Understanding my resistance to my sewing UFOs


This is Part 3 in my goal to finish my UFOs. It’s time to really dive deep into understanding my resistance to my sewing UFOs – because this will get me closer to finishing them. When I overcome my resistance, it will feel easy to finish my sewing UFOs, instead of a chore to slog through. 


My progress so far

Recap: I have over 30 UFOs that I want to finish. But I’m struggling with the motivation and have lost my zing for sewing. 


I have gathered up my UFOs first. Then I completed my Action Task list for each of them. 


The Action Task List summarizes this info about each project: where I stopped; what decisions I still need to make; what to do next; how I feel about each one; and why I stopped. 


It’s all just a story

But truly, it’s not actually that “I know” why I stopped, but rather that for some of them I have a story in my head that I’m telling myself. 

A great example of this is a lovely kit I bought and started for a gorgeous folded chinese fabric puzzle. For years it has inspired massive guilt because I always thought I had lost the last two pieces in a move. A very unorganized move. I had a story revolving around my guilt and my shame that I was so messy back then. 


But recently, I found those two pieces. It made me re-think the whole story I was telling myself. I realized it was “just a story” and not reality. 


folded fabric origami block with red, green, black and gold fabric, two blocks sewn together_this missing on
These two missing blocks helped fuel my resistance to my sewing UFOs. Oh the guilt!


Where did I get stuck and stop? 


When I looked closely I noticed that I stopped for one of two reasons:

  1. I made a mistake, usually a cutting mistake. And now it’s been so long I don’t even know where the mistake was exactly. I just remember cutting a block wrongly.
  2. I got to the binding stage.

Time to bring out the big guns. Time for a thought download. It’s a tool I use when I want to look at how my thoughts, feeling and actions relate. 

A thought download is just me writing all my thoughts down on paper about a specific topic. Super simple. Yet very powerful. 

  • A good chunk of these just need binding done. 
  • How in the heck did I make so many cutting mistakes?
  • A few stopped because I didn’t like how my artistic effort was going – the composition wasn’t pretty enough. I felt inadequate. 
  • Only a couple stopped because of lack of fabric. 
  • A couple make me feel sad. I just don’t want to work on these anymore. 
  • There’s a few here I’m really inspired to keep working on. Especially “99 red balloons”
  • I’ve learnt a lot of different techniques from my UFOs.

Right – there’s some good info here. Info I have pulled out because I went through the painstaking process of gathering, organizing and listing out each UFO on my Action Task List.

Jump on board and download it here.


So what is creating the resistance to my sewing UFOs?

I could just start grinding through these UFOs one by one. It would still feel painful though. I’ve got a hunch there’s a bit more to it here.

There must be more thoughts that are affecting my ability to love sewing, and get motivated to finish my UFOs.

How have the bits I love about sewing, 

and the bits I dislike about sewing,

come together to create over 30 UFOs? 

Yep, another thought download…  This time on how I feel about sewing… and my resistance to my sewing UFOs. 

  • I love quilting 
  • I love patchwork 
  • When I iron I always seem to stretch the fabric crooked. 
  • I don’t like ironing.
  • I wish I had a pressing station.
  • I’m bad at rotary cutting.
  • My cuts always turn out crooked. And my ruler always moves. And I keep making measurement errors lately. 
  • Piecing is so much fun. 
  • My ¼” seam is not very accurate. It doesn’t bother me much though.  
  • Oh my gosh I just discovered my tape measure is completely wrong. 
  • That could be why I made all those cutting mistakes. 
  • I don’t like binding. It’s no fun. I’m just not confident in my binding techniques. 
  • I’m pretty good at choosing and matching different colors 
From a distance this tape measure looks okay.

But when I finally looked closer, a whole lot of cutting mistakes began to make sense. I just couldn’t believe it!

But when you look closer, something is clearly not right. Oh dear!


But why was I resisting my sewing UFOs, and my sewing so strongly?

There were a few more thoughts but these were the main ones.

Hmm… See how lots of these thoughts create negative feelings? I could self coach myself on each of these thoughts, but I’m going for bang for my buck here. I really need to find out what’s creating this resistance to my sewing UFOs. 

Can you spot the biggest limiting beliefs here? The bits where I’ve given up on any room for improvement?

Yep! Ironing. Cutting. Binding.

So…  I’ll start with ironing, cutting and binding. 


The plan to overcome my resistance to my sewing UFOs

What I’m going to do is a really deep thought download on each of these. Really turn them inside out and examine what my head thinks about each activity. Then self coach myself through these thoughts. I’ll use this info to take some actions and then create a new result.

Stay tuned for my next post on….. Can I learn to love ironing?

PS> For all you purists out there, I use the words ironing and pressing interchangeably, although I know they are sort of different. 

What do you think about ironing? How does it make you feel? What else do you love or hate about your sewing parts?