A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Join us for fun, contests and discussions on Craftster's Facebook page!
Total Members: 297,476
Currently Running With Scissors:
715 Guests and 28 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1] 2  All
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Anyone else have Sewing OCD? :-[  (Read 1533 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
Buglady
Offline Offline

Posts: 267
Joined: 14-Jun-2005

Herding cats & chasing beads


View Profile WWW
« on: February 02, 2012 10:50:05 AM »


I have a problem. I have sewn for years and years and YEARS and years... but I very rarely finish anything, especially for myself. It takes me forever and a day to start anything, because I can never decide if *this* is the *perfect ultimate pattern* or if maybe I should save the fabric for something else... and then it takes me another small eternity to actually sew things up because I am insanely picky about things like seam finishing and making all my topstitching absolutely perfect.

I really don't use the term OCD lightly. I do have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, plus ADHD (there's probably 90% of my problem right there; I've been doing much better in terms of project completion and frustration tolerance since starting treatment!) and although I don't suffer the compulsions and obsessions of true OCD, I feel comfortable using it as a description for the intensity of the distress and frustration I often feel with sewing.

But sometimes I think the patterns are unrealistic in their descriptions, and boy is that ever not helpful!!

Case in point: I am making the kimono-esque hoody jacket* from "The Feisty Stitcher." It's a very simple pattern based on a traditional haori jacket, and I really like it... but in the book she says it takes about 1.5 hours for even the more complex hooded version with faced cuffs. Um, no. I'm into hour 6 here. Part of that is that I messed up (would have helped if the directions/pictures were clearer and I hadn't put the hood on the wrong way), but I really think the only way to complete this pattern in that time frame would be to sew at top speed, without pinning, without pressing your seams, and with no finishing. And I just can't DO that! It makes me all twitchy just to think about it!

Please tell me I am not alone... 

*Because I know some people like to know details - I am using some heavy cotton fabric I bought at IKEA for the jacket. It's absolutely perfect and a joy to sew with. Highly recommended for any jackets, tote bags, even tailored skirts you may be thinking about; I'd call it an equivalent to a suit-weight linen or light denim. And it was $6 a meter for 150cm wide!  Grin There you go, another excuse to go fabric shopping... and it can be a stealth mission because nobody would expect you to go to a furniture store for more fabric!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Bead Bugs, suncatchers & unique jewellery - www.theartfulsalamander.com
New Etsy shop! www.theartfulsalamander.etsy.com
PixieSkull
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Glittery Macabre
Offline Offline

Posts: 3850
Joined: 13-Oct-2004

Nat 20! Woot!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012 11:23:01 AM »

I do!! hardcore. I go in cycles of crafting between jewelry, sewing, art journaling, whatever I feel at the moment. I have craft anxiety (and anxiety in general) with negative thought loops when I fail at something. Classes and LOTS of reading later, I can see where I went wrong on each piece in my "fails" tub and learn from it. Medication for my general anxiety and lots of reading and notes have helped.

I have benefited from:
Learning to make a basic sloper pattern
Learning to modify commercial patterns with my sloper
Learning basic sewing techniques hands-on with a proficient teacher
Joining active sewing forums with advice sections (Woot!)
Practicing on scale garments and with crappy fabric found in the $.99/yd fabric bins, doesn't matter if there are grease stains or it smells funny
Modifying old clothes that would otherwise be donated or binned
Learning to use a serger and saving up to buy a basic 3/4 thread one

With sewing, I run into problems with difficult design elements and throw my hands in the air, or the fit sucks on me and I get frustrated, or the fabric sucks, or there's a BOATLOAD of hemming... and I abandon it for "the moment" which turns into a year+ sometimes.

