This is my favourite topic of the #SewingTop5 series! We tend to share our best pictures of our favourite projects on social media, but what about the real clunkers that you tossed in a corner and ignored as soon as you finished them? Maybe you wore them once, maybe they never even saw the light of day… or maybe, they were destroyed in the wash, lost, or otherwise became fails! If you want to have a good giggle, read on!
I’ll be honest, I sew a lot of things that don’t turn out. Most get passed on to friends and family immediately, some marinate in my closet for a while before admitting defeat, but it’s only a few that never even get finished. This, my friends, is my worst fail in 2019! Behold, a big mistake:
Nude-to-me fabric +boxy style + huge sleeves = no no no! I’m in the process of trying to save this Closet Case Patterns Cielo top, because I’ve loved different versions of the pattern that I’ve sewn. I dyed it burgundy and shortened the lantern sleeves, but it’s still not working. I think it’s time to admit that these sleeves aren’t for me, rip them out and recut them as the slimmer short sleeve. But that doesn’t sound very fun, so I’ve been ignoring it for two months!
I love this top. On other people. It’s the Paper Theory Kabuki Tee – an oversized woven tee with interestingly set in sleeves. Unfortunately on me, the sleeves are so far apart the design elements of the top are lost. I actually emailed Papercut about this, but they indicated that pattern testers (I wasn’t one) had indicated a need for more room in that area. I am OK with that answer (people are just built differently), but it doesn’t work for me. I am having a fiddle with it to try and adjust it a bit because I love the design, though it might be worth starting over with a few adjustments up front…either way – the as-is version was this year’s fail for me!
Rushing often leads to a miss. While I love the Hey June Union St. t-shirt pattern that fellow Editor Erin recommended, I wanted to crop it and slim it down….but I didn’t do it correctly. I needed to consider an FBA in my cropping/tightening madness, and it just looks like my Old Navy t-shirt shrunk in the wash. Ditto my own T-back tank pattern… I was rushing…and it’s just this very wrong Sporty-Spice-thing going on. I am not Sporty Spice. I’m not any spice. I don’t own any Old Navy. The whole POINT of my sewing is to NOT look like Old Navy. Yet, here I am. Reppin’ late 90s (the worst time EVER for fashion, really) and Old Navy late 90s at that. Sigh. I really liked that sweater knit.
Honestly, I have had a fair few misses this year, mostly my fault for sewing while tired, sewing while my body was in a state of dramatic postpartum flux, and choosing woefully inappropriate fabric/needle combinations for my projects. I toyed with sharing the photo of the epic wardrobe malfunction I had when I chose to wear a toile of some shorts made in cheap fabric out of the house (if you wish to retain your dignity and leave people still wondering what colour knickers you are wearing, heed my warning and don’t make trousers or shorts in a loosely woven lightweight fabric!). Anyway I chose this particular “miss” because it links nicely to my goals for next year – 2020 is the year I get over Zip-phobia. This is the Delphine skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons, and the miss is that I inserted the worst ‘invisible’ zip you have ever seen. Well you can’t see it because I have cleverly misled you by only taking a photo of the front. The back waistband gapes, the zip ends in a huge dimple and gets stuck as I try to drag it past the bulky waistband seams. Basically this is a total failure on so many fronts and I have never worn it. I have a pile of denim to be repurposed and this is in there, maybe one day it can be used for something that actually looks good!
This year I actually did not have too many misses but this shirt I made my kiddo was a huge miss. I decided to try a new basic t-shirt pattern in a cotton lycra which was a different weight than what I typically sew with. I really should have paid more attention to the commentary I was seeing online about the binding instructions being weird and the neckband measurements seeming off. NOPE, ya girl was way overly confident about her sewing skills and chugged right along. So I was left with a horribly over stretched bound neckband because in addition to not the best directions I did not take the time to practice binding with this new fabric. So in the spirit of laziness I chopped off the binding instead of picking it and sewed on a (calculated by me) neckband. Nothing could have saved this poor shirt.
Now, all of these garments have some redeeming qualities, and perhaps you are tempted to convince us that they aren’t so bad… but the point of this post is to poke a little fun at things that didn’t work as well as expected, so let’s just enjoy laughing at ourselves! Sometimes it is just so cathartic to admit that life (and sewing) isn’t perfect.
‘Fess up: What do you do with your sewing misses? Throw them in the corner of shame? Give them away? Refashion until they are a success? Please let us know in the comments!
Oh god, sooooooo glad that I’m not the only one who has experienced failgate this year!!!
Laughter is the best medicine for terrible sewing!!!! I freely admit I make about one fail in ten projects. If I didn’t, I’d think I was being too conservative! 😉 (Or that’s what I tell myself…)
I have a special box that I put them in. Out of sight out of mind.
Hehehe – how full is that box?
Thank you SO much for sharing your disappoints! It’s so nice to know I am not alone in choosing wrong pattern/wrong fabric. I wish you would do more of this. All I usually see online is perfection.
You’ve got me thinking now how we could highlight the comedically dark side of sewing more often! 😛 Sharing fails is good for the soul!
LOLOLOL. I’m not laughing at you. Really, I’m laughing with you! This was such a fun article to read. You made me feel just like everyone else with their fails. Mine are literally thrown into a pile. Sometimes I think I should try to undo the zipper so I can save it for the next project or chop up the pieces into usable squares for some craft project but I don’t even feel like doing any of that. That piece of messed up clothing has now become the enemy. I want nothing more to do with it. Once I hate it, I’m done with it.
I throw mine in a pile too! And then I try to get them out of my life ASAP (i host twice annual clothing swaps witch are basically “Hey, I hate this thing I made or I grew out of it – can I make you take it home, dear friends?” 😛
My fave part of this series is the “fails”. They are always so relatable. I have sewn horrifying invisible zips and shirts in colour schemes that match my skin tone (and not in the cute way), tops that leave no room for my boobs and bizarre necklines! In fact, I’ve done each multiple times. But then, I LOVED Regretsy…
Is regretsy still around? I want to look it up again!!!! So cathartic!
The woman who ran it took it down – which is HORRIBLE. I spent hours on that site laughing.
The Kabuki Tee is by Paper Theory (not Papercut) 😉
D’oh! Thank you for catching that!
I could be accused of killing my fails w kindness. I keep trying to fix them until I’m bored with trying then I either repurpose or burn ‘em!! Not really, but I do get them out of my life otherwise they really bug me. But of course it’s a great lesson in ‘what not to wear’!!
Thanks for sharing your fails editors, fascinating and affirming!!!
The idea of killing fails with kindness made me giggle!
I always love the yearly Top 5 Posts.
The winners inspire me.
The losers make me feel better that I’m not the only one that goofs up.
That fails are so much fun, eh? I actually had more fails than wins this year, at least out of the things that got blogged.. I need to break myself of the habit of sewing things that the fabric wants to become, but that I don’t want to wear! ;P
Fabric / pattern mismatch is the source of most of my disappointments. I’ve yet to make the perfect garment but normally find a way to wear everything I’ve made. None of the fails look that bad to me but I suppose its how they make you feel…
[…] back with my top 5 sewing misses of 2019, all inspired by the Sewcialists Blog! This was a tough list to compile for many reasons. One of the reasons being, I don’t […]