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I Don’t Believe in UFO’s!

Hello everyone!  For those of you who are experienced sewers, it is very likely that you’re familiar with the dreaded UFO.  If you’re new to sewing and haven’t heard of this yet, UFO stands for unfinished object.  It’s when you start a sewing project, and for whatever reason, you don’t finish, putting it away to complete at another time.  Some UFO’s are completed within, what I would consider, a timely manner, about 1 or 2 weeks later.  However, some are left undone for months, and sometimes years.  From what I hear, some seamstresses have designated drawers, baskets, bins, closet space, or other areas to keep their UFO’s all together in one spot.  I’ve also heard that some of us have lots and lots of UFO’s.

Here’s my viewpoint on UFO’s.  I CAN’T!  I usually work on one project at a time.  My personality is such that I MUST finish one before starting another.  Although I’m really great at multi-tasking, when I have an unfinished garment put away while I work on another, it’s like clutter in my brain.  If it’s not complete it bugs me.

Now that you’re aware of my dislike for UFO’s, you may be surprised to learn that this top I’m showcasing today has been hanging in my closet, unfinished for about 2 years.  Oooh, the SHAME!!! 

I Don't' Believe in UFOsSo, how did this top become a UFO, you might ask?  It started with the fabric.  When I purchased the fabric, I loved it, but when I began working on the top I wasn’t too sure about the print.  Then, I remember not wanting to deal with the sleeve construction.  Therefore, I put it aside, for what I thought would be just a little while, so I could decide if I would complete it or just forget about it.  Of course, I started a new project in the meantime.  My “one-and-only” UFO hung alone in my closet, waiting to be loved.

I Don't' Believe in UFOsWith each new project I started, my UFO sunk deeper and deeper into the that dark place called, “forgetfulness.”  She hung in the closet of my sewing studio, only to be seen when I ventured to that side of the closet.  From time to time, I did consider getting rid of her, but for some reason I didn’t.  Even when we moved to our new home recently, she survived the declutter session, and made it into the new closet of the sewing studio.  Only this time, she claimed a spot that made her visible daily.

I Don't' Believe in UFOsEvery time I heard a sew sister mention anything about her UFO’s, I would think of mine.  Then last weekend, I had a rough 3 days of sewing.  I made 2 garments and neither one made me squeal.  One was so bad that it actually made it to the trash before it was completed.  The other one I will wear.  Sometimes (not always), when I’m disappointed in a garment that I make, I feel a little frustrated.  So, after making two that didn’t wow me, I needed an easy project for success.  Every time I make a bad one, I always want to redeem myself.  I guess in my mind I’m proving something to myself–that I can do better.  Hahaha!

I Don't' Believe in UFOsMy UFO had been on my mind already earlier that week, so I decided, why not?  The only things she needed were sleeves, button holes and buttons.  Yes!  I was ready to complete my 2-year UFO!  Hmmm…  Perhaps I held on to her for such a time as this.

I Don't' Believe in UFOsSomehow, over those two years, I misplaced the pattern that I used to start this top.  I looked through all my patterns and couldn’t find anything.  It turns out that I didn’t need the pattern anyway because I no longer had the pieces that were cut to finish the sleeves (if I ever cut them to begin with).  If I remember correctly, there were either cuffs or bands with plackets on the sleeves.  I also didn’t have more of this fabric to construct my own sleeve ends.  Perhaps I could have added a contrasting cuff or band, but I didn’t want to or feel like doing that.  I just finished the sleeves with a 5/8″ hem instead.  After sewing in the button holes and attaching the buttons, she was done.  I tried her on and I LOVE this shirt  The fit is right on and the princess seams (which are kind of lost in the print) are always my favorite.  I redeemed myself for that weekend, AND I’m UFO Free!  Double bonus!  This shirt was made using an ITY knit that I’m sure I picked up from either Michael Levine’s or JoAnn’s.  It was two years ago, so I really can’t remember.  I anticipate getting a lot of wear out of this top, dressing her up and down with jeans, skirts, high heels, flats, boots, and sneakers.  She’s certainly being added to my favorites.  My plan is to never have another UFO, but then again, I’ve learned to “Never say Never!”

What About You?

How do you feel about UFO’s?  Do you have any UFO’s?  If so, do you have a plan to complete them?

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that GOD shines!


I Don't Believe in UFO'sI Don't' Believe in UFOsI Don't Believe in UFO'sAll Photos Courtesy of CEMO!

