Thursday, February 11, 2010

Never Enough Time

I'm sure if I could spend all day sewing then I would get bored, right?

Yeah right.

Anyway, I can't spend all day sewing. Like everyone else, life's responsibilities can get in the way. :) The last couple days I haven't even gotten near my sewing machine and I am having withdrawal. Today doesn't look too promising either. We have a memorial service at church this evening for a dear old gentleman that passed away over the weekend and I have some extra cooking and baking to do for the dish to pass after.

Many times I will hear "I can't believe how much sewing you do!". Or, "how do you find time to sew?". I know with the busyness of family life it isn't easy. If you home school it can be an even greater challenge to find the time. That is the problem, you can't find the time, you have to take the time.

Honestly, when I had all preschoolers, I don't know how I did it. I did though. I think it was mostly done during nap times and evenings when Dale was home from work or after bedtime. I tried to keep it simple too. I didn't quilt back then, so basically my sewing was garments for my quickly growing twin girls. I did manage to squeak out some matching outfits for the three of us. By the time the third girl was born several years later, the ones that were preschool age were old enough to help keep an eye on the baby so there was a little more time to sew.

My mindset for sewing may different from yours. To me, it isn't just a hobby. I have two categories of sewing. One is what I call chore sewing. You know, those things that you have to make that you may not be interested in making at the moment. For example, right now I would love to spend my time using up some of my stash and cranking out some quilts. However, I have these children that keep growing. I don't usually need to make too much for the boys. The thrift store has been kind to us in that respect, thankfully! I have made little overalls, matching button down shirts, pj's, etc, in the past. Usually we do well enough between yard saling and thrift stores that the boys are already well provided for.

The girls... they are a little harder. Thus, my making things for them are more of a necessity, not a hobby. This means that I may need Dale to take over some of the home schooling if he is home so I can do something only I can do. No one else can do it. Or if Dale isn't available I may have to let the cleaning schedule relax a bit so I can get the sewing that needs to be done completed. I don't always treat sewing as a hobby. There are certain times in the year when it really does take priority and everyone else has to pitch in to get the regular chores done.

Then there is what I call my "fun sewing", a.k.a., quilting. I also call it therapy. If I am cranky or out of sorts, usually spending some time to be creative mends that for me. No pun intended. There are times when the "chore" sewing isn't pressing (oops, sorry about that pun too) and I can revel in some "just for the fun of it" type of sewing. That type of sewing is on the side, and I don't usually make that a priority, though I plan my time so I can do a little each day.

To sum up this rather lengthy missive that was intended to be short, here are some tips:

1. If you are needing to get something finished, don't be afraid to make it a priority. Don't be afraid to delegate. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You aren't supermommy. In our house, the logic is, if Dh wants our girls to dress to a certain standard, as the head of our house, he helps to make it happen by helping out with the regular chores, home schooling, etc. within reason, so I can sew.

2. If you home school, and you are under the wire for getting some chore sewing done, you are allowed to take some time off from the home schooling, or cut it back. Have the kids help and call it home ec. ;)

3. Keep it simple as you can. Do you reallllly need those ruffles around the Peter Pan collar? Do you have the time/patience for that? Will an easier pattern do just as well as one that is more involved?

4. Prioritize. Sometimes it seems like you need to do several things at once. Needs pile up, and it can be overwhelming. However pick what needs to be done first and do it. Then move onto the next thing.

5. Assembly line sew! For us girls I like to have matching outfits for church. There are a couple reasons for this. One, I think the girls look cute. But another reason is that with all the same material, I can cut all our outfits out and assembly line sew them together. It is much quicker than doing four outfits separately.

6. Use those little snatches of time wisely. Do you have 10 minutes? Sit down and do a little bit. The nice thing about sewing is that you can do little snatches like that. The only thing I need a chunk of time for is cutting out. Since our big table is almost always in use, it is near impossible to find a chunk of time so sometimes in the afternoons I will shoo kids thither and yon to the corners of the house with whatever school work they are doing so I can use the big table to cut out. Other than that, 90% of my sewing is done at odd moments in the day, and in the evenings during our free time.

7. Have your sewing area in the main part of the house. That will give you even more time. Due to lack of space in our little house there is no where else for me to set up my sewing area, but in the living room. It has always been that way, and it has been the key to getting sewing done.

8. Use the crock pot. Seriously, I know that sounds funny, but it really is a wondering thing! I try to do as many crock pot meals as possible. I set it up earlier in the day, and in the afternoon I can sew without worrying about making a meal for supper. It really frees up some time!

I hope those tips help! Now that I have given away my secrets to finding time to sew, you can see it isn't that big of a deal. LOL.

Happy creating!


The Savage said...

Request for next post: Crock pot menus!! ;-)

...they call me mommy... said...

Great post, Lisa! Thanks for the ideas and tips! Most of my sewing is "hobby" sewing...I do think I need to be better about starting what I finish though. You are right that it is prioritizing...I spend more time on the Internet than at my machine! :) Thanks for the helpful post!

Anonymous said...

With 5 (almost 6) 6 and under, who are ALWAYS home, I don't have any time during my days at all. Its these twins that make it the hardest-they get into everything! I find the only time I have for crafting is night time and I am SOOOOOOO tired by then-but maybe I can try napping the twins again and see if I can find some time that way. I get inspired by all the crafting you get accomplished!!! Hopefully one day I am half as accomplished...I would even take a quarter as accomplished!! :)

P.s. I need to blow the dust off my crockpot and try using that as well! lol

LOVE, Melissa N :)

Dusti said...

Lisa.. I really appreciate your advice, I'm trying to get back into the groove of sewing here "sew" it is so timely.