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Conversational Threads

making time for sewing

sewfungirl | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello, I’m new to this site. I’m so glad I found it. I would love tips on how to find more

time to sew. I work all day and cook dinner for my family at night.  I would appreciate

any advice.      


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    In my opinion one of the biggest things is the ability to leave the machine set up.  I know that I can get a lot done in just 30 minutes, (or less,) if I don't have to set things up and put them away.  Then you can use ALL the time to sew.

    Is this a possibility?

    1. sewfungirl | | #2

      Thank you for the tip Ralphetta, yes it is possible for me to leave my machine setup.


      1. Ralphetta | | #3

        That's terrific! 

         I've found that after the initial large block of time it takes to cut something out,  the rest of the project can be broken down into workable "bites."  It works well for me to baste as much as possible in one "bite," next time..I sew.  Then, I tackle another part.  Somehow, when I set myself  a workable  goal each time, I have more positive feelings about the short time.

        When you concentrate on the "whole" project it's easy to just give up and decide you don't have enough time.  I am constantly amazed at how much you can accomplish in small sessions and feel really lucky that I have a space where I can leave everything set up and ready to go when I have a few minutes.


        1. sewfungirl | | #5

          Thank you Ralphetta,

           That is a great idea. Often I get  overwhelmed when I think about how long a project will take but if I take it in small steps it does seem a lot more manageable.

          Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely give it a try.


  2. thehat | | #4

    anothe thing is to cut everything out and line thhem up and sew tin lines and then put them together such as  all the long seams and a continueousseam a little run off and on to the next seam  and pin every thing and then all yoou have to do is to pick it up and sew  keep sewing

    1. sewfungirl | | #6

      Thank you, this sounds like a great timesaver too.


  3. solosmocker | | #7

    Wow, can I sympathize with this dilemma. I have just retired early after 25 years of "career" and have been a serious sewer all that time. I found a couple of things to help. I would make classic simple patterns with really nice fabric. Once I perfected a pattern like a straight skirt or trousers, I would plan production line sewing of several garments at a whack. I would cut out several straight skirts. I would do all the waistbands, then all the zippers, etc. This made things go really quickly and for not much more time invested I would end up with 3 or 4 skirts in little over the time it took to make one. I also found my sewing world totally changed with the purchase of a serger. That speeded things up even more and gave a more professional finish. Nancy Zieman had a book called 10-20-30 minutes to Sew which gave awesome lessons on doing things quickly and professionally. She inspired me to start sewing early in the morning. Previously I had my morning coffee and watched the news for half an hour before getting ready for work and out the door. I started bringing my coffee downstairs to my sewing room, turning on the radio for music and news and getting in a half hour of sewing every day before getting ready for work. Talk about Zen. I found I was very relaxed on the mornings I did this and I got a lot accomplished.

    Hope these hints help out a little bit. It can be very challenging with a full time job and family to get some sewing in. Today, I sew to my hearts content and am in the final stages of building my dream sewing space in our new downsized home.

    1. sewfungirl | | #9

      Thank you for the great advice. These tips are really helpful and inspiring me to use little bits of time to get something done.             Mitzi

      1. solosmocker | | #10

        Lilah alluded to something else I do to save time. I cut EVERYTHING with the rotary cutter and Olfa mat. I use the large cutter for most cutting and the smallest cutter for curves like sleeves and necklines. I have a hip curve and a sleeve curve made of acrylic that also makes the cutting of the curves easier. You will also be much more accurate using the rotary cutters. I also have a cutlery tray with all my much used items to the right of the sewing machine. That way I don't waste time looking for things. If I think of some more I will let you know.

      2. mygaley | | #12

        I also sew in little bits and pieces except for cutting out. I do this all at once so I can remember what I'm doing (for instance which lace piece will be lined) and I never, never, cut out if I'm stressed or weary. In fact, to know I'm just going to do a bit instead of an all-day stint is very encouraging to me! Galey

  4. lilah | | #8


    I understand about not having much time to sew.  I work 12 hour shifts and I'm too tired after work to sew.  I usually prepare my fabrics on days I work, which usually means washing and maybe pressing, that way they're ready when I have time to sew.  I tend to make mistakes when I'm tired, so I wait until my days off to sew.  I like to do things in steps and try not to schedule too much on one day.  First, I read the pattern, or if it's something I don't have a pattern for, I make sketches to show details so I can plan the construction.  I make notes for things so I don't skip steps.  Then I start on the project.  The plan might look like (1) cut out  (2) mark (I use chalk, thread, and post it flags or sticky dots)  (3) finish SAs (4) construct (5) add details (6) hem and finish  

    I cut everything out.  Sometimes I use a rotary cutter. Then marking,  I use sticky dots or tiny post it flags for some things.  I sometimes mark the seamline with tracing paper and a double-tracing wheel.  Review the instructions for construction, then begin pinning.  When I'm ready to sew, the first thing I do is set up the iron.  Sew, press, sew, press.  I take my time stitching, being careful to sew accurate seams, and I take my time pressing.  I like to let the pressed area cool before I move it.  It gives a better result.  If I find I'm getting too rushed, I will put it aside, because I'll make mistakes.  I find that if I take a slower approach to sewing, I really like it and don't have to rip out as much.  If I'm making something I've made before, and I know it will fit well already, I don't use 5/8" seam allowances so I don't have to trim seams.  Depending on the fabric, and the type of seam used, I will finish the seam allowances before sewing the pieces together.  Sewing multiples of a garment is good, too, but plan the details so they don't look cookie cutter.  Sewing is one of those things that you can do things many different ways, but you have to know what you want to achieve and plan accordingly.  For example, I might have to apply details before construction.  I try to start my sewing projects early in the day.  That way, if I get all of one step finished, I can proceed to the next one.  I try to work in some housework in between steps and take breaks from the sewing room so I don't get tired.  Nothing worse than an aching back and tired eyes.

