I’m the first to admit that sewing is not something that should be rushed. Like all creative processes, you want to take your time at it, enjoying each step and savoring every triumph. Unfortunately, even the most ardent sewer is likely to find that they are pressed for time and cannot afford to indulge as much as they’d like to. Fortunately, there are ways you can have your cake and eat it too. The secret lies in being sewing efficient.

Keep these few tips and suggestions in mind and you will find that you can finish off your sewing projects faster without actually feeling rushed.

Tip #1-Set Up Your Space

The more time you spend looking for your thread, bobbin, needles, pins, etc., the less time you will get to do any actual sewing. Setting up your space is the first step towards increasing your sewing efficiency. Look for tips and ideas on how to find the right balance of storage v/s accessibility. I cover more on organizing your sewing work space in this article.

If you do a lot of sewing, invest in a sewing table so you do not have to put away your sewing machine and then take it out every single day. This can get pretty tedious. If you have limited space to work around, even just a small corner table that you can dedicate to your sewing machine can make a huge difference. Just being able to sit ‘n’ sew without all the elaborate fuss of setting up the sewing machine every day can be tremendously motivating.

Tip #2- Practice Batch Sewing

If you are sewing several of the same items, say baby swaddles or baby jumpers or even table mats or curtains, you will be able to get everything done faster if you do work on all the same items at one time and finish them off before moving on to the next project. Just taking the above examples, the fabric for baby jumpers will be finer than the fabric used for table mats or curtains. Switching between the projects will involve changing the top thread and the bobbin thread to suit that particular fabric, rethreading the machine with the new colored thread and re-adjusting the machine tension. You will also have to change the sewing machine needle. Those are a whole lot of extra steps that you can avoid if you just forge ahead with one project, finish that off and then switch to the next.

Tip #3-Work In an Assembly Line Manner

If you are doing a whole lot of sewing, whether you are working on the same project or different projects at the same time, you will find that you save time and energy when you work in an assembly line manner. For example, soak all of your fabrics for pre-shrinking at the same time. For tips on preshrinking see our article on preparing for your project. Then, when the fabric is still slightly damp, do a batch of ironing so all of your fabric is ready for cutting out.  Now clear a space on your table and do a batch of cutting, pinning and hand basting.

When you are all ready to sew, then you batch sew as mentioned in tip #2.

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