I know that there are some remarkably disciplined sewists who can claim that they have no unfinished objects (UFOs). I always assumed that these people were mythical creatures, like unicorns and people from Rhode Island (quick now, can you name anyone born in Rhode Island? I’m not convinced that it actually exists.)**
As it happens, though, Kim tells me that she has no UFOs whatsoever, and I’ve been in her sewing studio enough times to vouch that if she does have any lurking about, she has them very, very well hidden. (I’m secretly observing her for signs of fairy wings or other evidences of enchantment. Don’t tell her.)
I, on the other hand, have lots of UFOs. I’m not so sure if this is because I lack the discipline to throw away projects when they don’t work or because I have crafter ADD and can’t stand to only have one project going at a time, but my UFO basket was getting embarrassing. Before you start thinking I’m talking about one of those little home dec baskets that holds, like, three magazines, think again. I bought one of those fabulous market baskets when we were in Spain a couple summers ago – you know, the ones that hold enough produce to feed a family of five for a week? Well, it was one of those, only it wasn’t just full – it was heaped such that you couldn’t really see the basket underneath anymore. Embarrassing, I tell you.
So last Saturday, instead of making the bridesmaid’s dress I’m wearing in a wedding tomorrow, I decided to tackle my UFO basket.
First, I bagged up all of the projects that, realistically, should never have been started or are never going to be finished. Experiments that never went anywhere, fabric I didn’t much like in the first place… all gone. That decreased the pile by about a third.
First I finished a silk slip that I had been experimenting with for quite a while. I copied it from a satin slip/ nightie that I have had for a long time, but, as I discovered after I finished it, I didn’t make allowances when I cut it for French seams, so it’s too small for me. (The original has serged seams). Aargh. But it’s pretty and I like it, so it’ll be a gift for a friend and maybe some day I’ll try again for myself.
I also finally hand-stitched the armhole lining closed on Jack’s Easter outfit (yes, yes, from last Easter when he was five months old). I finished the outfit enough for him to wear it for Easter
the night before with 12 hours to spare, and he looked pretty stinkin’ cute in it, if I do say so myself, but it needed to be finished so it can be washed and packed away.
I tested Sew Liberated’s Myla Tank last summer (and loved it and wore it a ton, btw), but the official testing window overlapped with our summer vacation, so I never put the little faux placket and buttons on the tank. I wore it without last summer, but I liked the look of the placket, so I finished it up while I was at it. With any luck I’ll still be able to wear it some this spring and summer, although I doubt the styling will be quite what Meg had in mind since I’ll be seven months pregnant by May when it’ll be warm enough to wear it. Oh well – there’s always the end of summer. 🙂
Major projects done, I separated out all of the mending that has been piling up for ages. A pair of Paul’s rugby shorts and some casual shorts just needed buttons replaced, a pair of Paul’s work jeans needed a patch, a pleat on my favorite skirt was coming undone, the top buttonhole on a really beautiful blouse from Anthropology has always been too big for the button only needed three stitches to tighten it up (not that I’ll be able to wear it until this fall when it’ll have to be worn under a sweater, but oh well)… my UFO basket was starting to look pretty good.
Now I’ll admit that my UFO basket isn’t complete empty yet, but it’s looking better than it has in years. The projects that are left in there are a maxi dress that I’m working on a tutorial for (because obviously the internets need just *one* more tutorial on how to sew a maxi), a little boy’s shirt that I’m experimenting with (I cut the front out of one of Paul’s old dress shirts and I cut up a vintage boy’s hankie to make a little western-style yoke.
Hopefully this will get finished while Jack is still small enough to wear it), a silly fleecey vest that I made on a whim out of leftover fabric from making a winter jacket for a newborn (who is now two years old…), and another tester pattern for Sew Liberated, the Luminaries quilt. I only sewed one square of the quilt, but I have the pieces cut out to make two more for a pretty autumnal table runner (yes, this is another project that has been in the works for at least two years. Maybe it’ll be finished by this fall).
I’m feeling pretty good about my progress, though, all things considered. The Myla tank turned out super cute and I’ll definitely get good use out of it this summer. My beloved skirt is one that sits low on my hips, so it’ll still fit for a few more weeks before I’m too prego to wear it. (I’m at 17 weeks now and just retrieved my pregnancy jeans from their box at my parents’ house. They feel SO GOOD.) Paul’s happy to have his shorts back, even if it’s only 24 degrees outside. (Plus, spring rugby season starts in mid-March, so I’m actually six weeks ahead of schedule. Score.)
And best of all, my project basket is only half full. Which leaves plenty of room for the purple shantung for the bridesmaid’s dress, plus the gorgeous, gorgeous Amy Butler and Cocca fabric I bought Tuesday at Sew to Speak (aka fabric heaven) to make into samples for our forthcoming patterns. (Sneak peeks coming soon, I promise.) What projects have you finished up lately?
* From H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. If you haven’t read it recently, you should. When I hear “UFO” to refer to unfinished objects I start spouting alien invasion quotes. I can’t help myself.
** Ok, ok, I just Googled it and apparently there’s even a Wikipedia page devoted to people born in Rhode Island. The list includes H.P. Lovecraft (speaking of aliens) and a seventeenth-century pirate, although it is not certain that the pirate was born in Rhode Island. I stand corrected.