Since my oldest child was born, every November something funny happens to me. I get all these fantastic ideas in my head of all the things we will do, all the crafts we will make, all the beautiful sewn and hand knitted gifts I will make for my family and others. And then I blink, and all of a sudden it is December 20th and I have only accomplished a tiny fraction of these ideas I get in my head.
Now if I’m being real honest it actually happens multiple times a year. Like maybe even every other month. After all of these periods of over committing or over promising (to myself) I still have not learned and I am left with an immense guilt. I want to sew all the things. I want to see the happy faces of recipients when they receive their handmades. I want to get that good feeling of donating handmade hats and blankets to those in need. Logically I know I can’t do all the things, but I still feel guilty.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this guilt. I never really know how to shake it either. Typically I do some elaborate project after or really try to razzle dazzle on my next project, but I don’t actually think that is sustainable. Especially since it has the capability of sending me right back into that place of guilt.
So tell me fellow Sewcialists — do you ever find yourself filled with broken-sewing-promise-induced guilt? If you do, how do you manage to get past it? Let me know in the comments below!
Amanda is living and crafting in North Carolina while being a mama to two young boys. She can be found on Instagram as @mandabe4r where she posts her sewing, knitting, and a superfluous number of pictures of her kids.
Completely understand you! The same for myself – ten million amazing idea, and so few actually finished. I have not yet found a solution 🙁
Ahh it’s so hard isn’t it? I just want to make all of the things!
Sounds so much like me. No solution here, but like you, I do try to do as well as possible on each one that I tackle. At the point of becoming a Senior…I’m quite happy to be having lots of ideas and working toward of completion on many. A New Year for all of us to have new creative ideas ~ Happy!
You know, I hadn’t looked at it in a way of being happy to have new ideas. That may be a good thing for me to sit on to release some of my guilt. Hmm
May your new year be filled with complete projects!
I’m right there with you. This year I retired so no more guilt. I’m going to finish all donations and just breathe. Don’t feel bad life happens. It’s only was in your heart that matters. Blessings this Holiday season
Yes! This resonates with me as well. I have had about 4 months of very little sewing time – extra busy at work, MIL being ill and looking after her, transporting a teenager around to all her commitments. But I know this will pass, and I keep track of ideas so I know when I do have some time, I can pick out the idea that appeals to me at the moment, and let go of those that are not seasonally appropriate or realistically, going to be useful, or on the other hand, soothe my creative soul! I do find it good to have a knitting project with me at all times so I can create on-the-go, though!
I started a knitting a baby blanket for my almost 5 month old about 9 months ago and it’s still not done! *insert hysterical laughter* I think I need to just always have a small project.
I am on my 3rd rendition of the same sweater (Navelli by Caitlin Hunter), as I am using a finer yarn than the pattern calls for, and after the color stranding portion at the bottom I keep on thinking I need it bigger…… But I am enjoying following the chart so much that I don’t mind!
This is so me. I want to get back to sewing, knitting, redecorating my sewing space, etc. I retired this year and was so ready to tackle the to-do lists. Haven’t lifted a finger to do one thing. I think I’ll put the lists aside and pick one item that I want to complete. We’ll see how that goes.
I typically do one big handmade gift per year around Christmas time. But only one. Sometimes I’ll throw together little things for hostess gifts (cloth napkins etc.). But my family knows there’s only one big handmade gift per year (and sometimes none!) so part of the fun is seeing who gets it. I made my SIL a Kelly anorak a couple years ago, and a Minecraft quilt for my nephew. This year, my dad is getting some Fairfield button downs. The one handmade gift keeps things manageable for me.
Oh dear…this is where I bring my “I promised my fiancé a smoking jacket 2 (or is it now 3?) years ago for Christmas. I bought the fabric and the pattern…and it still sits. 🤦♀️🤷♀️ He now jokes that as long as he gets it by the time he’s on his deathbed (he’s only 41 so this better be decades from now!!) he’ll be happy. 😂😂 This is why I usually don’t promise to sew people things! And I never feel guilt about not finishing my personal never ending list; I know I’ll always have more than I can accomplish on that!
That’s amazing 🤣 maybe 2020 will bring a finished jacket… even if it doesn’t happen until the 11th hour
Let me tell you when I FINALLY finish that thing it’s going to be posted ALL over! And he better wear it every day! LOL!
oh, I feel ya! I have so many plans and they’re all logged into multiple planning tools to keep me on task (each having varying degrees of success.) This year I finished my mom’s Wiksten Haori Jacket that I promised over a year ago. Luckily she’s a sewist so gets it. My logic is that picking out the fabric is gift 1, pattern is gift 2, customizing and using my knowledge/time is gift 3, and finished product is really gift #4. Puts it in perspective that it takes so much more time, money, and energy to give a handmade gift than a store bought gift. and I only make for other makers. I’ve sent too many quilts and baby layettes to people who have no idea. I literally sat behind two women (grandmothers) at a baby shower that commented that handmade baby burp cloths were the cheaper way to go. I said, slightly more diplomatically, that obviously they haven’t sewn in quite some time because it most certainly is not.
