Thoughts on scraps

Also, thoughts on sustainable making and consumption – I guess these thoughts go together! It isn’t the first time I have shared thoughts on this topic – some years ago I wrote about tiny dresses and sustainability and even longer ago about using the fabric scraps. It turns out I still have thougths! It’s a length post, this one.

I have not bought new fabrics in a couple of years (and with my current very low output my stash will last me decades), and save a raincoat I invested in last year after much research, I have not bought new clothes for even longer. There is very little joy for me in browsing and shopping new clothes, knowing how destructive this consumption is. I can’t remember a particular moment I realized how much of an issue the textile and fashion industry and our consumption presents, but I’ve only become more sure through reading up. Some documentaries have helped, such as The true cost of fashion, Stacey Dooley Investigates – Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, Norwegian public broadcasting’s
, and another Norwegian mini-documentary series called Sweatshop. Listening to the podcast Check your thread by powerhouse Zoe Edwards has only further inspired me that this is both important and doable, and the Soul Craft festival advocates a connection to making and materials that I think goes hand in hand with mindful consumption.

So, it does not feel good to participate light-heartedly in an industry that is so destructive. What do I do, then?

I buy new rarely, and after much research. I spent a couple of years thinking of getting a raincoat from a local company, then months asking friends for their opinions on their own raincoats, trying on different models, and choosing one for myself. It was pricey. I bought a pair of winter boots this year, after several winters of cold feet (I hate feeling cold!). They are made of leather and lined with sheepskin, and produced in Europe. They were pricey.

I have been looking into brands in line with my beliefs, and I have found some (though not bought from most of these yet). There seems to be more of them arriving at the scene, which makes me very happy! Pure waste based in Finland produce their textile from waste fiber, Rifolab based in Italy does the same. I have bought a sweater from Norwegian brand Hekne that was knit with respun yarns in France. Other brand that have come across my radar is Rockay Running (Danish), Cariuma footwear, Tripulse sportswear, Sorbas Berlin and Emroce swimwear.

I use my garments and shoes for a long time. I have a Uniqlo merino wool cardigan in regular rotation, and it is thinning in places, but still doing ok some 10 or 12 years on. I have a dumb amount of shoes, because I keep them until they are really quite worn out!

I try to take care of the things I own. I mend holes, I oil wooden kitchen utensils regularly, I am best friends with my little electric fabric shaver. I get a lot of joy from patching utilitarian things up! Visible mending is not really my thing, so I usually try to make it quite invisible.

I do buy second hand clothes, and I particularly like finding things while I travel. Best souvenirs! My headache comes when I am ready to pass on garments, because there is no very clear best solution. Donating to a thrift store is easy, but the fact that so many garments bypass the second hand stores and goes on to litter third world countries in quantities they cannot process, and probably don’t even want? I am horrified. If possible I give the garment to someone I know who is interested in it. As a next option I might try to sell or give away the garment online, ensuring it goes to someone who actually wants it. Though, make no mistake, I do also bring clothes to Salvation Army – but I aim for other options first.

My newest second hand purchases.

I know some places take fabric scraps for recycling. The Norwegian branch of Salvation Army did for several years up till recently. Turns out, with the massive amounts of garments and textiles coming though, and a fraction of it making it into their thrift stores, they were self-sustained and then some with scraps for making shoddy. I have not found another alternative that I trust and that can show where the textiles end up.

After listening to podcasts that in part covers using scraps and unwanted garments, such as Check your thread, I would love to produce as little waste as possible, going out of my household. That means it needs be put to use somewhere within my household! A favorite activity at times has been to search the internets for suggestions for scraps (I have collected some ideas in a pinterest board here, and another one specifically for piecing fabric and combining smaller yarn quantities). A lot of them are things I am not interested in, and I don’t want to end up making more stuff for the sake of making. The finished product must be useful and aesthetically pleasing to me. As such, there is no scrunchie-production or random strip quilting going on in my sewing room. Some project suggestions I come across are dangerously close to “making trash out of trash” in my eyes.

At times this has frustrated me – what do I do with all the leftover bits of fabric and worn out garments? I have found some things that are both doable and interesting to me.

