Boosting your sewing power

Dear friends,

It’s not uncommon to lose momentary our sewing power (sewjo: sewing-mojo). It happens to all of us at some point in our sewing journey. For me it is a cyclical occurrence often when I’m burned out. Based on my personal experience and sharing with others about it, I wrote for myself top 5 tips to boost sewing power that I would love to share with you.
Take baby steps 
Start with small achievable goals, nothing unrealistic like finishing a project in a day because you haven’t done anything in ages and feel like such a bad blogger. This attitude generates more anxiety and make your sewing desire diminish even more. Create small activities that encourage the desire back, like searching for inspiration, organising your sewing space, looking at your patterns and fabrics. I find doing prep work a great way to “sew without sewing” and that makes the transition back a lot easier.
Make room for mistakes 
If you are like me, after a long period without sewing, there are a lot more mistakes than usually. It’s the personal pressure to get it right and finish fast, with the desire to just get something finished. Instead of feeling bad about it, see it as part of a recovering time. Mistakes are part of our sewing journey and finding our feet back from where we stopped is not always a smooth transition. Everyone make mistakes and learning to realise that it is normal to be a bit ‘rusty’. Once that pressure is lift off you will see how quickly you will start to be back in shape and recover easily from those wonky seams. Remember, the seam ripper its not our enemy!

Make a habit of it 
Sewing time it’s not a given. Learning to allow yourself your personal time it’s a skill that can be learned and practiced. Like everything else, creating a sewing routine require us to create a habit of not letting other problems get in the way. Life can be brutal and we get home tired and exhausted from work, to more housework like cooking, kids ( for those who have them) and it’s so easy to sacrifice our personal time. Create a personal time block for yourself, that everyone else know it’s your sewing time and make a habit of allowing yourself that precious moment.

Face your fears 
Stuck in a sewing rut? It’s time to face your fears and try that pattern or fabric that been making you procrastinate. Learning a new skill and sewing something out your comfort zone will generate a higher sense of achievement. That extra energy will really boost your sewing desire and soon you will find yourself in a different level of sewing. I personally think we something get into a sewing ‘routine’ of unchallenging sewing things over and over without realising that we are slowly loosing the initial excitement. Have you even sew because you have to, not because you want to? Yes, that feeling could be making you loose your sewjo.

Love what you do
Nothing boost our sewing power like making something we are really excited about it. Don’t worry about what others will think, or what are the ‘current sewing trends’ out there. Trying to emulate others just because it’s what everyone doing isn’t good for long term sewing power. Do what YOU love. Want to only sew dresses? Good for you! Enjoy and be happy!
Happy sewing!
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  • Great tips! I particularly love the last one. When I feel the spirit has left I re organize my fabric. Works every time for me.

  • Thanks for this, Rachel. I’m in a bit of a sewing rut at the moment and it’s helpful to hear that it a common occurrence for you and others as well. xo

  • I really needed to read this today – I have a whole day to myself to sew but can’t seem to get motivated. But after this I am going to at least try and cut something out.

  • …posted too soon! I meant to say thank you for giving me the kick up the butt that I needed 🙂

  • I I love all the tips to bring back the mojo … The biggest one for me is – do what you love… Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

    I think I’ll go clear my cutting table.

  • A lovely piece Rachel 🙂 We can all manage to put too much pressure on ourselves, can’t we? I frequently have to remind myself that sewing is a hobby and I do it for enjoyment and relaxation. Some very sage advice.
    Louise x

  • really good tips rachel! when i lost my sewjo recently, i found to way out of it was to sew something i really wanted to wear, even if it was a bit frivolous and not at all sensible!

