Saturday, 28 May 2016

Attempting to conquer my mountains of UFOs again

Hello - anyone still reading along? I've never been a particularly regular or prolific blogger, but I have let things slide in the past few weeks. To be honest, I've been having a bit of a blog crisis and was seriously considering ending it - I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment with life and there just isn't enough time for everything I want to do. Since I don't plan to use my blog to make money or launch an overpriced line of amateur patterns I didn't think I would miss it. And I know I'll never have a flashy blog with amazing photography in cool locations and I don't sew the uber popular indie patterns that everyone seems to go crazy over, so I'm not deluding myself that my blog is a 'must read' for anyone.

But then I remembered what I do get out of blogging - it's a way of keeping track of my projects and alterations made, and it's enabled me to make many new friends and contacts in real life who share my love of sewing. I was reminded of this last weekend when I went on a sewing retreat with my local Australian Sewing Guild - without my blog I wouldn't have met these funny and amazingly talented ladies.

I was also reminded when I sat down to finish a UFO that was started in my pre-blog days (that would be more than 8 years ago!) - without any project notes I have no idea of what changes I may have made to the pattern. Despite several attempts over the years to clear up my many UFOs that are lurking around, the sad fact is that I still have more than a few many unfinished projects from the 18 or so years I've been sewing.

Sadly it's not the first time I've confessed my UFO habit and tried to do something about it - in this post back in 2009 I talked about the very same thing, and I have 18 posts over the years referring to UFOs. Judging by the two big boxes of UFOs I know have I didn't achieve much progress since then, but if my Burda style challenge has taught me anything it's that forcing myself to do something routinely it eventually becomes habit. So I'm declaring my intention here: from now on I'm aiming to finish one UFO each month until they're all gone.

I'm also planning to analyse why I let things become UFOs to see if I can identify patterns or weaknesses that I should also try to address. And by blogging it all, not only am I making myself accountable, but I might even make some of you feel better about your own UFOs, or make those of you that are very diligent to feel mighty glad that you don't even have any UFOs (I bet you don't have a fabric stash either, do you?!).

First up, one of my more recent UFOs: Kwik Sew 3915 Ruched Neck Top


I cut this project out this time last year to take away to a sewing weekend retreat but I didn't get time to make it then, and I forgot about it when I came home and packed all my things away. So no real reason for this one becoming a UFO.

I am really annoyed with myself for taking so long to finish this one - it's a great pattern and top and I've worn it several times already in the last month since finishing it. Funnily enough it took less than 2 hours to sew it, and it only took that long because I was sewing it at one of my ASG neighbourhood group sewing days and there is more talking than sewing going on there!

Kwik Sew 3915 ruched neck top grey black stripe top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com
The fabric is a wool knit, quite lightweight like a merino although it's a bit scratchier and doesn't have a great deal of stretch. Being wool it presses really well, and was easy to sew with. The fabric is leftover from a maternity dress I made back in 2012, and was originally purchased from the Remnant Warehouse.

Let's talk Kwik Sew patterns for a minute - they used to be a bit unfashionable, with 'sensible' styles that hardly set the sewing blogging world alight. But I think they have great simple styles and the patterns are really well drafted. Now that they have become part of the McCalls company they seem to be trying to make their pattern covers more enticing and modern - but as always if you look beyond the cover picture you might just find a gem!
Kwik Sew 3915 ruched neck top grey black stripe top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com
I made a size xs from this pattern and it fits me well, although I went off the flat pattern measurements and not the body measurements stated on the envelope.  The shoulder seams are a little wide for my narrow shoulders, and I do have some pooling in my lower back which is to be expected from a pattern without a centre back seam. Looks just like all my RTW tops do anyway, so I'm fine with it.

Kwik Sew 3915 ruched neck top grey black stripe top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

It's a relatively easy pattern, although I imagine sewing those loops for the buttons on the front would be fiddly in a knit (I didn't bother with them) and getting a good finish at the bottom of that V-neck seam in the centre front proved impossible even though I tried a few times. It has a slight bubble, but it's not too bad and probably not too noticeable at all.

Kwik Sew 3915 ruched neck top grey black stripe top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I didn't interface the collar so it's a bit floppy and doesn't really fold over that well as it's designed to. For the next version (that will not become a UFO!) I will use some interfacing, but possibly will reduce the width of the collar so that it doesn't need to be folded over anyway because only the smallest amount folds over and it doesn't really look intentional.

Kwik Sew 3915 ruched neck top grey black stripe top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

So that's one UFO done from many still unfinished. This is going to be long road, but I just can't let all those fabrics and time invested in half finished projects go to waste, so I am determined to finish a good chunk of them at least. The good news is that I finished four other UFOs last week, so I'm making a good start on my UFO challenge.

Thanks everyone for reading along and commenting on my blog, and especially to those who I sometimes bump into in real life that take the time to say hello - it's always lovely!


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