Mar 12, 2013

What I'm Working On: Keeping Sewing Ducks In A Row

Readers: How many balls do you keep in the air, and are you any good at juggling?

By balls, I mean sewing projects, and by juggling I mean actually finishing any of the projects in question. Or do you let them fall eventually once your sewing table is finally buried under a mound of fabric scraps, unmarked pattern pieces and empty iced coffee glasses?

Those reference points are a little too specific, no? This clearly hits close to home. I'm actually not that bad at juggling (literally!), but as far as finishing three projects when I'm working on them concurrently....we'll see about that.

1) A Tooth Fairy Pillow, which is a present for my daughter's friend. It's was Lucy's idea (her friend is turning 5, and Lucy reasoned she'll soon be loosing teeth, so she should have a special pillow in which she can stuff her little incisors). The little pocket on the tooth fairy's dress functions as a place to hide teeth — and then money. It's nearly finished, but I am out of stuffing...and am now looking around my apartment for appropriately springy materials. I would have to travel far for a bag of polyfill....any suggestions, anyone?


2) Kenneth King's "Jeanius" class from Craftsy.com. I have marked the trousers I am copying (a perfectly fitting cropped tuxedo pant). Moving on to the next step (pinning the pants to a piece of silk organza for tracing purposes) requires properly cleaning off my drafting table as this picture makes clear:


3) And because two is never enough of anything, I'm also about to draft a patch pocket and flap so I can make a chambray version of Pattern's Runway's Pussy Bow Blouse (minus the bow, but with two pockets on the front). I just want to make something I can wear sooner rather than later (I don't even have fabric in mind yet for the above pants pattern):



So what's your number? Do you take on your projects single-file (no budging!), or do you keep a number on the backburner for when you need a break from one that's giving you grief?

16 comments:

  1. Does little miss have any old stuffed toys she doesn't want / need anymore? Or thrift shop an ugly teddy and cannibalise!

    Looking at my worktable, I currently have a dress that needs hemming, a pattern cut out ready to sew, a quilt that needs finishing and a top that my mum wants hemmed. None of which I've touched in weeks because I can't work out where to start :(

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    1. Good idea! I might have to be sneaky about it....but that could work!

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  2. Stuff the pillow with chopped up bits of scrap material of which I'm sure you'll have plenty (if you're anything like me) .

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    1. yes, indeed I do. Hopefully its not too lumpy!

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  3. i hate having multiple projects going at the same time, mostly because switching from one project to the next requires changing the threads in my machines. for some reason i really hate changing thread... i like to start and finish one project before picking up another. i find i focus better that way and accomplish more.

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    1. I hear on the changing-thread front!

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  4. Or do you have any fluffy-ish scraps or UFOs that need disappearing? or anything else that needs smuggling out of the house, for that matter? hmm...

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    1. "anything else that needs smuggling out of the house" — you must have kids (and a sizeable stuffed animal pile?) ;)

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  5. I'm not going to comment on too many projects as I would feel obliged to confront my own pile – if only to count them – and that would be cringe-making, though I have found that UFOs at the bottom of the pile make excellent stuffing.

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  6. Beans or rice for stuffing.

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  7. For stuffing, maybe old pillows that are loosing their shape? I always tend to have a few pillows that I'd rather not use, but keep because "they might come in handy if I have many guests" (which never happens, as I only have room for two night-guests at the time).
    The trousers look like a lot of work. Rewarding when done, but I totally understand the need for break to do an instant-gratification project.
    And I'm hopeless at having too many projects on the field. I've limited myself to four by only having four "project-boxes". However, I don't really work on them all at once, more like I sew on one for a while then switch to another. Or does the first one then become an UFO? Even if I weeks later switch back when the second one starts to bore me? It's a grey area... I prefer to think I'm juggling projects, for the idea of all my projects during some phase being UFO's is just too depressing.

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    1. I had a pillow on hand (not old, but a cheap one we bought in case of house guests. It's not fluffy enough for me) and I cut it open and then used the stuffing. Waste not, want not, yo!

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  8. What if you used cotton balls or dryer sheets to stuff it. It would smell amazing and be poofy.

    I wish I could insert a pic of my "to do" pile. It's embarrassing. I have at least three dresses with pattern cut and pinned to fabric and a couple in various levels of completion. I have a bunch of birthday stuff to do and a shirt for my hubbs I started almost a year ago. Sometimes I think I would like to swap UFOs with someone of the same size and finish their stuff while they finish mine.

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    1. Uh, UFO Swap sounds like the coolest idea ever! Somebody make that happen!

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  9. Ooh, the pillow is so cute! Lately I'm only working on one project at a time. I have too much clutter and crap everywhere if I have multiple projects going, and I feel so much calmer and saner when I stick to one and clean up as I go. It also forced me to finish projects that are annoying or difficult if I won't let myself start something new and shiny until I'm done with the previous project.

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  10. I think i have a few UFOs out of my sight ,mostly quilting ones... And also projects that r contained in their own 15qt clear containers(pattern adjusted, fabric cut/chosen,but maybe materials not all there)...i wish i can sew faster esp when the toddler happily sleeping or playing, but i get distracted by sewing blogs or something when its nice and quiet...

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