How many projects can you work on at one time?
Every once in a while I like to take stock of the things in my sewing studio. I go through my fabric bins, rifle through my patterns, pull out any half-finished projects and stack them up. For me, I count a project as being “in the works” if I have both the fabric and the pattern to make it, whether or not I’ve started or cut out the project. Sometimes I’ll have an entire project cut and ready to be sewn, other times I’ll have made the pattern and selected the fashion fabric, but not yet tested the pattern out of muslin.
Other times I have a great idea for a particular piece of fabric, but I haven’t made time for constructing the pattern yet. As I’ve said in past posts, I’m not someone who buys a few yards of something with the intent to think of how I’ll use it later on. If I buy it, I have plans for it. Yes, those plans may change, but it all has a purpose.
The problem is, I’m finding more and more often that I’m creatively weighed down by the amount of possibilities that I have. I’m not whining about “having too many choices”, I promise. I’m trying to explain that with more and more options to choose from, I waste time thinking of what to work on next, instead of grabbing a project and going with it.
I spend a part of each day in front of my see-thru bins of fabric thinking about what each piece is meant to be. I’ll dig through my yardage, pull a couple of options out, and then ultimately question if I’m choosing the right pattern for each piece of fabric. It leads to me feeling frustrated and eventually putting everything away and going back to working on the computer or abandoning my studio entirely. Nothing gets sewn, and my creativity takes a nose dive because I’m not actively making anything. I’m procrastinating making choices because I’m afraid.
I have a fear of sewing something and then not liking it. I’m not sure where it comes from, because I feel like it’s not even based on anything. I’m lucky in that I don’t have many project failures. However, I don’t have a gigantic fabric stash, so each piece feels very precious to me. The perfectionist part of my brain says every garment has to be absolutely meticulously executed. What if I screw it up? What if the fit isn’t just right and I never wear it? What if? What if? I don’t want to waste the yardage I have.
It’s exhausting. It kills my desire to draw and cut and sew. I’ve had enough of it.
I made a list of all of my projects and have slowly started to make my way through it. A few of the items on the list were related to future side projects that I can’t share yet, but others have been gifts and one was just for me. It was Grainline Studio’s Hemlock Tee. I absolutely love it. Did I fret about cutting up the tissue knit I used for the shirt? Yep. Of course. It sat on my table for a good week and half while I debated if it was exactly what I wanted to use it for. Am I happy that I told myself to get over it and just cut it out? YES. It felt so good to sew it up, and I love the result. I need more of that.
These are the items that I’ve chosen to work on first to cut, sew and finish. This is going to be great!
The Jul Hat by Wiksten has been knitting up very quickly in a maroon baby alpaca yarn. It feels like heaven and I like to work on it in the evenings while curled up on the couch under a big blanket. I can’t wait to finish it. Knitting is a no-pressure activity for me because I can always frog what I don’t like!
I’ve saved this sweater knit for the longest time to make a shawl-collar sweater dress out of it, but I don’t know when I’ll ever have the time to make the pattern for the dress in my head. Instead I’m using the Lola from Victory Patterns because it is going to feel like heaven. Those 3/4 length sleeves and deep pockets are going to make me very happy!
I bought this deep blue sweater knit from Bolt last winter, and I kept telling myself I’d make up a great knit cardigan pattern for it. Has it happened? Obviously not. I picked up this McCalls M 6803 the other day so I can spend my time sewing instead of perfecting patterns. I don’t always trust Big 4 patterns, so this one will get a careful screening before I cut into my fabric.
What does your list of projects look like? Are you good at finishing what you start, or do you need a little push from time to time?