Sewing fail

52 comments

It is so hard to sit down and write about a completed garment when you're just not feelin it. I have had this outfit done for weeks, but the thought of blogging about it, ughhhh! Don't get me wrong, the patterns and fabrics I used were great, my sewing is what messed everything up.

The third look for Project Sewn was "Going Global." My original plan was to do a red, black, and yellow look to symbolize Germany, a country I would one day like to visit. As you can see, the skirt is black, the top is yellow, but where is the red? I had been planning on making a red bolero or blazer, but once I got eliminated I said, "fuck it" because it's getting too warm for an extra layer and I already have three or four red sweaters.


Let's start with the positives. The top is the Scout pattern by Grainline which I have sewn a couple of times now, but never with lace and underlining. In fact, I had never sewn lace or underlining at all until this project, so a familiar pattern was a great way to start. I bought the fabric online from Hart's in Santa Cruz. Side note: this was my first time ordering fabric from them online and it was great. I love that there is an option to order matching thread for whatever fabric you buy.


Man, underlining is a lot of work, I had no idea. Scout doesn't have many pattern pieces, but all the hand basting was time consuming for sure. My eleven year old neighbor convinced me that I needed to start watching Switched at Birth, so I vegged out on that while doing hand sewing. In the end though, I am happy with how the shirt turned out. I like the nude fabric peeking through the yellow lace. I'd like to make another version of this with black lace.


Here's the failure, the skirt. First, let me make it clear, I am not bashing Sewaholic's Gabriola pattern, all issues were with me being a total dumb and screwing things up. Caroline lead a great sew along on the Sewaholic blog, but if you're acting like a drunk and start serging stuff with the wrong seam allowance on a waistband yoke then you're going to have problems. Long story short, my waistband ended up bigger than the skirt, so I gathered the fabric to fit and it looks sloppy. And the zipper looks bad. And I messed up on the buttonhole. And the hem sucks. And I should have made a smaller size.

Technically this is a wearable muslin, so I just need to GOI (get over it), move on with my life, and try the pattern at a later date, because let's get real, it's a super cute skirt.

Have any of you had an epic sewing fail lately?

52 comments :

  1. I have! I've had sewing fails so bad that I can't post about them. I love the yellow Scout, all that hand-basting was worth it.

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  2. Elisabeth McClureJune 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    I was making my 3rd (wait, no, 4th) Mabel. Which is like the easiest thing ever. But I was using a super stretchy sweater-y knit. So clearly the thing ended up big. So I sliced the seams off (bc there was no way I was going to be able to pick out the black on black stitches!) and adjusted the skirt. Only then I forgot to do the same adjust with the waistband. Which I totally finished and sewed on before realizing what I'd done so it is way too big. So now the thing is draped over a chair waiting for me to suck it up and pick out some stitches. So I feel you!

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  3. Oh man, how annoying! Can you just chop off the yoke and waistband and maybe gather the fabric into a new waistband as a little gathered knee-length skirt or something? At least there's a lot of fabric there if you wanted to do something else with it (I bet you could even cut a Scout tee out of it!).


    Oh, sewing fails... to be honest, I'm sort of scared to start a new project because I'm on a run of projects that I don't like! I had a pattern placement issue with my last Mood project that has me hating the top, and I used a stiff fabric for my new Hazel dress and the darts are SO pointy that it's atrocious. Trying to figure out a way to fix them, but it's not going to be perfect no matter what I do. So I cut out a new Archer shirt to console myself, but somehow effed up the plaid matching and no matter what I do, steaming, stretching, everything I can think of, it's off by .25" right at the center front and I just don't even want to sew it now. It seems super wasteful to throw away the fabric, but in my heart I know I'll feel like an idiot every time I wear it if I go to the trouble of sewing it. :(

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  4. Love that yellow lace! You are definitely more patient than I! No underlining for this gal - that's why camis were invented ;) And such a bummer about the skirt! At least it is black, so nothing is super noticeable ;) Can't wait to see what you make next! :)

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  5. I'm sorry your skirt was a bummer but I really like the lace with the underlining!! You should totally make another one of those :)

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  6. My Gabriela has been sitting on my dress form for 2 months waiting to be hemmed (again). And I made a Darling Ranges dressin chambray and the darts are atrocious. So bad.

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  7. Love the top! I have this pattern but I still need to sew it up!

