Lost My Sewing Mojo??

Update: Wow, thanks everyone for the genuine and empathetic advice, seems we’ve all “been there.” I’ve cleaned up most of my room and it’s definitely helped already!

Every once in awhile I have to take a break from sewing because all my creative juices have been squeezed out of me. I need time to get inspired again. I’m sure most of you can relate. Usually those breaks only last about a week for me but lately I’ve been struggling to get back into my creative pursuits.

Oonaballoona made a good assement of her missing mojo last year and I think some of her points are applying to me. I also think that this pattern development process is wearing me out and I’m still no where close to being finished with any of my patterns I’m working on. I like the gratification of wearing clothes I make and computer pattern work doesn’t give me that satisfaction.

So I’ve kind of been stepping away from my sewing table for a bit in the hopes of riding out this sewing-funk I’ve been in and just absorbing others’ creative energies and/or playing video games.

But I haven’t just been sitting around moping…

Printing Patterns

I’ve printed out or traced a bunch of patterns, Victory’s Hazel Dress, Grainline’s Archer shirt, the Sewaholic Cordova jacket. And I’ve prepped fabric for a lot of projects.

Clothing Tags

I’ve hemmed some of Justin’s pants and shorts and I’ve added tags to already sewn clothes (I always forget to stitch them on during assembly).

I’ve also made some candle and scent cube things, you know, for those electric candle wax warmer contraptions.

But what could be the cause of the prolonged missing mojo?

Could it be annoying set backs like this:

Elastic Cat Snack

These were elastic loops I made for the legs of my Amerson undies. I took a break from sewing them and when I came back I found them half eaten. By my cat. Yes, my cat, Peanut, likes to eat elastic… and yarn… and computer wires… and xbox controller cables… and shoe laces…

Guilty Peanut

Gosh, cat, you could at least try to look guilty!

Now I’m out of elastic and have to buy more to finish the undies. I also sewed some Rosy Ladyshorts and as soon as I finish the amerson’s I’ll blog about both…

Or perhaps my mojo ran away in fear of the sinkhole mess in my sewing room.

Hoarders: Sewing Edition

Ugh, I can’t believe I’m even posting that picture! You’d think a meth addict lived in this room. Unfortunately my sewing room has become a dumping ground – unfinished crafts, shopping bags, laundry in need of ironing, silk drying, orphaned pattern pieces and all those fabric scraps that I have no idea what to do with. Also it seems that lots of stuff on my tables and ironing boards likes to fall off onto the floor… I just need to get off my bum and clean it up but cleaning’s no fun, right!?

I have a couple UFOs I could work on but mostly I think I just need to dive in and finish something and get myself back in the game.

I’m looking for your advice – what do you do when you’re feeling uncreative and uninspired? And bonus points if you admit your sewing space has ever been as messy as mine. 😉

  • Hi Dixie, when my mojo is missing, I put on a good tv show or movie, and trace & cut patterns so they are ready to go when the mojo returns. Hope you find it soon!

    • thank andrea! maybe i’ll catch up on some daily show episodes 😉

  • Love the tags! Clean the sewing rooms, but don’t actually plan to sew anything in it right away. Let it sit clean and ready for a few days, and I bet you’ll be ready to go again.

    • that’s good advice – clean but don’t jump back in right away.
      thank suzanne!

  • I sometime loose my mojo when I am spreading myself too thin over too many projects. Alternatively it leaves me when I encounter some difficulties that require some thinking and reshuffling or time that I haven’t got at that point.

    I find it inspiring to meet with others for a crafty afternoon 🙂

    • good point! i probably do have too many projects. luckily one of my friends has invited me over for an afternoon of sewing, i hope that’ll help. thanks!

  • Ugh, I’m just here to commiserate and hear others’ tips on how to get mojo back, sorry. I used to sew for hours on end and love it. Then I was working full time/grad school full time, then we had a dramatic cross country move, and in that time I only made a handful of garments. Now I can’t seem to sew for more than 30 minutes, when I get myself to sew at all, even though I’m SO full of ideas and plans. Argh.

    I hope your mojo returns quickly. It sounds like you’re making and preparing things anyway, that’s good! Oh, and your troublemaker cat is adorable 🙂

    • thanks kelly! i hope your mojo comes back soon. once everything gets settled after your move your creative energy will probably start coming back. 🙂

  • You won’t want to hear this but…when my mojo’s gone I tidy up my sewing space…having a clear space seems to make me want to use it straight away…I guess that is the principle of entropy!

    • i’ve tidied the room a bunch since this post and you’re right, it helps 😉

  • Oh I know what you mean. I read a book when sewing isn’t happening. You know, one of those not about sewing books? Novel? Strange elusive things they are normally but sometimes I just need to get lost in my imagination a little.

