Gathering Threads

Excuses Sewers Tell Themselves

Posted by on May 17 2011, in Smocking, WIP

Sometimes, I’m not entirely honest with myself.  I say things like:

“I just have button holes to finish on this project.  It’s OK to start something new.”

“I’m not in the mood for fiddly right now.  I want to make something quick and easy.”

“I’m using stash fabrics.  That’s got to count for something…”

Unfortunately, those are the excuses that landed me at the point where I’m at right now with this smocked dress.  It’s been lingering in my sewing room since last summer and while I’ve worked on it in fits and starts, I keep finding something else to work on and the guilt has finely gotten to me.  I hauled this pretty pink, front-buttoning bishop out of the UFO pile this weekend, determined to finish it up in a timely fashion.

I have one goal in mind here.


It’s the same gorgeous swiss dot that I made this top out of:  in fact, the top was made of the remnants from cutting this bishop.

The pattern and the plate are from AS&E #44 (1998) and it’s called “Cherie”.  When I saw this fabric last summer, I knew it was perfect for this dress.  Only problem is, I just can’t seem to get any traction with it.

I finished up the smocking no problem and back in the fall, I tackled the glorious lace hem treatment.  Isn’t it lovely?

But that’s as far as I got before I folded it up, tucked it in a ziploc with all the floss and got on with other things.

So why didn’t I finish this dress the first time?

Well, which excuse would you like first?

“It was the wrong season.”  This dress is summer personified and by the time September rolled around, I was in the mood for corduroys and wools, not light as air cottons.

“It’s too large for my niece right now.  I’ve got lots of time to finish it up.”  AS&E always run big and while this is a 24 mth, it’s very long and very full, which means that it will fit Ellie this summer but she would have swum in it last summer.

“I’ve run out of the dark pink floss and keep forgetting to take the DMC# with me.”  Yes, my excuses are that pathetic.  Because God knows, I’m never, ever in the notions shop.   Nor do I ever purchase floss by guessing at the colour.  Nope.  Never.  Ever, ever. *eye roll*

Finally, I blame the bullions.  Because there are a lot of them: more than 65 of the little suckers.  Needless to say, that’s a lot of wrapping and tugging and smoothing.  And for some reason, while I love the look of bullions, sometimes they seem like more work than they’re worth, what with the tangling and the bulging and the tongue at a 24 degree angle accompanied by the the “would-you-just-slide-through-you-bloody-goddamn…” mutter that accompanies my bullion making when the muse is not with me.

But enough.  No more excuses.  Here’s what I’ve done since I took it back out on the weekend:

I’ve got most of the pale pink rose buds done in the top row and started on the leaves.

I’ve completed the centres of the white roses and started on a few of the outer bullions.

I still have to complete the bottom most row of the trellis (hence the remaining gathering threads) and cut out and mark the centre button band (one side is embroidered).  I’ve ordered the narrow lace edging to complete the front band and the pink buttons are already in my stash.  I will try and post regular updates.  It’ll keep me honest if I know I’m supposed to post them here for the world to see 🙂 I want to get this dress done by the time my SIL comes down for a visit in June.  2 weeks.  I can do that.

Right?  Err…

But since the excuses are limitless and my time isn’t, I’m trying *really* hard to keep those pesky UFOs to a minimum but they seem to creep up on me.  Do you have lingering projects?  What’s your best (worst?) excuse for leaving a project behind?  A lack of time?  A problem you just don’t know how to resolve?  Boredom?  Short attention span?

Come on!  They say confession is good for the soul…:)