How do you sew so fast???
I am often asked this question. And I guess I am still amazed that it is asked of me because I truly don't think I sew that fast! I keep thinking that if I didn't stop to spend so much time on the computer or if I didn't watch a couple of hours of TV or if I didn't putter around the house for half the morning that I could have gotten at least two more pieces done.
Let's take last week for example...I didn't work on Friday but I went out to lunch with a friend and when I got home I took a nap. Then I puttered around the house during the evening and hung out with my kids. Went to bed early and got up Saturday...more puttering but this time I watched television, talked to a few friends on the phone, watched QVC most of the morning (it was Fashion Day!) and finally around 7:00 pm sat down to sew.
Now I will admit two things - "The Ladybug Dress" - what someone nicknamed the black/red polka dot dress at work - was half way done. I did start constructing it the previous Sunday evening. And two I didn't get up from my sewing area until it was completed.
I think there are two aspects to my sewing:
1. I am very organized.
I make lists (blog post about the lists I keep), keep supplies stashed and make sure that I have everything I need to make & complete an outfit before I sit down to sew. If all of the components aren't on hand, I don't start the project. There are no trips to Joann's or Wal-Marts midway through a project to pick up something that I don't have.
2. I am very focused.
I know that I am most productive when I sew in blocks of time so I schedule my life to have those blocks of time. Now this task is much easier now that my children are grown and pretty much have lives of their own. I don't drive children anywhere. I don't mall - can't stand it! Only do it when forced - usually by my mother. I also don't cook much anymore...do you know how much time cooking takes up?! *smile* My DDs are pretty self-sufficient and can either make a meal or supply one that someone else has made...and I think I own every take out menu for every type of food in the area! *LOL*
This is not to say that I don't go out with friends, to the movies or sometimes just sit and read a book...but when I want to sew, I just sew.
Let's take Sunday for instance when I made the seersucker suit. I started sewing about 10 am. I put my last stitch in the garment at a little after midnight since my goal was to wear the suit to work the next day. I worked on that suit for over 12 hours. Yes, I had something to eat. Yes, I stopped to watch "The 4400" - totally stopped sewing because I love that show! I know I took a break in there to eat dinner with my oldest daughter because she will be leaving me soon so I try to spend some time with her every weekend. And I know I talked to a few friends on Sunday but mostly I just sewed.
So the 10-12 hours it took to make the suit seems really fast but in actuality it is the same time that everyone probably takes ~ they just don't do it in one sitting. And I think that is the real difference in my sewing than in others...I just sit and sew for really long blocks of time.
Now I will admit that back in the day ~ not that long ago! I use to sew the "fast, faster, fastest" method. Hand sewing ~ that was two curse words. Paying attention to detail or very involved methods - didn't happen with this girl! That seersucker jacket's insides would have been serged and sewn. In my FFF days I would never have taken hours to sew binding to seams - I mean what in the world was my serger for??? *LOL* Lining a garment - pleeze! That meant making it twice which took too much time! A skirt could be worn with a slip and pants could have pantyhose under them in the winter...and who needed lined pants in the middle of a hot & steamy summer anyway! The sad thing is that I was very proud of that type of sewing. I could be overheard bragging about how fast I could turn a simple skirt out...
Then I happened onto Sewing World (now defunct) and my life changed. I met women who invested serious time into their sewing and made these amazing garments full of wonderful sewing techniques. And I wanted to be like them...so I re-evaluated my sewing methods...became a proponent of linings and underlinings...bought my first piece of silk organza and was hooked.
My "fast" sewing does not skip steps. It only eliminates steps if they don't fit my design vision (i.e., the lining for the Ladybug Dress), and hand sewing is definitely a part of my sewing repertoire.
So no I wouldn't say I was fast, just a little focused...However, I have a question for you who read my ramblings...Do you do everything possible before you sit down to sew? If so, why? I mean have you ever thought about why you put something that gives you so much enjoyment in last place? And if you do give sewing priority, do you ever analyze why you sew slowly? Do you enjoy the journey and want to savor every minute of it? Or are you paralyzed by choices which makes it hard to make progress?
Share with me...I am truly interested because I just really don't think that I sew that fast!