Sew Little Time: How to Fit Me-Made Projects into a Busy Schedule

Sewing can be a time-consuming hobby, which sometimes makes it feel incompatible with busy modern life. However, with some extra organisation and preparation, you can create gorgeous projects in the limited time you have available. Check out these top tips to fit sewing into your busy schedule.


Organise your space

Start by assessing your sewing space. If you have to set up your machine and materials every time you sew, you’re less likely to start sewing. Try to make your set-up as simple and speedy as possible. Could you create a space that remains partially set up? Perhaps a hideaway sewing space in a foldaway cabinet or cupboard. If not, consider other time savers – an organised sewing bag or basket to hold your projects and notions, a table that is kept tidy and a power point or extension cord nearby.

Divide tasks

Schedule your tasks throughout a week or two. Pre-wash your fabric one night, cut out your pattern pieces another (perhaps while watching your favourite TV show) and cut your fabric on a third. Then, plan a few sewing sessions to put needle to thread and bring your project to life.

Sew with knits

Sewing with knits doesn’t require finishing seams (as knit fabric doesn’t fray) and generally doesn’t require fastenings (zippers and buttons) because the stretch allows for a comfortable fit. Knitwear such as t-shirts, jumpers and leggings are quick creations, and once you have some experience under your belt, you can make a simple knit garment in an hour or two!

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Skip the fastenings

Zippers and buttonholes can be fiddly and time-consuming, so choose projects without fastenings to save time. Some elastic waist shorts or a wrap skirt are a perfect starting point.

Remake garments

One of the most time-consuming parts of making a garment is learning the construction (how the piece comes together) and fitting the item to your body. Because of this, the first time you make something is always the slowest and most challenging. Remake a pattern with different fabrics for a completely different look – it will fit perfectly and take considerably less time to sew.

Step away from clothes

Make a guaranteed quick project such as a scrunchie, a tablecloth or an eye mask. These creations can not only be completed in one short sitting but are likely to re-ignite your passion for sewing and inspire you to start a bigger project.

One seam at a time

Perhaps the best approach is to embrace the “one-seam mentality” – that is, it’s worth sitting down to sew, even if you only have time to complete one seam. Remember, sewing one seam at a time still makes a garment. Plus, once you’re at your sewing machine it’s almost guaranteed that you will keep sewing.

As with every task on a tight schedule, organisation and planning are key to success. We hope these handy tips help you to make the most of your sewing time and stitch something magical!