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Are any of you moms to younger kids?
serandib
serandib
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 1/8/07
Posts: 19
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Date: 4/17/10 6:22 PM

How on earth do you find time to sew? I miss sewing SO much and yet I can't ever get to it. I have 3 sons - 7, 4, and 2. I'm so exhausted - DH asks me why don't I sew at night and I just snort - like there is any creative energy left at night. But at the same time I feel all pent up because I never 'make' anything anymore. I recently dusted everything off and tidied up my sewing area - hoping to find a way to start back up again. :)

poplin
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poplin
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Washington USA
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In reply to serandib


Date: 4/17/10 7:10 PM

I have young kids, too. My ally is having my own place to sew. I don't need to put anything away when I'm in a middle of a project. I just pick up a project where I last left it. Don't think I have a room complete with door and lock to call my own. My sewing area is actually located in the play room, surrounded by a Superyard XT gate. This huge gate is meant to keep kids inside, but in my house, it's used to keep kids outside and my sewing area inside.

Yes. The only thing I don't like is that I have to swing my legs over the gate. I keep thinking that my thighs will ultimately benefit from this exercise.

I don't have any energy left for sewing at night either. I decided that I need to make sure I get 10-15-30 minutes of sewing during the day. Even if I just sewed two shoulder seams that day, at the very least, I made some progress. Even if all I did was put away my patterns that day, at the very least, I made some progress.

Our days are no doubt unpredictable. I don't beat myself over the head if I didn't get to do any sewing that day. Sometimes, I just feel better being able to connect with other enthusiasts here in PR.

Recently, I just cleaned out my closet. I got rid of all the clothes that clutter my life. I am slowly rebuilding a wardrobe that consists of timeless and mix-and-match pieces. So most of what I'm sewing are TNT patterns. My number one fabrics of choice are jersey and shirting: fabrics that I've learned to tame under my presser foot.

I prioritized what I need to sew first. Coats and jackets are definitely no where near the first five must-haves, which are 1) tops, 2) casual dresses, 3) casual skirts for warm weather, 4) PJs and 5) casual pants. We live in WA where--I'm sure you know--the weather can be absolutely crazy. Fortunately, I fit the coats and jackets sold at REI and LL Bean. Besides, I don't want to worry about dry cleaning. I also found a store that carries my size in jeans. I bought five pairs of jeans from them at once. I never regretted it.

You've tidied up your sewing room! That's one step towards progress! What's the next step for you, do you think?

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Dec 2012: 2 yards

Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and she might have put a sewing machine to shame. ~James Edward Austen-Leigh, about Jane Austen

serandib
serandib
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 1/8/07
Posts: 19
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Date: 4/17/10 7:23 PM

Well I've been lurking around misc sewing boards - checking out patterns, etc. Trying to find something to ease myself into. A few weeks ago I turned on my embroidery machine for the first time in a year and put a lovely koi fish on my sisters jacket for her (we were hiding a stain). It was rather exciting. LOL! I would love to find a place to connect with other folks who sew - maybe I should officially introduce myself - I do love message boards but find new ones overwhelming - I just need to jump in.

My sewing room in our computer room - so although I have a fair amount of the room I find that the kids are to curious and all to ready to touch and grab what I do - I've had people tell me to baby gate them out but honestly I haven't had success with it - they are climbers and just full time little boys.

I love your idea about just making sure you get 20 minutes a day - I have that - I honestly probably have more than that - but it is hard for me to pick up a project for a short time - I tend to want at least an hour and then get sucked in -I need to readjust that thinking.

Sometimes I think if I had girls I would be more motivated to sew just because of all the cute options out there - my oldest son would DIE if I sewed him something to wear (although he was cool with me knitting him a sweater).

But I miss my machines, I miss making something awesome. I have made the halloween costumes every year but not much else the last few years.

MelissaB in WA
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MelissaB in WA
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USA
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Date: 4/17/10 7:26 PM

I have four children (my youngest is almost 6) and I have a harder time finding time to sew more now than I did when they were younger. I too am tired at night and don't really want to sew. I just take the chunks of time as they come and know that someday they'll all be grown and I'll have more time than I know what to do with. It's a season of life and I just want to hang on to them wanting to spend time with the family because someday that will all change. Hang in there!

------
"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~Dolly Parton

Fabric sewn in 2014 ~ 25 yards
Fabric sewn in 2013 ~ 73.5 yards

Imaan
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Imaan
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New South Wales Australia
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Date: 4/17/10 7:36 PM

I have 3 young kids (4, almost 3 and 9 months), and I can completely understand where you are coming from.

I spend a lot of hands on time with my kids during the day, so I don't get much sewing done. They are also really curious and so i try and stay out of my little sewing space when they are around (my middle child, a girl, gets into EVERYTHING - ask me about the time she got into the sewing space, found the little spritzer bottle for ironing and sprayed the contents on my Viking SM, overlocker and the floor...I could have killed her...).

When they (finally) go to bed, I still have the baby to contend with, but no matter how tired I am, I try and get all the housework done by the time the kids go to bed, so the evening is MINE to do with as I please.

My husband works and studies and so does not get home till 9-10 pm most nights, so I make myself take 1/2 hour in the sewing space. I don't HAVE to sew, but tidy or trace (which I find really therapeutic) or cut (which I love, strangely)...usually once i get some momentum going, i find I am there till DH gets home, and I feel relaxed and not so wound up.

It is my stress relief, and I get snarky with the kids if I don't get some relief, since I feel like a single parent so much of the time!!!

