5 Tips for the Busy Sewist with Bonnie from Sew Love You

November 19, 2020

5 Tips for the Busy Sewist with Bonnie from Sew Love You

Hi friends!  I’m Bonnie and I’m new to the blogging team this year, but definitely not new to the goodness that is Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I’m a wife, mom to 6 children and I work part-time as a preschool teacher. You can find me over at @sewloveyou on Instagram.  

I’ve been sewing since my oldest son was born 14 years ago when my mother-in-law gifted me a sewing machine for Christmas so I could use it for scrapbooking.  Fast forward a few years and sewing is just too fun and scrapbooking has now gone to the wayside. 

The first question I get asked when I tell people I sew is, “How do you ever have time to sew with everything else you have going on?  You’re SO busy!!!!”  Well friends, I am busy! And probably many of you are too. But guess what?  I’m going to share 5 tips with you, the busy sewist, to get the sewing done!  Anyone can make time for sewing. Grab a pencil and paper for notes, let’s get started!

Bonnie 2

Join A Sew Along or Testing Team

You’re going to think I'm a crazy person over here!  But my first tip for getting the sewing done is join a sew along or pattern testing team.  Why?  You don’t have time for that!  Yes, yes you do!  I need a deadline friends.  I’ll procrastinate forever if I’m able to.  Did anyone else stay up way too late in high school or college working on a project?  Oh...just me?  Haha!  If I have a deadline, I know it will get done.  I have too many UFO’s (unfinished objects) that sounded fun in the beginning and then I lost steam, got scared or gave up.  If I know I have a definitive deadline (whether it be the end of a sew along to earn prizes or a pattern testing team deadline), I will pull through and get it done.  I’ll stay up late, give my family a quick dinner instead of something that I spent all day cooking, whatever.  It will get done!  

You should try it too!  With so many pattern companies offering Youtube videos to make the instructions more clear, you’ll be done in no time!  The extra friends you make in Facebook groups with sew alongs and pattern tests will be your cheerleaders to get. it. done!  Then share, share, share.  You’ll feel so accomplished, you’ll want to make the time to sew more.

Bonnie Collage

If you’re a more experienced seamstress, try joining a pattern testing team.  Sewing companies are always looking for fresh faces.  And being part of a wonderful team might be just the push and motivation you need to finish projects and NOT let them get lost in the UFO’s.  

My baby’s onesie and jumper were both part of a test for Made of Mermaids.  I used RCF’s black jersey for the Pepper Shirt and the leopard hacci is the Juniper Jumper.  The hacci wasn’t an ideal fabric for the project.  But after I made my initial jumper for the test, I couldn’t get the leopard jumper out of my mind.  I used clear elastic to make the hacci fabric a little more stable and it worked perfectly!

Bonnie 5

Simple and Quick

There are plenty of great patterns out there and some have intricate details and frills.  What kind of patterns do I usually pick?  The simple and quick ones!  Why?  Because I’m short on time. 


My second tip is to pick patterns that are simple and straightforward.  In the time you could make one fancy shirt, you could have made three simple and quick shirts.  You see what I’m saying here?  Stick with those tried and true basics like I did for my shirt.  I used the Hey June Lane Raglan and black RCF double brushed poly for the sleeves along with the Leopard Hacci. It’s a great wardrobe stable.  Use those basic patterns.  Or even better, buy a pattern with gobs of options. When you have more time, you can add in all the frills.   I’m all about more bang for your buck!  

Bonnie 6

Practice, Practice, Practice

Tip number three is to practice, practice, practice! How can you practice, when you don’t have time to sew to begin with?  Don’t worry, I hear you!  But if you take the time to practice with the simple, quick patterns, you’ll get incredibly fast.  In fact, I tease one of the designers here at Raspberry Creek that she has a secret sewing elf because she’s so quick.  Unfortunately sewing elves don’t exist, but she’s so fast because she’s made that pattern a bunch!  Once you’ve sewn the simple, quick patterns over and over again you won’t have to even look at the instructions again.  Check over the seams allowances on your pattern and boom! You’ve got a shirt in an hour!  Take a bow for your hard work!  And once you’ve made a pattern a few times and you’re faster, you’ll suddenly have time for all of those extra details you want to add.

My older daughter’s shirt is made with RCF’s leopard hacci and the Pepper Shirt from Made for Mermaids.  Besides the gather on the sleeves, this is a basic shirt.  So once I read the details about how to gather the sleeves, the rest of the shirt came together quickly.  


Plan It Out

I’m old school, friends.  I can’t keep my life in a calendar on my phone, I have to write it down.  In fact, one of my preschool students gave me a GIANT calendar.  At first I thought, “What in the world am I going to do with this?”  Then I realized the giant calendar was brilliant!  I can easily see what’s going on with my week.  So tip number four is to plan it out!  With working and having six kids, after school activities can get crazy.  But on Sundays I check my calendar and plan in sewing time.  I can squeeze in time for sewing at least a few days a week.  I’m a night owl, so most of my sewing gets done at night after my younger kids are in bed.  But occasionally I can squeeze in a little sewing during the day.  I just have to check my calendar and plan it in.  

Bonnie 8

Quality Fabric

Have you ever sewn with cheap, crappy fabric before?  I have and it’s the worst!  My machine gets jammed and I let slip a couple swear words and then wonder what in the world was I thinking! Tip number 5 is to use quality fabric.  I’m a penny pincher in a lot of categories.  I mean, I have six kids, you have to cut costs somewhere.  But I really believe in using great, quality fabric.  I love that Raspberry Creek has gorgeous quality fabric at incredible prices.  The leopard hacci, black jersey and black double brushed poly I used in this post are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to fun fabric that Raspberry Creek carries.

The team at Raspberry Creek works very hard and are super generous.  I have never had a problem with my Raspberry Creek fabric getting jammed in my machine or causing me to swear!  Spend just a tiny bit more on great fabric and it will make a huge difference in your sewing time.  Instead of spending your time picking out seams, you’ll be sewing more.  And PS if you’re scared of the cost of fabric to make something for yourself or your husband, start small with a child’s article of clothing. You’ll need half the amount of fabric and most of the instructions to make a child’s shirt are the same to sew an adult one. When you feel more comfortable, make something for yourself.  Bonus, smaller things are always cuter!

I hope you feel more motivated to get sewing!  With all the craziness going on in the world, sewing brings me joy and happiness.  I love to see something I’ve sewn on me or my family.  There’s a sense of accomplishment that is like no other. Go grab your favorite Raspberry Creek Fabric and get sewing friends!  It’s going to be amazing!

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