This is What Failure Looks Like

My cheery, upbeat posts to the contrary, I do mess up when sewing.  Quite often, and often in unredeemable terms.  This is my most recent project:

You can see the problem, right?

In case you can’t see the major issue — like if you’ve suddenly lost most of your vision — here’s a closeup:


And that, my friends, is an object lesson in knit fabrics + knit interfacing = not strong enough for grommets.  Of course, any experienced seamstress looking at this on my dress form will notice a far greater problem.  Literally, a far GREATER problem:

See it now?

Yup.  I made the darn thing about three sizes too large.  I’m getting pretty good at sussing out sizes for sewing — I’m usually between a 12 and a 14, so I go by the final garment measurements in deciding which one to cut out.  But this skirt (New Look 6950) had no final hip measurement on the pattern at all — not on the envelope, not on the tissue, not anywhere.  So I decided to err on the larger side, with predictable (for me) results.  I’m far more likely to sew something too big than too small.

I’m glad I tackled this project though — It was an idea that’s been kicking around my brain, and putting it together helped me work through some of the logistics of the style, in case I decide to make it again.

Two sizes smaller.


Posted on September 5, 2011, in sewing. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I know it’s not easy to post failures, but it sure makes me feel like I’m not alone. Until I started reading blogs I didn’t know what a FBA was. I was making things to my rather full bust size and wondering why it was so baggy everywhere and not going under my bust properly… I don’t wear those tops much these days.

    I do like the skirt in concept, it’s a cute print and I like the pockets. Here’s hoping the next version works out.

    • I know exactly what you mean — until I got used to the concept of ease, I was CONSTANTLY making things too large. In fact, my first successful skirt was one where I made it to my measurements (too big) then continued to cut the pattern down until I wound up with something that fit.

      I like this skirt in concept also, but the seams wound up bulkier than I wanted. I plan to do a raw-edge hem with the ribbing if I make another one.

  2. Oh, no! And it looks so cute, too! (You always have the best fabrics… but then I’ve said that before)

    Now I’m wondering how the grommets in the sweatshirt I’m wearing right now stay in… I suspect the answer is “industrial machinery”, though. :P. I wouldn’t be surprised if glue were also involved.

    • I’m guessing industrial-strength interfacing and a special grommet-setting machine so the edges of the grommets don’t cut into the fabric. Setting grommets is one of those things that’s really hard to replicate at home. I have yet to find a method I like.

      I got this fabric from the $2-3 shop I frequent in L.A. It threw fits when I tried to press it (any iron heat darkens the silver print) so I’m kind of glad to put it aside, actually!

  3. I too am glad to see some ‘not quite there yet’ posts from peoplke I respect- it makes all the projects I have snuck out of the house to the bin by cover of darkness not seem quite so shameful!

    • I, on the other hand, am glad to hear that someone else admits to sneaking things out to the bin! Actually, taking pictures and posting them here makes me feel better about the screw-ups — I can separate what I learned from the end result easier that way.

  4. I don’t think that’s a failure. It’s adorable. I’ll take it. I am probably 2-3 sizes bigger than you anyway (I’ve seen your pics). I don’t wear many skirts, but it’s so cute I may just have to. Plus, I never tuck anything in, so nobody would ever see that wonky grommet. Seriously, if you are gonna trash it instead, just send it my way! 🙂

    • Ha, I’d be tempted but there’s no way to keep the knit from stretching out without a grommet. The hole would just get bigger and bigger, and the skirt would end up around your ankles. Not a good look. Well, not a good look on me — YMMV.

  5. Aw lawdy–do I feel you. Most of my sewing disasters took place back before the word blog had ever been spat out of anyone’s mouth, so I couldn’t even get a collective laugh out of them or any moral support. But it looks to me to be fixable, and your sense of style is spot on, so that should surely carry you somewhere. Somewhere awesome.

    • Thanks! I don’t know if I can fix it because the seams have been finished, so taking it apart is going to fall into the realm of “very bad idea.” I do like the general look I was going for.

      Blogs totally make mistakes all better. At least they’re entertainment.

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