Who doesn’t love a good sewing fail? I mean, it’s no fun in the moment, but it’s the humbling experience that helps us learn…or at least, gives our fellow sewists a giggle! There is solidarity in knowing everybody makes mistakes.
So here goes: the Top Sewing Misses from the Sewcialists crew!
Gillian: This spring I made a modified collar-less version of the Closet Core Patterns Sienna Maker Jacket. It’s the most complicated sewing I’ve done in years, and I challenged myself not to cut corners but to add every detail. So why is it a fail? Because these pictures show the only time I wore it. Turns out I will choose a boiled wool or quilted coat over plan twill every time.
Charlotte: There were a few misses or near misses amongst the garments I sewed this year. I sewed a couple of dresses in fabrics which turned out not to be ideal, I hastily cobbled together a dress for a party (at the start of the year, when those were still happening!) skimping on the fit and the finish, and I sewed a knit skirt a size too small because I forgot to take into account stretch percentage. All things I know better than to do – but still do anyway. Most of those garments are in my UFOs basket to be altered, or are being worn regardless of not being perfect, so there’s still hope!
Amanda: My UFO pile is my biggest miss of 2020. I have a Banksia Bralette that’s been sitting on my sewing table for MONTHS. All it needs is FOE on the arms and it’s done, but I just can’t muster the mental energy to do it.
Chris: Making masks is easy I told myself. Its just lines and curves I said. Well, here is one of the first masks I made for myself this year. You can barely tell, but it’s a little off center. I also showed an image where I attached the cording OUTSIDE of the mask and not in that little slot where it’s supposed to be inserted. I’d figure that last part out after making FIVE masks lol. Because it’s off center, it shifts around a bit and knocks my earphone off. The cording is also a little itchy after wearing it for 7 hours (but not too much). Rest assured, I learned my lesson. Plus, this fabric is too good not to show off.
Chloe: My miss for this year is a Sewcialists miss (or “area for improvement” as we like to call them!). I have plenty of sewing fails, but this came to mind as something to explore here! One of the things we noticed this year is that we aren’t connecting with our readership on the more involved content as clearly we would like. I am not going to call out specific posts, as some of them are guest editors, but they are often longer posts, with more difficult subject matter. There’s a lot of potential reasons this might be the case:
- People are tired this year (just.so.tired), and don’t have the mental energy.
- They are longer reads and fewer people are going to blogs and reading posts anyway.
- They are content that might be making people uncomfortable that they don’t know the “right” response so they say nothing.
- We have had discussions with people this year on whether we are pushing hard enough on the causes and issues which affect members of our community — maybe it’s too shallow to engage people.
We don’t yet know what to do to address this, but it weighs on the mind. It relates to key part of our reason for being and is something we would love to hear your thoughts on in the comments as we plan for 2021.
Our sewing fails really don’t seem too bad — but we ARE always trying to engage our readers. Let us know what you think below!
Thank you for a year of blog reading – the highlight for me was reading the “fabrics of the world” series. Here’s to 2021 🙂
Thank you! That series really took off and it’s been a joy for us to read all the amazing contributions!
I read the blog posts! Yes, this year has been too much. Yes, it’s difficult to know exactly which comment to make sometimes. I want to be mindful of not offending someone, sounding like an idiot, or maybe I just don’t know how to respond. I think it’s ok to just say “thank you for your post”. I do think it’s beneficial to all of us to continue to have these hard conversations (even in this form) if we ever hope to heal as a society. I really appreciate reading about all of the different perspectives and life experiences. Happy sewing.
Thank you, Natasha! I think your suggestion of a simple “thank you for this post” is a wonderful way to endorse the conversations when you aren’t sure what else to say. I’m going to remember and use that myself!
Gillian, all that Sienna Maker Jacket needs is a colourful scarf – you did a great job. I think, as sewists, we are just too critical of our own work.
You are probably right – I just have a lot of other coats that are colourful and fun in and of themselves! but never fear – a sewing friend spotted this jacket and asked if I’d pass it on to her, so it will have a happy life after all!
Thank you for all the posts of the year and I do read all of them and enjoy the long ones just as much. The sewing community is incredibly supportive and positive as long as you are spot on with your political correctness, and what a minefield that is. Any posts with political content will put me off from commenting partly because it is difficult to say the right thing but mostly because at the end I feel like I have been given some kind of telling off, I am very engaged with politics and news but would prefer sewing to be a ‘safe space’ away from it.
HI Helen! I can understand that feeling that it’s a minefield where you don’t want to put a foot wrong. Because I’ve run the Sewcialists since 2013, iIve got plenty of experience putting my foot in my mouth, and here’s what I’ve learned: Listen, learn, apologise! I”m honestly grateful for the times people have called me out on stuff, because I gain new perspective, and no one have ever been unkind about it if I admit fault. The trouble only starts when people reply with crappy excuses, and it’s totally in you/our power to avoid that! There’s no way for sewing to be a safe space away from identity issues and politics, because our experience of sewing is always shaped by who we are. That’s why our Who We Are seires was the very first thing we started when we rebooted in 2017! https://thesewcialists.com/2017/09/27/who-we-are-2-who-i-am-and-why-were-talking-about-identity/
I have read and appreciated all of the posts. As a BIPOC activist, I value that The Sewcialists recognize that there is no such thing as an ethnic-neutral, gender-neutral, or ability-neutral space. That is what makes a safe space for me. I hardly comment because of the challenges between my computer and WordPress. Most times, I am just not able to get my comment through. Thanks for all your hard work! Thanks for engaging in frequent self-evaluation to make sure you are true to your values.
