Snap Out Of A Sewing Slump

The Sewing Doldrums

I’m afraid I’ve hit a bit of a low-pressure zone in my sewing. My sewing super powers are being weakened by humidity, heat and end of summer busyness. And, did I mention the heat? When there is a bit of time to sew, all I want to do is find a cool spot and chill. Right now, I have little to show of my sewing projects or progress. I’ve hit a sewing doldrum. My inspiration and mojo is at an all time low right now.

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So, I think a giveaway is in order! Leave a comment on the blog as to your remedy for the sewing doldrums. Do you push through and continue to sew away or do you take some time off ? Maybe you work on smaller projects or put your sewing space in order.

Let me know on the blog and you’ll be entered to win the Sundressing book from Melissa Mora and the vintage inspired quilt coloring book from Amy Barickman and a paper piecing kit. Winner will be announced on the next Sew Daily newsletter August 25.


I would also like to list the winners from the fit blog post on the Sew News blog on July 12. The winners are Emily W., Teres and Cherie. I will be in contact with you shortly to tell you how to claim your prize. Thanks everyone for commenting.

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57 thoughts on “Snap Out Of A Sewing Slump

  1. When a slump hits I grab my journal, a camera and the car keys. It is time for a road trip =)
    Even to the closest park or beach helps me to ‘re-sync’ myself. Then when I get home I usually have new sketches, photos and a refreshed perspective.

  2. When it’s too hot, and I don’t feel like sewing, I plan new projects. If it’s hot and I do feel like sewing, I go to the studio in the basement where it’s cooler than the house (New Hampshire-No AC). If it is cooler, I will sit on the side porch and do some hand stitching.

  3. Jill – I recently hit the same slump, so I decided to organize my sewing rooms and prioritize my UFOs (a constant work in progress since I just moved back from Germany in March). We don’t have air conditioning, which makes my sewing rooms too hot to handle. So after I see my husband off at 5:00 am and before I head out to work at 7:00 (ok more like 7:30 when I lose track of time) I try to fit in at least 30 min of sewing a day. I find its made me a happier person since my dream is to retire from the workforce outside my home and be a full time quilter/longarmer.

  4. I find summer a good time to sit i the garden with my sketch pad and pencils and design my winter wardrobe and draw possible embroidery designs so when I sketch something I like I can’t wait to get going and make it. I also like to tidy my sewing room and sort my patterns and magazines. I can almost look forward to the winter when I have to stay in and sew.

  5. I usually, reset my mind to the upcoming holidays and make lists ,of gifts, I want to make. I will grab a glass of lemonade, turn the fan on high and get my supplies out and start cutting! then I slip the projects into plastic bags and start, on the simplest projects first!!!!

  6. For me, sewing has been an art form more than a craft. So when I get into a slump I need to do or see things that inspire me. Going for a walk and enjoying nature (when it’s not blazing hot!!!), visiting an art museum, looking at sewing magazines like Sew News (shameless plug), checking out sewing books from the library, looking at blogs or websites like where I can see the projects of fellow sewists — these activities can get me over the hump. Sometimes, however, I just need to walk away for a little while. The break helps prevent sewing from seeming like a chore and it again becomes something I look forward to doing!

  7. This summer, I pulled out a few unfinished projects. I have a few dress patterns and fabric that I must complete. I had a shirt that I made a year or two ago that had voluminous sleeves that gathered at the wrist. Eeek! I cut the sleeves and repurposed the segments as skirts for my daughter’s dolls. In between these projects, I’m sorting through my fabric stash to make zippered pouches.

  8. Last week I told my daughter that I had the Doldrums! She had never heard the word. So I had to explain, She then asked her older sister if she had ever heard the word. Now these girls are college grads one even has a masters degree. Guess this word is one of the old words that is never used anymore. Anyways, I got rid of the doldrums by organizing my sewing room. I purchased some 2.5 gallon Jumbo Storage Slider Bags, Each bag has a separate project (fabric, pattern, thread). It re-energized me just being able to grab a bag and start a project no more trying to remember what I was going to make with that beautiful project.

