This weekend I finished my sewing area in our living room. This included quite a lot of discarding, but I also made some changes.
UFOs (or Unfinished objects)
I honestly believed I don’t do UFOs. My clarity on what I like to wear, what styles work best with my body shape, the colours I prefer, my reasonably good grasp of which fabric is right for the job arrogantly made me believe I don’t get it wrong very often. But of course I do. I just prefer to forget about it – to completely wipe them from my mind in a classic act of denial. The bagged up, unfinished projects are hidden away so that I don’t feel guilty. But what happens when you pull them all out from their hidey holes and look them in the face?
You throw away the things that don’t spark joy. To be honest it is very hard for a poor UFO to spark joy in anyone. You hid it because you couldn’t bring yourself to finish it. It wasn’t working six months ago, whatever made you think it would work now? For those that are still wondering, the quilt pieces have gone to Oxfam.
However some UFOs got saved. There are seven or eight of them. I decided to put them on a tray in my sewing room, with “mending” and “alteration” items. The pile was bigger but I have been quite good at going through it and doing the jobs. Five have already been completed. Since taking the photo the pink jumper has been darned (moth holes…) By having them on the tray I have them in my sight and mind. I will have to finish them by Christmas or they too go in the Dustybin.
My Inspiration Board
I stripped it down. Half of it consisted of drawings I had done before SWAP 2015 started – as you might expect not one garment resembled what I had actually made. I also had off cuts of each fabric I had used. All very interesting but now discarded. In the end I found I had a lot of old post cards and magazine cuttings that I had not looked at for ages. What I have now is a nearly plain board. I have a few colour schemes for future textile planning, and two pictures of sleeves I would like to make. I will add to it again as the mood takes me. I used to use boards a lot more before the internet, but they still have a value. But I think they need regular culling.
Kondo has a section on what to do about paper. It involves throwing much of it away. I have lots of paper associated with sewing – everything from evening class handouts to cardboard pocket templates, to old magazines with interesting article that I haven’t actually read. As I usually have a good internet connection I have trashed most of it. I admit some patterns have been stuffed into my paper pattern area, which I have yet to tackle. A difficult job I have been putting off. I think I need to take a holiday first. The paper under my ironing board is used for dewaxing fabric but it also stops small items such as socks falling on the floor.
The drawers that contain thread, needles, thimbles, chalk, seam rippers and other small items used for sewing are currently tidy and beautifully arranged.
Most excellent! I have one UFO at the moment that is giving me fits…….toss? after ‘all’ that work, keep on plugging?
ARGH and Kondoing paper IS the worst!! Liked the article re your father and his father.
Thank you Susan . It is such a struggle, isn’t it, to complete something we don’t love – what is your UFO? (and only one seems good to me!)
This post made me smile. I have also been trying to work my way through unfinished items. Today I have completed two tops and a dress. The stupid thing is that they only needed to have the hems and sleeve hems finished, but they have sat in the corner for quite some time. What I find happens is that if a garment doesn’t look as lovely as I originally envisaged ( if RTW, it would have not been bought) then I lose all interest and before long I am onto the next adventure. Sadly I think I am a hopeless case……
Oh Sheree – you express this dilemma so well.
Just read about your lovely new sewing room and then linked to this post. I am Kondoing papers at this very moment. Last week I did my sewing room as I decided to count my craft stuff as books (and I needed an excuse to get on with sorting out my sewing room).
My room was very cluttered and full of ufos and things that will never be made or finished. All to the charity shop and now I love sewing again. I just kept a few sewing projects that have a chance of being made. As my room is looking beautifully decluttered I can now sew with a clear mind, instead of giving up after a short time due to sewer’s blank.
Kondo has been a revelation to me as I thought you had to keep everything, just in case!