crazy mistakes and some tips

You might think that everything I sew turns out pretty great and that every project goes smoothly, well, think again.  Some projects do go really well and as planned, and I love that.  But that’s not real life.  So don’t ever get down on yourself if something you try to make doesn’t turn out as planned, it happens to me, to everyone.  I sat down the other night to make myself a tiny pocket tank by grainline studios the other night.

It didn’t go well.  And there were warning signals that as I look back, kept dinging in my head.  But I thought I was doing okay, everything seemed pretty smooth.  Then I finished and went to try it on and, ugh, looked horrible.  And I mean horrible!  At first I thought maybe I just picked the wrong size, but as I fiddled with it in front of the mirror I realized my problem.  In the first step, when you sew the bust darts, I totally messed up.  So from there on it was like a train wreck.  So I’m turning this into a few tips for you!  Great, huh?  This applies to any kind of sewing, not just this pattern (because it was and is really awesome, you should check it out!).

1.  Read and follow directions, note all pattern markings.  Here’s where I screwed up the most, I jumped in didn’t read the directions, forgot to look at the pattern markings for the darts and jumped right in.  Be sure to look things over, it’ll be well worth your time!

2. If something doesn’t feel right to you or look right, you’re probably right, go with your gut.  Once again, I tried up the tank after I sewed up the darts, thought they looked kind of pointy and too generous, but I just brushed it off, against my gut feeling.  So if something doesn’t seem right, double check, re-read the directions.

3.  If you’re sewing a garment, try it on as you go.  No rules here, just try it on, even if you don’t have the facings finished or sleeves attached, just give it a quick try, look in the mirror.  You’d be surprised at what you might catch.

4.  Up late?  Frustrated and tired usually doesn’t make for good decisions.  If you’re not feeling it, pack it away for the night, you’d be surprised what good rest will do.  After I realized what I had done, I chose to sleep on it and fix it the next day, I ripped many seams and re-sewed almost the whole tank.  I was able to at least save the project, not exactly as I had hoped, but it’s wearable and I’m happy.

Hope that helps!  Sewing for yourself can be really rewarding.  ♥

26 thoughts on “crazy mistakes and some tips

  1. Grandma G says:

    Love your honesty! And yeah, I’ve been there a time or ten. Even very recently. 😉 Great advice!

  2. Jeni says:

    Yep, been there done that! It turned out so cute!

    I totally live by the no complicated sewing or cutting at night! 🙂

  3. Poppyprint says:

    And this is why I don’t make clothes. I’ve had some spectacular duds and can’t make myself try again! I wouldn’t know how to fix the mistakes. I think a garment making class might help. I’ve had the Schoolhouse tunic pattern for almost 3 years and not enough nerve to try!

  4. Kelly O. says:

    that is so SEW frustrationg!!
    I have determined that there are no quick projects for me–that is when I screw up–totally!

  5. Jessica says:

    Such a great post Anna. I very often break rule #4 because it’s often the best time alone for me to sew, but I do tend to make stupid decisions. Your saved tank is great!

  6. Sew Spoiled says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Kayanna says:

    Yup, I’ve made all of these mistakes and more, haha! Your tank turned out super cute and I’m planning on making myself a bunch of these for the summer. Thanks for being “real”, it’s nice to know that everyone else has the same “duh” moments sometimes! 🙂

  8. Carolyn says:

    So true! I think I’ve made every one of those mistakes 🙂

  9. i have made all of these too, on more then one occasion! Thank you for sharing some tips, I need to print these out and post by my machine as a reminder!

    cute top anyways!

  10. QuiltyGirl says:

    Ah, I’ve had several of these nights lately. Always when I’m trying to make clothing for myself. (Maybe I should take a hint!)
    I’m almost embarrassed to admit, but I had major issues with the Tova top!! It ended up SOO small. I still don’t know where I went wrong (it ended up as a tunic for Addy after I took it in by just 1″!!). I thought I printed the pieces wrong, but I very carefully reprinted and they are the same size. So I’m holding off on trying it again-using some special double gauze for the first attempt has left me hesitant. 😛 (Gee, maybe I should make a muslin. Ha!)

  11. Oh my, the list of things I could add to crazy mistakes! I don’t do any machine sewing after 9:00 pm. I’ve been up too long and I just get sloppy. Sleeping on it is a great idea!

  12. Sew Much Ado says:

    I like this post, I think we can all relate! And the tips are all reminders that I definitely need! Late night sewing is always a bad idea for me, but somehow it hasn’t stopped me yet, hehe.

  13. Debbie says:

    It’s reassuring to hear of mistakes from great sewists like you. We’ve all made them.

  14. Love this post…when using patterns I often forget to “trust my gut” and the regret it. Plus sewing late, and tired….I do it all the time…and regret that as well.

  15. Kelly says:

    So good to know it’s not just me that makes mistakes.
    Great top & gorgeous fabric xxx

  16. Katy Cameron says:

    Nightmare moment! Glad you were able to fix it anyway :o)

  17. ~ko says:

    Thank you for all the tips! Im super new to garment sewing and hopefully this will help me dodge a few bullets or at least not be so discouraged from the get-go! Thank you!

  18. Good save, Anna. And good post too =)

  19. kristin says:

    I usually sew late at night too – sometimes it works well, sometimes I make stupid mistakes and then stab myself with the seam ripper. Your tank turned out so cute, though! Love that voile for garments.

  20. Sara says:

    I wrote very similar post this morning! Two serger mishaps in a very short time period…
    Sewing while tired is never a good idea!

  21. Ruth says:

    Great tips – I’m hoping to jump into the worls of garment sewing a little bit when we get our house move out of the way. I’ll have to bookmark these tips to look back on when I do! x

  22. Rae says:

    SO. TRUE. Love these tips!!

  23. Adorei seu blog. Seus trabalhos são lindos! Já estou te seguindo!

    Se quiser me conhecer,


  24. klaartje says:

    Since I saw this post, i’m searching EVERYWHERE for this lovely fabric! Still without results! So if anyone saw it, anywhere, LET ME KNOW!:d

  25. Anna says:

    Hi Klaartje,
    it’s a voile by Anna Maria Horner, called Shattered, from her Innocent Crush collection

  26. jules says:

    just wondered if anybody can help altered a dress with a tulle skirt and i have pulled the tulle skirt quiet badly is there a tip for getting these pulls out

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