    As for a sewing fail.. Last fall I was making a light jacket, and everything was going perfectly.. Bound button holes, collar, top stitching-everything! Then after I finished it and threw it in the wash to give it the "worn" look, the interfacing on the front completely freaked out on me! It all bubbled and looked just AWFUL. Definitely not wearable.. Still trying to get over that one...

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  8. I don't have a picture and I didn't keep the dress. I bought Gretchen HIrcsh's first book. I also bought a gorgeous dress weight wool in a gorgeous turquoise color. No I didn't make a muslim, I just went with the size closest to me. Here's the thing, Gertie makes patterns for more curvaceous gals. So The dress just wasn't working, I was making corrections on the fly, things were looking good when I decided to serge the seams. Yes, I cut into the fabric of the dress, I even tried to see if I could patch the damage - just made things worse. So in my rage I figured - oh well - that was a lot of money in fabric - and I just threw it away. I think I have some uncut fabric left, maybe enough for a skirt.
    So yeah, it was a pretty epic failure and as much as I love Gertie - her patterns don't work for me.

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  9. I'm a firm believer that we have to make enough fails in sewing to learn enough to make the successes even better. I don't know if I explained that well enough (it's late). Not everything we sew is going to be super perfect, we need those "ahhh I'm just not feeling it"s to help us on our discovery of our own personal style or to perfect a technique (the unexpected apprentice pieces) or to cement in our heads "I'm never making that mistake again". It's all good, it's all a learning process and the yellow top is so sunny and pretty, and the skirt I'm sure will be a reliable muck-about workhorse when you want to feel cool but don't want to ruin another skirt you love more. Plus.....the red lipstick completes the Red Yellow and Black - glückwünsche!

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  10. Ah what a shame about the skirt! But I'm sure you'll be happier with your next version. The yellow top is lovely!

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  11. Yeah I have sewing fails not infrequently - due to fabric choice, fitting, and construction. Ah well, we live and learn, RIGHT?

    Also - you know you don't HAVE to hand baste when doing underlining? Maybe you would with lace, but I've done it successfully before by just serging the two layers together prior to doing any seams. You could also just stitch at a smaller seam allowance than the finished garment will have (especially good if you have a walking foot)

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  12. I hate when I make things and they don't turn out the way I want them to. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. I guess that's why I don't make muslins very much! Your lace shirt is so lovely though, so at least something went the way you was it to!

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  13. first off, i love the lace scout! the yellow is a great color on you. and i've totally made a hot mess of garments before... usually after making a few really great pieces and i feel invincable and think i can do no wrong! thanks for sharing though, i have a hard enough time getting the makes i love on my blog, so the failures never appear!

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  14. Aw man! I hate it when things just don't work out! Honestly, any time I sew under any sort of pressure this is what happens to me, too! I love the yellow lace Scout tee, it's a great top!! And I'm sure that Gabriola isn't as bad as you think!

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  15. Ugh, I hate sewing projects where mistakes just multiply like that. I am thankful, though, that the snowball effect usually seems to congregate on a single doomed project. On the upside, your scout is really pretty! Yellow is a lovely color on you and the lace is gorgeous!

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  16. I've definitely had a couple of fails lately: a less successful experience than yours with lace and underlining, and a peplum fail - I HATE peplums on me, why did I think it'd be any different if I sewed it myself? I've also got a couple of things that are verging on failure but which I'm still hoping to salvage. Time will tell, I guess! I love your Scout, and I've been wanting to make a Gabriola - hopefully your fail will help others!

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  17. Hi Alicia,


    You should totally make the Gabriola! It's not too difficult to make.... unless you're me! haha :)


    Erin

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  18. Thanks, Kelly! And I agree, I'm hoping I got all of my sewing mistakes out on this project! Crossing my fingers that the next projects go well.

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  19. You know, you're right, my Gabriola isn't a total nightmare. I will still wear it, but with a longer untucked shirt. It's still comfy, it's just not my best work.

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  20. I have been there with the invincible feeling! Then a mistake gives me a reality check haha.

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  21. I hateeeee making muslins! I know I should make them to guarantee a better fit, but like you said, it can be hard investing time into something you won't get to wear. I will make them if it's something fitted, but I end up with a lot of wearable muslins!

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  22. That's a really good tip! I will try that on my net project, thanks!!