  • Quilts. Yes, I just said no random scrap quilts. For years I have seen scrap quilts that probably make a huge dent in a scrap pile, but that were not to my taste at all. They looked very random, no color scheme with a balance between saturated and unsaturated colors, no thoughtful variation of size and placement of different colors, just pieces of brightly colored fabric that beat each other up. The past year or so though, I have been seeing beautiful quilts and compositions using scraps, but also being *designed*. Publiclibraryquilts and Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions and Soul Craft both make (scrap) quilts that are compositions, in the way that artworks are compositions. I can get on board with this. I have also made a quilt where I wanted to use scraps, but also wanted it to look beautiful and in line with the rest of my home.
My own almost finished quarantine scrap quilt, finished in 2020. I had an orange tablecloth that I cut up, and pieces of different blue-grey fabrics.
  • Mindful pattern cutting. Many times I have adjusted pattern pieces based on the fabric I have available. Hems have been reduced in width, a skirt was made less full, if doable I have cut some pieces on the cross-grain. All this to best use up the piece I have.
  • Use fabric scraps for pockets, facings, etc. This is an oldie, for sure. Recently, I have been thinking how I can piece together scraps for linings. I am picturing a wool coat where I could piece silk scraps going from bold and saturated colors at the bottom, to pale colors further up. A pieced color-gradient lining!
I am picturing something along the lines of Petra’s coat, where the colors transition from top to bottom.
  • Piece fabric in garment making. I have done this before as well, but with pieced clothing being more common, at least what I am seeing in the IG home sewing community, the threshold is getting lower for me to consider piecing fabric to thoughtfully use the amount of fabric that I have available. I have some chiffon weight fabric I am thinking of piecing together in a symmetrical and geometric pattern, in a button down shirt.
Very visible and graphic piecing would be cool. Via Pinterest.
  • Baby clothes and kids clothes need so little fabric, so if I have remnants that work in weight and color and material, tiny clothing is very satisfying.
Baby clothes don’t require much yardage.
  • I have yet to make any zero-waste garments, but I would very much like to. I am not sure if I feel this is a superior solution over traditional garment patterns in home sewing, as I think some traditional patterns overall uses less fabric – though with some waste in forms of off-cuts. Have I wasted less resources if I make a zero-waste dress needing 4 metres of fabric, than if I make a traditionally patterned dress using 2,5, but with offcuts? I guess it comes down to what happens to the scraps. I am really enjoying seeing the designs coming out of this movement, and especially happy seeing it implemented into factory production – think letterman and denim jackets! I follow Zero Waste Design Online for this specifically, and they also have started a Zero Waste pattern library. Also, zero-waste backpacks and bumbags? Yeeesss! Hinerangi is a kindred spirit who has tried a lot of zero waste patterns, and her IG-account is worth checking out. Zero Waste Wardrobe has a number of really nice looking patterns (and also, for free!), and I am thinking one of her patterns will be my first ZW-attempt.
This is a zero-waste bra pattern, and I’d love to try it out.
  • Use scraps in weaving. I am not sure I am much of a decorative weaver, but I would love to make a traditional “fillerye”, a woven scrap rug. It runs in the family I guess, with both a mom and a grandmother being weavers. I even have a loom waiting for me when I am ready (and have the room for it!). This could take care of quite a lot of larger pieces of disused fabric, such as pillowcases and sheets, maybe some larger pieces of clothing. Rag-rugging is also a great scrap-busting craft, but I prefer the look of the woven rugs. Below are two rugs inherited from my mom, which I would guess my grandmother made. I think I even remember her loom being set up in the guest bedroom, where we slept.
  • Making baskets! I recently did an online course learning the basics of making baskets, and what drew me to it was the potential for reuse. Strips of fabric, twine, yarn… I have not actually finished a basket yet, but I already have a fair collection of textiles to use: kitchen towels and sheet with holes, old tshirts and jeans, some pieces of unused fabric. The course recommends baling twine as the core, which I wanted to find an alternative to as the point for me is avoiding buying new materials when the earth is literally overflowing. I think a possible option could be strips of jeans, rolled up. I am thinking it might be sturdy enough to work nicely!
  • Rags. Kitchen towels with lots of stains and holes, socks blown out at the heel, tshirts worn threadbare? Perfect rags for shining shoes, woodworking, etc. I think there is a limit to how many rags one household needs though.
  • Finally, I have joined the many many crafters making a pouf to hold their tiniest scraps and unusable bits, with the one from Closet Core being a popular pattern choice. I’ve realized a full pouf is probably many years in the making, so in the meanwhile I have made a lower inner bag (out of a faded unwanted pillowcase, of course), and have started putting my scraps in there. I have small offcuts, threads from the sewing process, yarn ends, the fuzz from shaving pills off fabrics, cut up worn out socks and underwear. I teach art and crafts at my school, and I have been collecting scraps of thread, fabric and poly batting during their making, so that will go into my stuffed pouf as well. Another option is to make stuffed toys. A recent episode of Check your Thread featured zero-waste designer Liz Haywood, whose patterns also include dolls with clothing. The dolls can be stuffed with scraps, of course!

