Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Irksome Case of the Unfinished Objects

Friends, I was a strange child. This probably does not come as a shock to you. Among other things (a persistent belief that I was Nancy Drew, an affinity for dresses sporting cartoon animals, and a true talent for, let's call it, storytelling), I was a big believer in the anthropomorphic fallacy. In my daft little blond head, everything had feelings - stuffed animals, mashed potatoes, flowers. For years, I separated my M&Ms by color, eating the most populous first, until the poor, unloved tan ones were in equal numbers with the rest. It seemed like the fair thing to do. You know, so one color wouldn't feel slighted.

This ties in to sewing, I promise. Even though I now realize candy doesn't have feelings, inanimate objects still have the power to guilt trip me. Take unfinished sewing objects, for example. They drive me crazy. They sit in their little boxes, imploring me to finish them. (Example: I have time, don't it? I was able to make two of the same Lisette dress, for Heaven's sake! Can't I spare old friends a little attention too? Why don't I love them any more?!) For this reason alone, I tend to not accumulate many UFOs. Until now.

At present moment, there are two such projects on my sewing table. They're making me seize up with guilt, every time I even think about starting a new project. Also, they're just plain cute. They deserve to be completed, damn it! So, these are my next two items to conquer.

Unfinished Object #1: Colette Macaron
Raison d'Abandon: Last thing cut out, before deciding to move.

Poor, poor Macaron. There's nothing the matter with her, she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Late September was not a good time to be cut out in my household. In a matter of weeks, La Danielson Famile decided to buy a new house, sell the old homestead, and move. As the eldest daughter, I was enlisted to help with this venture...and did not touch my sewing machine for another four months. What's worse, in those months I lost not only Macaron's instruction booklet, but her back midriff piece, as well.

It was all too tempting to move on to other projects, rather than invent directions from scratch. Now that I have more months of sewing under my belt, I feel up to the task. Also, I just reordered the damn pattern. I'm going to trace the midriff piece, but at least I have directions!

Also, this shell fabric is just too wonderful to be cast off on the UFO pile, don't you think? The contrast is just a plain white pique from Hancock, but the shell is an amazing Italian designer pique I picked up from Satin Moon Fabrics in San Francisco. Everyone talks about Britex in SF, but Satin Moon is my absolute favorite fabric store in the city. Possibly in the world. It's a tight, tiny shop in the Richmond District run by two sisters who adore high quality apparel fabric. There are bolts and bolts of Liberty, Swiss cottons, and other wildly interesting fabrics. I actually ended up buying this pique in two different colorways - this bright mix of blues and corals, as well as a more autumnal palette of yellows, browns, and oranges. I have 4 yards of both, so this isn't the last time we'll be seeing this fabric!

Unfinished Object #2: Colette Crepe
Raison d'Abandon: Arrival of Lisette patterns in my mailbox.

Sigh. This one is more of a confessional. You recall that divine Crepe dress I had planned and started for my spring palette? Yeah, I never actually finished it. There's no good excuse for this. I had only the hemming and one or two other little things to do to the dress, but the day I'd planned to do them was the same day the Lisette patterns finally came in the mail.

Y'all know how I feel about the Lisette patterns. I couldn't not rip into them instantly and start sewing. My willpower isn't that strong. That left poor little Crepe shivering in a cardboard UFO box, unloved and unfinished. Which is silly, considering she really is pretty cute. I ended up using some white Swiss dot (the same I used on my Market Blouse, actually) for the bodice, instead of the planned pique. It was a great last minute change, especially considering that summer seems to have arrived early.

So, those are the two projects I plan on reviving from the dead. Do you have any UFOs laying about? Do you feel guilty about them or are you able to put them behind you and move on to brighter projects?


  1. I have more than a few!
    Most are in my sewing queue, but I have to bias bind the neckline of my Macaron, overlock my farmers market top (lisette too) Put together my art deco skirt as well as the list I have lined up that isn't even started!
    I think my problem is I get too exited by a new pattern and feel like I have to start it right now thus abandoning whatever poor garment is being sewn at the time!
    Good Luck! The macaroon is super easy and lovely! x

  2. I have three right now that are plaguing me! Another pair of Mini Bloomers, a green button down shirt, and a blue linen romper. They look at me every time with big, soulful eyes and judge me when I whip out a dress pattern. I won't even get into the refashion pile that has been shoved in the closet. I just bought the Colette Ceylon and Beignet UFOs will not be pleased! Good luck with all of your projects!!

  3. My swing dress is still waiting to be sewn. After making two muslins, I was just over it for a while, and haven't gotten back.
    BTW I'm the same way about everything having feelings! I thought I was the only one. LOL!

  4. I have had projects that I cut out, sewn half way and for some reason abandoned them, never to be seen again for yeeeeaarrs.

    Mostly they get abandoned because something is wrong with them like the fit or worse - the fabric is too difficult to work with. I've learned my lesson the hard way - no more slippery satin!

  5. Stevie, good to know I'm not the only one with an unfinished Macaron! Your art deco skirt sounds divine, as well - I can't wait to see it. I feel the exact same way about new patterns. Actually, even after writing this post, I got the new Colette patterns in the mail today and almost talked myself into starting a Violet blouse this morning. Even with all the UFO guilt, wonderful new patterns really can be the biggest temptations!

    Meg, good luck with your projects, as well! Aren't Colette patterns just the biggest temptations? I got the new ones, Violet and Ginger, in the mail today and was so, so tempted to whip up a Violet blouse, instead of a UFO. I haven't tried either the Ceylon or the Beignet yet, so I can't wait to see what wonderful pieces you make with them!

  6. Mia, ha! I love that you're the same way about objects having feelings. I felt so silly talking about it, but I like to think it just means we're very empathetic! Also, I bet muslins are a big reason behind a lot of sewists' UFOs. I feel like the longer between planning and sewing a project, then the harder it is to finish it! It's only natural to get a little burnt out, don't you think?

  7. Dixie, that's actually a great reason for a UFO. Since I've only been sewing for a few months, I haven't run in to too many fit issues, but there was one dress that made me want to throw in the towel. Sometimes, once things go bad, they often just get worse! Especially with satin...yikes. :D

  8. I'm a bit lazy and not very tormented by unfinished projects... The pair of trousers I'm just in the process of finishing was cut out last September! I'm glad I've picked it back up to finish, though. I also have a green knit dress that has an unfinished hem and yoke and one piece of unfinished winter sewing: a wool sheath dress with a still non-attached and unhemmed lining. Oh, and I seem to remember that I cut out a knit cowl top some weeks ago... and there's the half-traced Macaron. Seems I have my work cut out for me...

    Good luck with your UFOs, that Macaron fabric looks wonderful!

  9. I have terrible UFO guilt! I look at other bloggers who have 10 projects going at once and I think "how can they do that?" I feel completely creatively stunted when I have multiple projects going on at once and when things don't get finished! No matter how much I try to shove them to the back of the closet, I always remember that they're there.