Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Keeping Track of Projects

I don’t know about you, but I have a problem when it comes to planning sewing projects with respect to how much time I actually have to complete them.  I want to do about a million projects and only have nights and weekends to complete them and other obligations/social engagements, along with the life duties that come with being an adult.  In short (and I know I’ve said it before): working full time stinks.

My mental to-do list was getting pretty long and I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed at how long it will probably take me to get to everything.  I was also starting to forget some of the projects that I really wanted to complete.  I needed a solution!

A little while ago, Tilly did a study on improving your productivity in regards to sewing, which she dubbed the Sewing Productivity ProjectCasey, one of my other fav bloggers, shared her strategy: keeping a spreadsheet.  This seemed brilliant to me, but it took me a couple of months to get around to making one of my own. 

A couple of weeks ago, I created a simple spreadsheet on my lunch break that listed out what projects I had floating around in my brain.  I kept the spreadsheet simple and created columns for Project Title, Type of Project (sewing, knitting, embroidery, etc.), Pattern Name/Number, Fabric, Completed Date, and Notes.  After I got down all of the projects that I want to complete (eeks, 37!), I decided I needed some reassuring and added in all of the projects that I have already completed this year (a satisfying 17).  In-progress projects are listed at the top of the spreadsheet and are highlighted light purple.  Completed projects are listed at the bottom of the spreadsheet and are highlighted dark purple.  To-be-completed projects are in the middle and are loosely ordered by preference.  Here’s an idea of what it looks like.  I moved my completed projects in the middle so you could actually see them—otherwise they’d be off the page because I have so many projects in the pipeline!

Since creating it, this spreadsheet has kept me sane and on track.  This comes at no surprise to me because at work I have a spreadsheet for everything and I love to-do lists, especially when I get to cross an item off of a to-do list. I’m thinking that this spreadsheet is here to stay.  It also helps me keep track of projects that I need to complete further in the future, like Christmas presents that I want to make for friends and family (that’s right, I am crazy enough to have a few planned already).  I have a few projects that I need to complete before going on vacation in August, and a few projects that I need to do a little prep work on so I can work on them while on the road, so the spreadsheet is a nice reminder that I don’t really have any time to be lazy.

The spreadsheet is also helping me prioritize which projects get completed first.  In a moment of craziness, I registered for Gertie’s new online course through Craftsy.  When I started sewing, one of the first sewing blogs that I found was Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing.  I have been hooked ever since!  When she announced that she was coming out with an online course complete with instruction videos to make a vintage style dress, I was excited.  Then when she said that her readers were being offered 50% off the price, I jumped at the chance to learn through Gertie’s expertise, and registered for the course. 

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Having only (almost) sewn one dress before, I think this course is a little above my skill level.  But 50% off?  Who could resist?  The dress, which she calls the Bombshell Dress, is all of the way at the bottom of my spreadsheet waiting for me to get a few dresses under my belt before I attempt to follow along.  I’m thinking that this might be a fun project to complete while I’m off for Christmas week.

In the meantime, I plan on finally finishing my Crepe dress and also trying out the new Sewaholic pattern, the Lonsdale dress

Tasia from Sewaholic is planning a sew-along for the Lonsdale starting August 1st, but since I have so many other projects going on I won’t be able to participate.  Thankfully all of the posts will be waiting for me when I’m back from vacation and ready to get sewing!  One of these days I’ll actually participate in one of Tasia’s sew-alongs while it happens. 

But before I get to the Crepe and Lonsdale, I need to put the finishing touches on my Passport dress.  And I’m whipping up a New Look 6557 (view E) to wear to a wedding that is at the tail end of our Great Western Adventure

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It’s going to be a busy month!


  1. Yay for lists and staying organized! I also have a spreadsheet on the go and was glad to read that I’m not the only insane person who keeps this type of list and who’s already preparing for Christmas gift making. Sounds like you’ll be very busy making dresses for the next little while. Can’t wait to see your finished products.

  2. So many projects, so little time! It's great that you're prioritizing! Luckily every project you're working on is adorable!

  3. Thanks guys! I am hoping to finish up my Passport dress tomorrow night. I can't wait to share it with you!


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