Sewing Mistakes

Sewing Struggles

The past couple of days have not been the easiest. Friday morning we received some incredibly sad news from dear friends that had us shaken up pretty bad, even though we knew it was coming. Then at night, terrorists attacked Paris. There have been attacks before, but never so close to home for us. Shocked and horrified we followed the events as they unfolded Friday night. Over the next few days we went on with our daily life but everything seemed different, like a shadow hung over everything. To take my mind of all the sadness, I thought I’d start a new sewing project. There are three pairs of jeans on my project board and I’ve been procrastinating, so that’s what I started on.

Sewing Mistakes

Right from the start my machine was having trouble with the heavy denim. My last pair had a much lighter weight, but I thought it would be allright since I also used this denim for my Turia Dungarees. My machine was thinking otherwise: the needle got stuck, it was cutting the thread, making protesting noises and flickering its lights. I tried my best to keep calm, just rethread, try a different tension, a different needle, unpick and do over. And it worked! Slowly I managed to get through the first steps, I installed my pockets and a pretty decent fly front. I even hand-sewed the bar tack because my machine was making a mess of it. I was pretty proud of myself for not losing it through all this mess, not letting this beat me. Until I got out the back leg pattern pieces.

Sewing Mistakes

Alida Makes wrote an excellent post a while ago: DIY Disaster, The Five Stages of Recovery. I went through all of them in rapid succession:

  1. I can fix this! – Followed by the realisation that I cut these pants out of the last scraps of that denim after I cut out my Turia Dungarees. No extra fabric!
  2. *insert curse words and throwing of pattern pieces*
  3. Enter: a decent amount of chocolate and an episode of the Good Wife.
  4. Wallowing in regret. Trying to see the lesson. I tried so hard, I kept calm even though I felt anything but calm! Also: posting my mistake on Instagram. Shared misery lightens the load, and getting the horror of my mistake acknowledged by fellow sewists definitely helped.
  5. Before I went to bed I had almost entered a state of acceptance. I decided to check my fabric stash just to be sure I didn’t have anything left of that denim…

… and behold! A decent sized piece! Just enough to cut out a new upper part of a back leg! *cue choir and light shining down on me*

So the lesson here: don’t choose jeans as a project to take your mind off something else. Choose an easy no-fail project. The goal is to make you feel better, not to challenge yourself while you’re not at your best. Also, the sewing community rocks, in good times and bad. And of course, pay attention when you cut fabric single layer. Ugh.

What’s your biggest sewing fail? How did you handle it?

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  1. Funny story! Just what I need at the moment, everyday life funny stories, to cheer us up after this horrible weekend. We will go on, no matter what happens next! Otherwise they’ll win.

  2. Oh, thank you for posting this. made me smile – not much does that since the last few days. The shadow extends to those of us that are not so geographically close to Paris as you guys.
    I am so glad you managed to dig up another piece to save your jeans.

  3. Thick denim and thin silk are the biggest struggle for me. Especially, when I sew them one after another on my home sewing machine (I sometimes feel like my sewing machine is just like a human being – gets used to one fabric and doesn’t want to sew anything else for me))). However, I have no problems with it when I use an industrial machine – it presses all fabric’s layers just perfect, and move them smoothly under its foot. I wish I could have more time to sew for myself in the studio ))

    What is happening how is literally shocking me, especially when it is happening in a neighbourhood country, where I love spend my vacation days so much (I live in Germany).

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