How do you find time to sew?


“How do you find the time to sew?”

It’s a question that Liz and I get asked in our inbox a lot.  And sometimes (ok, most of the time) I don’t have a great answer for people.  But over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about this question again (a kind readers asked for some help recently)…..and I realized maybe we do have a few answers or tricks or secrets or just maybe something that may spark a helpful idea.

So, over the next little while, Liz and I are going to be sharing some tips or tricks that we do in each of our own ways to find a little bit more time for sewing.  We each do some things the same, but other things we do very differently so maybe you can take what you need and leave the rest?  That’s the thought anyway….

Today I am sharing a basic one….but sometimes basic is the answer.  (Or just too basic.  Sorry if that is the case for you.)  I thought I would share one thought today and a couple more in the weeks ahead.

How do I find the time to sew?

I schedule it.  (I know, I am sorry, I told you it was basic.)

When I was learning about early child education in college I had professor after professor tell me that a great schedule made a great classroom.  And when I got out into the teaching field, I realized it was true.  If everyone had something to do that was meaningful and age-appropriate to work on, things went smoothly….and when I had messed up the classroom routine and wasn’t prepared (more times than I care to admit) things went badly.

And over the years, I have found the same thing in my home.  No, the schedule doesn’t work out everyday…not even close.  And no, I don’t feel guilt when the schedule doesn’t get done…’s not worth the guilt trip.  But I do find that things are easier when I keep some semblance to my schedule.

So, when do I schedule sewing?  Well there are two times during the day that I can find to fit it in.  The first is in the morning, after breakfast and after my morning chore routine (put in a load of laundry, unload dishwasher,etc.) and Isaac is happy.  It’s usually around 10 am or so.  We go upstairs and I start helping him build a train track, or marble run, or set up some “CARS” cars for a race-track.  I can usually sit and play with him for about 10 minutes or so and then get up and he will continue to play.  It works for me and I can usually get about 45 to an hour of sewing in.

The second time (and I usually don’t do both—either one or the other sewing time 3-4 days a week) is during naptime.  And here’s where I am a mean mom.  All my kids have quiet time when they are home during the week (and yes, even in the summer.)  I am just a firm believer in the fact that everyone needs a bit of time and space to themselves.  So, I do have an hour or so of time to myself while the 2 year-old naps and if the other two are home, they are doing something quiet in their rooms (that does not involve electronics).

I guess my point in sharing my schedule is that because I want sewing to be a priority for me, I have to schedule it in.

Now it’s your turn….and please do share.  We all really do want to know what works for you.

How do you find time to sew?

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  1. says

    Elizabeth I love hearing about your scheduled sewing time. I must say a happy Mom (one who gets some time to sew!) makes for a much happier family. My one tidbit is to bring any portable work: thread snipping, pinning work, hand stitching, etc. into the kitchen/family space so while my kids are doing homework I can get a tiny bit of menial task work done too. My kids still need me for homework but not every single minute so it helps to occupy my hands in the down time. Can’t wait to hear more sewing time tricks!

  2. says

    I am a “mean mom” too. My 18 month old naps everyday but my nearly 5 year old still has quiet time if she’s home. I NEED that break! And I am totally with you on schedule, I am super routine orientated, when I started staying home I had to get a routine to keep my sanity!

  3. says

    Oh my! I am such a fan of “my time”! When my oldest daughter was getting too old for napping (but my youngest still did) my grandmother told me we all needed that time. I had the girls use the time to read, draw or just rest if they were then too old to nap. (Quite often I would hear my oldest had made up a moviie in her head!) I was shocked when my now 10 yr.old told me I had them do “my time” in elementary school. But it makes sense…time to decompress after a day of stimulation at school before we all came together as a family for the evening. At the time I did some cleaning up, baking, house project/sewing, etc. It is really great for all and highly recommended!

  4. says

    I work outside of the home so to have time to sew for my Etsy business, I often work while my husband is giving our girls a bath. I am always surprised how much I can get accomplished in a half an hour!

  5. says

    I wish I was better at keeping a schedule. My daughter goes to Mother’s Day Out on Mon. and Wed. so that’s usually when I sew. I don’t like to sew in the evenings and they’re pretty hectic around here. I also sew a lot on weekends when my hubby’s home to help with the kiddos.

