One, or more on the go?

From mid-April to mid-June, we're flat out at my workplace due to a flagship event we coordinate in May. We work some serious hours leaving me with little time and even less energy to sew and be creative, so it may well be a little while before you see something exciting finished from me. But I am still chipping away at a few things in the meantime, albeit it slowly. 

At first, I used to be a monogamous stitcher devoting myself to just one project at a time. I'm pretty sure that most people find this approach to be the most productive. However, since the influx of awesome sewing challenges, excellent sewalongs and irresistible indie pattern companies I've slipped into a more 'reactive' approach to sewing. I now have an unmentionable number of started projects, which probably isn't the most effective way of working. But, I can't seem to figure out a way out of this 'situation', because there are new sewing delights springing up all the time.

So, I was wondering what works best for you on the project front - do you have one, or more on the go? Any tips for staying on track and not diluting you efforts between a number of projects at once?

Here's a sneaky peek at my three stitching priorities at the moment...two of them are top secret!




53 comments:

  1. I swing between the two. One on the go is definitely more productive...but I often get swayed into several projects. That said, I always have one of each of knitting, dressmaking and hand sewing on the go so I can pick up whichever the mood dictates. I love that floral fabric, btw!

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    1. I like that even though you have more than one on the go, they are all of a slightly different discipline. Very clever indeed!

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  2. I generally have multiple things on the go, but usually no more than three or four. One of them is generally a long term project, like quilts or the more complicated projects like coats and jackets. Usually my projects get set aside when I get to the point of needing something I don't have. On the shelf at the minute I have a blouse waiting for interfacing, a dress waiting to have the buttons put on, jeans waiting on the zip and waistband (buttons and zip both bought yesterday) and a dress half made that needs some re-fitting doing. It quite often gets to a point where I'll have a UFO day and sit down to do all those little jobs at once- button this, hem that, do the alterations on bought items etc.

    I am, obviously, quite an disorganised sewer, lol. I'm not counting my five-year coat UFO in all this, of course. That's been sitting too long to count as a current project!

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    1. Oh dear Ginny! I feel better though now, knowing that I'm not the only disorganised sewer ;o)

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  3. I sit somewhere between the two - I'll generally have one or two dressmaking projects underway (even if only because I cut out in one hit), a quilt in the works (these usually take me 2 years minimum) and a knitting project. I'm definitely with Evie - what I want to do depends very much on my mood, so it's nice to have options.

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    1. Your's and Evie's approach sounds pretty sensible to me!

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  4. Similar to Evie... I like to have one project that needs my full attention (machine sewing, cutting out - I often have mass cutting out sessions though) and one that I can do in front of a film (knitting, hand sewing).

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    1. This sounds like a popular option out there ;o)

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  5. Definitely a multi project kind of girl. I sew and crochet and have recently picked up knitting (I'm verrrrrrry slow at it) so it helps to be able to do whatever the mood dictates. Yesterday I had the time and the inclination and am now about 95% done with a top now. Other times it takes me hours and hours to get through something. It's nice to cast a project aside and do something that's a little more "instant gratification" :)

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    1. I know what you mean about time-consuming things being off-putting at times. And I too am very slow at knitting!

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  6. I always have at least half a dozen things on the go! I tend to sew in chunks of several hours at a time, over a couple of days, which doesn't usually give me enough time to finish one thing completely. Then I often start something else before finishing the last thing, and then end up with a basket full of half-done projects. I have a gorgeous houndstooth wool pencil skirt with leather panels that has been waiting to be finished since 2009, but I couldn't decide whether I wanted it to have an exposed zip or a concealed zip - so it just got left.

    This week, though, I WILL finish the pleated maxi skirt that has been sewed in fits and starts over the last two months, because I'm going to wear it to the ballet on Saturday!

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    1. Caroline, you must finish the wool and leather skirt...it sounds divine!!!

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  7. i only ever have 1 on the go, unless that one is waiting for something before it can be finished - if i need buttons for example or there's a bias hem that needs to hang. i don't have the space for more than 1 unfinished (and i'd never get around the hemming!)

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    1. I know it sounds silly to say, but I sometimes wish I had less space as it would force me to focus on less projects!

