Tag Archives: failure

Wads of wadders.

Wadders can be cute, too.

I’ve been trying to make myself into a better skeptic, the last few years. Critical thinking and all that. Evidence. So generally, I’m skeptical of the idea of curses.

But right now, dear readers, my (admittedly anecdotal) evidence is that drapey, clingy, stretchy red jersey is, indeed, cursed. This is the second piece I’ve thoroughly demolished (the first was briefly figured here, which top never really grew on me, and the one I made from the rest of that piece was so horrific it never even got blogged.)

So, this is not my favourite kind of knit. But it is one I’ve successfully worked with on occasion. My cowl-neck shirt, for one. My friggin tunic top I made the pattern for, for another. The slinky maxi fabric I used just recently was a little beefier, but not much.

So why did this fabric defeat me so?

Closeup. Aieee.

Partly, I guess, the answer is laziness. What I wanted was a quick knit top to whip up in the hour or so I had before bed. And to trial Jalie 2788, the twist top. Not so much for it’s own sake (although it’s cute), but because what I *really* want to make is a cute dress like this Burda one, but I don’t want to pay five bucks for a download pattern when I already have a twist-front pattern on hand. Albeit  a slightly different twist, but anyway. Yes, I’m a cheapskate. Anyway, because I wanted quick, (and I had cut out the shirt before and tossed the scraps) I didn’t want to sit around practicing neckline finishes.

(More blog shoes)

Sometimes, I manage to get away with this kind of half-assery. Just, not this time. The pattern suggests folding over and topstitching. I first attempted to do this straight; Not going to happen. Cut that off,  put on my usual binding, but it was fiddly and wound up stretched not enough in some spots, too much in others. And I think it’s really a bit heavy for this style of top.. Then decided to use Steam a Seam for the arms and hems. This worked much better, and is what I should’ve done for the neck, too.Why didn’t I? Well, partly because I’ve run out of (or misplaced) my Steam a Seam strip/roll, so all I have left is the wide stuff for applique, and I get really tired of just cutting little slices off of it. I need to get another twin-needle for topstitching, too.

Back view. Could use more swayback adjustment.

And then when I got it to try-on stage, it was too big—baggy and saggy in unflattering ways. The measurements for my size are, seriously, *perfect*—the only alteration I made was to add a little swayback adjustment, since there’s already a back seam. But, the fabric is pretty darn stretchy, so I’m going to blame that on the fabric. So I took it in a couple cm on each side and at the shoulder seam. Now the length to the bust is pretty good, and things are a lot less saggy-baggy except right around the neck binding,  Except apparently I should’ve kept the ease below the waist, because AIEE that is too tight to be flattering. Not my best area, there, upper hips and lower belly. /sigh. Must work on that, soon.

And then I tried to make panties, from a pattern traced off one of my fave pair of boy-cuts, from the remnant

Undies. Fail.

Also fail. Partly for shoddy construction, but mostly because this elastic, which I bought more for its cuteness than any practical plans, is not nearly stretchy enough.

Just for the record, this is probably the third pair of underwear I’ve attempted that didn’t end up wearable.

I’m going to bed now.



Filed under Sewing

Lydia FAIL

Drunk on the success of my first tank top, I was eager to press ahead and try a knit shirt with set-in sleeves! Bravely I downloaded the Lydia pattern from Burdastyle (my first paid download from there, by the way. I know, $1, big spender). I was a little surprised to find that the pieces for this close-fitting top were each more than an inch wider than my pattern for my tank top (even in a size 32… and I’m normally a size 36). I set out to narrow these pieces by the required amounts, figuring I would just move the folded edge over and adjust the necklines. I also compared the length of the sleeve to the length of my arm; it appeared that it might actually be long enough.

This may have been my first mistake.

Adjustments made, I laid out my pattern pieces; had a brief panic when it appeared there wouldn’t be room for the sleeve, but managed, through the miracle of tube-knit, to fit it in with the narrow end between my bodice pieces. Hooray for a length of fabric with no edges!

I googled and blog-trawled and researched tutorials on various knit neckline bands. Finally settled on one method, cut my binding, stitched down, added clear elastic, folded over, twin-needled it in place. Tried on the bodice—fit looked good. Neckband was firm but didn’t appear overly stretched-out. The back was a little high, but nothing unwearable.

