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Adventures in amateur sewing

Dog blouse with ties

Top mistakes: My sporadic sewing

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Patterns: 

  • Rhapsody Blouse (bishop sleeves) by Love Notions
  • Vogue V8670 (view D)

This year has been pretty crazy for me so far. It started with me losing my job unexpectedly, then moved on to a big move and a new co-habitation situation with my significant other. All of this occurring while I was training hard and accomplishing my major running goals and then finally shifted to me getting a new job and trying to find some normalcy and a regular schedule for my life. With all these changes taking place in a fairly short period of time, I saw my planned and unfinished sewing projects piling up. Whenever I found myself with a pocket of free time, I would try to hurriedly work on these. Unfortunately these rushed blocks of productivity lead to some large, unplanned mistakes.

Doggone it! It’s upside down!Rhapsody blouse

I had the perfect project in mind – a garment I really wanted ready for this spring. It was one of the Rhapsody Blouse options from Love Notions. The fabric I wanted to use was this very soft, almost gauzy, cotton that had this really cute dog print pattern on it. I bought it thinking it would be cute for some kids clothes, but since I don’t have any kids, I decided I liked the material too much to not keep it for myself. I cut the project out in between packing my stuff for my move. I even attempted to make a small amount of bias tape with the leftover fabric I had (it wasn’t much), but that didn’t seem to work right. I’m not sure if the material was too stretchy, but the shape wasn’t right when I tried to use this method.

Trying to make bias tape

Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on here either. This is what happens when you attempt a new trick at the end of a long evening.

This project was actually a quick sew, so one day post move I dusted off my serger and went to work. I worked fast putting all the pieces together. When I put it up on the dummy to see my progress, that is when I noticed it…

Dog Blouse

Such a rookie mistake! I didn’t pay attention when cutting this printed fabric.

I had cut the shirt completely upside down. All the dogs were on their head.

I couldn’t believe I had made such a big mistake, but I was trying too hard to get the blouse cut out before the big move. Since I hadn’t done a project with a real print in awhile, it didn’t even cross my mind to make sure this was right. I was concentrating too hard on making sure I could fit all the pattern pieces and that I had measured the right size for me. Oh well, at this point I was still going to finish the blouse. It would just be a bit quirky.

Sleeves on dog blouse

One good point is that because I chose the elastic sleeves, it tends to hide some imperfections that exist in the sleeve hem.

Luckily the rest of the construction went very well, even making the bias tape, which I was also a bit rusty at. In the end, I had a nice spring blouse…although it was now summer and too hot to wear it. It’s still light enough to wear on a cool summer evening…and there is always next year.

Dog Blouse

What the…buttons?

The next project I attempted was a solid color fabric so there was no way I was going to make that mistake again. This was a simple knit top, so I thought everything was going to be very straight forward. I liked the look of the buttons in view D of the Vogue pattern, thinking it would give it a different look that I could dress up or down. However, as this happens with most Big 4 patterns, I got lost in the directions. Somehow putting together the neckline and the button panel were very confusing and I ended up having to make it up with some trial and error. I also noticed the buttons I bought for this were a bit too big and I was unable to put two buttons on the collar as the pattern showed. Add in complications with trying to make buttonholes on a knit fabric (my own personal hell) and then having everything line up…well let’s just say that I had to redo this multiple times. I finally had to stop because I knew I would just end up destroying the fabric.

Buttons on shirt

Close up it looks pretty crooked, but nothings perfect right?

What resulted is…a passable shirt that I can wear to work. However, it is not exactly what the picture intended it to be.

Navy blue knit top

Deal with it

These mistakes really got to me and I think it’s because I have been doing a lot of reflecting as I focused on my latest job search. When I lost my job, I couldn’t help feel like I had done something really wrong. If only I never made a mistake, I could have avoided problems that came my way. It’s hard to not get down on yourself and keep your confidence up when you fail at something you feel like you should have succeeded at. My reflections on this subject have boiled down to this – I took a chance on something that was risky and it didn’t work out. I’m not perfect and I never will be. But if I never made the mistake, I would never have learned anything. I know how to overcome a failure, I’ve done it many times. Each time I have failed, I have come out the other side smarter, stronger and able to accomplish more of my goals. In the same way these tops are imperfect, they remind me how I am still an excellent problem solver who can get things done when needed. I take all this to my new job, which now has the benefit of employing the best version of me yet.

But man, those damn buttons…

Author: qplourde

I'm not sure why I have to describe myself so much.

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