    Oh and if it is any consolation, my sewing room was a sinkhole until we had house guests who needed to sleep somewhere. I found some stuff I didn’t know I had 🙂

    • haha, it’s funny you say that ’cause in my attempt to find something to do in all this new free time that hasn’t been filled by sewing i’ve been reading a lot, mostly history and non fiction. i figure if i can’t exercise my creative side i should at least stimulate my intellectual side. 😉

  • i plan a small getaway with my luved ones whenever i lost my mojo
    being with the nature inspires me a lot
    hope u get ur mojo soon
    n ur cat is really cute btw
    xoxo

    • thanks! 😉 i wish i could take a little vacay right now!

  • I have a cat who loves elastic too – she’ll eat a whole hair bobble then puke it up for me to clean up later, nice! Plus she chews the wires of headphones, we’ve lost so many pairs…
    Anyway, I think you’re approach of doing little bits of sewing is a good one. When I’ve been slowed down by a projects I try and do a little bit each day and spend time on the other crafty things I enjoy like knitting and sewing as then I am still being creative. Sometimes you need to have a break x

    • ugh, my cat loves hair ties and headphone wires, i think the count is 6 – six separate ear-bud sets ruined!

      thanks kestrel!

  • Oh my gosh, I really sympathise with you about the lost mojo, but I had a little giggle about the elastic and your cat! Could the poor little thing look any more innocent! Hilarious! Yeah, and don’t fret about it. In the scheme of things, a wee break isn’t the end of the world. Mojo will return. For sure. I’m also currently on a bit of a break from sewing, and happily knitting lap blankets 🙂

  • When I feel like that, I clean my sewing room! Really! An organized sewing room attracts me, it makes me want to sit there and use it. But sometimes all I need is some space, so I completely forget about sewing for the next week and then come back refreshed!

  • Oh yes. I know how you feel. Recently my sewing room was in an even worse state. I use what was meant to be a dining room as my sewing room. It was so bad that in order to get from my cutting table to my serger I had to go out the doorway, through the kitchen, the hallway and into the other doorway and vice versa. As a result, I began to lose my sewing mojo. I finally spent a weekend cleaning and decluttering. Then I began sewing things to help keep my room organized (mug cozy for cutting table supplies, serger scrap catcher, combo pin cushion/thread catcher/tool organizer for sewing machine) and my mojo came back with a bang.

  • I have a drawer on my sewing desk that houses all my bits and pieces of elastic. I have to TAPE IT CLOSED because my cat can open it. I find bits and pieces of chewed up elastic all over the house. She loves it. You can flick a rubberband and she will chase and fetch it like a dog.

    And I know you probably don’t want to hear it, but I agree about tidying up when the mojo is gone. A clean sewing space makes me want to sew. My sewing room looks just like yours right now, though.

  • OK, I do admitt that during college, my sewing room looked worse than that! ! ! Honestly, it’s just like you said, I get out of my funk by cleaning. It will renew your energy!

  • i’m another one of those who cleans the sewing room when i can’t properly focus on a project. once i have all that freshly cleaned space back i can’t wait to start sewing! love your tags by the way, they’re super cute!

  • Stepping back is definitely a good idea. If you don’t recognize and satisfy how you’re feeling now, it will come to haunt you ten times worse in the future. Unfulfilling projects, like the pattern your making, I think is killing your mojo the most. I’m working on perfecting a bra pattern right now and after two muslins, I’m still not there. It’s frustrating and hurts my mojo too but I remember all the other garments I made and the long path it took to get there.

    Oh, and I hate you cat for eating your elastic!!

  • my sewing space has definitely looked like that. i have found that if i just break down and clean up my space i get inspired to sew again. i usually put it off for awhile though–i hate cleaning!

    my cats have yet to eat elastic. that’s a new one. they seem to eat everything else though, if the dog doesn’t get to it first.

  • i normally need a project (both fabric and pattern) that i am really excited about. you could try tilly’s 30 mins a day sewing plan? but i would agree with the other who said you might feel better once you organise your space – sorry! i don’t have a dedicated sewing space so i have no choice but to tidy up as i go.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely organize the sewing room – sometimes if I do some organizing and touch some fabrics, clean out patterns, etc., I seem to get an inspirational jolt. I also read or explore a new hobby knowing the mojo will eventually return. I haven’t sewn in a week, and that’s okay. Sometimes you just need a break!

  • My sewing room gets messy too… spend an afternoon cleaning it up. I bet that suddenly you’ll start to feel much more creative! (Sometimes when cleaning, I even find myself finishing up those random projects that have been hanging around forever.)

    Love that you sewed tags on! I always tell myself that I’ll go back to do it, but I don’t seem to get around to it.

  • My sewing room definitely gets messy. It doubles as a guest room so stuff gets piled all over the bed, then hastily piled elsewhere so someone can sleep in it.

