This Weekend’s Progress

I went to start something new this weekend, but very obediently stopped myself in my tracks thinking I had plenty of projects that I Really Should Finish!

Like the Chanel Jacket that I started last year, the shell lying neglected because it is a bit too big for me…sigh…all that over-ambitious quilting, so much for my concern that quilting it would make it smaller.  Should I unpick it all, or recut?  I have enough fabric, but would like to leave enough for a matching skirt – I mean even though I will probably never wear them together, I still think the effort that goes into a Chanel jacket kind of justifies a matching skirt don’t you think?  Now, where is it – oh – the cat is sleeping on it.  Well, that rules that one out for now.

What about the Trench Coat, also (gulp) from last year?  I’ve finally found some nice buttons in the right sizes and colour, complete with matching buckles, perfect!  Note to self – must recut sleeve straps to wider width to fit sleeve buckle.  I just need some nice lining, that ivory Bemberg is a bit see-through.  Something with pattern would be nice, nothing too dominant,  mmm…better think on that one.

The CAPE!!  I must get onto the cape before winter is over so I can wear it lots – it is going to be so cool with my new black trousers!  That fabric was such a bargain!  Shall I make that first, or the red coat?  I suppose I should do the coat, the pattern is already done.  That is going to be fun to make!  No lining yet though.  Actually, I should carry on with the black knitted opera gloves from Vogue Knitting – without them both the cape and the coat (which has 3/4 sleeves) will be unwearable during winter.  So far I have knitted one thumb and half a fifth finger – err, where did I leave it now?  Wait – is that it down the back of the sofa?  Who’s been sitting on it!  Grr!  Hope the bamboo needles poked them in the butt!  (Sits down to knit, can’t find pattern, pattern at work or on bus)  Second Grr!

I know what!  I should rephotograph the chiffon rolled hem for my blog, those last ones were too out of focus.  But I can’t really do in-progress shots now that I’ve finished though can I?  Shall I do another demonstration piece? Mmm.  maybe that’s getting a bit carried away…  Maybe I should just start sewing the top, na – that means rethreading the machine…

I should really be making things that I need – like more tops.  Or better still – pyjamas!  My current pair now has a hole, and it is laddering up the leg!  I have all that merino which would be cosy, and I could unpick the lace from my old pj’s to sass it up a bit, gee that’s going to be a mission – I’ll do that another day…

I need dresses – things you can throw on in the morning and head out the door in!  Oh, I really really do need that gorgeous fabric I saw the other day….darned Mastercard….it would be perfect for the Prada dress knock-off….

Or there’s always the skirt to match my Anzac Coat – I went to such effort to squeeze it out of those remnants, I should at least make the effort and sew it up.  Oh, and the suede skirt – that will be so cool!  I’ve had that stuff for years and it will go perfectly with that trim, thank goodness I didn’t sell that on Trademe.  Ah, but the pattern is out in the garden shed and it’s a bit creepy out there, I think I’ll wait until Mr P~S~C gets home for that!  Oh and I better decide on cut-outs or not, what shape, swirls?…..

Oh look – there’s the Babette Blanket!  Nope – not in the mood for that today – too many colours – too mind-numbing.  We are talking the morning after my birthday…..

What the heck is that?  Huh?  Mmm? Oh, I remember – the $3 shirt from St Vincent de Paul, there’s the sleeves – I must run it in and set those sleeves in again – hey that’s quite wearable for right now…starts a pile…
Geez I’ve got a lot of stash – lets have a look now……………
Thumbs through stash.
Pile gets big.
Pile falls over.
Refolds stash.
Rearranges stash into colours.
Thinks again and rearranges stash into seasons.

Folks – that is my sewing progress for the weekend.
Does anyone else get weighed down by having Too-Many-Projects-On-The-Go-At-Once?
Are you a compulsive finisher, or a compulsive starter?

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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

28 thoughts on “This Weekend’s Progress

  1. I am totally having the same issue. I got carried away with cutting loads of stuff and now I have at least 6 UFO's!
    But I keep going back to one and going… Oh I haven't Ironed… I'll keep that for another day… It just goes on and on!
    I have worn a shirt all weekend that is miles too big and hasn't been finished and the jersey has stretched so I've taken that in this morning on my mannequin but now I can't be bothered to actually sew it!
    My stash is calling me begging me to cut more stuff but I know I absolutely should get on with all the other stuff!
    Good luck!
    Stevie x


  2. I am definitely a compulsive starter. I get stuck when I am not sure what to do, so I postpone… and it goes on and on. Lately I have been tackling old projects, simply because I need them in my closet :)) I think that's the only way i get motivated.


