have to feed the family. 😛 I’d probably even go without eating myself!

  25. I would have to agree that hand sewing is the way to go. I work full-time for my husband who is a CPA and am active in church and school activities and I’m not young and full of energy.

    I just made a silk relaxed roman shade for my office. It took a half hour to cut the silk and lining and iron all the hems in. I could then hand sew all the hems in and the beaded trim. It is relaxing and I’m still with my family and not tucked away in the basement.

    I try to get as much done in the basement as I can on weekends when everybody else is doing their things. During the week I will hand baste things together or make muslins for fitting at the kitchen table. I get to be with my family and keep my sanity by sewing!

  26. I too find little time to sew, but have few ways of making me think that I do a lot. Two years ago I started a journal. Any project I started went in there, but on a diary type of way, each page is a different day and each project given a title. I use a pogo printer to add photos and glue in receipts and fabric samples. When finished I write the date of finishing and the number of projects so far finished. (I am averaging 26 a year). The journal is a great way of me seeing how often I sew and I can’t forget what I have sewn. I also set deadlines, like birthdays etc. I have resolutions, this years is to finish 12 UFO’s, so far this year I am on track with three. At present my journal has 5 projects on going, which is about average. We did move house and I have a room just for sewing, so my machine is always up. But I have resorted to taking hand sewing into work and I am the only woman in a group of 9 people and they (I think) are quite proud of my sewing. I do charge them for turning up their jeans etc. But my journal is the proudest thing I have, as I now finish things and can see what I have done.

  27. I too find little time to sew, but have few ways of making me think that I do a lot. Two years ago I started a journal. Any project I started went in there, but on a diary type of way, each page is a different day and each project given a title. I use a pogo printer to add photos and glue in receipts and fabric samples. When finished I write the date of finishing and the number of projects so far finished. (I am averaging 26 a year). The journal is a great way of me seeing how often I sew and I can’t forget what I have sewn. I also set deadlines, like birthdays etc. I have resolutions, this years is to finish 12 UFO’s, so far this year I am on track with three. At present my journal has 5 projects on going, which is about average. We did move house and I have a room just for sewing, so my machine is always up. But I have resorted to taking hand sewing into work and I am the only woman in a group of 9 people and they (I think) are quite proud of my sewing. I do charge them for turning up their jeans etc. But my journal is the proudest thing I have, as I now finish things and can see what I have done.

  28. There is really only one way that works for me to find time for my sewing. I have to move it up on the priority list. That means something else has to move down or go completely. I can’t just cram it into space that is being used somewhere else. The key to keeping my life enjoyable is to simpllify. Figure out what can go to make space for sewing. You will always find time for that which is really important. Our lives are so filled with the unnecessary things that steal out time such as TV or the computer. Make a list and put sewing higher on the list. Try it and see if this works for you. We don’t need more things in our day, just more things that are important.

  29. There is really only one way that works for me to find time for my sewing. I have to move it up on the priority list. That means something else has to move down or go completely. I can’t just cram it into space that is being used somewhere else. The key to keeping my life enjoyable is to simpllify. Figure out what can go to make space for sewing. You will always find time for that which is really important. Our lives are so filled with the unnecessary things that steal out time such as TV or the computer. Make a list and put sewing higher on the list. Try it and see if this works for you. We don’t need more things in our day, just more things that are important.

  30. I enjoyed reading all these comments and it sounds like all creative people have the same issues and that is of time. I love to sew but currently got back into my love of drawing and painting so my sewing room is also my art room. I don’t sew my clothes anymore but lean more to art dolls and other crafts. I recently completed a small art quilt that was fun. I have been lucky that when we built our house I was able to include a designated room with a sink and many cabinets. I find joining a group or creating with a friend helps to set aside time to create as well as realizing that following your passion is just as important as cleaning the house so prioritizing is also important….with creating art first on the list. :-)…as well as breaking up a project in smaller portions.

  31. I am a stay at home mom and was always finding something to do other than sew since I have to use the kitchen table. My friend has just retired so we have picked Wednesdays to get together. I take my machine to her home once my kids are off to school and we sew until my kids come home (she has a dedicated work space). I have completed one project so far and working on my second.

