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Forum > Beginner's Forum > How do You Know When To Give Up on a Project ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How do You Know When To Give Up on a Project
Purposeful "UFO's"
IsaboeR
IsaboeR
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Texas USA
Member since 9/18/13
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Date: 1/23/14 9:12 AM

I've been mulling over this for some time and think I know the answer for myself, but I'm curious to know what prompts others to "give up" on a project. I've only been sewing for 8 months or so now, and I'm still happy to give myself plenty of room for mistakes - wrong fabric, bad pattern choice, still learning a new technique, etc. But I also set myself a goal to try and finish everything I start; I may not wear it but at least I tried it and now I know what doesn't work.

Specifically I bought a fabric a while back, but even after washing it turned out to be a pretty stiff cotton. I thought a simple a-line skirt would be and OK use; but the fabric still isn't so great and I'm 99% through and don't think it will look well (haven't hemmed it yet). I've read a lot where others have huge stashes of unfinished projects, which I don't want for myself, but also that others force themselves to finish absolutely everything seems brutal to me.

What are your criteria for it to be OK to move on?

MrsCharisma
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Date: 1/23/14 9:55 AM

I'm also a newer sewer (a year tomorrow!). I have no qualms about moving on from a project that isn't working. None.

I do keep them as I have "rescued" 1.5 ufos. One I finished and one I think if I can get the legs how I want them, they will become wearable.

I cleaned my sewing room up right before the new year and tossed some ufos. Some are spring/summer garments so I'll hold off on those until the weather is warmer. It is -17 F right now! Lol!

Some kind of force themselves to finish their UFOs. I'd rather move on to something new that isn't frustrating me.

------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

jacqui583
jacqui583
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Ontario Canada
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Date: 1/23/14 10:17 AM

On the one hand if something isn't working out it can still be used as a learning tool so some things I want to carry on or even take apart and redo. On the other hand life is too short to continue working on things that are making you miserable. So for me it's about finding the balance.

I have a top I made a couple of years ago that has never been quite right. I actually had it in the goodwill pile when I decided to pull it back out and now have intentions of learning what went wrong. I guess enough time has passed that it is almost like a new project from that perspective!

------
Jacqui

Phoebe (Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0)
Jenny (Janome Coverpro 1000cpx)
Sergio (Brother 1034D)
Betty (White 1505)

KensingtonCrab
KensingtonCrab
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In reply to IsaboeR <<
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Date: 1/23/14 11:25 AM

I move on when I truly think I will never wear the item or lose interest because the item has been a UFO for quite a while and I have other projects I am more excited about.

------
Carpe diem!

Al Johnson
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Al Johnson
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Date: 1/23/14 11:28 AM

If I scream and throw it across the room, then I'm pretty sure it's done.

------
A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 1/23/14 12:07 PM

I don't think I've ever CHOSEN not to finish anything. What happens is that I run out of time or steam or get distracted by something else, and then I just never get back to it.

------
~Gem in the prairie

zazzie
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zazzie
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Date: 1/23/14 12:20 PM

I never worked on a project which was obviously not going to work. I've been sewing for 30 years now.

I see if I can save some fabric, notions (zipper, etc.) out of it, then ditch the entire thing immediately. Ah, the relief once it's out of sight ..!

The difficulty remains: when is it "obviously" not going to work ? Over the years I have become merciless. If I will not be perfectly happy when wearing it in public, to the bin it goes. And quick.

------
There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. - L. Cohen.

Elona
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In reply to zazzie <<
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Date: 1/23/14 12:28 PM

It is such a relief to gather up an impossible, annoying project and toss it into the garbage!

kajero
kajero  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/23/14 12:41 PM

I finally gave up on a project last week. I had made too many muslins/muslin changes and finally figured out I was crazy to beat myself over my head about it. I even knew the style would look awful on me if I did complete it. Stupid, huh! It was for an on-line class I paid for so I thought I HAD to finish it. Yeah, right. Who cares?

I started and finished another project in two days! I sure felt on top of the world when I completed it and it looked and felt wonderful to wear. And this was a test muslin! So I learned . . . if it is not going work don't spend time trying to make it work. Go on to something else and feel wonderful! I am 61 and I finally realized my time is too valuable to spend it doing something that makes me so frustrated.

PS I took the horrible project apart and am using the pieces for other projects.

------
Kathy

My Personal Blog: kathysthreads.wordpress.com
My sewing dream: Make a really great fitting pair of pants!

Annie- oh
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Annie- oh
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Date: 1/23/14 12:44 PM

Great sharing and advice here.

Would this kind of summarize?

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Then give up, no use being a fool about it."

------
I try all things. I achieve what I can. "Moby Dick"

We stand here confronted by insurmountable opportinities. Pogo

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