Get inspired for UFO month!

Hey there Monthly Stitchers! It’s February, and you know what that means – UFO challenge month!

Now, what is this UFO challenge all about? Often, people who craft have one or two (or twenty or thirty…) projects that for one reason or another got put aside before they were completed. Maybe there was too much unpicking involved so it got sent to the ‘naughty corner’. Or you decided you don’t like the colour any more. A new pattern release caught your eye and everything else got dropped to sew up that impulse buy. Or a change in life meant the garment wasn’t going to be worn immediately anymore (pregnancy, change of job, moving to a different climate, weight change, etc). Whatever the reason, the project get’s put aside – left in the ‘things I’ll finish later’ pile. Named as a UFO (Un Finished Object) or a WIP (Work In Progress). And let’s face it – often not returned to, despite best intentions (whoops!).


Well, this is the month to rescue those partially-finished projects, and give them some love! Whether it’s a nearly-finished item such as a skirt in need of hemming or a blouse needing buttons. Or one that requires a lot more work (perhaps you’ve cut it out but haven’t started sewing? Or bought the fabric and pattern to go together and never made it past the planning stage?). They all count – pull them out, finish them off, and show them to us!

And this counts for everything. Given up on it because you decided you don’t like the colour or the size isn’t correct anymore? Grab it, finish it, and get it out of your sewing room! Give the finished garment to a friend or donate it – far better than having it sitting around collecting dust and taking up space in your mind.

But UFOs aren’t always unfinished projects. Oh no, they can be plenty more! How about those garments that need adjusting? Things that need mending? That pair of trousers that needs the hem taken up, or the dress that needs taken in? A shirt that’s lost it’s button and needs new ones? They all count! Because they’re all projects that you intended to do, and didn’t complete. Go on – pull them out and do it!!!

And just to prove that we’re guilty of having UFO’s stashed too, here are a few things that your Monthly Stitch editors have lined up for this month. (Disclaimer: there’s far too many to mention here, or get through them all this month. Eek!)

In Mel’s sewing room

I’m a really distracted sewist and having some UFOs usually doesn’t bother me. I always work on multiple projects at once so partially finished projects are just part of the ebb and flow of how I work. I prefer to cal them WIPs – Works In Progress.

Lately my WIPs have been building up to an uncomfortable level but mostly I just really want to finish some of the pretty things I’ve been planning! So I’m trying to focus by alternating between starting a new project and finishing off a WIP/UFO.

Currently I’m working on Vogue 1161 that I cut out a very long time ago. It’s in an ikat cotton silk from The Fabric Store. Last weekend I was aiming to get the bodice complete so that I could follow the unusual instruction of tying a knot in the back. I’m really excited to see how it finishes up.


Vogue 1161

Next is my Papercut Watson. This project stalled because I started it in summer and right around the time when I was beginning to try it on and make adjustments the weather was so hot that I just couldn’t stand touching 100% wool. I’ve been working at it on and off again since then, through last winter when I stalled again. The wool is beautiful but the loose weave means it doesn’t press as crisply as I’d like and it’s been a lot of work to wrangle it to the state it’s currently at – awaiting closure of the lining, sleeve hems and buttons. I’m particularly unhappy with the puffyness of the collar, collar stand and front opening edges which I just can’t seem to get sitting right…but I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago – I’ll just top stitch the areas that are giving me grief…and just like that I’m excited about it again, yay!


Watson jacket

My last little pile includes two items cut out last year, a Muse Jenna and Paprika Jasper. These two might have to wait until this coming winter being made in merino and polar fleece respectively. Next is my Sewaholic Davie dress that I am 90% given up on – I love the fabric but this pattern…argh. I cut my size based on the finished measurements but it is at least two sizes too big. I could recut it…and I think I will…but as a McCall’s 7241. And finally, my poor Nerdy Husband has been asking for a copy of his favourite French cuff business shirt for a while now. I have a muslin 50% there I just need to get him to sit still long enough for check the sizing!


UFO pile including Muse Jenna, Paprika Jasper, Sewaholic Davie, and a shirt


In Kat’s sewing room

I’m usually pretty good about finishing a project before I start another one, but unfortunately on those times that a project doesn’t get finished, it pretty much never gets picked back up again. Whoops! I’m hoping to ‘rescue’ at least a couple of them this month and get them out of my cupboard-of-forgottens. One of the ones on the top of my list are my Muse Jenna cardi with collar – all it needs is the buttons! Another is my Papercut Meissa blouse – I started this for Indie Pattern Month back in, um, 2014…. (Whoops!) And then due to a pregnancy bump, I never finished it as I wouldn’t have been able to wear it anyway. Time to dig it out and actually finish it – if I remember correctly, it’s about halfway sewn already.


Muse Jenna cardi waiting for it’s buttons

Back at the start of last year, I cut out a vintage 1970’s dress pattern in a fabric with origami birds all over it. It took forever, due to narrow fabric and attempting to make things line up! And it’s been sitting there, waiting to be sewn ever since. (What happened to stop it being made? I needed to get a specific thing from the fabric store. Which meant another project got picked up in the meantime. Whoops.) This month will hopefully be it’s time to shine!


Vintage Butterick all cut out and ready to sew!

One thing I do have a bad habit of is altering garments. If I finish it, and I need to alter it, by that point I’m wanting a change so the poor garment gets shoved into the ‘to do’ pile, never to be seen again. This month, I’m planning on rescuing at least one garment from there! Either recutting the front upper bodice on my Strawberry Milkshake dress, taking in the sides on my Summer Dreaming dress, or finally (!) putting a hidden back on the underskirt of my Cartoon Eccentric dress (that I made five years ago and has been waiting to be altered ever since, even though I love it. See what I mean about not getting back to alterations?!?)


Three dresses awaiting alterations. (Fun fact – same shoes in each picture, even though they span 5 years!)


How about you?

What’s on your list to complete this month?

7 thoughts on “Get inspired for UFO month!

  1. It turns out I have three UFOs: the wrap dress I’m currently working on, a pussy-bow blouse I’ve cut out and ironed, and a skirt I made a while ago that I never wear because the waistband’s the wrong shape. Looks like I’ll be busy sewing in February!


  2. Pingback: An unannounced look into my sewing room… | Life by Ky

  3. I’m so glad you did this post! I have no “proper” UFOs so It’s pretty much mending and alterations for me:
    1. Alter a top I made to give to a very petite colleague
    2. Mend some seams on a stretch singlet dress
    3. Add some stretch gussets to a vintage silk dress that hasn’t been worn for about 3 years. It’s ripped under one arm. It’s my husband’a favourite dress and he keeps suggesting I wear it when we go out! Hoping to have it done for our wedding anniversary this month.
    4. Hem a second hand red t shirt
    5. Alter a navy shirt and make it into short sleeve rather than long sleeve
    6. Alter a Memade shirt that has never quite worked. I made it about 3-4 years ago and have worn only a handful of times
    7. Fix the only proper quilt I have made. Chose one of the fabrics badly, and it has ripped out of all it’s seams. That ones been sitting there for about 4 years too!
    Phew! Hope I can get all that done in February – I might be pushing it!


  4. I have my alterations lined up to do, but somehow don’t get round to it. This is the inspiration I need. UFO’s I’ll look those out too. But first , the trousers, blouse – pattern borrowed from a friend months ago…… 23 days left!!

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  5. I do have a number of items floating around my sewing room waiting to be finished, mostly leftovers from last summer (a Southport dress, Brumby skirt and a Burda dress). As we’re slowly heading towards spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s about time I finish them! I also hope to finally get round to cleaning out my sewing room, which is long overdue.


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