I am not making perfect choices all the time, and my lifestyle certainly produces waste. These, however, are things I have found over the last five years that make sense in terms of my values and capacity. I’ll end with words of encouragement from zero-waste chef Anne-Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”



With the world not quite making up its mind if it is winter still or summer already, I have both wool and linen stuff to show you today. And lots of words!

The final alpacca shawl

Starting with winter and alpacca wool, this is a scarf with well over a decade worth of history. I could probably write a whole separate blog post on this scarf alone, but here is the short version:
– Bought different colored alpacca yarn in 2004 while at “folk high school“, where everyone knits all the time. I made several long and skinny scarves.
– Started a pair of colorwork mittens, which I didn’t finish until many years later.
– Moved to Bergen in 2005 to study at the University, and freehanded a crochet wrap cardigan with this brown color, which was my neutral at the time. I am still impressed that I just decided to crochet a cardigan with no pattern and little experience. Raglan, and seamed, no less!
– Never wore the cardigan, since the crochet fabric was very open. Frogged it the same year and made a crochet triangular scarf instead that I wore near daily for the next decade.
– Still in 2005, found the exact color brown on clearance since it was being discontinued, and bought the rest.
– Fast forward to 2013. Had lots of yarn left, decided to knit myself a sweater. Thought I would run out of yarn, but I had plenty left.
– Frogged the crochet scarf during Christmas two or three years ago since the yarn was breaking in places. Idea of giant scarf to end All the Brown Alpacca Wool was born.

– Frogged the silly faux colorwork mittens that never fit, and were never used.
– Early 2016 I started a (real!) pair of colorwork mittens with the rest of my Barcelona souvenir yarn. I ended up knitting three mittens as I somehow lost the first somewhere in my apartment. Yeah, no idea how I managed that feat.
– Early 2017 I started the Final Alpacca Scarf (pattern is Close to you). I couldn’t finish the scarf though, as long as the colorwork mittens were underways, and they were taking kind of forever.
– March 2018: Finished the mittens, and subsequently knit the final three rows of the scarf with the very last of the alpacca yarn. Phew! 14 years and three iterations later, I do believe I will keep this one!

Irish Vine Colorwork mittens
Ok, that was not so short after all, but let me make it up by saying the following about the mittens. They are pretty, they took a long time to knit, and I am happy with them. The end. Ravelry notes and more pictures here.

Linen crop top and shorts
Moving deftly into summer, as our weather did – for a day at least. Sustainable sewing is a hot topic right now, and the Love to Sew episodes on this and intentional making were particularly inspiring to me, especially the round-up of ways to use scraps. I was delighted to realize I do a lot of those things already! Refashioning has also been a focus for a number of years, through projects like The Refashioners run by Portia Lawrie. I am mentioning these things as I had a stroke of inspiration one day, eyeing a full length linen sleeveless dress hanging in my wardrobe. It was given to me by a friend who though the color was typical me. Here is a terrible phone camera picture that I snapped at night before starting to unpick everything.

I did love the dusty olive green linen, but the fitted and lined dress was not a style I felt comfortable in. Suddenly I had the idea of using the bottom of the skirt as a crop top, placing the existing vent on the back for a breezy, boxy summer top. Using my trusty self-drafted kimono sleeve top as a template, I traced the shoulder slope and neckline, and added rectangles for sleeves. The neckline facings are pieced from the armhole pieces of the dress, which happened to have the perfect curves.

This was a case of squeezing as much as possible out of the available fabric. For the shorts I used the OOP 3850 Simplicity Built By Wendy Slim-fit pants. I have made shorts (still unblogged, save for a mention of the plans) from this pattern, and they fit alright. I extended the lines as much as I could to get a high waist, and was able to eek out a waistband that is faced with a different fabric on the inside. The front pieces were cut with the dress side seam running down the middle, and the back was pieced. I used the original invisible zipper, just shortened. For comfort and allowing for fluctuations in weight the waist isn’t fitted, but rather has a 1″ elastic, held ever so slightly taut, that keeps the waist in place but doesn’t pinch.