Hi! Thank you so much for your comment – it warmed my heart! I’m so sorry that WordPress comments don’t work well for you – but we value your participation in the community regardless!
I’m only interested in the sewing, not the social causes that are expressed here. I respect that people have passions and opinions that are different from mine. I just like sewing, man. That’s why I initially subscribed.
Frankly, same here.
Hi Bunny, thanks for reading and commenting. WordPress won’t et me reply to two people at once, but please see my reply to June above. identity and intersectionality have been key to Sewcialists since 2013, and we are always looking for ways to explore the different experiences people have with sewing more deeply.
Thanks for being honest, June. It is useful for us to know. Those social causes have been at the heart of what we do since the very beginning of our community in 2013, since it was founded by a group of online friends who were of difference genders, sexual orientations, languages, nationalities and levels of experience. We feel that there is no way to separate sewing from identity, hence our Who We Are series that looks at how the experience of sewing varies for us all. How could the experience of walking into a fabric store and buying a pattern possibly be the same for a Black person, a plus size person, a non-binary person, a person with disabilities, or more likely, someone with complex overlapping identities? If you and I met, I’m sure we would have different life experiences, and that would be a lovely subject for conversation. Those same conversations are key to what we do here.
Well I am here because it’s not just sewing. So there. There’s plenty of other places that people can go to get their Lily-white 100% sewing fix. Thank you for addressing the rest of the world, and the not-really sewing issues that also affect the sewing.
That said, it’s been a long hard year, and I don’t always comment on everything, ok? Don’t take it personally..
THIS! You can go to your safe, completely white, free of that icky sociopolitical discourse.
Love you M-C, so being a long time Sewcialist!
Reading (mainly) sewing blogs is part of my morning routine, and I like to hear what other sew-ers are doing, as I know so few makers where I live. This year I found I did less sewing, probably in part I was overwhelmed by the pandemic and pandemic news but then again I did a lot more gardening, so that was good too. Wishing you all a safe and happy christmas
Thank you, UpSew! I”m glad you found peace and comfort in gardening. Merry belated Christmas to you too!
I’m here for it all. I just never know what to say in comments.
The post about flat-front mastectomy reconstruction has really stuck with me. I’ve known for a long time that if I were to need a mastectomy, I didn’t want breast implants as part of the reconstruction. Before reading The Sewcialists post, I didn’t think of it as something that I would have to fight for.
Thank you so much, Snow! Someone above suggested that when she doesn’t know what to say, she just comments “thank you for the post.” I think that’s brilliant! And speaking of brilliant, Denise who wrote that post you mentioned is coming on as one of our temporary editors, so you can look forward to more amazing content from here!
I enjoy and appreciate the guest posts from members of the sewing community whose sewing needs are often overlooked or underrepresented, such as sewing for a more masculine or non-binary look…sewing for post-mastectomy needs, sewing when you have neurological challenges, etc. But many posts have felt super political to the point where they felt less about sewing and more about pushing a position. I’ve avoided this site for that reason. I live near a big city that had a lot of protesting, I live near another city that had a very sad police shooting event, “m 10 minutes from a mall that had a shooting recently, and I live an hour from Kenosha WI where Kyle Rittenhouse shot two people at a political protest. Protests and anger and change making are part of my daily life! Sewing is my escape and the politics-heavy posts are just too much! More unique voices, yes! More overlooked segments of our community, yes! But the over-pushing a position, no thanks.
Hi Green Door! I can only imagine how overwhelming your experience has been this year! Sending you hugs. One of the things we’ve talked a lot about behind the scenes is how the fact that we are an international team impacts our individual understanding and experience. My experience of systemic racism in Canada is different than Chloe’s in Australia, or Emilia’s in Japan, or Charlotte’s in England, and so on. As such, we can’t assume that all of our international readers start with the same baseline of knowledge, either. We’ve been making an effort to post some clear policy posts like this one on racism in the comments (https://thesewcialists.com/2020/07/06/tackling-racism-in-the-comment-section/) to make sure that our stance is clear.
Thank you for all of your effort. Some have the ability(yay you!) to not focus on “that other stuff” because it doesn’t impact them. But for me, for example, there are no boxes. I can’t sew and not be black in sewing spaces. Seeing Black women marginalized and ignored. Knowing that a Black woman will never reach the acclaim with a pattern company that whites women will, even with mediocre products. Etc. so again, thank you.
