How to recover from a sewing fail....Popsicles!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

No matter what you call them.. fails, wadders, ufo's, flouders, flops or f@&kups we all have them from time to time. And because you spend so much of your time working on a garment it can be very disheartening to have it flop. How you choose to recover from that can be a cautionary tale. Mine vary from full on temper tantrums, slinging profanities that would make a sailor blush to burying my head in a tub of ice cream. Doesn't ice cream solve everything?

New Look 6097, a faux wrap dress, is one I have on my TNT pattern challenge list.  I was excited when Fabric Mart announced their sewalong and thought this was the perfect motivation to get me to finally sew it up.  I've had it stuck in my to do pile with my fabric swatch pinned to it since last Fall.  Needless to say my fabric choice has missed it's season and I really just wasn't as excited about it anymore.  I'm really trying to practice the art of "stash busting" so I refrained from buying anything new.  Even though this was a flop for me let's go ahead and do a proper review shall we?


Misses belted faux wrap dress with neckline and sleeve variations

     Pattern:  Paper pattern from The Project Runway collection.  Readily available at Joann Fabric.
                     Wait for the 99 cent sale!  
     Fabric:    Designed for stretch knits.  I used a jersey knit from Joann Fabric
     Notions:  1/4 in wide elastic, Buckle for belt
     Needle:  Ballpoint

Fitting:  The smallest size for this pattern starts at a size 10.  I fall right into that size in Simplicity and usually have little to no fitting problems.  Knits can be somewhat forgiving so I really wasn't to worried about the fitting.  I failed to remember that this is one of the Big Four and we all know that the ease in these patterns can be ridic.  The seam allowance is 3/8th and I ended up taking it in a total of 1inch and could still stand to take it in more.   You can also see I really need to shorten the waist as well probably about a good inch.


Construction:  The pattern is a breeze to construct.  I didn't get as far as attaching the elastic.  After I tried it on I was like what's the point.  My waist is too low and can you spot my saggy pockets?  I really wish I would of omitted the pockets to begin with then maybe this dress would of been salvageable.   I can understand pockets with a more stable knit but in a light weight jersey they are easily distorted and kind of flop around uncomfortably under the dress.

Here's a picture of the waist pulled up to wear it should be.  A little better but Oh God those pockets! My eyes, my eyes!!


This pattern has tons of rave reviews so I don't think I've given up on this pattern just yet.   Next time of course I will omit those pockets.  I will also shorten my waist and grade the pattern down another size.

To soothe my bruised ego I buried my head in tub of ice cream but not in the literal sense.  Popsicles more like it and in comfy pillow form!


My couch is the ugliest color of green and really needed some jazzing up.  I found this home decor fabric at Joann Fabric and it just makes me so happy and I want to lick my pillows.  I made four envelope pillows with french seams in about 3 hours.  You can find a super easy tutorial here.  


As you can see the couch gets much love....from a Pug! He's got his spot all wallered out perfect for watching and barking at passing cars.



                               Come on! Enough with the pictures already. I'm camera shy!


I've learned it tis' better and less exhausting to recover from a sewing fail by following up not with profanities and temper tantrums but with a fun, satisfying project.  Something that requires little to no brain cells and requires NO fitting! 

How do you recover from a sewing fail?  

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  1. Well I think your pick-me-up is perfect - usually I head straight for the actual icecream, after a good rant! It's a great pattern, hope it works out better next time :)

  2. I just love the last photo, my dogs sit in exactly the same sofa spot. Love the cushions, shame about the dress. What about making a top from the bodice that bit looks great when you hold it in!

  3. Karin - the-f-girl.comApril 21, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    Euhm yes, well, I rant and yell a little in my head (and sometimes out loud), contemplate throwing my machine out of the window, tell myself I'm never going to learn and then, when it's all out, I feel a bit embarred about all the drama and start over. Haha. But icecream might be a better idea next time!

  4. Very cute dog and lovely bright cushions. Perfect way to get over a sewing fail. I can thoroughly recommend McCalls 6163 which is a similar style and I have had great success with. Love your dress fabric too.

  5. Agreed on not wallowing and going for instant gratification. An absolute must!

    I love the dress. I mean knowing what needs to be fixed. It will be perfect.

    As I was reading I was thinking, "ohhh taking it in am inch will distort the wrap!" :) so the grading and the shortening and the pocket removal...yep. You should remake it right away! Love the pillows. They look scrumptious.