  9. Placemats, potholders and dish towels! They’re super fast and the instant gratification out weighs the oppressive humidity. They make me happy and there’s always someone who could use new kitchen accessories!

  10. I will take a couple of nights off and watch TV, and realize how bad it is, that I gladly go back to my sewing.
    I only get max an hour/night to sew, so it is precious to me, so I don’t normally get too many slumps.

  11. This blog post could not have come at a better time. I also have found myself in a terrible sewing slump . . . I have completely lost my sew-jo! I actually have been catering to my desire to just sit and chill. I spent 2 weeks avoiding projects and yesterday I found myself browsing my patterns as I was cleaning up my sewing area and suddenly inspiration struck. I am going to roll with it and hope that it gives me the motivation to return to some older projects once I am fully back in the swing of things. Hoping that your inspiration will strike soon!

  12. I’m inspired by finished projects posted by others. Seeing their beautiful work makes me want to finish mine. Then I can’t wait to spend time in my sewing room!

  13. I revisit any projects that are sitting “time out” – AKA WIPs. If I don’t find the motivation there, I start organizing the sewing room – it always needs a little work and touching all the pretties usually inspires me to try something new.

  14. First, I read a book. Then I check my UFOs. If none of them appeal, I kind of sidle up to my next project sideways – one evening, choose pattern and project from my stash, then read for fun. The next night, pin on pattern pieces, fold the whole thing up, then read for fun. Next, cut out the pieces, read, and so on.

  15. I read and look through sewing related books and magazines, and sewing blogs to see what others are making. Right now I made a muslin that has fit issues that I didn’t expect, and I’m not feeling like working on it. A relatively quick refashion of a thrifted item when my concentration is lagging, is also good.

  16. I clean my sewing room. Sometimes my doldrums come from just having too much stuff in my field of view. Usually while cleaning and straightening I run across something that ramps me back up!

    Now if you are one of those perpetually neat people this may not be the issue, but I have NEVER been in that category!! 🙂

  17. My library just got this book, I was the first one to check it out! I love it, so many ideas for all ages & shapes. Plus there are patterns in the back. I would love to win these Book!

  18. I like to sit down with a new issue of my favorite magazine(s) and see what is new. I never fail to find something I want to start, usually RIGHT NOW. I also break up my sewing time with an occasional knit or crochet project, and lounging in the garden.

  19. I like to look through my purchased patterns. I often come across one and get that “oh, yeah, I wanted to make this” feeling. Then I shop my stash and just begin.

  20. I tend to sew a lot this time of year, probably because my sewing room is in my basement and it is cooler there. It is a nice retreat in the summer. Some other times of the year it can feel isolated so my problem is a little different. I say just take a break. Sewing, for many of us, is about enjoyment so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Once you get back to it, you can start again with more enthusiasm.

  21. I usually relax, and then work on reorganizing my stash which refreshes my memory as to what I already have, and then figure out something I can do in my house that is cutting or hand sewing so that I don’t have to bring my machine in from the hot garage.

  22. I take a scrap of fabric and start hand stitching with colors I like. Totally free form, totally unplanned, but I do try to practice stitches I haven’t mastered or tried much. Since the fabric is a scrap, I don’t have to keep it or like it. I consider it an experiment or audition. I usually find that this sparks a desire in me to take on a bigger project.

  23. I put my “slump” project aside and wait for a few days, until I get the urge to finish it. In the meantime, I work on smaller (or small) projects because I do enjoy sewing so much!

  24. I suffer from summer heat blahs as well. I can not commit to large projects during that time. I read a lot of magazines and look for inspiration through Pinterest as well. Small projects are big accomplishments during these hot days. I enjoy In the Hoop projects because I don’t have to think, I just add scraps of color and the machine does the work for me! I think my brain melts and makes me so blah.