  5. Teaf5 | | #11

    Great suggestions so far! I use a lot of them, plus a couple more:
    I prewash the fabric as soon as I get home from the fabric store so that it's ready when I get a chance to work on it.
    I take the pattern instructions to work and read them at break time before I start the project.
    If I'm laying out the fabric and pattern but have to stop; I just fold it all carefully and unroll it the next time.
    Even though I'm a very experienced sewer, I keep a list of steps and mark off what I've done and leave a postit on the garment about what to do first when I start up again.
    I save hand work for a sunny moment when I can sit outside and sip a cup of tea or when I sit on the sidelines of my kids' sports or dance classes.
    I never sew when I'm in a bad mood or hungry; it's just not worth it.
    If I'm sewing a special garment that I intend to keep for years, I tell myself that it's o.k. if I take half a year to finish it. If I'm sewing a costume for Halloween next week, I tell myself that it's o.k. to slap it together and take shortcuts.
    If I find myself without time to sew, I make sure that I find value in everything else that's making me so busy!

    1. solosmocker | | #13

      wow, a kindred spirit! I thought I was the only one to bring a pattern to work and read the directions on my lunch hour! Talk about addicted, LOL!BUT, and it's a big one, I always sew when I am upset. It really puts me back in a good mood and lets me forget what's troubling me - my therapy.

      1. lovestosew | | #14

        I am so glad to find others who take patterns (or parts of patterns) to work. I have done this for years & don't care what co-workers have to say on the subject. Looking at the patterns at least takes my mind off things for a while. And, I agree about sewing being so therapeutic. I try to sew every day.

        1. fabricholic | | #15

          Hi,I, also, look at patterns at work. One of the sales girls commented about me really getting into sewing. I told her that I think about it more than actually sewing. I usually only sew on the weekends. Reading about it keeps my mind entertained when it is boring monotony, sometimes at work. I, also, like looking at the fabric websites and picking out material when we are not busy. I guess we all try to squeeze in something good in our day.Marcy

          1. kayrosie | | #16

            We must all be soul mates.  I to take stuff to work. I work for an attorney, and lots of time we are not very busy.  We speclize in taxes and probate.  We used to do lots of bankrutpcy but with the new laws we are not doing them anymore.  So lots of times I bring stuff to work with me.  Now don't laugh but I have an extra sewing machine here. I really don't have it out much unless the boss is going to be gone all day.  It is hard tosew when he is here.   I do cut out and look at patterns though when he is here.  I can do hand work and that kind of stuff here. 

            My tip is get that book that somebody mentioned above. It is wonderful I have it.  Also look for patterns that say one hour or so.  Some of them give some good tips about how to sew things faster so you can do it in parts.  Good luck.  I sew to relax me.  I know that sounds funny but I do.  My friens say how do you do that. It makes them nervous.

            Good luck isn't it fun sewing.



          2. fabricholic | | #17

            Hi Kayrosie,I used to be the office manager for my brother's machine shop. My mother would come visit here and say that I should set up my machine at work. I really didn't think my brother would approve, but, in her mind, it made perfect sense. I think it is wonderful that you can sew at work. If bosses would just realize what it would do for an employee, they might go along with it. I sell food to restaurants and help the sales people with problems. I don't have as much time as I used to when I worked for my brother, but it is still nice to squeeze in some fun. I am planning to go to Hancock's on my lunch hour and buy some lining for a vest I am going to make. I have depression and that is the first thing my doctor mentioned was to get my mind occupied on things I enjoy, like sewing, gardening and reading. I do all those things now.Marcy

          3. fabricholic | | #18

            Hi again. Whenever I make a shirt and have the collar, cuffs and buttons to sew on by hand, I take it to work and I am in heaven!Marcy

          4. lovestosew | | #19

            Please excuse for me for jumping in but, oh, my goodness, are there any job openings at your workplace? What a great work environment! :)

          5. Sunny_Sunshine | | #20

            I don't have space to cut out at home so I bring my fabric and patterns to work and find an empty conference room during lunch to cut out my patterns. I keep pins, scissors and a tape measure at my desk so I'm all ready to go. I also bring hand work to do at lunch.

          6. kayrosie | | #21

            see there are prefect jobs aren't there.   It relaxes me to sew.

          7. Teaf5 | | #26

            Once, I brought in about ten yards of fabric to lay out a very large kaftan pattern on our department's conference room table. I picked a slow time and hoped no one would notice. My boss walked by, saw what I was doing, and commissioned me to do several sewing projects for her in the next year!I loved having that huge, clean table to lay out that pattern, but I quickly tired of sewing for my boss, so I've never done it again. And I've never let my new boss know that I can sew! (But I still scan the online versions of the pattern companies when he's not around...)

