Sewing Dilemma: too many choices?

I cannot be the only one, a beautiful fabric stash organised (folded is enough to be classed as properly organised right?) in a large chest, a cupboard full to bursting of exciting untried patterns and a very limited amount of time to sew.

What this all ends up meaning is I spend days planning stunning hand sewn capsule wardrobes using my personal favourite tool for this; the wardrobe sudoku technique. I research looks to recreate, mentally assign fabric to patterns, draw iterations of what it will all look like and even buy notions so I’m good to go when I am able to set aside time for the actual process of preparing and sewing. My sewing plans are nearly always extravagant and involved.

And by then, you guessed it, I have clearly not left enough time to sew even half the things on my beautifully colour coded list having simultaneously managed to get to this stage without prioritising what I actually want to sew first! This is all particularly exasperated by the global pandemic, my own particular uprooted family situation and generally having approximately zero energy or inclination to sit down and sew at the end of the full on days!

Cue a total block on what to sew when, as I seem to always be immersed in what the next project could be and slightly rushing through whatever I’m sewing in the moment because my list of what to make is endless and makes me feel the productivity pressure!

But I decided to make changes! I couldn’t stay feeling bad about how little sewing I was doing, or that I was failing to follow through on all my clearly impossible plans so I changed my approach.

My attitude now is that if it makes me happy it’s on the list of things that I need to do more of! So I am embracing the spreadsheeting, the research and the sketching as fun parts of my creative process. I have relaxed the pressure I put upon myself to hand make everything, that went on the “things that make me feel bad” pile, and I now check second hand and charity sites or shops for pre loved items that will help me realise my plans while remaining sustainable. When I sew now I try not to let myself get overwhelmed by choice – I take whatever fabric or pattern is on the top of my list that I would like right now, or what has particularly inspired me, or what is taking up most space (coat fabric I’m looking at you when I get back to Hong Kong!). It doesn’t matter what it is as long as I just get sewing!

How do you manage your wild plans against your actual sewing time? What else do I need to embrace to get through the too little time and too much choice conundrum?

Sophy is a guest editor for the Sewcialists, she is currently between homes and between continents while she waits out family medical challenges against the backdrop of Covid19. Luckily her 91 year old Nan has lent her a sewing machine to stay true to at least part of her Instagram handle. She shares her very spread out makes on Instagram as Sophy_Sews_HK.

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