Skip to main content

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.


  1. Is it me, or is there something wrong with the format of your blog Ann? I can't read half of the post because it's covered up by the sidebar images and text. Welcome "Sewfie"!!!! :-)

  2. This is great! Thanks for the advice. I'm also one to take advantage of this advice... My sewing tends to get set aside because I too have this mind set of needing a full day or night to sew without anybody wanting anything from mommy... Blocks of micro sewing, now that's a good idea... I shall start that tonight, after the kids are in bed... Yeay!

  3. Great encouragement! I also get in the mindset that I have to complete the project in one sitting, but my 5yo and 3yo always have different plans. Thanks!

  4. This is what I do! This morning while my car was warming up and coffee brewing, I sewed the sleeves on a baby tunic. After work I'll put on the back panels and just before bed I can hem it. Maybe even tackle a buttonhole or two. Good advice.

  5. I have cats, not kids, being a grandma, but cats love fabric in any form so I have to work around them. I also sew in spurts, a seam or two, but it still gets done. I am wondering if those rotary cutter sharpeners get the blade sharp.....I find that my blades last about a year inspite of doing quilts and garments. I find that rotary cutter blades are expensive and would like to get at least one more "cycle" of them. Cynthia


Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting my blog! I would love to hear your opinions! Please share your comments here.

Popular posts from this blog

What to Wear in Madagascar

To be honest, I have no idea what to wear in Madagascar, and this title may need to be changed to "what NOT to wear in Madagascar" in a few months.  We will have to wait and see.  My 22 year old daughter, Alyssa, left for the Peace Corps this week, and she will be stationed in Madagascar for the next 2 years and 3 months.  Yes, you read that right- TWO YEARS and three months!!! We are very proud of her for wanting to help make the world a better place, and for being fearless in doing so, but it will be a looooong time for Mama and Papa back home. Not knowing anything about Madagascar, the first step in figuring out what to pack was to figure out the weather and the cultural norms.  Madagascar is a very large island off the southeastern coast of Africa.  It's very, very unique in it's ecosystem, and has many species that are not found anywhere else in the world- most famously lemurs. Right now, it is experiencing it's rainy season, as you can see by the

Vogue 9305 Asymmetrical Tunics

It's April and we're expecting snow tonight.  Have we switched hemispheres?  Nevertheless, I am sewing with visions of warm sunny days.  And for those warm sunny days to come, I imagine sitting in the shade with a light breeze flowing through the air, enjoying a light beverage with friends.  Just close your eyes and you can imagine too.  What would you be wearing?  Well,  I love a dramatic asymmetrical tunic made of the softest linen.  As luck would have it, I found just the fabric in the "As Is" section in Fabric Mart's sales category.  With just some irregular dye marks on the selvage, it was marked down, but still completely usable.  It started out as a solid color, but I did an ombre dip dye process to get this look- more on that later! For my pattern, I chose Vogue 9305 , a tunic with a shaped hemline, and two styles of pants (I didn't make the pants).   This pattern must be the biggest bang for your time possible.  The tunic went tog

Style Arc Dotty Blouse and Burda 6879 Skinny Pants

Listen children.  It's time for a sewing story.  Sit by the fire with me, and I'll tell you the story of how three flat, lifeless pieces of fabric became my new favorite winter outfit. With a little help from the elves at FabricMart, Burda, and Style Arc, I whipped up this outfit just in time for the holidays. Chapter 1.  The Dotty Blouse Silk charmeuse.  Aahhhh.  Just the thought of it brings me bliss.  Is there anything so light as a feather, shimmery as a star, fluid as a mountain stream?  All wrapped up in one glorious fabric.  Sometimes I look at the prices of clothes in the stores, and wonder "Why am I sewing? ".  But one touch of silk charmeuse and I remember. This is the stuff that you can't buy a top made from for less than $200, but you can make it for $50 or less. When I saw this stylized animal print silk charmeuse at FabricMart, I grabbed up 3 yards of it right away.  One of silk charmeuse's best qualities is it's drapa