True Confessions – Sometimes I’m Too Tired To Sew

Sleeping On The Sofa

It’s an oft heard complaint that we don’t have enough time to sew. But what about when we don’t have the energy? This thought occurred to me after reading Scruffy Badger’s quiet bemusement that her burgeoning running career was robbing her of sewing energy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are worst dilemmas in the world! But I found myself empathising. This week, for example, I had a clear diary. No evening commitments, which surely meant hours of sewing time, right? Except … not so much. Two days this week I’ve cycled to work and back – a two hour round trip. Plus the dog walks, and cooking dinner… I found that by the time 8pm rolled around, all I really wanted to do was collapse on the sofa. I had the time to sew, sure, but none of the energy.

Knitting helps. It’s a nice, quiet, sofa-orientated activity. I’m still doing something creative, even whilst watching soap operas. (Now, don’t come all soap opera snobbish on me. Coronation Street contains some superb comedic script writing and a stellar cast. I give you Timothy West!)

So, what about you? The same? Or is it just me who needs an energy boost?

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72 Responses to True Confessions – Sometimes I’m Too Tired To Sew

  1. The time of the year doesn’t help, lack of sunshine and too much central heating and stews….bring on the summer !! I have faith that with spring around the corner our energy will rise and flower like daffodils!

  2. Sam says:

    I agree with Winnie, the time of year definitely doesn’t help! I’ve been very keen to sew this week, but my “sewing room” AKA the dining room doesn’t have the best lighting, and at this time of year it’s hard to see well enough to do much! Might be something to do with the fact that my eyes are getting older as well. (Only my eyes of course – not the rest of me!)

  3. Amanda says:

    I find myself in the same boat recently. Three derby sessions and three PT sessions a week plus all of the other life stuff = couch time for the win. I have recently discovered the joys of knitting and hand sewing when chilling out. So rad!

  4. Lazy Stitching says:

    Oh lordy, I hear you – I work in hospitality which equals 9-10 hour shifts on my feet.

  5. O yes… as I was hoping to get better as the days are getting longer – but not…still energy isseus….

  6. Debi says:

    I was recently blogging about this as well! I’ve been mentally exhausted lately when I come home from work!!! Hopefully spring is just around the corner 🙂

  7. Jo says:

    Yesp, me too! Definitely a winter thing.

  8. Houseofpinheiro says:

    Yes, I had to officially remove myself from blogging and sewing for a whole week. This is a dilemma we all are and we feel guilty mainly because we feel we otta produce for our blogs. We are responsible for feeling terrible about it. I got a friend she doesn’t blog and she doesn’t feel pressured to sew as much as like yourself she find comfort in knitting on the sofa. We should make a mandatory holiday when we run out if energy, like the ones we have to take from work yearly. Maybe a joint week off or more… Or demanding less of ourselves would be a good start …

  9. Kat says:

    Me too! By the time I get home from work and eat its usually past 8 and all I want to do is curl up on the sofa – hence the lack of sewing on my blog recently! I definately agree the weather and darkness don’t help – bring on the spring and a return of the sewing mojo!

  10. Nikki says:

    Mm, I guess in the winter, it’s nice to curl up on the sofa, but here 12,000 miles away, we’ve had an amazing summer and it seems a shame to stay cooped up downstairs sewing, so I’ve gone out to play golf, or go for walks. So MY sewing isn’t getting done! I also generally say that I’ll stop sewing by about 8-8.30 pm. By then I’m half asleep and I’ll make a mess of anything I do!

  11. Too tired for anything is my mantra. I get home and fall into bed quite often! That you manage to do it on the sofa is quite remarkable.

  12. sylkotwist says:

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one! It’s true, I feel guilty if I don’t produce things to write about on my blog, but if I didn’t have my blog, I’d probably be curled up on the sofa a lot more and frustrated at my lack of motivation. Sometimes though, a night in front of the tv is what I crave and therefore I think it must be doing me some good. Karen, I must say, if someone took a pic of me asleep on the sofa, dribble would be involved, congrats on looking so demure!

  13. Nessa says:

    Karen we all love your dedication and your writing but we love you too! We all understand how you feel, can see ourselves in your words and are very glad you are listening to your bodies’ chill requirements! Spring is just around the corner, and she’ll be popping in for tea and cake very soon – so relaxing now will revive and refresh you just in time to welcome her with open arms, swirly frocks and flirty heels!

