How to get your sewing motivation back

How to get your sewing motivation back! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Photography // Madalynne studios

Ah yes. It happens to the best of us. You love sewing but sometimes, just sometimes, you lose it. Your sewing mojo is gone. It can happen for any number of reasons – a bit of burn out from taking on too much or a particularly evil project that isn’t going your way and leaves you questioning if you can do anything right at all.

Cue screaming or tears. Ladies choice.

You’re not alone! Make a cup of tea, take a deep breath and do not throw anything (That would be a little dramatic, no?).

Here are a few things to try:

Take a break

Sometimes giving yourself a healthy break from sewing is all you need. Step away from the machine, leave the half finished projects in a pile, and wait it out. I did a lot of home furnishing and maternity sewing when i was pregnant with Bunny, and it left me frustrated and burnt out. By the time she was born i couldn’t bring myself to do any sewing at all, I didn’t sew a single thing for 6 months – until i made her a little Christmas dress. It was my very first blog post if you’re interested (but forgive the terrible photography, she really didn’t deserve such bad photos hehe). Anyway, that nice long break did the trick. After that i had an incredibly productive sewing season, and it was fun again!

Make something (Anything)

Oh yes, quite contradictory aren’t i? Well if taking a nice little break isn’t working for you, then you might find it more useful to try my “Something Anything” method. This is probably the method i employ the most often. It would be pretty detrimental to my business if i took big long breaks from sewing these days, so i’ve had to find a quick way to get back on the horse. This works the best for me. The general idea is that you force the creative juices to start flowing again by tackling some kind of project- anything! Make a pillowcase, a drawstring bag, a quick and easy skirt, a tote bag, a quilt, a kids costume! A small win can set you on track again.

Try another craft

I’m a great believer in the idea that all creative pursuits are in some way related. If sewing isn’t working – try a different craft! Personally I love to embroider, and i’ve been slowly learning to knit over the last few years. Lately I find myself turning to knitting a lot as an alternative to sewing when i get a little burnt out. After successful finishing another craft project i find i feel quite refreshed and ready to head back to sewing.

Take tiny bites

But what if you are midway through a great project when your motivation says bye bye and you really just NEED to finish. Instead of forcing yourself to do everything, let your self take it on in tiny bites. Say to yourself, today i will sew the side seams and nothing else! Tomorrow i will insert the zipper then take a break. It will take you longer to finish your project, but you’ll get there, and you’ll probably find that by the end you feel like you can take on the world again.

Tidy up

Oh is that a weird one? Stick with me! I find that i can get really down and demotivated when my work room gets messy. I’ve had to train myself over the last year to keep it tidy all the time, and it’s scary how much it’s helped my motivation. If you’re struggling to get motivated, maybe it’s time to tidy up that sewing room/table/cupboard. Get your procrastination party started and reorganise your fabric. Sort your fabric spools. Catalog your sewing patterns. Declutter and get rid of some stuff. I like to joke that I’m creatively messy, but the truth is, getting your space in order can also get your mind in order.

Add your tips!

What about you? Any great tricks for getting yourself back on track when you lose the will to sew? I’d love to hear them – let me know in the comments!




Have you ever had the lining or facing of your garment keep rolling and peeking out from the inside? There is a solution for that, and it’s called understitching. Understitching is a technique that is often used on necklines, armholes, and the top edge of a lined skirt. And it’s done by stitching the seam allowance to the lining/facing, very close to the seam. If done correctly, the stitching is unseen from the outside, and your lining will stay hidden and in place on the inside!

Let’s take a look at how to use this simple technique….


For this sample, the print is the main fabric, and the solid color is the facing/lining.


With right sides facing each other, stitch your pieces together.

NOTE: if you are working with a curved seam, like a neckline or an armhole, now is the time to clip or notch your seam allowance.


With the wrong side facing you, open up your seam and press the seam allowance towards the facing/lining. Press it from the right side as well to make sure its good and flat. Pin to keep in place if necessary.


Stitching on the facing/lining and through the seam allowance, sew a line as close as possible to the seam line,  about 1/8 – 1/4” away. I used the inner side of my presser foot as a guide.


This is what it should look like from the right side (L) and wrong side (R).


Now press your facing/lining to the inside. You’ll see that it rolls nicely to the backside, so that facing/lining won’t peek out from the front.