The thing about sewjo...

The thing about sewjo...

We've all been there. Hurrying past the sewing machine, avoiding that sewing space. You can't bring yourself to sit at your sewing table, and why? Who knows? Do you feel guilty like I do, almost like you're avoiding friend.

It happens time and time again and each time, it takes a while to realise that its happening.

What causes it? Something, nothing or many things. I love sewing, Im not brilliant at it but I really enjoy it and when I lose my sewjo it really does get me down.

When I first started sewing, I used the kitchen table. This meant that I did most of my sewing after dinner. Our kitchen is the epicentre of our house. The table is used for Lego, homework, craft, jigsaws and sorting washing. It is very rarely empty and the minute a sewing hour looked possible, all three of my children would descend upon it with various activities.

So my lovely husband and his parents gave me a truly magnificent garden room for my 44th birthday. It is my happy place, the place where I can leave everything out all the time, the place where I can nip across to in my dressing gown at 7am and continue a project. Sometimes, I just sit in there with a cup of tea!

So a designated area, doesn't have to be a shed, it can be a table in the corner of a bedroom or sitting room but somewhere that you can call your own happy place. Or even a designated sewing time!

Another cause of loss of sewjo, is pressure. This is pressure you put on yourself. A sewing challenge such as #makenine or a personal challenge like buttonholes, invisible zips or fitting problems. A project that takes several days, weeks or months to complete can be tiring, and often causes loss of sewjo. So how do you overcome this?  Well, in any large project, I break it down into bitesize pieces. And the trick is, to stick to those pieces.

And another thing I do, is when I've finished that project, I take on a TNT project (a tried n tested project). You know the one, that one pattern that takes you a morning to complete but leaves you feeling fabulous.

I love the Tilly and The Buttons Coco dress. The pattern is traced and ready to cut out. I have three already and more French terry/sweater fabric to create at lease three more! 

Another pattern I love is the Styla Patterns Galena dress*, its a PDF but its a freebie. Its a lovely jersey dress and Styla Patterns are very well written. And another thing, in most of the patterns the dresses are hemmed in the middle of the sew. Its just a small thing but hemming can be a tedious activity so its just nice not to have it as the very last thing to do!!!

I also like to make a t-shirt or pair of Movie Night Pyjamas* (by Sew a little Seam, another PDF!)for my kids.

Try watching YouTube videos of our lovely sewists. There are so many great people on YouTube talking about our hobby, that its hard to pick, but a few people I follow are:-

Ruan (Yorkshire Sewgirl), Helen (Stitch Rip Repeat), Michelle (Sewing Bunny), Tamlyn (Sewn on the Tyne) 

There are so many more, so please, please have a good look. Tell me who you like to watch. There's nothing like a good root through someone else's fabric haul or sewing plans. 

Although, watching too many of these may cause:-

Severe loss of money

More complicated sewing projects

Joining incredibly difficult challenges

It may also create pressure and then you end up back where you started! Watching people announce their sewing plans for the month, three shirts, 6 dresses, four pairs of trousers and something for their Mum, neighbour or kids. There's nothing like that list of plans to make you feel inadequate!!! 

#makenine is a wonderful challenge and if approached in the right way, its probably quite possible to do it.  I've tried twice and failed But here's how I intend to overcome it.

The first time I did it, I watched the YouTubes and got caught up in the hype and planned all sorts of things. I completed 2 of 9 that year.

This year, I thought about what I wanted to do, and although its almost October, so technically I only have three months left, I have only completed 4 out of 9. Its better than 2021 and there's a cardigan left to do and the weather is right for me to have cardigan thoughts.

So next year, I intend to challenge myself to actually complete the #makenine or at least beat this years score!

Tidy up your sewing space! Sometimes, reorganising that space can completely restore your sewjo. You find fabric you had forgotten about, or a pattern that you now have the confidence to make.

Go through your fabric stash, destash those metres of fabric that you purchased on a whim but you just know you are never going to wear. Once your stash is tidier or thinner, have a look at some new fabric. Take that tried and tested pattern and create it with some lovely new fabric.

Any other suggestions? I don't know, I'm still learning myself. I tidy my sewing shed, sort my fabric and make a TNT.

But sometimes, you do just need a break, a few hours, days or weeks. But don't feel guilty, its a hobby, its a passion but its not mandatory or a requirement. Just go with the flow and enjoy it. And love the compliments from everyone when you can proudly say "Thank you, I made it myself" If that's not the biggest restorer of sewjo, I don't know what is?


* Galena dress from Styla patterns and the Movie Night pyjamas by Sew a little Seam are free PDF patterns. Both are available as adult or children's patterns. The Movie Night Pyjamas are available for men, women, boys and girls. However, you may need to sign up for newsletters or join a facebook group for a code.


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