Sewcialists Top 5 Misses of 2020

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!

Three vertical photos showing different angles of Gillian wearing an olive-colored jacket

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.

Sewing table with a small pile of fabric and various sewing implements scattered on it
My Banksia sits in a crumpled pile of shame next to my sewing machine.

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!


Dear Reader: Our goal is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. We support crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes. Regarding sewing challenge themes, we ask that you take each challenge as you see it fitting in your life, and express your involvement how you like, at the given time. Our challenges are for the pure enjoyment of participation and the love of community. Extended Mission Page Here.