  3. This is a clever post!
    Nowadays I am a compulsive finisher. But I have to learn to stop accepting free fabric from other people's cleanouts, that add to my stash and just sit there making me feel guilty for not using them because they are not really my choice…

    (funny sewing related thing; word verification is “muslon”!)


  4. Very clever!
    I'm a compulsive starter. When things get too hard or I'm not sure what I want, I tend to put things down and move onto another project. But I am trying to overcome this disorder and complete that which I have started and 'not' create more UFO's.


  5. Most of my sewing life a was a total compulsive starter, just the more ideas than time problem. I just had to start every idea before it left me. Not good, at least for me. Then a few years back I made a pledge to myself. I do that a lot. Now I only ever have two projects in process, one primarily hand work, like a smocking project, that I can do during TV time and the other a total machine project. I buy lots of patterns and fabrics but DO NOT CUT until I need to bring my working projects back up to that number two quantity. I have to tell you, the wadder amount has decreased to zero and I get much more finished this way. But I totally understand your compulsive starts as I sewed that way for at least 35 years if not more.


  6. Oh I am a starter! And definitely not a finisher! I loved this post, it's exactly like being in my head. Recently I forced myself to tackle my UFOs in a week long blitz that I called Roswell Week. I didn't make a huge amount of progress on the big jobs, but clearing up all the little ones made me feel pretty impressed with myself!


  7. Yes, I must say, I feel a bit down by a UFO lurking in my sewing room. It a 40's dress that won't line up and it's driving me to drink, really, I consumed more chocolate than anything! Sherry, I did make a deal with myself to only start 2 projects and finish up everything so that I may have some peace while sewing. I think the reason I started other projects is because I am at a crossroads and don't know how to finish something, or the directions are unclear. I am hoping to finish everything. Then plan, have a overall vision and carry it through, that's the goal anyway!


  8. I must admit I tend to finish projects I started, although I currently have two projects running in parallel. My problem is that I keep on adding projects I would like to work on. I get so much inspiration from great blogs like yours, I save, bookmark, add on, and the list never ends. You do the math: I follow 50 (maybe more) blogs I get an idea or two a week and suddenly I have 50/100 projects to do in one week only…and I normally manage to do only one a week since I work full time. So, I believe I need to put my expectations right!


  9. This post is making me laugh — because I recognize my own behavior. I have giant zip-locks and containers with unfinished projects stashed around my sewing room. And I am currently paralyzed with indecision whether to finish something that I already started or just start something new. I also obsessively write down lists of projects for myself to do, so there is always hard evidence around of what I haven't done yet. At least I've learned not to stress about it. Glad to hear I am not the only compulsive starter!


  10. Starter, definitely a starter. I prefer to have at least six projects going through the machine at a time, all using the same thread color. That way, when I finish them, I have a whole pile of new clothes/accessories at once. Also, juggling projects keeps me from getting bored with any one thing; and builds new neural pathways in my puckered-up, dried-out old brain.


  11. Oh I am a compulsive finisher, absolutely. Even if I know it is not going to work, the guilt of throwing it out and it going to landfill is more than I can bear. I finish it to 'op shop' standard and donate it to the Sallies.

    Not only must I finish the garment, but if there was something not quite right, but the overall idea has merit, then I have to make it again until I get it to a wearable level.

    A 'finisher' for sure!


  12. Hi Sherry, don't give up on your Chanel jacket! It is so worth it! Mine didn't shrink after quilting, so it's a myth I guess. Did you use a walking foot? And, by the way, one trick I learned in my French Jacket Class, is to pull the ends of the quilting threads between the fashion fabric and the lining. You can use a pin to do it – then, you knot it between the two layers! Voila! This will save you all the tedious backstitching and hide the unsightly thread ends. Also, when you cut the ends back, don't cut too short, but leave an inch…. Hope this will motivate you to finish your jacket 🙂


  13. Oh yes, that is sounding very familiar. I waste so much time trying to decide what to do next. But projects are usually rejected because I don't have the pattern traced, all of the notions, the fabric isn't washed, there is not enough fabric, I don't feel like sewing something tricky, I don't feel like sewing something hard…I get so overwhelmed that I have to leave my sewing room.

    I am best to just leave it for the time being, then write some lists and organise myself and get tracing/washing/shopping etc. I really am not a spur of the moment person but not organised either.


