Top 5 Misses of 2013

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

I really thought I didn’t have many misses this year.. but oh, boy, I do! The thing is, I’m not sad or disappointed by any of these things… just philosophically interested that they didn’t work out that way I thought! 

Bring on the fails! (In no particular order…) 

1. Grainline Hemlock Tee in the wrong fabric

Back in the summer, Leila, Heather and I decided to all try the free Hemlock tee pattern by Grainline… and their tops turned out beautifully! Mine however… UGH! 


Some combination of the stripes, the textures crinkle kersey, the lack of drape, and the boring colour made this one of the least attractive things I’ve sewn. So much so that I promptly chopped it up and made a kimono tee instead! 


I’ve worn it a bit in this new form… but the colour still turns me off. Boooring!!!!! I haven’t gone back to try Hemlock again… I think the  Scout tee also from Grainline works better with my shape! (After all, It made my Top 5 list!) 

2. Sharpied Skirt

Would you believe that this skirt has never once been worn? It is lacking a button, and hangs sadly in my closet! 

Sharpie'd A-Line Skirt

It’s made from Ikea fabric, and some of the polka dots are coloured in with Sharpie. I still love the concept… and I think I’d like wearing it… just somehow I haven’t! It’s a total knock-off of a skirt that Jen from Grainline made herself… and her’s made her Top 5 list, which has motivated me to give mine a chance to shine! I hereby promise to put a damn button it soon! 

3. Baggy Jeans!

In August I had a wonderful time repressing my anxiety about the new school year by sewing an entire fall wardrobe. The sewing process was really helpful and positive.. but the clothes themselves have barely been worn! In addition to the Sharpied skirt above, I also made simple jeans which both turned out to be too baggy and rarely worn: 

Fall Wardrobe Plan

I made these ones with fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics (bought with a birthday gift certificate from my dear sister Anne, in the bottom right of the pic!) I had so much fun trying out top-stitching for the first time… but this was during the phase where I was mistakenly adding too much ease to my pants pattern, and they came out totally baggy! I took them in a bit along the inner seam later on, but because of all the topstitching I couldn’t get them slim enough. I’m going to give them away soon! 

4. Sewcial Bee Top: Never once worn!

Back in the August Sewcial Bee, I made this: 


…and never wore it. It’s the fabric fault – too thin and no drape. I had fun making it though – I pleated the wide white stripes to make them narrower at the shoulders, and released the pleats to try making a flutter sleeve effect… it didn’t really work. Oh well – It was cheap fabric, and I had fun making it! 

5. Hummingbird Skirt

Now, I’ve made and loved a lot of versions of this skirt – it’s a brilliant pattern, and you all should try it! But I made this piped denim version thinking it would be a perfect wardrobe basic that would match everything.. .and instead, i’ve never once made an outfit with it that I liked! 

Hummingbird Denim SkirtI blame the piping… it’s cute, it’s fun, I love my other piped version… but ERMAGERD guys, it’s PASTEL!!!!! I used a striped linen with lots of colours I love, but also a lot of pastel beiges, pnks etc. Agh! Those are just not my colours. In the end, I gave it away to a better home. Next spring I’ll make a blue denim version with no piping, and I’m sure it will get more wear! 

BONUS: The most fail-iest FAIL of all!!!

In the name of being truthful and presenting a realistic version of whatt happens in my sewing room, I present you with evidence of what happens when I attempt to draft from my own block: 


Did you hear the skreetching axe-murderer music that I hear in my head when I see this? Good! I had visions of creating a cute vintage style neckline and sweet gathered skirt.. and damn, something went very, very wrong. I even tried to save it my hacking off the bodice and making just a gathered drindl skirt…

UntitledBehold a hideously unflattering skirt with the most terrible gathering technique ever. This went straight in the garbage – not even a chance of rescuing this UFO! 

There we have it: just a few of my Fails from 2013! Some of these I knew would be disasters even as I sewed them… some I thought would be staples but just didn’t work out!

To be honest though, I sew such a huge amount of things that a fail or two a month doesn’t bother me. I often make a conscious decision to sew for the process, not the product – that’s when I use sewing as a substitute for yoga or meditation.

Sometimes I feel like I *ought* to buy better fabrics, take my time, learn new techniques and get better at sewing… but right now that doesn’t fit what I need from sewing. I need creative process, I need relaxation, and I need the whir of the machine to settle my mind. The outcome is some crappy clothes sometimes, and that’s ok! 

How do YOU feel about your failed projects? 

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