Hi I’m Kirsty all the way from Top Notch. Big thanks to Claire who asked me to do a guest post on fitting sewing into our everyday life.
How do you fit it in? I’ve got a clock! Yep, a clock with a timer. That’s how I fit sewing into my life. Well it’s not the whole story but it sure goes a long way to explaining a big part of it. I asked for it for my birthday last year after I realised that my ‘5 more minutes’ was turning into a whole lot more and I needed a solution. The one more seam, one more button was taking over ... I have a family, other things and work that knocks a lot on my email after hours, so I have other things to do, I can’t just go into a sewing bubble. Oh, the clock isn’t just for me. Sometimes I use it for the kids when they are playing, but it’s mainly for me. The timer is set and when the buzzer goes, it’s down tools. For all of us!
I bought an entry level Pfaff about 4 years ago, when Elliot was about one and I started reading blogs and having to prepare costumes for Oliver for 3 and 4 year old birthday parties. I started sewing basic things for them, moved onto making simple clothes for me from Japanese sewing books and then onto other patterns. I started my blog about a year ago to help document Me Made May 2012. It’s funny to me that I started sewing right about the time that I had less time on my hands. I probably have even less time on my hands now than I did back then, but probably sew more. Not an usual story I know, most of you are the same.
I rarely make because I’m obligated to make. In fact, I hate obligation sewing. Time is precious and there are enough obligations. I make and prioritise the time to sew, usually because I’m in love with a project. I love clothes and fashion and style and therefore I sew when and because I’m inspired. I sew a lot with Liberty of London fabric because I love the narratives around their seasonal prints which now form part of my style and my me made wardrobe. Finding time to make and improve and learn new techniques isn’t easy and there are always going to be times when it is just plain impossible to make.
What works for me, is that we live in a small house. I have my sewing machines set up in the main area of the house and thanks to a present from my sister last year, I now have my current project stored ready to go in a basket. I’m still around for the kids, but I can be my own little sewing island in a sea of legos and batman and superman and noise. Of course I dream of having my own room but for now, with the boys at the age they are, it helps to stay connected with what they are doing. I think that it’s also really good for them to see me making and creating.
I don’t have a set timetable for sewing. It depends on what I’m sewing as to when I can sew. I don’t always use the clock of course! I can’t sew so much during the week, but if I’m really excited about a project, sometimes I sneak time in the evening when the kids are playing (this is definitely clock time otherwise nothing else would get done!) or some hand stitching while supervising homework or tape up patterns while watching TV. I usually try to fit in a few hours over the weekend after sport and chores and sometimes late at night when everyone else is in bed.
Do you have a special time when you sew, or are you like me and squeeze in time and steal little snippets when you can? What helps you find time for your projects and to stay focussed, but not at the expense of everything else in your life?