  25. I either organize my fabrics which triggers ideas or go for a walk in nature and get inspired by color patterns and textures or look through patterns or craft books or make a quick small project and let myself get lost in it without concern for how it turns out. Icicle doll ornaments are the best because you can’t screw them up! They are upside down triangle shapes, add a face and wrap with whatever or color in with markers!

  26. When I hit a slump, I try to learn something new like how to use a new presser foot or technique which can be executed in 30 minutes or less. This is agreat time to make a sewing journal to show samples of your experiments and keep notes on what material was used, stitch length , tension, and thread to name a few. I consider myself warming up for a larger project in which I can use what ever I experimented with.

  27. Since that usually means I have been sewing up a storm, I look at it as an opportunity to take my machine in for a good cleaning. It has a computer in it so the shop will also make sure any updates are done before I pick it up. While it is in the shop, I get caught up with some of my magazines!

  28. I have been feeling this way for the past couple of weeks, too hot and it makes me tired. I pulled out my magazines to look for something fun and fast to pull me out of my slump. Making 3D Christmas trees from my stash and I have been having so much fun. My trees are around my family room so I can get inspired and my grandkids are telling me it is too early to decorate!

  29. I get out and/or shop for everything needed for my next project and THEN make myself go back and finish my previous one. The time needed to get everything ready for the next project is often just the break I need.

  30. Sewing time and opportunity are at a premium the past few years. When I just don’t feel like working on or finishing projects, I pick something small enough to finish in a short time and work on that fast and furiously (no, I’m not furious, just my pace is). I soon feel like attacking the bigger projects again and get enough done to be encouraging to me. If only dishes and cooking and laundry worked the same way!

  31. Oh my goodness – what a slump I’ve had! Had visitors for weeks since the 3rd week of May and last week is the first week of the summer that I’ve had none and time is my own again. But . . . I’ve been lethargic towards my beautiful Opal and all the lovely fabric languishing in my sewing room. Thank you all for your tips – hoping one or more works for me!

  32. When ‘slumped’ I take a few days and no nothing to do with sewing and then back at it with one small addition- I take breaks and jump on my mini trampoline. It’s fun and perks me up, and I can usually just get back to sewing as if I never hit a bump.

  33. Lately I have been cutting out fabric for a quilt retreat I am going on in two weeks. I make quilt tops at this retreat. i also read sewing and machine embroidery magazines I get in the mail.

  34. After being in a slump for more than a year, I am finally emerging. Pinterest and the other sewing, weaving, crafts and get-up and-do-it have helped. Started with dish cloths, moved on to the warping the small loom and just grabbed what was on top and did an “awful sampler” but I did something. I am working on an alb for our new pastor who is very short and curvey. I now know how much I have forgotten by not sewing regularly. Now to work on the mistakes in the alb and make it beautiful. It is inspiring me to move on to greater creativity and the other interesting things that are to come. I feel like I am alive again.

  35. A sewing magazine can be very inspiring. All the great projects often make me feel like sewing right away. Watching a good video or sewing show can also be very inspirational. Sometimes a practice session with a new technique or a new sewing machine foot on some scraps or bargain fabric is a great way to get in a little sewing without committing to a big project. With a little practice, you are ready for the real thing when you are working on a project.

  36. When I have a sewing slump, I tend to do something else for a bit – knitting, etc. – or work on a different project. Sometimes going to an exhibit or a sewing group meeting is a good fix as seeing what others are doing is often encouragement enough for me to get out of my slump!

  37. Just like I’ve always told my son, “sometimes the hardest part is just getting started.” I put on soft music or a fave show; pour a cold drink and start a new or stalled SMALL project that requires me to think. Once I start making creative decisions and see the project come alive I feel the magic again.

  38. Hhhmm, folks, I was looking for a solution to my sewing doldrums! I am considering replacing the light bulbs in the sewing room fixtures with either brighter or natural/sunlight bulbs. I used to sew upstairs in a room with an east-facing window. That was until we hosted an exchange student! Now my sewing machine & everything else is below ground level and I have figured out that I don’t like to work in the dark. Maybe the upgraded lightbulbs will set me sewing again???