I’ll be honest – I’m putting together this post for myself! I’ve totally fallen out of my creative habits and I want to give myself a push to get back into it.
A lot of people think (and I used to think!) that creativity had to be spontaneous, off the cuff, random. I’ve realised that for me, creativity is about habit. I’ve certainly come to understand it more since becoming a fan of the work of Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project, Better Than Before) who talks about the power of habit in her work. I listen to her podcast regularly (I recommend it!) and I know that habit and routine work well for my personality when I want to achieve happiness, organisation and productivity.
Here are 10 ways to get back into sewing if you’ve fallen off that creative wagon and are keen to reconnect with your fabric loving self. (And trust me, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be taking my own advice and doing ALL OF THESE!)
- Clean your craft space.
You know that feeling of walking into a messy room. Where do you even start? It’s not very conducive to productivity when there is fabric, thread and half finished projects strewn everywhere. A little bit of organised chaos is fine, but I know personally that when the sewing room gets out of control (and it does regularly) I just avoid it. Don’t think about sewing – just attack your craft space with one goal – get it organised! Once it’s done, it will be an inviting space again, not one you want to avoid.
2. Sew to a deadline.
A friend of mine asked if I could make a quilt for her to give another friend as a new baby gift. Only catch – she needs it by Saturday as she flies home to the UK early Sunday morning. If her request was open ended, I probably would have procrastinated. Since she needs it by Saturday, my mindset is completely different and I’ve been working methodically to get it completed for her.
3. Sew something you NEED.
It might be really basic. A zipper pouch to keep make up in your handbag. A library bag. A new oven glove. But you’ll forever have the pleasure of knowing that you can be self sufficient enough to make something you needed and will smile every time you use it! It will also motivate you to make more things you need.
4. Go shopping.
But here’s the catch. You must go in person and set yourself a small budget. Touch the fabric. Look at all the thread choices. Buy some fabric and notions to use on a project NOW. Don’t shop for the stash. Get inspired by colour, drape, feel. Then go straight home and sew!
5. Engage with your creative community on social media.
Ahh instagram. So full of colourful quilts and projects to fall in love with. Browse for a while and let your mind drift to projects you want to try, colour combinations you want to assemble. Find a cool project? Comment and ask the maker how they did it, what pattern they used, what fabric choices they made. Get involved! Pinterest is also a great resource. Use social media to seek and find your next project!
6. Make a quick finish.
Got a spare hour or two? Pick something simple then sit down and GET IT MADE. A quick finish and that great feeling that comes with completing a project will get those creative juices flowing. This project is a nice quick one.
7. Sew a gift.
Got a birthday coming up? Or just want to say thank you to someone? Sometimes it is easier to sew for someone else than it is for ourselves. I find I want to SEW ALL THE THINGS and then I’m indecisive, but often I’m more deliberate when I’m making choices about what someone else would like. You could incorporate number 2 (sew to a deadline) and number 6 (a quick finish) into this project as well. Love efficiency!
8. Wind some bobbins.
So simple, yet so necessary. Nothing worse than getting into a project, steaming ahead and really making progress…then the bobbin runs out and you have to stop everything to wind a new one. GAH. The worst. Pick your two or three most used threads and get winding baby! Then you’ll be prepared, because lets face it, the bobbin runs out way too often for my liking.
9. Finish a WIP.
Ok tell the truth. How many WIPs do you have? One? Six? Who knows because you’ve chucked them in the back of the wardrobe of the spare bedroom because every time you look at them you feel guilty? I hear you. Grab one – any one, but just one. And finish it. It will lift a weight off your shoulders. A great option to be completed as part of number 7 (sew a gift). Kill two birds!
10. Listen while you work.
Lots of straight line quilting, piecing, pressing? Those parts of the project that are monotonous and time consuming yet super important? It’s easy to procrastinate when the boring bits are looming. Entertain yourself. I see lots of people online who watch Netflix but I can’t watch and sew. Too distracting. But I do love to listen. Find some favourite podcasts, search for some fun Pandora channels, listen to audio books. My phone and my little bluetooth speaker are my constant companions these days!
I hope those ideas can help get you (and me!) back into a more regular creative habit. Do you have any particular things you do to get you back into sewing mode? Please tell me!
This week I’m…
Sewing – simple cushions for sofa. Need to master hidden zip technique.
Reading – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
Listening – to Slate Culture Gabfest podcast (long time fave of mine)
Watching – Just finished The Crown. So good. Bring on series 2!
Drinking – peppermint tea while I recover from a nasty cold.