  14. I'm kind of boring in that I like to have only one project going at a time. I make sure any questionable sections fit by doing a quick muslin first, cut out my fabric, sew it, make any other adjustments, and then voila! Finished!

    If a project makes me crazy, I stay crazy until it's done. I'm so terrified of UFOs I've remained intensely stubborn on this issue. Sometimes I MIGHT cut out two projects at once if they're a similar color and one I know won't need any adjustments, but that's a rare occassion.

    I'm also the world's worst multi-tasker. One or two things at a time, and that's it for me. I'm so bad at multi-tasking if I'm talking and doing something at the same time I just stop talking mid-sentence to finish what I'm doing. Makes me look like the world's biggest idiot. I've finally learned to just pause what I'm doing, explain my hang up with talking and doing something, and then appologize and let the confused person staring at me like I've got two heads know that I will finish explaining in just a moment once I'm done with what I'm doing.


  15. Sounds like my weekend exactly.

    I have so many projects in the works right now– and I worked on NONE of them this weekend. Instead, I planned an even more enormous project. Hmmm… I'm definitely a compulsive starter.


  16. I'm an impulsive rather than compulsive starter. Something will grab my attention and DEMAND to be made IMMEDIATELY. I've learned that if I ignore the guilt of “should be” sewing and get on with whatever it is I'm really fired up about, I won't actually delay the “should be” anyway since I was already procrastinating!

    I usually have several projects underway at any given time, which I justify by reasoning that there is always going to be something I can work on if I get held up needing notions or something. Also I find that walking away from something that isn't working, or spending more time thinking about ideas/problems usually produces a much better result than pushing on regardless.

    Really I'm just compulsive and can have a very short attention span. 🙂


  17. Way a compulsive starter here, although I'm a very intense problem-solver so I can perseverate on one thing forever. It helps me to have other smaller goals to feel accomplished–it's always the elaborate projects that hang around unfinished! I get stars in my eyes and then somewhere about 2/3 of the way in, I'm ready to move on. I so need a bunch of throw-on stuff, like tops and dresses, so I'm limiting myself to one elaborate idea this summer. Personally, I'd love to see the Chanel–that quilting was so beautiful!


  18. So glad I'm not alone, I am a starter but this year I am trying very hard to be a finisher. Your Chanel Jacket is a lot further than mine and I really want to wear it, but have baulked at the lined to the edge, maybe a hand sewing project for when we go away.


  19. Recently I made rules for myself that I can't start any new sewing projects until I complete some drawings or paintings. I got side tracked and made a tank top pattern that was free from Colette Patterns. Since I made a rule to not start anything new for awhile, I may focus on the projects that I have started and never finished. This way it is not necessarily breaking my rule, but still sewing. A talked about this recently on my blog.


  20. I can't say I'm too compulsive about either starting or, ahem, finishing. What I really am is a dithering idiot about which next project to take on. Usually spend as much time deciding between projects as it'd take to complete them all. Does that perhaps ring a bell :-)?

    In your case, 2 things leap to mind. One, you don't need to worry about the trenchcoat lining, just finish it, and by the time you come across a better lining and work up the oomph for it, it'll be ready for a change anyway. Dull linings aren't necessarily bad either, can be a virtue for a daily wear item. Also, please don't unpick the Chanel quilting! Recut, that's what you're supposed to do. In fact, you probably should hardly have cut at all to begin with, just block-quilted.

    But I must say all your projects sound attractive :-), I'd have a hear time picking too. Sometimes just fondling the fabric is good. It reminds you of what you're trying to do, not just slave at the machine.


  21. i grew up in a house where my parents had every room in some state of renovation, I HATED it. I am a compulsive finisher (I have even finished some of my MIL's projects for her). In my 9 plus years of sewing I only have one unfinished project, and just this morning I thought “I should really finish that top”.


  22. ha ha ha – I'm a compulsive “want to sew everything” – my mission at the moment is OK – and I don't have unfinished garments … but unfinished quilts play on my conscience … I love that the cat was sleeping on your stuff!!


  23. oh lets see I have at lest 5 UFOs and a whole pile of stuff on my todo with stash and patterns already purchased…so what did I do over the long weekend….start something on neither of those lists, and buy new fabric!!


  24. Oh, lord. I think I could have written this post… My eyes are definitely bigger than my budget, overflowing closet (which has to hold all my fabric and all my clothes), time, etc. But it's fun! I have managed to finish 4 or 5 lingering projects in the last month, so that's progress. Of course, that frees me up to start 7 or 8 more, right?


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