Best Laid Plans, Foiled

Best Laid Plans, Foiled | Grainline Studio

I didn’t get a lot of non-pattern development sewing done this winter, it’s not that I didn’t have ideas, plans, or fabric, just a lack of time. I went through some fabric I had earmarked for some fall / winter garments and couldn’t help feeling a little bummed out about all the garments I was going to make that I didn’t get around to.

Best Laid Plans, Foiled | Grainline Studio

It wasn’t limited to sewing either, I started a sweater on January 1st that I’m still knitting. I had hoped this would be a quick knit that I could get some wear out of before spring rolled around but it’s turned into a bit of a beast. Mostly that’s my own fault, I’m knitting it based off the Hemlock Tee and got about 3/4 of the way done when I decided I was knitting too tight of a fabric. Knowing that I won’t wear things that aren’t exactly how I want them I took the whole thing out and started over. Ripping out the first time was a bit of an emotional experience but now that I’ve done it once it’s actually been a lot more fun to knit (and rip, if needed).

The problem with not being able to make anything unrelated to pattern development is that I’ve been feeling a bit uncreative lately. Usually making things for myself is where I experiment and get ideas for new patterns. I’m hoping to institute at least a half day of fun sewing a week to keep myself on track mentally + creatively. Do any of you have a sewing schedule you like to stick to to keep yourself motivated? Also, Me Made May is rapidly approaching so I definitely need to get myself in gear. Are you thinking of participating this year? I’d like to but there’s lots of sewing to be done first…

21 replies on “Best Laid Plans, Foiled

  • hynespet

    I feel like after you bite the bullet and frog a big project it becomes kind of freeing! Because you realize you can do it and everything will be fine.
    Good luck Jen 🙂

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  • Melissa

    Ripping really sucks, but it makes all the difference if you’ll actually wear the sweater in the end! I’m in the middle of my own ripping saga – in BT Loft, size 3 needles. Life goes on!

    I did Me Made May last year, but had very little in the way of me mades. I just tried to wear at least one piece 5 days out of the week. I haven’t decided what my challenge will be this year, but if I don’t get too much else sewn, I’ll be OK with that!

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  • Michelle

    One of Meg’s resolutions for this year is to spend 30 minutes each day making. I think this is a great idea and I’ve tried to follow her lead. I sometimes feel like I have to allocate large amounts of time in order to work on a project, but truthfully, I end up finishing more things when I work in smaller bursts. 30minutes doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up. I hope you’re able to kickstart your creativity!

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  • vickygorryV

    I realised fairly recently how down I get when I don’t fit a little ‘making time’ into every day. It doesn’t have to be sewing or knitting, sometimes just colouring (love adult colouring books) is enough, but I need a top up every day to keep me in balance. It’s hard to fit that in every day, but it makes a huge difference when I do, both in my overall happiness level and also that it really gets my creativity moving. And ripping out knitting that just isn’t right is incredibly liberating, I completely agree.

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  • carol

    Know you will be happy you took the time to rip out and reknit.I knitted the Auden tee this winter. When I tried it on I realized I did not like the length. I decided to rip out the bottom 8 inches and reknit the ribbing at the bottom. Like you it was totally worth it. I wear it all the time and so happy with it. Would like to do Me Made May. Sounds like a motivation to get things done.

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  • Karin

    I just unraveled a sweater I made 10 years ago that just wasn’t right anymore, knit it up in a new pattern, finished, and have been wearing it everyday since. This is the magic of hands knits.

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  • christine

    Girl, you know I’m in the same boat. I rarely get to sew for myself, and when I do, it’s at midnight after a 12-hour day of work. My projects are all half started and mocking me from across the room!

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    • Betsy

      My thoughts exactly! I’m so cranky from lack of selfish sewing/making. I have some Grainline patterns on my to-do list since at least December and haven’t even made a crack at it. Must make the time!

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  • Laura Lee

    Your post helped me quite a bit. Sometimes the worst part of being in a bit of a rut or not consistent with progress is thinking that everyone else is sewing away, knocking out perfect pieces every time and of course that is not true! I was stuck for a couple of months and realized I was limiting myself to only doing a certain type of work trying to perfect some higher level skills (for me) and in hindsight I should have taken a break and done a few smaller, less complicated projects. The advice above is spot on so I am committing to at least a few sessions a week on things I WANT to do rather than think I have to do. Thanks for your blog!

    Reply
  • Samantha

    This is the blessing/curse of doing what you love for a living (?)…. Lately I have been just deciding half way through a day that I am not going to spend any more time on the computer for that day, and turning to my fabric/machines/ironing board. The next day I may have to double down to get things done on schedule, but the sheer pleasure and reward of having some making time is completely worth it. You have to feed that beast or you run out of ideas to make a living on….

