Boring Sewing Competition

Ella & Net CurtainsElla prides herself on being an exemplary guard dog. During daylight hours (and evening hours) her favourite position is atop the chair in the bay window, keeping an eye on the neighbourhood.

Heaven help the innocent individual who has the temerity to walk past the front of our house. God help them if they’re wearing a high visibility jacket, using a walking stick, pushing a pram or – the worst occasion ever – wearing clothes that don’t typically suit their gender. (I wish I was joking.) Ella doesn’t like different and she despises a person coming anywhere near our boundary. She launches herself at the window in a rabid storm of barking and my net curtains have suffered.

Behind Ella, you can spy a torn net curtain. I have lived with torn net curtains for the past eight months. The thought of repairing or replacing them just made me slip into a coma. But eventually, I knew something had to be done, so I got my sewing machine out and…

No, I didn’t! I put in an internet order to a high street store and bought some ready-made net curtains. Even then, they needed shortening. Excuse me whilst I just die of boredom. For that alone, I win the Boring Sewing Competition. Or do I? What’s the most boring sewing you’ve ever done? And what’s the sewing task you side stepped?

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94 Responses to Boring Sewing Competition

  1. Tonnia Williams says:

    Mending! I hate to mend. Therefore, my mending tends to pile up till I “get in a mending mood”. About once every 6-9 months 😒

  2. Sam says:

    Oh, you have my sympathies Karen, last week I shortened 2 pairs of curtains for our lounge and there’s a pair in the spare bedroom that have needed shortening for months. I’m going to have to do them soon as they are driving me mad!

  3. Ros says:

    Oh I’m so glad to read that someone else has lived with a tatty net curtain for months! I have lived with my nets sporting a cat shaped hole for over a year and every time I see it I cringe at what a slob I must seem to the neighbours but am still yet to actually sort it out! So that might just be my next boring sewing job (because they will need shortening, tha holey ones have mud on the bottom where they are long enough for the cat to sit on).

  4. It seems boring, but every day you look at them you’ll be happy that you shortened them! I finally mended one of my former favorite shirts, which had been in the pile for years. It took me about half an hour to mend and I’ve worn it three times since! Totally worth it. Working up the motivation to mend another one…

  5. Carrie says:

    I hate when people come to me and ask me to hem purchased pants like that is ‘fun’ and what I’m all about with my sewing hobby. It’s so boring and I hate doing it when I would rather spend my time on more fun girly projects! That and making pillow covers. It always seems like a good idea when I buy the fabric and then I’m bored out of my mind cutting out squares and sewing them together.

    • Jen (NY) says:

      Oh ya, I clearly remember the (first) time I turned down a friend who thought it would be “fun” for me to do a tedious alteration on a pair of thrift-store purchased pants. She seemed so confused…

  6. Katie M says:

    Sewing a million tiny labels into school uniforms is the most boring sewing job in the universe. Everything has to be labelled. I average about 50 labels per child per year. I’ve even got a pile of uniforms that were donated to us three months ago, that I still haven’t labelled. I hate sewing in those blasted labels.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I think I might win. I’m about to make sewing machine covers. Could rectangles get any more boring???

  8. ltinuviel says:

    Sewing curtains is very boring. Today, my mother-in-law asked me nicely to hem the curtains, which she is planning to buy. I was like, I can’t, cause the machine will ruin such delicate fabric. You better order ready-made 🙂

  9. Emmely says:

    After finishing all of my living room curtains more than 2 years after we moved in (I’m not kidding) I decided that I am never going to make curtains again. I am totally with you that curtains are the most boring thing ever to make.

  10. amaryllislog says:

    A woman at my daughter’s workplace ask her if I would hem a few of her skirt…OMG, my daughter brought home a large bag full of clothes. I quickly realized this would take the rest of my life and I barely know the person asking. So perhaps I saved myself from a cruel death, found my backbone and said No…no thank you, please take this to a tailor, which I am not, and pay for someone who clearly deserves to be paid for such a hideous task.

    • Good for you! I can’t believe someone you barely know would ask that you hem for free!

    • Katie M says:

      That’s just rude … I mean the person asking you to do that. You definitely did the right thing giving them back.

