Thursday, August 30, 2012

Guest Post: Struggle Sews a Straight Seam!

I'm probably not eating haggis right now in Scotland, but that doesn't mean things are going to be quiet over here at Cation Designs! I've had some spectacular guest bloggers filling in for me over the last few days. We're wrapping up with one of my absolute favorite sewing bloggers, Leah of Struggle Sews a Straight Seam. I totally identify with all of her struggles, and she regularly makes me laugh out loud with her hilarious writing. This, of course, is not popular with Walnut, who would prefer to nap undisturbed...
Now, it’s really a good thing that on of my favorite sewing bloggers, the fabulous and talented Sewasaurus Rex, proud mother to le Walnut, i.e., Cindy, is on vacation, because what I’m about to say would shock her to her core. But sometimes, SOMETIMES, I get into a sewing slump. Cindy, being the rockstar that she is, has probably never experienced such a thing. I lose my mojo (my…sewjo?), and I don’t know what to do with myself. And here is the thing, it never happens after a project goes awry. When I’ve spent hours and hours on something only to have it just be a hot mess, that’s actually MOTIVATIONAL for me because A. I’m an odd person and B. I just want to vindicate myself with a success. But while I’m a fairly active sewer, sometimes, somehow, I don’t feel like sewing.

For example, right now, my life is a bit of a mess. I moved, oh, 20 days ago, and in 5 days I’m moving again, this time to a new city. My stuff is all in boxes, I’m using my old machine which I don’t like as much, and I feel very discombobulated, as opposed to pleased, when I sit down to be crafty. Usually sewing and making things makes me soothed and focused, but right now with everything scattered and the stress of the move (I do so hate moving) I’m just not ready to jump into a project.

But, when I am, I know how to get myself back in the game. And I will share my secrets for breaking a sewing slump with you, in the hopes that you too might benefit from them. Of course this is all wildly personal, but hey, you never know!

So here are my 5 tips from getting your sewjo back:

1. Take a class! Classes are great, and they are excellent motivators. If you don’t have a class in your area easily accessible, you could take an eclass, though honestly, it’s the social pressure of the class that really works for me (and I enjoy meeting new people). Right now I’m taking a quilting class, and not only am I enjoying learning new things, but I get some uninterrupted sewing time once a week in a nice clean cute studio on beautiful machines. And my quilt is coming right along:

Though of course it immediately attracted some feline attention...

2. Organize your stash! Because of my move I was required to do this, and it reminded me of how much great fabric I already own for the season ahead (hello, wool, you darling you) and how many wonderful patterns I also possess. It’s so easy to forget what you have and mope about wanting liberty of London lawns and better patterns, but if you take a moment to examine what you already own you might find some gems, or at least, something you see with new eyes.

3. Do some other creative act! I find that when I am creative in one direction I’m creative in every direction. So when I cook it helps my sewing, and when I sew it helps my writing, and so on and so forth. If I could paint or draw I’m sure that would be good, too, but honestly I’m stick-figure-ville.

4. Explore your closet and look for gaps! Or go to Pinterest, or Vogue, or whatever. Make lists of what you want! Fantasizing about wearing something wonderful if a big way for me to remember how much I enjoy sewing, because when I’m done sewing I get to wear something wonderful! (Sometimes…). So it’s helpful to remind myself that I really did mean to make some trousers or a wrap sweater or a pencil skirt (I’ve got Fall on the brain, as you can see) because that’s a great way to get me back on the machine, as it were.

5. Cut yourself some flipping slack! Okay, that last one is really from me to me. This is supposed to be fun, not a source of stress or guilt. So if getting your sewjo back makes you anxious, take a break, have some tea or some wine or some chocolate, and remember that the sewjo comes when least expected.

Don’t tell Cindy I told you this stuff, okay, guys? It’s our little secret….

I'll pretend I didn't read that. No but really, this is perfect, since when I get back tomorrow, I'm pretty sure I'll have lost all my sewjo, having been away from my machine for two weeks! Good thing I'll know exactly what to do, thanks to Leah!


  1. I like these tips! Sometimes I lose my mojo for no reason!!! And it is such a struggle to even think about starting a project!! I find that if I down a glass of wine to relax then fiddle around with a pattern and at least get started on cutting, my mojo comes back :)

  2. Yay for gratuitous cat pictures!

  3. I completely agree with numbers 2, 3 and 5! I hope you have fun organizing your stuff because of your move! =)


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