I am constantly torn between two competing needs: the desire to make things versus the need to sleep. Around here it's at least 9pm by the time the kids are asleep, which, on most nights, is when we adults have our dinner. After that there's doing the dishes, getting K's school clothes out for the next day, dealing with household paperwork, folding the washing... And since my sanity is dependent upon the ability to create things, however humble, I often get to bed much later than I should.
Sometimes when I feel the need to be productive but don't want to start (or finish) a bigger sewing project, I like to make little things that can be completed in a short amount of time. That way I have a sense of accomplishment without the late bedtime, and I can enjoy reading a few chapters of my giant Murakami novel in bed without stressing about how late it is.
The pouch with the red ribbon was inspired by Vlijtig's medicine bag, which I thought was a cool design. The Red Riding Hood one I have yet to find a use for, and the oilcloth one is a new pencil-case for R because she likes to do drawings at all times of day, whether we're in the car or waiting by the pool while K has his swimming lesson. As you can see below, it has already had an outing.
(This was a little project R worked on during K's swimming lesson: things that start with G. Naturally, Gaston from 'Beauty and the Beast' was the first one she thought of - in fact, I think he inspired her to ask to do the letter G in the first place).
My sewing budget is very limited, but little things like this require nothing other than scraps of fabric and a small zip (I always have a few handy in different colours so when the urge to make little zip-up things hits me I can forge ahead immediately!). They are so satisfying to make, and best of all they are quick, so you don't have to sacrifice that other thing on which sanity depends: sleep.