Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Embarrassing moments in sewing - part two

At the beginning of April I wrote about an embarrassing sewing moment and asked if anyone else had any embarrassing moments in sewing they cared to share with me.

Ruth, Tany, and Vickie W shared some of their embarrassing moments learning experiences in the comments section, and Carolyndh left words of wisdom.

Ruth learned about fabric nap in much the same way I did except she was gently informed of her error; Tany wore an over fitted skirt that split during the first wearing and; Vickie W. sewed a matching turban for a dress she had just completed, an incredibly hip fashion accessory, however it wasn't perceived that way when she wore it.

Tany's story reminded me of this cute and trendy pair of jeans I made and wore to a dance in ninth grade. The jeans were bikini jeans (now they would be called super low-rise jeans) with a snap front and hand embroidered design made from chambray. I purchased the fabric based on its color not realizing that it probably wasn't the best fabric for a pair of jeans. At the dance I did a move and felt the back seam rip! I was mortified and began wishing for a black hole to miraculously appear and swallow me up. When the black hole didn't materialize I slowly inched my way out of the dance with my back against the wall and went home. Lesson learned? Don't over fit the clothing and match the fabric to the project.

And Vickie - guess what? Turbans, now called head-wraps, were shown in the Summer '07 issue of Adorn. Instructions are given to make a Prada-inspired head wrap in the trend watch section so you were just way ahead of your time.

Apparently in this big vast online sewing community they are the only ones who've ever experienced embarrassing sewing moments. Or perhaps they're the only ones willing to fess up.

Either way, it doesn't matter. I have had so many embarrassing moments that I'm sure I have used up my allocation as well as most of yours.

In fact, as I was working on the pink jacket from Simplicity 4412, I thought of another one. I struggled a bit to easing in the sleeve on this jacket. Look at the photo and you'll see what appears to be a few tiny tucks. These shouldn't be there.

Easing in this jacket sleeve reminded me of a dress I made when I was in eighth or ninth grade. My father had traveled to Hawaii on a business trip and brought back a few pieces of fabric for me.

The dress I choose to make had set in sleeves without a gathered sleeve cap. I hadn't sewn a sleeve like that before and didn't understand why I needed to put in two rows of stitching when the sleeve wasn't going to be gathered. So I just eliminated the extra two rows of stitching figuring that I had just discovered a sewing shortcut.

Except that I could not get the sleeve to fit in the armhole opening. There was too much fabric in the sleeve cap. I pinned and unpinned and re-pinned that sleeve trying to get it to fit. I just couldn't figure out why it was larger than the armhole opening.

Finally, I had a eureka moment and just cut off the extra on the sleeve cap. The sleeve now fit perfectly so I stitched it in place, finished the dress and held it up to admire my latest creation. I couldn't wait to wear it to school. One small problem. I couldn't move my arms because of my sleeve "redesign".

So maybe not so much an embarrassing moment in sewing as an "oh, so that's why the instructions say to do that." Pin It


  1. LOL! I did the very same thing to a sleeve on another dress I made in high school. Loved the dress except that I could not lift my arms!

  2. You made me laugh with this one! I remember my first pair of "made it all by myself" trousers... Let's just say I learned the importance of reinforcing the crouch seam the hard way!



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