9 Tips to Help You to Find Time to Sew

Are you busy? I can’t hear you right now, but I’m sure you said ‘YES!’ These days everyone I know is so crazy busy with kids (carpooling, volunteering at school, science fair projects, feeding, bathing, keeping the rascals alive), work (commuting too!), and homemaking (dishes, laundry, floors, beds, bathrooms and on and on) that some people say they have no time to sew… GASP!

I was talking to my friend Sarah about this and we decided to put our heads together and write down our top tips to find time to sew. Because taking time to sew is not something you should feel guilty about. You’re making something useful and beautiful, building your skills, and filling your own bucket so you’ll be ready to give more to those you love. Are you ready??? Let’s count down.

9. If house chores are keeping you from sewing, play a little game with yourself. Set a timer and alternate Speed cleaning for 20 minutes then sewing for 20 minutes. It’s amazing how much cleaning you can accomplish with the proper motivation and you’ll be surprised at how much sewing you can get done in 20 minutes.

That was Sarah’s tip for dealing with housework. This is mine…

8. Block or hide the distracting housework. Close the door to the laundry room. Shove the junk inside and close your children’s bedroom doors. Put on your blinders and quickly walk past it all to your sewing room After all, no matter how many times you clean it, that mess is gonna re-appear. Your fabric is calling you! (note: I may or may not shove the dishes into the dishwasher just so they stop distracting me… and then it only takes a second to start it.)

7. Silence the interrupters. Turn off or don’t answer your phone. Don’t answer the door unless it’s the UPS man bringing more fabric. I’m sorry to my friends if this seems rude. But when people are busy at work, they routinely let calls go to voicemail. I claim the same luxury. And I will get back to you. 🙂

6. Keep a to-do list. I find that other tasks stop distracting me if I write them down. Then I know I won’t forget them and I can put them out of my mind to sew for a while.

5. Schedule it in. Plan time to sew first thing in the morning, right after lunch, after the kids get are in bed, etc. It doesn’t really matter when… just make sure it’s on your schedule. This could be once or twice a week or every day.

4. Set an alarm for when you have to stop – to go get the kids, get ready for work, etc. Knowing that the alarm will stop you, you can stop looking at the clock and focus on your project.

3. Have a grown-up play date. Invite a friend over for a morning or evening of sewing. She might help you finish a big project, or you can each work on your own.

2. Pack a ‘sewing on the go basket’ (or bag). I must admit that I enjoy the slower pace of hand sewing just as much as I love sewing with my machine. So I keep a large-ish zipper pouch packed with my latest hand sewing project that I can grab when I know that I’ll be waiting. Like on a long car ride, during my daughter’s dance class, or in a doctor’s waiting room. Paper pieced hexis are excellent an excellent start if you don’t already have a hand sewing project.

1. Don’t put away your sewing machine… keep it out and ready to go. This will be hard if you don’t have a dedicated sewing area. But you know as well as I do that if you put the machine away it will be a while before she’s out again.

Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments.

And then sew on!


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Lori Michel says:

    Hello Caroline, I have a few tips..
    1. Kids can clean own room.
    2. Kids can put dirty dishes in dishwasher…Hubby can help…..
    3. What phone?
    4. Schedule in calendar, then put in drawer to find later….
    5. To do lists are handy, make sure you give it to Hubby….
    6. Sewing on the go for me is work, so will spend extra time in sewing room when get home from doctors, as that is the only chance to read latest magazines….
    7. Alarms are for fires…….
    8. Adult play dates,,,,girlfriend you and I must talk about what that really is…….
    9. Tell Sarah to come to my house and she can clear her heart out…….

  2. karen Falzon says:

    I do paid work 4 days a week and my family know that 1 of those 3 days that I am not at work is my day and if I want to sew all day, then I will. Fortunately the 2 that are home are a little older, but when they were younger you have to have some "me" time, it’s only far ( and don"t feel guilty). Having a hand sewing job on the go mean that at least you can watch TV or while waiting for dinner to cook, you can do a little, it all adds up.
    Love Lori’s comment

  3. curlygirlmom says:

    LOL @ Lori Michel’s list. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fly at our house as my husband is a sole proprietor. I love the 20 minute timer idea. I’ve used it before when there’s a ton to do in the house and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Thankfully, I’m training my daughter to help out around the house. At 5, she’s already pretty good at chores AND she’s starting to show some interest in sewing. We’ll have to have a competition so that when she’s sewing along side me, we can see who gets the most done in those 20 minutes! 🙂

  4. Erica Swanson Doyle says:

    and for #10 🙂 I own a shop in Arizona called "The Sewin’Asylum" where I offer "Sewing Labs". Three hours of sewing time along with any needed instruction. I have some "seasoned sewists" in attendance who just need to get some focused time and they find it at my shop.

  5. Anne Oosterlinck says:

    The most annoying thing for me is: I go to work, and I crave some sewing time. When I finally have some time to sew, I do not feel like sewing or do not have the courage to get up from my couch.

  6. christine Zania Filby says:

    I make time by combining teaching my granddaughter to sew with finishing off projects .ie when showing her how to use the machine, I sew a seam or overlock an edge. Means I get something done while showing her what to do. Win..win.

  7. Helen White says:

    I sew every morning, Monday through Friday except Thursday (swim that morning ) between 5am and 7am. On Saturdays I sew all morning til noon then I sew again on Sunday after swimming while I’m doing laundry. I’m a happy wife 🙂

  8. "Silence the interrupters" has been a game changer and "keep a to-do list" has enabled me to stay focused. I can’t thank you enough for the excellent advice!

  9. You have no idea how much you have eased my mind. I literally have been overwhelmed with family and engrossed with everything that doesn’t give me instant gratification. Your article shifted the on edge feeling to a WOOSAH moment. Thank you so much for letting me know it’s ok sew.

  10. Jan Kalonick says:

    “Silence the interrupters” was a challenge when my husband and I retired a week apart. I would say I am going to the sewing “office” for a certain amount of time and within 5 – maybe 10 minutes he would knock on the door and ask me what I was doing. After about two weeks, he knocked once to many times and when I threw a spool of thread at him and told him that if I was bleeding or had a needle through my finger I would let him know. He does not knock anymore. Problem solved.

  11. I have a set time to sew every day for 10 minutes. Sometimes 10 minutes are all I have, but a lot of the time just going to my sewing room to do my 10 minutes is all the motivation I need to sew for even longer!

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