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Anita Morris

Anita is the Author of STEP Into It, Overcoming Trials That Lead To Purpose. She is also an Online Sewing Instructor for beginner sewists. She is passionate about helping women to step into their purpose by walking in the calling on their lives. She hosts a popular YouTube channel where she helps women to become confident in their sewing skills.

This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Jamesha Tolbert

    It’s so ironic I picked this post to read. I have two UFOs in my closet. I plan on finishing the bomber jacket I was making from a year and a half ago lol. It only needs the bottom ribbing and zipper . This post really inspired me to stop putting off my projects. I’m a fashion design student so anytime I can follow someone that loves fashion I’m all in! Thanks for this post because I needed it!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Jamesha! You are very welcome. So happy to inspire someone else.

  2. Domonique ~

    Oh Anita, thank you for that!!! I have too many UFO’s to name 8-(
    Now that I see your perspective, I am encouraged! No matter the print, style, or color you can just about rock anything 8-)!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome Domonique! Get them done!

  3. pam

    love the print for your shirt and as usual your fit is superb. I have plenty of UFO’s from sewing workshops I have gone to. I keep them for when I want something to sew but don’t want to cut anything out. I did pull out one about a month or so go. My garment ufo’s I store them away and then trash them when I run out of space – so I have zero garment ufo’s.

    1. Anita Morris

      OMGosh! You trash them when you run out of space? You don’t mess around do you? LOL!

  4. Angela

    Hello Ms. Anita,

    Yes, I am guilty of having a UFO. I also follow two other blog sewers and when I found you my life changed…lol. I have fallen in love with your circle skirt tutorial and I must say I have attempted to make this skirt twice. It’s a nice and easy go to pattern and with your video instruction I’m hooked. So unfortunately my one and only UFO is the second circle skirt I made. The material I used didn’t have stretch to it and when I tried on the skirt it didn’t fit over my bum 🙁 I was so ready to wear it to work the next day. So it sit in my closet unfinished (only need to tack down the yoke and hem) waiting for me to finish it. Now I know that I really like material with a stretch to it. My goal is to make 4 out of the 6 of your projects, I’ve purchased the patterns now I just need to find the right material. Thank you for being and inspiration. Waiting patiently for the next video tutorial.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Angela! Oh noooo! I hate it when that happens. Question: Did you cut a larger size when you attempted to make the skirt with a woven fabric? A non-stretch woven fabric will need to be cut larger to make the same skirt that was made in a stretch fabric. Don’t give up on woven fabrics yet.

  5. Anita Morris

    Oh, thank you so much Karen! I’m really glad I finished it, and so glad I have inspired you to finish yours too. Get to sewing!

  6. sheseams

    Lovely fabric! I currently have 4 UFOs, my problem is my imagination. Once I get to a point in construction the garments is as good as done in my mind, that and am easily distracted by a great new fabric/pattern combo I’ve come up with.

    1. Anita Morris

      OMGoodness! I totally understand getting distracted by new patterns/fabrics. The struggle is real. I cracked up when I read, “the garment is as good as done in my mind…” The creative mind is something else, isn’t it.

  7. carmen cruz

    Hi Anita, I have so many UFOs, but thanks to you, I am inspired to finish. I’m actually working on one now. I love the way you put your outfit together. I have followed two women in my quest to become an accomplished sewer and with you makes three, but I have to say that you are by far the best instructor I have come across. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and please don’t stop. GB

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh, Carmen, you’re making me smile and feel all gooey inside. LOL! Thank you sew sister. It brings music to my ears and happiness to my heart to hear that you think I’m a good instructor. I’m currently working on my next tutorial (after such a long break). I started preparation work on it today.

      I’m also glad to hear that I’ve inspired you to finish those UFOs. WooHoo! Get it done!

  8. Lisa

    I love the blouse and the print. I’m so glad you decided to finish it. And I like the decision you made to just hem the sleeves. It looks great on you!

    All my UFOs exist because I hit a snag and needed to learn a new skill, sometimes several skills, to fix a mistake or a misunderstanding. UFOs proliferated early in my sewing career. I don’t allow wadders or throwaways because I’ve learned more fixing mistakes and fitting issues than I have completing a pattern right the first time. If I don’t like something when it’s finished, I can always donate it.

    Two years ago, I made a resolution of no new UFOs. If I hit a snag, I must stop and take whatever time it takes to learn the new skill. I also made a resolution to work on a UFO after every new project I completed.

    I had 14 UFOs at the beginning of this year, and have finished 9 of them. If I can finish the other 5 next year, I’ll be UFO-less, too.

