Ask: 6/27/11

When does a UFO go from being a UFO to "something for the scrap pile?"


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. I’d say that happens when the UFO no longer will fit you or the person it was surposed to have it (when finished). Baby/children’s clothes seems to become scraps faster than clothes for adults.

  2. The only time I moved a UFO to the scrap pile was when after several attempts, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. My excuses piled up and I finally realized it just wasn’t my style and that if I was honest with myself I’d know that I didn’t really *want* to finish it… so away it went. And I didn’t regret it at all.

  3. When it’s been hanging around so long it’s out of style, but not so long that it’s coming back IN style.
    When it’s damaged beyond salvation due to sewing machine misfire or (ahem) user frustration.
    When you’ve broken up with the person it was intended for and it can’t be made to suit you.
    When it’s now one size too small.
    When you look at it and say “what the #$*^ was I thinking?”

  4. When you realize so many other useful things can be made out of the fabric.
    Or when you’re doing patterned stitches and are way too lazy to re-thread that bobbin and set the pattern just right. That was when I decided a cape I was making was really never going to be worn!

  5. When you keep on making mistakes
    when the fabric falls apart
    when you scorch the fabric
    when you don’t like it any more
    when you realize the design really doesn’t suit you
    when the color washes you out
    when you loose a piece and there is no more fabric
    Sometimes, though, when you find a misplaced UFO it can be refreshing to finish it up!

  6. So love the question!
    Agree with most of the others –
    Also it occurs when the pattern you’ve picked has some biZarre component that you realize you’ll never do justice to or can’t figure out and after the third or fourth time you’re trying it you are simply NOT enjoying the process.
    I’ve also realized that anything that requires topstitching –I just can’t make perfect enough that it won’t bug the crap out of me everytime I see it in the mirror when I’m wearing it!