Wednesday, December 9, 2009

EPIC FAIL: My 2009 Sewing Disasters

It's that time of year again. Time to break out the bagel guillotine for my special breakfast with my work team. Time to think about the place of tipping in American society. Time to be bitterly disappointed by the holiday gift experience.

And it's time to have a retrospective on one's year in sewing! (though, truthfully, this is the first year I've done such a retrospective).

My sewing was stifled by my back injury but I somehow persevered and sewed approximately 31 garments and 1 pillow this year (and there are still a few weeks left--who knows what else I will make??).

I thought I would break this up into a few posts.
First up, the Epic Fails (the Fighting Fails?). These wadders are sad, sad, sad.

1. The unintentional Star Trek dress. I loved the 60's style dress on the pattern envelope but in real life, that front seam, the neckline, collar, and my fabric choice wrote this dress off as a Star Trek costume wanna-be.
Simplicity 3559 view B in progress

The expression on my face really sums it up, don't you think? (I spent how long and how much money on this and it looks like this? ARGH!)

Simplicity 3559 view B in progress
As I recall I wrote something to the effect of, "just get me a triangle patch and beam me up!"

2. Next up is this gem (cough cough). Yeah, that belt is not saving it.
Simplicity 4118 view C
Not really A-line, not really straight shift dress, the fabric, bizarre pooling on the back and overall styling made me look heavier than I really am.

I remember the day I made this, it was pouring rain. I should have stayed in bed. Or read a sewing book.
In serious need of a sway back adjustment.

Another priceless expression:

3. I loves me a cowl neck, but this is just weird.
While the fabric was ok generally, it didn't seem to drape very well for a cowl neck...and it's a challis! You know, challis, the home of the drape! very bizarre. Plus once I cut the length off this shirt, it seemed to have lost its charm. The pleating detail at the shoulder seam was annoying and frustrating. Sewing the yoke was a test of my patience. I actually finished this but it has never, ever been worn.

Cute detailing on the back does not save this shirt.
The back of Simplicity 2594 view B

4. I love ruffles, but this was too much. I could not get the upper ruffle to lie properly. I tried many times to save this, but alas, no dice. (I have an idea of how to rescue this removing the ruffles and adding something else...possibly I'll try over the New Year weekend).
Simplicity 2599 view D, sigh

5. This is supposed to be a square cowlneck, only it's more like a drunken square
Vogue 2945, square cowl neck
I've never worn this because everytime I put it on, I think, "that neckline is so wonky!"

(I did make it again, sleeveless, and the next time it came out more square and I wore it quite a lot...saving that for my "epic win" post).

6. I made this hat as an attempt at winning a Sewing Pattern Review contest. Even though I cut out every flower and leaf and sewed them on by hand, it was an epic fail. Not only did I not win the contest, I don't have the guts to wear this hat out of the house.

7. Fabric: too stretchy, too clingy. Neckline: too low. "Skirt" of the shirt: always screams maternity to me. I felt totally uncomfortable wearing this out of the house. My chest is too small for this kind of shirt. FAIL.
New Look 6782 view D-esque

8. Ugh. This is pretty lackluster. It's supposed to have very cute gathers on the side, but it just didn't work out. Plus the crossing v-neck was always crossing in a weird manner.
Simplicity 4095:  Blah from the front when gathered

9. Oh, first garment I sewed this year. Sad, sad floppy cowl neckline. Sad.
New Look 6731, view A-ish
(Hmmm...I'm actually tempted to take the collar off that one and interface it and try it again?)

So, what have I learned from my epic fails?
1. Fabric choice is essential. Don't go making dresses out of 100% cotton if you hate wrinkles. Evaluate if the fabric is good for garments first.
2. Don't make something in an attempt to win a Sewing Pattern Review contest. Seek extrinsic validation elsewhere.
3. Save hemming for the very end.
4. Don't sew a red dress for a while.
5. Set a time limit for trying to "save" a garment. Gotta know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. Er, and yet I'm still going to try to save two of these. Well, we're all a bit hypocritical, right?
6. Time does not heal all wounds. It still stings to look at some of these garments!

So I hope you enjoyed my 2009 epic fails! I'll continue the retrospective soon!


  1. Oh I did enjoy your epic fails, very much! I do have a soft spot for sewing schadenfreude though (enjoyment at other people's sewing misery).

    However, most of your projects I would not call fail. They look good on, no comfort though if you don't enjoy wearing them, which is the acid test after all.

  2. Enjoyed your post! I still like Star Trek dress, although I agree I can't really see you wearing it outside a trekkie convention (and that'll be the day).

    Also I didn't realise that that flower hat was a fail. It does remind me a bit of a novelty swim cap, however I did not have the nerve to tell you that at the time.

    Looking forward to the wins!w

  3. This is a hilarious post! But honestly, some of those projects are not bad at all! I think some of them actually look great (especially some of those soft knit tops)- you've set your bar too high! Take a couple of them for a test drive-- wear them out to the supermarket or something, and see if you don't feel better about them after that :) And I applaud your perseverence-- if something is shaping up to be a FAIL for me, it goes in an unfinished heap on the shelf. I couldn't even put on my epic fails if I wanted to photograph them!

    Lots of great sewing luck and karma in 2010!

  4. I like the brown striped woven cowl top and the red crossover empire top. I think they look cute on you!

    But if you hate them, then they're fails. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!

  5. I thought some of your "disasters" were pretty alright. Actually if you want to see a real disaster try this tragic refashion of mine

    Even the save is only borderline.

  6. Drunken square. LOL! I enjoyed reading your post. Even though you had some failures you still sewed 31 garments this year. That's amazing. I barely sewed 12!

  7. LOL Thank you for linking this!! LOL


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