Working for myself, and for someone else.

Hi readers,
So this week I thought I’d talk about balancing The Sewing Pixie and a day job.
Owning my own business has been a dream of mine for several years now, but I never thought I’d actually be able to do it. I had rent to think about after all. My husband is self employed, and for the first few years of his business there were some tough times, financially, and we wouldn’t have been able to manage if I wasn’t working full time.
Since those days though, my husband’s business is doing much better, and so, when I had a breakdown a few years ago (more on that in next weeks blog post) and decided to make some major life changes, he was able to support me both emotionally and financially.
I switched from working full time for a coffee shop to going part time so I could start The Sewing Pixie.

The nice thing about still working for someone else is I know I can pay my half of the rent each month, but also have time for my dream.
Also, despite having worked in retail for my whole adult life, I discovered I still have a lot to learn about running a business! This will be The Sewing Pixie’s third year, I have yet to make a profit, and I am still building a customer base. It’s such a steep learning curve, but I’m loving every minute of it, because The Sewing Pixie is what makes me happy.

I am very fortunate to have an understanding manager, and we were able to work out a schedule that works for both of us. I usually work in the coffee shop in the afternoons, as that way I have the morning free to work on my commissions, or blog posts, or other business related things. I found that if I work in the mornings I have to be up around 5 or 6, and finishing at 2, and after that I’m too tired to sew.

Like with limited space, I find having limited time can make me more focused. If I know I only have four hours before I have to leave for the coffee shop, it becomes easier to know what to focus on. Having a whole day free can sometimes leave me feeling indecisive and in the end, less productive.

What about you readers? How do you balance your working life with your creative life? Or are they one and the same?

A Pixie's Sewing Room.

Hello again dear readers! This week I’m going to be talking about where I work, and letting you see what is possible with only a small amount of space.
First of all, a little background…
I am 34, happily married, and living in London. Like many other people my husband and I rent a room in a shared flat, so our bedroom is also our living room and my work-space combined.
Naturally my dream is to own my own house and have a whole sewing room to myself, but, for now at least, that remains a dream.
Determined to not let limited space stop me from my dream of starting my own sewing business, I decided to make the best of what little space I have.

This is my work table. As you can see, I like to keep the essentials nearby! It’s just in front of the bedroom window, which is very handy as natural light is very important to have when sewing. For those dark winter days I also have a daylight lamp, which I cannot recommend enough!

I have to share this table with my husband, as he uses it and the lamp for painting miniature models for war gaming. Sharing the space has not always been easy for us, as when you’re partway through a project the last thing you want is someone asking you to move so they can use the table. There were a few arguments when we first moved in, but we’ve since got the hang of it.
I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband. He understands that I am trying to making a living from my sewing, so I tend to get the table most of the time, but because I know he wants to use it, it forces me to be a bit neater and tidy up after myself.

Storing my fabric and other craft materials is another problem, one I have (sort of) solved with stacking crates.

As you can see I have a sort of leaning tower of Pisa thing going on. and it all needs a tidy and an organise. I have found that the lack of storage space can be a good thing for me, as it means I can’t blow all my money in Hobbycraft! I have a set amount of space, so I only buy what I need for whatever project I’m working on at the time. Better for our room, and definitely better for my bank account!
What are your workrooms like readers? Are you lucky enough to have a whole room to yourself, or do you make the most of corners of rooms? I’d love to see some photos!
Till next week,
Steph x
The Sewing Pixie

Happy New Year!

Hello and welcome to The Sewing Pixie blog! One of my creative goals for this year was to start this blog. All being well I’ll be posting every Sunday, letting you know what craftiness I’ve been up to that week, what projects I’m working on, any exciting events coming up, and more!

So, 2020, a new year and a new decade! Between Christmas and New Year I always like to have a tidy of my craft books and supplies, and do a bit of a clear out of anything I no longer need. Throughout the year I will often pick up ideas or kits with the intention of trying something new, and this time of year is when I decide whether or not I’ll be continuing with it in the new year.

I love learning new skills. I used to be someone who would give up on something if I wasnt very good at it straight away, but i have since learned that no-one is good at something the first time.

Especially when it comes to crafts, it’s not just your brain which has to learn the new skill, it’s your muscle memory as well. When you’re knitting, or crocheting, your hands need to get used to how to hold the needles/hooks, and how to make the stitches. This takes time and practise.

This year I have added two new skills to my ‘To Learn’ list: Drawing

and Guitar! (bought for me by my very lovely husband)

I have always wanted to learn how to draw, and I’ve loved Joanna Basford’s style for a while now, so when I saw this book in Waterstone’s it was a no-brainer!

As for guitar, I thought it would be nice to learn a new instrument. I can play the violin at a very basic level, so I stayed in the strings family, but wanted something that was a little easier to learn.
Or so I thought! Currently I know five chords, not a bad start I thought, but I have discovered that changing chords is trickier! Once I am able to play Green Day’s Good Riddance that will mean I have achieved my first goal, so I will post a video.

I’m a big fan of teaching myself new things. I’d love to go back to university and get more degrees, but sadly, I lack both the time and the money to do it. However, since luckily I live in a time where information has never before been so readily available, I have access to books, online videos, blogs, everything I need to at least grasp the basics. And the nice thing about being self-taught is that I get to choose what I learn.

So what about you, my lovely readers? Have you started learning a new skill? What are your creative goals for the year? Are you a knitter who has just started to learn crochet, or have you just taken up sewing? Were you given any shiny new crafty supplies for Christmas? I’d love to see photos!
Leave your comments below, and if you’d like to find out more about me and my work please hit the subscribe button, and check out my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Happy Crafting!

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