6. Break down a project into groups of tasks
Every sewing project is a series of steps or processes. Take a post-it note and make a rough outline of the steps. Group them into smaller chunks that you think are doable in the time that you have available.
You could even do this on a pattern sheet by drawing a lines where you think you can end for a session. You can estimate time if that’s helpful to you or just see how it goes the first few times you do this.
Here’s how I might break down sewing a t-shirt.
Even a very basic outline like this can help you quickly make a goal for your sewing session.
7. Fun with a timer
If you make a game with a timer, you really will seek out making time to sew. Let’s be uber dramatic for a sec and put yourself in a mission impossible scenario:
You have 10 pattern pieces on your table. It’s 27 minutes before dinner and the kids are occupied with Legos for the moment. Can you sew 5 of those pieces together before the timer goes off? Let’s see what happens.
Side note: This is my favorite timer (*affiliate link*). My Dad recommended to me after he told me he could hear it outside mowing the lawn. That’s no joke. Probably overkill in terms of what you need, but it’s part of my everyday and it holds up against 4 kids who also love timers.
With a timer you can set any number of mini-challenges to spice up your sewing time. Not a fan of filing used patterns? Yeah, me neither. You have 3 minutes to put away as many as you can. Go!
8. Make it portable
You know those crocheters or knitters that you see in the doctor’s office adding a few more rows to their new sweater? Friends, you can totally do that too and find some extra time to sew. Your solution?: make it portable.
Don’t panic on me, now. I’m not saying you have to take up couture techniques or figure out a way to plug your sewing machine into your car’s cigarette lighter. (Though that would be pretty fantastic.) Just think about the steps in a project that don’t require your sewing machine.
Have a few buttons to sew on? Pop it in a little tote with thread, needle and a pair of thread snips and take it to work on while you wait for soccer practice to be over. Hems, tacking down facings, and adding a little embroidery embellishment to a project are all great portable sewing tasks.
You can make non-sewing tasks portable too. If you spy me waiting in the carpool line, you might find me trimming interfacing away from pattern pieces!
9. Freezer cook
I swear, I was living under a rock before I realized how helpful freezer cooking was to my life. Not only does it get me through soccer and baseball seasons with a happy, fed family, but it’s massively helped me make time to sew.
If you don’t know, freezer cooking is the act of saving time by making lots of meals at a time and freezing them for later. Jessica Fisher is one of my favorite people to follow on this topic. Her book (*affiliate link*)is filled with lots of helpful ideas and lists to get you thinking about freezer cooking.
Here’s the easiest way I’ve found to freezer cook. First, I often will decide a few meals I want to make for a given week. Then I just double the amount I’d normally make of each meal. One gets eaten right then, the other goes in the freezer. This is how I get through 5 nights of soccer a week when I *might* only get 30 minutes of cooking time and not at all once! Other days I might shoot to make several meals. It really depends on my mood and energy.
Why on earth does this give you time to sew? Because….on the days you can rely on the freezer to have dinner 90% ready to go, you, friend, have just gifted yourself an extra few minutes to sew. #momwin
10. Delegate some household tasks
If you’re serious and want to make time to sew, maybe think about delegating some of your household tasks. I’m a weirdo who loves to vacuum, but sometimes it makes more sense to ask my kids to do it. Literally anyone can do laundry for me.
One thing that’s been working lately is to make a list on a white board of quick chores my sons can do after school. So far it’s been a really good strategy for getting those things done with less complaining.
White board chore lists also give me a couple extra minutes in a day to get in some time with my sewing machine. I’ve been able to get done a t-shirt and a little dress for my daughter’s birthday in this past week in part with this tactic.