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  8. i'm generally a "one project at a time gal", though sometimes i'll cut two or three if i find myself in a less creative mood. then when i'm ready to start sewing i can get right at it!

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    1. I cut quite a few muslins out in one go, so I can be ready when I get the sewing bug!

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  9. I usually have about three projects I'm working on at any given time. I m extremely unorganized!

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    1. Three's not too bad considering ;o)

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  10. I just wanted to say hello since i am pretty new to the sewing community though i have sewed for awhile now. :) great to see so many sewist out there and reading all these blogs makes me feel so motivated like i just want to jump straight back to my machine!

    Cheers & Happy Sewing!
    Ade (www.adesays.wordpress.com)

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    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Ade, so nice to 'meet' you! And I'm so pleased that reading blogs makes you feel motivated...it does that to me too ;o)

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  11. I try to be a one project person when it comes to making clothes to make sure I get through them but I'll be breaking that over the next 6 weeks as I'm on a course and will be carrying on with other clothes. Other craft projects are always on the go - I just can't help myself!

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    1. Oooh, good luck with the course!

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  12. I'm a shocker! I have starteritis to the max. I'm currently sewing a top and have another dress and blouse cut out and ready to go. Plus I'm knitting a jumper and crocheting a blanket and I'm thinking about casting on a cardigan. I always have at least 5 projects on the go over sewing, knitting & crochet.

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    1. Sounds like we're pretty similar in our scatter-gun appoach! We're just to eager to be creative I guess ;o)

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  13. i have a gazillion knitting projects but am not going to fall into that trap with my new sewing habit. says she who finally gave up on the gertie coat as it was keeping me from doing anyhting else, and who started a portrait blouse even though my macaron is not yet completed. i'm a very struggling self taught sewist and that %&#!@ macaron has been a wip for about 3 months in all i think :/

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    1. Oh no Rebecca...sorry to hear it! Make sure you search for help online, there are so many amazing tutorials and YouTube films that can help you through any fitting issues etc you're having. Hang on in there, it'll be worth it for sure ;o)

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    2. Hi Rebecca

      Like Marie said above, definitly don't give up! I'm a self taught sewist too and there really are tons of good tutorials to be found around the internet. I'm sure if you adress the designer with your problem, she'll help!

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  14. I always have about three or four things on the go, (not counting my large box of UFOs from way back) and I have to stop myself starting more. It's definitely not the most productive way of working for me, I need to force myself to concentrate and finish some stuff before starting more. But with all the new patterns coming out all the time, and fabric, well you know how it is.... I'll be reading to see if anyone comes up with any tips to help stick to one thing at a time. And I'm excited to see your new projects - especially the bottom one, I love that big floral print.

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    1. You and I have the same struggles methinks! I love my big floral print too, can't wait to get it done...as you can see it's at a very early stage ;o)

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  15. I try to have one project at a time, but I'm struggling to stick to that at the moment. I completely agree that with so much temptation it's hard to stay focused on just one item! I'm hoping I can get through a few projects now I'm more free so I can enjoy all the beautiful patterns and fabrics I have piling up!

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    1. I'm sure you will Katy, keep plugging away my dear!

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  16. Yep, usually 2 or 3 on the go at any given time. Nice colour blue....hmmmm ;)
    That quilt top looks amazing! Am I right in recognising the remainders of a previous dress or two in there?!
    Px

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    1. The blue is lovely, isn't it? And yes, the patchwork does include some dress fabric remnants my eagle eyed friend ;o)

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  17. Latterly I've found that as I have no plan, I cut a few things out at the same time. And sew some, but sometimes leave something cut, but unsewn, for the sake of an urgent sewing whim. It's strange, never been like this before. Your projects look intriguing.....

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    1. Uh oh, you're turning into me Winnie! I hope you manage to snap out of it before it's too late ;o)

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  18. I always have one garment project and one quilt project. That's mostly because quilts can take soooo long!

