Making my life easier: Thinking Ahead

I’ve just ordered some new Liberty Tana Lawn, it’s for a project I’m going to keep for next Spring which I’m aware sounds a little bonkers as we’re not exactly out of this Spring yet, but I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about the way I design and make.

It was a real struggle last year to get my Autumn/Winter stock out on time, I didn’t get a lot of sewing done over the Summer holidays (and presume it will be the same this year) and I had thought that come September, when C went into pre-school 4 mornings a week I would suddenly have loads of time to work but it wasn’t really the case.  I never actually caught up and felt quite stressed from the beginning trying to get my planned stock actually made up and listed.

I’ll say now, that I do find it works for me to loosely split my work into two collections, it gives me a focus to work towards and creates a cohesive look for my shop front, it also keeps everything fresh and hopefully customers coming back as they know there will be new products as well as new colours in old favourites.

And so, in an ideal world it would be great to have most of my Winter stock made up (or at least designed and made into samples) BEFORE Autumn.  I say ideally as in reality I feel sure I’ll be rushing around next September with not a lot done.

I find it quite difficult to work out of season, I am heavily influenced by my surroundings; the weather and what’s growing in the garden etc and so this week I’ve been sorting my fabrics into seasonal piles and thinking about exactly what I want to make, where the gaps are and what I need to buy.  It really helps me to focus, I can imagine frosty mornings and Autumn leaves if I have the right fabrics and colours around me and as mentioned at the start of this post, I have things that I planned that never got made last year and were put aside for the next time around so I’d like to make a start on these.

That is the plan and with C starting ‘big school’ next September, for the first time in years I will be able to work full days in my studio.  World domination will be mine 😉

Oh, OK, maybe not but I do hope to be a little less stressed at what is for me the busiest time of the year and I can’t imagine a better way than to have some neat piles of finished work ready for listing well ahead of time.

Can you tell I used to work as a Project Manager?

It goes without saying there will always be things I work on simply because I feel like it, it would be no fun otherwise.

21 thoughts on “Making my life easier: Thinking Ahead

  1. It sounds like a very good plan Beth!
    I always think you seem very organised.
    I must say I too have seen some fabrics that I think will be perfect for Autumn so have added them to my wish list, I think it’s a nice idea to change the fabrics you use to reflect the changing seasons.

    Come September you won’t know what to do with yourself, I’m dreading my littlest giving up her afternoon naps. I think I’ll end up having a year between her 2yrs and 3yrs when I get very little done. Oh well they only stay young for such a short period of time.
    Listen to me waffling on!!
    Enjoy the rest of your hols and love the pics of your work
    Jenny xx

    • Hi Jenny, it is all just a plan, it’ll be nice of it works for me even in a small way (I’ve already batched up some Little Robins and started on my Winter Lavender Birds) but the downside is not being able to show all my bloggy friends things I’m working on. Oh well.

      Yes, I can imagine how much you’ll miss those afternoon naps, C gave them up very early (under 2) and I was a bit gutted but actually he’s really good at playing and will happily be in the same room as me doing his own thing.

      Hope you have a lovely Easter!

      Bethxx

  2. More fab advice, both my girls are in full time school now I thought I would have loads of time but I’m still struggling to organise my time, maybe if I planned ahead a bit more I could be more efficient.
    by the way, I would be quite happy to live in a world dominated by the linen cat lol.
    Emma

    • I can imagine that time is still sucked away once they are both in school and I’m sure I’ll feel a little lonely after 6 years of having little boys around but I’m ready for it in a way, I need a bit of space to myself.

      Lol! – glad you like the idea of Linen Cat world domination 😉

      Have a lovely Easter, Bethx

  3. I wish I could think ahead but I’m always way behind, in fact I wish I had your focus ! What are those cards on the left hand side of the bottom photo , I’m sure I used to have some like that when I was younger.

    • I think it’s partly my nature and as a contrast to balancing out the mayhem of our house. We pretty much camped out here for the first 2 years and I shared my every day space with builders, sadly it’s still slightly chaotic so if my ‘work head’ and space is organised, I can let the rest slide without getting stressed. I think that’s partly it anyhow!

      I bet you did have those cards, they are family playing cards by Racey Helps, we used to have them and read his books, in fact it’s my next post if I find time today to write it.

