Life of Johanna

A Fresh Start

Fall can mean a fresh start, and in my case, this is very true this year. As I’ve mentioned in passing previously, I’m currently taking a little break from my day-job so that I can focus fully on my sewing projects for a while.

The thing is, I’ve been maintaining a full-time job while also writing two sewing books, doing weekly YouTube videos, launching a small accessory sewing pattern line, blogging every week and doing lots of other things that goes into having what has essentially become a sewing business.

Now, this is not a sustainable way to live, at least not long term. To be honest, it’s like asking for an eventual burnout and after I published my second book Master the Coverstitch Machine this spring, I began feeling the first signs of a burnout approaching, such as forgetfulness, lack of motivation, tiredness and having a harder time to decompress.

So what to do?

So something had to give, and from a financial point of view, that would have to be the sewing content creation. Because let’s be honest, I think most sewing entrepreneurs would make way more money at a day-job, due to how small the market still is and one also has to factor in how our beloved craft is monetary valued in the world, especially compared to many other pursuits.

Which felt kinda bleak, because I really love what I do, and I was also, finally, experiencing some momentum and had tons of ideas moving forward, including writing my third sewing book (about sewing jeans). Plus launching garment sewing patterns. Luckily, I found out about another option, which brings me to what is happening right now in my life.

Taking the leap

The short version is that Sweden is a pretty great place for workers, and one benefit that we have is that we are allowed an entrepreneurial break from our day-jobs for up to six months, that allows us to keep our position, and hence have a safety net to fall back upon.

So when I found out about that, I felt like it was too good of an opportunity to miss. Plus I’m kinda half-term into my working life right now, with at least 20 years more to go, so why not step off the hamster wheel for a bit and be brave for once?

So starting this week, I am off my day-job and able to devote all my time to this. Of course, it’s not all rosy, and I now have other stresses to navigate, such as financial ones and worrying about if I will be able to pull it all off.

What happens now?

In the cards right now is getting my first garment sewing pattern off the ground and then dive more intensely into the making of my third book. I will also hold some live sewing classes (more info coming soon), plus lots of other things that will hopefully come into fruition in the upcoming months.

I think the biggest challenge will actually be to not work myself to the ground with this, now that I have no time boundaries and so many ideas. I’m still experimenting with a good schedule and rhythm, but I have at least promised myself to take Saturday’s off from computer work. So today, the plan is to do some of the things I enjoy and then later today, probably sew something for fun!

So this is my new season of life, and I will definitely share more of this journey here, both the ups and downs of course!


  • Rebecca
    September 7, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    How wonderful and exciting! I hope you enjoy this sabbatical from your day job and that it invigorates your sewing.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 8, 2019 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you Rebecca! I hope so too, it’s been a very productive first week, but it still feel a bit unreal!

  • anita
    September 7, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    I loved your coverstitch book – so I am looking forward to your Jeansbook. Good luck for the next few months…

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 8, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you Anita! I will definitely need some cheering, and hearing that you liked my last book is super encouraging to hear!

  • Carol
    September 7, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Good for you and great for your country. Freedom to try new things without the risk. Good luck. Can’t wiat to find out what you come up with.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Yes, this is truly a unique opportunity that I’m so grateful for. Just a few months I was at my wits ends, and now it feels like a whole new world has opened for me!

  • Ellen
    September 7, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Congratulations and best wishes. You are so smart to recognize the symptoms of burnout and take steps to prevent it.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 8, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you! Yes it’s been a worry of mine that it will happen eventually, so I’ve been very observing of the symptoms, and this spring it finally began rearing its head. That is one advantage of reaching a certain age, I really do think our past experiences makes us do better decisions, which is so helpful in cases like this

  • Jane
    September 8, 2019 at 2:31 am

    That’s wonderful. I know you’ll do great can’t wait to see all you do.

  • Lesley
    September 8, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Well done!! What an exciting, and I hope not too scary, time for you. I have recently bought your cover stitch book and enjoy reading your informative blogs. Looking forward to reading about your journey and discovering what other things you are planning to bring into fruition.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 8, 2019 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you Lesley! Yes it’s a mix of emotions for sure, but I do feel very strong in that I made the right decision, even though it’s a scarier one. Feeling like we have some type of power over our situation is so important for our well being, and I will use this time to really go for it!

  • Kyle Burkhardt
    September 8, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    This is SO exciting! I am also incredibly jealous of the working environment in Sweden!!

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 8, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you Kyle! Yes We do have it pretty great here, of course there are always threats to take some of the security away, but I think the Swedish model, yes it’s actually called that, really creates a better work environment and a sense of security which is so valuable.

  • Bracken
    September 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Me also. I am in the UK and there is nothing like that here. Love your first book but have yet to see the second to be honest. I wish you every success and yes go for it while you can.

  • Machelle Helms
    September 11, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Congratulations and the best of luck Johanna! You are my go-to sewing resource. I can listen to you talk sewing for hours and hours. I love your in depth information and techniques! So many sewing blogs just show pictures of their finished garments without sharing any details of how they got there! I love your sewing activewear book for just that reason. I also really appreciate that your posts are not crammed with advertising or filled with other drama like politics. I’m sure your plate has been more than full with everything you have accomplished while still working full time. I really appreciate all of the content that your have created for us.

  • […] I’ve mentioned previously I’m currently on a break from my day-job, so that I can focus full-time on my sewing business […]

  • Martha Van Orshoven
    April 14, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Well, I’ve just discovered you in my search for help on sewing knits. This is fabulous and I hope that you are successful in the full time sewing arena as I’ve just retired and am relying on your tutorials to get me up and sewing!!!


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