You-Made-May...Sewing with Time Constraints

April 25, 2016

You-Made-May...Sewing with Time Constraints

I really want to share my love of sewing with you and also be there for you when you sew and encourage you to sew something once in a while. I'm not a seasoned blog writer, it won't be very pretty, but it will be enthusiastic!

I think the obstacle to many of us getting any sewing done for ourselves tends to be the time it takes. I know you may think I'm cheating when I sew anything for me since I have all the necessary tools set up and ready to go. I have a table with a cutting mat, plenty of rotary blades, 2 straight-stitch machines (one with a foot for sewing on vinyl), a serger/overlock, a binding machine, many thread colors, and many extra supplies just in case I need elastic, zipper or interfacing.

Cutting RoomBut I have time constraints too! 

I don't get to sew for me but rarely. I spend 7-9 hours a day at our workshop and I never work on my own projects. I either stay late or come in on the weekends to sew myself something and it's easier said than done to get away from the house to do this- I have a family and animals and 4-h -where I led two projects this year- and my husband travels a fair bit.

So how do we get some sewing done with barely any time to spare? 

I think one of the most time consuming parts of sewing is reading directions on a pattern if you're using one. So I don't. Yep- I just don't unless I need to know what the pattern maker intended or how he or she planned on it being sewn since there are multiple ways to get the same thing accomplished. I can do this because I know the typical order of operations on most garments and the individual sewing steps to complete them. And you can too.

So I thought with the Me-Made-May movement this would be good timing to encourage you to get a couple items sewn in May or June using my methods:

  1. Chip, chip, chip away at it!
  2. Treat the instructions like a bulleted list
  3. Prepare and be ready to work when you only have 20 minutes to do so.

     I'm going to take a few popular sewing patterns and break them down in bulleted lists. If you are a beginner seamster, using my bulleted list instructions may be challenging. But I'll also refer to what steps in the pattern instructions I'm referring to so you can lookup the steps.

Making your sewing experience about drawing upon skills you have and not learning all the steps of your project as you go-every time you sew the same project- will make your sewing time more efficient and your library of sewing knowledge more complete. Don't get nervous. I won't throw any curve balls at you. Remember, you may know eight out of the ten steps for a garment without needing any explanation. But those two steps you may question is when you refer to the instructions for more information. And you're not wasting precious time figuring out where in the instructions you are or wading through an explanation you may not need.


 Above Left and Center: Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns,Far Right: Amelia Dress by Green Bee Patterns. (Click the middle image for information about my Knit fabric). 

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all about enjoying the process and slow-sewing. However getting a project done and wearing it is a key part of feeling successful and encouraging us to create again. 

We're going to focus on one knit dress and one woven dress at first. These two styles are flattering for an array of body types, keep to basic sewing skills, and are extremely wearable. The Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns is widely available in three formats: digital, printed paper, and printed directly on to fabric by Sprout Patterns. The Amelia Dress by Green Bee Patterns is worth finding and available on their website if your fabric store doesn't carry it. It's a bias cut dress with darts, pockets and a zipper that sews together quickly.

Gather your supplies, cut out your pieces, and instructions for both these dresses will be up the first week in May. There is no rush to make your dress! Just know we're ready when you are. And let me know what you think or what you pledged for Me-Made-May.



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