          8. kayrosie | | #36

            I wish all you sew buddies lived closer.  Here is my work for the winter-early spring. Our son is getting married and I am making nine dresses, two flower girl dresses (pictures are on another thread here somewhere) I made a practice one, two junior bridesmaid dresses and five bridesmaid dresses.  So I wish you all lived closer.  Going to go to a building that I can get for nothing and it has big tables, going to spread the thirty yards of material that I have out and cut the 5 bridesmaid dresses out at once. Hopefully.  Making muslin practice dresses first.  The bridesmaid dresses are all different.  But all the same color.  Choc. brown, and the junior dresses are champaign and the little flower girls are white.  I am excited to do it but a little apprehensive.  Two of the bridesmaid dresses are for my daughters and they are skirts and tops,and the other three are dresses.  All long. I have promised myself that I am going to take my time and do them in blocks.  Like all the side seams, all the zippers and so forth. Get my drift. I will let you know how I get along.  Thanks for listening today. 

          9. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #37

            Wow that is an undertaking. I too would feel a bit apprehensive!!But you seam to have it all mapped out!! I am excited to see the results! The colors sound delicious!! What a beautiful combination!!That puts some of my projects I have in the works seam so tiny!!You go girl!! I know you will get it done and you will make that wedding a success!! It is all about how they are dressed and of course the right photographer who will capture the wonderful dresses!!Can't wait to hear about your progress...keep us posted and let us know how we can keep encouraging you and laugh with you along the wayConnie

          10. kayrosie | | #38

            Oh yes I will get them done. I have too.  I have a practice dress alll cut out for the junior bridesmaid and want to do another one this week as I am going to be seeing the girl this weekend so can try it on her.  Only have to put the dress together, don't have to worry about facings or zipper so that should go fast.  It is made like princess style.  I have made a practice of the top for one of my daughters and it fit so when she tells me she is not going to be loosing any more weight I can try it on her again and make it.  I will get there. 


          11. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #39

            Wonderful! I think you mentioned you had some pics? Or was I wrong?If you do let me know how to find them if they are on another post or in the photo gallery? I can't wait to see!Connie

          12. kayrosie | | #40

            Okay it is under General Sewing forums.  and then look up Gatherin Net and Frustrated.  That is where the pic. are. If you can't find it let me know and i will send it again. 

          13. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #41

            Thank you yes I did find it!!Wow in Choco Brown how rich and wonderful!! Looks like it is Simple style yet the color will really set it up. And how elegant this wedding will be!Keep us posted

          14. Teaf5 | | #64

            Wow--your project sounds huge, rather like costuming a play. You might want to take a hint from costumers: have a sheet for each dress that has the wearer's measurements on it, the steps you'll need to complete, and a place for notes, and keep it with the dress. I used a dry-cleaner's bag for each garment and taped a sheet to the front of each; as each garment came together, I hung it on a hanger, draped the bag over it, and draped another, smaller bag with all the findings for that garment over the hanger, too. The bags kept everything clean and together and were easy to label.My notes said things like "check waistline before inserting zipper" or "take in an inch at center back" or "Next step on this dress: hem the lining." That way I didn't have to remember where I was on each garment between sewing sessions, and I could tell at a glance what needed to be done on each. Good luck!

          15. kayrosie | | #65

            I already have a file and the pattern pictures in them so I can do one at a time.  I am getting a little worried but I am confident that I can do this. I have a lot of goodhelp.

            My daughter sews, I have really very good friends that sew and are agoing to help me.  Then I have one very good lady, that has sewn bridesmaid dresses for over 50 years and she is a very dear friend that if I get in trouble she is just a phone call away.  I am really anxious to do them. 

          16. user-167104 | | #90

            talk about a dream job! I believe you have it. I also work for an attorney and the thought of having my machine or time to use it at work is beyond comprehension. We are a busy firm. I work in litigation, and it's very busy. I sneak a few minutes here and there to look at this site and a couple other sewing sites, and that's it. I have occationally cut out patterns and done small hand sewing during lunch. But the approval of your boss to bring your machine and sew! Count your blessings! I say every day, "Here I am, could be the next Vera Bradley, and I'm at a computer typing good sewing fingers away!" I think about sewing every day, and wish that's what I was doing.

            When I get home, I have great  plans but then I get home, and too tired to sew.

            You're post does inspire me though to try to utilize more time and fit in sewing into spare time.


          17. kayrosie | | #91

            I know I have a dream job.  I count my blessing everyday. The only drawback, is my salary is not that good, but I am not on a schedule, not even busy sometime so that counts for something.  I am in a dressy sweats today.  I am the only one in the office today, and will be for the next week.  So I have the place to myself.  I have no benefits.  No insurance and no pension.  So that sucks too.  But once again, you have to give up something to be able to have this jobs.  Oh well.  I have no other ladies to get along with.  Just me.  If I want to go babysit a day I just tell Bill I have to be grandma today.  Okay he says.  I figure I have worked for him since 1983 so I should have some privileges.  Now come the end of January until the  middle of April we are pretty busy.  We do taxes.  I actually do most of the. I am the one that inputs them into the computer.  So we do about 400. I would actually like to take over the tax business when he quits but I don't see himi quiting.  He is already 86.  Someday I will either find him at his desk or he will get sick and his health will go.  One of our long time clients asked if I was going to be able to step and do taxes.  He said I think so .  She does them now. 

            I worked on my granddaughter Xmas dress last night. I should have brought it with me but it is such a hassle to carry everything. I might do that tomm. or possible Monday and Tuesday of next week since I will be here those two days by myself also. 

            I would much rather be busy than have nothing to do.  Time goes so much  faster when you are busy. 


