Ask: 3/27/11

At a given time, how many UFOs do you have outstanding? Do you ever go back and finish them?


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. … this is a sore subject. I have at least half a dozen UFO’s at any given time. I do try to force myself into finishing the pile at least one time a year, sort of a spring cleaning.

  2. At least 4? I have one dress, two skirts…and things I’ve made that I hate, so I consider them a UFO until I can make them pretty!

  3. I think I have 3, two of which I plan to tackle this week!

  4. I’m happy to say that I have no unfinished projects at the moment (or does 2 things cut out and waiting in line count?). Had you asked me this question in January the answer would have been 3, but as part of my new year resolution – they were dealt with.
    I do have fabric waiting with a pattern to be made up – does that count?

  5. Love the theme this week. I just about finished up one of mine last week and I’m going to start on another. I generally put aside things that are way out of season that I started… so that playsuit I put away at the end of fall will get revisited now and the overcoat I got a start on will probably be put away now and pulled out again in fall. I’ve been getting much better about finishing the things I start, but I usually do a once or twice a year “finish your projects” push :)
    Of course there are some things that probably will just never get done…

  6. As My Man Andrew said when I told him the theme for this week – ‘So many to choose from!!’, at which point I hit him, (although he does have a point :-) ). A skirt, a couple of tops, a couple of jackets, three dresses, an ancient suit that must have been cut out over 15 years ago, and the two pair of pants that I will finish this week. May I point out that most of these were accumulated before I started reading this website, and I’ve become ever so better at finishing what I’ve started now :-D lol

  7. I only have 1 or 2 garment Ufo’s at the moment. I tend toward Badly Finished Objects when I get frustrated and can’t take it anymore. However, my general craft stash has far too many UFO’s to think about. I’ve got at least 3 mittens that don’t have mates, a few knit scarfs, at least 4 baby blankets in various stages of finished (mostly just waiting for me to get out my coordinating topstitching thread) and one quilt waiting to be quilted.

  8. I wasn’t even going to mention the quilt tops I’ve got lol

  9. I think that all my garments have been UFO at one time or another. Usually I start with a bang, all enthousiastic and motivated. I tend to choose difficult projects that are way beyond my skills, so I always encounter the one big problem that seems unsolvable at first. At this point I’m starting to think this maybe was not such a good idea. I let it rest, say a couple of days or a couple of weeks, to regroup myself, search the interwebs for tutorials, and I end up starting another project. I manage to finish everything, but maybe I have sewn 3 other things in between.
    Right now I have 2 on my table. A Vogue vintage reissue (V2401) that is staring accusingly for months. I’ll finish it, next autumn … maybe. The other is a frankenpattern that it’s been on my dressing form for 2 weeks already and has totally killed my sewing mojo *sigh*. Maybe this is the kick in the behind I need to finish it already!

  10. How many? Well, I think the amount of UFO´s are justified by the amount of finished objects I get done in a month. So if I have many UFO´s, that´s just because I have many finished projects too…Does that make any sense? No? Didn´t think so…
    What I´m trying to say is that I see all my sewing projects as one big entity, both things that are started and finished within hours, and stuff that´s been laying around for years. All of them deserve a space,one couldn´t exist without the other, if you see what I mean. I need some UFO´s in my stash to keep my creativity going…or something. ;-)

  11. One garment UFO, one cross-stitch UFO, but if you could count the ones that exist in my head whenever I look at my fabric stash… ;)

  12. I am very proud to say that I have a rule of ONE WIP going at any time. Well, one for each of my crafts. I get one sewing and one knitting project going at any given time. That’s it. I think it’s because of my early training from my mom, and the fact that my sewing room is also my living/dining room. I just don’t have the space to store UFOs. I also don’t stash fabric-everything I buy is for a specific project. I know, some people believe that stashing is fun. I get that, but I just don’t have the space. Maybe one day I’ll get a sewing room?

  13. What is it about UFO’s. Why do we have them? In my case – I have, oh about 6, I think it’s because I’ve already put so much time and effort and money into the project that I hate to just toss it but why didn’t I finish it? Usually it’s because it doesn’t fit well and the fix isn’t easy or the style doesn’t look as good on me as it does the model but I’ve spent so much time and money on it that I just put it aside thinking that these issues will change in 6 months – they haven’t, so maybe in a year – they haven’t, maybe in 18 months. . . . Why do most all sewests have UFOs??? Maybe it’s the same reason we have piles of papers to be dealt with:)

  14. Oh, my. I have two. I know that doesn’t sound bad, but I’m a beginner sewer. One is a minor quilting project (first one I’ve ever tried) and that will be getting done next week, thanks to your inspiration!
    The second…. well, let’s just say I’m probably going to rip it apart and use the pieces for scraps for something else. It was a 50’s rockabilly diner dress that just… I don’t know. My first dress, and it was terrible. i learned a VERY valuable lesson: make a muslin first and you won’t have to keep ripping stitches out later.

  15. It’s like an extraterrestrial convention in my studio. There are too many UFOs to count. But this year (yes, really the entire year) is a use-what-I-have year. So far, so good – it really feels great to finish some long ago started project that sometimes only needs an afternoon to complete. It’s so much fun to plan and start new things! But this year I am challenging myself to finish what I’ve started. I’m looking forward to having empty supply bins and less stuff in my workspace.

  16. I have at least a basket full and I am hoping to work on them tomorrow.

  17. Penny Poppleton

    I’m going to get eggs thrown at me for admitting this, but… forty. I have forty dresses cut out and not sewn. They are baby dresses for my Etsy store but still. FORTY.
    This is the week! I needed this nudge.

  18. I usually have two or three in my sewing basket. There was a time when I’d neglect them so much that they would never get finished. I’m much better now – they all get finished eventually.

  19. I have a jacket that is cut out that has been waiting to be sewn for 5+ years. Other than that, all my UFOs are quilting projects. The reasons I’ve avoided finishing the jacket:
    1. At the time I cut it out, I’d never made a jacket and was nervous about all those pieces. (This is no longer a valid excuse.)
    2. I was afraid the arms would be too short, so I didn’t even start putting it together. (This is not a valid excuse because I can add a cuff or make 3/4 length if needed.)
    3. I got pregnant/gained weight so it wouldn’t fit anyway. (I think at this point this is no longer a valid excuse.)
    The bottom line is that the only thing stopping me from finishing (I mean, I made the pants long ago and they always get compliments and I made a shell to go beneath the jacket–all I need is the stinking jacket!) is that it is under the bed and since it’s more of an autumn thing, I’d rather make spring dresses at this point.