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Lost your will to sew? My 3 Step process for when you've lost your sewjo.

Lost your will to sew?  My 3 Step process for when you've lost your sewjo.

Bagcrastination Yeah, it happens, but what to do when you've lost your sewjo.

You may have plenty of stash, or patterns waiting, but something is holding you back. Motivation, like a bad boyfriend has deserted you. You have lost your sewjo.

Unlike most motivation blogs, I am not going to tell you to:.

Go for a walk

Listen to music

Write down your goals

Plan a day in the future to start  …and so on….

At the end of the day after your walk, your music etc. have you actually started sewing anything? No, probably not. 

So I am going to share with you 3 easy steps to get back into sewing

Yes, I am going to share these with you.

But first....

 What stops us from sewing

I'll walk you through some points from my perspective, which may or may not match with yours. Now, do any of these sound familiar?

Bag Block – the bag makers equivalent of writer’s block. You actually just don’t know what to sew and nothing seems to inspire you. This is not usually my problem but I hear it mentioned a lot, often by people who have already sewn a lot of bags. If and only if, this is your only problem, skip to: Skip to Reasons to sew another bag

Machine issues – perhaps your sewing machine was a bit “fussy” over the last bag you made. I try to take this as a learning experience and attempt to appease my machine by pandering to its demands to change feet and needles etc. at regular intervals when sewing fabric it’s not so keen on.

The dreaded tasks you don’t like

  • Tidying that messy sewing room – us creatives can get soo carried away in the excitement of the process that we end up admiring our beautiful bag in the middle of war zone. Yep, somehow the thread that was thrown in the direction of the bin, didn’t quite make it.
  • Pattern pieces requiring measuring and/or cutting. This can be daunting, but if you plan properly it needn’t be too bad. I am a good planner but patience is however required and” I want to start sewing now!!!!!!”
  • Fusing interfacing. I used to hate this bit until I invested in a press, now it’s kind of fun playing with my new toy. Also using the right interfacing is key. Shameless product plug here – I love the Shape to Create.
  • Dreading the birth- This is a common one I hear mentioned, but actually I quite enjoy this bit. It’s exciting to see what comes out and I definitely prefer it to my memory of helping our poor piggy when she was stuck in labour.

OK, so now I have bared my soul and I hear you say: “Nope, none of those are what’s stopping me”.

There are three other main things that can stop you from getting started on your bag and they are fear, perfectionism and procrastination.


Maybe you have a new pattern and you’re afraid it will be too difficult. You are afraid that you’re not skilled enough, your machine won’t cope, you’ll mess it up, you’ll waste material etc. Or your partner will say again: “What are you going to do with all these bags?” – Hmm that might be another episode to the story.

Let’s look at those one by one.

You’re afraid it will be too difficult:

A good place to start if you’re really scared is:  Don't tell anyone that you are sewing it. That way you can reassure yourself that if it all turns to pants, (quaint English expression), no one will even know.

You are afraid that you’re not skilled enough:  Don't be - most Facebook bag making groups are really supportive. You can say "I've not done this before and it's not going well-here's the problem. Advice please." You will get snowed under by help and support.

And not only will those generous souls help you but you are also doing a favour  for all those other people out there who have the same issue,. They weren’t brave enough to ask – unlike you the Fearless Warrior Bag Sewist.

You might waste fabric.

True and this does happen sometimes, although I have only once had to put the whole thing in the bin. 

One way to avoid wasting your treasured fabric, is to make it out of muslin or calico first even an old bed sheet will work. Sew it without the lining, to get a feel for the process. Leave off the hardware and interfacing even. Then when you've got your head around it make it with your chosen fabric.


Perfectionism is a double-edged sword

It can lead to more bagcrastination as doubt that you are not going to make the bag as perfectly as you would like to kicks in and you overthink how you are going to cut everything out and spend ages matching linings to outers, dallying over thread choice etc.

The other side is that your process and end result is likely to be better, perfectionism will keep you honest and you will be bothered to unpick the seam that is slightly puckered and re-sew it.

While being a bit of a perfectionist is not necessarily a bad thing, it is healthier to aim for an excellent result rather than a perfect one.


Common symptoms include: reading the instructions or watching the video tutorial multiple times and changing your mind on the fabric just as you are about to start.

These are avoidance techniques that can be triggered by any of the above things mentioned so far.