  6. Yes! I have that pattern and have had luck with it. I would like to try it without a collar. I know it can be done as I've seen others omit the collar but I've always confused myself when I tried to do it....not hard to do btw.

  7. I was thinking the same thing this morning. It may be just a tad short after I cut it off but I was thinking I could draft a belt to wrap around it.

  8. Awwwwwww I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! I'm one of those who loves this pattern. I guess I got lucky that the waistline hit me in the right place. About the pockets, I'm wondering if you could stabilize them with clear elastic? I did that on my neckline when I made this dress and it definitely helped.

  9. With a few changes, I think that dress will look great on you!

    And what is it with dogs sitting on top of couches?!? It's like they have all inherited the gene that makes them want to sit up there! Every dog I know loves it too haha

  10. I totally agree- I try to walk away before starting any major fires, and then work my confidence back up with an easy project. I've been known to curse, cry, throw things, and generally pitch a tantrum that would impress any toddler. It's so frustrating when things don't work out! Your pillows are suuuuper cute and a total win! Glad Vito's enjoying them!

  11. I have been looking for this pattern ever since you posted it on your TNT list.( No luck.) I have had a few frustrating moments with my projects lately too. Oh well. It can only get better! I love your cute pillows, maybe that's just the project I need!

  12. I can 100% empathize with you. I'm in that same little sewing group with Fabric Mart! I am tall and always always always need to lengthen the bodice on patterns, or else the waist is riding around my lower ribs on dresses or I'm showing belly flashes (not a good sight!) in shirts. Therefore, I went ahead and lengthened it just on principle. And... I have the exact same problem as you. The waist line is down near the hip bones, the whole thing is just too big (way to much ease) and leaning over would give a view I'd rather not. Such a good thing I had more fabric than I needed! I just cut out a new bodice - yep, marking new pleats and all - and am in the process of stitching it up. Once the skirt is attached, wow does that thing stretch! Silly me - I had even read a blog saying how this pattern was great for long-waisted gals, fit them perfectly. But did I listen? no. Any how, like you - I really do think that once I have the fitting issues down, it will be a great pattern. I think I will omit pockets also.... hmm... I had read on some reviews that people loved the pockets, so I had thought the problem was me.

    Big sigh here... I had really wanted to be done by now. My MIL is coming to town this week, so I won't be able to sew much at all. Maybe maybe I can finish it off... late at night.... thinking positive thoughts!

  13. I've got this pattern in my stash - thanks for the review! Will definitely keep the long waist in mind! And popsicles! A great remedy :)

  14. The pockets don't look as bad as you think but if you really hate them you could just hand sew them closed. The pattern of the fabric will blend them in and make them hardly noticeable. I love it tho, just as it is. And the pillows, what a great project. Pillows can change the look of the room so easily.

  15. I reckon that dress is totally salvagable, just cut it off at the waist and hack off the additional length. Then I would stitch down the pockets so they are fake and it might look ok??
    Me, with fails, I normally ball them for a while to return to them later. In the meantime I go in search of chocolate or a TNT project :)

  16. Love your popsicles! I think simple projects that are both satisfying and useful (like cushion covers! :) ) are just the ticket when dressmaking is just not going your way. It's all part of the creative process, right? :)

  17. Are you sure it's completely unsalvagable? Is there a way to get rid of the pockets without disturbing it too much? You're such a good seamstress--I'm sure you can figure something out. I completely feel your wadder pain though. My UFO pile is increasing at a rapid rate, but my Coco obsession has really helped me through slumps. Easy knits are my go-to--Lady Skater, the Just Add Jeans tops, etc
    Way to perk things up with those pillows. What a cool print. Love!!
    Best of luck. You'll bounce back in no time with a million cute things and a new New Look 6097.

  18. I've loved all your Coco's!!
    I'm actually thinking of hacking off the bodice and making it a shirt some how. I think I could just draft a band and belt for it.

  19. Good recovery, the cushions look awesome! If you took out the pockets and hacked some length off the dress, it could be a cute tunic top? Hmm I tend to have a rage, stuff the UFO somewhere in angry fit then come back to it in about a month and fix it up.

  20. I've debated on turning it into a top. I just need to leave it a while and come back to it.

  21. Thanks for showing the fail. I always get discouraged when I get on a roll of fails and feel like I am the only one! I ready other blogs and envy how everything they make turns out! Sometime I wonder what is wrong with me LOL

  22. Your welcome! I totally feel the same way too.

  23. I hope you got your dress finished!! :) Looking forward to seeing everyone's one the blog.