    • KnitNell says:

      Good for you Amaryllislog! People always moan about the cost of going to a tailor for alterations thinking that it must only take 2 mins for someone who ‘knows how to sew’ to do it. I sometimes think that non-crafters believe those who sew or knit or crochet are doing so because they are bored and will be thrilled if asked to mend a jumper or finish off a scarf ……!

  11. Becky says:

    I have 2 terriers that are very much like Ella in their behavior. I hate to break it to you, but they are “watch” dogs, not guard dogs. I wish mine were guard dogs, then I would never have to fear anything, but they are great watch dogs. No one is going to get near without me knowing, but I doubt they would guard me, LOL!

  12. Graca says:

    I have to agree with you sewing and/or shortening curtains is very boring. I once hemmed long rectangular shapes to be used for 8 foot bows for Christmas decorations at church–also a very boring sewing project. Recently, I’ve been laid up from knee surgery and to keep my fingers busy I’ve finally tackled that mending pile. I once considered it boring but I have to admit it has saved me from cabin fever.

  13. FabricKate says:

    Replacing broken zip in jeans. Boring and difficult.

  14. Liza jane says:

    I have shredded sheer curtains on my front window because of a bird watching cat. The have been shredded for two years. I refuse….

  15. dottiedoodle says:

    6 dining chair covers. I’ve only done one so far!

  16. Julie Cruickshank says:

    This could not be more apt! I am in the process of making a pair of curtains. I cannot face pinning and tacking and sewing the heading tape so I have just constructed an anglo-saxon helmet replica to make with my class on Monday instead!

  17. I agree with curtains as the most boring bit… I made the mistake of making a striped set for my bedroom by piecing broadcloth together… most boring project I’ve ever done, oh my goodness. Once I got them pieced I was just SO DONE. I hung them without bothering to hem them. They’re still hanging unhemmed almost 6 months later. I just tuck the raw edges in so you don’t see them!

  18. blacklabel says:

    You’ve done amazingly well. My bedroom curtains have needed shortening for a YEAR….they are hanging, neatly pinned & Ive seen no reason to actually stitch them until now….Im running out of pins & need those. Its the only excuse 🙂

    • I have a pair of jeans that I haven’t bothered to hem either! Mainly cause I wore them once un-hemmed and they got dragged around in dirt and then into a seedy pub bathroom. My OCD says no touchy! So I just put safety pins in to deal with that, but one time someone noticed so I grabbed a texta and coloured in the pins.

  19. AnotherKaren says:

    Bunting. Why do people think that I will say “oh goody gum-drops, please, please let me cut out and sew a couple of hundred triangles onto tape. I just love it.” I get funny looks when I suggest that it’s quicker and more companiable if we arm ourselves with some non-fraying fabric that can be glued and stapled to tape. Agh, boring boring bunting, get thee behind me.

  20. Home Dec sewing is the worst. And here is why you shouldn’t do it. I decided to take up some curtains that we brought here from our old house as they were about 6″ too long. Only took me 3 years. I pinned them and took them up and decided they could do with a wash. They shrunk and are now 2″ too short. Damn.

  21. emcclure2010 says:

    Oh hemming for sure…Like this awesome pair of rust colored high waisted super thin wale corduroy pants that I have owned for probably 2 years. That make my butt look so good. And They are like 3 inches too long. I have worn them once or twice. And have them pinned and ready to hem. But I HATE hemming!! Even though this will literally probably take 5-7 min tops. I feel better though that other people also put these things off!!

  22. I’ve been asked to mend my stepbrother’s underwear. The worst thing is that I actually did it a few times before I told him I really didn’t want to know that much about his tighty whities…

  23. Joanne says:

    I made curtains once, and got so bored, I never even hemmed them, just hung ’em up anyway. We have a couch in front of the (bay) window, so I figure people will only know if they’re hiding back there, and if adults are hiding back there, I’ve got more to worry about than unhemmed curtains. Luckily, six years have gone by, and not once has anyone curtain-shamed me. Well, not to my face, at least.

  24. helen says:

    I’m happy to make curtains from scratch for myself but I cannot stand altering curtains for others, it is so tedious.

