Thank you to everyone who got in touch with me regarding my previous blog post on Sewing For Pleasure, Sewing For Pain. I may have been nervous to talk about my chronic illness before I posted but I must say it has been worth it just to connect with others in similar situations and hear their amazing stories. So pleased to see more sewing bloggers taking a brave step and talking about why they really sew.
Today I thought I would share with you one of my tips for coping with the depression of being stuck indoors due to limited mobility, having no one to talk to face to face during the day and getting lost in the oh so easy activity of binge watching Netflix and Amazon. Yup, I blitzed through the series of Travellers, 3%, Kimmy Schmidt, The Originals and Stranger Things, to name but a few, in those first months of being off work and juggling various cocktails of meds. Brilliant shows, but it’s just not healthy to sit and stare at the TV all day.
I mentioned last time about sewing in short bursts. Granted my twenty minutes of stitching is confined by the aches and pains of sitting down for too long, but it turns out that it is just the right amount.
In terms of sewing in twenty minutes, with brew in hand, you can do one of the following:
Read through the pattern instructions, make notes of any techniques you’re not sure of or special supplies you may need. Gather your fabric, notions and tools for your project.
Carefully unfold your pattern, making a note of the pieces you’ll need for your chosen style or in PDF situations stick all the pages together (whilst batting away the dog who insists on getting your attention by parking her backside right on top of where the next page matches up).
I never cut into an actual pattern. I always copy it using (top tip!) greaseproof baking paper (cheap as chips from Wilko or Asda at £1 a roll) or Swedish tracing paper (one of the best sewing investments I’ve ever made) which is much sturdier and also gives your seamstress ego a boost as all those dots and crosses printed on it make you feel very professional hehe!
Pre-wash and pin
Cut out and pin your pattern pieces to your pre-washed fabric. Yes, pre-washed. I know, it’s an extra faff and you just want to dive in to stitching but oh the torment and pain that follows if you don’t. For instance, you may wash your stitchery for the first time and it shrinks, so you look like you’re trying on your nine year old niece’s outfit that she left behind after a sleepover. Ahem, where was I was I? Yeah, buy fabric, wash fabric, that’s my mantra!
With your pattern pieces in place, pattern matching on fleek, take those sharp (and never used for anything but fabric) dressmaking scissors or fancy rotary cutter and make the cut!
Fit and stitch
Baste your fabric pieces together and if you’re happy with the fit get stitching! Depending on your project this may take a few sessions. Just remember to set up your space beforehand with a brew, biscuits and no distractions. Stop checking that Instagram post, I can see you…we’ll chat later and get all Insta luvvy swooning over your fabric/new machine/cute pet that keeps you company whilst you sew, ok?
Get snap happy!
And then we’re done! Now all that’s left is to share your awesome make so set aside twenty minutes to find the best spot in your house that has natural light, set up your phone camera and tripod, snap some rockin’ photos with your timer or selfie snap app.
So seven sessions, fits quite nicely into a week doesn’t it? Even if the actual sewing part takes longer don’t feel bad about doing both a morning and an afternoon session a few times a week. Just make sure you relax in between, taking in some fresh air by getting up and going for a walk, even if it’s just to pop outside into your garden to check on your plants or throw the ball for your attention deprived dog (yeah that’s how she sees it – if we spent any more time together she’d be sat on my shoulder, like a parrot…a furry, growly Yorkshire Terrier parrot).
I hope that helps to give you an insight into my current coping mechanism. As always please comment below with your thoughts and to chat. Oh and if you want to connect for some Insta luvvy talk you can check out my vintage machine collection, latest fabric and haberdashery purchases, and my ongoing obsession with all thing rose gold coloured over on my Instagram. Drop by and say hi!
Until next time, happy creating!