How to feed yo sew-jo (or get it back)
No matter how much of a hardcore stitch lover you are, there are times when sewing can turn ugly; the swear-jar is overflowing and we are that close to hurling the machine out of the window. Sound familiar??? To experience these feelings (a few times during every project or every now and again) is normal and anyone who says it isn't should be treated with suspicion...
I've sewn for a living for over 20 years. In that time there have been plenty of occasions where I felt that sewing was crap and I wished I was a farmer/belly dancer/pilot etc. When we lose our sew-jo it's not nice.
We all lose it at times! Here are my top tips for coaxing your sew-jo back into your work-room:
- Blocked by tricky step/instruction not making sense - rather than gouging an even bigger hole in your fabric (with your red-hot, angry seam ripper), put everything down and go away!! Have a walk, have a cuppa and a snack, see if you can ask for help on social media or even sleep on it. This almost always helps, because you get to refresh yourself and calm down. Plugging away whilst you have the red-mist is never a good idea.
- Sew easy - sometimes you just can't be bothered! Or that pattern was a step toooooo far. I get this sometimes, I will be in the midst of designing a pattern and my brain won't come up with a fix for something - ahhhhh! Times like these call for a nice easy sew (with your fave fabric). By all means, buy new fabrics, it's OK, it's medicinal. Pick an easy pattern or an no-brainer kit and enjoy seeing it come quickly together. This always works for me. Most of my sewing involves writing patterns, so the joy of following someone's pattern is meditative.
- Stitch (Stig) of the dump - just tidy up (a little). There's a good chance that right now your workroom/area is not insta/pinterest worthy - neither is mine! But it gets to a stage where the craft-mess not only hurts your eyes, but it actually affects sewing-joy. You can't find anything anymore and you buy more fabric than you need (errrr...like...what's new??). Whilst I can't bring myself to properly tidy up, I do tidy up (a little). I keep my work table tidy. I keep my tools in a tray by my machine and I clean up as I go along. This helps preserve my sew-jo, and it increases my productivity, I can always find what I need and a clearer space really makes for a clearer mind.
- Sew confident and inspired - this is tricky for everyone. No matter where you are in your sewing journey, it can be hard to have confidence in ourselves. Social media is a wonderful source of sewing inspiration, but if you spend more time surfing over sewing we can become intimidated by other people's makes. We give ourselves a hard time for 'not being as good as them'. Social media is nothing more than a curated snapshot of what folks want you to see. What is real and true is: everyone is learning, everyone buggers things up and we are all at different stages. Don't let curated snap-shots negatively affect how you feel about what you are doing. Celebrate yourself for giving it a go, take your time and enjoy the journey.
- Get sewcial - try to get out of the house and meet with other sewing junkies. I attended a local Saturday sewing group and it was lovely! It was so nice to be in like-minded company (no eye rolling when going on and on about fabric!). With only your cat and sewing machine to talk to, sewing can get lonely. If you are unable to meet with folks try joining facebook groups. There are many to choose from for all kinds of craft. You can ask for help, share your makes and enjoy some crafty banter.
What are your top-tips for feeding your sew-jo?
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