Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rationalizing



I have been completely stymied by this dress.   Here it sits, almost done but not quite.

It's a McCall's pattern from 1986.  Doesn't look very 80's does it?  I found it at the thrift store.  I've always admired circle skirts on other folks.  I thought I'd test out if I liked one on me.  It is a full circle.

This was intended to be wearable, but really it is just a muslin.  I don't usually make muslins.  Unless I intend them to be wearable.  I did a few alterations.  Same old square shoulder, lower back neckline that I always do.  The bodice fits well.  Darts are in the right place.  I like the subtle sweetheart neckline.
 

I used up some leftover lace trim at the armhole and piping at the neckline.  The fabric is also thrifted.  It looks like linen but it's not.  I think it may actually be drapery fabric.  There's no lining or underlining so my catch stitch on the facings looks horrendous.  I hate armhole facings by the way.

The problem is that I'm just meh about the whole thing.  The fabric, the trim, the silhouette.  It's been sitting on my dress form waiting on a hem and buttonholes for two weeks.  I can't bring myself to finish it.  And I can't seem to start anything else until it's finished.  

Do I finish it?  Put it away and come back to it later?  I can't picture myself wearing it, but you never know.  I wanted to make a real deal version out of some seersucker I've had in my stash for a while.  But I'm not sure how I feel about doing that either.

I've found that I don't like to move on to something else until I finish what I've been working on.   This is a recent development.  I seem to be getting more compulsive with age.  I don't have any ufo's lying around.  I have some failed sewing experiments around but nothing I just didn't finish.   I know there is one project I cut out and never sewed up.  I guess that counts as a ufo.  What about you?  Do you have several projects going on at once or are you monogamous with your projects?

So I'm rationalizing giving up on it.  Someone tell me it's okay.

31 comments:

  1. I feel the same way about sewing projects, it makes me feel so guilty moving on to a new project when the other one isn't finished. very annoying sometimes.

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  2. I quite like this dress, some bright pink buttons, a belt and I think it would look great! Go ahead, finish it, you never know you may really like it once its done!

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  3. I avoid having ufo's lying about too, so finish it, hide it in the back of the closet and see how you feel about it later. It looks like a cute pattern though.

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  4. I'm on the fence of this one; while I like the silhouette and the trim and think that it could look very nice on you, I think the color is very meh and from what I can tell, doesn't fit your style and personality. I'd also say, finish it up but really as a muslin, see how you like it on you and make it in a fun fabric. Saying that, I also have to admit that I cannot not finish something. Guilty feelings over here, too.

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  5. I totally understand the feeling of wanting to give up on a project, but not wanting to move on until it is finished. Usually I just force myself to finish it so I can move on to the next thing. However, I do have my one real UFO when I got in a similar situation to this one - I was making a costume, but after some not so great real life stuff happened I just lost interest in sewing frivolous things, but didn't want to move on until the project got finished. After a month of making nothing, and having similar mixed feeling about finishing it, and then feeling annoyed because I wasn't sewing anything at all, I finally decided to move on. It was a good decision. I think if you are just completely uninterested in a project it is fine to just move on and ignore it. It sounds like you don't even really want to wear this dress all that much, so I don't know if I would even classify it as a UFO if you didn't finish. More like a muslin that didn't work out. I like the style of this dress - I think it would look cute on you, but I think you might need to make it in a more exciting fabric to be inspired to like it/wear it more.

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    1. I think more exciting fabric would definitely help. Your situation sounds exactly the same. I haven't sewn anything for two weeks because of it.

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  6. I'm a newcomer to your blog.
    I think you should try the dress on, and post a photo on your blog. I'm sure once you wear it, you will fall in love with it all over again and find the motivation to finish it off. I for one think the dress is adorable :)

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  7. i would undo the stay stitching and and trim the facings down and machine stitch them around the arm holes and then splash out some deep pink and blue dye and paint flowers all over it or experiement with tie dye and put stripes on it. I think its the colour that is throwing you off. Remember its a muslin the fit and style is what you should focus on. So experiment the knowledge can be use later.

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    1. Hmmmm, dyeing it does sound fun....

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    2. i've gotta second the dye job. i think it's the (lack of...) color that's throwing you off. you is a very colorful gal.

      that said, put her in the closet and start something you like. no need to feel guilty when you've made something perfectly (and it does look perfect).

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  8. I like to stick to one project at a time so I get something done once in a while :-). But in this case, I think you should just throw it out (or donate it back to the thrift store along with the pattern). You hate it. You've already thrown much more time at it than would be justified. I know there's a lot of stuff out there about not giving up, and making it work, and sticktoitiveness and... But really, knowing when to cut your losses is a great skill to develop. Sewing's supposed to be fun, and unless you're going about it in a totally boring predictable way you'll have dogs sometimes, you need to write them off without all this agony.

