How do I do it?

I get asked this question sometimes, or some form of it…How do you do it? Sew….blog….blow your nose….(well, not that last one)

PLEASE don’t assume I, in any way, shape, or form, have it “all together”. It’s all smoke and mirrors folks! Blogs tend to show the best of people’s lives…which isn’t bad, you just don’t see the mess covering my dresser top or the dishes in the kitchen waiting to be loaded. I do enjoy my hobbies immensely, so here’s how I make time for them.

I’ve learned since having Sadie and Charlotte, that dropping a project when baby needs me, is OK…I used to get frustrated when they’d interrupt my sewing time, but let’s face it, I am a mommy and wife first and foremost! There will be time to finish that project/blog post later! Having a dedicated craft room has been wonderful, I can just shut the door and hide the mess-er-project from Sadie’s grubby hands. I know not everyone is able to have a room, but even a closet or cupboard to stash away what you’re working on, and then pull it out when you have a spare second, is great! I used to scrapbook on a teeny tiny corner desk. Now, that was fun.

I have unofficial days for cleaning tasks; laundry, floors, bathroom etc..mostly for upkeep. I like to do the weekly, heavier cleaning on Monday mornings. I take about 2 hours (I pop in a movie for Sadie….so sue me!) and work up a sweat cleaning and organizing the house. (also a good workout) That way, I feel like I have a good start to the week and can lightly clean/de-clutter as the week goes on. In no way is my house spotless, but I feel like I have a pretty good excuse for a few dust bunnies with a 2 year old and 5 week old. (this does exclude my craft room, though…haha!) I also usually plan my meals out for the week on Sunday or Monday, and go my grocery shopping on Tuesdays. That way, I know what I’m making ahead of time, which saves me from late afternoon, what-are-we-having-for-dinner-itis. Nasty disease.

As I’ve learned from my mistakes, and sewed more (and more, and more…), I’ve learned tricks to speed up the process. For instance, if I know I’ll be making more than one of an item (lately, doll clothes), I’ll make them assembly line style-cut out, then sew the parts together. I also don’t like wasting time, so I’ve learned to be a quick sewer. Just practice, I guess!

For those of you who have young kids, you know how precious nap time is. Sadie’s been pulling 2-3 hour naps (SOOO nice), so I have a nice chunk in the middle of the day in which to get my sewing fix. Charlotte usually naps around the same time, sometimes waking up to eat in the middle. Of course, that will probably change as she gets older, but for now it’s nice! I usually try to keep a running list in my head of things I’m working on and have a plan of attack once nap time rolls around…so that way I’m not wasting precious time figuring out what to work on. (which does happen! don’t get me wrong) I also like to watch my tv shows on my computer, which is in my craft room, while sewing…multi-tasking at it’s best! (Well, maybe not best, but Arrested Development is pretty dang funny!)

Why do I sew/craft? It (quite literally) keeps me sane. There’s something almost magical about a finished dress sitting where fabric was just mere hours ago, and knowing that I made it with my own two hands. Well, me and the sewing machine. It’s very satisfying. I’ve always loved being creative and making things. So it’s not only worth it, it’s essential to me. My hands get antsy if I’m away from the sewing machine for too long. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It makes me happy to make my daughters long lasting things to wear and play with (hopefully), that will someday possibly become cherished family toys. (also, hopefully) Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Now, how do you make time for your hobbies? Any tricks/tips?


  1. Nice post. It reminds me of my life 20 some years ago, when my babies were actually babies! I did a lot of sewing at nite when they were asleep. Sounds like you have a pretty decent schedule. Just keep having fun, they grow up sooooo fast!

