UFO Sightings

“Out of sight; out of mind.” … Hardly! My UFOs (Unfinished Objects) have been out of sight, but certainly not out of mind. At least not until I get rid of them somehow. That reminds me of some trivia I have stored in the back of my mental cave.

There’s a little thing called the Zeigarnik Effect. Have you ever heard of it? It’s a fickle sort of creature; it can work for you or against you. The Zeigarnik Effect is the idea that unfinished projects or tasks stay in our minds taking up valuable space and using up energy until we finish them. It can either motivate us to finish what we started, or make us highly distracted and overwhelmed. Once we finish the project, it drops out of sight and we put it out of mind.

So for someone like me who has mountains of unfinished sewing projects (at last count, there were 72), the space between my ears has been mighty crowded of late. And thinking about them all concurrently has been driving me batty… ier than usual.

That is why I spent the first 6 months of 2017 finishing. “Finish” is my theme word for this year and it’s been working out well for me so far.  I’ve been making my way one little piece at a time through the bins of projects I had hidden under my bed — including some repairs. I didn’t go cold turkey on starting new projects, though; I allowed myself to alternate between UFOs and new shiny objects.

The odd FAIL got discarded altogether. Choosing to chuck them or upcycle them once and for all also cleared them out of my memory. These are a just few of the projects I’ve finally checked off my to-do list.

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Transfer Embellish Stitch

This project was to be part of a blog tour for the book Transfer Embellish Stitch: 16 Textile Projects for the Modern Maker available on C&T Publishing. The tour didn’t pan out, but I agreed to try a project from the book and write a review. The authors introduced the book in a guest post last December. Now that I’ve made a couple of things from the book, look out for another post coming up soon. Here’s a little sneaky peeky:

Transfer Embellish Stitch

Stencilling with my BFF. Before things got messy.

Sis Boom Fancy Pants

I ditched this one. I pulled it out and got working on it, but I felt weighed down by the extra weight that caused me to abandon it in the first place. Trying to salvage it would have been more work than starting over with a new pair of pants. So out they went! I might try the pattern again one day, but until then, I’m sticking to loose fitting clothes. (See the exception below.)

Needle Cases

These were part of a double-header sew-along we ran in our Facebook group last fall. I didn’t finish then, but I’m all done now. We worked on two patterns from different designers: Needle Holder Pouch by Birdcage and Thread and the Bionic Needle Organizer Wallet Wallet by RipStitcher. Of course, the first thing I did was start hacking. But honestly, other than enlarging the Bionic Needle Organizer, I can’t remember the details of the patterns or what I did to them. (Whatever you do, don’t look at the messy stitching. My inner perfectionist is still giving me hell for it.) Check out the previous post about not finishing. Sigh!

Bionic Needle Organizer

A-Line Skirt

I’m so proud of this little skirt. It’s my first attempt at drafting my own made-to-measure, and it fit perfectly. Or at least it did when I finished it. I’m afraid to try it on again for photos, because it might have shrunk on the hanger. You can read the original (unfinished) post here.

Draft and sew and A-line skirt

Self-drafted skirt

Canada Cups Corset

Last year, we had this fun blog tour that took us all over Canada in our underwear. We had a blast; I don’t know about you. But, of course, I didn’t finish sewing my practise corset in time. So that got dumped on the pile of UFOs too. It’s finally finished and I’ve worn it a couple of times. I’m well chuffed knowing that I made a corset. And I’m dancing over the moon that I got an order for a bespoke one. My bestie ordered it, but it still counts. So you should be seeing more corset posts from me.

Practise corset front view

I can’t believe I’m publicly posting a picture of my bulges.

Practise corset back view

My practise corset, from the back.

Stow it All Tote and cross-body bags

Almost 2 years ago, my friend asked me to make her a simple cross-body hobo bag. Nothing fancy, just rectangles: front, back and straps. I finally got it done and also made one with purple skull lining for her kid. You’ll have to imagine them because I didn’t take pictures.

Then there’s the Stow it All Tote that I started last May for a ChrisW Patterns sew along. I had a little drama with an infected hand (damned cat!), so I abandoned it. This May, I hauled out those pieces and finished just in time to give the bag to my mom for Mother’s day.

Stow it All Tote

I feel so much lighter now that those projects are off my plate. But thanks to the Zeigarnik Effect, I’m having one hell of a time remembering all of the completed ones I meant to blog about.

I’m off to finish a few more blog posts that have been nagging at me. How many UFOs do you have dragging you down?


Marsha Law Sig2

PS.  It took me 2 months to write this post. But guess what! It’s FINISHED!

PPS. Visit the Canadian Directory of sewing and craft suppliers



  1. What a great post! I love seeing all your UFOs that now must be classified as FOs. They all look great. LOVE your corset, and I didn’t see any bulges at all. Great job.

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