But hang in there, as Melissa said, not too soon before they'll be gone, and you'll probably miss them.

------
Imaan in Sydney, NSW.

The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.

ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
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Washington USA
Member since 9/28/08
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Date: 4/17/10 7:41 PM

Basically I sew during my daughter's naps during the day. (she is 2.5). Could you have a 'rest time' after lunch where the older kids read a book etc. and you could get an hour to yourself?
I also find I am exhausted in the evenings but often I do 1 hr of tracing/altering a pattern, and then 1 hr of TV and then bed.

Good luck - you just have to sew in short bursts and you will get there eventually. I do imagine that your life is much more hectic than mine though - I only have one child so far!

------
Claire - Australian in Seattle

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 4/17/10 7:41 PM

I have twins who are 6 year olds. I found sewing at night nearly impossible with our house design because the machine I had when they were babies was so loud it disturbed their sleep. So, I purchased a travel sized machine which was also fairly quiet and set it up in the corner of the loungeroom in my old sewing cabinet with lockable doors. I found that if I wanted to sew of the night, it was best to do it the moment those babies went to bed rather than leave it an hour or so because if I did I was far too tired to even start. Short, sweet sewing sessions until I started to droop at the machine were the order of the day. I found also if I had some hand sewing to do in a box which could be whisked away and placed high well out of reach for even the most accomplished little climber to access, that as they rolled around on the floor having tummy time I could sometimes grab a stitch here and there, and when they started to sit up and play more with toys it became easier again. Now your 2 year old is probably into everything within reach and figuring out ways to grab things that are out of reach, do they still take a nap? If they do during the day, that is your sewing time...have a seperate room or gated off area for your sewing stuff set up ready to go at a moment's notice so you can make the most of whatever time you have. Have some activity organised ready for your 4 year old to do, some puzzles or colouring in or whatever, to whip out when you want to start to sew to keep them happily occupied too.
Do you have any friends which young children or family members who would be prepared to mind your child for even an hour once a week so you could have a little break and use that time to sew?
Some Mums I know used to do that for eachother, take turns babysitting, their kids would play together whilst the other Mum had a short break, and they would reciprocate for eachother.
As your 2 year old gets abit older it will become easier as they will become more sensible around sharp objects etc, by the time they reach 3 or 4 they might happily sit nearby on the floor whilst you sit at the machine. you could give them a box of things to play with that are sewing related, like fabric scraps, tape measure (keep an eye on this, nice strangulation hazard if left unsupervised) so perhaps a short ruler instead for playing measuring, old empty cotton spools and a shoe lace for threading them onto, supersized buttons for sorting (not choking hazard sized ones, the really large ones)...you could even cut up bits of fabric into pieces they could glue onto paper whilst you sew. I found my boys were quite entertained by doing this at my feet for a while, I'd get 15-20 minutes often at a time if I set up things to entertain them with before I started. They seem to like to imitate Mum, and are now sewing their own projects too-you never know you may spark the love of sewing early in life by doing this!
The other more radical solution I have to offer, one I could not do myself as I couldn't manage on less sleep than I was already getting, but which others I know did do for quite some time, is to wake up an extra 20 minutes earlier than you usually do, use that time in your pj's to sew, then start your day as you normally would at the usual time. Even an extra 15 mins adds up to a project finished over time.
Also you can read and look at sewing books whilst keeping an eye on children- use the time to plan items you would like to sew, read about new techniques etc. The reading sessions will not be uninterrupted of course but at least you will feel like you are still enjoying your hobby when life is too busy to lift a needle. A book or magazine is a very safe object to have around young children too- the worst that can happen is they tear it!
Goodluck and persevere, the youngest will be easier to sew around in no time at all, and they are only young once- enjoy them. With abit of planning and juggling you can have your cake and eat it too.

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

April 1930s
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April 1930s
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Idaho USA
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Date: 4/17/10 8:18 PM

I have two children ages 10 and 6 and I've been sewing for them for about 5 years. We also run a full-time (sewing) business from home and are quite busy during the day. I sew in the evenings after they go to bed (mostly). I have to take my sewing in stages... one evening I'll do all the cutting, marking and transferring. The next evening, I'll start sewing, the next evening I'll keep sewing and maybe start on the hand-sewing details. Whenever a shirt or dress should take a day, it always takes me about three. Granted, some of this is probably due to me being ultra-picky with the details, but the 'stage' thing really, really helps me feel like I'm accomplishing something each time.

I also like to do my sewing in the same room as the family room because I can "listen" to the goings on or the T.V. programs if Hubby wants to watch a movie or a show, or if the kids are up late on a non-school night and I can hear / listen / grab a glance to the family program.

------
Your Stitchery Friend,
April

April 1930's Sewing Shoppe
www.April1930s.com

tnrnchick74

tnrnchick74
Beginner
Florida USA
Member since 8/24/09
Posts: 128
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Date: 4/17/10 8:29 PM

I only have 1 toddler...but I do sew a lot of his clothing. I try to do something on whatever project I have going every night. Even if its 15 minutes.

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Single Mom to a toddler & sewing in the evenings!

Erica B.
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Erica B.
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Date: 4/17/10 8:40 PM

When my kids were little, I always had time for hobbies and whatever else I wanted to do. You have to make sure that your husbands understand that you have to have some "ME TIME". As mothers (not martyrs), you're no good to anyone unless you're getting in some down time. You have to have some sort of outlet to relax.

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Erica B.
Birmingham, AL
http://www.ericabunker.com

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