          18. user-167104 | | #92

            Sounds great, but lack of benefits are the problem for me. But if it works for you, it sounds like a great way to spend the day. The benefits are why I'm working. Need the insurance. If it weren't for that, I'd be at a simple job, or just home using my sewing to make money. I don't like spending all day at work and seeing all the awesome things that I could be sewing. So again, I make plans tonight to sew when I get home. We'll see how it goes....

            Good to know that everyone that like to sew, figures out a way to do it no matter where or what they're doing.



          19. kayrosie | | #93

            It is a problem for me now.  My husband is going to be 62 in January, and he could retired if I had a job that paid our insurance--but I don't so he will have to keep working until he is 66.  He has never wanted me to go get a job where I would have either have to drive 50 miles or at factory or even Walmart has insurance but you have to give up the hours here and to much other. So I guess we will go like this until something falls in my lap better. 

          20. user-167104 | | #94

            Well, you enjoy your job, and it has the awesome benefit of allowing you to sew while there when you can. I hope you get what you need in the way of ins. but in the meantime, I'm thankful for my job and you are yours. That's all that counts, is today. I woke up this morning at 4:00 couldn't go back to sleep, I sewed a little. First time ever that I did that, and I brought fabric, iron, and planned on setting in a zipper during my lunch hour, ready to sew when I get home, but forgot the main ingredient, the zipper! Auggghhh!

            Well, it will all get done, I guess. Best laid plans.....

            Well, long weekend. I have Friday to sew, we'll see how it goes....

            good chatting with you....take care, we'll stay on line, and in touch....


          21. kayrosie | | #95

            I do love my job.   I got here today, I am the only one here, and have a broken window in the bathroom, so had to call the police and the insurance company.  Called somebody to see if they would fix it for me.  My boss is in Sacrementa.  Must be the day for early rising. I woke up at 4:00 and could not go back to sleep either. Finally got up and watched some tv for a hour and then got up and took a shower and got ready to come to work.  We should have gotten on line and we could have chatted. 

            I am planning on sewing today after I leave here. I am going to wait on the mail and then leave.  

            Got to go home and make apple dumplings for tomm.  I am making noodles and beef roast but will do that at my daughters tomm. Since my granddaughter has to help me. 

            Have a great holiday everybody.

    2. ctirish | | #22

      Hi, What do you put on your list to check off. I have tried to do that but by the time I am finished I  have created a detailed project plans and it seems to much like work.  But I keep going back to do things I could have done one of the last three times I sat down at the sewing machine.

      1. kayrosie | | #23

        I cut out bunch of stuff and label them so when I get home and have thirty minutes to sew I can start in.  I like to do all the zig zagging of my seams if I am using a conventional sewing machine, if I am using the serger I just start right in sewing the article.


        1. user-217847 | | #24

          Ladies one and all,

          thank you so much, I love you all.

          I once had a sewing buddy, we've been parted now for over 18 years and Ive wondered all these years where my enthusiasm went, it left with her. my sewing dropped right off, I did do a little for my 3 neices, they are teenages now and ready to wear are so expensive and the want me to catch up with the current fashion.

          We have a friend who just measures and cuts, why cant I the ask,I have beeen teaching myself how to adjust patterns with the help of Threads and our Stitches magazines it's working slowly.

          After reading all your advice I have voted you all my new sewing buddies.

          thanks a bunch



          1. SewNancy | | #25

            What a lovely sentment. I too find that this forum is a substitute for a sewing buddy. I get to ask all my questions and have them answered. The forum has encouraged me to sew more because just hearing about everyones projects inspires me. Patternreview, which I first heard about in Threads is my other mainstay because I love to see what people are sewing and that inspires me to sew more too.

          2. user-217847 | | #30

            Hi SewNancy,

            I seem to have wasted a lot of years, I have a lot of catching up to do, and you girls have helped more than you'll ever know. Thankyou again.


          3. ctirish | | #29

            wow, ok, this is officially weird... I had a sewing buddy that lived across the street, we pretty much did everything together. Her name was Lee actually Lee Ann. We used to keep each other going on sewing projects. She could be brutal when ti came to why haven't you done anything. Well, I lost her in 1982 and for years I had no desire to sew at all.  I think it is wild that you rname is Lee and you want some sewing buddies. So, we will have to keep after each other. I feel pretty good this week, I have been trying to make an outfit - simple knit, elastic waist, top and skirt for about 3 years. This week I decided to slow down and baste everything and the stiching is coming out beautifully. 


          4. user-217847 | | #31

            Hi Jane,

            It gets even weider, I to am Lee Anne. I will keep you to your word.


          5. solosmocker | | #32

            I'm getting goosebumps!

          6. user-217847 | | #33

            No worries I dont do ghosts, besides I'm on the other side of the world. Too overweight to travel that fast.


          7. User avater
            Becky-book | | #42

            Thanks for the giggles!!!

            My girls were my sewing buddies and now they are married and producing little ones who need 'Mum's sewing', so I seem to be sewing more than ever! with less help 'on location'. 



          8. kayrosie | | #43

            I know what you mean by a sewing buddies.  My one daughter likes to sew in fact she is ready to student teach to be a Consumer Science Teacher here in Iowa which is Home Ec. She is pretty excited about it.  But also apprenhensive since she will have to quit her job.   So she does have cold feet. 