  32. I am asked constantly from friends and employees at work – how do you find time to sew? My reply is simple. I just do it. I am a manager at a newspaper – a very fast paced and hectic job. It is easy to go home at night and just plop in front of the television and waste an evening on meaningless programs. Instead I make dinner and grab my sewing project and hum along at the sewing machine. Before I know it the evening is done and it’s time for bed. I feel good hitting the sack knowing that I did something productive instead of wasting time and thinking about what I could or should be doing. I do burn out on some evenings, but that’s okay because the next day I feel ready to go again. And evenings that there is a program or movie I want to watch – well.. you get the routine. Weekends are always household chores, but I usually seem to find time to fill the voids with a sewing project. When sewing doesn’t seem to fill my needs I also do stained glass, scrap booking, crocheting, gardening, decorating – just creating. I have gathered some friends to form a quilting guild and they are finding they are finishing projects right and left with the same mind set – just do it! Happy sewing

  33. When I used to take in-laws to never ending doctor appointments, I always had a “drag around (hand)” project. At least I was getting SOMETHING done. Now that I may be ferrying myself around for doctor appointments, I will probably do the same. There is something soothing about working on a hand project while waiting for the unknown in a doctor’s office.

  34. I’m working on a really boring project right now….hemming curtains for a friend… I do it a little at a time…
    I work from home (when I’m not traveling for work) so I use my “lunch hour.”

  35. Retire. Actually, I sewed daily back in the 70’s then went back to school to get my teaching credential. I taught for 21 years (8th grade English), and I retired last June. We bought a new house 4 years ago that has a fabulous craft room with built-ins on two walls. I now spend my days there doing what I have always loved, sewing. I also knit, crochet and make cards. I love retirement.

  36. I would have to agree with your friend about hand-sewing. Machine quilt tops languish in my studio. Hand-pieced tops fly together, because I put all my supplies in cute small baskets or bags and take them everywhere with me. I sew a seam while waiting to pick my kids up from school, while they’re doing homework, when we’re out running errands on the weekends and my husband is driving. I’ve even been known to sew while rocking the baby to sleep or while waiting for a webpage to load. With five kiddos under the age of 11, I find there’s never dedicated time to sew. But those “found moments” in the day really add up- and keep me sane!

  37. I too get cranky when I do not get to sew at my machine. When my back and legs don’t like my sewing chair or ironing board, I do hand sewing from my recliner. I do a little embroidery, yo-yos, little strawberry sachets or crochet a baby blanket. Then I read craft books or scan the net from my tablet for new ideas and materials. I have lots of interuptions to care for my ill husband, but my menal health will not survive if I do not reserve time every single day to make something besides the bed and meals.
    Greenrose

  38. I, too, have found that having hand sewing prepared and ready to carry along where ever you go is good. But I also find that having several different projects in different phases is good, too. For instance, I have several quilt tops ready to machine quilt when I have a good block of time. I also have a piecing project all together so that I can sew blocks or whatever when I have 15 or 20 minutes of time. I also keep a garment that is cut out, marked and with all the necessities like thread and zippers together so that I can just sew when I have the time. Preparation is just a good thing to do. When you have a long rainy unclaimed day is when you can play or get project together.

  39. Instead of watching TV mostly now I get Audio Books from library, downloaded or pick up on CDs This gives me quite a lot of free time to sew. Also because I am not working I choose to go shopping about twice a week, writing down what I need in between, much cheeper and a lot less time Hand sewing with double thread even on jeans with back stitches and lock stiches like on button holes for very stressed areas. Then if the opening is on the behind it never unravels

  40. I wait till my hubby goes on a golf outing then I get busy. Otherwise, daily sewing time has to be semi scheduled. I cut stuff out at my dining room table and then take it back & sew in stages. I also have an embroidery business, so when something is running on my embroidery machine, I’m working on something onmy sewing machine.
    Yesterday I saw an Atlas Rocket go up from my sewing room window.. Great times!

  41. I always seem to have time for a class. Each week, I schedule a “Class at Home.” I do not answer the phone or turn on the TV. Also I do not need to tote my supplies. Put yourself on your calander and enjoy your “class”.

  42. The biggest thing that has helped me find time to sew is having my own sewing room. I remember my mom having to put up and take down her machine all the time, and for many years that’s what I did, too, but as soon as I could, I found a place that I could set aside so the machine(s) can stay up all the time. At first it was a corner of my bedroom, and I know lots of women who have small sewing spaces. Some of them tell me it helps them be neater! Another thing that really helps me is belonging to the sewing guild. It’s a wonderful feeling to have something for ‘show and tell’, and that will push me to finish a project. Plus, I get so much creative energy from the other ladies that it’s impossible not to sew!

  43. I set up my projects on weekends so that I can work on then in the evening during the week. If everything is set up and next to your sewing machine, it is easy to sit down and work for 30 minuets or so.

  44. What I do, is I don’t open a laptop, turn on a computer or anything else with a screen. First thing in the day or when I get off work. I just go immediately to sew. Otherwise this stuff all eats up my time bite by bite!

