Saturday, 1 November 2014

How many is too many?

Tell me, can you juggle more than one sewing project at a time? Can you cope with a number of works in progress (WIPs) at different stages? I ask because I seem to be pushing my limits at the moment. 

I’m a multiple projects on the go person and will have at least two projects happening at the same time. I like the variety and different options I get by staggering projects. If I’m short on time, I can stitch a couple of seams. If I don’t feel like sitting at the machine, I can trace a pattern or pin pieces together. If the projects are at the same stage, I don’t have the chance to maximise my sewing time and match it to my mood. Two or three projects feels manageable. I find myself in a place where I’ve slightly lost this feeling and I’ve been asking how many WIPs is too many?

Projects 1-4

At the beginning of last month I had a whopping 11 projects on the go. I had to create a spreadsheet just to keep track! You have seen some of them (my Buchanan and Cressida skirt) and you will get to see the others fully rather than the sneak peaks in the photos. I admit this is a completely self inflicted situation. November and December are busy months for me and I have no idea how much time I will have to sew. October was relatively free so it seemed sensible to try and use the month to get ahead. 



Projects 4-7

Working on 11 projects has been pretty difficult to move along. There is a pressure there that doesn’t normally exist. I'm still enjoying the process but there is an edge to it. Perhaps it is because six of the projects are selfless ones that I am feeling it more - the pressure of getting it as perfect as possible and delivering on time seems to dramatically increase when you’re not the recipient of your work. It seems that I haven’t learnt my lesson though as I’ve added another project to the list this week and agreed to finish a coat lining replacement with a friend that we started about ten months ago. The good news is I’m nearing the end of this marathon. Thankfully there is more grey text on my spreadsheet than black but there is a lingering sense that I've had too many projects taking place. 

Projects 8-9

What are your thoughts? What’s on your sewing table at the moment and what is your limit for WIPs at any one time?

30 comments:

  1. 11?! Wow! I'm impressed! Although I'm not surprised you're feeling it. I generally only stick to one, but that is more through lack of sewing time and knowing it would take me even longer to get one done if I had more on the go. I might actually start two today though, but mainly because one of them is a coat, and a might want some quick wins in between! I look forward to seeing your many creations :)

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    1. Quick wins when making a coat is definitely the way to go, especially when you reach the stage like you have been working on the coat for years!

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  2. I don't usually like to juggle too many but it can be really nice to have a simple t-shirt or skirt to fall back on if you are working through a lengthy or complex project I agree! I sometimes get in the mood to assemble PDFs or cut out and will do this for quite a few projects at once. This means I end up with lots of projects sitting about waiting to be sewn up but once I start sewing something I generally stick with that one project until it's done. It's nice to know that another one is waiting to get stuck right into without having to do any preparation!

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    1. That's a great idea - maximises your sewing time.

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  3. I think I'm the opposite of you. :) I almost always work on just 1 project at a time, finishing the first one before moving onto the next one. These days have about 3 projects on the go simultaneously, and it's driving me crazy! I feel like I'm not making progress on any of them.

    It's truly amazing that you have 11 projects going at once. I envy your organization! Hang in there. Looking forward to seeing them all on the blog. :)

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    1. I hope you manage to progress your three projects soon. I think I'll heading back to the number or below very soon!

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  4. I so to tend to have more than one project at a time unless I get stuck, put it off and then need a quick sew to get me back into it. UFOs excluded, of which I have a few... 11 would stress me out no end. I do have a pile of selfless sews promised. I just haven't started them. However, that is no less stressful, so I really need to get them out the way.

    I LOVE that star print fabric, it's gorgeous! Where is it from?

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    1. Selfless sews are so much more pressured and they have been hanging over me for a while. Thankfully I'm on the last two now and it will be a while before there is another! The star fabric is Italian silk and I picked it up in Croatia last year.

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  5. Gosh how can you keep up with 11 projects at the same time! That's amazing and yes it sounds super stressful but is guess as long as you are still enjoying the process it is fine. How about the selfless sewing? Is it self inflicted or have you been asked to do so? Maybe you could say no next time and your stress level might decrease :D I'm only working on one project at the time. I always want to finish my projects as quickly as possible to see the end result. The only time I might work on two projects (has happened once) is when fitting a tissue or muslin. I still haven't started with my coat :( because other projects keep getting in the way. How do you manage to sew during the week? I'm just so exhausted when I'm coming home that I can't convince myself to get my sewing machine and iron board out. Any tips?

