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Friday, 10 June 2016

How do you deal with no sewing motivation?

My sewing year for 2015 was pretty poor and having recently emerged from a long spell of no sewing motivation I was inspired to post about this. 

Understanding why your mojo has disappeared.

There so many reasons that this happens but the ones that I hear the most are the following:-

Stress  - work, personal or just feeling out of sorts
Being busy – being away with work, holiday and not managing to fit into the day
Working on projects that are uninteresting or not going well
Feeling overwhelmed by your stash and/or works in progress

My recent bout of no sewing mojo was due to a combination of all three. I had a huge amount of work related travel in 2015 and particularly towards the end of the year. That combined with being out and about in London and a succession of wadders ground my sewing to a halt. 

What to do when you are lacking motivation?

1. Just because you are sewing less, does not mean that you are not sewing

When the motivation to cut out or sew projects is low I take the time to do sewing related activities. I also count this as time spent sewing whether I have my sewing mojo or not! 

These include:-
Re-organising your fabric and pattern stash 
Making a list of projects that you would like to sew for the season ahead
Making a wishlist of patterns that you would like to buy or techniques that you would like to learn
Preparing yourself for projects. Go shopping for your zippers, buttons, elastic and any other notions that you might need for when you get back you sewing mojo. I also count pre-washing my fabrics as sewing! 

2. Surround yourself with fun sewing related activities 

Despite having nothing to show for 6 months I really enjoyed attending LDC meetups to see what everyone else was working on and empathising with others that were feeling the same way and were struggling with a lack of sewing motivation.  Attending fabric swaps, fabric shopping trips, attending fashion exhibitions and reading other sewing blogs to keep up to date with sewing trends made me feel as though I was still engaged with a sewing community.

3. Don’t put pressure on yourself

Understand that you may not always have as much time or inclination to sew and that is ok. For me if I am sewing when I don’t want to I am bound to make a mistake so I just have to step away from my sewing machine. This also allowed me to become fully immersed in my new hobby of cross stitching. I found that it was pretty mindless and could even take it travelling with me.  

Remember - If you sew as a hobby it should be something that you do because you enjoy it, not because you feel guilty for not doing it

Keeping up sewing motivation

I am very aware that if I have a long spell of no sewing it can be difficult to get back into the habit of sewing regularly. Over the years I have discovered the following:-

Understand what hits the spot
For a long time I tried to get my sewing motivation back by sewing really easy tried and true patterns. I found that this didn’t challenge me enough and easily lost interest. For me now, I always tackle a new simple pattern that is likely to have minimal fit issues (for me this is usually a stretch knit dress). However for other people a Tried and True sewing project is the only thing that gets them back on track. Take time to think about which past sewing projects you have enjoyed and why. 

Sew with a purpose
Take time to decide why you want to undertake a project. I find that I am 10 times more likely to finish a project when I do this. 

Make sure that you have everything you need for a project
Nothing is worse than feeling like you want to sew and realising that you don’t have enough fabric or that it isn’t wide enough, or that you have no interfacing or are missing the zip for that work in progress you finally feel like tackling. It’s worth spending a little bit of time organising your projects so you can really enjoy sewing when you feel the urge to do so. 

It would be great to hear what other things people do when they have lost their sewing mojo! And are there any LDC members or otherwise that can relate? 


  1. What a wise post. I think we all grind to a halt at some point and this is full of useful ideas. I am going to print it out and pin it up for the next time this happens- actually it has suggestions I should implement in any case, such as planning ahead and organising.

  2. This is such a great post! I'll have to re-read it and think about it some more, there is so much there that is helpful. Thanks very much for writing it Tash!

    I find that I started a lot of projects and it was frustrating to not finish things. When I did finish a garment it often didn't fit great, and that all added up to lots of frustration that then turned into a lack of sewing mojo.

    I've been doing much better recently: I picked up a few WIPs again and only did a little bit at one time on each one of them. But it gave me the very welcome feeling of progress with each. Wonderful!
    That in turn made me able to pick up two rather old fabrics and finally start skirts. I am really pleased with how it's going and that's brought my sewing mojo back with a vengeance! I am so glad.

  3. I had another thought on something to do when you're not motivated to sew: l like going over my clothes to see if there are any gaps, or if I want to replace a specific type of garment. That can be a very useful pointer to something I would enjoy sewing (if it is an item I want to make myself).
    This keeps my thinking in the head space where I get more easily motivated to start sewing again.


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