Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Failure

 
 
Friends, the failure of a sewing project is enough to damage sewing motivation for weeks.

During the wonderful adventure that was Me Made May, I decided that I needed more tops in my wardrobe.  I wanted tops that could be worn with my Simplicity 3688 trousers, as well as with jeans when I wanted to go out on the weekends.  When I found the below mail order pattern at an antique fair, I thought that I could make every version in multiple fabrics and be set for the summer:
 
 
I have a severe weakness for the remnant bin at the Textile Discount Outlet in Pilsen, and when I stumbled on an animal-like print, I snatched it up in a moment.  I cut out the square necked blouse gleefully, thinking how fabulous it would pair with my black Simplicity 3688 trousers, but that is where the good thoughts ended.
 
This fabric was SLIPPERY. I was determined to French seam everything possible to reduce the fraying, so this added to the frustration and time consumed by this project.
 
 
 
The fabric held a few surprises ... like a large fraying hole, right under the neckline.  I don't know when it appeared, but there it was.  If I touched it, the threads reached out like tentacles and the area grew.  It was amazing (and completely discouraging) to watch.



I top-stitched around the neckline to hold the facing in place, as well as stabilize the area as much as possible.  No good.  It still spread. I knew it would not last the first laundry day it encountered. 
 
I decided I at least wanted to rock the blouse once, and do it somewhere fantastic.  Dinner with friends, or the like.  I also decided to use it as a learning experience since I had FINALLY gotten an invisible zipper foot.
 
(I know, I know.  Don't judge me.)


 
So the time came to complete the last steps and put the blouse on ...
 and it was so huge, it immediately started falling off my shoulders.  Whaaaa?  Did it magically grow on my dress form? Did I not adjust the size enough when I cut it out? 



Regardless of how it became too big, it was too big and the first time wearing it was less than exciting.  I wore a cardigan all day because the neckline gaped so much and the blouse kept falling off my shoulders. Once I got home, I threw it in a pile, where it stayed until I decided to take these pictures.

 
Since dealing with this fabric and pattern, I haven't been much in the mood to sew.  Lately, I've been watching lots of PBS with my roommate and hanging out with my friends, which has been completely fantastic and relaxing. It's also been a great way to avoid the pile of projects I want to make and am hesitant to mess up.  I'm hoping that attending a theme party this weekend (1940s!) will inspire me to whip out my Ginghers and get to work. Who knows? You may see a fabulous dress with pink steins all over it next week :)
 
Friends, what do you do to recover from a failure? Does it completely kill your sewing mojo?
 
Much love and many hugs to all of you, especially everyone attending MPB this coming weekend!  Have a marvelous time!
 
XOXO,
Meg
 

22 comments:

  1. I'm attending a 1940s party this weekend too! I wanted to sew a new top (with some fabric you gave me), but when I opened up my pattern, half of the pieces were missing... That was pretty discouraging. I just self drafted it with the pattern as my inspiration though.

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  2. I *try* and be level headed about my failures, though I do tend have a little slump and 'I can't even sew' woe is me type tantrum, after that I will normally go to a TNT pattern and a well behaved fabric to get my confidence back.

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  3. Failures suck... since at the end well... you can't wear it. I've had several of these and many are a result of pairing the wrong fabric type to a given pattern.

    Failures do suck out all of my mojo and it takes me a few days to recover. Generally chocolate and movies are my cure. Also... never seeing the failure again is key! KEY! :) Get it out of your house asap so you'll never be confronted by it again. heh

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    1. i agree, burn the failure! i have a sundress waiting in the stockade for the flames of righteousness.

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  4. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that this was a failure! It makes complete sense as a concept. The pattern is adorable and the fabric is gorgeous so I can see why you paired them. Sewing failures suck and are exhausting. Each person has their own techniques for recovery but I like to wail to understanding friends, make a mental not of what I can learn, and start fantasizing about the next make, and how glorious and perfect it will be. I hope you get your mojo back as you are clever and creative!