            I sew alot for the grandchildren.  As they get older they like to buy their clothes too.  My oldest granddaughter is getting really picky. Wants her to stuff to look like the rest of the kids.  You can't blame her.  The littlier one is still in frills and dresses that twirl and all. 

            I will send pic. when I get the whole wedding party dresses done.  I am thinking they are going to be very pretty.

          9. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #45

            Hi Kayrosie,I had a question you mentioned your daughter is becoming a "Consumer Science Teacher"(which is Home Ec) is this another way of saying it is Home EC without saying it? for the Schools sake?I am not getting something I guess. I know where we live they have yanked all Home Ec Classes and such for awhile now and I am assuming this was beginning to be true in alot of other states. But It intrigued me to hear you say "Consumer Science Teacher" Love to hear more on that if you don't mindThanks

          10. kayrosie | | #46

            In Iowa, Consumer Science will incorporate, health, family living (likes learning to manage life skills). then she will also teach, cooking, sewing and the regular stuff too.  It is just more into the whole thing. It has been Consumer Science and Living for awhile around here. When my kids were in school it was called that.   She could also work in the area of Extension work if she wanted but she really wants to teach I think.  She has worked in retail for awhile. She graduated from college with a degree in fabruc and design.  She always thought she wanted to be a buyer, but that job is so cut throat.  You buy one thing wrong and you are done.  She  has decided it might be a time for a change.  I think she will enjoy it. She was always active in 4-H and took stuff to the state fair in cooking and was active in the sewing too.  I have two other teachers in or family.  Our other daughter, and son.  He is a high school math teacher and a head highschool boys coach and girls softball coach.  Our other daughter taught special ed for some 15 years and now is a special ed consultant.  So teachers run in the family.  I hope I have not bored you to much.  


          11. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #47

            No you didn't bore me. Thanks for your explanation. Unfortunately here in WA state we are yanking a lot of that from your curriculum and health and such are assumed by other teachers. Which is so sad. That is great. I am working with our District to get an after school sewing program for the kids and I am going to teach this. I am just in the phase to solicit monies for this program and had a breakfast with one of the many Kiawanna groups here local. So I know this is just begun for me. I am hoping at least by Next school year I can be up and runningI just wish they would bring it back to the schools. I won't jump on my soap box with you on that one. But I am very passionate about what this skill does for anyone!! Instills alot of life skills as they grow up so I am giving my hats off to your daughter to do this!! Connie

          12. kayrosie | | #48

            I guess I sure hope they don't do away with it.  I have been worried about it.  She also could go back on her business part of her degree too though.  I would not take her long to pick up a few classes to teach bookkeeping and stuff like that.   She has a minor in business I think.  Or has a lot of classes in business which would work.  I totally agree with you. I don't think they should be cutting these classes out of our schools.  But I could get on the band wagon about a lot.  The No Child Left Behind is not a good law.  It needs to be revamped.  It is hurting our kids and our schools. Okay that is my band wagon.



          13. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #49

            I found out something wonderful and interesting today.I met with one of our local Kiwanis Org. And I was received well about my program I am working to start. A gentleman came up to me afterward to thank me and said he had a story to tell me. He had heard at one of his conferences as a teacher.One of our local Congresswomen was addressing this group about this very issue of taking out all life skills and such. She relayed her story about her daughter. Took Sewing for 1 year at school and was enjoying it and made project after project. She proceeded to say that her daughter now is a Surgeon. And directly relates this to her year of sewing. I was excited because I know sewing is just a vehicle to many things!! and we learn so much more then just fabric. Even though we think that it is just that. I believe if everyone really looks at all they have done past and present I would really guess that most of us has more skills then we think we have!! Utilizing all our sewing techniques and such. I know now I am getting deep.But I really thought that was a great story and I wanted to pass it on!! A surgeon......hmmm threading.....working with our hands, taking things apart and putting them together. Just a thoughtConnie

          14. kayrosie | | #50

            I totally agree with you.   It makes prefect sense.  She got her start sewing and decided to sew on people. 

            I am sewing tonight. Making one of those practice muslin dresses.  I must get busy.  I really like chatting with you.  So if you have anything else lets chat.

          15. kayrosie | | #51

            Have you ever underlined anything.  I made the black satin blouse today, and I am kinda concerned about how the neck is going to look after I get it pressed and all.  I put the facings on, and then I understitched.  Is that the way you do it.  I am just not real fond of the way it looks.  I am going to take and have it pressed. Somebody told me to underline it.  Just looking for some more advise.


          16. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #52

            Hey I got your plea and well I am still learning I guess what underlining is because I thought it was lining!!I did notice a subject in underlining I have't been on it yet. I am really sorry I have no clue so if anyone else can help out that would be great and I will learn right along with youSo my question is what is the difference between lining and underlining I thought that that was one in the sameBut you are correct to understitch I do that all the time and it seems to help out in the way the lining/facing what ever you are doing stay and not roll to the front side as well as it helps in pressingI know I am no help to you with this Sorry, I can't wait to learn along with you on thisConnie

          17. kayrosie | | #53

            I got the answer for the undlining. You treat the pieces as if they are one.  I have seen that done before.  I guess I just have done it.  

          18. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #54

            Oh I think I have just done this with my daughters costume this Halloween.I just posted picture on the costume subjectI used a sheer sparkly fabric on top of the other fabric and of course used that as my one piece fabric then I lined it.That is what you are saying right? I have been doing this often and not even knowing what the actual term for it was. Too funnyThanks for the infoConnie

          19. kayrosie | | #55

            yes that is it.  I got some Stay tape today so thought I would try that on the neck lines.   I think that will help. I have used it beforee.


