Friday, February 24, 2012

Frustration, boxers and aprons

I'm having a little bit of a "crisis".  Must be from all that non-stop sewing in January.  I'm feeling rather frustrated.  It's getting to the end of winter.  All my sewing plans are nowhere near complete, nor could they possibly be.  I think that I have no real concept of how much sewing I can actually accomplish.  I make lists and grandiose plans, and I completely forget that besides sewing there are other things in life.  Now add to that the fact that this has been the case for a good number of years.  Every time I look at the fabrics that I have in the cupboard, I realize that so many have been there for years (even decades?) and my frustration level rises.  Last year I decided to keep statistics, just to prove to myself that I actually accomplish more than I think I do.  (Very cute little spread sheet that adds up numbers all by itself - just to prove that I can do such things!)  What those statistics proved was that I sew far too much, but much more than half of what I sew is for others.  No wonder I don't see results in my closet!  Who made the rule that I have to present handmade gifts for every occasion?  Oh - and then there are all those patterns that I absolutely had to have - still unopened, waiting to be put to use.  Let's then add all the pictures that I've clipped and pinned to the bulletin boards that were supposed to be inspiration, but now only cause more frustration because I haven't been able to use those ideas yet.  When I start to think of all of this, then add to that all the amazing ideas that I see on all the blogs - I think that I will explode.  If only I could sew and do nothing else for the next ______ what? week? month? year? then possibly I could catch up.  But then I would have to stop looking at new ideas.  I definitely need a reality check.
In an attempt to calm myself down, I decided that I needed a new game plan.  For starters - no more statistics.  It really doesn't matter how much I produce, so long as I am happy with the results.  I will not make long lists of planned sewing that cannot possibly be realized.  One item or outfit at a time to be completed before moving on to the next.  Some items come together quickly - some items will take a while longer.  I do not have to measure my output against everyone else out there.  I would really like to mostly use what I already have on hand - so that I don't have to keep looking at it in the fabric cupboard!  Wardrobe plans are wonderful - they just are not for me.  I've tried many a time to "plan" my wardrobe.  Impossible!  Perhaps if I was starting from scratch...  I just know where the gaps are in my wardrobe, and then there are the things that I "just want".
So what have I actually been sewing while pondering these very serious issues?  Well, I did make another full set of covers for the daybed in the TV room, using up an old tablecloth, coverlet, etc.  (Sorry - no new pictures for the moment!)  A certain someone has decided that this is now his bed.  Pulling an old sheet over the bed doesn't work to keep the doggy dirt at bay - he just pulls it off, arranges the (new) feather pillows to his liking and plops himself on top very comfortably.  To make a long story short, I decided that two sets of covers would just make my life easier - one in the wash and one on the bed.  One definite problem here - this is supposed to be the place that I can lounge comfortably while watching a movie.  Why is it that I need permission from the dog to do so?
Well, and then there was my son's birthday present...
I couldn't resist those prints!  Boxers fit for a chef.  It was actually very hard to choose - there were all manner of vegetables and fruit.  (Don't worry - that's not the only thing that I sent!)
Still in "kitchen mode"... aprons for the church kitchen.
Oops!  Sorry!  Didn't realize that this was so badly out of focus!
Lovely prints.  Nice heavy cotton.  Three aprons of each print.  If I hadn't turn these fabrics into aprons I would have done something stupid like like trying to figure out how to make use of these in my wardrobe - lovely fabrics, just not my style.  At the last church dinner everyone in the kitchen was sporting a new apron - much better than those old holey ones that they usually wear.
I have now moved on to clothing for me.  I'm feeling much better about things.  Thank-you for listening to my ranting!


  1. I think you have a good plan... no statistics! And breathe! I love the boxers, and the aprons are a great (and quick) solution for that fabric.

  2. Phew! I know what you mean about piles of fabric and plans equals loads of frustrations, but I think you have a great game plan in mind. Sounds very sensible! I am trying to limit myself now too, and use up the stash, and so far so good, I have bought no fabric this year. Also I have a little rule with myself to finish each thing before I am allowed to start on something new. This seems to keep chaos at bay!
    The aprons you have made are lovely and it is great that they are so appreciated! And the boxers are an awesome idea for a chef! You have been very productive!

  3. I think your new attitude will keep you much happier and won't scare your mojo. I also don't like statistics and when my "todo" list gets too long it's counter productive.

    Those boxers are high-larious. :)

  4. Sounds like you have come up with a plan - no more tracking your every move! Lists sort of promote that feeling of pressure, don't they? Love, love, love the boxers!

  5. Cool boxers! And nothing like fresh, new aprons to bright up a kitchen!

  6. I think you have articulated what many of us feel. We want to have fun and feel successful/creative/resourceful while sewing. It is very easy to begin to compete with oneself and then, the "shoulds" creep in. I'm glad you have found a way to move past this and I hope I can remember this post. Those are really nice boxers BTW :-)

  7. I have experienced many of the feelings and frustrations you wrote about. I do keep a spread sheet of fabric purchases in an attempt to keep them under control, but I don't make any end of year accomplishments list and I skip any that other bloggers post. I have enough of lists and goals at work. Sewing is my hobby and creative outlet. I love the shorts you made for your chef son. What a great opportunity to use interesting novelty prints!

  8. Can I add a me too to this post! I need to keep lists and track of things...I feel lost if I don't have them. However, I give myself permission not to complete everything on my sewing list. I use my list as a guide, as a way of keeping track of ideas...what I finish I finish and if I can I save it for the next season's list...otherwise I let it go.

    I totally get the inspiration overload...there is so much these days on the internet. Again I give myself permission to accomplish what I can and to just be inspired by all the rest. The point is to inspire myself to create not to shut down my creativity.

    Finally I do keep a list of things completed. It's my little pat on the back...and it reminds me that I do accomplish more than I think I do! Glad that you've found a way to get past this...and the boxers for your son are really cute!

  9. I'm right there with you in the frustration department! I need to start a spreadsheet or list or something to keep track, but I still haven't done it!

    I also wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your blog. Ta oday I passed on the Versatile Blogger award on to you and few other deserving blogs. You can read about it on my blog if you wish.

    To accept you follow these rules:
    1. Add the award to your blog;
    2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you;
    3. Mention 7 random things about yourself;
    4. List the rules;
    5. Give the award to 15 bloggers;
    6. Inform each of those 15 bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog .

    Have fun! ~ Peggy

  10. Firstly, love the boxers and aprons, fantastic colours and prints!
    Secondly, I totally get how you are feeling! I had a cupboard full of fabric and patterns and no time to sew. Now it's just no real place to sew but I found that I felt better if I rid myself of a few pieces of fabric I knew I was never going to use plus a few patterns I decided I was never going to sew up.
    It took the pressure off a little ... lol
    I'm glad that you have worked out a way to do some sewing for you. It's meant to be fun. :)

  11. Not every gift needs to be made, unless you enjoy it! I think you have a good plan. Class samples are beautiful!

  12. Love those boxers! I think most of us share your feelings. I often think that being a creative personality with the ability to make things can be a curse. My brain never stops. I have notebooks, and lists and pictures clipped, too. There are a million and one ideas in my head and never enough time or budget to complete everything. So, we hear you, sister Irene!