Video: How I stopped making so many sewing mistakes

- Video

Is it possible to become a better sewist utilizing brain training techniques?  Last year I decided to take a more systematic approach to sewing using deliberate practice and in this video, I share my results. If you are not familiar with this, it’s a method popularised by Swedish psychology scientist Anders Eriksson and refers to a highly structured practice with the specific goal of improving performance.
Mostly this term is used in activities like sport and learning instruments but I think it can definitely be applied to sewing too.

So how I’m applying this method to sewing?  Well in several different ways

1. Always challenging myself

I’ve stopped being fearful of seemingly difficult sewing techniques and have really dived into learning new things consistently. Staying challenged and going outside your comfort zone regular is a key to improved performance.

2. Being systematic in my practice

For instance, I try not to sew on real fabric until I feel confident I can pull off the technique
I now do tons of samples, experimenting with different techniques and settings, before I tackle the real project.

3. Only do the hard stuff when I can fully concentrate

That means I sew less now on the weekdays and more on the weekends as I have more uninterrupted time and is more alert during the weekends. This is approach has also helped me make fewer mistakes. If I feel the sewing bug on the weekdays I do less mentally challenging stuff like setting up my machines, preparing the patterns and cutting fabric.

Another component of deliberate practice is repeating similar tasks over and over, and I that’s the part I find harder to apply. since there are a lot of sewing techniques that I only use occasionally and I’m not sure I want to spend a whole year just inserting various zippers to samples for instance, even though that would probably make really great at sewing zippers!

Now I would love to know, have you experimented with sewing smarter and what methods have you found helpful?

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Faye Lewis
    October 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Great video Johanna!

  • Reply
    Adrianne
    October 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks Johanna! I am definitely going to try this approach.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      October 31, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Yes please do and report back! I would love to know how it works for you!

  • Reply
    Julia
    October 30, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Great video thanks! I am guilty of taking the easy path too often and know challenging myself is the way to keeping my brain active as well as making better garments! Now to put your tips into practice…….!!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      October 31, 2017 at 7:28 am

      Hey we all do 🙂 But as you say, challenging ourselves is a great way keep our brains active. I read somewhere that it’s the best way to stave off the loss of brain function as we get older, to always learn new stuff and not just repeating the things we already know.

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