          20. thehat | | #68

            hi what do you think is wrong with it  you should'nt really have to put a linning under it ?

          21. kayrosie | | #71

            The necks always seem to give me trouble when you don't line them.  I put the facing on, turned it and understitched like it says.  But they always want to gap.  I haven't really pressed this one good yet so maybe it will be okay. I am going to send it to the cleaners for a good pressing. That always makes them look more professional don't you think. 

          22. thehat | | #73

            what kind of a neckline are you making  check the shoulder and see if that could be the problem  or maybe you should length it  or shorten it so if it is a { old term } scooped and you are a larger then a stick you might have to lengthen the shoulder seam.


          23. kayrosie | | #75

            No the neck is not to big or to small it is just that I don't like the way it lays.  But after I press and send it to the cleaners it might be better.


          24. MaryinColorado | | #72

            My high school Home Economics teacher taught us so many life skills beyond the sewing, cooking and meal planning.  At the time I was frustrated, I took the class to learn sewing.  I had learned the rest at home.  As an adult, I realise that many do not learn life skills at home.  Sometimes we fail to see the value of the whole picture.  One thing many of the girls did not know until Miss Haines taught them, was how to dress appropriately.  I am sure this helped many young ladies in thier professional lives. 

          25. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #74

            Thanks Mary,Your Comments are so true!! This is what I see with my program, Many are latch key kids or their moms are'nt spending the time with them to communicate. I have found over this last 5 months with my own kids and my husband being gone wow they need me even more and if someone would have told me that I would be a stay home mom when I had kids because I quote myself
            "I would never stay home that was my mom and I love what I do" Well God has numerous times made me eat my words...Who would've thought.All I know is that for all of us who are out there our kids are better for it and I know that is why I am who I am today. My mom took the time.I know I can't save the world however I know I can impact some and that does make a difference.Sorry I just went off on a side bar there. Thanks Mary for all your wisdom and insight throughout this forum I so enjoy seeing you post.Connie

          26. MaryinColorado | | #76

            Thank You for your kind words.  I really respect and admire you for this undertaking!  It sounds like the perfect "niche" for you.  You sound so enthusiastic and will be an inspiration for many young people. 

            I taught a home based pre school program for several years while my children were growing up. We homeschooled our son for a few years.   It was great for the children and my family.  Later, I went on to college and became an RN.  For medical reasons, I am retired early and my sewing room has saved me from the "blues".  It is a skill that has and hopefully always will be a very important part of my life. 

            My daughter has never been interested in sewing.  My son and daughter in law are really enjoying thier new interest in it.  My three grandchildren love it.  Two of the grands had a wonderful teacher.  The children made a quilt as a class project.

            With all the focus on "basics" in education, my concern is that children learn how to incorporate that into life skills.  I hated math and thought I was a "Math dummy" during my school years.  It was "boring" and could not hold my interest until Dad explained how I would use math in real life.  The math instructors never bothered or thought to mention the signifigance of being a good consumer, balancing a checkbook, loans with interest rates and down payments, etc.  I wanted to be a nurse since I was three years old, you would think some teacher would have mentioned the math needed for drug dosages and calculations!!!  In college, I discovered that not only was I not a "math dummy" but able to maintain a very high GPA that resulted in "scholarships"! 

            Children need a well rounded education in order to comprehend and utilize the "basics"  Otherwise it is just letters and numbers and rules and boredom!!! 

            You are incorporating a much needed service beyond the "sewing".  God bless You!  Mary

          27. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #79

            I also want to thank you for your encouragement and very wonderful words to me too!! Wow Home schooling now that I don't think I could ever do!! I admire those who do but I think it is best my kids be somewhere else for that!1Not that I am totally involved in their school. I am and I think that makes a huge difference when you know what is going on within the schoolI got my first sewing machine when I was 18 years old. My dad thought that every woman should have one. And that is all I will say about that!! ha ha haMy mom sewed and actually I did take Home ec as well but didn't really take to it until I got my own sewing machine and I had a roommate who sewed so that was my jumping in if you will to the world of sewing.I have 2 wonderful daughters. One 10 and the other 5. Abigael really started taken interest at about 8 years old so I had her do a blanket kit project from Joann's (Fleece)pieces already cut she just sewed together. I thought cool she is taking interest. I have never pushed my girls for that matter to anything we will try things and I know they will find their own nitch. So for Christmas last year I decided to get her, her own sewing machine with some kid classes. (At that point I thought it would be best for me not to teach her). So she is loving it she made her own hooded fur cape this year for Halloween and I am in the process in upgrading her machine and keeping the other for my 5 year old since she is now having fun with it too!!I find just like you it is a joy and it is my peace sometimes. Even though I do get frustrated sewing relaxes me. I also hated math.....and like your dad my dad too told me that it will have many uses for me in later life....of course I did not believe him. I too wanted to be a nurse, but I didn't and I ended up a Cosmetologist. Owned my own salon for awhile until we had to move then when we came back I just decided to be home with then my daughter now two. And although challenging at times I wouldn't do things any other way. So you see Creativity is in my blood. I couldn't be in a profession where I could be not creative.I have the love of my life and bestfriend and we have been married for 18 years. My girls are complete Daddy's girls which is a huge compliment to him. So there you go Mary just a little more insight on who I am. And others to get to know me better since I only been posting myself for maybe a month now. Have a great sewing day
            ConnieEdited 11/14/2006 6:56 pm ET by blondie2sew

            Edited 11/14/2006 6:57 pm ET by blondie2sew

          28. MaryinColorado | | #81

            Hi!  I found a website that I think you will like...  http://www.sewtrendy.org  They are involved in schools around the country.  None in Colorado where I am, but there may be one in your area.  Lots of cool projects.  Also  http://www.sewing.org has a childrens sewing section. 