Thank you for all your contribute to this community and the sewing world as a whole! You remind me that I’ve been meaning to interview Erin from Style Sew Me, because I’ve never seen such a clear example of a Black pattern making working twice as hard for the same acclaim. I wonder if we could make a point of featuring Black excellence every month this year? You”ve given me plenty of food for thought today! <3
Commenting to voice support and thanks, Sewcialists, for continuing to do what you do and the way that you do it.
The Sewcialists is one of my favorite places on the internet precisely because the team behind it doesn’t shy away from addressing socio-political issues and their intersections with sewing and crafting. Given that the very name The Sewcialists is a play on the term “socialism” (among others!), one ought to expect this site to have a socially and politically progressive bent. I only wish there were more blogs that did! While I enjoy seeing and am inspired by projects on other blogs and admire the technical and design skills the writers have, it disturbs me how little self-awareness or awareness of the world outside their own sewing rooms so many of them exhibit. there is little, if anything, that any of us does that doesn’t have some political implications, so we might as well address implications head on!
Same! I don’t feel at home on a lot of sites precisely because they don’t show the world I live in but default to a very white middle class apolitical one. That’s not what I want, sewing is not divorced from a political world, and I never wants to stop learning about it.
I don’t always comment because I get ragey and don’t express myself in a way that helps the issues and people’s feelings and ideas about them move forward.
Love, love, love everything that The Sewcialists do! I echo all the comments above that sewing is political – in fact everything we do is political because our social worlds are built on inequities. Sewing only gets to feel neutral or non-political if you are not directly impacted by those inequities. I keep wanting to become more involved but it really is a time issue and the pandemic has only amplified that challenge (which of course would also be experienced disproportionately depending on one’s identities). The past few months I have found I haven’t even been able to keep up with reading posts. BUT a new year’s resolution for me: comment! Even if is it is a short “Thank you” (as someone mentioned above) or “This is amazing” so all the Sewcialists feel the love and encouragement from your communities. You are doing wonderful things!
Just posting a support comment! I don’t always comment though I do mostly read the posts…it’s been a bit tough the last while with US pandemic brain and depression rearing its ugly head so I haven’t been as caught up on blogs in general. But I SO appreciate that you all take stances on things and are outspoken about your support of social justice causes. This community should be for all sewists not just the white, cis-gender, hetero, ones. Like @Kssews said above, people who get to ‘ignore’ social issues are people who aren’t affected by racism or bigotry on a daily basis.
I remember when I was a temp editor a couple years ago there was lots of back-room discussion amongst the editors about how to more fully come to the table about these issues…and I’m really, really glad to see that THIS is the approach that has blossomed vs the hide behind a veneer of being ‘apolitical’
Thanks for all you guys do!
I don’t usually comment but appreciate this site very much.
I really love reading all the content you all work so hard on to bring to us. Some of the writers have really put themselves out there to try and help us all understand their challenges, and I really appreciate that. So many of us are lucky to live in a way that we don’t much have to consider how our outward appearance affects every single facet of our lives, it’s good to be regularly reminded that that is not true for so many people in our world. And to have people willing to share such deep and personal stories, wow! I feel really lucky to be connected to this amazing community.
Thank you all so much for all the hard work you put in!! Your articles often teach me something new or make me stop and think more on my own ways of thinking and doing. No small feat for a volunteer team!
I love your website because it’s political. I usually read all articles, but most often not directly. Commenting feels strange, when done as late as this one.
Another reason I don’t often comment is, that English isn’t my native language and it’s quite some ‘work’ for me to do so (especially with two small kids around and the pandemic robbing our normal structures).
For me the sewcialists also is a great way to get to know daily lives and struggles in other parts of the world and realising time and again how privileged I live in my German bubble.
Thank you for all you do on this site. I started seeking out communities like this one because I was tired of never seeing my body type in sewing spaces, but I do think it’s important to learn about and recognize how things like skin colour, appearance, gender identity, ability, socioeconomic position and other intersectionalities can impact how we all experience the process of buying fabric and supplies, making, sharing, selling, etc. I think the more we all know about the issues our peers are facing, the more it can help make us kind, thoughtful, and intentionally inclusive. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn in a safe space and for the people who are doing the emotional work of teaching and telling their stories. I appreciate that knowing these things helps me be more intentional about who I support and where I spend my money.
I don’t comment as much as I probably should. I wax and wane when it comes to keeping up with sewing blogs, so sometimes I’m reading posts several months later and I feel like I’m too late to the party, or other times I feel like I don’t really have anything to say that adds value. I think sometimes too, especially on posts that are dealing with intersections that I don’t share, I feel like this is not my time to speak. I read another comment about just saying thank you that I think I will try remembering in the future.
Your site is brave because you are open and welcoming to all of us. Many of us were sheltered by our well-meaning parents and teachers so that we were unable to meet others different from ourselves. The more we know about one another the more we can learn from each other. Each of us have gifts to share with each other if given the chance. I can’t even imagine how much work goes into putting this blog together. I deeply appreciate you and the others who contribute. I will work on being more involved. If each of us contributed it would certainly make your jobs lighter.