My 3 Step process to get your sewjo back

Step 1.   Understand what bagmaking means to you

Step 2.   Deal with the “Bad Boyfriend” Mastering motivation, and the magic solution to ensure it never deserts you again.

Step 3.   Reasons to sew another bag

 Step 1. Understand what bagmaking means to you

Grab a pen and write down your answers these questions:

  • Why do you sew bags?
  • Why did you start?
  • What do you like about it/how does it make you feel
  • What don’t you like about it?
  • What do you get out of it?

If you’re stuck, some example answers can be found at the bottom of this post

Step 2   The magic Motivation Solution

Here’s the magic solution to the motivation equation, it’s really simple and you can apply it to any situation in life. You’ve possibly just been looking at it back to front:

Definition of Motivation = a reason to take action

Lack of motivation = lack of action


Action = motivation to perform more action

 “We must remember we are not the sum of our intentions, but the sum of our actions” Brandon Burchard

 So take a look at what has been holding you back, acknowledge it and move on.

Step 3. Reasons to sew another bag

Sew for an occasion.

Sew for a specific person.

Sew a gift.

Sew a thank you.

Finish a UFO

Sew a bag that YOU need

Sew to learn a new skill

Practice to bring your skills to a sellable level

Now if you've got this far you've proven dedication and passion for bagmaking - go and sew :) 

Thank you for reading 

 Common answers to the questions above are below this image

  • Why do you sew bags?
  • Why did you start?
  • What do you like about it/how does it make you feel
  • What don’t you like about it?
  • What do you get out of it?
1. Why do you sew bags? I enjoy the challenge and I like creating beautiful and useful things
2. Why did you start? To see if I could do it and how easy it is
3. What do you like about it/how does it make you feel: I feel a great sense of achievement and pride when I have finished. I find it very relaxing, (mostly)
4. What don’t you like about it? Cutting out, I used to hate interfacing, but now I have a press it is sooo much easier
5. What do you get out of it? Personal growth. I really enjoy learning and mastering new skills and am looking forward to using them to design my own patterns soon.
1. I've always loved and been pretty obsessed with bags. Mix that with my love for making things and it was the perfect match 🖤
2. I came across the Maisie by swoon and desperately wanted to make one. So I decided to give making bags and wallets a go hoping to get skilled enough to make one for myself. I still haven't! But will eventually.. 😂
3. I like that it combines creativity with technical sewing. That I can make one of a kind pieces. And I feel a real sense of achievement and when I've finished a project.
4. Cutting and interfacing! Takes so long 😅
5. Bags! 😂 And I love that my sewing skills have really improved over the years, I've learnt so much since starting to make bags. It's pretty cool telling people you made something and seeing their surprise too 😁
1. Why do you sew bags? Don’t have to make adjustments to make it ‘fit’ your body
2. Why did you start? Needed something to do during a long-ish rehab. Never sew’d before so why not. The ‘how to sew’ tutorials I watched included instructions on making a zipper pouch, placemats/napkins, cushion cover and a skirt. I made a few garments, but it didn’t gel. I made more pouches, then a tote and boom my new passion is born.
3. What do you like about it/how does it make you feel. Satisfied. I’m an ex-Buyer, I get to indulge my love of fabric, prints, finding different ways to pull something together, making a design my own, getting reactions to what I’ve created.
4. What don’t you like about it? Cutting (but I measured twice 😳)interfacing (whats all these wrinkles 🙄, why doesn’t it stick 😩) my machine😡😡😡, we are not friends.
Oh and the amount of waste. I’m looking for ways to make my fabric choices (and anything else) more environmentally sustainable/friendly.
5. What do you get out of it?
A sense of achievement creating something for myself and others to admire and enjoy.
1. I like the finished product and learning new things
2. Originally, it started with making a zipper pouch to learn how to sew zippers. Then I tried for years to find the perfect pattern for me...still haven't!
3. I like giving bags (and other sewing and crafts) as gifts...and sometimes get a good laugh at people's expressions.
4. Currently I don't even use a bag much so am kind of in bag-making limbo. But one thing that has irked me is how so many "exciting new patterns" are really just recycles of every other pattern that came before! Ugh. And some of the last few patterns I purchased were so poorly written.
5. I don't get as much out of it as I used to because I don't need another bag but I did love the sense of accomplishment and sometimes the joy from the person I gave a bag to

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