Trace, cut, bag, repeat

A new approach to prepping my sewing projects has completely changed the way I sew. As I’m sure you pretty much all identify with, spare time is a rare luxury! Finding dedicated, decent time to sew can be a tough feat and I’ve been seeing more people share their approach to sewing in short bursts; a dart sewn in before the school run, a sleeve inserted before going to work, and it’s definitely something I’ve adopted.

So the premise for this new approach I’ve adopted (since seeing others share it on Instagram – it’s in no part my genius!) is really straightforward: instead of working on one project at a time, I’ll choose four or five projects and trace them all. This may take a week of evening sessions, and to be honest I thought I’d find it a bit boring, but I ended up actually looking forward to tracing; maybe it tapped in to my inner 6 year old. Could this be an excuse to invest in some pink wafers and put on some Sharky and George?

After tracing them all I’ll move on to cutting and marking. Again, when focusing on one part of the process I found myself concentrating more and enjoying this part more than I have before. I’ll put thread in to mark all the darts and other bits here, although I’ve heard some people actually sew their darts in at this point. Maybe I’m staying too true to the ‘this step is just for cutting and marking’ philosophy, but I literally do not touch the sewing machine during this step.

Once they’re all traced and cut I put everything in…BOOK BAGS!!! Again, maybe it’s a nostalgia thing, but using book bags is well fun.


Last step is sewing! With all the projects bagged up and ready to go it was so nice to be able to sit and just sew sew sew for a good couple of weeks whenever I could squeeze a bit of time in.

I’ve found this approach so useful, enjoyable, and effective. While writing this I’ve come to realise it’s possibly because it’s enabled me to zone out and properly escape through each step of the sewing process; it’s brought back my childhood in a few ways…

  • You get to do loads of tracing. Sitting armed with a pencil and paper is weirdly satisfying
  • You get to use BOOK BAGS!!!
  • The impatient inner child gets (near) instant gratification; by breaking down the process into smaller targets i.e. just tracing, you feel like you’ve achieved your goal in a short space of time.

But also I’ve found I focus more on each step. Tracing or cutting is not an obstacle to ‘get through’ before the fun part: the sewing, but something to enjoy and concentrate on in isolation.

So give it a go and let me know how you get on!

5 thoughts on “Trace, cut, bag, repeat

  1. I didn’t realise you had a blog! Added it to my reading list now. I’m a batch tracer and cutter as well. I agree with you, it’s really not that bad and it provides lots of uninterrupted sewing time in the long run. 👍


  2. I’m batch tracing/cutting/sewing in our new house set up and love the mini goals too. However as a “completer finisher” it’s a struggle sometimes to have more than one thing on the go 🤣


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s