Why January is Such an Unproductive Month for Crafting

...And why that's not necessarily a bad thing.


Okay, so I’m not keen on January for a few reasons:

  • Christmas is over and I’m one of those people who loves Christmas.
  • I really dislike the whole ‘new year new you’ concept. I think this was the subject line of at least 10 different marketing emails I received over the first 2 weeks of January. (Seriously, how many new me’s can the world cope with?)
  • The weather is misty, wet and cold, and the morning’s are dark. I know this isn’t such a surprise for most of the northern hemisphere, but it doesn’t make for a cheery mood regardless.
  • Everyone’s just a bit more poor. Remember all those Christmas presents you bought in December while you were feeling in the Christmas spirit shouting ‘good will to all men’? This is where you get to see them all again. On your credit card statement.

Don’t worry, this post isn’t just going to be a long wine about how I hate January. That wouldn’t be fun for anyone to read, and even more boring to write. I’m usually a fairly positive person, too, surprisingly.

No in this post I’m talking about my productivity in January as a sewer and crafter and looking at why mine, (and a lot of other people’s in the sewing community) is a tad low this time of year. And why that’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world.

Personally, I’m prone to fall into the mindset of rushing through all my projects and everything I make all the time, desperate to finish off everything I’m working on only to start making something else straight away and rushing through that. I have to deliberately think about slowing down and taking my time on things, getting a better finish and frankly just giving myself time to really enjoy what I’m doing.

My ‘I MUST MAKE ALL THE THINGS’ mentality hates January. It feels like time is being wasted and that I’ve got nothing to show for the last month. But there are reasons behind the lull that I’m sure most makers can identify with!

The main reason is burnout.

Over the weeks running up to Christmas I mad a lot of stuff, almost all being gifts for my friends and family. I love my friends and family, which is why I always want to give them something homemade for Christmas, but it does all add up to a lot of sewing and knitting. I’m talking bobble hats, kimonos, cowls, pyjama sets, turtle-neck tops and makeup bags. All in all

I spent a lot of time making things in a very short period of time – it’s safe to say I didn’t plan ahead. I naturally find sewing for other people much harder than making things for myself, you don’t have them right there to try on the thing you’re working on and you don’t always know if the colours and fabrics you’ve chosen are going to be loved and cherished. When it comes to Christmas eve and you have no way of telling if Dad’s alpaca wool beanie hat is going to fit his head, you can get a little stressed out!

There’s a lot of pressure, (granted it’s all self-imposed) so come January I just don’t feel inspired to sit at the sewing machine or pick up my needles. Even though I have all these ideas rushing through my head for new garments and bits and bobs for my home I frankly just don’t feel like it. Is this a common feeling? I’ve heard from a lot of other makers that it is and I’m not completely alone in this.

This is what I did throughout the whole of January…

  • Repaired a hole in a dress’ seam for my mom
  • Turned up the hem of a pair of trousers (also for my mom)
  • Did a few half-hearted rows of a jumper I’m knitted (then realised I’d messed up and had to frog back again which was really fun)
  • Cut out the pieces of a halter top I want to make for my honeymoon

So yeah, pretty non-eventful really really and not all that inspiring. January’s sewing has consisted of a few necessary repairs which took about three minutes.

However, I do think taking a short break in January is actually pretty healthy and probably does me good in the long run.

The reason I make things is because I love the creative process and I enjoy using things in my life that I’ve actually made with my own two hands. It’s a fun and fulfilling hobby and not something I want to be stressed by. Who needs to voluntarily add more stress to their lives?

Feeling overwhelmed or burnt out is not the feeling I want to get from crafting. That’s why January is a time to recoup the love I normally feel, and gradually build up the inspiration to carry on again.

It makes me appreciate that sometimes I could probably do with slowing down a bit. What's so bad about being a bit more intentional with the things I make? So towards the end of January I've been thinking about the things I want to make this year and what I need in order to make them. I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm joining in with 'Make Nine' this year too, which is a project thought up by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille

Basically you just have to think of the nine projects you know you definitely want to make this year. Pretty self explanatory right? I'll be revealing my Make Nine in my next post, so keep an eye out. In the mean time, let me know if you've been feeling a bit lost for inspiration in January after the craziness of Christmas, and let me know what you've been doing to get out of the funk.