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    1. Yes, thank you! This is what I really want to do. Give it up guilt free ;)

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  9. Oh dear, and it does look very cute with that pretty piping and lace trim on the armholes... ! I'm sure if you finish it it will look just lovely on you with that pretty detailing, but also if you are not excited about it at this stage, then maybe that is a sign? I see you mostly seem to wear bright and very cheerful colours, which look wonderful on you with your colouring. :)
    I agree with you about armhole facings. I prefer to cut a whole bodice facing.
    The books you are referring to are the Gumnut Baby series by May Gibbs. There was the Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the Adventures of Little Ragged Blossom, and the Adventures of Little Obelia. All Australia children grew up with these books, and I still treasure my own fully illustrated editions! The Big Bad Banksia men in all the books were based on the Banksia seed pods, which is basically what the flowers in my post today will look like once they have been pollinated, and opened up to let the seeds out. Does one of these book titles ring a bell? :)

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  10. I'm one of these people who always has a hundred projects on, and I flit between them at will. 90% end up finished at some point, it just takes time to get there! Personally, if I lack enthusiasm to finish something, I put it to the side and move on to something else. One day I might come back to it with refreshed feelings and finish it, or I might have inspiration to make it something else entirely! You shouldn't feel guilty if you put it down for a while, as you're giving yourself the freedom to move on to other things.
    Helen x

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  11. It is perfectly okay to give up on it, especially if it is holding you back from starting something that you will actually like and wear. I also dislike armhole facings. With other crafts I always have several (dozens) hanging about, but with sewing I am monogamous, one project at a time.

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  12. Can you paint it? You know, like your blazer? Because I really like the cut, but the fabric is just, well, meh (althoughthe trim is cute.) Especially for Tigra. C'mon.

    Really do like the cut, but then I'm all about full-skirted dresses these days... (And I do much, much better when I have only one project on the go at a time, but I've been a bit scattered these days and haven't always been finishing the old ones. It bothers me.

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  13. Put it away. Or better yet, finish it and donate it and chalk it up to experience! Either it will sit around as a UFO annoying you or you will finish it but it won't be your style and that, too, will annoy you. It's cute but if it isn't something you're excited about it's not worth keeping around taking up space.

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  14. Well, if you were me, it would be the color you were reacting to. It is probably a lovely material but that color is really, really hard to wear for the fair-skinned. Try taping some bright buttons on it and see if it catches your fancy any better. If it doesn't, finish it up whichever way you can and put it immediately in the Goodwill pile.

    I think the pattern is really cute and in a livelier fabric you'll be much happier with it (and finish the sleeve openings with bias tape or just a turned-under edge--facings are of the devil).

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  15. oh I'm the same - I can't leave a project unfinished, but can't finish a project that I am totally 'meh' about . Instead I have discovered the joy of the 'magic coat-hanger' - you put the dress on a coat hanger while you wait for inspiration. It can sit there a good six months if you like - you haven't officially abandoned it - you are awaiting inspiration. In the mean time, you follow the energy of a new exciting project. After about 6 months of hanging about, you can accept that it hasn't worked for you, and respectfully inter it, knowing that the lesson you needed to learn from it has been learned.

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  16. I think the colour (or lack of it) is the problem. That particular shade of beige looks quite bland. I'm thinking either dye it or chop off the bodice and turn it into a top...then you can use the skirt fabric for another muslin. If you know deep down you're never going to wear it, why bother? This sewing thing is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Good luck.

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  17. It is OK! Give up on it! Or rather, count it as a lesson learned and move on. Not everything you make will be great, that would be boring ;) Trust your instincts and believe that you don't love this one. I often find that a little distance helps with this - I will put things in a closet to "marinate" for a few months, and then take them out and have a more objective opinion of them.

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  18. I think that beyond than just giving up on it you need to get it out of your house. Otherwise it's just going to be hanging around reminding you of it's unfinishedness. I too am getting worse about having a hard time moving on when I am aware of unfinished projects in the background. Some projects are okay, but I know I will never want to wear the finished project because of some flaws in the concept. Best to move on before you sink more time in it.

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  19. I'm a bit late to this party, but I was thinking some dye. Or maybe you could do some crazy sort of art project where your students could paint it...see what they come up with? Then it could be a work dress? If you weren't going to wear it anyway, then no loss, and maybe they will make it fabulous?

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  20. If you aren't loving it, and you don't think you will love it when it's finished, I say don't waste your precious time and energy on it. Give it away to the charity shop, someone else may see it and love it and finish it, and you will have headspace for a new project! Sewing is for enjoyment, not guilt!

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  21. Yes, thank you ladies! I feel absolved. I've decided it's going on the magic coat hanger.... (love that, Mary Nanna!)

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  22. I totally have this problem. I won't move on until something else until I've finished the thing before, but that sometimes makes me sloppy in finishing when I know half-way through it's "Meh" -- but why not just give up on it if you know you're never gonna wear it? I'm working on this, too, but life is short. There are so many things that you could LOVE that are better uses of your time. :)

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  23. Please forgive an interlopers opinion, but the dyeing sounds like a good plan. My initial thought was that this was the lining for a very cool dress. It needs a pop of color.

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  24. Please don't be upset when I say this, but I think the reason you don't love it is because the color is so dull. I've seen your projects on BurdaStyle, and it seems to me that you are a fellow lover of color. This wouldn't suit you even if you finished it, or at least that's what I've gathered from my little bit of following.

    P.S. I always get nervous about posting a comment that sounds somewhat negative, so I really do hope you won't be offended.

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  25. it's not etched in stone that a facing has to be catchstitched along the entire length. if you have topstitched the seam allowance on the inside of the facing, then where catchstitching will be seen, as here, grabbing it at the shoulder seam and at the underarm seam will hold it in place. i would also attach it to the dart with a few chain stitches so that at that point it's almost loose but still attached.

    i would also add bright buttons, as cg said, and wear bright bracelets and belt. but that's me. if i still didn't like it, THEN i would gift it.

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  26. btw, how do you like that form?

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