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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > sewing and time management ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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sewing and time management
Calendria
Calendria
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AK USA
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Date: 8/17/12 3:17 PM

okay, I'm a bit of a busy mommy with lots of things on my plate and I'm wondering how some you other sewing enthusiasts manage between sewing and time management. i can NOT sewing a pair of pants in one night so I'm having a hard time getting things done in a timely manner.

any ideas?

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/17/12 3:47 PM

Hi Calendria, I have this book in my library and it was super helpful in helping me learn to divide up a project. Nancy also has a line of patterns. HTH!

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

Calendria
Calendria
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Date: 8/17/12 3:56 PM

okay thanx. I'll look it up on my library's website. thanx.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Date: 8/17/12 4:12 PM

It helps if you have a spot (like a sewing room or sewing area in a spare room or basement) where you can leave your project out (safely, away from little hands, lol). Then you don't have to spend the time setting up and putting away.

If you are using the pattern instructions, you can use a Post-It flag to mark your spot. Much easier to find your spot, and the flag can me moved as you finish each step.


Another tip is to combine the prep for projects. Maybe 2 or 3 (or more!) at a time. First trace or cut out all the patterns. Wash/dry/or prep however all the fabric. Then put the projects in totes (or bags or boxes or shelves or whatever) - put the fabric, thread, notions, (and fabric etc. for a muslin if you are doing one) and prepped pattern together for each. Label them if it's not obvious what it is (I put the pattern envelope on top).

I also will launder my fabric with a load of clothing that is similar - or at least throw in a few pairs of cotton pants w/ my cotton fabrics, etc.

Calendria
Calendria
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Date: 8/17/12 4:16 PM

okay thanx. unfortunately, no, its me and my hubby adn 3 kidz in a 2 bedroom appartment.

so I have a sewing desk that is in the living room but its against the wall so the drawrers don't face out. also, most of my sewing stuff is locked up in a locking cabinet. the kind you see at doctors offices andstuff like that.

so . . . yeah. no can do there. lol. but lately whatever project I'm working on, I put ALL OF IT in a small bag in one of the drawers so I don't have to look for it too much.

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Calendria <<


Date: 8/17/12 4:50 PM

OMG! Got room for a tote or two? They stack and can be draped with more fabric, table cloth or bedspread and look like furnishings.

Nancy's Zieman's method worked for me when I was still working. Now that I am "retired" 24/7 I still have to work in increments or the dog and my husband start complaining about being fed and all that insignificant stuff!!!

PS: I almost forgot (that also comes more frequently now) when my youngest starting walking and reaching, I gave upsewing for a short while.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Calendria <<


Date: 8/17/12 4:50 PM

Silly computer has the hiccups!
-- Edited on 8/17/12 4:51 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Date: 8/17/12 6:01 PM

The Nancy Zieman book is a good guide to breaking up sewing projects into smaller time "chunks" -- made me really think about how I approached a sewing project.

I notice that when I stop in the middle of a project, when I come back to it, I need to "find my place" again. Often, I'll mentally review everything that I've done so far before I figure out where I am in the project.

I tend to wait until the weekend so I have an uninterrupted afternoon to delve into a sewing project so I can stay focused.

There is another way, however. I don't do this often enough, but it works very well for me when I do:

I have found that if I make a list of the steps involved in a sewing or quilting project, I can break those steps down further into teeny tiny steps and mark off each of the sub steps as I do them.

1) This gives me a very visual picture of how much I've already completed, which I find encouraging.

2) I can "find my place" very quickly when I return to the project.

3) By breaking down the steps into teeny tiny pieces, I can actually DO something on that project if I find that I have 10 or 20 minutes.

4) If I've decided to deviate from the pattern instructions and "do it my way", then I will REMEMBER right away that I had decided to do it differently because I wrote it down. This also makes me THINK about how I want to construct the project ahead of time, before I start. If I don't write all this down, then I end reviewing my thought process and decision process for the entire project before I can take that next step.

For example, I might write a list that included something like the following:

From pattern instructions step 6:
Sew side seams.
Press seams flat.
Serge to finish seams.
Press seams to side.

Now I've broken down step 6 into 4 sub-steps. I might sew the seams in one 10-minute time chunk. Come back the next day, and know right away that I want to press the seams flat before I serge and final press.

In some cases, I can do steps out of order, depending on how the project is constructed, and, for example, set up the iron and press everything (checking off as I go) on another day.

CMC

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 8/17/12 6:10 PM

Quote:
I have found that if I make a list of the steps involved in a sewing or quilting project, I can break those steps down further into teeny tiny steps and mark off each of the sub steps as I do them.


I do this, too! It's especially helpful b/c I'm almost never just working on *one* thing at a time, and I never feel like I'm getting anything done. So if I can make a chart or a list of each project and the next steps, it really helps me get organized and get things done.

I will also frequently leave myself notes on the sewing table when I get up from a project, of the next couple of steps I meant to do. I think the process of writing it down and leaving the note in place actually helps fix the task in my head, so I can plan my next move while I'm going about the rest of my day, or even stew it over subconsciously (basically, *making* the note is more useful than the actual note).

***
For those who have the Zieman book, are the tips garment-specific? Or would they apply to sewing in general? Meaning, I sew a lot of historical costumes, so I'm not always working on pockets or zippers or buttonholes or whatnot... but if the tips are more general time-management related, that would be more helpful to me!

Also helpful? Spending less time online Thinking About Sewing, and more time actually sewing.

------
~Gem in the prairie

marymary86
marymary86
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GA USA
Member since 7/20/08
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Date: 8/17/12 6:11 PM

I think the hardest part for me when I had kids (plus worked outside the home) was that when I finally got some time to myself I needed time just to rest and decompress.

I'm not sure what to do about that other than to recognize that moms do need to rest at times too.

Now that I've worked through a lot of FlyLady's material (after my sewing with kids days) I realize how little time certain tasks take.

My sewing time is still limited. I woke up this morning and had a mental list of wanting to trace a pattern and try serging elastic onto scraps of fabric. A previous task was to get the pattern out and to set the elastic out too. Since I woke early, it was easy to jump right in while I had a few minutes to myself. I knocked them both out in under half an hour.

Another thing that took up my time when I had kids was plain old fear. I would walk around just sick to myself for hours before finally laying out a pattern and cutting it. Now it seems easier but I learned to stick with nice fabric and easy patterns.

------
Mary


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