  25. She is adorable! I ended up ordering frosted window film to stop my 2 little monsters barking all day at who ever had the audacity to walk past. They now sit at the top of the stairs and peer out at the top of the glass watching, just in case.

  26. Dalila says:

    I met this carpenter who made my cutting table. We’ve known each other for more than a year now, and he always has weird tasks for me.
    The latest was sewing a bag so he could carry around his huuuuge beach umbrella: just a rectangle of fabric with a handle that took me 15 mins to complete. Too bad the other thing he had asked me to do was to hem his pants.
    At least he **always** insists in paying and he sets the fees himself!

  27. Lindsay says:

    I am in the curtain camp and alterations of any kind. Curtains are not only boring but quite often huge and difficult to manoeuvre and ugh just boring.

  28. Without a doubt, dust ruffles. The gathered kind, not the tailored kind. These babies are so boring to make, they should be illegal.

  29. Shelley Gibb says:

    Beaver, Cub and Scout badges, grrrrrr! The eldest has sew some of them now, but still…

  30. Paola says:

    I would like to speak up for home dec sewing, please! When I moved in to my current house, not one window had a covering on it – we are talking 15 windows. After I had two quotes for ten of thousands of $$ to put curtains on said windows, it didn’t take me long to turn my gaze to the sewing machine gathering dust in a cupboard. I enrolled in Soft Furnishings in the local technical college and twelve months later I had made curtains for all my windows for a tenth of the cost quoted to me. It may be boring, but at that stage of my sewing career, it gave me heaps of confidence, and the knowledge that it was $$ in the bank helped me along.
    The other thing about home dec sewing is that you can always gaze on your creations and appreciate your awesomeness, whereas some clothing you sew stays in the cupboard (it seems to me that the longer you spend on a garment, the less you wear it!).
    The course was great, we covered lots of construction skills you use in garment making, and it wasn’t long until I was doing just that.

  31. Marie says:

    Ahahaha, this made me laugh so much Karen! Since buying a house everyone keeps asking me if I made our curtains, cushions etc and I answer with an indignant ‘NO’. I honestly can’t think of anything more boring, when there are tons of pretty clothes patterns on my wishlist! However, I do need to shorten our shop-bought net curtains…but they’ve been hanging for almost 3 months now and I just don’t know if I’ll ever bother to get them down!

  32. Thanks for the Sunday morning giggle. I don’t enjoy mending (hence why I refer to rescuing things) but I don’t necessarily have much problem with long, straight sewing. It’s long and straight, really, and it doesn’t take nearly as much time to do as you think it will (I re-hem curtains and mend them on an annual basis; or, if they’re the sort that don’t need hemming, like our rubber-backed long curtains, then they just hang there till they wear out and it’s time for new ones). Making your own soft furnishings can be, as Paola points out, a real money saver. If your budget is a bit tight, there are other things you can splash out on if you’ve saved a few $$ there.

    Pinning hems and never sewing them is quite honourable, though. One of my sewing friends laughs about her mother, who hung new curtains so that some of the other kids in their street could come and watch the moon landing on their TV (yes, back in 1969). But she didn’t have time to hem the curtains and simply pinned them to length. Many, many years later when the house was sold, the curtains were still hanging, still with the hems pinned. Who cares? Who notices? If anybody does, I’d suppose they’d be offering to do it for you, wouldn’t they?

    Boring sewing? Hm. Mending motorbike covers, I think. But again, it’s just long, straight sewing and the biggest drag, if I’m honest, was clearing the table first so that I could fit something that big in a space that’s usually reserved for lavender bags!

  33. I loathe sewing curtains. But maybe it’s because I sew everything by hand. I’m not very good with the machine!

  34. Kat says:

    There was a time when I thought I’d make sewing boxes for a living! I made the same thing over and over and over and over again. That’s when I realised that repetitive sewing was NOT for me!

  35. Jen (NY) says:

    I hate sewing on buttons and the only way I can get it done is by bribing myself with a television program or some other distraction. Years ago, a guy I barely knew asked me to sew buttons on his coat. Being suddenly presented with the coat and buttons, it seemed like a premeditated ambush. I told him that I wouldn’t do it but that I would teach him how to do it. He didn’t take up the offer, unsurprisingly.

