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What to do if Your Hobby Starts to Feel Like Work

Episode 138: 6 tips for reclaiming joy and rediscovering the fun in your sewing.

Posted in: Seamwork Radio Podcast, Creativity & Mindset • April 19, 2023 • Episode 138

When your hobby starts to feel like work, it can be disheartening and frustrating. You feel like a kid getting extra homework assigned over summer vacation.

It's frustrating to lose the joy and fulfillment that your hobby used to bring, and it can be hard to know how to get that feeling back.

But Sarai and Haley are here with 6 totally approachable tips for what to do when your sewing (or any other creative hobby) starts to feel like work.

Below are the show notes for this podcast episode a summary of what's covered, followed by a full transcript.

First, examine why your hobby feels like a chore

If your hobby starts to feel like a chore, it helps to reflect on why this might be happening because it might not have anything to do with sewing. For example, you may be too busy right now, or you have a lot of things going on in your life.

Once you’ve noted why you might be feeling this way, and it seems like your sewing might actually be to blame, there are a bunch of ways you can rediscover your joy. Here are 6 of them.

6 tips for falling in love with sewing again

  • Create a new space or ritual for your sewing. If having a messy space makes you feel overwhelmed, you can find some ideas in How to Revolutionize Your Sewing Space, episode 131 of the Seamwork Radio podcast. And if adjusting your creative habits might help, listen to How to Build a Sewing Ritual, episode 133 of the podcast.

  • Explore niche sewing so you can feel like a beginner again. There’s a magical sparkle that beginners have, and it all comes from the thrill of learning something new. And there’s always something new to learn with sewing! Practice some niche sewing, like making lingerie, tailoring, sewing a swimsuit, or perfecting shirtmaking.

  • Explore adjacent hobbies so you can bring something new to your sewing. Fiber arts are rich with options. Try dyeing, embroidery, quilting, or other fabric manipulation. Then you’re still working in the realm of sewing.

  • Play fashion designer for a while. Work on daydreaming and planning instead of actually doing the work of sewing for a little bit. This might refresh everything for you.

  • Treat yourself to something special. You could buy a new tool or take a class—or get yourself a few yards of nice fabric. You can also plan some time with friends to sew or do something crafty, which can help reinvigorate you.

  • Take a break when you feel like you need it. There's nothing wrong with taking a little break and returning when you're ready. This might seem obvious, so here is a tip within a tip. Set a timed break. Tell yourself you won’t sew for a week or a month and then intentionally come back to the idea of sewing. Does it feel different? Do you feel the itch to get back on your machine? If not, keep your distance until things shift.

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