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  19. I only have a little desk and a couple of small shelves in the bedroom, so I generally have a couple of garments max. on the go at any time and a small stash (though the temptation to keep on purchasing fabrics and patterns is oh so great). I don't have a lot of time for sewing, so if I had too many projects on the go, I'd be frustrated by the length of time it would take me to finish anything. I've just finished an Alma blouse and have to complete a Rainbow fish costume for school for my younger daughter before I'll start to cut out my next Alma (gorgeous blue/pink flamingo fabric with pink collar from Fabric HQ).

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    1. Your second Alma plans sound adorable and how cool that you're making your daughter a Rainbow fish costume!?!

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    2. Here's the Rainbow fish costume: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolibo/8806789124
      The organza was really tricky to work with, but it did look good. She did come home with a few bits in shreds, but had a great day :-)

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    3. Oh wow, that looks fantastic!!! You're clearly a super awesome mum!

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  20. Girl, I hear you! My work is bonkers, too, and probably will be until early July (eek!). It's left me feeling really tired and super unmotivated. I'm currently in the middle of three projects, and I have a Mood project due Tuesday morning that I haven't even started (yikes!). The sad part is the three that I'm in the middle of each only require a little attention to finish, but I just can't make myself get off the couch when I get home from work! Pathetic!

    I like how you described your sewing style as "reactive"-- that's the perfect word for mine, too. I get so excited about the fun stuff going around on the blogs, and I just HAVE to hop right in! I'm working on trying to focus on one project at a time because it's so much more rewarding to actually FINISH things. :)

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    1. Oh no, I hope work is enjoyable at least! And good luck with the Mood project and all the others too. I know what it's like to come home tired and unmotivated, but I'm sure it won't last forever!

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  21. I always have several projects on the go and then more in my head to get started as well. This way of working for me is messy, but I just can't seem to stop with all of my project ideas.

    I've just started trying to make myself finish a project before I start a new one, which is helping me actually finish projects, but I'm still constantly dreaming up new ones :)

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    1. Yeah, I too have so many ideas swimming around in my head! But finishing one before starting another is so much more productive...wish I could stick to that discipline myself!

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  22. I used to be monogamous in both sewing and knitting, but now I am all over the place. It can be a real struggle to concentrate on one thing until it's finished - tsk! So this weekend there are two skirts on the go, two pairs of socks, a blanket, and a cardigan.... aaaargh!

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    1. Hehe, it seems like most of us are as bad as each other! I don't even think there's a 'cure', we're clearly too eager!

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  23. I am seeing this somehow different, as I don´t think working on more than one thing necessarily is a bad thing. I´ve often found the solution to a problem in one project by letting it rest and work on something else. And then BANG! out of the blue - the solution to my problem occurs. :-) Also, I like to cut more than one project at the time, as my cutting table also is my dining table, and it´s good if it´s cleared from fabric at least some of the time...;-)

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    1. That's a very good point Solvi! Sometimes working on multiple projects can be faster for different reasons.

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  24. I usually have one sewing projects on-the-go and one knitting project. Unless I started something, but lost intrest because I suddenly need something else: I have a short cut and ready to sew from last september and a coat from last octobre. But because september was too cold for shorts and october too wet for selfmade coats, those got tossed aside, waiting for my next sewing whim.

    The shorts are on my sewing list for this summer, but I just don't feel like sewing the coat yet. Aside from that, I have one sewing project wich I'm actually sewing and dozen of other project in my mind to sew. The problem with wanting to make these projects, but not having the time or whatever to actually start them, is that I'm beginning to have a vast pattern collection!

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  25. Well currently I have a prom dress in the making, and a long list of projects in my head. I tend to have a big project like the prom dress on the go alongside smaller quicker projects. So for example I made up a quick summer dress last weekend after I'd reached a point with the prom dress where I needed to do a fitting and didn't have the recipient available to do the fitting.
    I also always have a knitting project on the go, and now I'm finally learning to crochet, a crochet project too.Plus of course notebooks full of pattern ideas and lists of the next projects.

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  26. I'm a total sewing polygamist. If only my sewing-project-sister-wives would help out around the house a little and sew themselves. I've got too many projects to count. That's ok by me, though. I can work on each project a little bit at a time. If I get bored or frustrated with one thing I can put it away and focus on another. It usually means that I finish a bunch of projects all at the same time.

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