  45. What I do, is I don’t open a laptop, turn on a computer or anything else with a screen. First thing in the day or when I get off work. I just go immediately to sew. Otherwise this stuff all eats up my time bite by bite!

  46. I LOVE to sew and have since I was very young. I’ve made it a priority to set my machine where it is always ready to use. I like to make quilts, clothing, puppets, gifts and just about anything else. At this point in my busy life, finding time is a challenge but I have found that if I break my tasks down into manageable bits such as cutting one day, interfacing all pieces another day, setting pockets one day, sleeves another, and I set achievable goals. I am able to complete many projects. Sometimes, all I can manage is a seam or 2 but I enjoy making progress even if it is small. I do set completion dates for myself and try to meet those but if other things take priority, I just readjust my deadlines. I’m sewing to have fun so I like to enjoy the process.

  47. 1. I spend at least 5 minutes in my sewing room every day – it keeps the momentum going and keeps the grumpiness away. If all I do is straighten up a few things, refold and restock or fondle some fabric, pin up swatches of a new color combo, rearrange that combo the ne, xt day, make one design decision, press a few fat quarters, choose the thread or trims for a project, lay out the tools and supplies for the next part of a project, sweep the threads up from the floor, etc. You will be amazed at what can be accomplished in 5 minutes.

    2. Spend your 5 minutes rearranging your to-do-list for the week. A little extra effort a day for 6 days can carve out a half days worth of uninterrupted sewing time for one day.

    3. Divide your project into parts and place each part into a bag, box, or container of some sort. Determine to work on only one part at a time. It’s like candy – just one more piece (just one more part). It’s a mind game but somehow the project gets done faster.

    4. At the end of your sewing time, lay out the pieces for your next block on a flannel board. On the days you are really tired or only have 5-10 minutes to sew, everyhting is ready, no decisions to make or supplies to gather or fabric to cut. Just sit and sew.

  48. I’m so glad I came across the tip about hand sewing. I have a wonderful new machine in my sewing room; and as much as I love using it, I find myself doing more hand sewing. For the same reason……it’s portable. I do a lot of embellishing and what better way than to carry what I need to another room, enjoy music or a good movie and stitch to my hearts’ delight. And my projects turn out so much prettier I find, because I am actually enjoying every little thing I add. Yeehaw, hand sewing is a wonderful thing.

  49. Four things help me: 1. Set up a sewing portable machine on a TV tray table. My big machine won’t fit on them, but they are perfect for my Featherweight. Having a machine out and all ready to use, makes it so much easier to sit down and sew something. 2. I sew a seam every time I go through the room where my machine is…or at least a couple times a day. I did this when I was making a dress for my daughter and soon had the dress made. I certainly didn’t have time to make a whole dress, but I could sew one seam. My young children didn’t mind me sitting down to sew when they knew I would be back up almost before they realized I was sewing. 3. Get together with friends and sew, sew, sew. 4. Have projects at different stages, from planning to embellishing. That way there is something that will fit into almost any part of my life, including phone calls and waiting for a web page to open. (I loved my headset for talking on the phone…left my hands free to get lots of things done.)

  50. What stitches are best for seaming by hand. I’ve done lots of embroidery. I’ve used back stich to mend in a pinch when there’s no machine at hand or if it can’t be done on a machine.

  51. What kind of stitch is best for hand sewing seams? This seems so retrograde, but I expect it allows for a precision that is hard to achieve on a machine. I read about old handsewn nun made trouseaus of delicate silk undergarments, chemises, nightgowns and bedlinens. they sound so exquisite and romantic. I don’t think even the best modern clothing approaches the technique of old handmade garments.

  52. I, too, get cranky if I do not get to sew (or do someting creative, tho sewing is my favourite.) I’m glad to hear that I am not the only one.

    I have turned to hand sewing also. It is portable, and right now I have someone who is teaching me crewel embroidery, which is satisfying my need to create.

    Otherwise, I have found small to medium size wall hangings, either using a pattern or making it up myself, appliquing, etc., seems to fit into my schedule, since they are not too large and there is no fitting involved. I used to sew almost exclusively clothing, but now I am having fun with non-clothing items. I never thought that would happen.

    I started working on a machine-pieced crazy quilt block, and as this goes easily and quickly, I am now making another. I will eventually make them into placemats. This is also using up my huge scrap collection. Fabric flowers are also easy and look great on a straw sun hat. I put the supplies in a shoe box to bring with me.

    There are a lot of new ideas/books/patterns for things to sew, and they give you that satisfaction of the sewing process as well as the accomplishment of finishing something.

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