Uh-oh… now it’s time to think about my 2012 fails! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about misses– looking back over bad sewing projects teaches you lots about fabric choices and what works for you. I’m sure your 2013 sewing will be so much stronger for it– I know mine will!
1.) Chloe dress
This pattern is so chic, and I love the color combo that I used, but I just haven’t been able to work up the nerve to fix the massive puckering issue I had with this dress. I’ve picked it up a few times and almost gotten started, but every time I get so irritated and frustrated that I just end up setting it aside again. Lesson learned: research new fabrics BEFORE you start sewing with them to avoid problems like this in the future! Also, pay closer attention to instructions during the muslin process– I assumed that adding the binding to the armholes would make them higher, not lower. Not the case.
2.) Scout tee
Love this pattern, even though it’s not a flattering shape on me. LOVE the fabric. Together? Bad combination. I feel like I have a stiff sack hanging from my shoulders when I wear this, so it sits in my closet unworn. Lesson learned: make sure your fabric has the correct amount of drape for the project! Consider if a style is flattering on your figure before you cut into fashion fabric (don’t just say, “eh, nothing looks good in muslin!” and forge right ahead with your project)!
3.) Hazel dress
I actually wore this dress quite a bit because it’s comfortable and has pockets, so it worked pretty well for hot summer days when I was out scouting. But. I never really feel that good in it– it’s just not my style. Lesson learned: don’t make things that aren’t really your style just because you want to participate in a sewalong! This is kind of a no-brainer, but I had to learn this lesson the hard way!
4.) Banksia top
This one is a little surprising, but as much as I love this pattern and the fabric, it’s just too tight through the shoulders so I’m always afraid it’s going to rip when I’m wearing it (and it’s not very comfortable)! This is entirely my fault– I made a muslin, but for some reason got distracted before I attached the sleeves. I even cut them out, but just didn’t assemble them. I need a good 5/8″ more on each shoulder. I still wear this top often, but it feels pretty annoying to wear something that binds and pulls through the shoulders. Lesson learned: be more thorough with muslins! There’s no point in making a muslin if you’re going to rush through that process and not fit it correctly.
5.) Dixie DIY Hot Cocoa Sweater (unblogged due to my shame, sadness, and cowardice)
There are some really sweet versions of Dixie’s lovely (and free!) pattern on the ‘net. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a great shape for my figure. And it was definitely not a good shape for me when I made it with a stiff, barely-stretchy, novelty-print knit. I looked like a giant triangle, and when I removed the extra fabric on the sides that’s supposed to create a lovely drape (if your fabric has more drape than, say, a cardboard box), all that was left was a shirt that looks EXACTLY like a pajama top that I owned when I was 4 years old and I don’t have the guts to post photos of myself in it. Lesson learned: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY, DON’T BUY NOVELTY PRINTS. You aren’t going to wear something covered in hot pink hearts. And DEFINITELY don’t buy stiff, un-drape-y novelty prints. JUST SAY NO. Again, consider your figure! If you hate feeling like a rectangle, don’t make patterns with little shaping out of unforgiving, stiff fabrics. Sheesh!
So what is the main takeaway here? Slow down! Don’t just use any fabric that you have because you’re anxious to try out a pattern. And do your research ahead of time, learn about the fabric, and consider your figure before making something that looks cute on other people. Almost every one of these projects was doomed because I used the wrong fabric or didn’t resolve issues at the muslin stage. That’s really frustrating! I really like all of the patterns (except for the Hazel dress, which came together without any problems or even any alterations), so you may see some of these pop up in 2013 in a new and improved state. Let’s just count all of these as (expensive, time-consuming, tantrum-inducing) muslins.