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How to Solve a Sewing Mystery

Clever ideas (and tons of links) for choosing your next sewing adventure.

Posted in: Creativity & Mindset • January 11, 2023

Did you ever play a choose your own adventure game as a kid? You set out on a quest, or you may need to solve a mystery, and each step in the game offers you a choice with endless possibilities. It’s a thrill!

We love sewing because you never stop learning new things. You can make practically anything you want—even shoes.

The final step in the Sewing by Design process is to choose your own adventure. We’ll show you how this helps you continually grow and advance your sewing skills so you stay motivated and keep having fun.

Here are the links to all the previous Sewing by Design articles:

1. Lay Your Foundation (the foundation of your house—learning the core 80/20 skills)
2. Build Your Practice (the frame of your house —the experience you have around sewing)
3. Design Your Wardrobe (a key room in your house—planning a wardrobe that fits who you are)
4. Find Your Fit (another key room —uncovering the fit adjustments you'll use over and over)

Now that you’ve made it this far in your sewing journey, it’s time to start branching out. We liken this to a choose your adventure game, because it's all about diving deeper into the niches of sewing that fascinate you at the moment.

These niches might include things like:

There are so many ways to explore the world of sewing. You're only limited by your imagination.

How do you know if you’re ready for an adventure?

Remember that this isn't a linear process. You can focus on a sewing niche at any time!

You should take on a sewing adventure if you're starting to feel bored, unchallenged, or uninspired.

Boredom and burnout can feel very similar. If sewing isn't lighting a fire under you at any point, maybe it's time to try something a little new. If you want to read more about this, here’s an article: Are You Burned Out or Are You Bored?

Maybe you want to feel a little more playful around sewing, or there's a particular project you're dreaming about. Maybe you got a sudden jolt of inspiration from a photo you saw, a museum you visited, or even a book you read.

The idea here is to continue to find ways to learn and try new things.

How to choose your adventure

First, find a niche that feels exciting to you at this moment. You can look at the list above for inspiration or discover one of your own. Look at sewing books from decades past for new ideas and details, like the ones in this article: 7 Vintage Sewing Books You’ve Never Heard Of.

Remember to embrace being a beginner again as you explore. The beginner mindset is open and willing to make mistakes to learn.

You may also want to find an expert in that niche that you can follow, either through their books, articles, or social media. Gather inspiration from them, along with ready-to-wear and other sources.

Finally, make a learning plan for yourself. Identify the component skills you need to learn, gather learning resources together, and then plan out a series of projects to build those skills intentionally.

We recommend using the Goals feature on the Seamwork site because it will help you break down any sewing goal into a series of steps, attach projects to that goal, and give you gentle reminders to keep you going.

Choose Your Adventure is the most experimental part of the Sewing by Design process. It adds spice to your practice when you start to feel bored. The trick is knowing when you need that extra spiciness.

Ready to start Sewing by Design?

Hopefully, the tour of the Sewing by Design process over the last several weeks has helped you to uncover the area you'd like to focus on in your sewing journey right now.

It's an amazing framework for conceptualizing the entire sewing process, setting intentions, and helping you fall in love (and stay in love) with sewing.

All you need to do to get started is to decide which of the five steps in the framework you fall into at this moment, and use the resources we've shared to get started.

Feeling inspired? Leave a comment or post on the Community and share what you’ve learned!

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