my longest (and most shameful!) UFO

Sunday, 14 September 2008
Still ploughing through my UFO pile although it is becoming increasingly boring. I don't know why it is, but for me finishing a UFO is almost as tedious as doing alterations to RTW or mending - something to be put aside for later.

Anyway I found this UFO at the very bottom of the pile and it is my oldest project, because it is one of the first things I meant to do to actually make by myself to learn to sew (up until then my mum had made the majority of the clothes with me observing) when I was about 17 or 18, which makes it about 13 or 14 years old! I can't believe I still have it, but I can know why I didn't make it - I was impatient and itching to get on to the more interesting and complex garments.

The reason that I class it as my most shameful is that I didn't get past cutting out the pattern and it is such a simple camisole style top that it would have taken me no time at all to finish. I cut it from Vogue 1576, now long OOP. But in hindsight it was better that I didn't make it because how this top turned out may have put me off sewing for life: the fit was way too big (it fits my 31 year old 6 month pregnant body!), the style is a a little basic which is a good simple top to wear under a suit but wouldn't have fit into my wardrobe as a 17 year old, and the colour is a little blah, being a caramel beige cotton.

So to salvage it and remove it from UFO list, I hacked into it since I had little to lose. Firstly I cut a few inches off the back because it sat too far down my hips, but I left the front piece long so I could gather it at the sides to create a pouch for my belly. I finished it with a narrow hem using my narrow hem presser foot which is THE most fiddly piece of sewing equipment I have but turns out brilliant hems. Then I cut a new armscye using the highly technical method of guestimation and simply folded it over and topstitched - the pattern is supposed to be reversible so no facings were included. Then to liven it up I topstitched 6 rows of red thread using the twin stitch needle - it's a bit wonky but not too bad. And here you go, the product of 13 years neglect and one hour of attention:

Plus it gave me an excuse to wear this cool plastic leaf brooch I picked up in an opshop ages ago. To make sure that the top didn't become an orphan, I decided to refashion the red pencil skirt you can see in the photo above to wear with it. I made this a few years from stretch bengaline, but since I don't wear red suits (I'm just not that confident) and it's not often that I don't wear a suit to work, I rarely wore this skirt at all. But because it is so stretchy, all I had to do was cut off the narrow waistband, take out all the darts, put narrow elastic across the back and turned down the top and topstitched. And it fits brilliantly! And worn with my most favourite BWOF jacket ever, it now has a place in my wardrobe and in fact I've already worn it to work like this:

In the comments to the last post, Northeast Iowa Mom asked what I meant by the term 'op shopping'. Sorry! This is one of those unique Aussie terms I think, but yes it means thrift shopping - here in Australia charity stores selling second hand goods are called opportunity shops and as usual Aussies always shorten everything.

MaryJ - I try very hard not to go to Crowle House Fabric Cave. Yes I know it's for a very good cause but the times I've been there in the past I've bought so much fabric it's not funny, so now I vow to only go there to buy if I can bring fabric to donate as well! It's what makes the second hand world go around - you donate your old (crap) and buy new (crap) to you!

Jean asked if anyone has been touching my belly yet. The answer is no thankfully, and if they tried to I'd block them karate style LOL. Although my husband keeps interrupting my reading or tv watching trying to feel the baby kick, even though I tell him it's not hard enough movements yet to feel on the oustside!

Anyway it's a Sunday evening and it's all peaceful domestic bliss around here. I have a chocolate cake in the oven (an actual cake as opposed to the metaphor for the child in my womb ha ha), some handsewing to do to finish the things I made over my long weekend and Dr Who is on in a few short hours (yay!). Hope you all had a great weekend too, it's what makes the working week almost worthwhile........


  1. I am incredibly impressed that you resurrected an UFO of that vintage. It has turned into a very nice maternity top. I am also a bit green about Sydney op shops. Where is all the 70's polyester that is the only fabric lurking in my local op shops?

  2. More innovation from the UFO pile...I am telling you that you have the best maternity wardrobe ever! I love how you use every opportunity to make something awesome to wear!

  3. Hey!

    I'm a big big fan of the abbrev. and the initialisation... but you may explain some of your acronyms or initialisations to some of us newcomers!

    UFO - Unfinished... fabric... umm?

    You're looking fabulous in your mat gear! Nice work!

  4. Hi Veronica

    sorry about that! I have so many UFOs I assumed everyone else has at least one too - it means an "UnFinished Object", as opposed to a WIP - a "Work In Progress".

    thanks for stopping by

  5. Gotcha! And what about BWOF?

    Unfortunately I'm a virgo, and totally in my own world/lunchbox, and the way I taught myself to sew was to follow each step of the pattern, and then you make something. I rarely leave a step out, so hence no UFOs! Lots of FO. Did someone say OTT*? Yep 24/7!


    *Over The Top

  6. Wow, that outfit looks great! Very nice touch of red without the power suit.