Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sewing on a Schedule

Several years ago, I decided to stop making clothes for specific events - at that point I was pretty much only sewing 30's & 40's clothes for swing dancing, and it didn't really matter if I wore one blouse or another - if I didn't finish it this week, I could wear it next week. I found that if I didn't try to finish by a certain date, I slowed down and the quality of what I made was exponentially better.

While my sewing's gotten much better, I've also become slower than I should be - strangely, I started enjoying the creation process so much that reaching the end of a project wasn't my primary goal. This project is forcing me to pay more attention to the calendar, but I'm worried that I'll rush and become sloppy and cut corners, especially since so much of this is new for me. (yes, I have been called a perfectionist once or twice...)

This was already weighing on me, and then we just decided to put our house up for sale next week. (We've been wanting to relocate to be closer to Chris's job for a while, and we decided to stop putting it off and try to make it happen.) One more ball to juggle!

In order to keep on schedule, I've decided to eliminate as much handsewing as possible, even if the machine stitching shows (buttonholes, etc). I'm just not fast enough at it yet, and it's been one more new skill to learn that's been slowing me down. I also might not finish his complete outfit by January 22, but I want to have at least a couple pieces for Chris, and hopefully a new dress for myself.

Any tips for dealing with these large costume projects? Lists? Elves? Valium? :)

Cute kitty picture to lighten things up! :)


  1. To be surrounded by cute cats always helps;-)
    I guess everyone, who's sewing historical, has to deal either with pace or perfection (in comparison to modern none-fraying seams and neat machine stitches). It's a learning curve and as long as you love what you're doing you will master these issues...I'm sure some pieces will be (wonderfully) done on due date and then there will always be another event;-)

  2. Well, definitely Elves, lol. I can understand the dilemma. I usually will only work on one project at a time. Otherwise my CADD will kick in and I can't get anything done. Best of luck!

  3. Thanks for the words of wisdom - I just have to accept that what I'm working on won't be perfect, and might not be complete. I should probably view this as therapy. ;)

    The funny thing is, since I've already cleared out my sewing area of anything not related to this project, I feel like the time I spend sewing is more focused and productive!

  4. I always start with a list of every single step that needs to be done. I love seeing it get checked off!

    I also try to carry a small project with me all the time. I'm surprised how much can get done if I fill those little "waiting" moments during a week.

    The best thing I ever learned though was that it's OK if it isn't finished. Pin or tape the hems up, wear it for the event & finish it when you have the time.

  5. I am impressed with your initiative to take on a project of this magnitude. Keep up the good work!

    I feel the same way about sewing 30's & 40's clothes. While I was living out there I found I was always sewing for the "next event". It took some of the joy out of the process.

    Love the kitty photo! Such sweethearts.

    Good luck with the house!