  6. says

    Like Jaime, I also bring small work around with me to finish while I’m supervising play or while the kids are eating (cutting patterns, needlework, etc). I have a 9 month old and a soon to be 5 year old that stay home with me. My best time for creativity is in the morning but I rarely have a chance to sew at that time. Instead, I’ll get my kids their breakfast& sketch or write down a to do list/idea list. Then when I have time to sew later while they nap, i haven’t lost my ideas. My least favorite time to sew is when the kids go to bed. I feel lethargic, unmotivated, and seem to make lots of silly mistakes & I get frustrated easily. I can usually work for no more than an hour after they are in bed.

  7. says

    Quiet time is not optional around here! Sewing time, like anything else we do in life, is a priority some of us make. I have a friend who wonders how I manage to make things, read books, and do stuff with my kids. She comments on it all the time. The truth is that her priority is a super-clean house, so she dedicates 2-3 hours a day cleaning, while I dedicate 30-45 minutes cleaning, and the rest of the time doing the things I want to do! We all have different priorities–none of them wrong–and we make our things fit in the time we have. If that makes sense. When something is important to us, we make it happen! 🙂

  8. says

    We also enforce an unplugged quiet time for the kids (ages 6 and nearly 4) throughout the year. I love it for the mental break as it gives me time to recharge my batteries, but I love that it gives the kids time to decompress as well. Days when quiet time is missed is incredibly noticeable. While I sometimes sew during naptime and, most often after the kids go to bed, morning sewing is most productive. The kids are usually cooperative and willing to play together–or independently–for an hour while I sew. I’ll take sewing time whenever I can!

  9. says

    Ha, it’s good to know I am not the only one wondering how you amazing bloggers do it all! I also take my time to sew after chores in the morning while my little one naps (my 1 yr old still takes 2 naps, hurray!) I am definitely with you on the quiet time even if it is just for my sanity.

  10. says

    I love hearing all these affirmations that getting your basic stuff done first is definitely important. I used to think it was only ideal if I could spend HOURS of uninterrupted sewing. While that can still be a fantasy ;), it does not have to be hours to get some good sewing in. And life is more peaceful if you get the basic stuff done first (laundry, dishes, meal planned, get dressed lol!) THEN you sew in peace. Not always, but worth a try because it usually can happen.

  11. says

    It’s funny because I think I’m in a little bit different stage of life with a 14, 12, 9 and 4 year old. My day starts at 5am (early morning seminary is great for that…it’s a scripture study for high school aged kids at our church) and the off to school routine continues until 8am. Once lunches are made, breakfast is on the table and the oldest is out the door with his dad/chauffeur, I have a little time to sew until the next one goes out the door, then I have a good hour until the 2 youngest wake up and need to get ready. I get a lot done in the morning hours…I just have to make sure I haven’t stayed up late trying to get stuff done too. I can’t have it both ways and my family needs to have it one way.
    I also carry stuff around with me, but it’s for while I’m waiting for one or the other to get done with cross country/track practice or marching band or to do during ballet. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in those 10 minute snippets of the day. I usually save things like sewing on buttons or any hand stitching and throw it in my bag to grab when I head out the door.

  12. says

    I love hearing about your sewing schedule. While I don’t have kids, yet, it is still difficult to fit in the time since I work full time and am often at school into the evening preparing for upcoming lessons, projects, report cards, etc and I spend a lot of home time being exhausted. 🙂 Creating a schedule and sticking to it is all that works for me, because when I don’t do it, I don’t sew (or exercise, or read even!)

  13. says

    I too have to schedule time to sew. I have a 1 year old and 2 1/2 year old and boy is it ever tough. Nap time is definitely a good time and sometimes when they are playing independently during the late morning. I’m always too pooped by the time they go to bed to do anything but go to bed myself! If I’m lucky I can talk my husband into babysitting when he’s home. I’m always so excited when I finish whatever I’m trying to fit in.

  14. says

    I’m a sewing-rewarder. I reward myself for getting my own stuff done around the house. There are days, of course, where I don’t care if things are quite as tidy, and I sew as long as I want, but most of the time I do the things I have to do, and reward myself with sewing time! haha! I tend to sew during nap time, and after bed time if the hubs has other things he wants to do, too.

  15. says

    I usually sew at nights after kids are in bed. With other times, I get the kids involved. My 2 oldest take turns with tracing patterns onto the fabric (using the washable ink of course!) and cutting out patterns. They also LOVE to push the pedal for me and cut the strings after. I have no clue why they find it so exciting, but they do. 😀 I don’t let them help with every project, but they do help with a lot. 😀

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