Yeah, that plan failed spectacularly.
Despite my best efforts, I will probably have more stuff to move this time than last time. Even though I have donated by now five trash bags of clothes, even though I have made serious efforts to decrease the amount of books I own, even though I planned to craft through my stash and give as many things away as possible – it hasn’t been enough. I buy materials for gifts, I am given things, I buy new books and games and dvds. And on top of that, I have a whole bunch of projects still on the go and won’t even be able to enter my new house with a clean slate.
So today, I took a long hard look at all my projects and decided to just… give up on a few.
Maybe you have a project like that. Something that has been stuffed in a bag or box for years, something you just couldn’t be enthusiastic about anymore, something that you could already tell wasn’t going to suit you or work out the way you had planned. But hey, you paid money for those materials, you put in all that work, and it’s so wasteful – sinful! – to just throw out a perfectly good project. So you keep it. You keep it and you think that one day, when the stars align just right and you have plenty of time and energy and a general positive outlook on life, you will tackle and finish that project and…
And what? What do you do then, with a finished object you don’t like? In my case, I was planning to donate my finished objects to a charity shop. But the longer I sit on these projects, the less it seems worth it. Is anyone really waiting for my handmade stuff? I am a decent enough seamstress that I wear my own clothes with pride, but I don’t make them for other people for a reason: I don’t consider myself good enough. Would I buy my stuff if I saw it in a store? Maybe not. On top of this, my mother – one of those people who is very sensible, good with money and in general has her life together – gave me the advice to just throw them out. Just give the unfinished projects to the rag man, don’t let them bother you anymore. Sure, it was beautiful fabric but the world is full of beautiful fabric. Throw this out, let go of the guilt, and start fresh.
So here’s what I threw out:
- The scrap top I was working on. It just wasn’t coming together for me. It didn’t require a lot of work anymore, but it was going straight in the charity shop bag if I had finished it and I’m not sure anyone was really waiting for my hot pink, mismatched, too-wide shirt. So out it goes.
- The three piece suit. I started work on this in – no joke – 2011. Since then, I’ve moved twice, lost weight, my tastes have changed. There have been several ‘special occasions’ where I thought ‘I’ll finish it and where it there!’ but I never did. So, even though it is a lot of very pretty fabric and it was a lot of work, it goes out.
- I also considered throwing out the plushie I am working on, but decided against it. I will at least attempt to make the head (a structurally difficult piece of work and the reason I haven’t finished this yet). If it works out, great, if it doesn’t, I’ll throw it out then. This has dissolved the crippling fear of messing it up and will hopefully allow me to take the final steps.
P.S: I finished a gift for a friend’s baby which unfortunately can’t be shown yet, but which I am very happy with. Let’s hope she is too!