Finishing Those UFOs

Regular readers of this blog may remember a post I did back in February, cataloguing the UFOs (UnFinished Objects) lying around the house.

I decided to make the UFOs part of my Me-Made-May challenge, and pledged to finish three items during May.

I’m happy to report that I’ve gone above and beyond, and have ticked off almost everything! I started with some easy victories, then, high on the euphoria of actually finishing something, quickly moved on to the others.

1. Pocket on peanut dress

An easy start. I’ve had a single patch pocket for this dress, pressed and ready to go, lying around for the past several months. Every time I saw it, I thought I must get around to doing that. Yet never did.

The dress is the bias cut top from the September zine, sewn onto the (free pattern) wrap skirt.

2. Hem silk scarf

Another one that sat around for ages, waiting for a hem that took only minutes to sew. It’s an indigo-dyed square of silk that’s been sitting around since the fibre craft retreat we went to back in April 2023.

As it turned out, I only had to hem two sides, as the other two were selvedges.

3. Pleated tops (two)

These are early samples of the pleated top from the December zine. At the time, I was still working out how to construct the top and sorting out the details, and these two tops weren’t suitable to use as finished samples – although they are great examples of how well this pattern works with stripes.

They needed neck & armhole binding, side seams and hems. I handsewed the binding while watching TV with my children, and the rest was fairly quick to sew by machine.

4. Pink corduroy jeans

These are the zero waste Carpenter trousers by Maison Deis. This is a trial I ran up in pink corduroy.

Here’s the “before” shot:

Here’s the “after”:

They are minimal waste now, rather than zero waste, as I went my own way with the pattern and had a few (little) bits left over. The goal with UFO-busting is to just get it finished.

These are cut for men, and will need to be worn with a belt. I lowered the back crotch significantly, and changed the front pockets (I found a small piece of leftover pink cord – I’ve used it for several projects – and cut zero waste pockets from the free January zine, page 8).

This pattern has an excellent leg cut and lots of interesting details (some of which I left out, in the name of getting it done).

5. Pinafore to skirt

This began as the zero waste pinafore dress from Birgitta Helmersson’s Zero Waste Patterns. As an experiment, I cut it on the bias (and it remained zero waste). The fabric was beautiful old herringbone wool.

However, much as I liked it, the reality was I would probably never wear it, but decided to cut it down to an A-line bias skirt.

To do this, I just cut from armpit-to-armpit. I unpicked the linen bias binding from around the top of the pinafore, and re-used it around the waist. Then I found some cord and threaded it through the binding.

This time, I arranged the angled seams on the front rather than the back (I regretted putting them on the back for the pinafore; I thought they looked good). The hem is still tacked up, and I’m pretty sure the length is fine, but I’ll wear it a bit and review the length before committing.

I was going to put in-seam pockets into the skirt, but it ruined the bias-cut lines, so I canned that idea. However, I did think about turning the offcut from the top part of the pinafore into some sort of exterior pocket that hangs from the waist, but I’m likely to wear this skirt with untucked-in tops, so it might look weird.

6. Denim jacket

This jacket was the subject of numerous blog posts in November and December, and was so close to being finished, but when the weather turned hot my motivation went. The pattern is from the March zine, adapted to use three pairs of jeans (one pair’s legs supplied the jacket’s sleeves).

The jacket is for my teen (who’s the same size as me).

It just needed a bit more sashiko stitching on the back. I’d already done the main block, and Mr H suggested the Space Invaders idea. It tickles me that sashiko and Space Invaders both originate from Japan, just 500 years apart.

7. Orange top

This was a pattern test for a zw base layer by Emily of Empty Hanger patterns. The underarm was too high but everything else was great, including the fabric I used (French terry from Maaidesign – it’s quite stretchy and thin, not what I recall French terry was like, but it’s perfect for this). The pattern was ultimately abandoned by Emily due to underarm and grading issues, but I still think it has potential.

I added an underarm gusset, hemmed it, and added a neckband, which I made as a high roll neck. When I ordered the fabric I got some perfectly matching rib to go with it, and I sure wanted to use it!

There are still three things left on the UFO list: the orange dress, pieces for a zero waste coat, and the black ARC t-shirt from the Zero Waste Fashion Design book.

For the first two I’m admitting defeat. I’m going to fold up the pieces and put them back in stash, and maybe one day I’ll use the fabric for something else. The orange fabric is beautiful Japanese cotton.

The ARC t-shirt I had thought might suit my sister, but I haven’t had an opportunity to show her. I’m thinking of abandoning the sleeves and cutting circles for armholes, and turning it into a long-line vest. Anyway, something to think over.


  1. Anthea Martin on May 21, 2024 at 4:13 pm

    Congratulations!!! Well done and now you have some
    beautiful new clothes showcasing your incredible skills.
    I need your inspiration to attack some of my UFOs.
    Thank you.
    Much love Anthea

    • lizhaywood on May 21, 2024 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks Anthea 🙂 Once I got started, it didn’t seem to take very long after all!

  2. Tory on May 22, 2024 at 6:16 am

    Yay for the FO’s! I really like the adaptations you made for the orange long sleeved tee. I hope that the original designer takes your ideas and produces a pattern for the rest of us.

    • lizhaywood on May 22, 2024 at 1:46 pm

      I think she’s coming back to it this year – I hope so, as it would be a really useful pattern.

  3. Michelle on May 30, 2024 at 10:13 am

    I love updates like these! You have a knack for keeping everything down to earth and it gives me hope that I’ll get my pile down as soon as we finish getting the house unpacked post-move!!!

    • lizhaywood on May 30, 2024 at 11:32 am

      I can attest it was highly satisfying! and I feel free-er to start new projects now without these lying around.

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