Top five sewing fails and reflections of 2012

02Jan13

Can you have a ‘top five fails’? Or is it a ‘bottom five fails’? Anyway, here they are!

Top 5 of 2012

First up, the Death Star shirt dress. I have two reasons for this being a failure, and one is not the fault of the dress. Every time I have worn it I had a lousy day at work, and that’s become associated with the dress. That can’t be helped.

The second one’s less fixable. I used to get serious RSI. I have it under control now and very rarely get problems, but some peculiar things set it off: including pressure on my elbows from the narrow sleeves in this dress! Who would have thought it? I love the fabric but my hands have to come first.



Second failure: my first pair of shorts. There’s actually nothing wrong with these, but the zip broke and I never fixed them because the velvet shorts made from the same pattern completely displaced them in my affections. They have been lurking in my fabric box ever since. Sorry, shorts.



In third place we have the first Vogue 1250. I liked this dress right after I made it but changed my mind after wearing it to work. It’s too slinky. It lacks pockets. The style is not quite me, which is odd when you consider how similar it is to my beloved top make of 2012, Burda 116-08-2011. This dress works for everyone else in the world. Why doesn’t it work for me? I still like this photo, just not the actual dress.



And then we have two failures for the price of one: a Vogue 1250 and a Burda 117-02-2012. I mostly blame this on the fabric choice; they were both made from a red and white striped jersey that was a bit too thin and clingy. There is no photographic evidence of the striped Vogue, for which we should all be grateful. But here’s the Burda. Baaaad stripe placement on the bodice doesn’t help.

Burda 117-02-2012 stripes front view

And having seared your eyeballs with that, here are my top five sewing lessons of 2012 to (hopefully) take the taste away.

  • Fabric choice totally matters. If I’m not 100% certain about the fabric I shouldn’t sew the garment. My two biggest failures were all about the fabric, and so were quite a few of the successes.
  • If a pattern works, sew it more than once. This was the year of repeat makes: I think eleven out of 24 were repeats. It’s so nice to be able to sew something quickly without fussing about the fit!
  • You can sew buttons on by machine and they stay put. Revelation. Never again will I fear the shirt dress.
  • Clear elastic is a godsend for knits. It alone saved the neckline on my turquoise dress from stretching to my navel.
  • Change the needles on the overlocker already. Enough said.


16 Responses to “Top five sewing fails and reflections of 2012”

  1. Aww, too bad about the deathstar dress. I really liked that one. Well, mistakes are well earned lessons. That’s how I think of them anyway. :)

  2. For some reason that V1250 dress did not work very well on me either. It make my stomach look like it has a pooch. Also, I just love that striped Burda dress. I recently bought fabric to replicate it.

    • I hope yours works out! The big problem with mine was that the fabric was too thin and I felt really uncomfortable in the dress. I want to try it again if I find a better fabric, but I’ll definitely change the stripe placement on the front bodice too. Looking forward to seeing yours!

  3. If that is the worst you can do, I wouldn’t be too worried. And yes, I must change the needles on my overlocker too.

  4. Maybe you could turn the death star dress into a short-sleeved one? Wouldn’t solve the lousy day association though… And I totally love your striped burda dress!

  5. Surely there must be a causal link to the name of that dress…. death star? Yeah. But like Gail said – if this is the worst you can do, then you aren’t doing that badly at all!

  6. Just make the shirtdress a short sleeved dress, it is too pretty to leave in your closet unworn!

  7. Even your misses are awesome; it’s a shame about the first one especially – it’s so chic!! :)

  8. Its such as you read my thoughts! You seem to know so much about
    this, like you wrote the guide in it or something.
    I believe that you could do with some % to pressure the message home a bit, but instead of that, that is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  9. I too think that the lack of wadders is pretty good going. I actually like all these though I know what you mean about inappropriate / poor fabric being a killer for an otherwise good garment.

    Please do try the death star dress with short sleeves to save your hands because it would be such a shame not to wear it again for that reason. I really like that dress. Can’t think of a good way to overcome the lousy work day association on it though …

  10. Have you considered removing the sleeves on the Death Star Dress? Or making them 3/4 length? What a shame this dress didn’t work.

  11. 15 Sheree

    I also made both the vogue 1250 and the similar burda and like you, much prefer the burda. I wonder what the vogue one would look like with tights, boots and a jacket or cardigan. I am not sure if this would be your style as I am new to your blog. I actually like the red striped dress on you, but as you say the fabric is too thin, what about making it into a top. I would certainly ( if I was you) be encouraged to make it again in a different fabric. The style really suits you.
    Look forward to following your posts – Sheree ( from UK).

  12. 16 Vivienne

    I looooove the striped Burda.



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