Monthly Archives: October 2012

Project fatigue

Project fatigue
One of the most prevalent problems with large, complex or long term projects / research is project fatigue.

Simply put.. Sick of doing it. Bored with working on the same thing every day. Frustrated that it us going slower than you want.

After a while you start to hate the project and it ends up unfinished in a corner or a box somewhere.

Combatting project fatigue:

Set mini goals – break the project into smaller parts, each with a different focus, style, color, materials , design. Set a goal to finish one of the smaller parts before tackling another. Maybe it’s getting all the white color or all the goldwork done. It might be doing a single band, or row of embroidery.

Have mini projects to do in between. And I do mean mini, because if the mini project is too big you will get wrapped up in the new one and will be less likely to finish the big project.

Be committed. Make sure the big project is something you want to do. So many times we take on something because we think or are told we should. If your heart is not truly committed to it, once the fatigue sets in you will be less likely to push through the fatigue and keep going.

Lastly, Enjoy the doing. Seems simple. Of course you enjoy it. But again, often we do things because we “have” to. Stop, take time to really look at what you are creating; the beauty, the skill. I have to admit I have been known to “pet” some of my embroidery. Other days I am truly amazed that it came from my hands (makes up for all the horrid stuff I throw away. ) Be proud of yourself and what you do…enjoy the doing.

Things they never tell you

I was originally going to name this post ” the money pit” and write about underestimating materials and the expense of projects. Then I realized there are other things people never talk about with projects, maybe because we don’t like admitting they happen. But here it goes:

1. The Money Pit: doing period projects cost money. Specialty fabrics, silks, gems, wood, metals, you name it.. They cost more than the imitations. I use imitations, or good substitutions all the time. I can do more for the same budget. But I have also found you can always get the right look or the material to do what you want it to do without breaking down and shelling out money for it. Which takes me to my next item……

2. Underestimating: whether its time or money, we all underestimate our projects. Remember that earlier post about my awesome pearl stash.. I need 3 times what I bought. Same with the gold bullion. And it’s not just materials. What about all the things you need just to make it. Sewing machines, embroidery frames, scissors etc. What about time. This started and I knew I had till next year but all of a sudden it’s like less than 4 months and I haven’t even finished the sleeve.
So on to the next point:

3. It is all consuming: once you get started on it, you will get obsessed. Researching, designing, sewing..driving our family nuts with the question of doom ” what do you think….” Remember , there is no right answer other than ” it looks great.” Otherwise we are likely p have a meltdown and trash it. Which leads me to the last point.

4.Perfection: We are own worst critics. We can see, every flaw in the piece. We know how any times we ripped something out or balled it up and threw it in the trash. People looking at your work aren’t going to be nearly as harsh as you are. I am not saying don’t rip out work you are unhappy about. I am just saying give yourself permission to make mistakes.

So this all being true. Here is where I am at as of this evening. Amazing how much you get done when you are laid up for a few days .


Close up of the top


Sleeve half way done


So I am about the half way point on the sleeve. All those tiny pearls I bought. Already through most of them. I dread needing to order more. I guess I should have thought out the whole double layer the stems. But it is pretty and truer to period.

Now to design the other half and then the back. I has the bodice drawn. Need to start on the hon design soon.