True story, I started a large halloween pattern cloak with a large hood in 2003, and finished it in 2011 to wear for wedding duties. 7 years! I used a butter suede for the outside and duck cloth and a holiday red/blue shift chintz sewed together for the lining. All I had to do was sew on the clasps and hem the bottom 3 layers together. I used my serger for the bottom after adjusting the draping (quick! easy!) and sewed two clasps on by hand (quick! easy!) to finish the cloak. Really!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

~*My Etsy Shop*~
I'm a level 9 rouge, b***h!
I do personal swaps!
PixieSkull
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Glittery Macabre
Offline Offline

Posts: 3850
Joined: 13-Oct-2004

Nat 20! Woot!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012 11:26:31 AM »

And I'm not so fond of patterns with bad instructions, the reason I sucked at sewing for years through high school. I now study those mo-fos for a long time and take notes before thinking of buying fabric. SO often I find that patterns call for much more yardage than I need (being petite, really short, short waisted, etc) for expensive fabrics. I hate that so much!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

~*My Etsy Shop*~
I'm a level 9 rouge, b***h!
I do personal swaps!
Aislynn
Miscellaneous Topics Moderator
Sewing in General Moderator

Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 3799
Joined: 25-Oct-2007


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012 12:14:08 PM »

Absolutely!  You are not alone.  I have hoards of fabric and patterns that I won't cut into because I'm afraid I'll screw it up, or because I want to lose weight, or because I don't think I can do it justice, or because I can't decide which fabric should go for which pattern.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

My wist!  http://www.wists.com/aislynn
Ludi
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

May the Ghost Squid be with you
Offline Offline

Posts: 7699
Joined: 06-Jan-2008

Team Wordy!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012 04:33:09 PM »

I can't stick to one project and finish it, so I start a bunch of things and they fail, or I'm afraid to cut my "good" fabric because I might mess up or maybe there was something better I could make with it - "good" fabric might even be an old sheet in this case.  I also have a horrible habit of making things I can't or won't wear, that are too fancy or weird to go to the grocery store in, which is pretty much the only place I go....So I have almost nothing to wear because I won't buy clothes "because I can make it cheaper."  etc etc.....

Ugh.  Anxiety, stress, ugh.  Isn't this supposed to be fun?   Huh
THIS ROCKS   Logged

wifeofbath
Offline Offline

Posts: 893
Joined: 02-Dec-2004

Tiber Swim Team


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012 07:53:11 PM »

A lot of this sounds familar. Reasoning with myself only "kind of, sort of" works. Which is bad, because I like to think I'm a reasonable person.

It's only fabric, they'll make more.

It's not the end of the world if your seam is ever so slightly wavy or you trimmed the allowance a little unevenly; engineers allow for a certain level of permissible deviation in pieces they design because not even factories can make things absolutely perfect every time.

That glaring error is only glaring because you're so close to it; most other people probably won't be able to see it at all.
(And you might not be able to after a little time has passed either. True story: I was finishing up some panties and tired by the time I got to the leg elastic on the last pair. I made a real hash of it, I thought, but was so tired I let it stand. I wore them and when I was pulling them from the washing machine I went to look at the ugly stitching, I couldn't find it.)

Imperfect doesn't mean necessarily non-functional.

If you spend a lot of time sewing this and just lose weight three months later, so what? You still need clothes now.

That fabric is doing you no good sitting in your closet while you try to find the perfect use for it. You're wasting the money spent on it just as much as if you sewed something that didn't work.

It's simply not reasonable to expect to be great at a particular technique the first few times you try it. Don't be too proud to make a mistake.

You have a limited number of years with good eyesight, no arthritis, and relatively young brainpower for skill acquisition, and you've already wasted some of them, so you might as well make the most of what you have left.


I say these sorts of things to myself and they are perfectly reasonable, well thought out arguments, but I still have fabric sitting unused in my closet and more daydreams of things I'd like to make than actual handmade garments. Maybe I need someone to come kick me in the pants every day or two until I get moving--the sewing version of a personal trainer or a drill sergeant!  Cheesy
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"An old cloak makes a new jerkin..." (Wm Shakespeare, recycling and DIY enthusiast)
PixieSkull
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Glittery Macabre
Offline Offline

Posts: 3850
Joined: 13-Oct-2004

Nat 20! Woot!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012 02:18:01 PM »

wifeofbath... thanks for the affirmations! I do love the "I'm only human and we DO make mistakes" for myself but yours are all very simple and easy to say!

A little delay in CLEANING and ORGANIZING my sewing space has been helpful, only because I'm not shopping for more fabric or patterns and cleaning out my wardrobe for ill-fitting and donations to my fave thrift store (giving back to a source of my inspiration).

Focusing on an image for myself has helped clean out the mental cobwebs. Also, relearning and reiterating pattern drafting and pattern alterations is opening my eyes to what I can do and what I will work on in the future.