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  5. Sewing failures totally bum me out! That's when I turn to a tried and true pattern to make myself feel better :)

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  6. Ditto Erin's comment: I go to a TNT pattern to get my confidence back. The feelings of success will wipe away the horrible memory of a failure. I've had a couple of wadders the last few weeks, and they are so frustrating!!

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  7. I feel ya! I feel like I fail more than succeed when it comes to sewing right now due to my lack of experience. My trick to overcoming the depression is to crochet a cute stuffed animal :) Even if I screw them up - they are still cute stuffed animals! lol Now you may understand why I make so many :)

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  8. It happens to the best of us. I second whoever said chocolate and movies. Just give yourself and the project some time away from each other, then come back to a fresh, new, exciting (and hopefully low-risk) sewing project.

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  9. I HATE when wadders take away my sew-jo! That means its time for an instant gratification project.

    Make a TNT pattern or other "easy to you" project.

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  10. aw sad :( I spent a whole week on a dress that I didn't realise was not going to work until it was 99% complete. I put it down to my inexperience with stretch fabric and just not understanding how it would fit me.

    I've 'dealt with this failure by burying the offending garment at the bottom of my fabric stash.

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  11. How frustrating, I love the pattern and the print, can totally understand why you picked them. How about looking back at some of the brilliant garments you've made before for inspiration (comic book skirt could not fail to cheer you) and making a favourite again. Oh and icecream helps - for whatever ails you! :)

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  12. I usually hide them deep in my sewing closet until I can look at them and see 'fabric for something new and small' rather than the soul crushing rage of glorious fabric I destroyed. Sometimes things hide for years at a time...

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  13. There seem to be lots of takers for forging on with a TNT- that's what I do too. Even better, one that is quick & simple- nothing to get bogged down by, but something to remind you that you do actually know what you're doing :)

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  14. Sewing failures are like bad relationships- especially if the fabric is kind of slimey. We burn the pics of us with them, learn a lesson and move on to the next charmer. I'm only stopped if I have 2 failures in a row, then I start planning a sewing related garage sale that the husband has to stop.

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  15. Oh no, Meg! I would take a deep breath, bin the offending project and try to move on. It's not always easy, but do try not to dwell on the failures. When this happens to me I like to get out all the clothes that I have made that I'm pleased with and wear them, then start a really easy project like mending, to get you back in the groove.

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  16. I really enjoyed the visual of the thread tentacles. It's alive!!! I've had lots of these projects. The best cure is to jump back on the horse asap, usually making something where I know I'll succeed.

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  17. Definitely a simple TNT pattern! And remind yourself that it's not you, it's got to be the fabric. I mean, thread tentacles aren't normal.

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  18. Boooo, no fun! I like to go for an easy project with a fabric that I really like to recover from a dud. Better luck next time!

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  19. I have a bag in my garage that is for the clothing swap that happens 3-4 times a year. It starts out empty and flat and slowly grows fat and full so that by swap time BANG!! I have a delightful bag of one-person's-junk goodies that I happily drive into the outlands of Oakland, hand over at the door and proceed to dig through the tables of other peoples crappola to bring home to start the process all over again : ) All those "learning experiences" become someone else's "ohhhh....." moments.

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  20. When that happens to me I try to immediately sew a sure success - a pattern I've used multiple times before and an easy to handle fabric.

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  21. I read this post when you first wrote and have meant to comment (my iPhone doesn't let me). And now I waited 5 minutes for my over-the-hill laptop to load your comments section, sheesh! Anyway, I agree with Lynn - I try and find a pattern that isn't difficult and that I've sewn with success before. The Renfrew top comes to mind and since I know you've made that one with great results maybe you could try that one too! I think we all have our stinkers (I'm staring at a couple of duds right now). In other news, that's great that you're learning to knit. I know the very basics but would love to one day make a cropped cardigan or sweater, kind of like the ones Lladybird makes. Good luck!

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