I wanted to make the shorts as high waisted as possible, so I could wear them with the crop top with just the right amount of skin flashing. As you can see, I have to raise my hand quite a bit to show midriff! The vent means the back is more on display, especially when I move, but it is all in balance I think.

I had so much fun turning this unworn dress into something I look forward to using! Having the tiniest of fragments of fabric left afterwards was also fun – I so enjoy the creative problemsolving in projects like these.

Ogden Cami

This post is getting so long – I think I can sum this sewing project up quite quickly. Fast sew, good patterndrafting, I need an FBA (judging by the straps splaying and the wedge popping out near my armpit), viscose wrinkles, I’d like to shorten the straps 1/2-1″, and the strap placement doesn’t cover the top my my bra. I prefer to be able to wear a bra (with straps), so I am not sure that this top will become a staple in my wardrobe. Solid pattern!


Alessa of Farbenfreude is moving house soon (congrats!), and was doing a destash on her instagram. This fits right into sustainable sewing, so I am excited to get some new pieces of fabric and exercise creativity in deciding how I can best use these pieces. This gorgeous tweedy wool with multicolored flecks feels maybe like a Belladone dress, I think. And look how sweetly packaged – thank you Alessa!

Christmas brioche scarf
Yes, very late… I am knitting a brioche scarf that was a Christmas gift. In all fairness, I did request color input on a knitting giftcard, so I didn’t start until February. It is grey, will be very long, squishy and warm.

Fåvang kofte
Finally I found yarn to suit the frogged Bayview sweater! The pattern is looking beautiful, and I have made it to the point of dividing for sleeves and bodice. This is one of my #2018makenine items.

Also a #2018makenine item, a set of running tights and top. The sizing has thrown me off, since many reviews mentions going down a size or even two. In addition, I won’t be using 5/8″ seam allowance (1/4″ is more like it, using an overlocker!). I have cut out the top going down three sizes, hoping for a wearable muslin. I want to order wooly nylon ( is a source for us Scandinavians!), but I need to…  actually order the stuff.

A selfless Sydney jacket
I am making a Sydney jacket in a dark grey felted wool. I have made two for myself, this is the first, and the only one that has been blogged about. The jacket has been waiting for months, all cut up, and shouldn’t be hard or lengthy to sew, which leads me to the next item on my list.

I have been thinking of how to participate in MMM in a way that makes sense to me. Using me-made garments each day is something I can easily do, but what is not happening at the moment is sewing time. Almost every project feels too overwhelming and time consuming in this hectic season I am having. I’ve decided in May to spend 15 minutes each day on this sewing hobby of mine. That can mean taping and cutting patterns, gathering supplies, basting a seam, or actual sewing (!). I am hoping this will lower the threshold to just do *something*, even if I can’t set aside longer chunks of time. So – that is how I am participating this year!

icelandic cabin sweater

I am really in to colorwork knitting at the moment, as well as stashbusting (always!) – which has resulted in this beautiful sweater! For once I have actually completed something seasonally appropriate as well – I do have a tendency to finish summer dresses in the winter and mittens in the summer.

Telja sweater (8)

Longtime readers might think the yarn or color looks familiar, and they’d be right. This is actually the Modum knit jacket from my final collection at design school. I loved designing and knitting this jacket, and the final result – but I did  not love using it (it totally dwarfed me, and not in a cool Berlin-based artist way that I could pull off). Not that you have to use everything you ever make, but this was such gorgeous yarn in one of my absolute favorite colors, that it seemed such a shame to let it stay unused as a jacket. So I frogged it!

Pattern: Telja from Knit.Love.Wool (my ravelry notes here)
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in color Hayloft, and assorted small quantities of yarn I had laying around.
How much yarn is left: Of the Shelter yarn, almost 50 grams. Of the other yarns I just borrowed a bit from full skeins, so there is plenty left of most of it.
How will I use the leftovers: Shelter yarn will be part of a Baby Sophisticate jacket for a new little dude I get to hang out with every so often, and the wild sheep yarn is going to become a traditional Norwegian “kofte” – I am looking at maybe the Fåvang from a book I own.