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  • Kelly

    You neeeeeeed to make time to sew for yourself and feed your creativity- it’s part of your job! 🙂 even if you take one full day per week, over a month that’s only 4-5 days. Side note- we just watched the movie Begin Again, have you seen it? It’s really good, but also I want to make everything Kiera Knightley wears in it- you should watch it just to check out her wardrobe, it’s very cool.

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  • rillafree

    I once unravelled a whole cardigan and reknitted to another pattern, but it’s always worth it! Definitely try and get some creative time to make something for yourself, but remember that sewing for me made may is not a necessity, just taking part! Enjoy your new fun sewing time 🙂

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  • gilliancrafts

    I struggle with finding enough energy to sew after work – but at least I get to walk away from work! I hope you figure out a way to carve out some time for personal sewing, because the end goal is a sustainable career, right? A level of work and commitment you can keep up for years. Burning out is no good! (If I make it through this year, I deserve a medal. I couldn’t keep this energy up for another year. I neeeeeeed an easier class next year!)
    Would it help you to have a sewing buddy, online or otherwise, to remind you to take time to sew? If it’s any help, we could make a sewing date this weekend to IG while we sew – a Saturday/Sunday Social Sewing Hour? Announce it on twitter, invite people to join, and tell your man he has to MAKE you drop everything and sew!

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  • Kat @ House of Lane

    I’m always a planner! It doesn’t mean I actually get everything done but it does help to focus my limited sewing time. I’m planning out my autumn winter wardrobe at the moment. I’m hoping to take part in me made May and in previous years have found I don’t have enough warm clothing for May. Hopefully planning out my winter makes now will make me a bit more prepared when me made may rolls around.

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  • eimear

    felt so like that for january and february – so i went with – it became a chance to just sit and plan and do some drawings as well as mixing my favourite colours, and going through my potential remakes…..in all, my big rethink gave me a better focus on my remakes. ….I must add that i have always admired the perseverance of knitters – (i can only crochet) and I adored that sweater you did last year – looking forward to what you do next!.

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  • Jessica

    Oh man, I totally hear you on this! Although for me this relates to the tension between logging long hours to write a book vs. giving myself the mental + creative “free space” to let insights and associations float to the surface (the craft/elbow grease of production vs. the creative ideas generation phase). Anyhow, I think everyone’s process is different. I personally find it helpful to block off several days in a row, usually bookended with a weekend, and twice a month if I can swing it, to just full-on let everything else filter out of my brain and to really step back and play. Like, “Here is my dedicated time to feed the creative muse, no apologies and no rush.” Usually the first day or so my brain is still cluttered with all the “but I need to do this!” and it takes until day 3 or 4 for that gem of an idea to pop up. Sewing might be different as it’s much more tactile, so perhaps half a day per week will work well for you. I think it’s worth experimenting to find out :-). I know that when I sew, I only do it about once a month, in 1-2 week stretches, because I like fully getting into something and then putting everything away when I’m done. But the 30 minutes/daily trick works really well for additive productivity too, I just find that I like time to noodle and dig deep into something.

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  • Charlotte

    I always make time for sewing for myself at the weekend. I normally get up early-ish, before the boyfriend is awake, so I have some time to sew & listen to podcasts. Bliss:)

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  • Shell

    I find when I’m not making time for my personal sewing I either start craving it, or totally dig in against it (probably because I’m over-tired) If its a) I just schedule myseld some weekend time to get into it when I notice I need to. When it’s b) I do the sew for 30 mins a day, usually straight after dinner. If I then get into it I keep sewing, or if not after 30mins I stop & do whatever I like! Sooner or later the sewjo always returns! Good luck!

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  • gingermakes

    Ugh, how frustrating! Between my homework and a baby quilt that I’m on a deadline with, I feel like I’ve only been working on “shoulds” for months now! It really sucks your joy! One thing that helps, when I do it, is to allow myself to make something that just pops into my head- not because it’s on a to-do list, or because it’s an assignment, or even because i’ve been planning it for a while- just something I think of and get excited about. It’s really rewarding to make something quickly right after the idea appears!

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  • Sara Mayo

    My schedule is two finished items per month. If It’s getting close to the 15th and I haven’t got an item finished yet, or close to the end of the month and I don’t have a second item finished yet, I start focusing more on sewing.

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  • Cheryl Arkison

    Funny, I started sewing clothes as a break from making quilts. Someone told me once that once your hobby becomes your job you need to find a new hobby. So now I’m sewing clothes (And addicted to the Linden.)

    Reply

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