Better Than a Sewing Planner

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When you think of a sewing planner, what comes to mind?

Is it a set of pages or a nicely bound book where you log all of the details for a particular project?

Maybe you think about a workbook or individual sheets where you keep your measurements, pattern details, fabric tracking, and the like.

These types of sewing planners are a fantastic way to focus on one project at a time and divide it into manageable chunks.

Taking the time to plan and organize each step of a project with a sewing planner helps to ensure no time is wasted when you sit down to sew.

Better Than a Sewing Planner

But what if you feel like you’re not making ANY headway on ANY sewing projects?

You feel like you’re THINKING more about sewing than actually DOING it, and the thought of planning out any one project just seems overwhelming.

Our minds tend to fixate on what we don’t get done and as a result, it may seem like we aren’t sewing very much.

I bet you’ve been sewing more than you think.

So, let’s find out.

Track Your Sewing Projects

I’m not going to lie.

Making time to sew is hard.

That’s why it’s important to celebrate the sewing you are actually doing.

So for right now, forget about a sewing planner that focuses on all-the-things of one project.

Instead, use the FREE My Sewing Projects printable to:

  • plan your projects in advance (for the year, month, and/or week)
  • document projects as you finish
  • plan AND document projects

If you do, you’ll be surprised at how much sewing you ARE getting done.

When you have visible evidence of your progress, it inspires and motivates you to keep going.

Before you know, you’ll find yourself ready to start planning projects with a traditional planner.

As a result, you’ll be more efficient during the time you have to sew.

More efficient = more sewing

So for right now, don’t plan one project at a time with a traditional sewing planner, instead use the My Sewing Projects printable to track your sewing progress.

A Sewing Journal

There are many obstacles to sewing.

One roadblock to sewing is keeping sewing project ideas in your head.

“…your head is for having ideas-not holding them!”

“… our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective results and unleash our creative potential.”

Allen, David. Getting Things Done the Art of Stress-Free Productivity. 2015

A solution to this problem is to keep a sewing journal.

Front cover of a sewing journal
This sewing journal is one of a set of notebooks I’ve had for years. The set is called Vintage McCall’s Patterns Notebook Collection and is published by Chronicle Books LLC.

When you have a sewing journal, all of your project ideas are in one place.

In addition to being a record of the type of projects that interest you, a sewing journal is a great resource to revisit over and over for:

  • inspiration on your next project
  • adding new ideas
  • kick-starting creativity

The My Sewing Projects Printable

Capturing your sewing ideas in a journal may not be enough to keep you from feeling as if you aren’t sewing as much as you want.

You need a way to document the sewing you ARE doing.

That’s where the My Sewing Projects printable comes in.

The My Sewing Projects printable was designed to allow you to plan and track your sewing projects in multiple time frames:

  • Yearly
  • Quarterly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly

There are even sections for you to:

  • keep track of sewing skills you want to learn or improve on
  • identify changes you want to make in your sewing space

    The My Sewing Projects printable is designed for a calendar year of sewing. It can be used in multiple ways. You can

    • plan sewing projects
    • document completed sewing projects
    • plan AND document completed projects
    • write down progress on sewing projects

    You can start using the planner at any time during the calendar year.

    In addition, you can change the way you use it to best fit your needs.

    Use as a Planner

    Do you find yourself to be more productive when you plan what you’re going to sew beforehand?

    If you get a sense of satisfaction from making a list and checking things off as you do them, using the My Sewing Projects printable as a planner may be the way you want to go.

    First, if your mind is swirling with sewing ideas, get them out of your head and record them in your sewing journal.

    Then, with your My Sewing Projects printable in front of you:

    • peruse your sewing journal
    • select projects you want to get done this year
    • record them on the My Sewing Projects printable
      • for the year
      • by month
      • by the week

    After that, keep this list of projects where you can see them in your sewing space and check off those projects as you get them done or as you make progress.

    Document Progress and Completed Projects

    Do you get discouraged when you aren’t able to keep the momentum going and continue to check things off a list?

    Perhaps you’re more spontaneous and like to sew whatever project is pulling for your attention.

    If you’ve found yourself giving up in the past on changes you’re trying to make because you haven’t been able to keep up with things, or you don’t want to be tied down to a list of scheduled projects, using the My Sewing Projects printable as a planner isn’t the way to go.

    Instead, you want to use the My Sewing Projects printable to document things such as:

    • sewing projects as you complete them
    • the progress you make on individual projects
    • learning that you’re doing
    • actions you’re taking related to sewing
    • all of the above

    Do Both – Plan and Document Sewing Projects

    Is flexibility one of your strengths?

    You like to plan things ahead of time, but if things need to get moved or pushed back a little, it’s no big deal.

    Then you should consider using the My Sewing Projects printable to plan AND document the progress/completion of your projects.

    If this method sounds right up your alley consider the following:

    • Use 2 different writing utensils, one for planning and one for finished projects, such as:
      • a pencil and a marker
      • two different colored pens – Frixion pens are a great option because they are erasable
      • a pen and pencil
    • Write out what you want to sew, then when you complete it
      • put a big checkmark over the project
      • place a sticker in the box or next to the project
      • write the completion date next to the project
    • Plan projects by the month and track your progress by the week

    Sections of My Sewing Projects Printable

    There are many ways the My Sewing Projects printable can be used.

