I had a good think about this one, as I’m not even sure what inspires one person to make a dress in a weekend and another person to take a month for the same process. I know LIFE often gets in the way.
Anyway, here are my tips, for what they’re worth…
DON’T have a dedicated sewing space
Contentious this one. Who among us doesn’t yearn for A Room Of One’s Own in which to cut up fabric? But part of my creativity is down to the fact that my sewing machine is in a corner of the living room. I’ve been known to indulge in two minutes sewing as I wait for my boyfriend to bring the vegetables to the table.
My corner of the living room
Write a blog
The bloggers I know all seem to follow a similair pattern: they discover an interest in sewing, read lots of sewing blogs, develop a creeping, curious urge to contribute to this online community and start wondering, ‘Could I write something?’ Well, yes, you could! The most difficult decision seems to be choosing between Blogger and WordPress and, from what I can tell, there’s little in it. But the moment you start blogging, you’ll be spurred on to make more. After all, without any sewing action going on, what do you have to blog about? My productivity has gone through the roof since the day I sat down and thought, Now what shall I call my blog?
Join a class
I’ve talked a lot about my course at Morley College, so I won’t bang on about it again here. But the discipline needed to turn up to class once a week makes a difference to what you’re working on. It’s called homework, people!
Invest in decent fabric
An unexpected suggestion from the Queen of Walthamstow market, where fabric can be bought for £1 a metre! But my experiences spending money on higher end fabric have proved that I take my makes far more seriously and keep sewing. The long and the short of it is I don’t want to have wasted £40 that could have gone on Cava!
Spontaneously splurge on cheap fabric
I am nothing if not contrary. As well as expensive fabric, buy a few metres of something that will give you change from a fiver. Yeah, go ahead! Stock up on the stuff that would explode in flames should a match be lit. You won’t mind if this fabric is wasted and so you’ll experiment and challenge yourself. The worst that can happen is that you’ve wasted an afternoon, and you could do that watching the Hollyoaks omnibus.
11 metres recently bought for £12
Follow Your Dreams
Get a decent night’s sleep and watch what happens in your dreams. If you’re anything like me, a stimulating make will infiltrate your sleeping hours. I often dream about my sewing and discover answers to frustrating sewing questions once I’m in my pyjamas and tucked up in bed. More times than I can count, this has led to me leaping out of bed at an ungodly hour on a weekend morning to switch on the radio, brew a steaming coffee and hope that the thrum of my sewing machine isn’t disturbing the neighbours.
Remember why you’re doing this in the first place
It’s not out of a sense of duty, there isn’t a budget or time sheet, no graduation ceremony or contract of employment. Indeed, sewing is an escape from all of these things. If you’re doing it because you feel you should, it’s time to take a break from the sewing machine.
Do as I say, not as I do
Finally, and most importantly, I should confess: I don’t particularly admire my need to constantly be doing stuff and I’m not sure anyone else should admire it either. It didn’t used to be like this. Back in my mid-twenties, weekends were for a) going to the pub or b) lounging in bed, reading the Sunday papers. If I had a rare spurt of energy, I’d bake a cake. When did I lose the ability to have a lie in? This state of affairs stinks!
A very young me. I don’t yet know how to spell the word ‘deadline’!
I’m going to make a final, revolutionary statement that flies in the face of productivity:
Sometimes, it’s time to drag the dust cover over the sewing machine and do nothing at all!
Seriously. Can you remind me I said this when I next blog about the make that kept me up all weekend…?