Telja sweater (9)

Telja sweater (3)

What more do I want to say about this? I changed some things from the original pattern. I skipped the colorwork sections on the sleeves and hem, and I did a rib neckline instead of the i-cord finish. I thought the neckline looked a little open, so I wanted to close it in a little bit, and to my eyes this finish looks more traditional. I knit the colorwork section twice actually – after I dutifully made a swatch, calculated from that, realized the yoke was too big, and ripped back to knit it again pretty much exactly as patterned. Oh well!

Since deciding to knit an Icelandic style sweater from my past project I have pictured this on a cabin trip in the mountains somewhere, hiking, maybe skiing, playing board games and sitting around a fire. Now I’ve been invited to a cabin weekend in November, and I can’t wait to put this sweater to use in what I picture being its proper element! In the meanwhile, it works *just fine* around the house too. My 120-year old apartment building isn’t exactly draft free.

Telja sweater (4)

Telja sweater (10)

Telja sweater (1)

I really enjoyed the colorwork section, and seeing how the yoke was shaped through clever decreases. And, I like the stranded inside almost as much as the outside! It feels similar to a neatly sewn garment.

So, the yarn! Some thoughts on Shelter. I love, love, love the color and the depth and intensity of it. It was really cool to learn about how they blend the colors, by adding different percentages of base colored roving, then spinning them together. Almost a bit of pointillism, in yarn form! It is quite sticky, which made it actually not the most pleasant (or at least, smooth) yarn to work with, and still on this second pass I was picking out little bits of twigs. On the upside it spit-splices like nobody’s business, and it has a really nice pine-like smell that I remember from last time I knit with this. I was amazed that the smell was still there after 6 years of storage and washes and things!

Telja sweater (5)

It’s a gorgeous sweater, in my opinion, and I really liked knitting it. My favorite part of this project though has to be getting use out of something that was just lying around. I feel a season of stashbusting and mindful making coming on!

i have plans… OAL-plans

I’m chipping away at my ufo-pile that I posted about last month… um, two months ago (how in the world did that happen?) – I’ve finished the Grainline Portside travel set and just need to stuff it with pillows and photograph it, tackled a few easy repairs, and gotten back into muslin making for the Robson coat. I’ve been telling myself to knock out these unfinished projects before starting anything new, but then Lauren and Andi’s Outfit Along shows up and disturbs all my plans! In the best way, of course.


Lots of pops of pink on my sewing table! Really my family inherited dining table, but… um, covered in planned and potential sewing projects now. A lovely little corner of my lovely new apartment!

The Outfit Along is a challenge to, between June 1st and July 31st, knit one garment and sew one garment to create a complete outfit. Technically you’re meant to start from scratch, but reading Lauren’s post got me so very inspired to build an outfit around a half-finished cardigan (another Bayview Street Cardigan) that I’ve lacked the drive to finish, so I’m bending the rules as I see fit. :) It took me about ten seconds to decide on a pair of shorts, another ten to realize I had a pattern in my stash that would work well (Simplicity/Built by Wendy 3850 pants), a minute to dig out a fine-waled grey corduroy I think will be perfect, and (I will admit it) a whole day to land on a magenta crinkly chiffon underlined in dark brown-grey chiffon for a sleeveless Pattern Runway Pussy Bow Blouse.

Going through my UFO-pile made me realize I tend to abandon projects when I deviate too much from the pattern or instructions, and run into fitting issues or problems that require a bit of effort to work through. I want to finish these garments that I’m planning, not add to my pile of stuff – so I’ve decided to really hold back on alterations I make to these patterns. For the shorts I’ll raise the center front though, as I’ve seen that is a recurring comment from others who have made it, and for the blouse I want merge the ties and the collar stand instead of having a separate tie. I’ll probably also raise the underarm slightly since the blouse isn’t drafted to be sleeveless.

So, I’m going to finish a longstanding UFO, make two pieces of clothing I’ve been wanting in my wardrobe, using fabrics and patterns from the stash. Win, win, win, win, huh? I’m excited! Anyone else participating in the Outfit Along?

ufo spring cleaning

Happy Easter everyone! I hope these days off are a welcome break, filled with all the things you want to fill them with. For me, its crime shows on tv (a Norwegian must! I don’t know why, but Easter is all about the murder mystery books and the who-dunnit on tv), chocolate, reading, knitting, and…. spring cleaning.