    As daunting as it can be, cleaning up my sewing room actually makes me feel a lot better and ready to tackle projects.

    The other thing that prevents me from tackling projects is having too many I want to do. So I make a list, decide on a top three or five, and save the list so I won’t have to mentally keep track of it. Then I write the top ones on a white board to keep me focused.

  • I’ve been feeling down in the dumps about my lack of sewing these past two weeks and it makes me feel even worse that I have so many projects on the go, but no desire to work on any :o( I think my day job is sucking the energy out of me. But don’t worry, we all have these slumps and then bounce back, so I’m sure you will too soon. I agree with those suggesting you tidy your sewing space – it’s tedious but will make your head clearer too. Just so you don’t feel bad though, this is how bad my room got…hehe: http://asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/sacred-sewing-spaces.html

  • Oh, my sewing space has been that messy and messier many times!

    Regarding the mojo thing: don’t force it, would be my best advice. Sometimes you’re into something such as quilting, and then you don’t feel like quilting anymore! So don’t! It’s your hobby, you don’t have to be consistent or productive. Take time off, and come back to it when you feel like it. Abandon old projects if you want to. But… Do tidy up that space!

  • I’ve not done any sewing these past few months because I’ve been living in a temporary place while my apartment gets renovated. Hopefully I will get back to it when I have a pleasant sewing space with my fabrics and supplies rather than everything packed away. I also lost my sewing mojo when I was forced to sew something for a course. Or when I tried too many times to fit pants, without success. So I tried to look for a more gratifying project, such as a dress with a full skirt, which won’t cause too many fitting issues in my case.

  • Might just be a case of the seasonal blahs? I find this time of year sort of hard to get up the mojo for much of anything! Except tv watching and comfort food eating. Or maybe you have too many projects/ideas going at once? That definitely happens to me. When I feel like my mojo is slipping I take a break – and I take a break from blog land too, because staring at everyone else’s beautiful makes, while sometimes inspiring, can also make me feel guilty and that’s just not productive for anyone! Spend a weekend doing other things, getting outside, that sort of thing – or, as my mom would say: air the stink out!
    My sewing space stays relatively tidy because I’m kind of spartan about it, but when I had a painting studio… good lord… it was like a freaking health hazard! Nick used to come in every now and then and pick through all the crap to find all the moldy mugs of coffee and take them away because he was convinced it was bad for my health!

  • Oh! And this is just from my own experience (see: painting studio = health hazard… no really, it’s amazing the whole place didn’t go up in flames…) but sometimes our physical spaces reflect our mental spaces. So cluttered, chaotic space means a cluttered, chaotic head (in terms of your sewing practice) Maybe tidying up your space will trick you into getting some focus/inspiration/mojo back…?

  • Oh, gosh, I’m so sorry! I’m sorry to say it, but tidying up your space will probably make you feel better. Another thing that always helps me get my mojo back is to go through my stash– it’s very therapeutic to clear out and give away anything that I won’t use, and it’s totally inspiring and fun to touch all the fabric and rediscover pieces that may have been hiding. 🙂 Good luck! And don’t feel any pressure or urgency here– take all the time that you need to get back into stitchin’!

    • i’ve been meaning to go through my stash, i don’t have a very big stash but i still find it overwhelming. and you’re right, cleaning helped. 😉

  • Zoe

    Don’t worry about it Dixie, your sewing mojo will reappear soon enough. The only advice I have is to do what you are already doing – small projects, finishing things off, little acts of creativity that push towards getting your sew-on but without putting pressure on yourself by starting a whole new project.

    All the best
    Zoe xxx

    • thanks zoe! i appreciate the kind words 🙂

  • Glad your mood has already picked up again. 🙂
    Heh, I usually lose my Mojo because I dread tracing those dratted patterns… so I usually make something quick from a pattern I already have. Most notably, knit tops or dresses (did I already say I love your velvet rose dress?). Or how about doing something creative but unrelated, like sketching out your dream wardrobe for spring? 😀
    And I agree, a only slightly messy sewing space also helps. Maybe getting some nice organizing boxes from IKEA will help get you excited?

  • Amy

    Haha, I traced the Archer and the Cordova jacket last week, too! Glad the clean up helped. It does for me… I also have to turn off the computer or stop using my left brain problem-solving-pattern-mode for a few days. I concentrate so hard and for so long on patterns I sometimes wear myself out and forget to do more receptive activities.

    Oh and I feel ya on the cat eating. My cats eat elastic (mostly my hair ties), chiffon, patterns, computer cords (just got my FOURTH adapter for my laptop because of this), and of course shredded my couch. Oh and I found a pin in their food bowl last week. Doh! Ahh, kitties.

  • Sending you good vibes from New Jersey to get your sewjo back!!! It definitely happens, but I assure you that it will come back. And my living room is my sewing room, and it is always that messy! You are not alone!