      Have a lovely Easter weekend. Bx

  4. Sounds like a plan Stan. Seriously Beth planning is the key as you well know. I think your idea of 2 seasons is perfect. I am sure you will look forward to having more time to make your stock in September but it is quite a moment when the youngest starts full time school…;0)
    Enjoy the spring…it certainly energises us all.
    Jane x

    • Hi Jane, I do like a bit of planning 😉 and I know you are right, M and I have been discussing how we realise why people have a third or fourth child after a gap from the first two (not that I’m planning any more!!), I already miss C’s little boy ways and F is like a teenager even though he’s about to turn 6! Lots of moody answering back at the moment.

      I’m making the most whilst I can 🙂 Bethx

  5. Well that all sounds like a very good idea to me! As you say it would be hard to work out of season but if ‘allow’ yourself little projects to work on that are in season then it should work for you!
    Good luck with world domination, remember I’m on your side! 😉
    Vivienne x

    • Hi Vivienne,

      I think it will be such a relief, come September to already have a base of work ready for listing that it’ll be worth the effort, I just need to get on with it and the lovely weather and that pesky garden keep distracting me 🙂

      Hope your having a lovely Easter. Bx

  6. Yay to world domination! I’ve been surprised too, since Islay started pre-school, how quickly a 2 hour slot disappears and how many other things have to be fitted into that time (and not just sewing sadly). You do always seem to manage very well with what little time you have…..and I’m sure planning, and having a project manager head, must help with that.
    Hope you have a lovely Easter and get to enjoy some time in your wonderful garden. Juliex

    • I know, I was so excited about C being I pre-school but the the time does disappear so quickly, I even gave up running as that took over half of it up (and I’m never a keen runner, it’s something I do as I really need to, not because I enjoy it), I’m hoping the single school runs will help come September. In an idea world we’d have a cleaner but it’s not something we can really afford.

      Hope you’re having a lovely Easter weekend and enjoying some sunshine!

      Bethx

  7. i love your mood boards…they look lovely and inspirational.
    we try to be organised too…but it never worksout that way!!
    i love the fabrics youve chosen too
    x

    • Hello lovely lady, I was thinking of you a while ago as we ended up near Cirencester for a weekend away, it was in my ‘can’t comment on blogger’ phase but it looks like blogger is playing ball again so I’m off to your blog next 🙂

      Hope all’s well, Bethx

  8. Hi Beth,
    Oh to be organised! I really wish I was. It takes quite a lot of discipline to stop and think ahead and actually do it, so bravo! Unfortunately I’m bumbling along with a massive pile off stuff that’s just not getting done in the background. My extra hours since my boy started school where fantastic at first, but yes, they easily get swallowed up. I enjoyed reading this, just to remind me of what can be done with so little time, I’m inspired!
    Your shop/website looks great…I’ve been a bit frustrated with the rigidity of Big Cartel..would you recommend Create? It certainly looks like there’s more scope and it’s UK based which is a plus!
    Love the bunny purses, just fab! x

  9. What a fabulous plan, Beth! This is the millionth time I say it but you truly are my organization-idol. No more no less. I know I could never manage to work as neatly and effective as you, but I would love to, and I truly admire how much you can get done with the little time here and there you have. And those new fabrics…oh my!

    I wish you the Greatest Easter-holidays!

    Yours,
    Mia

    • Hi Mia, it’s just me to be honest, drives my husband nuts as he’s kind of the other way and we’ve had to learn to live together. When we’re going out I get the kids ready and just go and sit in the car with them and put the radio on and wait, otherwise I get all stressed about trying to get him ready and out of the house – ha ha! And I’m always on time, never late, I hate being late. I’m not sure it’s necessarily a good thing.

      I hope you’re having a lovely Easter. Bethx

  10. I wish I had your organisation! I find that time is like a big house – we just fill it up regardless of how much we have. I too am trying to plan ahead, with magazines in mind. I find it helpful to fill an inspiration board and stay focused- not easy! What I find hard is when ordering supplies to not get carried away!

    • Hello Felicity, many thanks for dropping by and commenting, I LOVE your work especially your Cornish Fairies, they are fabulous.

      Yes it would seem if you wont to stand a chance of getting into magazines you need to be a season ahead and I agree the inspiration board helps loads. I always over order as well, I’m trying really hard to get this habit into check but I always figure it’ll come in handy one day 🙂

  11. Every time I put some liberty into my online shopping cart – I never end up purchasing it – even if I have ideas for it. I however am so not as organized as you are… your inspiration board is lovely – so are those fabrics. 🙂

    • Liberty is so expensive but lovely. I’ll be honest in that I mostly buy from ebay as it’s so much cheaper but on this occasion I really wanted a print/colour that I could only get from the official site.

      I hope you and your family are having a great Easter weekend. Bethx

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