Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A List of Unfinished Projects*

I used to feel guilty about my unfinished sewing projects. I'm not sure why, but I blithely ignore them these days to start and complete other tops, skirts, even to do some knitting. I don't know what's up with that. I'm certain that organization expert David ("Getting Things Done") Allen would tell me how much better I would feel about my life if I would stitch up and complete the skirt, dress, blouse, sweater coat and two hats that are hanging around my home. He would likely tell me to plop those works-in-progress in my "in" box (on top of the magazines and other epherema that need to be filed away), and they would magically get done. Or, put them in the tickler file that I've got beneath my work desk. Then I would miraculously complete these works of art.

But I know me. I would take the projects out of the "in" box because they are just too big. I would remove them from the tickler file for the same reason. I think they only thing that might trigger any action would be a move. Yes, if I were to put my living space on the market, I'd have to get everything squared away for prospective buyers. That would trigger "I Must Move This Stuff" mode, which would tip off "Let's get this done already." Then in a matter of weeks, the above-mentioned unwearable apparel would be completed and I'd wearing it. It's not likely I'll move at this moment, although I would like to escape Chicago for more than a few months. So those projects? They can continue to sulk all they want while I pretend they don't exist. (Please don't tell them I said. I beg you!). Actually, I've just realized "I Must Move This Stuff" wouldn't elicit a sewing impulse, but rather outright panic. Sewing would shift to last place in my life for a short while, unless I needed to fix a tear.

Here are in no order are the projects. In fact, I'm recalling a few more as I type. That's what happens when you record creativity for posterity (I almost wrote prosperity. Forgive me.)

1. The black eyelet scallop-edged skirt.
Reason for Abandonment: I cut the largest size on my Simplicity pattern, and I felt like even that wouldn't fit me. At the moment, I've got a 41-inch hip. I'm not sure how much ease my cut-out pattern has and I'm afraid to find out since I cut out the very pricey Anne Klein fabric, which I bought because I know this particular fabric is very popular with immigrant Africans who shop at Vogue Fabrics. Somehow, they manage to buy all the 100-percent to-die-for eyelet fabric before I can get my hands on it. So I bought what little remained on a bolt. Oh yes, I also bought some black batiste from Ann at Gorgeous Things to line it. I don't think that's been cut. Actually, I don't know and I'm afraid to look. What might inspire completion: The coming onslaught of hot, humid weather.

2. The sweatercoat in a metallic, cashmere-like knit.
Reason for Abandonment: Dunno. I like sweatercoats. This one has a hood, a favorite feature the others lack. Sometimes I stop sewing something because the weather changes. Yes, it's that simple. If it's warm, why on earth would I want to continue stitching something I wouldn't wear that day? Never mind that it's probable that the item in question would still take more time to finally hem. What might inspire completion: Sudden, cold day in a place not called Hell.

3. Two hats in vintage 1940s fabric. Reason for Abandonment: I need to ask my younger self, circa. 2006. The fabric's cute, stuff I acquired at local stores, including a defunct one in Oak Park, the other at a no-longer-in-existence thrift shop. The fabric's cut, it would take an hour to finish either chapeaux. It's not like I don't wear hats anymore, I do. It's not like I couldn't add to my collection. I could just throw them out, but I don't like to waste anything in my household, even projects. What might inspire completion: Purchasing an expensive, 1940s millinery display bust at a local antique shop, not unlike what Alicia Paulson owns. I keep eyeing this thing, praying no one buys it. I'm afraid afraid someone in Europe will buy it online. So far, that hasn't happen.

4. Retro-inspired blouse with an adorable black batiste trimmed with bias-placed white lace. Reason for Abandonment: I didn't like how the darts looked on me, so I promptly pulled up stakes on this top. The buttonholes also scared me. It's not like I've never made buttonholes, but I find them time-consuming to create and I want to space them properly. What might inspire completion: I see something on the Burda World of Fashion web site for May. The model has a top on with lace-trimmed fabric, just like mine, only white-on-white.

5. Assymetrical hem Vogue pattern dress. Reason for Abandonment: I cut out an important piece wrong. While I did get more fabric to fix this problem, the dress is still awaiting its debut. Easy pattern, hard me. What might inspire completion: Adding another dress to my collection without spending a penny? That might do the trick. Or some bribing from my stay-at-home dust bunnies.

6. Last but not least: a nearly done kimono-style wrap top.
Reason for Abandonment: It's missing its bottom half, which I swear I cut out and even hemmed, but I've lost somewhere in my vast living space. All I have to do is attach to its other half, and I'm am done. But I can't find that essential part, and the fabric is no longer available from Metro Textiles. I could use another fabric, but I think it would look dumb, besides, it's for a friend, and she wouldn't wear if it didn't appear just right. What might inspire completion: Hello? The rest of my fabric. Trust me, I'd be at my Viking Husqvarna in a nano-second if I got what I needed.

What incomplete projects bother/haunt/follow you around the house?
* Clearly the dress I'm wearing in the above photos is finished. It's a Simplicity pattern. I used $1 a yard fabric from Vogue Fabrics. I'll write up a review on it soon. Nudge me if I don't.


PhantomMinuet said...

That plaid dress is adorable. You really make me want to sit down and start sewing again. :-)

Lindsay T said...

Good thing to think about. I may have to borrow this theme for one of my Friday polls, crediting you of course....

Kristy Idle said...

You are brilliant - I have a massive list of UFOs, but I never thought to list what might inspire me to finish them. If I'm honest I should be able to cut through the crap that I hoard and get on with the sewing that is worthy of time and effort. Thanks for sharing!