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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!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Ashleigh | Mish-Mash Made

A clean sewing room is the biggest for me! I can only do one thing at a time, so when I see a bajillion things that I’d like to do it’s overwhelming and I never start any of them. Tidy, and one project out. Small accomplishments, and more good feelings than bad at the end of the day! I’ll have to go home and take my own advice today haha :)

Patricia
6 years ago

Go shopping for clothes. The new stuff you see, with the prices for RTW, the shoddy workmanship, the poor fit, check the tag for where it is made, and the general hassle of try-ons, waiting lines for checkout, and the rest will send you back to your sewing machine. I just came from a shopping trip, and I’m ready to get out my patterns and fabric stash. The stuff I have plans for are really in style now, and I need to get them sewn up while they are au courant. They will compleat my fall and winter wardrobe capsules.

Rae
Rae
6 years ago
Reply to  Patricia

Yes that is a good one for me too!

Annabellouise
6 years ago

These are great ideas. Another one is to buy some lovely fabric that you just can’t wait to work with.

Sophia
6 years ago

I can absolutely relate to this feeling :D In my case it helps to try out another craft, as you suggested. I love knitting, since it clears my mind. The best part about loosing your motivation is getting it back, I think the best pieces I made are after a “down”. Have a nice day, Sophia
http://www.littlesewingmachine.blogspot.de

Amy Bobeda
6 years ago

this is always a huge problem for me–i make clothing at work, and then have no motivation to make myself something. Usually I’ll watch a good fashion documentary to get inspired!
xoxo
A
http://behindthescenes-beauty.com

Freya
6 years ago

These are great tips. I like to make a baby bib (the ones you recommended by Whitney Deal!) or some napkins when I’m feeling overwhelmed with something tricky…this reminds me…can you give some recommendations on where to buy clothing fabric online? I’d love that!

Janine Dean
Janine Dean
6 years ago

I do the clean up and then the mending… While in school I let the mending go for so long by the time I got to some of it, I was mending it to donate! Having the “chores done” usually works but if not then I go through my patterns… This nearly always works. New or Tried and True?

Boutique Fabric
6 years ago

Hello! We are a fashion fabric retail website offering high end fabrics in limited quantities. Check us out at boutiquefabric.com for your next sewing project!

Muinat O.
Muinat O.
2 years ago

I’ve been on the same project for the longest time and I’m just a beginner (20 y/o). I love the idea of creating something spectacular but just thinking of sitting at the machine to get it done makes me cringe a bit.