If you sew, you no doubt know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention UFOs.  In fact, I would wager a guess that you probably have a few of your own, hiding deep inside your closet under a pile of forgotten fabrics and notions.

UFOs (UnFinished Objects) started out as something new and exciting but somewhere along the line there was  a distraction that caused it to be cast aside.  Perhaps it was a test fit gone wrong, I mean, you were a size 12 just last year.  Maybe you were short some fabric, interfacing or notion.  There is nothing worse than getting ready to put a zipper in that white skirt only to find that you have zippers in every colour except white!

So the inevitable happens.  The item is cast aside until you make a trip to the fabric store or you lose some weight but to keep busy in the meantime, a new project is started.  The old item is soon forgotten and joins all the other UFOs hidden in the closet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to clear them out? Perhaps a fresh perspective is all that is needed.  First things first though, finish what you are working on now before starting anything else! 😀

The next thing to do is dig out all your UFOs.  They could be anywhere so this may be a good time to organize your sewing room.  Once you have all your items out and everything else is put away, take a moment to admire your clean sewing room since it’s not like this for very long.

Lay out all your UFOs to take stock.  Try on any items that are in style and can fit within your current wardrobe.  If it fits, set it in a pile to finish asap.  If it doesn’t fit, see if it’s possible to fix it so it does.  Sometimes letting out/taking in seams is all that is needed.  Anything else that doesn’t fit or can’t be fixed needs to be put in a different pile for now (I’ll refer to this as pile B from now on).

Take a look at the rest of your UFOs, the ones that are out of style or don’t seem to fit in your wardrobe.  If an item is not currently in style, but may fit in your wardrobe, see if there is anyway to update it.   Excess fabric can be removed to create a more tailored look.  Make pleats into darts, change buttons, remove shoulder pads and take in the shoulders of those 80’s jackets/blouses.  Anything that you don’t feel you want to put the effort into finishing or just can’t be fixed, place it in pile B.  As for the items that may not currently fit in your wardrobe you may want to re-assess them.  If you feel that they can be worked in then add them to your finish pile, everything else goes in pile B.

Pretty simple.  This sorting process can work for you ready made clothes too.  I’ll write a new post on that though.

Your next task is to take a look at each piece in your finish pile.  Make a shopping list of anything you may need to finish these, ie. zippers, proper coloured thread, new buttons etc.  Stick that list in your purse or wallet and make a specific shopping trip as soon as possible to get these things.  Of course, now that you have cleaned your sewing room, you may have discovered that you have some of these things.

Take it one piece at a time.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to start on something new and fresh so just take the first thing off the pile and finish it.  You will probably surprise yourself at how quickly you were able to put that button on.  🙂

As for pile B, once you have completed the finish pile go back through the rest of the UFOs.  Is there someone in the family that might like anything? Can you use the fabric for something else? (Perhaps that bright flower pattern wasn’t such a cute pair of pants after all).  If anything in pile B is completely unsalvagable it’s time to dump it.  Remove any buttons or zippers etc that you could use for something else first though.  If you have items that you are going to finish to give away then finish them, now.  Same as before, make a shopping list for anything you may need to complete the project and hit the fabric store asap.  Then get to work.  If there were any items that you were going to cut into something else I would highly suggest working on that as soon as you can, otherwise you will just have a pile of UFOs again and you may forget what you were going to do with it.  If you can’t start on it right away, make a note about what you plan to do with it and pin it to the UFO before putting it away.

There.  Depending on the number of UFOs you have it may take some time to complete but it’s a wonderful feeling to finally finish something and to no longer have that dreaded pile of unfinished clothing stareing at you.  It will make room for some new fabrics too!  That’s a bonus. 🙂

Of course if you want to finish your UFOs but just don’t have the time or motivation to do it you can always contact an experienced seamstress like myself to finish it for you.  Prices would be similar to the prices for a similar alteration.  For example, if you need a zipper installed, it would be the same price as what I have listed for replacing a zipper or if you need the hem of a skirt finished, it’s the same price as doing a hem alteration.  When in doubt, I’m just an email away.  I’d be happy to help you out!


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