Sometimes you need to step back from your work and do something else

Unfinished Lady Skater dressI am working on my next Lady Skater dress. It only needs hemming before it’s finished but I’m feeling a little meh about it. Something is missing and I’m not entirely sure what. I could of course sew the hems and be done with it, but how likely is it that I’m going to wear a dress I feel meh about? I’ve decided to give it a rest for a couple of days before I try it on again to see how I feel then. If the feeling is still meh I’ll experiment a bit with skirt lengths, sleeve lengths, belts and waist ties to see if that will make me like it better.

Until I continue with the dress I still want to do some sewing but not start anything big. I made some fabric postcards using the method from my tutorial. I remembered a comment from katechiconi on my post about gift making. She suggested creating 4 placemats in one go, by first quilting a large piece of fabric that is later cut into separate pieces for the placemats. That would work equally well for making multiple postcards from the same fabric if larger pieces of the front and back fabric are interfaced before cutting the postcards to size. From the length of a fat quarter (± 45 cm, 18’’) you can easily cut 4 postcards that are 10×15 cm (4’’x 6’’). Conveniently, the roll of Vlieseline s520 that I am currently using is 45 cm wide, so that was just meant to be! The smaller piece that was left after cutting the 4 postcards was turned into a bookmark, because I don’t see why you can’t have a pretty fabric bookmark.

Cutting 4 postcards and a bookmark in one go.

Cutting 4 postcards and a bookmark in one go.

These postcards were almost instant gratification because they were fast to make and are so bright and happy. They would have been even faster if I hadn’t thought it fun to change the thread colour for the zigzag stitches around the edges for each postcard.

Do you sometimes take a break from a project when you are unsure how to continue? How do get yourself to go back to finishing it? I am worried the dress will turn into an UFO if I don’t solve my issues of not really liking it soon.

140407_postcards

April 7, 2014

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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10 Comments

  1. Lorraine

    Beautiful postcards and bookmark Emmely!
    Are you following the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC? Recently they added sleeves to high street dresses. Some of them looked really great. Not sure if they have added them to the website yet but maybe some inspiration if they have: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03myqj2.
    Veel succes x

    Reply
    • Emmely

      Thank you! Yes, I do watch the sewing bee. Changing the sleeves, hmm, that might be an option…

      Reply
  2. onedabbles

    When I’m not feeling inspired or really need to think about the next step, I read, knit or cook or even(heaven forfend) clean something and do chores. Then the puzzle gets worked out in the background.
    The postcards are lovely and you can NEVER have too many bookmarks. Look forward to seeing the direction you take with the dress.

    Reply
    • Emmely

      That is sort of what I’m hoping will happen in this case as well.
      I’m already using the bookmark, it’s now in the book I’m currently reading (Solar, Ian McEwan), it replaced an unfinished grocery list. Much better I think.

      Reply
  3. Cuckoo Chanel

    Smart idea to make this instant gratification project. The postcards and bookmark came out really cute.

    I definitely have to take breaks from projects that aren’t grabbing me. These days I make something easy and knit and it usually cheers me up and gets me kickstarted. As for how to get back to the original project, I don’t have specific advice, but things always get done in their own time–either you have an excuse to wear the thing and it motivates you to finish, or someone makes a nice version that inspires you, etc.

    For the record, there’s nothing meh about your Lady Skater from my end. The color is gorgeous, and it’s such a fun, flattering dress to wear. I hope you learn to love it again, or that someone else helps with some other advice. You’re so close to being done!

    Take care and good luck
    Shelley

    Reply
    • Emmely

      Thank you! It will probably work out in the end. Perhaps I’m mostly disappointed because I thought it was going to be a really fast make that was guaranteed to work and instead I ran into some stupid hurdles.

      Reply
  4. I made it!!

    Oh I thînk it happens to everyone. I once left something sitting for so long it didn’t fit me anymore! Lesson learned!

    Reply
    • Emmely

      Whoops, I definitely hope I won’t wait that long. I’m trying to get better at finishing everything I start before starting new big time consuming projects. So far I’m doing really well and I don’t really want to mess that up with this dress.

      Reply
  5. Kelly

    I’m sure your lady skater will work out – I know what you mean when you think it will be a quick make and then it takes ages – very disheartening! But in the meantime, those postcards are gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Emmely

      I think I’ll continue on Friday, we’ll see how I feel about it then.

      Reply

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