Saturday, June 15, 2019

Sewing Blip or Sewing Disaster?

Have you experienced a “sewing blip”?  In case you are not familiar with that term, I will explain.  A sewing blip is different from a sewing disaster.  A sewing disaster is a project that you started and it just did not work.  No matter how much you tried, the project did not come together successfully.  So, it ended up in the trash!  A sewing blip is a project that was headed towards becoming a sewing disaster, but you managed to rescue it just before it was thrown in the trash.  It might not be exactly what you originally planned it to be, but it is a finished, useful project.

If you have never experienced either, then you probably don’t sew much.   Most avid sewers have experienced both.  I recently dealt with two projects that caused me some stress.  One is finished and the other is waiting to be ripped apart so it can go from a potential disaster to possibly a blip.

The first blip was a project that started as an effort on my part to get a friend interested in sewing clothes for herself.  She prefers to make quilts instead of clothes.  She knits and does needlepoint.   However, she has no interest in making clothes for herself.  I thought if I could offer my assistance with fitting a pattern and helping her sew an item, she would love making clothes as much as I do.  I learned a lesson from this experience.  Each of us is different.  We can have different areas of interests and still be friends.

My friend decided (with my constant urging) to sew a sweatshirt for herself.  She wanted to use fabric from her stash.  She had a piece of navy fleece and another piece of a grey, navy and red fleece print which was designed to have lines which needed to be matched in a garment.    We chose Vogue pattern V9244 and started the fitting process for the hooded sweatshirt.   While we were pin-fitting the pattern, I learned she did not like the style of the sweatshirt.  It flared out at the hipline and was longer at the sides and back.  With encouragement and help from another friend, we altered the pattern to take out the flare at the hips and shortened the hemline at the sides.  The pattern also had lined pockets that were part of the side front piece.  The front closed using buttons and buttonholes.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to make buttonholes.

The garment was cut and the front and side-front pieces were pinned together.  We noticed the print stripes did not match at the correct points between the two pieces.  We did not have enough of the grey print fabric to recut the pieces and there wasn’t enough navy blue to replace the pieces either.  Are you beginning to see a sewing disaster develop here?   I was able to get more of the navy fleece, so I knew this project could be saved.  However, my friend now had even less interest in the project than she did at the beginning.  I knew who was to blame.  Me!  There were two main reasons this project failed.   The first is I pushed her into sewing something she did not really want to sew.  The second was I overwhelmed her with that pattern.  I should have waited until we could find a simple sweatshirt with a zipper. 

Although my friend said she was done with the sweatshirt, I refused to throw it away.  Instead I placed it in a closet for several months.  Recently, I found the project and decided to try to make a wearable sweatshirt for my friend.  I replaced the side-front pieces with solid navy pieces.   No matching of lines was necessary.  I also made front pockets from the navy fleece.  When I pinned the side-front to the back, I noticed the back was too long to  attach to the side-front.  I am sure that happened when we altered the pattern to get rid of the flare at the side.  So, I cut off enough at the side of the back and gradually sloped the hem to be able to sew the back to the side-front.  A picture of the finished shirt and the pattern envelope are shown below.

This could have been a sewing disaster, but instead it turned into a sewing blip.  It did not turn out as planned but at least my friend got a sweatshirt out of the ordeal and hopefully, I retained her friendship!

I hope your sewing experiences are going well with no blips or disasters!


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