Sewed the sleeves up and examined their attachment points. Oddly, the fuller part of the sleeve was cut to the front. I thought the fuller part usually went to the back. Perhaps I had my markings wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time).

So I sewed them in on the opposite sides. This was my second mistake. But they went in nicely (knits are so nice to ease in!), and I was getting very good at feeding the clear elastic through as I sewed, giving it just enough tension to hold firm without puckering the finished seam. I am so awesome.

And then, I went to try it on again. I could have puked. I didn’t take pictures—I couldn’t bear to. I went to try and fix it as quickly as possible… of course, there was no way.

The shoulders are WAY too narrow. Like an inch too narrow. Possibly that same inch I took off? It never even occurred to me that narrowing the shoulders along with the rest of the bodice would be a problem. Which shows what an idiot I can be, I suppose. I know I have broad shoulders. I know this. What on earth would possess me to narrow the shoulder of a pattern, regardless of what I was doing to the bodice?

Beyond this, my reversal of the sleeve created a big bulge at the back shoulder seam. Presumably this is caused by some combination of the too-narrow shoulders and, I think, the pattern shoulders being too sloped for me. Broad, square shoulders. So I attempted to stitch that down.

And, for some reason a huge hump of fabric had developed at the back of my neck. I literally took a 1/2″ tuck just below the band from shoulder tip to shoulder tip. And then another one just across the shoulders.

I would call this the billiard-ball method of fitting adjustment: bouncing randomly in various directions in response to the problem presented, rather than pausing to analyze its source. The Boy does something similar when he gets lost while driving, taking random turns without ever stopping to figure out where we went wrong or how to get back on course. It’s not very helpful while driving, either.

At this point, I don’t think there’s much to do. My ridiculous tucks got it into a parody of fitting, but nothing actually wearable. Taking stitches out of knit is pretty much impossible. At best, I suppose I can cut the sleeves off and turn it into another tank-top, maybe a racerback style. This at least would let me salvage the neck banding. Alternatively, I could chop the whole top off and  make another tank-top just like my first one.

Ugh. I will take this as a sign to stop sewing for today. Tomorrow I’ll sew up a tank-top in the blue knit to redeem myself. And then I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy more practice knit, and try another Lydia. 😦


Filed under Sewing

News Flash

Patch pockets for black jeans

My topstitching still sucks.

That is all.

1 Comment

Filed under Sewing


Ah, yes. I remember this feeling now. I was feeling so good after making the girls’ jackets… /sigh.

I was trying to make my version of the “Anna top” off Burdastyle. The pattern is only available in the one size. Should be ok, I thought, her measurements aren’t THAT far off mine.

I was good. I made a muslin that confirmed (what I thought) that the shirt was, in fact, a little too small in the waist and a little too big in the bust (sigh). Also it seemed to need a major sway-back alteration (which I don’t REALLY know how to do) So I reduced t the cup size (no big deal) and did my best to figure out how to shorten the back, while also widening the whole thing (easy) a bit and the waist especially (less easy). Also the pattern has basically full-length darts which I wanted to re-draft as princess-type seams since I have had good luck with princess seams and no luck at all with darts.

And I thought I had it. I measured myself. I measured the pattern. I added movement ease. I added overlap in the front. I actually worried I’d added to much (at the underbust part, which had pretty much fit me on the original pattern). I measured again.

And then I cut it out of my “good fabric” (a remnant of black cotton with black embroidery leftover from another project, so not a huge loss, but pretty). I had pretty generous seam allowances, just in case. I pinned the waist pieces all together, just to make sure they went around me. They seemed to.

Black Anna top... only problem, it doesn't fit.

And I sewed. I sewed and I sewed and I sewed. I did hot pink topstitching (a whole nother learning curve… apparently my topstitching is worse than I thought it was). I got the gathering under the bust mostly even. I even managed, after a couple of tries, to turn neat little straps for it.

And then, once I had the straps on and the facing sewn in (its own private nightmare) I tried it on again.

It’s too small. Like, at least two inches around too small, in the whole ribs-to-waist section. I spent half the day trying to convince myself that I can probably get the extra width from the back seam allowances (which are generous, like I said), but I think that won’t even be enough.

Back to the drawing-board, I guess. Maybe my daughter will be able to fit it in a few years…


Filed under Sewing