          29. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #82

            Wonderful Thank you!! I will check this out When I have a free momentConnie

          30. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #83

            Hey Kayrosie,How are the dresses comingBusy busy busy are you taking a bit of a break for the Thanksgiving coming up? Do you have a household of people?Just checkin in with youConnie

          31. kayrosie | | #84

            I really have not started the dresses except for practice ones.  I tried the one on my daughter and we are going to have to do something with it.  It does not fit. The muslin one did but when I made out of satin--to small. I am thinking I am going to cut out a little piece and add it to where I need it for her to be able to wear it.  

            No we are going to my othere daughters for Thanksgiving so that works for me.  I will cook up there. 

          32. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #85

            Was that your conversation about the neckline you were having?That is a drag!!On the brighter note you don't have the pressure of your house on Thanksgiving you can just keep all your sewing as is!! I am sure you are pretty spread out!! I always am. ha ha ha I know I try to contain to my room but that never happens.Thanks for the update and I will keep reading about the progressSmiles to youConnie

          33. kayrosie | | #86

            Yes that was my thread about the neck. The neck line turned out good. I was pleased with it after I got it ironed.  But I have to adjsut the pattern, it fits fine around the breast area, but she has the trouble I have the mid drift area it was to tight so I have to figure out to add there and not distrub the neck.  Because it layed down and fit great. I cleaned up my sewing room last night, organized evrything again, fixed all my embr. thread and thread, it gets in such a mess.  So I am planning on sewing some this weekend.  I want to do the top for my other daughter for her  skirt and top for the weddings.  Hers is different from my other daughters so I want to do one in muslin and then one is something else to see if I can fit her. I am really frustrated right now with the way the one fit and I used muslin first and then satin. 

            It is beautiful here today. The town I work in is having a lighted parade tonight to celebrate starting of the holiday season.  It will bea nice evening but chilly for it probably. 

            Hope this isn't to lont and boring for you to read.  Let me know what you are doing this weekend.




          34. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #87

            Well we have been in flood zone for the past 2 weeks or so you may have seen us on TV I believe we made national news. Wind wow I felt like I was in the MidwestSo yesterday and today the sun was actually out.Well we have a Rusty Barn Expo going on close by so today I am going there and I am hoping if I want to to go again on Sat. But today for sure so that is going to be fun....See some new notions and fabrics and such!! My 10 year old has her sewing club on Sat evening so I will be taking her there. Church on Sunday and for the most part just getting us ready for our vacation we are leaving on Thanksgiving for a couple of weeks.So my mind is packing what else do I need to get and on and onI am wanting to get a couple of sewing projects done just because that is my sanity. I find peace at my machine and I just feel like I have too much other stuff getting in my way..In my perfect world that wouldn't be the case...ha ha haI am hoping our weather doesn't turn nasty again it is nice to see the sunshine.. I have a lot of leaves to rake..which I despise!! That is my husbands job!! So we are looking forward to being united back again on vacation and then having him come home with us!! So there you go with all my things for the weekend...Happy sewing to you I am hoping I will get sitting down at mine to make a couple of Build a Bear outfits for my daughters before we leave!!Connie

          35. kayrosie | | #88

            Where are you going on vacation. That sounds like fun.  Has your husband been gone. 

            You making Build A Bear Outfits. Are they hard?  Do you sell them? 

            Sounds like your weather has been horrible down there. How about the Carolinas where they had the tornados.  Awful.

            It is beautiful here today.


          36. fabricholic | | #78

            Hi Mary,I see this at work. Some women have not been taught how to dress appropriately for work. Our dress code is dress-casual, but some go way beyond casual. Some are sloppy. Some have on short tops that show their belly when they raise their arms. It is just sad and you can't tell them anything at this stage. Our office manager usually has to have a talk to them, sometimes even having to send them home to re-dress.Marcy

          37. user-217847 | | #44


            my aim is to please. I hope I can live up to my neices expectations.


          38. thehat | | #67

            It is nice to have some one to talk stiches that is what will keep you on the right seam and all the fun on threads

          39. user-217847 | | #70

            I've not bee well these past couple of weeks, asthma with a chest infection, just reading all your comments perks me up and keeps me sane. thankyou


          40. fabricholic | | #77

            Hi Lee,I hope you feel better. I was sorry to hear that you have been sick. It's getting that time of year for colds and such. We had the Health Mobile here at work this morning, doing routine check-ups and they, also give flu shots. I can't take them because my doctor said I was allergic to them. Anyway, I hope you feel better quickly!Marcy

          41. SAAM | | #80

            I hope you are feeling better soon so you can get back to the sewing machine.

          42. fabricholic | | #56


            Can I be you all's sewing buddy, also, or as we say in the South, ya'll's?  That just doesn't even sound right to me.  Anyway, I just want to get in on the fun.  I will try to be a good sewing buddy and encourage everyone.  I can't  be on the level of, say, Kay Rosie, though.  Wow, what a project she is doing.  I'm happy for all of you seamstresses.  You inspire me everyday and keep me laughing with your comical antedotes. 


