Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I make CRAZY mistakes.

Sometimes my friends say to me, "Wow, it's so cool that you make clothes and stuff. I wish I could do that."  I always try to explain to them that if I can make stuff, so can they.  I really have NO idea what I'm doing and when I DO feel like I'm in control of a project, I tend to make crazy mistakes.  Seriously crazy mistakes.  The sort of things that I should know not to do by now.  It's maddening.  Most of the time I can fix things but when I can't it's so frustrating!

For example, I just completed a two piece outfit using some pink suiting I had lying around.  I originally bought the suiting to make a full skirt, but then realized that it was way too stretchy for that sort of project.  Disaster averted!  Almost.  I used the pattern below.

It did not go well.

Unfortunately, I didn't take into account just HOW how stretchy my fabric is. With a fabric this stretchy the fit needs to be just right or you get all sorts of weird wrinkly bits that stretch out and sag with wear.  Instead of really thinking deeply about what to do I simply took the completed trousers in by about an inch all round, which did not work at all. 

Now they kind of fit but the legs are too narrow and the hems ride up my calves when I walk or sit.  Meanwhile the waist sits a little low, accentuates my belly, and stretches in this weird way whenever I sit down.  I could deepen the darts but my stitches are TINY and the seam ripper goes right through the fabric like a hot knife through butter. 

I'm trying to convince myself that these pants are done, but I am very sad about them.  Mostly because this is a fail that could have been avoided if I'd taken my fabric into consideration and adjusted the pattern before I cut it.  I should have used a stitch length that could have been easily picked out. 

Believing I'd eventually come up with a solution, I went ahead and made the matching top.  It was SUPER easy to cut out and whip together and I got a chance to use my new buttonhole attachment which makes PERFECT button holes.  I mean really perfect. You just get everything lined up and the attachment does all the work.  I love it SO much!

Look at those perfect buttonholes!

BUT after I was essentially finished with the top, button holes on, trim attached, top stitching completed, I realized that I'd stitched the shoulders together UPSIDE DOWN!  Fail!  Sigh.  This is the sort of thing that if  I'd been paying attention, I should have been able to avoid.  Now how the heck am I going to pick this out?

This distracted sewing has GOT to stop.  I had planned to wear this outfit in Vegas, but I don't think I'll be able to fix these problems in time.  If at all.  It just breaks my heart.

Whats a careless and ditzy sewist to do?  Ugh.  I just don't know.  Do you ever make stupid crafting mistakes? Do you throw away imperfect projects or do you keep trying to make them work?  Do you have a "pile of shame" for UFOs that you can't stand to pitch but can't fix either?  How do you stay focused?

While I try to figure out how to fix this sewing disaster....please enjoy this clip from Bye Bye Birdie.  So many matchy pants and top sets in bright colors! I really do love this look!


  1. oh I make stupid mistakes all the time, exactly like you, ones that I just should not do. Usually it's because I rush something so now each project I start I really give myself time to think about it and do it, this has helped a lot.

  2. Thanks Fiona. I read so many sewing blogs and sometimes it seems like everyone else only has successes. It's good to know I'm not the only one who occasionally spaces out. Must slow down and focus!

  3. Aww, it's such a cute outfit!

    I probably make more mistakes than successes. Sewing things inside out, cutting pieces wrong side out... And honestly if I struggle with it too long, I just scrap the whole thing. I wish I were more focused and dedicated. Hoping maybe this year!

    I don't know if you read zilredloh.com or not. She's an amazing (and really prolific) sewist but she also talks about the things that aren't working out with her projects, too. This reminds me about the fact that I still need to blog about a huge knitting fail I had in the fall. :P

  4. Thanks Tasha! ALL of the projects you post are totally amazing, so it's nice to hear that you struggle sometimes too. I'll go check out the blog you suggested.

  5. I make many mistakes too... godets sewn in upside down, bodice pieces sewn the wrong way round, bag handles made so thin they can't be forced the right side out... the list is endless!
    Just remember that every one makes mistakes, seeing as how most mistakes are silly and the result of rushing or not reading instructions properly, people are embarrassed to admit to others that they did something daft that could have been avoided by paying attention!
    I think we should start a blogging revolution and start admitting when we messed up, that way beginners (and non beginners) won't have to feel bad that they aren't perfect :)

  6. Thanks Lucy! I agree! We should all post our disasters as well as our triumphs. I just popped over to your blog to have a look. Love the cherry to button tshirt embellishments!

