The best days are those on which I get to work on client projects in one continious flow. When you get to work interrupted for 4 hours, you really see how much progress you’re making and the work seems so easy. Projects seem to take less time when you get to work on them in one sitting.

This isn’t always the case. When other areas of work + life are busy, large chunks of time tend to disappear. Over the years, I’ve developed a couple ways to deal with big projects, when I only have tiny bits of time. So today I’m sharing exactly this.

My tips for working on big projects : when you only have tiny bits of time.

Take notes of every step of your project. I use a notebook to write down the name and details of each project. I also write down what I have to do next. So if I have 30 minutes, I don’t waste 10 of them trying to remember what the next step was.

Label the pattern pieces extensively. It’s easy to remember markings when I work on a garment in one sitting, but if I pick it up again after a couple of days? I’ve usually forgotten hem allowance or were exactly I had to sew a smaller seam allowance. Oops.

Use post-its or small pieces of paper to mark fabric after you’ve removed the paper. After removing the pattern piece of the fabric, I put a little piece of paper on the fabric with the name of the piece, the name of the client and an arrow indicating which side goes up… This ensures I don’t get facings mixed up or pieces sewn in upside down.

tips for big projects small work

Batch things. Batching things makes things go faster. Your brain gets used to the task, so it gets faster at doing the task. For example: I apply all the interfacing at once, sew as many seams as possible before going to the ironing board at once… This makes my sewing faster and makes my see progress, every time I sew!

Put all the small pieces in a folder. I put all the smaller pieces (welts, pockets, collars…) in a folder that I keep with the other parts of the projects. I’ve lost minutes searching for a lost welt or a lost collar stand and I don’t want that happening again. Keeping the smaller parts together in one folder, saves my sanity multiple times a month 🙂

Organise your workroom for good workflow. I’m lucky to have a dedicated sewing space, but even in that space, I have a box for each project, so between projects, the sewing table is empty and everything is in one place; In this box I place the pattern, the cut out fabric, thread, buttons, zips…so nothing gets lost!

 

 

These were my tips for working on bigger projects in small chunks of time. Do you have any extra advice! Please share!

 

PS: Wondering how I plan + organise my sewing work? You can read all about it here!