Hi there! I thought it was about time I talked about a couple of my makes which I’m deeming to be failures, although for different reasons.
So, what’s it mean to me for a make to be a failure? Basically, it means I haven’t worn it when I meant to.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed (and I swear I’m nearly at the end of them) I sewed a LOT of new clothes for our summer holidays, partly out of need and partly as a form of stress relief. One of them was worn, very briefly, once on holiday and the others went all the way to America and back without getting worn at all.
First up was the Poppy jumpsuit by Sew Over It. The pattern came free in Simply Sewing magazine a few months ago, I got some gorgeously soft (and very cheap!) pineapple print rayon from B&M fabrics in Leeds and eventually made it, finishing just as Sew Over It finally launched the pattern in print themselves.
The free pattern is for a playsuit with a boat neck and kimono sleeves (the full version includes a long legged version) and I thought it looked really cool and fun on the envelope. For the most part, it was a very straightforward make, dart free and therefore pretty simple. It involves an elastic wasitband, which isn’t my favourite thing but isn’t that hard to do once you’ve done your first one.
The only bit that was a little tricky was wrapping my brain around the methodology for stitching the turn up cuffs on the sleeves and legs so that the stitches didn’t show. It took me a few read throughs and some slightly baffled folding of fabric before it clicked. This was the only hand sewing I did on the whole thing, other than to attach the hook and eye at the neck. I actually did quite a bit of the handstitching perched in the back of Rich’s car, watching the girls playing on their bikes on the street (a very quiet cul-de-sac) in the sun; random but true!
As soon as I finished it, I knew I wasn’t going to wear it as an all day sort of garment. Yet again, my upper body and the Sew Over It block came to blows. It’s just too short in the body to be comfortable and the neckline is rather wide. And frankly, I resemble a sack of potatoes in it! It did get taken on holiday but only worn as a swimming cover up. Not a success!
Lengthening the body would definitely help this out, but I think for another playsuit or jumpsuit I’d be tempted to try the By Hand London Holly instead as their block tends to give me less problems.
So on to failure number two. This time, it was the Colette Myrtle dress, a jersey dress with a draped neckline which I have loved since it was first released but didn’t have the skills for at the time.
I decided that I now did have the skills, and bought some incredible digital print fabric from Fabworks, patterned with glorious orchids. It’s a very silky, slinky jersey (which led to its own problems when sewing) but I absolutely loved this fabric.
The pattern was fairly easy to follow and went together well; as with all patterns of Colette’s that I’ve made, it’s well drafted and the markings and everything are clear. There are even links to little video tutorials in the instructions, which is always helpful.
So what went wrong? The main problem with this one was I didn’t realise quite how short “short” was for Colette. Much as I loved a mini skirt in my younger days, there’s a distinct feeling of mutton dressed as lamb to anything this far above the knee. And I just don’t think the colours in the print would go well with black leggings or tights. So, despite having the pockets I love in a dress, this one travelled all the way there and back again without ever being seen out in public. I kind of hoped that the holiday feeling of not caring because I’ll never see these people again would help, but it didn’t make it.
I think I would make this pattern again, but I’d definitely need more fabric for a longer length skirt!
So, on to my final disaster! This one is, once again, a Sew Over It garment, this time the Silk Cami. I bought the kit to make this at the Knitting and Stitching show and hadn’t got around to making it. I got to the day before we were leaving for Florida and, in a total state of panic due to my fear of flying, got the kit out, traced, cut out and sewn up in about 3 hours.
I don’t know why I thought this would fit me out of the packet? Given all the issues I had with the Betty dress, it’s clear I need to make adjustments when using their patterns. But I was, as I say, not entirely thinking rationally at this point.
I used a rayon remnant I bought in Sew Over It a few weeks earlier to make the top. The envelope says 2m but, by using a plain navy remnant from my Datura top for the facing, I got this out of about 80cm. It was a lovely straightforward sew, and I would definitely try it again when I’ve finished the block I’m trying to make myself, but oh lordy, is this version unwearable!
It gapes at the front but is snug over my chest, the neckline is a mile off me at the back neck and I need a serious sway back adjustment. I threw it in the suitcase without ever trying it on; I think the only good thing I can say about it is it did distract me from thinking about the aeroplane for a while!
So, there you go, three total wadders!
Have you had many sewing disasters?