  14. Gosh, yes. I cut fabric out for a dress on Monday, knowing that I had a clear week with no evening plans. It’s Thursday and it’s still sitting there. Work is busy, it’s cold, and all I have wanted to do in the evenings is get on the sofa and stay there. But I think that’s okay – it’s a hobby, not a chore, and I don’t want to do it if I’m not fit to or in the right frame of mind to. You cuddle Ella and watch Corrie, and soon you’ll be itching to get sewing again.

  15. Me too! By the time I get home from work and I’ve eaten I feel too tired to do anything but flop on the sofa. It’s never a good idea to sew when you’re tired – some of my worst sewing mistakes have been made when I was too tired to be sewing and I should have left it alone. These dark evenings make me want to cuddle up on the sofa with my knitting.

  16. Erika says:

    So happy to hear I’m in very good company about this! For a couple of weeks now I think I’ve only managed to sew half of the time I had set aside for it (and then I had already planned “curling up in the sofa”-time). Some days I’ll be looking forward all day to just sewing the entire evening, get home and there’s just no energy whatsoever left. For anything.
    I’ve been a bit stressed about it, but then I remembered – it’s February. I always, always react this way. Somehow it’s like the entire winter’s lack of daylight comes crashing down on me, and it takes spring to fully restore me. So maybe in the later part of March… I’ll stick to doing what feels good, and some sewing will come out of it. And in maybe a month I’ll be back to normal productivity.

  17. Kerry says:

    I’ve been doing more knitting and crochet too as my sewing speed has been hampered by the current weather as well as a project I’m struggling to finish so am having to sew in little bits (half an hour/three quarters of an hour at a time) to keep up the momentum so it actually DOES get finished! I always find I sew less and knit more in wintery weather anyway.

  18. sewbusylizzy says:

    My life (like many) can be excessive busy. I can always find 5 or 15 minutes to squash in sewing but some days I’m beyond exhausted – those days it’s better to rest. Then in a few days I’ll just find 20 minutes to sew instead. More often than not I find I produce better projects when I just aim to complete one step a night rather than an epic session.

  19. Mandy says:

    Ah I comments recently to a girlfriend – while I was heavily pregnant with baby #3 – that there is nothing worse than having the time and enthusiasm but no energy to sew! She replied ‘having the enthusiasm and energy but no time also sucks’

    we came up with our magical crafting formula: time + energy + enthusiasm = perfect crafting conditions!

  20. I hear you. By the time the kids are in bed and we’ve had dinner, all I’m fit for is curling up on the sofa with tv and knitting or hand sewing. I don’t watch Corrie, but I won’t tell you how many American dramas I’m addicted to…Revenge anyone?! Breaking Bad???

  21. Louise says:

    I’m so with you on this, so much so that I wrote my own post on it

  22. EJ says:

    I nodded so much in agreement reading that. Accept when I read about soap operas then I shook my head. But yes, I have to be in the right frame of mind for sewing. I’m still a beginner so it takes concentration and focus… if I’m too tired or too fully of energy I make mistakes and/or don’t enjoy it.

  23. Gail says:

    Absolutely. I often find myself so mentally exhausted that there’s no point in trying to sew: I’d only make mistakes that I’d have to rip out later. My natural tendency is to push through and just do it anyway, so I really have to take myself in hand and either knit or read – or organize my sewing things!

  24. yesilikethat says:

    I’m exactly the same. It’s really difficult to find enough time to sew at the moment, I don’t know how some bloggers manage so many garments! I’m pretty slow anyway though. I do find that trying to sew when I’m tired just means I make loads of mistakes and get frustrated.

  25. As an Atlanta girl, I am very fond of Scarlett O’Hara’s saying: “Tomorrow is another day” and I always give myself permission to take some “mental health time”.

  26. Marie says:

    Karen, I reckon this admission will be all too familiar to 99% of sewers. At the start of the week I drew out (yep, by hand…old school) a calendar of my planned sewing activity for the next 3 months. I have so many things I want to achieve, not only for myself but as gifts for others too, that I need to keep to the schedule pretty rigidly. Yet, already I’m faltering, because when you make these plans you never factor in how damned tired you are on week day evenings! I’m going to try and be nice to myself and not worry if I don’t achieve it all, but I hate when work-related tiredness gets in the way of the creative process!

  27. liza jane says:

    Since I’ve been preggo, I don’t sew at all during the week anymore. I used to. Now all my sewing is relegated to weekends. I crash on the couch as soon as I get home from work.