    • as a planner
    • a document for completed sewing projects
    • as a planner AND documentation of completed sewing projects
    • a way to keep a record of progress on sewing projects

    Regardless of how you decide to use the My Sewing Projects printable, there are multiple sections for you to use.

    You can utilize just one section, all of them, or pick and choose the ones that make sense to you.

    There isn’t a right or wrong way to use the My Sewing Projects printable.

    The suggestions below are ways I’ve thought about using it, and the pictures are of my personal My Sewing Projects printable.

    For the Year

    Close up of one big project for the year
    The My Sewing Projects printable has been updated for 2022. Get your free copy using one of the forms in this post.

    This is a place to put the one big project you want to get done this year.

    The monthly and weekly spaces described below can be used to track your progress on this project.

    By the Month/Quarter

    If you have multiple sewing interests and have been wanting to learn something new, you can track it here.

    Monthly projects can be theme-based or random.

    Instead of monthly projects, this section can be used to plan/document projects by quarters (3 months per quarter).

    One of my goals for 2021 was to sew at least one garment a month. The monthly section is a good place to keep track of this.

    Monthly view of My Sewing Projects printable
    NOTE: The My Sewing Projects printable has been updated for 2022. Get your free copy using one of the forms in this post.

    By the Week

    Weekly view of My Sewing Projects printable
    The My Sewing Projects printable has been updated for 2022. Get your free copy using one of the forms in this post.

    This section is a great place to record progress on sewing projects and skills learned.

    What you record in the weekly section can overlap with your yearly and monthly sewing.

    Skills to Learn or Improve

    Write down what you want to learn this year

    As you look through your sewing journal, there may be some ideas that you don’t have the skill to do yet.

    There is a place in the My Sewing Projects printable for you to write the skills you want to learn and improve this year.

    This is also a great place to write any courses or classes you’ve previously purchased but haven’t started/completed yet.

    Sewing Space

    Record what changes you want to make in your sewing space

    There are four main sections of your sewing space:

    • Cutting zone
    • Sewing zone
    • Pressing zone
    • Storage zone

    Chances are when you’re sewing, you are also thinking about things you want to do to improve your space.

    Record these changes to your sewing space in the My Sewing Projects printable.

    Tips for Success

    You want to sew more and your intentions are pure.

    You’re fired up and can see how the My Sewing Projects printable can benefit you.

    You even take the time to start a sewing journal and get some ideas written on the printable.

    Now take a look in the future…3 months, 6 months, maybe longer.

    What do you see?

    There is a good chance you’ve fallen back into the habit of thinking more about the sewing you haven’t done than celebrating the sewing you have done.

    Let this be the year, you flip your mindset about sewing, recognize you ARE doing more than you think, and celebrate all your sewing successes.

    Keep It Visible

    Out of sight out of mind.

    If you don’t see the My Sewing Projects printable, you’ll forget about it.

    You need to keep it visible.

    The My Sewing Projects printable is kept in a ruler holder to keep it visible.
    The My Sewing Projects printable has been updated for 2022. Get your free copy using one of the forms in this post.

    There are many ways you can do this:

    • Hang it in your sewing space.
    • Fold it and put it in the pocket of your sewing machine cover.
    • Keep it in the drawer with your most used sewing tools.
    • Slide it in with your cutting rulers.
    • Tape it to your bathroom mirror.
    • Stick it to a fabric shelf or basket.

    It doesn’t matter where you put the My Sewing Projects printable, it just needs to be somewhere you’ll see it at least once a week.

    Record Progress

    Progress on projects is just as critical to motivate you with your sewing as planning and completing projects are.

    Use the My Sewing Projects printable as a place to record the different steps of a project as you complete them.

    Print More Than One

    Once you get the My Sewing Projects printable, save it to your computer.

    Then print as many copies as you need.

    Think about printing one for planning and another for finished projects.

    You can even print only the weekly pages to keep track of the sewing you’re able to do during the week.

    Don’t limit yourself to just printing one. Print as many as you need for your sewing projects.

    Celebrate

    Let’s face it, things happen out of our control.

    If you’re planning your projects, does that mean 100% of them need to be done for you to have been successful?

    Heck, no!

    Projects don’t always go as planned. Learning new things may take longer than you think.

    You know you best and what obstacles you’ve faced in the past that have kept you from sewing.

    Keep these things in mind as you think about what you actually want to finish.

    Remember, the main goal of using the My Sewing Projects printable is to have a record of the sewing you’re doing.

    Having a way to capture sewing progress and completed projects allows you to celebrate what you’re actually achieving instead of fixating on what your mind is telling you hasn’t been done.

    Knowing you’re making progress on sewing projects instead of thinking this is another year you haven’t been able to sew, will inspire you to do that next project, learn a new skill, and keep making the time to sew.

    Enjoy the process of sewing, celebrate what you can do, and don’t let the number of projects you didn’t finish get you down.

    Here’s to more sewing this year!

    Let’s Connect

    My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.

    Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at nicki@theruffledpurse.com and we can work together to get it figured out!

    Make sure you sign up for Snappy Scissors (my FREE newsletter sent directly to your inbox) for ongoing sewing inspiration and education. You can find the sign-up box at the bottom of the post.

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