These days, I’m sewing less and loving it more.
At the end of 2018, I reflected on personal and professional goals, how I work best, and the realities of my life as a stay-at-home parent. You know, pretty typical end-of-year analysis stuff.
I realized that I need to think of my blog as more of a business tool and less of a personal journal. I also moved more toward acceptance of my slow-sewist state of being and how I don’t want to feel like a hamster in a wheel when it comes to my sewing practice. Sewing is fun, and I want to keep it that way, even when it’s my business. To achieve these goals, I gotta get smart and mindful.
I split my thoughts on sewing less into two camps: personal reasons and professional reasons.
Personal Reasons Why I’m Sewing Less
I’m Slow at Sewing
I just don’t sew quickly. I’m putzy. I overthink things. I make muslins. I tweak. I have a speed control on my sewing machine and it’s not at full throttle.
I’ve been sewing for about a decade, and I’m definitely faster than when I first started. The more you do something, the faster you become at it. But I’m still not one to whip through projects (most of the time).
I’m finally accepting this is how I sew. Instead of feeling self-conscious about my lack of output (blast you, social media, and the comparison trap!), I’m saying, “Good for them, not for me.”
I Want Sewing to Be a Treat
On a similar note, accepting my slow sewing-ness lets me relish the process over the product. I don’t want to be a one-woman sweatshop. I want to enjoy my hobby, for crying out loud! If I’m rushing through it, I’m not being present or mindful while I’m in it.
When I emphasize output and speed, I put unnecessary pressure on myself, which stresses me out when I want sewing to be a retreat.
I Don’t Need a Lot of Clothes
I’d rather have a small, well-curated closet than a closet that never stops. I want hangers and drawers that feature an all-killer, no-filler wardrobe.
Pumping the brakes on my sewing practice helps me reflect on what’s already in my clothes collection and determine what stitching projects to take on.
Professional Reasons Why I’m Sewing Less
I Want to Focus on My Business
Sie Macht is my cute, widdle baby business, and I want to grow into a lean, mean, lifestyle-supporting machine. I’m sure you’ve notice affiliate links in my posts; that’s one revenue stream.
Eventually I want the main revenue stream for Sie Macht to be sales of PDF sewing patterns, and I’m working on that goal right now. In short, I’m shifting some sewing time toward business time.
I Want to Write More
Hey, so you know how I’m slow at sewing? Here’s something I’m fast at: writing. (My pro background is journalism and marketing, so it’s little wonder I (frequently) can work up copy in a snap.)
Putting out more blog posts gives sewing peeps more opportunities to “hang” with me. That’s cool in and of itself (obviously), and it’s a smart move for growing my business.
I Want to Participate More in the Sewing Community
When I post to Sie Macht and leave comments on sewing social media, I help increase the sewing knowledge base for everyone! Yay, that’s rad! If there’s one universal about sewists, they want to help each other. I want to be a helper.
A sweet byproduct of being a helper is that it raises the profile of Sie Macht in the sewing community. And the more value I bring to the sewing community, the more value the sewing community will bring to Sie Macht.
My Blogging Plan for Early 2019
What does all this mean? I’m setting a goal for myself for early 2019. In January, February, and March, I aim to post at least three times a month. For most of 2018, I posted every other week. This new scheme should add 1-2 posts per month. And yes, I will post sewing projects as I finish them!
I still will do a monthly email newsletter (which is basically a blog post, plus a video and a link roundup), but instead of publishing the last Saturday of every month, I’m going to publish the last THURSDAY of every month. I think publishing during a weekday will improve email readership. Would YOU rather read Sie Macht email Thursday or Saturday? 🤔
That’s the situation in these parts, my beautiful sewing party people. I’m writing really hard at the being of the month to bring you the hot sewing copy🔥. Then I want to sew and pattern design like mad the rest of the month. I hope to leverage efficiency by grouping similar tasks! Bam, business nerdery!
What’s your sewing output like these days, and what are you scheming up in 2019? Please let me know so I can cheer you on! And what would you like to see from Sie Macht in the new year? Please leave me a comment, my loves.
P.S. Should you be interested, the previous two posts are a mini-series about people watching for sewists:
People Watching: Sewing Inspiration That’s Not Pinterest (Part 1)
The Ins and Outs of People Watching for Fashion Sewing Inspiration (Part 2)
Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash
Photo by Lost Co on Unsplash
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great plan Erin!
I am trying to sew more and shop less–I have beautiful fabric and need to work it up. that said, I want to do it slowly to savor the experience. So, I may create 4 items this year and that is just fine.
Savoring the experience sounds relaxing, Nancie. Have fun shopping your fabric archive. 😀
Your plan to sew less and enjoy it more sounds great! I’m looking forward to hearing more on your pattern making journey! Good luck! Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Thanks for reading, Kay! And thanks for sending me good pattern-making vibes. I need them.👍
My sewing slowed way down at the end of last year. It was a mixture of burnout and the realization that I have too much clothing (all of which doesn’t fit in my new home, so I have a sizable donation to make). I’m starting this year off sewing for others and on more utilitarian projects (my studio needs window coverings, my machines need covers, etc). It’s left me more time to write, which is what I really want to do, for similar reasons you list above.
Have you heard of #theyearofslowsewing? Sounds like something you might like!
Hi, Paulette. Thanks for reading! I have not heard about #theyearofslowsewing; will investigate!
I’m glad you recognized your burnout and were able to pivot. Your hobby shouldn’t stress you out. I bet in a few months you’ll get hungry for garment sewing & will approach it with fresh eyes.
Very exciting plans! I too think that great, in-depth sewing content has a very promising future, despite all the recent focus on quick social media fixes. My hunch is that people still crave deeper content, but there is less to choose from now since so many sewing bloggers have semi-retired their blogs and moved to Instagram or Facebook groups.
Because, let’s be real, producing rich content regularly can be a slog, even for those like you and me who are used do to it professionally. Which is why I think there is room to fill in this area and I love hearing that this is something you want to focus on too!
And I hear you on finding a workable blend of producing content, sewing and products, it’s not easy. That said, I find that having one main focus for a particular season helps, because doing everything at equal intensity seldom works!
Hi, Johanna! Thanks for reading.
I agree – I think there could be a shortage of in-depth sewing content coming soon. For sewing folks who like to go deep, there’s definitely an opportunity. Heck, I used to write white papers for a living… so why not write white papers on sewing topics and see where it takes me?
Yes, I’m also struggling with balancing time, content, and quality. For example, I said I wanted to pull back a bit on post word count, and I’m currently drafting a post that’s about 2,300 words. GAAAAAHHH! Why do I do this to myself? LOL. I’m confident, though, it’s a good, useful post that should drive traffic and be good for affiliate marketing. So there’s that. It’s an investment in my business.
Through it all, I’m striving this year to not get burned out. I’m giving myself permission to take a break now and then. There’s a lot of good sewing content out there for sewists to consume (ahem, YOUR work is excellent). There’s no shortage of information and inspiration.
Thanks again for reading, and I’m watching you – but in a nice, supportive, not creepy way. 😀