  28. Louise hanes says:

    I call myself a seasonal sewer. Our old cottage is so cold that I don’t relish the thought of sewing in the cold. When winter draws in and the burner is lit I find myself drawn to the sofa knitting.

  29. Sabs says:

    Do you know what’s funny? To get rid of the winter blues, I’ve started running properly again so 3 times a week in the evening after work, me and hubby go out for a 5k+ run (we’re trying to build it up to 10) which is great for my fitness and we both feel so much better mentally…BUT I’m so bloody exhausted that I can’t do anything else! So apart from spending 20 minutes cutting out some fabric this week, all my sewing gets done at the weekends. And the rest of the evening is spent lying on the sofa reading sewing blogs! I just hope when the days get longer and warmer (hang on, this is ENGLAND you’re talking about Sabs) I don’t get lured to do outdoorsy stuff too much and can still get some sewing in…

  30. Adrienne says:

    I hear you, lady… My sewjo has taken a hit lately as well. So difficult to juggle all our competing priorities!

  31. sallie says:

    Oh I definitely agree. Weeknights are pretty hit or miss with me for sewing, so I never PLAN to get sewing done on those nights. I usually try to reserve at least one whole weekend day for that so I can putz around the sewing room at my own pace and to my hearts content!

  32. Sheree says:

    I am happy to sew when I am not tired – perhaps a day at the weekend when I know there won’t be too many interruptions. I can understand those that have blogs may feel pressure. It is a shame if they feel that. As a reader of blogs, I feel a different type of pressure. As much as I love to read them, I can’t help wondering how you all get SO much done!!! Why am I so slow and what am I doing wrong? HELP!!

  33. LinB says:

    ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…… snort. Oh, i’m sorry, what were you saying?

    • LinB says:

      Not meant to be a comment on the nature of the conversation. Just an illustration of what happens to me most anytime I sit down on the sofa, these days.

  34. Lucy says:

    This is my life. Getting through the day-to-day takes so much energy sometimes that I can’t cope with anything extra in the evenings at all. It’s one of the things that I hate most about having depression, and why I feel that I have to aim small.

    Knitting is most definitely a less exhausting option, though, and why I’m so pleased to have taken it up.

  35. LLADYBIRD says:

    Nope, I’m 100% with ya. I really only get my sewing mojo in the afternoon (of course, when I’m at work… argh) or early evening. Once 8-9 PM rolls around, I lose all my energy and reach for the sweatpants.

    I also don’t let myself feel bad if I don’t have the energy to sew. That’s an easy way to suck the fun right out of it – making it a chore-y commitment instead of something I actually look forward to doing.

  36. CGCouture says:

    I understand completely. I’m a stay at home mom, but even I struggle to find the time and energy to sew sometimes. Especially this time of year. Don’t dog yourself about it, you’ll find the time and the energy again, probably this spring when the weather stops being quite so dreary, the flowers come back into bloom, and the days get longer. 🙂

  37. Rosemary says:

    It is a problem we all have. Today i finished work early at 3pm and crawled straight into bed. I have now managed to reach for my computer (still in bed), but i have knitting less than 2feet away and i just can’t be asked. I need motivation, and today i have none. Your posed has made me feel better about this though.

  38. Totally hear you and I think that’s why I love knitting too. I am almost never too tired to knit (almost). So easy to plop on the sofa in front of the tv. But sewing takes more energy for sure. So much more going on than just sitting in place with your arms moving. Maybe if I setup a big long tall sofa with my sewing machine, serger, cutting table and ironing board in a row in front of the tv, and I could just plop from spot to spot in a row… somehow I don’t think this would pan out. 😉

    • Patricia Tumlinson says:

      I don’t think it would either! And think about having to move all your sewing stuff back to the sewing area/room, if you have one. Lol!!!

  39. Sara Mayo says:

    When I want to make sure I have the time and energy to see on the evening, I don’t make dinner. I eat something like canned fruit and toast, or a bowl of cereal, or purchased cheese buns with some fresh fruit. It was cheese buns and watermelon and Jarlsburg cheese for me last night, and the sewing got done.

  40. Same here! I have a flex work week which means for two weeks in a row I get off at 5pm the other two weeks 3pm. On my 5pm weeks I barely get any sewing done. I dream about it all day what I’m going to work on when I get home. I get home about 5:30, cook supper, clean up, and it seems as if I’ve stepped into a time warp. By the time all that stuff gets done its going on 7 -8:00 and my favorite show is coming on. I get a lot more done on the days I get off at 3pm.

