top of page

How to find time to sew!

The number one thing I hear at my studio is… “I have no time to sew... I want to make it; I can see it… but…”

Arghhh… I say it too, and it is so true! But then, how do we get anything done that we want to do? We make it a priority, give it a letter on our to do list, A – B – C…. So then, how can I squeeze this “want to” into my day?

I have a philosophy I have been practicing for about a year now to help me get my goals achieved, I call it… Every Day Effort. I have the words posted all over my office. I even drafted a cool chart that I post above my light switch and check off every day to keep me on track with my goals.

Every Day effort chart. keeping track of your daily progress

Let me know if you’d like a chart, I can email a copy to you!

So how can I use this practice to get the custom new skirt I want?

What if I think of sewing in sections?

I will spend about 15-30 minutes a day (or at least every other day) sewing a section.

Last week I tried it and whalla I had a new skirt in 7 days! Much better than looking at that beautiful fabric on the shelf wishing I had the time to turn it into a skirt.

The hardest part is just getting started! Now, if you get in the “bliss zone” and you have a clear few hours I say keep going!

But do try this, because it helps you to know that having that new design you want is possible one way or another!

I started with the cutting. I should have started with prewashing and pressing it, but I was anxious to get it started. Now I will have to dry-clean it, which is probably best for this skirt anyway.

On Day 1 - I cut and marked all the notches and circles. If it had more pattern pieces, I would cut one day and mark on Day 2.

Day 2 - I cut and sewed the bias pieces together.

Measured, marked, cut, sewed and got them all prepared to go into the skirt pieces. For some reason I just love making bias strips?!

Day 3 - I sewed the front and back spliced pieces together with the bias strip inserts. This was the most fun because I got to see my design idea come together.

Day 4 - I pressed and top-stitched the spliced pieces. This was an easy step, but it took me a while just in deciding which color thread to use and whether to use a regular stitch or a stretch stitch. I did a little sample to check.

Day 5 - I put in the zipper and stitched the side seams.

The challenge of the day was that I did not have an invisible zipper foot (I moved it from its regular spot and now cannot find it!)

So now I will have to use a regular foot if I was going to stay on schedule. I could have had a drone drop it off but no, I will figure it out. Turns out it was not to hard and I got it done. Now I get to try it on to see if it fit. Sweet it fit great, so now I do not have to do an alteration day and can go right into the finishing’s.

Day 6 - In the home stretch! I just needed to add a waist finishing.

I decided to use the left-over bias fabric and make a biased seam binding.

Now I have a cute pop of color in the inside as a bonus. And it is easier too.

Day 7 – I did a quick and easy 1-inch hem, just pressed it at the 1-inch mark then rolled in a half inch to meet the crease, pressed some more and top-stitched it!

My skirt is done!

Now I have a new, unique, custom made skirt that gives me joy!

And the bonus is it happened in no time! I didn’t feel like I spent a lot of time on it at all.

One great tip is to spend one of your days getting together all your notions like treads, zippers, snaps and all and put them in one working container so everything is right there. Have your bobbins full and ready to go and your sewing area cleaned and ready for work helps too.

If you have a project with a lot of pieces that must be interfaced, have one of your days just for that task. Cut the interfacing pieces and apply it so that when you’re putting all the pieces together you do not have to stop and get out the interfacing, cut and apply. You can just go right in and complete it.

1 day could be for altering your pattern

1 day could be for shopping for fabric and planning the design. It’s good to sketch it out or write out your plans to keep your focus.

So now, I think I can tackle my other projects. I have rejuvenated my energy for sewing for myself! It’s been a long time since I have made myself everyday clothing.

I have sewn many of evening dresses and up-cycles and even my wedding dress but not just everyday clothes for myself.

I think I want to start wearing more art pieces, clothes should be fun to wear. It’s like having a great hair day, just makes the day more joyous!

You can see the video I did on this project on my YouTube channel “Sew Shawnelle”.

Here is the link to the video. Be sure to subscribe!

What will you be working on?

What is on your sewing shelf just waiting to be in your closet?

Sew Happy Sewing! Hope you can try this Every Day effort idea.

Please let me know if you do and how it worked for you!

You tube channel link - Future Fashion Designers, Sew Shawnelle & Sew Bits

If you really want to re-invigorate your creative sewing dreams, come to our Fashion Sewing retreats! We have a Spring and Fall retreats.

more information at

Happy Sewing!




bottom of page