Stop avoiding those UFOs!

We all need to stop avoiding those UFOs!

It’s time to be honest with each other…… How many unfinished sewing projects do you have? A fair few, right?

Don’t worry, we are all in the same position. I promise you, it’s normal. I always have two or three quilts waiting to be quilted and usually at least one unfinished dressmaking project. Rachel has a small suitcase of unfinished dressmaking items she calls her ‘box of shame’.

The first thing we need to do is admit to it to ourselves. Once we have done that, we can tackle it. One step at a time.

I find myself stressing about these unfinished pieces. Sometimes I don’t even know why I stopped sewing them in the first place! They play on my mind, making me feel guilty whenever I start something new.

So, no more procrastinating! Let’s deal with them!

Where do I start?


First things first. You need to get all those unfinished pieces out into the daylight. Drag them out from the back of the cupboard, under the bed, off the wardrobe. Wherever you have stashed them out of sight.

Once they are all out you can assess them properly. Hopefully, they aren’t as bad as you thought they were. But, if they are, don’t worry. We can do this!

Let’s assess the damage…

Take each item and look at it with fresh eyes. Assess what needs to be done to take it to the next stage, or even better finish it !

  • Did you stop for a particular reason?
  • Did you avoid doing a particular sewing step?
  • Were you missing a key component?
  • Did the item not fit as you wanted?
  • Were you unhappy with your sewing?

Make a plan.


Now it’s time to write notes for each of your unfinished projects. List what you think still needs to be done. What items do you need to buy? What tricky steps do you need to tackle?

Whilst doing this, you may wish to assess whether it’s an easy fix. Is it going to take some work? Do you even think it is worth finishing?

Attach your plan of action to each item and then sort them into order. Starting with the more simple jobs and working through to the more complex will encourage you take that first step.

Some projects may be destined to never be finished. Maybe it was the wrong pattern, wrong shape, wrong fabric or just not what you intended. If this is the case, remember you can recycle the fabric into something else or perhaps donate it to a friend who may love it.

Recycle or make a plan for any item you don’t want to continue with. This will clear your conscionce and help you focus on the items you can complete.

Start off easy.

Tackle the simple jobs and get them out of the way! The sense of accomplishment you will get from finally finishing a project you’ve been putting off is immense. Especially if it has been weighing you down. It feels like you are clearing the decks ready to start thinking about new projects.

Start by doing one simple fix straight away and then make your plan for finishing the rest. Try and allocate one UFO per week or per month, whatever is best for you.

Move onto the trickier projects.

Get some help to stop avoiding those UFOs

The trickier projects are going to need some extra effort. Check your notes to see what has been stopping you from completing them. Is there a skill you need to practice or research before you can move it forward?

We have lots of tutorials on our Youtube channel that may help you. And if we don’t have the right one, someone else will! You could also try taking one of our online sewing classes that focuses on a particular skill or asking a more experienced sewer for help if you need it. You may also have sewing books and magazines that could help.


And finally…

Remember, sewing is supposed to be fun but also productive. Stop avoiding those UFOs and tackle them. This will help clear your conscience but, if you just can’t face them yet, don’t feel guilty….the time will come when you are ready.

Happy Sewing!

Nikki & Rachel x

1 thought on “Stop avoiding those UFOs!”

  1. This blog was so kind and helpful! I have just moved house, but as soon as I get settled, I plan to follow the steps you outlined. But first I think I’ll make a couple of your Christmas placemats for which you very recently posted a video tutorial!

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