  41. Joanne says:

    You give me Timothy West, I raise you Nigel Havers! Also a massive fan of Corrie…all the best people are don’t you know?! Love that pic of you and Ella!

    • Oh, you could make out Ella in the photo, could you?! That was our very first day together! I salute you, fellow Corrie fan!

    • NB Did you catch the episode where Audrey and Gail talked about the Nigel character wearing stacked heels? It was comic genius!

      • Joanne says:

        Absolutely brilliant. It is a modern play for today. Any scene with Norris in it is usually wonderful and god rest Blanche who once said of Liz McDonald: “roots as dark as her soul”. I literally never miss an episode – it’s on series link. But I never read spoilers as I liked to pretend they’re all real in my head and everything happens in real time! I am a sad person.

  42. Colleen says:

    Yep, I hear you. I don’t get as much sewing done as I’d like because I find I’m tired in the evenings and tired means I make mistakes. I need to be reasonably alert when sewing.

    For knitting or unravelling (I recycle sweaters for yarn) they don’t require nearly as much concentration, so I find if I’m too tired for sewing, I do one of those two activities in the evening. Although, there are times when I’m too tired to concentrate on either of those!

  43. Karen S says:

    I work at a 2-yr community college and my job is mentally draining. I come home exhausted every night. I was doing a lot of sewing last summer and into fall, but then Thanksgiving & Christmas (I live in Michigan) came around and I was too busy with the holidays to sew. Now I’ve lost my sewing mojo. I’m sure it will return with the warm weather (which can’t get here soon enough-it’s COLD here!) I have been doing a lot of knitting to make up for the lack of sewing. Since Christmas I’ve knit 3 cowls, a shawl, 2 hats and started a sweater, plus I have another cowl on the needles that I’ve been working on this week. But I’ve been thinking more about sewing lately so maybe the motivation is returning…

  44. AnotherKaren says:

    Frankly, I don’t know how you create your lovely things after a day’s work and travelling. I salute you because we are not just talking about ‘sewing’ are we? We are talking about creating a unique 3D structure that fits. ‘Sewing’ involves making nifty calculations (our maths teachers would be proud!) and that’s before we get to grips with the idiosyncracies of fabric, thread and machine. You, Karen (and all the other sewers) are nothing less than engineers, architects and artists, oh yes you are. With all that taxing, intellectual stuff going on in your head, I recommend plenty of thinking time, in a horizontal position on the chaise longue. It works for me.

  45. Gjeometry says:

    Aw, doggie looks tired too. I know that when I had my dog (she passed on in June, 2012 🙁 ), that taking her for walks would rejuvenate me and make me feel less tired. Clear my head and just make me feel better! Getting outside, being with the dog, watching her have fun. All good things. You’ve reminded me that I have to get on with getting another dog to adopt me soon! 🙂

  46. Sarah says:

    Snap! I get this all the time! My shifts in work can change weekly which puts any plans i have for sewing out the window! The other thing is for a few months now my dog has been suffering from fits! This usually happens at night which means a very tired day follows! By which point the dog is fine rested and like nothing happened whilst I’m pooped!
    Instead I’ve been comforting myself with sketching, usually outfits that I would like to sew as that doesn’t too much concentration and makes me feel like I’ve been productive!

  47. Clio says:

    And here I thought I was the only one who just couldn’t muster the energy to sew on weeknights. I try to focus on the less-sewy sewing tasks – fabric prep, reading instructions or tutorials, pressing, hand sewing, etc – before flopping on the couch with knitting. Nice to know I’m not alone!

  48. Helen says:

    I absolutely agree, and it happens all too often. I rarely have weekday evening plans, but by the time I get Small Boy home, fed, bathed, stories read and put to bed, THEN make and eat dinner, it can be close to 9! And often, even when it’s not that late, I just can’t be bothered to get everything out the cupboard and set up, never mind having to out it all away again! Oh to have a designated sewing room! And no job! 🙂

  49. katlane12 says:

    Oh I hear ya! I aim to sew during my daughters naps but sometimes when she goes to sleep all I want to do is sit on the couch and veg out.

  50. Definitely. I have fits and starts of creative energy. There are times I can push myself to get things done..I’ve traced out three patterns this week, but when energy and hence productivity is low I try to give myself a break. Not always easy! Hoping brighter days and lots of fresh veg will give me a much needed kickstart.

