Friday, May 27, 2011

5 Tips for Taking Your Sewing on the Road (Or In the Air)!

Nice article from

5 Tips for Taking Your Sewing on the Road (Or In the Air)!
by Tricia Waddell

All it takes is a little planning. I save up routine handsewing tasks like slip-stitching hems and sewing on buttons, which can easily be done while spending time with friends and family. And I prepare more involved hand-embellishment projects for long car and plane trips. For example, I completely hand embroidered and beaded a top during a 9-hour flight to Spain. It was ready to wear by the time I landed!

The February/March issue of Quilting Arts has a great article by Lyric Kinard titled Art 2 Go: Finding Time to Create that has some great tips for completing projects, even with a hectic schedule. Here are some of Lyric’s key ideas that will keep you sewing no matter where you are.

Working by hand

Even if you think you have no patience for handwork, give it a try. I’m not the most patient person in the world—I can’t even sit in the carpool line or through a concert without getting fidgety—but I do handwork because I’m an impatient person and always need a little something to keep me occupied.

To avoid being driven mad with boredom by repetition, try doing handwork that is entirely improvisational rather than carefully planned out in advance. Let yourself be enthralled by the beauty of the materials you use, and let them inspire the growth and direction of each piece. Regardless of whether you are a meticulous planner or a free-spirited improviser, you can grow to love working with your hands.

Preparing small projects

Preparation is the key to making art on the go. Having a project that you can quickly grab on your way out the door will greatly increase your productivity. I recommend having a wide variety of take-along projects available at any one time, each suited to a particular method or working space.

Portable projects can be stashed in even the most compact of purses and are ready to work on at a moment’s notice. The secret is to have a coordinated set of lovely materials to work with. It takes just a short amount of time to pull together a tin full of beautiful embroidery threads, delightful beads, and embellishments that go along with your favorite bits of cloth. Put the mixture in a small travel tin, along with a pack of needles and a little spool of beading thread. I also leave enough room for my folding travel scissors, a thimble, and a needle threader.

Fabric flowers are easy to sew on the go
Pack a small sewing kit for road trips or plane rides.

Ongoing projects

Another great way to make art on the go is to create a larger project that is composed of smaller pieces of handwork. I’ve had a piece in mind for years now that includes a plethora of little folded fabric flowers, so I’m always making these on the go. A few scraps of fabric and a needle and thread are all that are needed to keep me busy through hockey practice or violin lessons.

Tips for working in the air or on the road

• Take a needle threader that has a thread cutter attached if you are worried about flying with scissors. (But don’t rule out carrying a small pair of scissors; my fold-up pair has never been questioned at an airport.)

• Use shorter lengths of thread and learn to pull your needle with the point facing you. Your seatmate will appreciate it.

• Thread a bunch of needles ahead of time if you have trouble threading in a bouncy car or plane.

• Close the tin after picking up beads on your needle when you are in a moving vehicle. (Seed beads could fly everywhere on a bumpy road or when a plane hits turbulence!)

• Wrap a bit of Scotch Tape, sticky side out, around your finger and dip it in your beads so you won’t have to open and close the tin as often.

These are great tips that are sure to keep you sewing all year-long.


Amaria said...

We're planning a road trip with the family soon, but I don't see me taking the scroll-saw along! Maybe l should take up sewing!

It's Sew You! llc said...

Hehehe...Amaria! I do know what you mean, since I couldn't take along my big sewing machine whenever I walked out the door. I then took along my crochet hooks and knitting needles.....Enjoy your getaway!

Penny Davidson said...

Hi Nancy!
I have always loved your blog and newsletters! I have recently started a blog of my own, it's more of a personal journey of our life with a little business thrown in every now and then. I do hope you stop by and visit and please leave a comment if you wish...I love getting them!!

It's Sew You! llc said...

Thanks for stopping by, Penny and Congratulations on starting your new blog!

Like you, I do enjoy receiving and reading everyone's comments.

Yes I Blog said...

Every time I stop by here you inspire me to get my craft/sewing corner cleaned out and do something again. Then life interrupts and I don't quite get there. So, I will continue living vicariously through you! :-)

It's Sew You! llc said...

"Yes"....I do appreciate your kind words and thoughtful you'd mentioned, we do have those interruptions in our lives....and as you can see, I haven't been blogging in a while, for similar reasons. I thank you for getting me back into revisiting my blog, once again......