    • Coat buttons are tedious work..But I will share my ‘secret” for other buttons. I have hated
      sewing buttons for years, and thought that the sewing machine should “do everything”, so I scotch-tape the button on the garment ( shirts in my case) and drop the feed and use the zig-zag stitch to sew rows of buttons on – I hate any “hand sewing”…
      Best of luck !!

  36. Pat says:

    Quilted coasters for my son’s friends. Even though its boring sewing all those little squares, nothing gets my heart rate up when I hear “oh, you know how to sew?” I’ve finally learned to say I don’t think you can afford to pay me for what you want sewn.

  37. Meg Kundert says:

    Home dec, ugh! I have cushions and drapes to make and am dreading it. It takes precious time away from garment sewing. I can’t wear curtains to work.

  38. Fadanista says:

    Hmm, well my husband likes everything in bags when we go camping, so I have to make enormous bags out of curtains that other people have thrown away (we live in a neighbourhood where people put magnificent curtains in skips – I take them out 🙂 ). If this isn’t bad enough, my son asked me to make him bags to put his car roof in when he takes it off for summer! Makes me want to stab myself with pins!

    • Haha Fadanista…I love your mental pic of pin stabbing…made me laugh out loud! I wonder what they could do for you, that you hate doing yourself?? Clean the oven…scrub the shower…pick all the hairs out of the plug hole!? 😉

      • Fadanista says:

        Thanks Janet, actually I can’t grizzle, my husband does all the shopping, cooking and cleaning in the kitchen – I only make bags and do the ironing, so totally spoilt!

  39. Philippa says:

    My terriers guard our house on all sides too. I often find I’m apologising to innocent delivery men! In another way though I like the warning someone is approaching, so I don’t try to train them out of it. As for boring sewing, I think ALL household sewing is boring with curtains at the top of the list (huge, straight lines). Tbh even my recent experiment with a little bit of small quilting l found rather tedious. Guess I am just a garment sewer!

  40. The most boring sewing is pinning up an sewing hems on… anything! Except for the year I made school uniforms for my twin girls! 5 sets of identical skirts and shirts!! Aaarrgh. 😉

  41. grtescp says:

    shortening jeans has to be the worst… it usually takes me 6months-year between buying jeans and hemming them!!

  42. maddie says:

    Oh yes! I’ve had a sewing project like this. How about sewing 100+ logo/pates onto ribbed hats. I wanted to pull my hair out for signing up for such a project. Luckily, Cary Grant kept me company through that hour and a half.

  43. yosami says:

    Ella and my dog Yoda would get on like a house on fire! She may only be 18cm tall and a feather weight at 2 kilos but Yoda would have the ankles of anyone who dared to make a move on my kids!
    What’s the most boring thing I’ve ever sewn? That’s an interesting question! It would have to be my Liberty print tiered maxi skirt. Each of the 3 tiers needed to be sewn (French seams!), basted, gathered and topstitched and the bottom tier alone was 4.5m long! That’s the closest I’ve got to curtain sewing and it was the most tedious sewing I’ve ever done! if there is ever a sewing Survivor game invented then they should include a maxi, tiered garment as a test of sewing endurance! I almost lost the will to live, nevermind the will to sew again during the making of that one. An auto-pilot feature on my machine would have helped a lot! It’s a pity because I love the finished skirt and have worn it a lot and would love to make another but every time I consider it, the voice of Marlon Brando from ‘Apocalypse Now’ enters my head, whispering ‘the Horror!, the Horror!’ over and over again!

  44. Becky says:

    Beaver and Cub school uniform labels….three kids generate a task worthy of sisyphus…beyond boring, fiddly awkward but you can’t put it off or they will go to the next meeting without the hard won badge and you’ll get the look!

  45. 4 pairs of grey school trousers (from scratch)… Why do children keep growing?? 😉
    Mending etc for other people

  46. sewgrandma says:

    Pant hems takes first place. Now I will be making pants from Slinky Knit. No hemming for these puppies. Yay.

