So…are you ever put off by the thought of a sewing project?
All the little stages looming before you? So overwhelming and off putting that you keep procrastinating and bumping it to the bottom of the pile.
I’m guessing I’m not alone.
Roman blinds had always been one of those ‘I don’t think I could do that’ projects for me, but after sewing one for my bathroom (with my mum as my tutor), I think it was actually the thought of it rather than the actual sewing itself. The Maths to do before you even start..aaagh!
It turns out when you have all the equipment and the measurements worked out, the blinds themselves were just like any other sewing project…you follow the stages and before you know it, you’ve finished the dreaded job and in the process, it turns out that you actually quite enjoyed doing it!
Now, bar the last minute fiddly bits of the roman blind, I’ll hang it in the bathroom and admire it as my mountain of sewing projects – when you’re at the top you forget the dread you had before you started!!
Here are some (non-expert) thoughts of how to tackle those projects you’re dreading!!
* be realistic
Is this actually something you want to do and have the skills for. Maybe you are putting it off because you actually have some skills to practise and perfect before you can attempt it. If so, go do your practise and then hopefully you’ll feel more confident about tackling it!
* do the dull stuff first
If, like me, the thought of the measurements and calculations that were partly putting you off, do these at some point when you are at your freshest. If you’re a morning person, do it then. If you flourish in the evening, do it then. When you’re feeling up to a challenge and have the mindset to work everything out, seize the moment!!
* have everything ready
When you get an opportunity, buy your fabric and while you’re out get all the bits and bobs you may need – the correct colour of thread; tape, velcro and rods for the blinds; string and a pull switch. While you’re out just get it all because then, when you get a block of time free, you’re ready to go.
* set aside a window of time
Earmark a day or even an afternoon. Having my mum come up to help me meant we booked in a day to work at it. Having that set in stone meant we kept the commitment and actually got to work. A quiet house when the girls were at school also helped…you might not have this luxury with wee totes at home but set up their favourite programme or rope someone in to take them to the park; anything to give you a space of time with no distractions.
* find a friend to work with
This links in a little to the last point. Having my mum come up and getting a date in the diary gave me some accountability…I felt I couldn’t back out! It’s also someone to talk through the process with, especially if that someone has experience and done it before themselves.
I meet up with a few friends to sew and we sometimes decide to follow a pattern together or tackle a project. It makes it easier and more enjoyable to have a bit of chat while you have a go at something you find a little daunting. Check out local sewing groups, haberdasheries and libraries for ‘knit and natters’…I’ve some local to me at the end of this post so if you’re in the Belfast area check some of these fab folk out.
* set yourself a deadline and finish the job
My roman blind got it’s deadline because we are going to get our house valued and wanted to finish off those jobs we’d never got round to. Sometimes deadlines get us into gear…I am one of those people and I suspect most of us are. It’s always good to work towards something and then feel the achievement of getting it done. A warning though, I’m sure most sewing enthusiasts have projects at the bottom of their cupboards which were started with good intentions and never finished!! Once you’re going…keep going until the end. If you’re losing momentum and your enthusiasm is waning, get another date in the diary or find someone who’ll come and help you finish off. Just get it done or it’ll start to gather dust and then it really is hard to finish off!
I’m hoping these few little pointers will encourage you to attempt that project you’ve been putting off…if you’re local check out these lovelies to get your juices going too:
The Textile Studio – sign up for a crochet or sewing class or just pop in and chat to Åsa…she alone will inspire you!
Colour and Cloth – check out her fabulous site for info on creating and making, sewing classes and reinvention.
Magpie Belfast – great sewing classes on offer and kid’s classes too!
And if you’re looking for fabric check out the lovely Bluebird Fabrics on etsy…some gorgeous fabrics and fat quarters.
Let me know of any others you’ve heard of or any projects you’re planning! I’d love to hear.