Dear readers, I haven’t sewn in more than a month. Ok, I took up a pair of jeans for my husband, but that doesn’t really count, right?
I am in a massive motivation slump when it comes to getting lost in my sewing room – which even a few months ago was the easiest thing in the world. If anything, I had to stop myself from doing too much of that and not be antisocial. A few weeks ago, I even had a sewing date with my pal Kate from Time to Sew, and instead of actually sewing, I ended up unpicking some old items I needed to repair. No sewing machine in sight!
I sort of have an idea as to why this is happening. I have been cooking like mad since I started a new sugar free, low carbs eating lifestyle (I won’t bore you with the details, but I LOVE it and it’s been doing wonders for every aspect of my life other than sewing :(. If you want to know more, send me a message, happy to wax lyrical…). I feel like all my creativity has been directed towards the kitchen instead of the sewing room.
So now what? Is this a phase and I should just go with the flow? Or do I need to look for tips on getting my sewjo back?
That is why I am putting
What do you do when you lose your sewjo?
To start the conversation going – and I do hope you will let me know in the comments what you think about this – here’s the list I came up with.
Tips for getting your sewing motivation (aka sewing mojo) back
In no particular order, here are the tips I found the most helpful from my researches.
1. Tidy up your sewing space
I am a both a very messy person and a tidy freak at the same time. I know, this is a contradiction, but believe me, it is indeed possible. I’t important that everything has its place and there is a place for everything, BUT I also have an annoying habit of going at it fast/famine style. I will leave stuff everywhere for a few days (ok, weeks…), then go through a major tidying up spree and maniacally clean everything in sight. Especially in the sewing room (and now kitchen). So for me, doing a major tidy up in the sewing room is actually quite fun. I feel this can definitely be a great way to get me in the mood again.
2. Do the boring prep work
I really do not enjoy PDF assembly, tracing patterns, cutting out and all the other boring tasks that come before the actual sewing. But sometimes a mindless task like that is exactly what you need to get you in the mood. There is no pressure to actually do any sewing, just the promise that if you ever will fancy sewing again, you have already got the annoying/time consuming parts out of the way. The one thing I’d rather not do in this stage is actually cutting out, because I can easily change my mind about a pattern/fabric combination, and if I already cut it out, it will be a waste. I only cut when I’m fully committed.
3. Do some mending/fixing/tweaking
Again, a bit of a counterintuitive one. We sewers usually hate mending, taking up, tweaking an existing garment, etc. However, I found that the joy of getting an old garment back in circulation gives me such a sense of achievement. This might even jog me back into other creative pursuits. My mending pile is not too big, but things tend to stay there for many, many months. So when anything makes it out, it really is a cause for celebration.
4. Sew for an occasion or a deadline
Since the days of the Sewing Bee, I really really hate sewing against the clock or on a deadline, but sometimes this is just what I need to get my sewing mojo going again. I can be an upcoming wedding for which I want to make a new dress, or a friend’s birthday to whom I want to give a handmade present or an upcoming holiday for which I’d like to make some new togs. So long as it’s not becoming too stressful, this is a great way to push through the lack of motivation.
5. Sew a TNT pattern
Especially after a row of failed projects, the
SAVE THIS FOR LATER ON PINTEREST
6. Sew in short chunks
Have you heard about the
Alternatively, set yourself a definite task – for example, attach the collar, or sew the side seams – and then stop after that. This way, it feels less like you are looking to finish a project, but just enjoying the task at hand and you can stop when it’s completed. Jeans or shirt making is brilliant for that.
7. Finish a WIP/UFO
This one might be hit and miss. For me, if something has been relegated to the UFO drawer (yes, I have a special box of shame where the UFOs go), it means that I have lost interest for some reason, and it’s unlikely that it could get me out of the slump. However, it has happened that rifling through the drawer of shame, I had a lightbulb moment where I remembered why I was so excited to make that project in the first place and I picked it up again with gusto. Sometimes it can be that I decide to finish the project and pass it on to someone else, and that’s
8. Do a style exercise to figure out wardrobe gaps
Could it be that the sewjo is coming from lack of inspiration and a disconnection between your sewing queue and your style? So, instead of looking for new fabric and patterns, maybe you can start with analysing your style. This way, you can identify the clothes that you would like to wear with the patterns that you have or figure out what’s missing. As I have mentioned before, I am quite anal and I really like this kind of exercises, they really fuel my creativity. I am planning a post soon on style and sewing, so stay tuned for more ideas on this topic.
9. Look for inspiration
I don’t know many people who need much encouragement to head to Pinterest and look for sewing (or other kinds of inspiration). I usually look for quite specific thing, like ‘mustard top with flounce sleeves’ or ‘rust corduroy pinafore’, but just scrolling through the home feed works just as well. Also, looking online or in shops at the latest RTW fashion can inspire, as well as good ol’ Instagram. You can make a secret board or save on IG the things that appeal to you and then start figuring out how you can sew them (maybe with fabric and patterns you already have).
BTW, you can check out my Pinterest boards to see what kind of inspiration I go for.
10. Do a stash review
Speaking of stash, doing a tidy up, or even just rearranging your patterns and fabric stash can be a great source of inspiration. Maybe you came across some fabric you forgot about or you looked at an old pattern in a new light. I really enjoy finding the right pattern for the right fabric, and it’s a double win if they are both from the stash.
11. Make something, anyhting
It has happened to me a few times that when I’m in a sewing slump, making something as simple as a tote bag or zipped pouch can reignite the passion. Little stash busting projects can also work great.
These are my few pennies’ worth.
I WOULD LOVE TO READ YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW YOU COPE WITH THE LACK OF MOTIVATION/
LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR COMMENTS.
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