  47. wcdesigns says:

    I once had a job where I just sewd ruffle onto the bottom legs of these little dance shorts for hours and hours. The same short, the same ruffle. 40 hours a week. I almost shot myself it was so boring.

  48. Giuditta says:

    Chiming in from across the Atlantic (and with hopes that you won’t call me “that strange American!”). I guess I’m a bit different, because I love mending and find it very satisfying, but fixing tears and split seams for my nieces and nephews does get me sidetracked from starting on the projects on my to-do list. I don’t quilt, but every quilter I know hates sewing on binding, and I will happily do that while watching television so long as everything is pinned up; in fact, I watched my cousin sew a binding last summer, and had to sit on my hands to prevent myself from snatching it from her. Same with hemming pants — I hate, hate, hate measuring and pinning them up, but I’m delighted to do the sewing part.

    So I guess that pinning is the part I consider boring! I find audio books are wonderful companions in the sewing room, especially for projects that are tedious…and for that nasty job of ironing curtains.

    I discovered your blog some time ago, and enjoy you and the ladies who comment so much.
    Best from Cape Cod in New England, where it is snowing. Again.
    Judith Ann

  49. Molly says:

    I suppose the task I dislike most is having to take in all my daughter’s RTW trousers, leggings and skirts because apparently all kids are obese nowadays and if I don’t they just drop off her. I think its more resentment than anything. I actually find I don’t mind the job once I’m doing it. And I don’t mind menial hand sewing jobs, its just they don’t feel as though they equate the effort of getting everything out/sourcing supplies. Mending jobs and alterations are quite satisfying for me because they are just so quickly done, instant gratification. As for my DD, she’s outgrown pretty much all her trousers now and I’ve decided I’m just going to make the next lot, fit straightaway and cheaper than the scandalous price of kids clothing. Besides, her hardest wearing trousers have been the ones made for me when I was her age!

    P.S. Ella reminds me of Jock in Lady and the Tramp, love that character. Both are adorable.

  50. gingermakes says:

    Oh, no, Ella makes me feel better about my dog– he hates anyone that wears a uniform, pushes a cart, or delivers anything, and barks at the top of his lungs. Most embarrassingly, he once barked at a kissing gay couple! I was MORTIFIED. Anyway, I’ve arranged the furniture quite carefully in my apartment so his access to the front window is blocked!

    I avoid boring sewing AT ALL COSTS. I can never motivate myself to do it!

  51. Gjeometry says:

    Most boring sewing that I have to do a lot is taking in the side seams or princess seams of RTW bodices to fit. ….Yawn….

  52. Chris says:

    I have 8 large net curtain panels waiting for me – and they need to be cut to size first – and I will have to do that on the floor because they are room size – and they aren’t even for me – and I can’t say no to the owner because she just had a baby.
    Do you feel sorry for me already?

  53. susew says:

    Shortening the sleeves on RTW coats and shirts- I love sewing but not taking apart finished stuff- I’m lucky that I can pawn this off to my mother. I bought fabric over a year ago to make a simple bed skirt ( no ruffles) – it’s just straight seams to hem the edges and attach to the fabric that goes under the mattress but it’s still not made.

  54. The most sole destroying task, would have to be curtain making. The bulk and the boredom, drives me nuts & Marmalade -the cat, comes & sits/sleeps on them when I am trying to do all my hand sewing and plays with my thread.

    • inthepink says:

      Ah, my cat is fascinated with my sewing machine too – pawing at the bobbin and nibbling the thread!

  55. Definitely hemming grey school trousers takes the cake. In fact, I will pay any amount to get them done.

  56. I need some small curtains for my entrance, and have been putting it off for over three years (!). I cannot muster the slightest motivation to do it. Sewing squares? oh come on….! Absolutely yawn inducing.

  57. Sewing on hook and eyes or buttons are it for me. I love buttons! Picking them out and so on but I always leave it to the very end because its just boring. Hook and eyes also add the extra challenge of being fiddly. I often resort to using safety pins to close the skirt because wearing it is more important then sewing on fastenings!

  58. I made roman blinds just before Xmas, they were so tedious and I really couldn’t be bothered but I eventually finished them. Once I hung them, I realised that one was made upside down! I have left it, I can’t stand the thought of unpicking it all to turn it up the right way. Sooo tedious.

