My Effcient Sewing Routine: AKA, Crank Out 10+ Dresses in a Month

I recently shared this post about my sewing routine over at I Seam Stressed and I thought I’d share it here as well.  Enjoy!
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 Hi there!  I’m Erin from Our Family Four, and here is a little bit about me.
I’m a stay home mom to these two darlings.  
I’m from Ohio, but currently live in London, England.
I’ve been sewing for about 3 years, self/internet taught, and up until recently, most of the sewing that I’ve done has been for my home.

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But that all changed in the spring.
I sewed my first dress from scratch in April, which was a goal of mine for the year (along with learning to sew buttonholes!)  Over the subsequent 3 months, I sewed 9 additional dresses, 2 rompers, 3 diaper covers, and a pair of shorts.  (Also there were 15 superhero masks and badges, 6 bibs, 2 appliquéd onesies, a pillow and a doll.)  So I’ve been busy.
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I did not intend to turn myself into a one-man sweat shop, but I had a little bit of a deadline because my family and I were headed to the US for a month, so all of my summer sewing needed to be finished by mid July.  So I cranked things into high gear and got it all finished.

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Here is my sewing routine.
I do all of my machine sewing while my son is at school and my daughter takes her daily naps, which are roughly 2 hours a day, and that’s it.
When the kids are in bed for the night I want to work on my various projects, but more than that I want to hang out with my husband.  If he needs to work then I’ll sew a bit, but otherwise we’ll chat over a hot drink or catch up on some shows.  That side-by-side hanging out/chatting time is important to me, but here is the deal-I HAVE to be multi-tasking.  I just cannot sit still.  So I use that time to do all of my non-sewing sewing stuff.
Here’s an example. 
While I’m hanging out with my husband, I tape together and cut out my patterns.  I put my cutting mat on the floor and cut out various patterns, pinning the fabric to the pattern pieces as I go and then stacking them all together in a small basket.  I spread an ironing pad out on the floor and iron pattern pieces, iron under hems, iron down creases and pleats and folds.  Then I join my husband at the couch and I pin the pieces together so that they are ready to be sewn.  If I finish all of my “couch jobs” and “floor jobs” and we are still hanging out, then I just set it all aside and consider it an efficient night.
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The next day, while my daughter sleeps, I sit down at the sewing machine and sew.  The dress shoulders and seams are already pinned and ready, so in the machine they go.  The shirt’s hem is already ironed under and pinned, so in it goes.  I stitch on buttonholes, then buttons, and set those garments aside.  I zig zag anything that needs to be serged.
That night while I’m on the conch, I clip curves, trim bulk, flip garments ride side out, and poke out corners.  I cut open button holes, add fray check, and trim loose strings.  I hand stitch where needed.  I might cut some more fabric if I’m itching to start another project.  Or I just kick up my feet.
At the next nap time it’s back to the machine.  

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  I realized pretty quickly that I’m not a “one project at a time” person.  Are you?  Once I start playing with fabric and patterns I just get so many ideas and am excited to try them all!!  So this lets me make progress on each one almost every day.
  Also, since I am still new to sewing garments I often am learning a new technique as I follow through a pattern.  So if there is something that I’m really struggling with or frustrated by, I can just set it aside, move forward with sewing the other projects that are on hand, and not waste any (more) of my sewing momentum or time.  Then I’ll pick it back up in a few days once I’ve had some time to cool down, (You need that too, right?), and I’ll try again.
So, does anyone else do something like this?  Or do you have any helpful efficient sewing tips?  I would love to hear them!!
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I’m about to dive into my “fall line,” as I’ve jokingly called it, and I’m going to start sewing for my son and my daughter.  Crazy, right?!  🙂  I’ve got lots of plans for knits for this fall (as does everyone), I am pattern testing a garment at the moment, have fabric already picked out for my Debbie’s birthday dresses, am re-doing a few patterns in fall designs and new sizes, and am about to attempt my first Oliver & S pattern.  Wish me luck! 

One thought on “My Effcient Sewing Routine: AKA, Crank Out 10+ Dresses in a Month

  1. This sounds a lot like what I do… although it's trickier in the day now as my 3yo doesn't nap… but I try to make her baby sister's nap time her quiet time to do some things on her own..
    I do the same thing with 'hubby time' and am often on the floor cutting or pinning while he's on the couch! 🙂 It works!
    Good on you for getting so much done! And I love those dresses! Clever clever!!

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