Monday, February 12, 2007

UFOs and PIGs

I’m taking a break from SWAP sewing. I feel a little guilty. I picture myself as the Hare, in the fable of The Tortoise and Hare, sitting under a tree taking it easy while other Swappers steadily toil away. And we all know the outcome of the story.
While looking for some interfacing the other day, I foolishly opened the door to my UFO closet. UFO is short for Unfinished Objects. Some people don’t have UFO’s. They have PIG’s, Projects in Grocery bags. Have you got any? No? Then you either don’t sew or are incredibly disciplined about finishing projects or throwing away ones that don’t work.
I haven’t got that gene.
Anyway, I decided to look at each UFO, determine what it would take to complete, decide if it was worth it, and …see if there were trends in my UFO’s that if identified, could be avoided in the future.
Here is what is in my closet
1. Fabric collage jacket a la Rosemary Eichorn Completed except for sewing in the sleeves and applying the binding to outer edges. Loved collecting fabrics an creating collage, but: where will I wear it? Aha! Paducah Quilt show April 2007, just the place. Decision: Complete.
2. Partial completed grey wool jacket. Vogue 7682 Jacket and lining is complete – Topstitching in white 30 wt thread looked awful so I pulled it out. And I could not find 16" garment weight separating zipper in white. I need a grey wool jacket. Decision: take another whack at top stitching, order zipper off internet.
3. RTW silk blouse bought in size XL with plans to alter to smaller size. Don’t know what to do with the released bust dart to alter to B cup. Love Fabric, Will go with SWAP garments. Hmmm can use as purchased item. Decision: research SBA (small bust adjustment) in sewing library and apply knowledge.
4. RTW embroidered silk blouse on sale. Too big, need to take out sleeves, decrease shoulder width and sew in sleeves. Still love fabric and style. Decision: Remove sleeves while watching TV. Resizing and sewing will take about an hour.
5. Black wool gabardine, safari style jacket OOP Vogue 1999 – Couldn’t ease sleeve head to get all the wrinkles out. Gosh how long ago did I make this? I now know how to take out excess ease in a sleeve head. Piece of cake Still like style and would like jacket. Decision: Finish
6. Stone wool gabardine jacket (same fabric as SWAP pants) – tried iron on interfacing, but it didn’t stick, Removed it. Cut out and sewed in non fusible interfacing. Fabric bubbles over sew in interfacing. Decision: Keep, do research (see trends) Will really expand SWAP wardrobe. I love light colored wool suits in winter.
7. Completed SB blouse in ikat woven silk with coordinating piping. Would match SWAP. Too small. Options: insert bias cut bands under sleeves and in side seam to increase size or give away. I have lots of the same fabric. Haven’t missed it in my wardrobe. Decision: Give Away.
8. Patchwork panels of striped (tans, dusty pinks, blues) silk triangles (tie scraps purchased from Talbotts factory). Pretty, Pretty! Use panels to make short boxy jacket. Tasteful enough for work, but also another outfit for Paducah. Decision: Go for it.
9. Art to wear Jacket Vogue from Marcy Tilton. Just needs opening in front band tacked shut. Boxy no shape garments don't look good on me. Could wear in Paducah too. Decision: finish.

Okay, I see several trends here.
1. I buy RTW items in the wrong size because I like the fabric/design, reasoning I can alter the garment in less time than it takes to find fabric/pattern etc. I never do it. Resolution: Don’t buy RTW items that need alterations!
2. I like wool gabardine jackets and pants. Pants are a piece of cake. I have yet to select the right interfacing for gabardine. Resolution: Think twice before purchasing gabardine for jackets. Worsted wool wear just as well and is easier to sew. Do some internet research on interfacing, and under the lining snooping on RTW gabardine jackets.
3, I like to try creative techniques or patchwork patterns, but plan it as a big project, which I never finish. Resolution: Think about doing mini projects, small panels, samples, postcards to try a technique or pattern. Then if still interested, plan a big project.

This analysis was very helpful to me. Wonder why I never did it before? Guess I needed time to accumulate a good sample of UFO’s


  1. Well done for reviewing your UFOs and making plans for the items. When you find the Small Bust Alteration please do post about it. I am a broad shouldered small bust girl and stuff that fits nicely in the shoulders has too much fabric for the bust :-(

  2. Audrey, I so admire your finished projects. You list some tendencies which lead to UFOs and PIGs, (I have the same ones), and you have a workable plan to deal with them! Inspiring.
    Lee K

  3. I've recently had a reckoning with my UFO's, too. I committed to getting through them before starting anything new and I'm truly making progress. It feels so good. Congrats on the analysis - it's a great first step.