          43. kayrosie | | #57

            You sure can be our sewing buddy.  I didn't get to bring anything with me to work today. I overslept so was in to big of a hurry to do that. Hopefully I am going home tonight and cut out my granddaughters Xmas dress. I need to get that done and out of the way. It won't be long before she needs it. I think her Xmas program at church is on Dec. 10.  Wow that is just under a month.  I will have to do two dresses.  Then I will have to concentrate on the wedding party dresses. 

          44. fabricholic | | #58

            Woman, you are unbelieveable.  What will the Christmas dress look like?  Luckily, I am off today. I took a vacation day.  I told my daughter that we could go to the mall and then I have to run by my dentist and have my new crown put on, not on my head. LOL  I am making the big step and going to look at Lane Bryant.  Nothing fits me anymore.  I plan on making some pants, but I can't wait that long to get some pants to wear to work.  I went shopping this weekend.  It was a very depressing experience.  I have gotten so big.  Hope you all have a good day.


          45. kayrosie | | #59

            The dress is Navy blue satin, and it is made like her junior bridesmaid dress. I don't have the number of the pattern with me or I would send it to you. It is just a very basic princess style dress with a little trim at the top.  Then she can wear the fur cape thing I made for her last year at Xmas. I am thinking it will look very nice.  Won't take but a night to do it.  Very easy pattern. 

            Hey, I belong to a group here on the Computer it is Sparkpeople.com.  It is all about weight loss and so forth.  I go to weigh watchers.  But I do Spark too.  I could recommend you if you want me too.  I would need your email address to do that. I get points for recommending a friend.  You can let me know. 

          46. fabricholic | | #60

            Recommend me for the computer group or WW?  I need to do WW, but I am not at this moment ready.  The other will be cool.  My e-mail is [email protected].




          47. kayrosie | | #61

            I will do that.   And when you get your page all set up and all I will send you an invite to join my Sparkteam and all.  It will all make more sense to you when you get on.   I will do it right now.


          48. fabricholic | | #62

            Awesome.  I am going now.  Will check back later.  Thanks


          49. kayrosie | | #63

            I sent it off to you.  You should be getting it.  Let me know.


          50. thehat | | #66

            Thanks that means a lot to me

          51. user-217847 | | #69

            Your most welcome


  6. User avater
    SuitsMe | | #27

    I certainly can't do any sewing at the office, but sometimes I have a small task that I can bring with me on the commuter rail.  I sit at the table seat and do hand stitching, buttonrs, basting, seam ripping, pinning, or sketching patterns.  One time the young man behind me asked if I was a fashion designer!   

    I made the Channel style jacket in last years Threads magazine and got ample opportunity to hand stitch on my daily commute.

    1. LindaFaye | | #28

      I'm fairly new this forum too (a couple of months) since buying my first issue of Threads (October & November).  But I have already learned so much form the posts that I have read and the answers I've gotten from my questions.  This is great!  I use to have a sewing buddy also (years ago).  I hadn't sewn in years and years until recently, but now I am DETERMINED that I will become the best seamstress ever.

      I work a job and a half, but I am off on Thursday and Friday evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays.  I am finding that I can get at least one really good session in a week (had a good session last night).  I'm finally realizing that it doesn't matter if it takes me three weeks to finish a project.  What matters is that I do my best.  Rushing has resulted in some real messes for me in the past.  So if I can get in one good session (one to two hours) and then a short session (one hours) I can still produce enough garments to add to my work  wardrobe.

      I'm really thankful for this site, and thanks for all the help I've received so far.


      1. Josefly | | #34

        Yeah, I'm enjoying my projects more now that I see I need to just take in an hour or so at the time. Also, the process is more enjoyable than I used to think - the marking, basting, interfacing, underlining, etc., that I used to regard as impediments to a quick project. How silly and shortt-sighted of me!

        1. User avater
          blondie2sew | | #35

          I too just wanted to comment. First I loved this whole conversation between all of you!!! I also want to state I am now just getting my love back within the last year and finding you has been such a blessing. Again I want to say I know it has been already said but I to want to let all of you who have been inspiring me and helping me Thanks again. All who are here inspire me as well. I laugh with ya all, I feel the frustration with ya, and I send all of you huge hugs for every post!!It is so true that now one succeeds with anything without help!! And learning and I am one to say I will never stop learning and that is what is so fun about this group!! Thanks for letting me jump in but many of you have touched my sewing in the last month or so since I have been apart. The encouragement has been priceless!!Connie

  7. Sewnow | | #89

    All the suggestions are ones that I do myself.  At one time or another.  Pin or baste at night; sew it in the morning.  The only further word I can add is if the timing for sewing is good but for some reason you and the fabric, machine, whatever are not working together - STOP and try again at another time.  The sewing grinch is out and cannot be beat. Quit while you are ahead.  Removal of button holes, serging, anything a bit difficult (straight stitching) have all been when I for some reason was not in synch with the project or the machine.

  8. thimbles1260 | | #96

    There are lots of GREAT suggestions on this thread for sneaking that sewing time in to busy schedules. I try never to quit when I'm having trouble with something. If I leave my machine set up and ready to sew on a project I find I'm much more eager to get back to it than if I know I'm going to face a problem.

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