There are several reasons why the cabinet with my in-progress sewing projects is getting emptied and scrutinized these days. One is of course that I have a very generous two weeks off from working, thanks to the local school system adding winter break onto this years early Easter. Another is (exciting things up ahead!) I’m looking to move soon – this time into my own apartment! Nothing is finalized yet, but I’m making every effort to become a homeowner this spring! This is beyond exciting and also terrifying, but mostly I’m feeling the happy feelings. This is also an excellent opportunity to sort through my things, and in the spirit of Marie Kondo and her life-changing tidying magic – only bring with me what sparks joy.

So, unfinished sewing objects… Some of these are years old, and have felt like a cloud hanging over my sewing time – “I should be working on that dress that only needs buttons, but…” I wanted to clear out the projects that no longer thrill me, and at the same time I was a bit curious why exactly I stalled. This might be more to my benefit than of interest to others, but here is an overview of the projects I found lurking – and why I’m giving away two incomplete dresses if there is someone who wants them and finish them. 

There were three categories I found:
– Simple projects that really just needed 20 minutes of attention. I tried to knock these out straight away, and managed to hem a dress that has been waiting for 5 months, mend a hole in a knit sweater, and patch up a pair of jeans.
– Slightly more involved projects that should still be doable in a few hours, like the several pouches below, a pair of zippered welt pockets in an otherwise finished jersey dress, a leather bag that needs assembly, and an umbrella destined to become a reusable shopping bag.
– The bigger projects I found were a trenchcoat with a partially assembled muslin, a lace skirt, a muslin for a bias cut silk slip, and a pair of pants with serious fit issues.


What: First up, a ufo I’ve tackled and want to show off as a finished object! I’ve had a scrap of black pleather lying around for ages, and at one point decided I wanted to make a lined clutch with gold teeth zippers and a gorgeous golden-green dupioni silk.
Why did I stall: I didn’t have a pattern, and the odd shapes of the scraps meant this was an excersise in creative patterncutting, and it just required too much brain power to get started.
What now: Yesterday I was finally in the right mood to figure out construction details and cut out pieces. I really like how it came out! Save from a small corner of the lining that I left open to pull everything through, this is all machine stitched, and the challenge of finding the right order of operation was a lot of fun and very satisfying. The proportions are a tiny bit off I think, and the top zipper is really a bit too long for the edge I sewed it to (see the slight puckering?), but for the satisfaction of those colors together and the top stitching, I can live very well with the imperfections. Mostly it just feels good to have finally finished it and not have it “waiting”!


What: Next up, the two smallest pieces of the Grainline Studio Portside travel set. I made the dufflebag itself last summer, before my sailing trip on the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, and it was great.
Why did I stall: I had all the self/outside patternpieces cut and interfaced, but not the lining. I think also I lost the sense of urgency as I barely managed to finish the dufflebag before my trip, and that’s why I was making the set.
What now: I lost a couple of the self pieces, so I had to recut those, and then I cut the lining pieces. They now just need to be slip-stitched to the zipper, and anchor the corners. Also, I forgot that I had added an extra inch of width, so the bottom of the dopp-kit is a little wonky. This is why leaving projects for months and years suck – you totally forget all the little changes and choices you’ve made!


What: Smaller repairs – zippered welt pockets, and interfacing a floppy collar and buttonstand on a blouse.
Why did I stall: Tedious unpicking ahead. Decisionmaking – where to place the zippers? How much of the buttonstand to interface? Remove the  buttons and the collarstand to really get access? Annoyance – why is this blouse made without interfacing? It’s so floppy and unsymmetrical! Impracticality – I actually wear the blouse quite a lot, now it will be out of commission for a while (well, given my track record at least! I’m hoping to change that!)
What now: Just do it.


What: Oh, wow. This is an oldie. I’ve had this bag planned since my senior thesis collection (in 2011!). I didn’t have time to make it for the fashion show, and I don’t remember when I actually cut it, but.. here it is.
Why did I stall: It’s like a kit that didn’t come with instructions. Last time I had it out I got totally overwhelmed with trying to figure out the spacing for the holes along the edge that I need to punch out, so I just put it away again. Also, I’m not in a very dire need of a small leather bag, even though it will be cute.
What now: Well, some math and a good album is maybe what this requires?