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    1. It's mostly self inflicted - four babies and I offered to make something for my dad. My friend asked for a dress as a birthday present and I just couldn't refuse!

      Sewing in the week - I'm an early bird and can squeeze in 15 mins or so in the mornings before work (I leave my machine up the night before). I can get a few seams or darts done in that time. I also walk home which gets rid of my working day and gives me a little more energy. I try to do a little most evenings and see how I go. If I'm too tired, I stop though.

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  6. 11??? Wow, ambitious. I always have a lot of projects 'at the ready', meaning I've selected fabric, pattern, notions and piled everything nicely. But, I tend to get overwhelmed and then very few of the projects ACTUALLY get completed. I'm thinking maybe it's better to just have one going at once, so that if one is easily distracted (guilty) there will be less enticement to stray.

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    1. Ambitious? I'm starting to call it crazy! I like your logic of having just one on the go.

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  7. That's amazing! I am a strictly one at a time person mainly because I don't have much space and only sew when I can set everything up and have a marathon sewing day. Well done you for getting so much accomplished.

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    1. Thank you. Marathon sewing days are the best!

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  8. I am very much a novice at sewing, so it tends to be one at a time so I can work out what I'm doing. My brain is usually thinking of a few more projects though!

    When it comes to knitting, I am limited only by having the needles to cast on something new. I think my record is 39 WIPs but it's not usually that many!

    Actually having said only one sewing project at a time, I do also have two or three patchwork projects in progress.

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    1. 39?! That's amazing - how did you keep track of them all? I've heard that patchwork projects often come in multiples.

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  9. I do a mass cutting at my Fathers dining room table every few weeks and then sew 1 at a time. If I didn't force completion before moving on, I'd have the worlds largest unhemmed garment collection.

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    1. Ah yes, hemming. The final step that so often defeats us! I like the sound of a mass cutting session.

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  10. I've got two coats going at the moment. To stop myself from trying to rush through them and making a mess, I have been taking on the odd simple project in between to keep me going

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    1. Two coats? Wow, I'm not sure I would go there - I'm impressed! I found one enough and had to break it with some smaller projects. I'm looking forward to seeing them both.

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  11. Wow - 11 projects at the same time?! I'm not surprised you had to resort to a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. I pretty much stick to one sewing project at a time, apart from sometimes if I have a more complicated project on the go and want something simple as a little break. I do always have some knitting/crochet underway as well though, so I can work on that if I don't feel like sitting at the sewing machine. Looking forward to seeing all your WIPs once they're finished!

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    1. I would love to be able to balance sewing with knitting/crochet but I don't have space in the flat for another hobby. I wouldn't have managed without my spreadsheet!

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  12. I feel like I could have written that post! I find when sewing for others it feels like there is more pressure also. I like having lots of wips though. Im definitely more efficient that way. I just have to make sure I don't leave projects that seem less fun or else they'll remain unfinished x

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    1. That's a good point. Working on projects at the same time, doing a little here and there can definitely help with the less fun aspects. I've just one more project to go with the pressure of sewing for others!

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  13. I already stress myself about having one sewing and one knitting project on the go at the same time! I can't imagine having more than a couple sewing projects on the table, let alone 11! As other have commented, I am in awe of your organisational skills.

    BTW, looking forward to seeing your bruyere so bad. I love that pattern! Are you making it in chambray?

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    1. You'll have to wait a little while - I've only managed to trace the pattern! I'm currently planning to make it from a cotton.

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  14. I'm definitely a one sewing project at a time person. I know I'd only get myself too confused if I had more than one. I can understand taking a break from a tough project to make something easier though. That said, I'll always have something on the knitting needles too. Good luck with all your WIPs!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. I love the idea of having knitting to go alongside a sewing project. One day, maybe.

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  15. I usually have several projects cut out and ready to sew, because I cut upstairs in my kitchen when my kids are happy playing. I sew in my basement. I try to sew one project at a time but I usually have an easy sew to work on if my kids are happy to play and a more difficult project for after they are sleeping. I also have a variety of knitting projects as well. If you count knitting and sewing I have 8 WIP'S all at different stages.

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  16. Wowzers! 11 projects at the same time is amazing.
    At the moment I'm experimenting with my sewing flow. Cutting fabric is my least favourite part of sewing and can be a big hurdle when sewing; so I try to cut out a few projects at the same time but sew one garment at a time. I do like working on a couple of projects at the same time so when I get bored with one and I can switch to the other. :)

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