  59. Marianne isaacs says:

    Mmmm I am doing some horribly boring sewing too curtains for my mother in law . She is getting them and the fabric for her birthday . They will look great but oh sooooooboring

  60. Laura says:

    I don’t have curtains. Exposing myself to the neighbours is preferable to having to actually sew something dull. I have reached a new low.

  61. KnitNell says:

    I have just read all the comments and they have really made me laugh! The only way to cope with boring tasks I find is to listen to iplayer radio (in the UK, I am not sure about the RoW) or Talking Book CDs plus own a large cupboard to keep all the ‘work in progress’ hidden ….

  62. ChrisF says:

    I must be a real sewing saddo: I don’t mind mending, home dec, sewing for others, anything at all, I’ll put new zippers in leather jackets,hand stitch linings intro floor length curtains,embroider acres of French knots…. I just like having fabric, needle and thread in my hands!

  63. Squadron patches for my flight suits where always difficult for me and I usually passed those off to a “professional”. 🙂

  64. Gaenor says:

    Yep, hemming and patching kids trousers for me too. I usually end up buying extra school trousers for my son, so when he inevitably puts holes in the first pair(s) he has something to wear while they sit in my mending pile. I usually forget to take them up at the hem though until the morning he needs them, so I end up doing a rush job while he breakfasts in his school shirt and pyjama bottoms.

  65. Hahaha, I so feel you. My brother asked me to make curtains for his 1961 airstream trailer last year, and it was awful. Just turning rectangles into rectangles…. Lots of little bitty windows, and he picked plaid so I had to pay attention!

  66. symondezyn says:

    Oh gosh I feel your pain. I “conveniently” cease to notice such things because doing so will cause my blood pressure to rise dangerously LOL. Eventually the necessary tasks get done but yeah, I’d definitely resort to buying ready made curtains rather than making them. I have been walking around with a dropped hem on both of my only two pairs of dress pants because I’m a terrible terrible sewist. I’ve finally fixed one… will the other one be fixed soon? Only time will tell LOL.

  67. Cathrine says:

    The most utterly, absolutely most boring, tedious …… thing I have sewn (and am still trying to finish!!!!) is a Queen-size duvet cover. We purchased a new mattress in late October, and of course had to have all new bedding because the mattress/box spring is deeper than the old one, so nothing fit. (This is not a fluffy, “pillow top” mattress, but a proper, hard as granite type.) I had no problem making the pillow slips, but that duvet cover is driving me bonkers. I have only been able to sew one seam at a time – and there are only four! So, there it sits, on the floor of the sewing room, waiting for me . Please note, I did finish the mattress protector in only a few hours.

  68. Pingback: { DO IT DAY } Naughty curtains… | black label

  69. KL M says:

    Name tapes. And brownie / scout badges. Sooo dull, and has to be done by hand.

  70. Emilie says:

    Haha! THank you for your sympathy! Curtains have to be THE most boring thing to sew… and even worse is shortening the pre-made ones! argh, what a pain (I shamelessly have a few curtains in my house that are too long and have been like that for a while… just no motivation for that kind of sewing)

  71. Janine says:

    Curtain sewing takes first place for boring. I too have a cute little fluffy dog that thinks he is a ferocious watch dog. He takes offence with people in hats, walking sticks and facial hair. It is soooo embarrassing.

  72. Hello, I just decided that knitting is a tedious and boring waste of my precious time. (I am getting older and and need to decide what I absolutely love to do- I’m not 22 anymore, More like 61).
    I do like knit garments, but I just spent days making myself a scarf and ruined it by re-ripping
    out errors and the final straw was a horrible attempt at “casting off”. I despise “friends” who think sewing is some “idiot work”.. I hate alterations and projects given to me by others. I would much rather make (selfishly) a pair of pants for myself or something for the loved ones in my life. Actually, items like curtains, shower curtains and creative projects (I have made copy’s of vintage vacuum cleaner bags and tool bags), are some of the fun “non-tedious” projects I like.
    Happy sewing to all !

  73. Abby says:

    Hello Karen, Is that a golden retriever you have?

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