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  23. The next version will be better, as long as I remember to use the correct seam allowance haha

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  24. Thank you! And I completely agree, "learn by doing." Now I will 100% always be cautious of my seam allowances :)

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  25. I feel you! Sometimes the worst part about making a big sewing mistake is thinking about the wasted money/fabric :( But at least you got a good book out of it! There are some cool techniques in that book.

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  26. Scout is one of my favorite patterns because it doesn't take too much time to sew, a great instant gratification project!


    Oh man, what a bummer on that jacket! Especially since it wasn't like it was something YOU did wrong or could have done differently. Stupid interfacing! :)

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  27. Hemming puts me off too, I feel you!

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  28. Thanks, lamb. Oh, I'm for sure making more!!! XO

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  29. I definitely learn from my mistakes, so I know that from now on I will definitely be using the correct seam allowance haha

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  30. Yes, very good techniques that I can use elsewhere. I also made the coat dress - it just didn't fit at all. So now I know, when I buy her Butterick patterns they are fine - since they are graded by the pattern company. Otherwise - use her great tips but not her patterns. Btw, I met her a while ago - she is a lovely lady.

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  31. Oh, I'm all about camis! They are so great to wear under sheer shirts, I just wanted to try a new technique for this one :)

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  32. I hate having sewing fails like that, they are so disheartening. I think I saw somewhere that you were going on vacation. Maybe a little break will be refreshing and you will be ready to conquer some projects when you get back :) Could you wear the Archer for around the house stuff?

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  33. Yep, I'm leaving next week for 10 days! Can't wait! My new plan is, when I come back, to cut it down into a toddler-sized shirt for my little nephew. I'm actually looking forward to seeing it now!

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  34. Oh no! Sounds like you need to watch some Switched at Birth (like me!) while you are using your seam ripper ;) Haha ok, maybe not Switched at Birth, but vegging out on a tv show seems to make the process a littleeee more enjoyable :)

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  35. Whoa!!!! How fun! Do you have friends or family there???

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  36. Did you go to the book release party at Sew LA a year and a half ago? I met her there!

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  37. Yes! You mean we could have met in person there without knowing it!

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  38. An old friend of my husband lives in Sweden now, and we figured as long as we were already in that neck of the woods, we could check out Iceland!

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  39. Aw I love you, and I think you look awesome - especially love that yellow on you :) That said, I will join you in being a sewing dodo - I have spent the last month learning how to fit pants, made three muslins and many more tweaks on each of them, and am finally doing my 'final' - well I go to try them on the other day, and they are WAYYY too tight... why? because I am a dope and sewed the wrong seam allowance... and they are PRINCESS SEAMS so you can multiply my mistake by double haha.


    I think sometimes for me anyway, my brain just doesn't wanna anymore, and that's when it's time to switch projects or deal with the semi-crappy final results LOL (which i do and usually wear them anyway LOL) Mistakes seem a lot less of a big deal when you realize you actually have a wearable garment, even if it's less-than-perfect ^__^

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  40. Elisabeth McClureJuly 2, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    hahaha oh I love me some bad tv! Not gonna lie I totally just cut the waistband off and made a new one. I just couldn't face all those tiny stitches! But it turned out just fine. Though the sweater fabric is a little scratchy so it's definitely a with tights outfit!

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  41. You are right, I totally make a big deal about my sewing mistakes, but after I have spent some time away it's almost like I can't even find half of the "mistakes." I blow things out of proportion!

    You are the best, Amanda! xo

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  42. And I guess you and I are in the wrong seam allowance dog house this week haha :)

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  43. Weird question, but was your coat a lilac color? I remember someone wearing one of Gertie's coats and it was a lilac color and so pretty.

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  44. I'm glad it worked out! I also made a Mabel from a sweater knit, we're twins! :)

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  45. That indeed was me!!! I guess I'm good at making a dress that doesn't fit me well look good! See we were bound to meet one another! Any chance you are around on Sunday July 13? I'm on my own and would be happy to drive up for a visit.

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  46. right back atcha, darlin! Woof! (from the doghouse haha)

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  47. Haha! "acting like a drunk and start serging stuff with the wrong seam
    allowance on a waistband yoke then you're going to have problems". This quote is going on my wall in the craft room.

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  48. Elisabeth McClureJuly 4, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Yay sweater skirts! Lol, seriously Mabel and Moneta are the best thing in my life since sliced bread. Feels like pajamas but looks like real clothes!

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