I’m going to take a break from sewing for the next day or two. Why? Because everything I have attempted to sew in the past five days has been a disaster. The Sewing Gods/Goddesses are talking and it’s time for me to listen.

You know, the whole blogging process is incredibly selective. No one sees my mistakes and disasters — or even knows they exist — if I don’t talk about them. I think it’s far too easy to get a skewed perspective about what I do when all I share are the successes. Let’s head into the Craft Addict Confessional and look a little closer at what’s sent me into temporary exile.

Exhibit X: I made myself the cutest skirt, sewn from a 2007 issue of Ottobre and made with the prettiest babywale corduroy from Joann’s. Only one problem: It’s two sizes too big. I could possibly wear it if I were willing to tug it down until it barely covers my bikini line. Ummm, no thanks.

Exhibit A: I bought an out-of-print Butterick pattern and decided to give it a whirl. Although the pattern calls for knit fabric, it also specifies the use of a zipper. I have no idea why, since the neckline appears to be plenty big enough.

Since it was my first attempt at the pattern, I opted to use a cute, expendable knit I bought at Joann’s, rather than one of my pretty (and spendy) finds I bought elsewhere. That proved to be a wise decision.

First goof: I flipped the bodice pieces when cutting them out. According to the pattern, the right side of the bodice is supposed to cross over the left. Not a big deal and I cut both pieces wrong, so it worked out.

Second goof: Because I changed the neckline (omitting the zipper down the back), I didn’t really read the directions too closely. Big mistake. After I coverstitched the entire neckline, I realized that I needed to cross the larger bodice piece over the smaller and topstitch them closed. Not as easy to fix but it actually turned out OK; I just crossed them and did a second pass with the coverstitcher. Didn’t notice until later that the smaller piece isn’t quite in the right position but that doesn’t really matter because of …

Third goof: I never checked the sizing of the pattern pieces against Miss L’s measurements. Not once. Which is why the dress is waaaaaay too big. See the rolled-up sleeves? That’s where they needed to be hemmed to fit her arms. Doesn’t matter, though, because the shoulders hang over hers by about two inches. The hem, however, is barely long enough.

Exhibit B: I’ve been itching to try my hand at a corduroy version of the Fledge/Studio Tantrum Feliz and, having made three of them, figured it was a good pattern to get my sewing luck back on track.

These cute cord coordinates were in my stash and I just knew they’d be fabulous with the pattern’s layering. I was going to love this dress!


First goof: At what point did I decide to check the nap of the fabric? After I cut out the overdress. Ya know what? The nap runs the wrong way. Luckily, not a tragic mistake but still annoying. Too bad that wasn’t where my mess-ups ended.

Second goof: For some unknown reason, I decided to attach the ties to the outside of the overdress instead of the inside. It would have been good to realize this before I sewed, serged and topstitched the two seams. The smart sewist would have redone the seams from the bottom of the straps to the top of the bodice edge. Smart me decided to pull apart the seam just enough to cut the straps, re-sew the seam and re-attach the straps on the backside. That course of action left me with weird little bulky areas on each side of the bodice.

Third goof: And then I decided to place the ties too high when I reattached them. Which means the channels I stitched on the outside of the overdress are too high.

Fourth goof: Neglected to cut the elastic in the back channels short enough so I’m pretty sure the dress will be too big around the upper body for my sweetie.

I have enough of this fabric to make a second dress and originally thought I’d offer it in my Etsy. For.Get.It. I don’t even want to put this dress on L, much less make a second one.

Tonight, I’m going to watch some TV or maybe read a book. Maybe do a little drawing. And tomorrow, I’m going to play with some paper and Sealah Tape so I can finish a project (and tutorial). Because it’s just not fair to the fabric to be sacrificed in the name of stubborness.