  7. This is why I don't sew as I'm too easily distracted and don't take mistakes too well, right now. =\ The outfit looks really cute in the photo, though!
    -Andi x

  8. Thanks andi! Well, you don't need to sew cos your mom is an amazing seamstress! ;). I bet you could make some really great stuff tho. You are so creative.

  9. I make mistakes ALL the time when I'm sewing. Normally if I'm tired or just trying to rush, I end up sewing things backwards or making other silly mistakes. I once put in a zipper upside-down. Don't feel bad! Everyone makes mistakes. Major mistakes seem to happen to me once per project. If it is something completely unfixable, I have a box where I put it. Every once and a while I go through the box and decide what to do with it. It helps to step back from mistakes for a while then look at them with fresh eyes. Normally I just use the fabric for something else (like quilting, or some small sewing project).

  10. Thanks Kate! A mistake box seems like a good idea, especially if the fabric is cute enough to use in a new and different project. I just took a look at your blog. I am SO envious of your galoshes. What a GREAT find!

  11. I know all about sewing mistakes! I do not even attempt to sew my own clothing,, but my granddaughters are pretty happy with the outfits I make them! my best friend is a surgical seam ripper!!
    sometimes excitement gets the best of us.
    BTW I just found ya from teh vintage housewife blog:)

  12. Ha ha! I NEVER make ANY mistakes! Just kidding - mistakes are like those things in life that you wish didn't happen, but you learn the most from. It's how you get all your little tricks to do things the right way. so I don't get to make too many cute things for myself anymore, but man, I make some cute things for Morty - I just have to make them 3 or 4 times before they're really cute.

  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) As you can see the cherries were far from perfect but hey, it was my first ever button fruit ha ha ha!

    I saw this - http://www.outsapop.com/2012/03/today-we-work-hard-to-be-creative.html#.T2D686TTH5A.facebook - a while ago and thought it to be one of the most profound things I have ever read, I am getting it printed off to stick on my fridge so I can read it every day, check it out, it will make you feel much better when you have a DOH! moment :)

  14. Oh Honey, You're just human- don't beat yourself up. Just make fun of what you did and then throw it away and start again. It's a part of life and a part of sewing to make mistakes. I started making sewign memes up and putting them on my blog, and laughing at them. It makes them feel less like failures and more like "hilarious episodes"

  15. I was making a pair of 1940s wide pants. I have messed them up TWICE! The same mistakes. Both pairs are much too small now. *sigh*

    I feel you when you make mistakes that you should not be making after years of sewing. I always go, "Really? I really just did that?"

    By the way, I LOVE that scene from Bye-Bye-Birdy!

  16. ok, I just found this blog because I typed in "Sewing is hard" on google! I am a beginner and I'm about to give up! It's so hard. lol.I can't seem to sew straight! I just finished my 2nd project and made a tote bag. When I sewed around the stitching didn't line up! Gee wiz. Not sure if sewing if for me.............

  17. Stacy, you can do it! It just takes practice and concentration. I tend to make crazy mistakes because I keep sewing when I'm too tired or I don't plan adequately or I take short-cuts that don't work. If you keep at it you WILL be able to sew straight lines and make all kinds of cool stuff. Honestly, some of my worst projects (the ones that I KNOW aren't put together correctly) get the most compliments. Don't give up!

  18. I know that feeling, I was a seamstress very confused, but every mistake is a lesson learned! Do not despair .... all beautiful things take time ... and sewing is very nice!

  19. Been there, done that! I agree we should post at least some of our failures or at least comment on them so people don't think they are the only ones who make mistakes. Check out my teal shorts that got eaten by the serger: http://SuesSewingStudio.blogspot.com

    Thanks for the clip from Bye-Bye-Birdie. I love that music but don't think I have ever watched the entire video. I'm home today, so am going to try to find it somewhere.