You making (and I know you’re BFing too with all kinds of other crunchy mama things that take more time/effort) is so huge. I’m always amazed at you. AND building a house?!?! Uh. I know what that’s like too. That is so hard. It starts to feel like everything little thing has a $10k price tag. You are incredible Amanda. Just incredible. You made the ultimate: a baby. You’re still making your babies. You’re amazing.
I LOVE your perspective of one handmade gift actually being multiple gifts because of the thought and skill that goes into it. That makes it much less guilt inducing. Happy birthday/holiday/anniversary/promotion/everything gift!
You made me tear up. You’re so kind Becky! I’m so thankful the internets have brought us together❤️
A year after my husband unexpectedly died, I bought myself a nice sewing machine. I hadn’t knit or sewn much the last years of his life, what with work and trying to keep him going. And 7 years later, I have yet to sew anything. Last weekend I conceived a determined desire to make flannel pants for DD and her hubby for Christmas. Bought flannel and patterns, washed the fabric, and… it’s not going to happen in two days. But last year I did manage to knit 9 hats for Christmas. Finished the one for Dd’s MIL on Christmas Day as I sat in their living room.
You knit 9 hats?! That’s incredible!
I totally feel you! Not for gifts because I never promise anyone a handmade gift, if they get one, they are super lucky, but I feel like this happens to me for my personal sewing… I see all the people with their wardrobe plans and then actually following through and then I am inspired to make my own plan but then I end up making not even half… So my autumn sewing plans have now been converted to spring sewing plans and I will see how much of those I get done… So I don’t feel guilty per sé, although I did buy a lot of fabric for my “autumn capsule wardrobe” that never came to be, but it is demotivational… I’m just making one thing at a time, no pressure, that’s how I sew best, I guess… And I now have a bunch of coordinating fabric so I’m looking forward to spring!
I totally did that in the spring planning for fall too! At least I have stuff for next fall…?
Can I relate to this! I was always very responsive to “guilting”. However, over the years, I have learned to just not put myself in position to feel guilty. I seldom promise something to a friend or loved one unless I am sure that I can do it on time. I always want to make handmade gifts for everyone, but my energy level never matches my “want to dos”.
It took me most of my life to find the value in the word “no” and not making promises I cannot keep.
I so struggle with saying no! I think I’ve only said no with a I don’t feel like it rather than an excuse once in my adult life
I’m always feeling guilty about something. Sewing too much, not sewing enough, should be better at work, for the kids, for my husband, for my parents etc. I’ve tried to come to the conclusion that if I achieve all my goals then I haven’t aimed high enough. I’m not sure it helps though 🤣
Haha! I see what you’re saying. You’re aiming high. I too struggle with guilt in other parts of my life; I’m trying to work on it tho!
Life’s too short to feel guilty about not delivering on handmade goodies 🤷I’m sure no one worries about as much as we do!
I know the feels. My husband’s polo shirt and Star Wars hoodie are still sitting in their project boxes. My daughter has memories of me trying to make her prom dress while manic, so she hasn’t asked for a wedding dress. (Thank God!) My husband is plus-size as well and hard to fit, plus I’ve never made a placket. My fears and mental illness trip me up. I have to keep reminding myself that everything is a learning process. My husband is the same way with his electronics and computer programming, so he cuts me a lot of slack.
Plackets can be tricky! But I’m sure he’d be happy with a shirt even if the placket ended up a little wonky (and I find my eye is much more critical than my recipients so he may not even notice!) I can relate to mental health becoming a barrier. ❤️
I feel like that sometimes too! Mostly I get very excited about making EVERYTHING. Then life gets in the way and I make a few things. I am learning to be ok with that. I have figured out that I always have a choice. I can choose to shift my thinking from the negative to the positive. ex: I feel so terrible that I didn’t finish the project . OR I am so grateful that I have this amazing hobby that makes me so happy! I am also learning to commit to less. I know that it’s perfectly ok to say sorry, but no. It’s also ok to buy people Christmas gifts. It’s also ok to give people gifts on other days besides their birthdays or at Christmas. It’s perfectly ok to buy clothes if I can’t sew them right now. All that added pressure surely isn’t helping us to be more productive or creative. I’m ready for a year of “enough”. I am enough. I give enough. I work enough. I sew enough. Life is good.
A year of enough. That is beautiful!
Yikes – can you read my mind?! I get this every Christmas about everything (sewing, decorations, all the food). I can’t say I’ve solved it, but I’m working on changing my mindset – which means thinking of all those things as possibilities, rather than tasks. I get to pick the ones I most feel like doing, which is a good feeling. And when it’s all over, I try to look back on what I did do, not what I didn’t finish. Oh, and however you note down all your ideas and possibilities, don’t ever put them in a checklist format because then it feels like you ought to do them all!