Sewing UFO as stated in this threads article are projects that have been “set aside” for a long time before they have been completed because they are boring and have not held the sewers interest enough to motivate them to finish the project OR they are super challenging and have been abandoned in sheer frustration.
As am slowly working on the mammoth task of cleaning my sewing room I have uncovered a lot of these. I am really writing this post to remind myself of how to avoid adding to the pile of unfinished stuff.
Ways to avoid UFOS
1. If you don’t LOVE the pattern and fabric don’t bother! It seems obvious but life is too short to save your best fabric for the perfect project. The work involved is the same whether you love the fabric you are working on or not. Don’t waste precious time using mediocre fabric or a pattern in a style you don’t love. At this point in my life I have more than enough clothing already so if you make something I have to pick a project that I am super excited about!
2. When using a pattern you haven’t tried before ALWAYS ways make a prototype/muslin first to edit the fit. This has caught me out so many times this year. You think you are saving time but in the long run you aren’t. I would say 90% of commercial patterns I try have to be altered a great deal. Sizing and wearing ease is always insane/varied and necklines always gape.
If you make a muslin, alter the fit THEN alter the pattern itself, next time you want to make the style it will be super quick and easy.
When I have made no muslin and altered the garment directly I have gone back to make the same garment and my alterations on the patterns are wrong or inconsistent.
I have wasted a lot of nice fabric by choosing the wrong size or messing up technical aspects of constructing harder garments because I did not make a muslin/test first!
3. Ask yourself how the garment will fit into your life/wardrobe Does the garment suit your lifestyle? (i.e is it casual or dressy enough), Would it be comfortable to wear? Does it work with/go with other items in your wardrobe? Does it really flatter my figure? A major one for me is: Can I wear a bra with it?
4. Practice and research new/harder construction techniques before attempting them on the garment your making This is something I want to start doing. I am very gung-ho when in comes to sewing. I hate following pattern instructions and I rarely even read them. I often become more confused by doing things the “prescribed” way. In most cases I find it easier just trying things out and testing my own theories then seeing what works. But it never hurts to try the technique a couple of times on a scrap of calico and get some advice (from youtube or sewing books) before I start using the good fabric.
5. Make notes while completing a project I no longer underestimate my ability to forget things. Make notes of required yardages, techniques used, order of construction etc. Then next time you do the project you will find it easier. Perhaps that doesn’t help so much with UFOS but It has helped my sewing immensely.
Don’t feel too guilty about having a couple of UFOS! Not every sewing project can be a success and you always learn more from your failures than your successes so UFOS = valuable learning experiences.
Whenever I have a project that I fall out of love with or gives me grief I make sure that the next project I start is an easier/simple project with a pattern I know and love (with a good fit) so I do not fall out of love with sewing.