  2. This is exactly my life! Nap time is my “Go Time”, I also stay up late and sew. As soon as the critters are down I pull my stuff out and set it up in front of the tv and watch “House” or a girly movie while my husband plays on the computer. It keeps me sane as well and I get ansy if I am not creating something. Maybe I have OCD… hmmm. This is a great post, thanks, I now know I’m not alone! -Kelsee

  3. Amen! I really, really like your idea about doing heavy cleaning on Monday mornings. I’m going to have to try that; I am a terrible cleaner and always have been, mostly (I think) because I’ve never been able to get into a solid habit. Monday morning is a good time for that, I think. As for my crafty time, I have exactly one hard and fast rule: no crafting before the girls go to bed, and no housework after they go to bed. All of my crafting happens during naptime and after bedtime… I used to try to sneak stuff in during the day (and still do, sometimes), but I just end up getting frustrated when I try to do that now.

  4. I love that you posted this! Our lives are similar – minus the 5 week old (I have a wonderful little 2 year old though!!) My biggest problems is having too much on my mental list – I just put a chalkboard over my cutting table with my WIP’s and my next up to-do’s. I end up reading blogs and looking for ideas during the beginning of my daughter’s nap time and that just cut down my crafting time! Anyways, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who pops in a movie to clean!!! I was trying to do bathrooms one day, dust / vacuum another, but it got old cleaning everyday!! But, there’s nothing better than someone asking if I made my daughter’s dress – and she always makes a point to remind me of what I made!! I love it!

  5. i still think you’re amazing! the only thing i can get done during nap time is take a nap myself hehe ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I can totally relate to all this, although I am still learning from my mistakes! Haha.

    I need to do a one day deep cleaning too. It would make the mad dash cleaning easier.

    Also, thanks for linking up at the Christmas in July linky party. Love ALL your stuff.

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  7. All the same ways I do. I also have two older kids who don’t nap and they often will do crafts while I do mine. I enjoy it. And as SOON as my kids are in bed, I am working on some project or another! You just fit it in in bits!

  8. Agreed. As a wife and mom you need an outlet. So much of what you do already is nurturing…creating is just another way to express how you feel. Totally jealous of the craft room…maybe someday soon.

    Great post.

  9. I don’t have a dedicated craft room, so I can only get my sewing machine/ironing board/etc out 3 days a week while my 3 1/2 year old is at preschool. So I make the most of those days and the fact that I am on maternity leave (which will end in 3 months, eek!!!) with a 5 month old who naps like a champion. I also do anything that requires hand sewing (hair clips/felt food/headbands) at night while watching tv!

  10. I’m much the same. I craft for my sanity! I got post natal depression after my son (2yo) was born and now am coping well (with the help of meds) but I do find that if I do not have a project to focus on I get very flat therefore I find myself at the craft/fabric shop at least once a fortnight!

    Thank you for sharing your process! It was a joy to read.

  11. great post jess. I liked the little peak into your routine. Very jealous of your nappers, I need to figure that one out. Mine have never taken to naps very well with much regularity.

  12. I just recently learned that my 4.5baby girl enjoys watching the sewing machine in motion!! Yey. I jsut put her bumbo seat within arms reach and sing to keep her entertained..along with some toys! I got some baby shoes done that way. My trick is using nursing time to plan my next project and keeping a bookmark on my computer of “Must Make” projects. When I go to a fabric/craft store, I take a list of supplies from my bookmarks. That way when bedtime/naptime comes, I know I have things on-hand. Confession: last night I went to sleep at 1 AM making headbands. I wouldn’t recommend it ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Great post. Since nap time has long since passed in my house, I am limited to early in the morning before they get up and after the kiddos are in bed at night. I’ve also had to resort to threatening their lives if they didn’t quit rearanging things in my sewing room, because I swear they have an alarm that goes off if I try to sneak out to my sewing room while they’re awake. :0)

  14. Great post my dear!!! That makes me now feel like I’m not a slacker as a mom because I don’t do as much as you do! You really are amazing though! I saw your mom at the Garlic Festival ALOT on friday! It was great to see her!
    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to your cute little place! I will someday, but as for now, I’m up in Manteca with my sister. If we get back down to GEEE—LAS than I will see what you are up to!

  15. Oh I just stumbled upon your blog and you must have read my mind as I was thinking this exact same topic for a post as what you;ve just written! perfect! I was only saying to my friend the other day – I am a master at getting things done in 5 minute intervals!!

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