Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Embarrassing moments in sewing

This morning, as I was preparing for work, I took a few minutes to read from one of my favorite books - Rise and Shine: A Devotional by Liz Curtis Higgs.

In the story I read today, Liz (I feel like I know her so I'll call her Liz) shared a story of what could have been an incredibly embarrassing moment. She was at an airport looking for a place to sit while she waited for her flight to be called. She spotted two seats joined together on a t-shaped base and one was available. She sat down and the other women happened to stand up around the same time and Liz flipped the seat over and landed face down on the ground! (If you're not familiar with Liz Curtis Higgs, she's a big woman [her words] and one of the funniest speakers I've ever had the pleasure to listen to.) I probably would have been mortified but she wrote about how hard she laughed at herself when she thought of what she must have looked like.

As she wrote "...remember the wise words of Ethel Barrymore: "You grow up the day you have your first real laugh...at yourself."

I guess I grew up a while ago because I have had the opportunity to laugh at myself many times.

Her story got me to thinking about all of the embarrassing moments in my life. Which was the most embarrassing? And how would I choose? There's so many of them!

I think I'll share my favorite embarrassing moment another day. For today I'll stick to embarrassing sewing moments - or more accurately embarrassing sewing projects.

For this one you need to travel back with me to the 70s when I was in junior high school. I'd been blissfully sewing for a few years and, as a self-taught sewer, was completely oblivious to the "proper" way of doing things.

One of my many sewing projects was this awesome knee-length cape, complete with hood, sewn from this incredible denim that had photographs of stop signs printed (in blue) all over it.

As I was wearing my trendy new cape one of our neighbors asked if I had made it. I proudly answered yes! To which she laughed and laughed and laughed and told me that I had done it wrong.

Turns out there's this sewing layout called "with nap" and "one-way" fabrics that I didn't know about. So when I made my cape the stop signs printed on my denim fabric were right side up on the one side of my cape and upside down on the other side.

In response to her laughter, I held my head high, squared my shoulders, looked her straight in the eye, and informed her that it was a design element and I had intended to sew it that way. Then I turned around, walked slowly into my house, took the cape off and never wore it again. You see, I was embarrassed by my lack of sewing knowledge and was afraid of being laughed at again if I wore it.

If she didn't like that cape I wonder why she didn't comment on the "gorgeous" poncho I sewed in 7th grade Home Ec class - out of a gold and red floral cotton fabric complete with red ball trim!
So....what's YOUR embarrassing sewing moment? Pin It


  1. I made that same mistake when I was new to sewing. I made a jumper out of royal blue corduroy and didn't know anything about nap. My mother gently pointed out that I had sewn the skirt front and back with opposite nap directions. I took it apart and fixed it. Good thing the skirt pieces were basic rectangles!

  2. Mine was an overfitted skirt with back slit that got ripped open the day I wore it for the first time... I was about 18 at the time and it was VERY embarrassing...

  3. Sharon,

    That was a good response on your part to attribute the appearance to intentional design by the fashionista herself. You know how they say mistakes sometimes pave the way to enhance the outcome of something that wouldn't have happened without it! :)

  4. In high school (late 70's) I made a blue dress with red trim. It was fine. The problem was that I got the reat idea to make and WEAR a turban to match. I can't believe my brother let me leave the house wearing that thing! Once I overheard someone saying something about brain cancer I stopped wearing it!



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