Help! I've lost my desire to sew!

Finding inspiration when you have no motivation.

We've all been there, the dreaded burnout! Your previous passion has now become a source of frustration and your tired of it. How do you get past the rut? This is a common question I see posted in online forums so today I want to give you some helpful tips that have helped me get through those times of being stuck.

First, determine why you are stuck!

Too Busy? 
This may seem like a pretty simple question, but it's worth considering. When I get in my sewing rut I find that I'm trying to tackle a larger project with very little time to do it in. I am already frustrated entering the project because I do not have time to dedicate to learning my way through like I typically would. Is that you also? I have had to adjust to taking larger projects into smaller steps over time. It's been hard for my perfectionist tendencies especially with being prompt! This particular hoodie was a Christmas gift for a dear friend. I just mailed it today in March! But, it's done and she knows the intentions of my heart. 

My sewing looks awful/ machine isn't working right! 

Sometimes my machine is acting up. I find I get really frustrated continually having to fix things on my machine when I'm trying to sew. When was the last time you changed your needle? Needles last about 7 hours, but can become dull so if you haven't changed it in awhile do that. Are you sewing with the wrong needle? I often get asked why things aren't sewing correctly only to discover their needle is the wrong type for the project. See our needles blog for more help! Is your bobbin thread loopy or split in multiple areas? This happens to me. I can only seam rip things so many times before I'm ready to toss my project. Often I forget to check the bobbin. If you find it looping while you are winding it DO NOT continue winding it. It will causes frustration later on. 

How often do you service your machine? If you sew a lot like me, you maybe fighting a losing battle trying to sew. Machines should be serviced once a year by a sewing machine professional. A thorough cleaning will take out any lint and debris, as well as oil any parts that may need greased. I do not recommend trying this on your own and definitely do not use canned air as that can ruin the mechanics of your machine. 

Just tired of sewing the same thing!

-What style do you like? What colors do you buy the most? My sister noticed I tended to favor the boho/shabby chic fashion trends. The more patterns the better. I can't afford a lot of the popular brands so I decided to start teaching myself how to make them. Have you challenged yourself to a new project recently? Maybe you are bored! I appreciate the variety patterned dresses allow me. I'm constantly trying new techniques and testing new patterns. It keeps me from getting bored and I learn as I go! 

Have you tried altering a design you like to fit your needs?

One of my favorite commissioned pieces can in the form of a challenge. A lady from Idaho sent me a photo of a skirt off of Pinterest. She wanted something similar for her daughter and asked if I could make it happen. I face timed her while at the fabric store. She picked out all the fabric and we set to work. I like the people I am sewing for to be involved throughout the process so they receive something they love. Her daughters skirt turned out fantastic! 

Maybe you can take a pattern and add or take away pieces from it to make it your own. This is known as the Frankenstein method. It is one of my favorite ways of designing things!

These two dresses were commissioned pieces for cousins. The mother of one of the girls wanted something fun that suited both of their personalities, but matched in similar design. She chose different fabrics, but wanted to stay with a similar overall look on the dresses. She wanted ruffles and bows! I sketched out my ideas and used the various patterns I had saved over the years to get the correct sizing done.  The finished pieces were fantastic! Notice the hidden pockets on the skirt! 

Get back to the drawing board. Sometimes when I'm stuck I do a brain dump and sketch out anything that comes to mind. It doesn't matter if it's a quilt, dress or something different. I don't have to use the ideas, but it gives me a place to start when I'm ready to start sewing again. I use my sewing journal for this. If you haven't purchased one yet snag yours here! It's an exclusive product of Unique Time Designs. 

My final suggestion is to make a gift for someone. Sometimes my best inspiration comes when I think about others. I created this baby doll diaper bag set ( and many others following that ) when I found out I was expecting my son. I wanted a fun sibling gift set for my daughter to be able to carry around. It was a huge hit and has been the inspiration of many other gift sets. I hope these suggestions have been helpful. Let me know what you do when you're stumped! 

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