No Distractions Sewing Resolution for 2021

Everyone’s talking about their goals for 2021. I started listing a few in my head.

Blah, yadda, yak yak…

I realized that while I could easily come up with several “do mores” and “trys” and “improves” for sewing, I really just need to do one thing.

I need to be present in the moment when sewing.

I have had a lot of time this month to sew and have made a few things – home dec projects, PJs, tops. I’ve had whole weekends “sewing” and likely will have many more during this epidemic, where we can’t go anywhere or do anything, as the snow piles up outside.

These projects still seemed to expand to fill the available space. That’s because I have not been “present” while sewing them.

I finished this top today, for example:

Oki Style “Tiim” top

I started it the evening of December 22. Hey five days – not bad. But why did it take five days?

I cut out a few pieces, then I get a snack. Then I cut out a few more and check my phone. I take the dog for a walk. I make a move in Scrabble against a friend online. I press some seams. I read some texts. I serge a seam. I make a phone call. I set in a sleeve. I check Instagram. I turn up a hem. I put on some music. I make a buttonhole. I have another snack.

When I sew like this, the project suffers. I make mistakes. I forget what I am doing. I unpick a lot. The fabric gets mishandled and wrinkled and stretches out. I waste electricity with a sewing machine and iron at the ready, but not in use.

Worse of all, I don’t feel like I am enjoying sewing for what it is – I feel like I am sewing to fill up time, to while away my days instead of as an intentional act to create something for myself that’s both useful and beautiful. I don’t take pleasure in it. And that’s no good for me.

So my 2021 resolution is simply to be “present” when sewing – put away the phone, turn off the music, resist the siren’s song of the fridge, and just be there with my machines, my fabrics, my patterns, in a deliberate and mindful harmony.

What’s your 2021 resolution?

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

16 thoughts on “No Distractions Sewing Resolution for 2021”

  1. Oh gosh, you have described my sewing times to a T! Yesterday I cut out some sweat pants for a granddaughter- just three pieces, back, front and pocket. I stopped after one piece to check my phone. After the second to make tea. It took forever to just get that one small step done.


  2. I should take this on board too as it’s a great idea. My sewing can look rough at times and I think it’s cause my mind is too distracted and I’m not fully focusing on the task at hand.


  3. Before I respond to your question, I want to say how lovely you look in your photo. I like your hair. Anyway, as for being present for sewing – this resonated so much. The thing I’m trying to tackle (again) is focusing on my sewing. I find it so difficult because I do all of the things you describe but add to that am wont to start other projects all the time. I’m going to try (and you read it here first as I haven’t done my resolution blog yet!) but I am going to try to commit to working on only one project at a time. There, I’ve said it.

    Have a great 2021 and I hope your goal come to fruition.


  4. This is such a great goal! I think that personally, I actually find it easier to get into a flow state with music or a podcast (but not YouTube, Netflix, or an audio book) while I’m sewing. I got into the habit of having music on while I did math problems in college, and I think now it’s programmed in to activate the “problem solving” portion of my brain. I do think having a goal of not having YouTube or other distracting media will be a good sewing goal for me as well though, and really help me focus on the craft when I have the time to work on sewing. Best of luck with your goal and good wishes for 2021!


  5. This post made me smile as I read it, I do some of those things too 🤔🤣 No resolutions for me, but I did pick a word of the year “worthiness”. Great post 👍


  6. This top looks fabulous. I too have trouble sticking with projects. I will work like crazy on something for days at a time, perfecting the pattern, then shopping for fashion fabric. But I have such a hard time committing to the finished product. I get nervous about cutting it out of the good fabric or that I haven’t thought it through. I’m definitely trying to FINISH more projects for 2021!


  7. I like this resolution. I have been sewing the same way forever. Excited about a project. Starting it and then losing interest eventually and not even enjoying the process. I will try to time block my projects to I can get more done in one sitting. Great post!


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