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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Busy Woman Sewing Guide ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Busy Woman Sewing Guide
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Nata
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Nata
Intermediate
USA
Member since 8/20/02
Posts: 1252
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Date: 2/23/06 11:04 AM

I am looking at stash contest report and reading posts around the boards. There are so many prolific and productive sewers here! I am, OTH, never seem to sew fast enough. Would anybody care to share their tips on anything to help speed up the sewing without sacrificing quality? Please share your timelines, i.e. how long it takes you to pick a pattern and match fabric, to cut out, to sew?

I am trying to compile a list of improvements I need to implement considering what I know about my sewing style. For example, I always intend to sew something quick and easy, but then decide it’s just too boring to sew and pick complicated styles with lots of detailing. While it looks great when finished, it takes time and I usually not reuse the patterns because they are memorable. So, number one on my list will be picking 1 pattern and sewing 3 variations of it for myself, as well as one pattern like that for both kids. My pattern will be simple enough and I’ll use high quality fabric to make it “glow” rather than style detail.

There are many more entries to my list, I am sure of it! Please share your problem areas and your solutions – we all can learn from each other.

------
Fabric bought in 2009: 30 yds
Fabrc sewn in 2009: 19 yds
Fabric stash: 145 yds

3 Garments IN and 6 Garments OUT

pbrenneraz

pbrenneraz
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/10/03
Posts: 51
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Date: 2/23/06 12:05 PM

Great topic - I can't wait to see what the PR experts have to say

For me personally - two things help:

(1) using pattern weights instead of pins when I cut out fabric. I hate cutting, so anything that makes it go faster is a good thing

(2) spending less time reading about sewing and more time actually sewing The siren call of PR and SW are too much for me to resist, so I spend WAY too much time on the computer

Patty

jeanbluecat
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jeanbluecat
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 10/4/05
Posts: 338
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Date: 2/23/06 12:10 PM

Hi, I would not call myself a prolific stitcher; I only have one or two reviews on PR, but that is due to no digital camera rather than not sewing often. Anyway, I try to keep about three projects in the works at all times. For example, I have a jacket that only needs to have the sleeve linings sewn-in, an easy casual skirt that needs a waistband and a hem and a pair of pants that need to be cut-out. I usually have three projects a different levels of assembly.

I like to have different levels of difficulty in my projects too. The Jacket has been a challenge for me, the skirt was a piece of cake (very easy) and the pants will be a simple pair, but with some newly learned fitting options/techniques that I cannot wait to try.

It really helps to have a dedicated area for sewing. I can leave a project sitting out on my cutting table partially cut and no-one bothers it. In other words, I no longer cut projects out on the kitchen table between meals or the livingroom floor trying not to be in the way of anyone watching TV. This enables me to start a step on a project even if I know I can't finish that step, I can leave it and come back to it.

That is another thing I try to do, is to mentally divide my projects into logical steps and set goals for my sewing time. For example, the first step is to cut the pattern tissue, cut the fabric, sew the main pieces together, finish the detail work (hems, buttons and etc.). Before I sew, I think about the amount of time I will have and set a goal to finish to a certain point before I am done for the night.

Here is something else I do that might seem really weird. When I am not sewing, you know, doing something mindless, (driving to work, washing dishes, whatever) I try to think through my next step in a project, especially if I am having trouble with a concept. I literally think it through, step by step and then when I am sewing I just do it. That way I am using my time wisely when I am at my sewing machine.

This is what I do; I am looking forward to learning from others and how they work their sewing magic.

Deb

------
I sew, therefore I am.

MaryLynn in Long Beach
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MaryLynn in Long Beach
California USA
Member since 7/2/04
Posts: 1725
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Date: 2/23/06 12:29 PM

I used to think that if I didn't have a big block of time to sit and sew, it wasn't worth it. Then a friend gave me this book, 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew, and it changed my approach. This book is OOP, but there are many used copies available.

There are a lot of good tips in it, but it's the philosophical change that made a difference for me.

------
Mary Lynn (Who's finally sitting up and taking nourishment)

Design Degree??? I prefer my artistic license

"A woman who works with her hands is a laborer; a woman who works with her hands and her mind is a craftsman; but a woman who works with her hands and her brain and her heart is an artist." (St. Thomas Aquinas, modified)

Learn To Sew
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Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 4/12/05
Posts: 11505
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In reply to MaryLynn in Long Beach


Date: 2/23/06 1:06 PM

I bought the book at a used book store for $1.50, I think. Friends of the library, they sell cheap. I also bought a 40 year old Singer Sewing book, but it stinks and gives me sinus headaches.

The Nancy Zieman book is like new. I borrowed a copy last year from the library and I have wanted one ever since. When I saw this one on a cheap sale, I had to have it. I do sew in short bursts of time. Often 10 minutes to do this step, another 20 or 25 to do another step and so on. I might not accomplish a whole lot, but I do get things done. Eventually.

Carol

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I really enjoy quilting. I love to play with fabrics, colors and pictures. I recently discovered how much fun applique can be. As I love making pictures, landscape quilting can be challenging, but seeing the picture come to life is so rewarding.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

mekira
mekira
Advanced Beginner
Quebec CANADA
Member since 2/12/06
Posts: 29
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In reply to pbrenneraz
thumbsup 2 members like this.


Date: 2/23/06 1:14 PM

Quote: pbrenneraz
Great topic -
(2) spending less time reading about sewing and more time actually sewing The siren call of PR and SW are too much for me to resist, so I spend WAY too much time on the computer



Patty

That would be me too

Zaida
Zaida
Advanced Beginner
Texas USA
Member since 2/6/03
Posts: 277
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Date: 2/23/06 2:03 PM

It's hard for me to sew in short bursts because once I get going I don't like to stop. Maybe I need to start sewing in short bursts to get more projects completed.

------
I'd rather be sewing.

bunz
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bunz
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 2728
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Date: 2/23/06 3:37 PM

I usually can't do more than FIVE minutes/day -- and I mean that. Fortunately for me, I don't require tons of clothes.

But if you can leave your work out, 5 or 10 min can really work. And you can do something easy, but give it a twist w some embellishment, beads, stamping, etc. if any of that appeals to you.

Nina

Nata
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Nata
Intermediate
USA
Member since 8/20/02
Posts: 1252
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Date: 2/23/06 5:24 PM

Thank you for the good advice. I agree that Internet is a big time waste factor in my life. Recently I started using kitchen timer to keep track of time spent on the computer. I promised myself that once the timer goes off, I will shot the PC down no matter whether I am finished or not. I set my timer for 30 min. I was shocked how fast it went the first few times. I guess I was grossly underestimating how long it took me to browse through here. How much on average do you guys spend per day browzing the net?

------
Fabric bought in 2009: 30 yds
Fabrc sewn in 2009: 19 yds
Fabric stash: 145 yds

3 Garments IN and 6 Garments OUT

redhead
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redhead
Advanced
Tennessee USA
Member since 10/18/03
Posts: 1098
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Date: 2/23/06 5:52 PM

One thing that works for me is to pin-baste all of my seams while I am downstairs with my family. Then the next time that I have an opportunity for a "short burst" I go to the machine and sew them up. Also, I am sewing two jackets from the same pattern but from different fabrics simultaneously. That seems to work well for me.

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