Top 5 Excuses for Projects I Won’t Finish

Top 5 Excuses for Projects I Won’t Finish

Posted by Jen Lopez on Jan 25th 2023


Quilters, sewists and crafters alike all suffer from an abundance of unfinished projects. We feel really guilty about it and struggle against it as if it were a rip tide, often to no avail. The causes of the stacks of uncut fabric and the bags of partially sewn treasures are many. Here are the Top 5 Excuses for Projects I Won’t Finish:

5. It’s too difficult – As an accomplished seamstress who has been sewing long before prom dresses had poofy sleeves, you will never hear me use this excuse. For me, no project is too difficult, so I’ll have to move on to one of our other excuses.

4. It went out of fashion – I know this excuse sounds hard to believe, but it happens more than you might think. Back in college, my sewing bestie and I decided to make sexy knit dresses that were basically a tube dress with a wide off the shoulder band. We trekked down to Boston’s Chinatown, where all the good fabrics stores used to be, and bought bright 80’s knitted prints for what we were calling our “She-Woman” dresses. Neither of us started sewing the dresses for several years. In our defense, we were both undergraduates at M.I.T. and thus were kinda busy. My friend eventually made her dress, but I never did. At least two decades passed, both the dress pattern and the print became hopelessly out of date, and I ended up giving the fabric away.

3. I ran out of fabric – Running out of fabric is a very good excuse for not finishing a project. Sometimes, this excuse can be mitigated by searching online for just a little bit more of the fabric in question. Both eBay and ETSY are great places to start. You can even use Google reverse image search to find a matching swatch!

2. I don’t have time – This is both a common and very sad reason for not finishing a project. After sewing for decades and always having a heinously demanding day job, my best advice to ameliorate this unfortunate condition is to make sewing a priority. Don’t wait for the dishes to be done and the laundry sorted before you will allow yourself sewing time! Sew first, do household chores later.

1. Shiny! Shiny-object syndrome is quite assuredly the number one reason I continue to stockpile unfinished projects. Something pretty and distracting (i.e., “shiny”) will pop up on my Instagram feed and I simply must make it as soon as possible. I always tell myself, “I won’t start a new project until I finish something I’m currently working on”. Predictably, this never works. My best recommendation for combatting this syndrome is to get together with your other sewing friends and have a “finish it up” challenge whereby all participants agree to complete one UFO (un-finished object) by a specified date. You can then move on to the new project with slightly less guilt!


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