Hitting the (sewing) wall

9 Dec

It usually happens just as I have attached the skirt to the bodice, or joined the pants-legs together… I sit up, stretch my arms, crack my back, and a feeling of hopelessness comes over me. The object in my hands looks like a bunch of fabric scraps – threads hanging everywhere, mishapen and wrinkled – it’s never going to turn into something beautiful I want to wear! I want to toss it in a corner and forget about it, but I know I will never pick it up again if I do.

What are your tricks for pushing through when you’ve hit the sewing wall? Do you start playing with trims or picking out buttons? Do you have a sketch of your idea to keep you on track?  Do you walk away and have a cup of coffee? Usually I get this because I have lost the initial vision of what I was hoping to make, and a few hours of sitting at the machine have made me a bit crazy in the head! There comes a moment when the damn thing starts looking like a dress again and you can see it working out, but sometimes we have to help that moment along a bit!

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9 Responses to “Hitting the (sewing) wall”

  1. Alyssa December 10, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    I never go and look at other patterns or fabrics I have because then I will think, “Oh, why didn’t I make this instead?” So I usually try to just forge ahead. Sometimes I have stuff htough that sits for months just because I don’t feel like getting out the ironing board!
    And that coat, by the way, is not maternity, it is a housecoat/robe if you can believe that! I still can’t figure out how it sticks out so much.

    • whipstitchsewing December 10, 2009 at 10:33 am #

      This sounds like me! I dither so much about choosing fabrics from my stash, second-guessing myself and then regretting it when I start cutting! Or, saving fabrics ‘for something special’ and then they sit in my cupboard for months…

  2. shannon December 10, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    I am the SAME way. I’ll get everything cut, start sewing, see threads and maybe some puckering and think “Damn, did i bite off too much again??”

    It happens all to frequently that I don’t have time to finish something in one sitting – I have 4 half finished projects that I have no desire to finish but a string desire to wear.

  3. Trase December 10, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Laughter is always the best medicine for me. As an example, earlier today, I was having trouble with this twill apron I was sewing (Xmas gift for my dad). Somehow, I ended up slashing across my knuckles with some little embroidery scissors I use for trimming sometimes, and so I was forced to walk away for a few moments to go bandage them. I was pretty steamed about it, so rather than return to sewing with my temper all riled up, I instead sat down and made it into a laughable moment using GIMP (Open Source alternative to Photoshop). You can laugh at my expense here!

    • whipstitchsewing December 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

      Heehee! I had to make an apron recently – funny how something that seems so simple can be so frustrating. Walking away is probably the best thing to do, because otherwise you end up throwing something!!

  4. Carol December 10, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    I get up and walk away. I make a pot of tea and sit somewhere else for a while. I usually re read the instructions just to make sure it’s all clear in my head and so I can remind myself how close I am to finishing. If I still don’t feel the love for the garment, then I put it away and come back to it another day. I find that sometimes these unfinished garments get finished on days when I am avoiding sewing something else!

  5. Debi December 10, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    I find that dreaming about what my project will look like one, looking at the pattern cover again, planning how I am going to wear my hair with it or what accessories I am going to wear, etc….helps get me through the sewing wall. I must also say that for me, blogging about my project helps keep me on track and it’s always nice to hear supportive comments from other sewers!

  6. fdw December 20, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    A cup of tea while the iron heats up! I find that when I get to that horrible point a good iron of the wrinkled lump of fabric can transform it into a close-to-finished garment.

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