I’m back today on the Lamazi Fabrics blog with my latest make: The Friday Pattern Company Westcliffe dress made in Leo Blue
If you follow me already, you’ll know that I recently had a baby. Since the birth of my gorgeous boy, Taylor Apollo, on July 15th I have managed to sew a few garments for myself, with this project being my fifth make. Many people have commended me for this achievement and asked how I’ve managed it, so I thought I’d share some tips in this blog for sewing when you’re short of time.
1) Consider your projects carefully, thinking about what is most achievable in the small amounts of time available. For me, projects made in knit fabrics are ideal as they require minimal fitting and can usually be made straight on an overlocker, sewing and finishing seams in one step rather than having to do this separately. Garments made in knit fabrics are also ideal for my post-partum changing body.
2) Break the whole sewing process up in to small tasks and make it possible to do these anywhere in the house – not just your sewing room/space. For example, it’s not always easy for me to get up to my sewing room (which is on the top floor of the house) while taking care of the baby. However, I can do tasks such as cutting out my pattern and fabric or pinning seams together anywhere in the house, so I tend to do these in the living room while Taylor naps during the day.
3) Read through the pattern instructions ahead of time and make notes on anything you need to remember or anything you can do to save time, such as batching tasks or cutting corners (An example during the making of my Westcliffe dress was that I hemmed the bottom panel of fabric before attaching it to the rest of the dress. This made it much easier to handle at the sewing machine).
4) You don’t always need to pin! When making the belt for my Westcliffe dress, I just used my fingers to hold the fabric together as I fed it through the machine – much quicker! However, I wouldn’t always recommend doing this, especially not when working with a more slippery fabric such as viscose.
5) There are certain tools available that can save a lot of time. One that I used during this project was my Prym turning set. This made the process of turning the belt the right way out a breeze – much quicker than using a safety pin!
6) At the end of a sewing session, check what your next task will be and leave things ready to do this task when you next get time. I find that knowing what I need to do next and being prepared actually encourages me to make that time available.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me be more productive at a time when my sewing time has significantly reduced. No longer can I lock myself away in my sewing room for a few hours to work on a project. My sewing tends to be done in short bursts of 10-30 minutes at a time, but by using the steps above, I am managing to complete some projects that I’m really happy with.
The Westcliffe dress is probably my favourite garment I’ve made recently – it was a quick and easy make with excellent instructions, the fabric was a dream to work with and it’s perfect for breastfeeding too. I’m already planning another version and I might try the shorter dress next time.
Viscose jersey is perfect for the Westcliffe dress – check out the amazing range that Lamazistock here.
This make and blog post goes alongside my YouTube series, 'How to Sew With...'. In this series, I focus on giving information about different fabric types with lots of sewing tips and pattern recommendations. So for more information about Viscose Jersey and my tips for sewing with it, keep an eye on my You Tube channel for a video coming soon. I’ll also be sharing a pattern review video with a more in-depth look at the Westcliffe dress.
I hope you have enjoyed my latest blog post and make,
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Tamlyn (Sewn on the Tyne) xxx