    My heart goes out to everyone with UFOs. Personality and skill level really do come into play with how they come to exist and how we approach them afterwards.

    1. Anita Morris

      Wonderful, Lisa! I love your perspective on UFOs. What a great accomplishment that you’ve completed 9 out of 14 this year. Congratulations, and have fun with finishing the remainder of your UFOs. I’ll be waiting at the door to welcome you into the UFO-Free, UFO-less party!

  9. Mirline K

    Great read, Anita. I have few UFO’s that needed to be completed, like last year (it’s ridiculous). I have a tote bag, a cultch, skirts, a jacket, and dresses. For me in order to complete these items, I fist need to declutter/organize my sewing space, make an actual sewing schedule, and tackle these darn UFOs. I really need to work on one project at a time, as you stated. It’s about time…feeling inspired! 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Anita Morris

      Love it! Sounds like you have a plan, so you’re ready! Get busy on that first step of declutter/organize your sewing space, then you’re on your way. WooHoo! Let’s go!

  10. Constance

    Indeed, “For such a time as this”! Enjoyed reading your blog. Im not sure if I’d classified my projects as UFOs, I find myself at times in a cutting mood and I’ll cut outhave like Four garments in a row. Then when I find myself ready to do work it’s waiting for me. Now a few UFOs might result from this mainly due to needed notions.
    SOS ~ Sew On Sister ??

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Constance! Yes, I agree! I wouldn’t refer to those as UFOs either.

  11. SewCraftyChemist

    So perfect! I really love the colors and finishing this top is right on time for fall.

    I don’t normally have UFOs as I will toss a project that isn’t working. But I do have 1 or 2 and I know they’ll get finished. In time. 🙂

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you! I agree with the timing. “Tossing projects that aren’t working.” Yes, a seamstress after my own heart.

  12. Paulette dowdie

    Beautiful top!… Love the entire ensemble! As I read your blog on your UFO, I was dying with laughter, as I am the poster child for UFO’s…LOL.. I have quite a few items in my sewing room, that once they began to take form, I realized I was no longer interested or excited about them. They quickly went to the pile of UFO’s. I look at them every day I go into the sewing room, thinking one day, I will revisit. My daughter just turned 24, and digging through my fabric bin, i found a dress I started for her when she was about 6! All that was left was to hem and put a zipper in!…LOl… After having read your blog today, I think this weekend, I will rescue from the UFO pile, the shirt I started for my beau several months back, and add the buttons and buttonholes that’s needed to complete it. And who knows, maybe that ponte knit skirt with the ruffles at the bottom, that I envisioned trimming in black faux leather, might just make it out the UFO pile as well.. LOl… As usual, thanks for the inspiration…

    1. Anita Morris

      Paulette, you’ve got me dying with laughter. The dress for your daughter–STOP it!!! Not 18 years!!! Yes, I would say “poster child” fits you well on this one. I can’t stop laughing. Yeah, you need to have a UFO weekend. LOL!

  13. Sandra

    Hi Anita, I like this top and the fit is perfect.

  14. Liz

    Like you, I like to work on one project at a time and finish it before moving on to the next. However, I do have two UFOs I have not finish. I just don’t know how to complete them.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Liz! Get some help and finish those UFO’s.

  15. JC

    Very nice combination. Looks like you’re ready for the Fall! Hard to believe or even seeing someone with your sewing skills chug an outfit! I don’t have too many UFO’S (two). One I know I can’t fit cause it was 6 years ago & I’ve gained weight since then. :-). Is that a pencil skirt? Nice combination!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey JC! Oh trust me, I have unsuccessful projects like everyone else sometimes. Yes, it’s a pencil skirt. Thank you!

  16. Brandy Gosha

    Awesome decision Anita to tackle that UFO. I must say she is beautiful and the skirt is just as beautiful. What is the material of the skirt if I may ask.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Brandy! Thank you! The skirt was made with a very old piece of ribbed cotton knit that I had in my stash. I needed a brown skirt so I just used it, knowing that it would stretch out of shape eventually. I didn’t care since I probably only paid $3 for it. LOL! I wore it once and it’s already in the give-away closet. LOL! There are ribbed knit fabric that are more suited for skirts, with more elasticity. This is not one of them, but it did look good. LOL!

  17. Thelma@blacksewing

    Hi Anita, I to have several Ufos. In fact I have one blouse that you have inspired me to try to complete. I thought she was a gonner but noe she may make it to my to do list. 🙂

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey sew sister! Get her done!

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