Sew Unbalanced


Seems like my life is just dashing past me.  I have such good intentions, but spend my days doing projects for others.  Rarely do I get any creative “ME” time these days.  And I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get my crafting time, I get bitchy.  Really bitchy.

And yes, I’m selfish like that.  Although I love my friends, I need my solitude.  I need to spend time inside my brain.  There’s so many projects in my head that it becomes overwhelming at times.  Not like crazy.  But more like frustrated that I can’t do MY OWN stuff.


Selfish Seamstress – buy it HERE!

However, sometimes it’s not busyness.  It’s laziness.  Wait…maybe it’s not laziness at all.  Maybe I’m simply EXHAUSTED!  By the time I finish taking care of everyone else’s crap, I have absolutely no energy to do the things I want to do for myself, my family and my home.

As a New Year’s resolution this year, I promised myself that I would not volunteer to help others with their projects.  You may think that’s rotten of me, but understand that everyone thinks I have nothing to do all day.  Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t need me to do put together a small gift basket, do a little alteration on their new dress, or help them with a quick craft project.  Although I want to scream, “LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!”…I succumb to the pressure and give in to their requests.  And this builds resentment.  And quite honestly, I’ve had enough.  I really need to take the advice of Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress.


photo source

But here’s the thing—I genuinely LIKE helping others.  Actually, I probably thrive on it.  Sad, I know.  So I’m thinking my problem is more one of BALANCE.  Yep.  How the heck do the rest of you do it?  Between family, friends, housekeeping, school, blogging, sewing, decorating, etc.—Tell me how you find balance in your life.



  1. Girl I could not have said it better. You become bitter because you are doing so much for everyone else, but in reality you truly enjoy helping everyone else. It would just be nice to do something for yourself for a change. I agree with all the ideas stirring in your head thing, whew it does get overwhelming and you think ugh if only I had minute of time to get to them. Its a wicked cycle. I know people that get cranky if they don’t work out but for me its just like you said its having time to yourself to just create and solidify those ideas in my head. When people say to me how creative I am and how nice it would be to be creative, I think to myself “yeah really?, cause it feels like a curse.” Maybe we need to set a challenge for ourselves to do one project each month for me and just me alone. oooh sounds like a good idea for a blog series,mmmm. Ok another idea twirling around in my head, lol.

  2. Oh my gosh – you are in my head!!!!!!!!!!! Everything you just wrote up there is ME! I have vowed after January 1 – I am doing stuff I want to do – the past 3 years I have given all my creative energy to the kids school and I feel like I have lost .. me!

  3. Kirsten…yes, it is certainly a curse at times…LOL! I was thinking of doing such a blog series, but probably won’t get to it because of other people’s projects…UGH!

  4. Hey Wendy! I NEVER volunteer for school stuff…that just sucks the creative juices out of you!

  5. Oh I know exactly what you mean. I bought fabrics for my fall/winter jacket about 3 yrs ago, even drew the pattern, made the mock up, but haven´t got to sewing yet, because of all the other things. So I wander around wearing store-bought clothes, even though I´m supposed to be the walking businesscard for my company. Sucks. Big time.

    I´ve thought about starting a program: make something YOU want evere week. Pick a project on monday, and spend at least one hour a day doing it. Because, it is true what they say, you just need to make time for it…

  6. So true Susanna! If only I could stick to such a program…LOL!

  7. Jane Doe aka Valerie says:

    OMG.I thought i was alone……I can’t believe there is more out there just like me!!! …i read and kept on repeating to myself…this is me…this is me….this is me!!!!

    I had the summer off for the first time in years….back then my daughter was in soccer and we were traveling all over north america with no me time to sew… I work full time but get summers off and thought….I can sew for me this past summer…did I? NO…I ended up sewing for one person who told another and another and then there was the Drag Queen revamp of a purchased dress and creating a pattern for a flapper dress…..I was going to sew a whole new work wardrobe for me…instead of tshirts and jeans…ggg (well dress t’s and dress coloured jeans..I work in a school) but alas i am lucky the t’s and jeans fit!..sigh)
    I have a few more for them projects then NO MORE…I said to myself the other night….I keep repeating the same stupid mistake…saying yes to sew for others….started 35 yrs ago….NO MORE….I am done….until the next pleading friend comes and says please….gggg Plus i have convinced myself i don’t get paid enough! lol

    Will we ever learn??? I hope so….we need a support group…how to say no!!!!

