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How I Make All my Own Clothes With 5 Kids and No Time

I have been making all of my own clothes for about 5 years now, and I also have 5 kids and little to no free time. So how do I make all of this work?

Well, frankly, it’s kind of messy, and that’s the honest answer. I also have a lot of help, mostly from my husband. To experience what it is REALLY like sewing my own clothes as a mom of five with a busy schedule, watch the video above! 

Otherwise, here are my top 5 tips for fitting a creative hobby into a busy life, especially if you are a parent. This is a part 2, if you will, to another article about fitting sewing into your life. Back then I was “only” a mom of 4 - ha! But seriously, I do feel like I have learned even more since then.

So what are these mysterious tips to fit sewing and creativity into your life even when you are pulling your hair out with stress? Keep reading.

1. Schedule it in. Make a plan. Talk to your partner, or anyone else who is available to help with the kids and your other responsibilities. Let them know you will be sewing during ____ time slot. This could be a daily thing, which in my opinion is ideal - even if it is just 20 minutes. Or, it might be a weekly time slot that you schedule in. Either way, don’t flake on yourself! Your family will soon learn that this sewing time is happening regardless, and it will grow into the routine of your lives. Side note - even if it’s not practical to get someone to help with your responsibilities during this time, you can still make this work. Nap time, bedtime, be creative! But what if you don’t have a pretty sewing space like all of those Instagram sewers?

woman's hands sewing machine

2. Learn to engage in your creative hobby (like sewing!) when your kids are around and circumstances are NOT ideal. For many years, my family and I Iived in a tiny apartment on the 19th floor in a downtown city. My husband worked from home, but his job was quite demanding and required him to be mentally focussed at his computer for 10 hours a day. I took care of all of the household responsibilities - cooking, cleaning, laundry, and taking care of the kids. I also managed to make a LOT of time for sewing, even though I only had about 4 square feet to do it in. I never watched TV during that time, and I sewed primarily on our coffee table or our tiny kitchen table, and had one plastic shelf unit right next to the table with all of my supplies. It was actually heavenly. That created realistic expectations for me - that my sewing set up doesn’t need to be huge or amazing, but I can still do amazing things. My kids also learned to play independently by themselves while I was sewing, and learned to stay away from Mama’s supplies (for the most part!) Okay, but how do we actually complete any of our projects?

children sewing

3. Set small goals. It’s all fine and dandy to have a big master plan for the hand made wardrobe you would like to complete, or the masterpiece painting you’d like to finish, but when it comes down to it, we live one day at a time. Choose projects that are realistic for the stage of life you are in, and your energy levels. That being said, what is realistic for you may not be considered realistic for other people. Most sewers wouldn’t have told me it was realistic to make an elaborately detailed 1890’s corset in my tiny apartment sewing space, but I did it anyway and it was realistic for me at that time. Or, all you may be able to get done is sewing a cloth napkin - that is okay too! At least you are getting in the rhythm of sewing, even if the project is tiny and mundane. But how do I prioritize sewing when my whole home is taken up with other people’s stuff?

4. Have a space that is yours. If you have read the first point, you will know that this does NOT mean that you need a whole sewing (or painting, or whatever) room to yourself. Like I said, when I started sewing I had just a tiny Ikea coffee table and a plastic shelving unit to call my own. But it was still my space, and I kept my sewing machine set up all the time, and slowly grew a collection of only the essential sewing tools and supplies that helped me make my dream projects. This all contributed to a) helping me prioritize sewing everyday, and b) teaching my family that some things were only for Mama, like my sewing time, space, and supplies.

sewing room

5. Choose projects that bring you joy. For me, it is usually pretty easy to determine which projects make fill me with excitement and which are just blah. But when I have fallen out of the routine of sewing, this can be a little more tricky to determine. For example, after we moved, I got stuck making a couple of linen chemises for months. The project just kept dragging on and on. Why? Sure, I kept telling myself it was because I was busy, and all that, but a big part of the reason was simply that I found the project boring and pointless. I did eventually finish those chemises, and yes, I am glad I completed them despite the boredom. But I have since been prioritizing those really crazy, out there, unique projects that really light my fire. Thus, I have been fitting sewing into my life pretty much every day, and it’s because I choose to use that time to do only things that bring me joy. That’s not to say that individual projects will never have portions of time that are tricky to get through, only that if you are excited enough about the overall project, you will have the motivation to push through those times.

I hope these tips help you to fit sewing-or any creative hobby - into your life as a busy parent or person! Let me know if you have used any of these tips, or if you are feeling inspired to get creative!

If you found this information wildly helpful and informative and would like to thank me, consider "buying me a coffee" through one of the buttons throughout this article. Thanks! I appreciate it so much! Click here for the full list of sewing products I recommend. Click here for the full list of hair-care products I recommend. Click here for the full list of makeup and skincare products I recommend. I have personally used all of these products and can wholeheartedly recommend them to you. It also helps support this blog if you purchase anything through one of those links because I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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