On my YouTube Channel you often ask me, how I manage to sew so much and how to get to a wardrobe, that almost entirely consists of handmade clothes. So today I’ll share with you some of my thoughts on this topic, my best strategies and how I actually got to where I am now with my wardrobe.
When You Think You Can’t Make Time
You’re waaaayyy busier than me and you don’t have much time for sewing, I get it. Nonetheless, these tips will make a difference for you, I promise!
Strategy #1: Using the small chunks of time
Maybe you find yourself having 15 min before you need to go out of the house here, 20 min after dinner and cleaning up before you need to go to bed there or an hour while your little kid is napping – great! That’s sometimes all you need to get another step of your current project done! To make this strategy work, choose a sewing project that is easy to connect to and to disconnect from. For example a pattern you already sewed up at least once and you know the steps of by heart. Or a pattern with great instructions, where you can simply mark how far you got and work on one or two steps at a time.
Strategy #2: Pick Easy Patterns
Choose easier and therefore faster garments at the beginning, they will build your handmade wardrobe more quickly than really detailed or advanced projects! Especially if you don’t have much mental energy when you get into your sewing or if it’s hard for you to disconnect from the thing you did before and to connect to your sewing. And usually, these things will even be more versatile, too! Double win!
Strategy #3: Have cutting days
This was a big game changer for me. I often didn’t start a project because when I had time to sew something the pattern I chose wasn’t cut out or the fabric even needed washing first. It all changed, when I found time for a few hours for a cutting session: As soon as I planned them, I made sure all the fabrics I needed were prewashed and all the PDF patterns glued together and cut out. Once the cutting day I came, I cut out 1-3 patterns (depending on their complexity, enough for 2 or 3 weeks to sew) and cut them all out and paired them with the notions I needed to sew them up. So every time I now got a 10 or 20 minutes sewing time, I can just pull them out and start sewing. I wouldn’t have believed it in the beginning, what a huge difference this makes.
Strategy #4: Get the most out of your projects
Only sew things, you will wear a lot and that have great impact on your wardrobe. To find out, what these pieces could be, think about the current or next season and list the 3 things that would improve your wardrobe the most if you made them. Get really clear on what you actually like to wear and what you need in your wardrobe. Then have it as a goal for the next months to just sew up these pieces.
Strategy #5: Schedule in sewing time
Everybody needs some alone time and time to relax once in a while, no matter how busy our lives are – we need that time particularly when we are really busy. Chances are, that sewing provides this alone time for you and it relaxes you doing it. So to keep grounded even in your busiest times, you could try to block some time of your day exclusively for sewing and as a consequence thereof relaxation. It doesn’t need to be much at all, 20 min every day or an hour once or twice a week can already do a great job in giving you the relaxation you need and getting your projects a few steps ahead at a time.
Strategy #6: Sew what you are most motivated to sew
It doesn’t matter if you’re motivated by fun, the thought of having the finished garment in your closet, learning a new skill, wanting to try this new pattern or wanting to work with this special fabric – harness the power of your motivation and sew what you feel inspired to sew. Don’t let sewing become a dread because you need to sew a certain garment you feel not skilled for or because you need to follow along with some challenge and work on a project you actually don’t know you’ll like at all – you’re free to sew anything! So if you want to again make up your favourite pattern which you already have 7 out of hanging in your closet and in heavy rotation in your outfits, feel absolutely free to do that! Just take a moment to notice what actually motivates you to start sewing projects and on the other hand what feels like motivation, but is actually not an important reason for you to sew something.
I really hope, I could help you with my thoughts on this topic and inspire you to go further on the journey to a handmade wardrobe! I have accumulated so many thought on this topic that I decided to turn it into a series. Next up are
How to Sew a Whole Wardrobe When You Don’t Have the Money
How 1 Minute of Planning Changes Your Sewing
How to Sew a Whole Wardrobe When You Can’t Find the Motivation
Do you have any tips on how to sew a whole wardrobe alongside a busy life? I’d be happy to read them!