  51. I tend to sew until 3am in the morning then totally regret it in the morning. Mainly this is due to my impatience and need to finish things straight away haha.

  52. Danielle says:

    Absolutely the same! I work a minimum of 40 hours a week, not including the 1 hour round-trip travel time. By the time I get home, it’s also dinner time, and then I usually just want to zone out on the couch, catch up on a TV show, or do a little reading… I wish I could be more motivated when I get home… but I tend to use the weekends for my sewing time, so I try to fit in at least a couple of hours a week…

  53. eronoe says:

    Ooh, yes! I spend most my days either reading about sewing or tracing patterns for school so by the time dinnertime has past and my free-time has come I rather do something else… it’s a shame because sewing is what I love and some weeks it feels like all I’m doing is the boring need-to-be-done things. Don’t get me wrong, I looove schoool! These two courses (apparel manufacturing and pattern construction) are like a dream, but I miss the spontaneity of doing my own projects.

    So it’s not just you, but this too shall pass! <3

  54. I totally get it. My whole life is like that to be honest. I sewed myself out about 15 years ago and now I surf the occasional waves of inspiration that turn up until they pass. Winter is definitely harder, I feel. And I didn’t know Tim west had joined Coro St! I’ll look forward to seeing him when those episodes get to us. 🙂

  55. I hear ya!
    When I have the energy, I don’t have the time. When I have the time, I have no energy!
    Go figure….
    I feel like I’m still run down from Xmas/NY period. If it wasn’t for my weekly sewing class commitments I probably wouldn’t sew at all!!!!
    Getting back into it slowly though..

  56. Esmee says:

    Totally agree, its hard to work hard and then sew hard in the evenings! However if I dont get any sewing done during the week I then tend to go a bit sewing crazy at the weekends…I now have a stack of almost finished garments awaiting my attention! Time on the sofa is never time wasted, its just time to think about what to sew next…

  57. Yip sometimes your sewing mojo hits the buffers, ton of things to do, brimming with ideas but a box set of Bette Davis and a onesie wins!

  58. Thea says:

    Oh God yes! I also find that I have a limited amount of creative energy. On weekdays, it’s usually taken up by cooking, and on weekends, I have a choice between sewing or cooking something fancy/baking something. This weekend, baking won… Well done you for cycling to work two days in this weather – I am very very impressed, you definitely deserve the sofa for that, and a big pat on the back! My work is a 15 minute cycle, and I don’t make it by bike at the moment…

  59. Lorna says:

    Ha! Energy? What is that again? (Cue mad cackle). My virago of a two year old (aka the Tiny Despot) keeps me on my toes all day, then gets up at least five times between 11pm and 6am every single night. Serious sleep deprivation means I can barely make it up the two flights of stairs to my sewing space, and if I do get there I’m too scared to do anything in case of accidental amputation! I can, however, still buy fabric, so I’m stashing like a madwoman, waiting a good day when I’m awake enough to make something. Just bought the Lisette Portfolio pattern, can’t wait to get stuck in… maybe tomorrow!

  60. gingermakes says:

    Dude, I am TOTALLY the same way, except that I usually power through and sew when I’m tired and lack energy, and I end up ripping out every that I sewed. 🙁

  61. megthegrand says:

    I am feeling the exact same way right now. I just moved into my new place on Friday, and all I can think about is unpacking (still cannot find most of my spoons or my hair dryer) and sleeping. That is all I want to do right now, and sewing just isn’t in the cards! I’m afraid I have already forgotten how to knit!

  62. Oh my, I’m catching up, almost a yr behind. Some posts I hurry through but I just had to read ALL these comments. I am about same age as Karen, live kinda alone, do what I want, eat when I want, sleep when I want…I’ve been having trouble making it till 8pm. Some nights I’m wanting to go to bed at 6. I doubt it’s the weather- it’s Summer here and I love summer. I’m just learning though that it only lasts a few days then I seem to gain more energy and less tiredness. They are my sewing days. I’ve said all my life I will sew heaps when I retire now I’m thinking I might be too tired!!! It really helps knowing we are not alone and we are normal. Thank you everyone for sharing honestly.

  63. surfjewels says:

    I am always too tired to sew, it’s not easy working full time and getting lots of sewing done. I too end up on the sofa knitting and watching TV if I’m not online. I end up trying to catch up at weekends and in holidays, luckily I work in a school, so I get a few hols!!


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