Sewing Real Talk: How to Get Your Sewing Mojo Back

by - 5/28/2017

I've been really touched by the wonderful response my first 'Sewing Real Talk' blog post had, all about sewing for mental health, a subject brought to light again recently due to Mental Health Awareness Week (May 8th - 14th). With such an overwhelming response to the post on social media, another post under the topic is well overdue. This time I'll be tell you how I deal with bouts of zero motivation. A seriously crappy experience when you have a business to run.

Can Sewing Improve Your Mental Health? 

Having no motivation impacts everything. I run a creative business, and The Crafty Pinup is turning into my second (which is amazing). Having no motivation to sew or work means literally nothing moves forward. No new garments are made, nothing is ready to publish, customer orders build up around me and I start drowning in a work load I have essentially made for myself. Once I've reached the point when my motivation is at a complete stand still, usually when there's the most amount to do, I have created a strategy that works for me and which sooner or later gets me back into the swing of things!


Keeping my workspace tidy and organised is fundamental to my productivity and motivation. I know people have their 'creative mess' but I'm a little OCD when it comes to organisation. If things are messy around me, my mind feels messy, I can't focus on anything but the clutter building up around me. When I find myself at a sewing stand still, I will clean my studio until my mind also feels clear again.

Each to their own of course, but having a tidy and clear work area really affects my mood and the amount of work I am able to complete. At the end of each day I will get the room back to just how I like it, ready for the next day.

Simple Sews

In regards to selfish sewing, a simple project always gets my creative mojo back on track. I'll still feel productive and creative but the project won't give me a headache or take up too much time. I turn to simple sews when my business workload is heavy and I want a little selfish sewing time. I'd recommend the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress or the Butterick B6453 dress for stylish straight forward makes.


To keep me focused on what I'm doing and why I'm doing it (an essential for the self employed, especially when times get tough & the self doubt creeps in) I like to surround myself with inspiration. Whether that be in the form of physical moodboards in your office, motivational artwork or a collection of Pinterest boards. When I'm lacking motivation I'll check out my faves on Instagram and scroll through Pinterest and in no time I'll be fired up to get creating again.

Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes, it just 'aint gonna happen. I can't force myself to sew, when I hit that wall, there is no point in trying to force it. I'll start making mistakes, becoming increasingly frustrated and ending up in a far worse mood. Personally, I know when to spot these signs in myself and have learnt the hard way to just stop. Take a break. Go for a walk. Go make an awesome lunch. Just take some time out. For me, that'll usually mean getting as far away from my desk or my sewing machine as possible. And that's okay. After that break, whether it be an hour or 2 days, I know I'll be ready to go back to it and knock it out of the park!


Losing motivation in the things you're supposed to enjoy the most can be a really frustrating emotion. I chose to create my business and to sew the projects I sew, and to feel like you don't want to go near those things is a whole bunch of crappy emotions. But at the end of it all, these emotions pass and the good thoughts outweigh the bad. Sometimes, you just have to stop and see how far you've come and to count the good things in your life. With my sewing mojo strategy, I've learned how to spot my own work slumps, how to avoid them and how to conquer them. I hope you can too.

If you have a story about your sewing mojo you'd like to share, please do in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, pinups!

For more information and help concerning mental health, please visit

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story and mojo tips Abi. I am in the heat of professional struggle right now, but using the time off (I was fired) to delve into my love of all things sewing has allowed my mind to begin healing. Doing so has caused me to discover the online sewing community, who are ever supportive.Now I can see professional opportunities outside the field I was working in, and see light for the first time in months. Thank you for being one of the online sewing angel's who are guiding me back to myself.

  2. Oh my.. I've been feeling every single one of these things recently! It's so refreshing to hear people talk openly about it, and also provide some fantastic advice to help combat it. Thanks Abi <3 I owe you some coffee and cake!

  3. More great advice from you Abi! My biggest barrier is often time (which I'm sure it is for many!) I always think I need hours to really get into it and get something done but I have to continuously remind myself that even an hour spent working on a project does move me forward and allows me to be lost in my zone for at least a while :) My sewing mojo I've noticed hits a wall at a certain point in the development of a garment - usually it's after I'm just finishing off a muslin and now must sew it for good...I can feel a sigh coming on at beginning all over again so I push myself to work through it - get my good fabric on the ironing board and cutting table...

  4. Great post , thank you for sharing your advice, I so often get in that trough of self doubt which can keep me out of the sewing room , however I too find a simple make can restore my motivation and when you share your make is great to receive a great comment, reminding myself of these successes help to keep me planning and sewing. You don't have to be amazing and productive every day , but when you are celebrate it !