  8. LOL Valerie! We are nominated President of the support group! Will we ever learn? Obviously not…ha ha! With friendship, Lisa

  9. Jane Doe aka Valerie says:

    I love my ‘like minded friends’……you understand when no one else does, you can relate when everyone else gives me that questioning look and the support i get… amazing! Thanks Lisa….such an honour…how can i say No! lol

    And my husband asks…..and I stammered out…YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT???? honey, he says, all i want to do is go for a walk with you…..How can i say no??? of course he knows he is interupting some serious doing for others time! Walk here we come…..

    Valerie aka Jane or is it Jane aka Valerie……???????

  10. LOL Valerie! Thanks for keeping ME laughing!

    With friendship,

  11. Well Girls….This is an idea that I have begun to better have time for myself (weather in the studio, at the spa or reading a book): book yourself on your schedule and call it an appointment. That way there is a commitment for yourself built into the schedule and when others ask for your time you can honestly state, “I am unavailable to do it at XXX time, but I could do it at ZZZ time. I hope that works for you.” Use your schedule to book everything; errands, kids functions, volunteering, work, studio time for others and studio time for yourself. Prioritize, set time limits then be productive & have fun without the guilt by saying no now instead of No or Yes too often. Good luck to all my sewing diva sisters!

  12. Dawna…that’s a great idea! Think I’ll give it a try! Happy Sewing!

    With friendship,

  13. Lisa, you have expressed exactly how I feel. I quilt, and make really complicated, challenging quilts. I’m interested in improving my skills and taking my designs to the next level. In the past year I’ve been asked to sew a zipper in the lining for a crew boat. When I declined I was told how easy it would be. I was asked by another to sew the cover for a pappason chair. When I declined I was told how easy it would be. I try to be gracious and thank them for asking for my services, but I remain firm in my “No.” I’ve tried explaining that asking me to sew such-and-such is a bit like asking a portrait artist to paint the garage…right church, wrong pew. The thing that gets me is how OFTEN I hear, “Oh, but it would be so easy…” Really? Knock yourself out! I agree that scheduling your “me time” is crucial, but as a mom so often the stuff I didn’t plan for gets in the way of what I hoped to do. I’ll keep trying, but dang, if I get one more e-mail from the school….


  14. Katie…I love your attitude! I need to emulate it! I, too, always want to try more complicated projects, but the “pain in the neck” requests often get in the way and distract me. Thank goodness the school doesn’t know I sew…LOL!

    With friendship,

  15. This is one reason I don’t tell anyone I sew. People stopped asking me to sew stuff for them when I mention I charge and that at the moment I am booked for the whole month. I have two etsy sites and I get paid for my creativeness.(If you do something charge for it!!)
    I also tell everyone I don’t do alterations.
    No, is quite easy to say for me why? because it seems people want to be my friend for my sewing skills and I am a point in my life where I don’t give a sh*t what people think. I don’t sew for school stuff either.
    I don’t have time for everyone except my family. I work a full time job with odd hours(I work 9 to 12 hours days) I have 3 boys, I have my two etsy sites, I have a mini farm and I have a couple of hobbies. I don’t have time for sewing for other people. Just Say no.

  16. Jane Doe aka Valerie says:

    one flapper dress down….and the Drag Queen loved it! He liked twisting in it and watching the fringe fringe out! lol
    Dawna….I think my problem with scheduling my sewing is that i keep my self so structured at work. I sent time lines and guidelines for myself to get things done and often try to work a few days ahead in some of my jobs so all i have to do is minor changes, if there are any on the day…..So when i come home and my ‘house elf’ (aka husband) has dinner made, we eat, clean up and i come into my sewing room to play with NO stucture…
    I procrastinate (I hate that dirty dirty word, to me it is worse than some 4 letter ones) ..but I think I self impose procrastination in my sewing life because i sew so much better under pressure! How sad is that…..I do sew well (braggart me) without the pressure but i dilly dally less when that pressure is on….Oh lordy…am i my own worst enemy……and the only time i procrastinate is when i sew for others….i love the sewing part, i don’t like doing it for others…the only time i like doing for others is when i pick and choose to make something for someone and gift it! lol
    Well off to make the second flapper dress…need to create a different design with the fringe than the first one.

  17. Unfortunately for me Lisa, SCHOOL does know I sew! Made new curtains for the 4th grade and had to decline when 5th grade came knockin…. now if I could just get thru the rest of the school year – I am HOME FREE! Ms. K is in 6th grade this year and off to Jr. High. An occassional help here and help there from now on – but no more seated positions on PTSO for me – no way!

  18. Erika…great advice!

  19. LOL Wendy! Hide!

  20. that’s a great idea! Think I’ll give it a try! Happy Sewing!

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