Lauren, I totally stole your slogan here. The outpouring of “one project at a time” love really rocked my world last week. It’s true, I’ve been feeling….overwhelmed and oddly enough, after I had posted that last week and finally just let it out, I felt better. So much better. That’s kind of the way it goes right? Writer’s/sewer’s block and all.
I was really taken with what y’all had to say too and I thought it would be great to bring to life your comments by posting this follow up post. This might be especially useful if you too, have been suffering from some sewing burn out and/or you just don’t know where to start because you have so many projects you could start….This idea of crafty monogamy – working on only one project at a time as stated by Lauren – is a really good way to get the most productivity out of your sewing, I think.
First and foremost, “Sewing should be fun and not stressful!” Miss Crayola Creepy said this. Isn’t that the truth? Sewing can be such an enjoyable process. I admit, I love the scheming part the best, but I do so love all the in betweens too. I love the moment you take the first cut into your fashion fabric and the way the scissors glide through the cloth. I also love the finishing – hemming, handstitching, making buttonholes and the like. What’s more I adore wearing the finished item. Always makes me happy to put it on and see it all done and then go to my closet and pair it with garments I already have.
Katherine had an awesome idea and one that would be really enjoyable to employ. Creating little bags of projects that have the fabric, pattern and all the notions and supplies collected and all put together so that you’re ready to sew it all up. This idea feeds my organizational side too and would probably be very handy when planning out a wardrobe for a new season. Carolyn also had a wonderful tidbit of advice to go along with this and that was to keep a notebook handy for scheming projects. Write down your thoughts for future fabric use, color scheme and possibly pattern numbers or ideas for patterns you’ve made and want to alter. It’s handy to sketch out your plan and staple fabric swatches next to your sketch. This gives you freedom from dwelling on and being consumed by future projects – something I have a problem with. Instead you can just write down your idea and then keep going with your current project. Brilliant!
“Working on 5 projects at a time does not get them done faster, instead it usually means that nothing gets done.” Amen lisa g. I’m embracing this one project at a time notion and I’m really loving it. I’ve got my man’s winter coat on a roll! Lisa also had the brilliant idea of creating a project task list – seriously this is like genius! Its so nice to organize your time in the sewing room with a task list and it can show you how long this specific project will take. I think it makes the project look and feel not quite so daunting if you’ve got a really big complicated project on your hands.
Several of you chimed in by saying that its really helpful to restrict yourself and make yourself work on one project at a time by not allowing yourself to buy anything new or start anything new until one thing is finished. Buying something new is something I need to work on bit by bit, but in the meantime, I definitely want to incorporate the don’t start anything new until one thing is finished part. In addition to this though, a few of you stated that with really long projects, its great to break it up with an easy peasy project, like a t-shirt. I’ve actually been thinking about this and have fabric and thread for another cowl necked Renfrew whilst I’m working away on my man’s winter coat. I’m looking forward to just breaking the pace a bit with something different that’s not really time consuming and is really gratifying and easy to bang out. A really really great idea!
On UFO piles – This is definitely an area I need to work on, but I have to admit to myself that I can’t just work on that pile alone. Some of those garments are for a different season than the one I’m in now and so I think for me, when it comes to organizing this section of my sewing room, it will be in order of season first and then by something that theperfectnose said which is to organize your UFO pile by the amount of work a project needs to get finished and putting those with the least amount of work at the top of the pile. Fabulous idea! Stef also said that she goes through her UFO pile and decides on their fate very quickly. How likely is it that you will finish that blouse that’s been languishing at the bottom of the pile for years? Maybe you should either come to terms with getting rid of it or cut it up and use it for something else. I totally need to do that.
Last but not least, organization can spawn creativity, movement and the desire to finish what you’ve started and you all even told me so! One of the most important elements here is keeping a clean workspace whether that’s by cleaning up your mess before you’re done for the day or by cleaning it up before you get started, the idea is to just clean it all up so that you can focus your attention on the project you’re working on at the moment. Organize your sewing room and put things in their proper place where you’ll know you’ll find them again. Its no fun searching for that one little tool you need for over an hour because your place is such a mess and nothing can be found! Ask me how I know!
Oh goodness readers! Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas, comments, suggestions and the time you took to post about my previous post. It was wonderful and I feel so much better! I feel great! Gosh, y’all know how to make a girl feel like a million. Here’s to more organized, efficient but creative sewing. Here’s to one project at a time!