Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Reflection on a year of sewing.. I am still not very good at it.

As I prepare for my "100th post, about a year since starting a blog, at the end of 2011 and around 50 followers" post round up, I have to say that this year has definitely been a year of errors. Pretty much the first thing I did with my new sewing machine was put the needle in and wedge my finger somehow under the feeddogs with the needle embedded in it, with the only resource pushing it in much further so I could get the right angle to get it out. Ow. Since then I have proved I have a talent for cutting the wrong bit off things, cutting out small pattern pieces from the middle of bigger ones (when I had no spare fabric to fix it of course) and my personal and ongoing favourite, sewing the front of something to the back that I've accidentally got caught underneath. I misread instructions, don't measure the grain-lines, melt my non fusible interfacing trying to make it stick to things, forget to plug the iron in and think its broken, insist on doing everything in half the time it ought to take and forget if I have included seam allowances. But still, I thought I was halfway competent, until last night.. I am making my flatmates a skirt each for Christmas, and I had rattled through most of an orange pencil skirt for Lindsey and needed her to try it on to see if it fit. I therefore threw in the zip, with remarkable ease and pretty straight for a first try. I was quite pleased. Until she tried to try it on. I had sewed the zip in UPSIDE DOWN. with the pull at the bottom and the unopenable bit at the waist. Brilliant. Sometimes the mind just boggles.

Luckily the thing needed taking out a bit anyway as I hadn't added enough ease for her to sit down properly, so I would have had to re-do it anyway. No harm done. Except to my ego and view of myself as a person with 2 braincells to rub together!

Despite all these flaws and idiocies and mistakes, I still love sewing, and working out how to make things fit together and fit people. One of the things Hannah took away from our recent sewing lesson was that most mistakes are fixable, and teach you something, and I really like that about sewing (though I am not sure what I have learned form the zip incident, except not to be a numpty!).

Even with all my mistakes, I am still very unafraid to sew and try new things. Maybe it is because of them-I can clearly mess up something up if I have done it 30 times just as easily as something new! Some times new stuff is tricky and you aren't sure about the end result, like FBAs (I still can't get the flat pattern versions to work properly) and others it is glorious and brilliant, like my bias strip maker! Last night after my depressing zip low point, I had a fun high from trying my first self covered buttons! A bit fiddly getting the material to hook on but then they just clicked in and looked like proper buttons - awesome!

How about you guys-do you find that the mistakes make you question your sanity? or spur you on to learn more?


  1. You can do it! It can be tricky with mistake after mistake, but at least some of them make for funny stories down the road. Last year I thought it would be a good idea to iron the wrinkles out of my fusible interfacing and I ended up fusing it to the ironing board. Man, that was dumb! And I occasionally still sew the wrong side of a skirt piece to the right side of another because I wasn't paying attention. Have a Merry Christmas and here's to lots more sewing in the new year, mistakes and all! :)

  2. hey! I think we can all relate... :-)

  3. Aww! I wish I could say it gets better (it does, kinda...), but I just totally flubbed up on a present for my daughter and now I'm terrified to move forward on the next one (for my mom). /sigh.

    I remember once several years back trying to sew a velvet table runner. Straight edges. No easing, no shaping. And I COULD NOT keep it from creeping all around. I seriously was ready to hand in my sewing machine. I ended up calling my mom (probably in tears) and she suggested I hand-baste the whole thing. I nearly killed myself, but it worked.

    I'm still terrified of velvet, though...

  4. I sew for my pleasure, I talk, watch movies, listen to music whilst singing. I make a lot of mistakes! Its fine with me now, but late last year I thought of giving up sewing as I wasn't fast & I kept making simple mistakes again & again, but then I realised how much joy I get out of it, and that I just need to take my time & contrate. :) Happy 2012!

  5. Thanks for all the support! I now have about 15 things to finish this months.. nothing like deadline!