We all have unfinished sewing projects lurking in our closet. This week on the podcast we talk about how to work through the tough projects and finish them once and for all!
Unfinished Sewing Projects
There are three projects sitting on my sewing table that I have been avoiding. One is frustrating because I don’t have the right equipment to sew it quickly. The second is not fitting properly. And I hate the pattern I began using for the third project. I can either give up on these projects or finish them. Which is the best course of action? Here are several ways you can finished your unfinished sewing projects even when the going gets tough!
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Tips for Success
- Go through your unfinished sewing projects and re-evaluate why the project is unfinished. Occasionally, projects sit for so long in the sewing room that we forget what the problem was in the first place. Make a note of what needs to be done on and store the project in a large size plastic baggie including all of the pattern pieces, notions, and also the supplies needed. Attach the note to the bag and set it aside. Do this for all your unfinished sewing projects.
- Line up your unfinished projects with the easiest one first. Commit to completing one project per week or month as you are able. Try to finish all your incomplete projects before starting new ones.
- Evaluate your frustration with the project. Was the fit off? Perhaps you can either read a few books on fit or take a class with someone more experienced to figure out how to fix it. Don’t be afraid to post a photo in the Chambray Blues Facebook group as well. Often, you simply need a fresh set of eyes.
- If your project stalled because of a sewing machine issue, take your machine in for repairs. A good cleaning can solve a host of problems. Bring a sample of the fabric and stitch you were using to show the repair technician. They can usually help you decide how to correct a wonky seam.
- Was the fabric not ideally suited to the project? Sometimes we don’t get it right on the first try even if you’ve been sewing for 20 years. If it was a large dollar investment, you must now evaluate whether or not it’s worth continuing. Perhaps it would be easier to repurpose the fabric into something else instead of trying to continue with a frustrating project. Repurchase a different fabric and try again.
- Was your garment cut off grain? This is a popular problem that even experienced sewers can make. Off-grain pattern pieces will never hang straight. Buy more fabric and recut if necessary.
- Was the pattern construction hard to follow? Many times I have been stuck on a pattern with poorly written instructions or unclear drawings. You can purchase another pattern with similar design and look at how they wrote the instructions. Sometimes I read directions for patterns in the fabric store that I don’t even buy. A different point of view on the pattern can often shed light on how to fix it. Going to the shopping mall and looking for construction ideas can also be helpful. Find a similar garment in the store and turn it inside out to see how it’s constructed. Most commercially produced garments are far simpler than the ones designed by pattern companies. Take pictures with your cell phone of seams and also finishes so you can refer to them later. You can also try the garment on to compare fit. I keep a tape measure in my purse to measure garments in the store that fit me well. You can now change your pattern and sewing directions to work through your frustration.
- Do you have too many sewing commitments? Learn to say no to people that want to take advantage of your skills for free as well as suggest they learn to sew themselves. Give back the unfinished projects you have already collected, tell the owner you simply don’t have time to finish them.
- Make note of how much time you have already invested in your project. Is it worth it to invest even more time to finish it? Sometimes it’s freeing to add the whole works to the scrap pile and count it as a learning experience. Feel free to move on to a new project without feeing guilty if it seems like it’s already been a waste of effort. We have all been there at one point or another, don’t let this keep you from starting something new.
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