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Regaining My Sewing Mojo

Regaining My Sewing Mojo

Jules cutting out a pattern at the table

This has been the busiest year of my Sew Me Something life so far. And I have totally lost my Sew-Jo.

With all we have had going on over the last 18 months, with the move and change in the business, I have had little time or headspace to even think about sewing anything for myself. 

I have been looking at and stroking lots of our new fabrics and been inspired by lots of your makes that we see on social media and I really wanted to start making some things for myself again. 

But I just haven’t. 

Now this is a bit tricky when you actually run a business built on making your own clothes and teaching other people how to sew. 

People often assume that as I run such a business all I do most days is get to sew lovely things. Sadly anyone who does run their own business knows that the busier you get it seems the further away you become from what you actually love about that business. 

Sewing is normally my hinterland. My place of refuge and somewhere I seek sucker from the day to day demands of work, life and family. And I miss it so very much. But I am also an anti-social sewer. Even though I love helping other people to embrace the love of sewing, when I am sewing for myself I just want to shut myself away and focus on nothing else but the fabric, scissors, pins and paper. 

I have tried to snatch time, briefly hunkering down at home to sew in a cramped space with limited equipment. Mindful of the limited time I had, rushed to complete a project only to find the fecking bust darts were in the wrong place. So that went in the “I’ll sort it out later, but never actually will” pile and I stopped.

But now I really need to find my way back to that place of simple mindfulness, going through those familiar processes to end up with something I feel proud to wear. I need that confirmation that I am good at something. And making clothes was that thing. 

So I've been thinking hard about why I’m not sewing. What is stopping me, when I have a whole haberdashery and fully equipped sewing studio at my fingertips? 

My list:

  1. I’ve put on weight. My meno-belly and other areas of increased flesh have made it hard for me to work out what a) what I actually want to wear and b) what size do I make?
  2. I’m knackered. The only time I currently have to sew is in the evenings. But I am so busy at work effectively now running 4 businesses that when I get home about 8pm I’m shattered and just want to eat myself into a food-coma on the sofa.
  3. The Lunatic Labrador. Otherwise known as Olive. She is adorable but having a young dog around the house who wants your company is lovely but demanding. She can get rather upset if I just ignore her and disappear “up there” to sew. She isn’t allowed to come upstairs as we have a rather crotchety older cat who promptly decamped to the first floor when The Beast arrived. So he does deserve a little bit of peace and quiet on his own floor of the house. 
  4. Lack of time. This is a little bit of an excuse really.  I could make time and indeed I probably should and maybe it is more of a symptom of my withered sewing libido rather than a cause. 
  5. I can’t decide what to make. Well I can but by the time I get around to actually doing anything about it I have gone off that idea. So I end up doing nothing. 

After 5 things I started to look at my list and think it was taking a “pity me” turn so rather than focusing on more reasons why I'm not doing what I love, I thought about what I could do to give myself the permission to go back to something that I enjoy?  

Get help with fitting. Fitting is a big issue with lots of people that come to our workshops and one of the really good reasons to actually come to a workshop. You can get the help and support there to get clothes to fit better regardless of your shape and size. I have been sewing forever but even I cannot fit myself. I’m just not that bendy! So maybe I need to reach out to our sewing tutors for some fit assistance? Or find a mannequin that is basically me? 

Sew for work. Now this might be a bit of an odd one, but if I can justify time to sew clothes for myself during work hours I am killing several sewing birds with one machine. I won’t have to try and fit it in after hours when I am shattered. Unless I want to. I won’t have the dog pestering me for belly rubs. And I won’t feel selfish for doing something that is just for me as it will also be for work too. Weird but I'm going with it because guilt works in mysterious ways. 

Use my own Teaching. I should be following my own advice when it comes to deciding what to wear. Having devised the Diploma course to help people do exactly this. We have the new Diploma course starting next month so I should really be leading by example and practicing what I preach. 

Be kind to myself. So much of what I am doing at the moment seems like an uphill struggle. I am being hard on myself and quite disciplined in how I am working right now because I can see the rewards over there in the distance. But that doesn't mean that I have to be that hard on myself in every area of my life.  If I was my own best friend, surely would I be telling Me to take a bit of time out to recharge and remember to enjoy life as well as work hard? 

I think these will form my new 'Compass for Sewing'. If I can remember to follow these I hope they will help me find my way back to my sewing hinterland. I will let you know how I get on. But any extra advice is more than welcome. 

Happy sewing!


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  • Carol Callaghan

    I completely agree with Deb’s comments above. I have been a closet sewer for a few years – not knowing anyone else who loved dressmaking. It is wonderful to have such an inspirational community to share my passion with – thank you Jules!

    I too live only 10 minutes away from The Makers Space and have been a carer for my parents who also had dementia so I understand how important escaping to a workshop for a little respite can be. We all need to look after ourselves and take time out. And it is fabulous to have The Makers Space to retreat to…

  • Suzanne

    Thank you for being so honest. You have brought so much pleasure to us home sewers.ilove the actual making now not just the finished results.
    I am going though chemo at the moment so although I have time I don’t have the energy or brain space forproje ts I get enormous pleasure from looking at your patterns and materials and thinking about what I might make in more energetic days.
    I finished my first Beth recently. I have to say I still can’t manage turning the rouleau even with the tool! Lovely pattern. And I learnt so much.
    Looking forward to seeing you in your makes but don’t be too hard on yourself. If the last few months have taught me anything it is be kind to yourself , you are your own best friend.
    Happy sewing

  • Lucy

    Hi lovely, thank you for being so open and honest with yourself as well as sharing your feelings. I’m reading a lot of ‘shoulds’ in this as well as guilt. You are juggling so much, demands day and night. What would you say to your best friends if they were telling you this? I’m very new to dressmaking and I know I weigh a heck of a lot more than you! When I have lost my crochet mojo I have gone back to basics and found an easy project that is easy to do without too much thought or calculations but make sure I’m using yarn in an inspiring palette or fibre. When I am feeling rotten about my weight I reflect on what I feel comfortable in and it’s usually the simpler styles that go with comfy trousers or leggings but I try to pick a pretty colour or print, usually jersey or linen. Have you got a pattern that you have tried and tested many times that is straightforward and easy failsafe? Something that is not too technically demanding? That you can dress up or down easily? Pick a fabric that appeals and go for it, worse case scenario it is a toile to learn from and show your students 😉

  • Jo Q

    I’m super impressed you even have time to write the blog.

    You work so hard, and have achieved so much. Take a moment to breathe and feel proud.

    Sounds like you need to go on one of your sewing retreats!

    Jo x

  • Deb Ison

    Oh Jules,

    I completely understand where you are! I’m sure many of us that have experienced running a home with children, a husband, grandchildren, a business, animals, etc and in my case elderly parent/s with dementia, find that there isn’t a second in the day for sewing. Unless it’s an urgent repair you discover as you herd said dependants into the car….when you are already running late!!

    I managed to find 30 minutes to sneak off to your opening day and when I walked into your incredible sewing studio I could hardly believe the feeling I had. When I chatted to a lovely lady who showed me the boiled wool coat that was on show as a sample of one of your workshops, I promptly nursed into tears and booked on it at once.

    What joy you have brought to this 65 year old crazy lady who lives 10 mins from your sewing sanctuary, it’s haven I can’t wait to join and explore.

    You are my inspiration right now so please, please take an hour for yourself, think about what a wonderful, safe, colourful, soothing, creative space you have worked so hard for and brought to us frazzled beings.

    A massive, huge, heartfelt thank you from me and many others I’m sure.


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