Keep stress down and do little projects for fun! Know any charities that accept dolls and toys? Make little stuffed animals for them from scraps and buttons or fabric paints for the details. And that special fabric you're saving for the perfect project that is bound to pop up? It's a bit of a romantic fairy tale, right?!? Use it on a cute accessory like a waist cincher, vest or headbow instead so you can enjoy it even longer. (Like the yard of rainbow silk with gold-toned thread that I've been saving... it's going to be something fabulous now, I can't wait any longer.)
THIS ROCKS   Logged

~*My Etsy Shop*~
I'm a level 9 rouge, b***h!
I do personal swaps!
Penguillama
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012 06:18:29 PM »

I just.. have horrible hand-eye coordination lol.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Ludi
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

May the Ghost Squid be with you
Offline Offline

Posts: 7699
Joined: 06-Jan-2008

Team Wordy!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2012 07:39:14 AM »

I have to whine some more....I recently bought what I thought would be a simple pattern to make, so I could quickly make something which I could wear and would give me some encouragement that I'm not a total failure at sewing wearable clothing.  Well!  Turns out the fabric I chose was too narrow for the pattern, so I tried to change the skirt shape to fit the fabric and then it didn't fit me right, and the top of the dress made me look frumpy.  I narrowed the sleeves because I thought they were too baggy but overdid it and made them too tight.  After three tries to get something wearable, I finally gave up.  No dress for me, at least not from that fabric.   Sad

Beware if you want to use quilting fabric for clothing, the bolts are now 43" and the patterns are made for 45" or 60" fabric....   Angry

I guess I'll go back to making my own patterns, at least that way I won't waste even more money......
THIS ROCKS   Logged

JXsMommy
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2012 02:54:00 PM »

You are definitely not alone. Although I have never been diagnosed with anything, I was told as a teenager that I had "hints" of OCD. No, I don't need to constantly count things or lock and unlock my doors a certain number of times, but when I do something it has to be done perfectly or else I get frustrated. For example, my house is always clean, but it takes me twice as long to clean it because everything has to be done a certain way. I won't even let my husband do the laundry because he'll do it "wrong" (not that he's complaining Tongue). Anyway, when it comes to sewing, it takes me a while to finish things too. I have found that the estimated time they give to complete a project means nothing. I have never finished a project that has been made from a pattern in the time they say it should take. I have however finished a lot of projects that I have made from tutorials here on craftster and some blogs in the estimated time they give. I have also found those to be more thorough and realistic. Here are a few things that I do to keep myself sane. I ALWAYS read the instructions for a pattern or tutorial all the way through at least twice before I do anything else. I always buy extra yardage (not too much just 1/2 a yard to 2 depending on what I'm making). If it's something I've never made before or there might be fitting problems I make a muslin. Also, I never cut any of my patterns. I trace the size I need onto swedish tracing paper. You can make your alterations directly on the swedish tracing paper and you can baste it to try it on. If it is a patten I use a lot I make a cardboard pattern. You can find a tutorial for that here http://nicolemdesign.blogspot.com/2008/09/everlasting-patterns-fashion-industry.html. I think you'll find that most of us have unfinished projects hanging around. And anyone who has been sewing for a while has a stockpile of fabric. I few years ago I found a blog where this woman talked about using coroplast, the stuff they use to make plastic signs, to make fabric cards. You cut the coroplast to the size you need and fold your fabric so that you can wrap it around the card like they do at the fabric store. Here is a picture of the end result http://www.quiltingboard.com/attachments/links-resources-f4/14711d1266624000-attachment-14711.jpe. I got a box of fifty 12"x12" coroplast tiles from ebay a few years ago for $35. I cut them in half for the bigger cuts of fabric and in quarters for smaller cuts. It keeps everything nice and organized and preserves my sanity. I hope you find some of these tips useful.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012 02:56:12 PM by JXsMommy » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2  All Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
How to Make a Silhouette Art Piece
How to Make Confetti
How to Make a 3-D Paper Snowflake
How to Win a Staring Contest
How to Win a Pie Eating Contest
Latest Blog Articles
Tute Tuesday: Sandwich Wrap
Falling Leaves
Meatless Monday: Provencal Inspired Quiche

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.