20 Replies to “Surrender”

  1. Girl–my heart goes out to you! Those gaffes can be so unsettling but just know that the rest of us out in bloggerville think you are FABULOUS! (Mistakes and all) Every now and then I need a break from that which I love, and the old adage really is true: absense *does* make the heart grow fonder. Wishing you the best–I know when you delve back in you’ll be wowing us all!

    Heathers last blog post..Coming soon!

  2. I so hear you. When the sewing gods are not on your side there is nothing you can do but walk away, for a bit. Hope the paper and tape gods treat you better!

    Beths last blog post..Party

  3. I love your creations, and am always inspired – this time, I’m inspired that you, too, make goofs. πŸ™‚ Here’s a chance at some redemption – I’m searching for a pattern to make my 1-year-old twins some shirts. I have in mind a simple cotton shirt with a round collar, but really think I could make up the round collar part if I had a pattern that directed me in how to cut/attach long sleeves (to this point, I’ve only sewed sleeveless). Any tips or directions to point me toward? Free or purchased makes no difference at this point – I’m in a mission!

    Even if you don’t know of a pattern like this specifically, can you tell me where you get the patterns for your beautiful clothes? When my girls get old enough to read blogs they are going to be so jealous of your daughter, and I need a head start on getting some beautiful dresses made!


    Christinas last blog post..Oregon Vacation – Girls at the Ocean edition

  4. Lisa, you are so fabulous, I can’t imagine that. But thanks for making me feel better. And congrats on all you got done today! “See” you in the a.m.!

  5. Christina, that is just so, so sweet of you! Thank you so much. πŸ™‚ You have a beautiful family and those girls are going to love all their mama-mades.

    I will look for a pattern to recommend you (I’m guessing 12m-18m size). In the meantime, I’d suggest that you try your hand at making a peasant-style shirt. They’re a raglan style shirt, so the sleeves make up part of the neckline. It’s an easy way to do a sleeve, much easier than a set-in sleeve, especially for little bitty ones. Set-in sleeves are not that tough but I find that they are more challenging if the cuff and arm openings are too small to go around the sewing machine free arm.

    Samantha at the Handmade Dress has a lovely peasant-style dress pattern, The Miss Madeline, with that type of sleeve. also has a couple of peasant tops, and I know Simplicity and Butterick have them, too.

  6. You are SEW inspiring… and whilst I always thought your sewing was perfect – it’s nice to know that behind the scenes I am not alone with sewing disasters. πŸ™‚

  7. Oh, I have totally been there. I hope you aren’t feeling too frustrated right now.

    Just this week I had to piece a quilt backing because the backing wasn’t big enough. I had designed the quilt based on the backing fabric, but somehow I neglected to notice that my block size for the quilt top changed from 9″ to 12″ when I was planning. I didn’t this until I had pressed both the top and the backing fabric. And when I was getting ready to piece the quilt backing, I measured off what I thought I needed for the fabric, cut the selvages off, and THEN squared off the fabric–making it have less extra on the top and bottom than I wanted it to.

  8. Not too frustrated but a little annoyed, for sure. I’m hoping a day or two away from my sewing machine will help me get back on track, especially because I have sewing to do for other people!

    So sorry to hear about your quilt backing problem. All that work! I’m sure it turned out just lovely, even though it wasn’t what you’d planned.

  9. Oh dear. It’s like sewing bloopers! You should see the waistband of my new PJ Pants…it is horrid…which is exactly WHY I didn’t take a photo of it…or even mention it (until now…) Argh!! How hard is it to just sew a straight line?!?!?!

    sadiras last blog post..Sweet Dreams…

  10. bummer that it’s not working out. I’ve had days like that where you’re totally in the sewing groove but it’s just not working. Usually with me it’s either constant mess ups or machines going on strike at the same time.

    Sarahs last blog post..More Hoop Practice

  11. Singing “you gotta know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em” LOL
    Sometimes it’s nice to redirect once in awhile. And at the rate you’ve been producing the spectacular products lately, it sounds like you need it πŸ™‚

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