  • Such useful and realistic tips. I have been applying the “baby steps” one at the moment, just making little achievable things in the hope that my motivation will soon return.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Great tips Rachel! Seems like we’re on the same page today 🙂

  • Su

    Thanks Rachel. As someone new to dressmaking I have found that I can get stalled by a fear of starting a project – I have a pattern and material and get really excited but still keep putting it off – and also a fear of finishing – I can be on the home straight but stall again for fear that the item won’t fit/won’t suit me and all my hard work (not to mention fabric) will be wasted! Is this something others go through too? Thanks for the advice on keeping motivated. x

    • Hi Su, yes it’s normal to feel that way. Best advice it’s to try the fit using a cheap fabric, like muslin. It give u a change to try new techiques without worrying about the final project.

  • Good tips! Definitely right on the last one, it can be easy to forget that sewing is a hobby and you should be enjoying it. And the best bloggers have found their niche and are passionate about it.

  • Awesome tips! Sometimes I try to force myself to sew when I’m tired or burned out, and it’s just not a fun experience. I’m trying not to feel guilty about not making as much as I’d like to, and to strike a balance between being productive in my time off and taking time to relax, too.

  • Great tips! Sometimes when I feel down I look through magazines of stores I really love, like Anthropologie, and find something that costs waaaaay too much that I could definitely make myself, and then go about making it. It’s like a shopping high, but better 🙂

  • Great tips! What helps me a lot is to throw away any due dates I set for myself. I work at a pace that is realistic and enjoyable and whenever I finish is when I finish.

  • Great tips! Another one is to clean your sewing area. That can help with a faltering mojo.

  • This is great advice. It often takes me longer than I’d like to finish projects and that can be discouraging. So I try to just focus on the process and enjoy each step of making. P.S. Your picture is so inviting, it really makes me want to go home and sew!

  • I haven’t had time to sew or blog for weeks and I am really missing it. I am stuck in bed feeling not very well today and a bit grumpy! I have lots of ideas of things to make but most of them will change before I even get the material out, which doesn’t help.

  • Jolly well brilliant tips there! Love this post, thanks!

  • I’m so glad that it’s not just me! A little while ago, I decided to start up my Facebook sewing group just to keep me going through the lulls in my sewjo. 🙂 It’s been great because I get a little boost every time we have a new challenge or someone shares a project or sewing tip!

  • Oh! Here’s the sewing group if anyone is interested. 🙂 http://vintagezest.blogspot.com/2013/07/stitch-once-rip-twice-general.html

  • I think I need a big comfy chair like that and then I’d amplify my sewing power 🙂

  • Thanks for this, I’m still sewing…..but lost my blogging-mojo!

  • You are just so darned wise! xo 🙂

  • Such great advice Rachel and beautifully put.

  • Thank you for sharing these tips- very wise!

  • Anonymous

    Your post is just what I need at the moment after two wadders in a row. I decided I was in a rut with my tnt patterns, so pulled out a couple of new ones that just didn’t work out. I need to “forgive” myself and move on! I think I’ll reread a few more times first 🙂
    Kathleen

  • Some really great tips about how to get your sew-jo back! I agree its hard to juggle everything but you have thought of some lovely ways for people to get back to sewing after a little / long break!

  • I lose my sewing mojo for around about 2 – 3 months every year when gardening season begins. I have learnt to just go with it, I make easy quick stuff, and look at my stash, knowing that It will return around about now actually. The rest of the year I devote most of my leisure time to making clothes. It is really interesting though seeing what other people do.

  • Very helpful advice and beautifully put – I’m going to save your post so that I can remind myself when I get stuck 🙂

  • This was so much help! Thank you 🙂

  • Thanks Rachel, such a good read just before bed here. It really brought some peace to my anxiety of lengthy to-do lists and expectations I quite often put on myself. We are only human, and its ok to have ebbs and flows of sewing glows – I made a rhyme hehe! So THANKS 🙂 xx

  • Raquel,
    tomei conhecimento do seu blog através de uma revista inglesa que comprei na semana passada cá em Portugal…Gostei do que vi e estou cá para ver mais…
    sua mais nova seguidora

    Maria Filomena