Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reality Check at Chez Gertie

Do you ever find yourself with more sewing projects planned than one human being could ever complete? Sometimes I get so ambitious about my sewing that it's laughable. For instance, I realized that somewhere in my feeble mind, I had been planning to make the following garments in the next two weeks: the party dress for my friend, the wiggle dress/overskirt combo ensemble for me to wear to my friend's wedding, and a 40's style suit to enter into this competition. What in the world, dear readers, was I thinking?

Part of the problem is that it just occurred to me that it's not still the beginning of September. The other part is that I just love to plan projects. It's the most romantic part of sewing, don't you think?

I imagine I'm not alone in this hyperactive sewing planning. (Um, right?) After all, there are so many beautiful fabrics and patterns and trims out there, that sometimes it's tempting to try to use them all. I suppose the thing to remember is this: there will always be more sewing projects out there. We don't need to do them all today.

So, I propose that we all take a deep breath and enjoy the project that we're actually working on, this moment. Let's enjoy each stitch. Sewing isn't really worth it unless it brings you some sort of serenity, I think. And it's quite hard to be serene when running about like a mad woman trying to do eighteen different projects at once.

So, I will be focusing my attentions for the next couple weeks on one, that's right, ONE project. The party dress for my dear friend. As for the others, I have plenty of dresses that I can wear to the wedding (like the red satin!) and I certainly don't need to enter every sewing contest.

So that's my plan to restore some sanity into my sewing life. What's yours?

P.S. Though there won't be a lot of new garment action in the next few days, still come visit for a crinoline tutorial, a Garment District Post, fun with feminism, and plenty of my other ramblings.


  1. You’re certainly not alone! :-) I always feel there’s so many things I’d like to sew, but too little time … And the sheath dress will be gorgeous to wear for the wedding, so you’re already set for that.

  2. i should really focus on ONE project as well and try to make it really good, instead of trying to sew 2 cardigans, 4 dresses, 1 pair of pants and 2 tops at a time and lose motivation halfway through

  3. Hehe, I am currently working on a jacket, but I'm planning to sew another coat, pants-vest suit and one or two blouses!
    However, I stick to a simple rule - I am sewing one project at a time.
    But hey, making plans is essential ;-).

  4. Think of the old saying, "your eyes are bigger than your stomach". That applies to sewing as well. Yes, sewing should be serene and relaxing. What's the rush unless one is trying to win the most garments done in a short amount of time?

  5. Oh yes, do wear the red dress! It's so lovely!

    Good luck with focusing on just one project. I try to do this but just can't. In addition to having lots of sewing projects planned I also want to do some papercrafting, try my hand at jewellry making, embroider a bit and oh! then there's the paper making course I subscibed to coming up in October. You know what I mean? hehe.

    On my blog I committed to a post about one work in progress every Wednesday to motivate myself to finish all the abandoned projects that hide in boxes somewhere. But seriously, it's much more fun to plan something new. I can't keep up with my ideas.

  6. Exactly, I was wondering if you were actually Superwoman when I read what you had planned. Thank god, you're normal like the rest of us.

    Check out my blog, I finished my slips! And I'm looking forward to the new tutorial. I have a full-length ball skirt made of pearlized lavender tafetta and pink tulle that I never wear and I think refashioning one (or two?!) of your petticoats out of it would be wonderful.

  7. I am the same way! I currently have 3 sewing projects waiting for me. They are all in different stages of work. I am also working on some jewelry projects that are also in different stages of completion. I also have to juggle work and class some where in between. Sheesh, I need to work on one thing at a time but there are just so many pretty things to make and so little time!

  8. I am the same way, but I like to have a bunch of projects cut out so when I feel inspired I can just sit down and sew away.

  9. I love this post, Gertie!
    I do the exact same thing...with painting/art projects. This summer I think I took on too much...due within the same two-day span were: 18 paintings for my solo show, 5 paintings for a group show, TWO projects for art house co-op (which I just ended up not doing for sheer lack of time and energy), and 26 packaged prints for a gallery. I felt like I was going nuts. I didn't sleep for about 3 days. And I felt like it made me verge on depression! I vowed never to do that to myself ever again, or at least to plan enough in advance that I have some kind of time budget worked out.
    (and like you, I kept thinking it was "the beginning of august" and then suddenly realized it wasn't anymore...haha).
    So thank you for the nice reminder.

  10. Me too. I have a notebook and tons of sketches devoted to sewing projects. It's fun to plan, as long as I don't expect to finish all of those ideas! I am planning on entering the PR wardrobe contest. I have my patterns, my plan and I am still working on the pattern for the jacket! I have 9 other items to sew too. One bite at a time.

  11. *sigh* I am always doing this to myself. In an attempt to organize and focus, I did sketches of all the things I wanted to make, the fabric I have available and if I had a pattern for it yet. If I already have both, those are the ones I make first...

  12. Over Labor Day weekend I got out all my sewing patterns to organize and fabric for the "short term" projects (which means that it's pre-washed and waiting) and decided that the planning time was over, it was time to get to the sewing machine and actually make something. There's plenty of time for planning when I'm away from home and for organizing when I'm too tired, but daylight + energy means get something done!

  13. Haha, I just came over to see if you'd posted anything new and immediately chastised myself: "Of course Gertie hasn't got a new post already-- no one could keep up that kind of of frenetic sewing for long!" Lo and behold, a lovely new post... about how you can't keep up your frenetic sewing for long ;)

    I get exactly this same way myself. But I think sometimes the bursts of energy are just what we need to motivate, and then you can relax, take a deep breath, and really ENJOY the projects at a slow pace.

  14. I also love the planning stage - though annoyingly as I am still very much a beginner combined not having much time to sew at the moment, a single project takes me an age!

  15. Fun with Feminism! Yay! (and my magic word is "churness.")

  16. Lol! I always do that to =) I always have at least ten new projects planned, and another ten that's just lurking as ideas at the back of my mind.
    I find the only problem with this is all the fabric I buy for the projects that's not yet started... Storage can soon beacome a problem in a small apartement! There's fabric everywhere! =)

    I really like this post, 'cause I think it's easy to sometimes feel like one is alone in planning more than can be done, and beacuse it's good to realize that someone else might once in a while need to calm down, and focus on enjoying what is actually at hand. So thank you for a great post!

  17. Whew, I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who does it! We creative types have a lot in common, don't we?

    Amanda, yikes! That sounds like an absolute nightmare.

    And, lsaspacey, I am FAR from superwoman. Yep, definitely human. I might be the human-est of them all!

  18. I have probably 5 projects going on at the same time...I'm either not busy or burning both ends of the candle! I'm trying to get better organized--will take your suggestions to heart. Love your blog!

  19. If only there were more "sewing hours" in the day!!!!

  20. A poignant post!! Planning is definitely one of the most exciting and romantic parts of sewing... we get to experience the whole beginning, middle and end in our minds. Only I'm doing the opposite of taking too much on now, more like procrastinating. Not sure which is worse!

    Enjoy making the party dress!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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