The virtues of slow sewing can definitely be a challenge if you’re used to whipping up projects FAST.
This is especially true if you’ve been sewing for a while. It’s very easy to get into a rhythm, working on projects back to back. After a while projects bleed together. Is there an opportunity for slow sewing that you’re not considering?
But it made me think: if we’re churning out projects too quickly, are we enjoying the benefits of slow sewing?
These are the tips I recommend to slow things down a little bit if you’re finding that the churn isn’t for you.
Ask yourself, why do you feel the need to rush the project?
Seems straight forward, but it can be super easy for us to burn ourselves out without realizing it.
Burning ourselves out from sewing is not what we want.
A few years ago when I started my YouTube channel, I was sewing up a storm every.single.day. It was to the point where I would finish work, and then get to the sewing machine right away.
What I found was that my projects were not bringing me any joy. I was working on them so quickly. They all started to blur together.
None of them were special anymore. And then I would donate them to the thrift store without batting an eye.
Once you have your Why to the question, you can start to put comfortable Slow Sewing parameters to the project.
Maybe you don’t give the project a deadline. Maybe you take some time to do a more complicated finish on it, just to experiment.
This way you can actually take your time and enjoy the whole process and enjoy what you make… even the parts that are kind of annoying because you had more time to actually work them.
Ask yourself, are you cutting corners just to get the project out the door?
This one is a tricky one, because in an effort to go fast, it’s easy to look for shortcuts. And by skipping steps, mistakes can easily be made.
Don’t get me wrong, not all shortcuts are bad. But it’s a slippery slope to defaulting to shortcuts always. Especially with no return to proper technique just for the sake of going fast.
This one is near and dear to me because I tend to go the slow route always… sometimes to my detriment.
But, I have a super simple example to highlight: Stay stitching.
Super simple, straight forward, not that big of a deal. But people skip it. Because they want to cut corners. And the neckline gets stretched out, the seams don’t line up, and in every single picture, the weird puckering is obvious. It was a simple mistake. A simple corner that got cut.
This tip is a reminder to ask ourselves why we’re sewing.
For so many of us, it’s NOT just to make something that’s “good enough”, but something that makes us feel like a million bucks.
Obviously, there’s a middle ground between shortcuts and doing everything by the book. Taking some time to consider WHY is extremely important.
If we’re cutting corners to go fast, why? What impact does it have on our actual enjoyment of what we’re making? Aren’t we all here to sew?
Ask yourself, is this a project you really want to stress about?
Stress itself can play some mind tricks and if we’re going too fast, it can compound exponentially.
There’s a bunch of different reasons why we might stress over a project. The time component can make that problem even worse.
A good example for me was a dress I made a few years ago for the channel, where I was cutting corners, stressing over a video deadline, and starting to actually resent the dress.
In rushing and stressing and I accidentally cut into the bodice of the chiffon redingote of the dress. In a very obvious place.
I was furious with myself, the dress, and the whole situation. And it sucked.
Even though the dress turned out ok, it wasn’t until that happened that I took a step back, took a deep breath, and realized that I was supposed to be enjoying the process.
And I wasn’t enjoying the process. I wasn’t focused on slow sewing for enjoyment, only presentation for video.
How often are we stressing over something we’re making and make a careless mistake?
If you’re finding yourself doing this, it’s a good opportunity to take a break, get a glass of water, maybe walk around the block, get a snack, and reassess the project.