What: Lace skirt, from pattern testing Sewaholics Rae skirt pattern.
Why did I stall: I want to make this into an underlined pencilskirt (check out my asking for input on lining choice here), but that means unpicking 8 serged seams, drafting a panelled pencil skirt pattern and underlining each panel piece.
What now: I know, I could make this much easier on myself, but I think this is a project I would enjoy doing very thoughtfully and thoroughly. I should probably start by seeing if I have a suitable skirt pattern in my stash somewhere – that feels like the biggest hurdle to keep going. I almost decided to get rid of this project, but something keeps holding me back. I think I will like this skirt once I finish it!


What: This is also from last summer – a pair of Named Patterns Alexandria pants.
Why did I stall: I really did not like working with this pattern. It put me in a bad mood. Then the fit was not good, so I tried to slim the legs down and made it worse.
What now: I’ve decided I think a crotch gusset might be the solution. I’m wondering if the width across the hips and… crotch width perhaps? is not wide enough, making a very unflattering “tent” when I sit down. This will need some trial and error to get it to fit, and that requires patience on my part.


What: Sewaholic Robson coat! I’m actually really looking forward to working on this! I bought the fabric several years ago in London specifically for this coat.
Why did I stall: That lovely printed cotton voile is to become bias binding. Something like 14 metres of it. That is stalling me, as is the fact that I made the decision to grade between several sizes while cutting out the pattern for the muslin, and now I don’t remember what sizes I used and where. Once I have the muslin sewn up I anticipate fitting changes that needs to be transferred to the paper pattern. Also, the amount of fabric is a little daunting!
What now: Now that I write this out, it doesn’t feel all that undoable actually. I think when I work on this coat it needs to be the only project I’m working on – or else I will lose track and get confused.


What: Pattern Runways Gathered sundress. I blogged about it here.
Why did I stall: I’ve worn this twice. I really love the fabric, a soft cotton silk in lovely colors. It’s just that the fabric reads very differently at a bit of a distance, as a garment, than it does up close. I used a gold-colored silk as an accent in piping along the waistline and the pockets, and I thought changing out the waistband itself would break up the print a bit. I did a lot of unpicking, and then… I don’t think this is my style anymore.
What now: I loved making this dress – I put a lot of effort and care into it, but it’s not for me anymore. If anyone wants this, and put it back together, I will be happy to ship anywhere. (The zipper is included, it needs to have the waistband reattached to the bodice and the skirt, and the lower portion of the zipper attached again. It measures 98 cm/ 38,5 inches in the bust, 75,5 cm/ 29,5 inches at the waist, and is 94 / 37″ cm long in total from top of shoulderstrap to hem)


What: 0451/2246 Traveler dresses by Lisetteblogged about in progress here.
Why did I stall: My sewing machine doesn’t make button holes. Or, it does, but it’s totally anti-automatic. I’ve been waiting for a chance to borrow someones machine and make the buttonholes, but it’s become clear now to me that even if I finish the dress, I won’t wear it. So, again – if anyone wants this and finish it, I will be happy to ship anywhere in the world.
What now: I really enjoyed making this dress as well – as you can see, I took great care to match stripes, made interfaced bias sections for sleeves and hem, and I did a small FBA as well. I made alterations to the pattern, which I’m glad for – if I want a shirt dress, I have a fitted pattern ready to go! But the colors and the plaid isn’t for me anymore, so it’s free to a good home if anyone wants it! It measures 98,5 cm/ 38,75 inches in the bust, 77,5 cm/ 30,5 inches at the waist, and is 95,5 cm / 37,5 inches long in total from shoulderseam to hem). The fabric feels like a wool/linen blend, but there could also be some polyester in there. It’s a tiny bit scratchy, in other words. ;)

What is the main thing I’ve realized going through my UFO’s? For one, I think I should try to only have one sewing project going at a time – maybe two if the second is a fairly simple one. The choices and changes I make as I’m underways will be forgotten if I put away a project for too long. Another thing I’m realizing is that I stall out when things veer off course. Some days I’m up for the challenge of figuring out things, and other days I just want to follow directions and use sewing as my meditation time. It feels really good to go through these old projects and sort out the ones I actually want to finish! And maybe I can be a bit more mindful about new projects that I start – that I am exited enough about them to work through any problems that might arise?

How about you out there – any spring cleaning or finishing up projects? Regardless – Happy Easter!

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