Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Big Ol' Fail

Let's talk about failure.  I've seen a lot of it lately.

Sometimes I wonder if I bring this onto myself by diving head-first into so many projects--at any given time, I have at least one embroidery project and one sewing project going simultaneously, but more often than not, I have even more.  My attention is always very divided, and I think that's just how I work; I have to multi-task at my day job, so I'm used to splitting my time and priorities and making sure everything gets done on time.  While there's usually no deadline for my personal projects, I get bored if they linger too long.

Naturally, because I'm a bit all over the place, so is my work.  However, I can normally hide that or just push through so I don't have as many challenges.  I'm not saying my work is perfect; the opposite is true, because my thread and bobbin rarely match at the end of a project, my invisible zippers never align at the top, and my buttonholes are a crazy-ass mess.  But I can hide things with a pretty fabric or a cardigan thrown over and no one notices.

This past weekend, however, the fails started rolling in, and apparently, they're sticking around for a while.

I cut out a ton of the Michelle Patterns Basic Wallets a couple months ago.  I could use a fat quarter for each and the only notion besides thread and interfacing was some magnetic snaps.  I thought it sounded great and easy and I'd be able to sell them quickly.

I finally sat down to make these Friday afternoon.  I used a heavyweight fusible interfacing, I Googled how to insert the magnetic snaps, and I was off.  Except they all look like shit.

Those are just a few of the ones I made.  As you can see, a couple are wonky and none have wonderful topstitching.  I'm guessing this is because I used a magnetic snap instead of Velcro, which I thought would be a great substitute but apparently not.  So now I'm sitting on all these crappy little wallets that will never sell.  What a waste of fabric!

I also have been trying to work through my stash, so I set out to cut two Simplicity 2209s from a couple prints I've had.  I've made this dress before, I think the fit is great, and it works really well for the office.  I cut out the first one from a Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley print--a navy basketweave which will translate well with tights and a sweater in the winter.  I also have been itching to use my Anna Maria Horner Summer Totem print I picked up from Cinnamon's in Jacksonville last Christmas.  It's so summery and bright--I was afraid the print would be too much, but I got a lot of support on Instagram, so I stopped hesitating and just did it.  I laid everything out twice, making sure I'd be able to fit both bodice pieces and both skirt pieces (I could finish the bodice with bias tape if I needed to).  I still don't know what happened, but when it came time to cut the skirts, this was in my way:

Kind of a crap picture, but I was over it.  That's the top of the front bodice, taking about four inches of room off the skirt fabric.  Well, that's just fantastic.  It was already a tight squeeze, and being a one-way directional, this just wasn't going to happen.

Do I scrap it or keep going?  I couldn't decide.  I think I spent 30 minutes folding and re-folding, moving the pieces around, shortening the skirt--just trying to make it work.  It wasn't happening.  My plan had failed and I felt like an idiot. 

In the end, I ordered another yard from Hawthorne Threads--that should be enough for one of the skirt pieces and I'll cut the other one out of the messed up fabric.  

It's just so frustrating to have high hopes and big plans and see them crash right in front of you.  I'm certainly no stranger to this kind of heartbreak, but it's still disappointing each and every time.  You always think you've learned!

How do you deal with your failures?  And is that too harsh of a word?  I wanted to use "challenges" but let's keep it real, folks.


  1. What a bummer that your sewing projects didn't come out as you expected.
    Perhaps you should take a break from sewing and do some stitching/embroidery, just a small pattern so you can complete it in a couple of hours. Once done sip on a cup of your fav. drink and admire your creation maybe that will give you the boost you need to tackle your sewing projects again ;-).
    (PS= just recently found your blog. Very nice projects and posts!)

    1. I think some hand embroidery was exactly what I needed--I miss my sewing machine and can't wait to get back into the swing of things! Sometimes you just make a lot of mistakes all at once, and it can just be so discouraging.

      Thanks for the kind words and thanks for visiting!!


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