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How healthy is your Sewjo?

If you have ever struggled with a lack of Sewjo, you'll know it's not much fun. Even the thought of getting your machine out might feel like a mammoth task in itself, let alone starting a project.

Craft hobbies are some of the absolute best hobbies you can have - in my opinion. They're great for your mind, great for your creativity and great for your social life - if you're lucky enough to have a group locally or a retreat that you attend.

But what do you do when you're stuck in the land of no Sewjo?

You might be needing some inspiration to get you started again, or feeling overwhelmed by all of the ideas buzzing around in your head. Time is usually a huge factor (or the lack of it) and the guilt we feel when we actually allow ourselves some time to do something for ourselves. Going through your fabric stash, your patterns or your embroidery designs to find a new project can be a daunting task too! Especially if your stash is anything like mine!!

Now, I'm no expert in rekindling the Sewjo. I have suffered with a lack of Sewjo myself, many times. But these are my top tips, and things I do when I am feeling a need for a Sewjo boost...

1. Get organised!

Creative spaces can often be a tad on the messy side, especially mid project. If you're struggling to get sewing again, good place to start is to tidy, sort and organise your sewing space. It's wonderful when it's done. While you're doing this, if something you find sparks some inspiration, put it aside and that can be part of your first project on the road to uncovering your Sewjo.

If you don't have a dedicated sewing space, you can still get organised. Work through your fabrics, patterns, threads, embroidery files on your computer, your machine accessories and try to get everything into some kind of order that will make starting a new project feel less daunting and take less time to find what you need. I will often put all of the elements I'll need for a particular project together in a bag, ready for when I can start sewing. This process might also save you some money as you discover fabric or patterns you had forgotten all about!

If you want to take it to another level, you can get yourself a sewing planner or sign up to Stash Hub. It's an amazing App and web based platform where you can upload photos of your fabrics and patterns and record information about each one, grouping them into projects as you go. Check it out below by clicking on the Stash Hub image.

2. Make a list

Make yourself a list of the ideas and projects that you'd like to make - a sewing wish list! Just dump everything down onto a list to start with, and then you can start to categorise them all (if your list is a particularly long one!!) Organise them into priority, difficulty, speed you think they'll take to complete - any category that will help you to select a project when you get time on your machine.

You might have a special gift you'd like to make for someone, or a UFO (UnFinished Object) you've been meaning to complete for a while, or something new that you've always wanted to try. List them all down.

Pick the highest priority, or simply your favourite from the list. If you struggle to pick something from your list - write your favourites on separate pieces of paper and pick one at random.

3. Start small

If you're really stuck for ideas then have a search for some small projects. Have a scroll on Pinterest and start a new board with all of the mini projects you like the idea of making. Take a look through your sewing books and have a hunt for some inspiration in there.

A quick and easy make can really help to get you sewing again. Simple gift bags are fun to make and always handy to have. Mini in the hoop projects are also a perfect way to get going again. You might have some designs built into your embroidery machine that you have never stitched. Some standalone lace designs are always lovely to stitch out too.

Some mini in the hoop ideas below from Sweet Pea Embroidery Designs, Designs By JuJu and Parker On The Porch. Click the images to be taken to their sites.

These two books, with their bright and beautiful mini makes would be a great addition to anyone's sewing bookshelf. Click on the images to be taken to them on Amazon.

4. Sew for someone

There aren't many feelings that top giving a gift to someone special - especially a handmade gift. If you're still stuck for inspiration of what to make, think of something that a friend, colleague or family member might like. Thinking about what they might like, their favourite colours, patterns etc will likely be much easier than just picking something random to make, and also, it'll give you so much more satisfaction and joy that's it's bound to get your Sewjo going again.

5. Be sewcial

Sewing with others can be so inspiring. Being in the company of like-minded people, all sewing, embroidering, creating is so wonderful! And helpful too! If you get stuck, need some help or advice - you'll be in a room full of people with a wealthy mixture of knowledge, experience and understanding. You might also be inspired by projects others around you are making and really kick start your Sewjo again.

Have a look for sewing classes, retreats and local sewing groups you can join. If you don't have a local sewing group, could you set one up? My mum set her own up, one Wednesday afternoon each month in a local community hall and it has been a huge success - getting others together to sew.

The picture below was taken on the last day of our first ever Away To Sew - sewing and embroidery retreat! We all had a blast and now we run our small and friendly retreat twice a year. Click on the button below if you'd like to find out about future retreats.

If you're in South East London, I would highly recommend signing up for a class at Know How You based in Beckenham Place Park. It's a wonderful sewing school with a whole host of sewing classes available. I am slightly biased, because I run a Befriend Your Overlocker class here but it really is fabulous. Jane and her team of sewing tutors have a huge amount of experience and knowledge, and are all extremely lovely too! Click the KHY logo below to find out more...

I hope some of my tips and suggestions have inspired you to get sewing again. Do you have any of your own tips for bringing the Sewjo back? What are your go-to projects or methods to help when you're not feeling inspired? Just asking for a friend 😉

I'd love to hear them. Please comment below or reach out by email or on Facebook - I always love to chat about sewing!!

Keep in touch...

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