Never have we been more inundated with new patterns launches, mini sewing trends, sewing challenges, community projects, friends requests "oh I saw on Sewing bee they made that couture dress in 8 hours, you can make me a dress in a day don't you?" and many other sources of inspiration.
Sewing is incredibly social and as in all social activities we as humans want to fit in. Even thou is impossible to take part in everything we insist putting over ourselves an enormous amount of pressure. Sewing, crafting, knitting or whatever is your favourite creative outlet, it should never feel like a chore, or make you feel you are failing. Here are a few tips to keep your hobby a joy.
Don't follow the hype:
With so many amazing things going on over the blogsphere is so easy to get excited about taking part in everything. I'm so guilty of over-committing myself. I put my hand up for everything. Is just my collaborative nature. However, over my sewing years I have lost count of how many times I felt completely burned out. I was ashamed to admit it and would rush my makes just to get it in time for the big reveal, some times sacrificing my down time, which is super important for creativity. Deadlines and overcommitting are a strong source of frustration, so don't follow the hype.
- Be selective:
Make a note on a post it or notebook of everything you feel you 'want it' with the deadline and keep it where you normally read your blog posts. That will help you visualise everything that is happening before you openly signing for it. See if multiple challenges you would like to take part can be tackled in one outfit. It really helps to visualise everything that is coming before picking the challenges you are truly excited about. Don't feel guilty over the ones you don't pick, no one will think less of you because you didn't join the latest 'big thing'. Other opportunities will always be there.
- Pick the right patterns:
I don't know anyone that sews that don't have a never ending list of projects. Many are added just because you loved someone's version. While providing inspiration is one of the goals I seek over the blog, I know that many styles I make don't suit everyone because I make my clothes for me. Don't you pick your patterns because of their fame, you may get a few more blog hits but not a satisfying make.
My personal criteria in picking a pattern are: I love the style and it suits my lifestyle. I know that style is flattering to my shape. I matched the pattern difficult with my current skill (or a skill I want to practice/learn), I can adapt the pattern to something I want.
- Invest in knowledge:
Picking the right fabric to work with a pattern is almost as important as choosing the right pattern. A lot of learning can be done reading but I'm a practical and visual learner. Get as many different types of fabrics samples and start your own exploration. Look at the drape, the weight. Feel with your fingers how the fabric behaves. Use sample and practice some stitches. It will help you picking the right fabric for the pattern.