Helping a Busy Mom Find Time to Sew

I am excited to introduce what will hopefully be a regular feature here on SewBaby News:

The Ask Sewfie advice column, written by Jen Lopez, the owner of SewFun patterns. Jen has a great sense of humor and as a sewing mom of 3 children, ages 2-20, she has a lot of wisdom too!

Ask Sewfie... advice for the sewing obsessed, because you know you need help.

Dear Sewfie,

I’m thinking of putting my sewing machine back into storage. Although I really love sewing, I live in an small apartment and with two young children, I have no time or space for it. What do you think?

Dear Xina,
No! Storage is no place for a sewing machine! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need alot of time or space to enjoy sewing as a hobby. Instead of thinking you need a block of 5 hours to execute a sewing project (which, as a busy mom, you will never have… but you already knew that) all you really need is a small corner to set up your machine and little blocks of time here and there. I call it “micro-sewing”. Here’s how it works:
Set up your machine in a corner of your home that is near where all the action is. You’ll want an area that the kids are usually in or nearby, this way you can keep an eye on them while you work. You know that little wierd section of countertop by the fridge where the mail collects? That is perfect. Or a small writing desk in the corner of the family room will do just fine. Put all your sharp baby-hurting things in a storage container with a snap top. Keep that up on a shelf or in a closet nearby. Cover your machine with a hard case or a soft quilted cover. If the kids can’t see it, they’ll be less likely to get into it. Keep it unplugged – just in case.

Now you have a ready-to go sewing station! When the opportunity to sew presents its self, you will be ready! Simply whip out that storage container and plug in your machine – you are good to go! But how to find the time… read on.

Take advantage of little windows of opportunity to make incremental progress on a favorite sewing project. For example, got spagetti cooking? That’s 9 minutes, you could have a quick sit and sew the side seams on some toddler pants. The little guy is not a good napper? Even a short 20 minute nap is enough time to slip over to your sewing station and stitch up the handles on that adorable purse you’ve been dying to make. Husband watching the game? Jackpot! Set the baby up with some toys and give Dad some snacks. Now you’ve got 3 hours… you could make a whole baby quilt top!

They key is having your sewing “stuff” easily acessible so you don’t have to spend 20 minutes finding it and getting it all set up. That’s enough of an obstacle to discourage you from even starting.

There are many windows of sewing opportunity through the day if you just look for them. You need only get Zen with the fact that its going to take a bit of time to finish. Set realistic goals of accomplishing one or two small steps per day. By the end of the week, you’ve have a completed project. How good will you feel then?!

Friends, leave a comment and tell us what’s your favorite sewing opportunity!

Warm Stitches,

If your question is selected for the next column, you'll win a FREE Sew Fun pattern of your choice! E-mail "Ask Sewfie" today at

Ask Sewfie is a humorous sewing advice column written by Jen Lopez - sewing enthusiast, pattern designer and owner of Sew Fun, Jen always has little bits of fabric stuck to her socks.

My Image and Young Image Pattern Magazines

Young Image Summer 2011 cover
My Image Summer 2011 cover

We are excited to announce that we are going to be the US dealer for the new pattern magazines, My Image (for women) and Young Image (for children)!  These pattern magazines from the Netherlands each include 16 patterns in the most fashion forward, yet very wearable styles!

Line drawings of patterns included in My Image Summer 2011
You can see the Instructions included are in English, German, French and Dutch.  There are no illustrations in the instructions.  These are master patterns which means that you need to trace them to preserve the original.  You will need to add seam and hem allowances to the patterns.  The sizes for women include European sizes 36-44, and for children 80-164 (approximately 18 months- youth size 12).
Line drawings of pattern included in Young Image Summer 2011 magazine

We are expecting the magazines to ship out to us this week, but I'm not sure when they will arrive here in the US.  Our last experience with shipping was rather lengthy, but with the holidays over, and if there are no more blizzards to contend with, I am hoping they will arrive by mid-February, which will give you plenty of time to sew up these adorable styles by summer!

We are taking preorders for the magazines now, so if you'd like to order your copy(ies) now, you can be assured that we'll send your magazine(s) out as soon as they arrive to us.  I'm sure that I'll be blogging about the new patterns as soon as I get my copy out of the box! 

Happy Sewing!

Whimsy Couture Interview and Giveaway!

Congratulations to Jansie, who is the winner of this Giveaway.  The giveaway is now closed.

This week we are happy to introduce you to a wonderfully talented new PDF pattern designer, Denise Knapp, owner of Whimsy Couture!  We are carrying 30 e-patterns from Denise at SewBaby.  Denise was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and offer a giveaway of 3 of her patterns of your choice! 
Where did you grow-up, where did you go to school, where do you live now? Tell us about your family.
I was born and raised in Germany and moved to the States over 10 years ago. I live in the outskirts of Washington D.C. with my husband, two kids and a dog.

How did you learn how to sew, and what inspired you to start your own pattern line?
I learned sewing in school when I was 12 and loved it ever since. Years ago when my little boy was born I discovered how fun it was to make baby clothes and slowly went into drafting patterns. My own pattern line started around Summer of 2009 with only 2 girls dresses. I went to a pattern making class and got the hang of it. Then more and more patterns came out. My goal is it to offer patterns for everyone, kids, adults, pets etc.

What advice do you have for beginning sewers?
It's very important no matter what pattern you buy but beginners want to read the entire pattern and instructions before beginning. Most questions can be eliminated by understanding it beforehand. Then,  my next advice would be "practice, make mistakes and learn"

What makes your patterns unique?
I offer downloadable patterns which on most sites will be emailed. The customer can sewing start right away. I try to keep my patterns as much "handmade" as possible so the commercialization will be at a minimum. Although a commercially produced or printed pattern looks more professional but I like it more handmade and personal. I also offer great customer service with help and advice for newbies.

Thank you, Denise, for sharing your creative skills with all of us.  You are a great inspiration for beginning and advanced sewists alike!