Monday, November 14, 2011


Today's post is a follow up on yesterday's bit of wisdom. It was prompted by the lovely Susan Tiner from Style Made by Hand. In her latest post she discussed her sewing misfortunes. Which got me thinking how many times do we really share our failures with people. And I don't just mean on blogs, but everyday life too.
So here is a brief list of some of my recorded sewing failures:

1. The dress that wasn't meant to be
My first attempt at drafting patterns was a huge flop, In April I attempted to turn a pattern for a top into a dress. It was all sorts of wrong. Lessons learned: I need much more than a French curve to make a successful pattern alteration.
Admitting defeat, I cut off the excess fabric and turned it into a completely wearable top.

I talk with my hands ;-)

2. Old world pants
Inspired by so many period films from the 30s (Poirot) I so wanted a pair of flowy, flared pants. I finally came across this one from a German issue of Simplicity patterns.

Simplicity 02/2011

Two metres of fabric and about 4 days of slow paced sewing and I'd be Amelia  Earhart (minus the plane and the leather jacket). Well, that one kind of didn't turn out as planned. At all!

I so totally powdered my nose for this pic!

3. Kaftan dress
From day one this dress was one disaster after another. First, I traced the wrong pattern pieces for the front and back which resulted in a hasty fabric shopping expedition.

After that it seemed like smooth sailing until came the inserting of the placket:
Look closely and you'll see that I've botched it up completely. The placket pieces were supposed to line up with the top one covering the bottom one. I considered re-doing it but sweet Mr. C said he thought this was completely intentional and looked great! I choose to believe him, after all no one's noticed so far and it would take three hours of intense work to correct this mistake.

4. Baking
As far as my (mis)adventures in the kitchen go I'm taking a cue form Angela Liddon, a vegan food blogger who has a regular post series on her kitchen disasters and recipes that flopped. Below is my Red Velvet cake based on this recipe from Pinch My Salt.

It's definitely yummy and moist and in all aspect a wonderful cake. It's just that it does look very shabby and that's why I never serve it to any of our guests.


  1. awww...failure is such a strong word! I rather call them trial and error :-) Sometimes mistakes can turn into masterpiece. For example, your top. I love it more as a top than a dress!

  2. The top and the black/white dress look totally ok to me.
    The cake, if it tastes good, what the heck. Hey, perhaps you could serve it in those small dessert bowls for guests, nobody would pay attention to the form of the cake. And, good for you for taking these challenges in the first place!!

  3. It's good to know my failures inspire others :).

    As for your top, your story serves as a cautionary tale. The top I'm currently making seems like a good candidate for being converted to a dress, but maybe not. I assumed I could just lengthen it, add a back zipper, then have Martin pin darts where it seems like they ought to go and voila, a dress! Obviously I'd better try this in muslin first, not silk.

    I love your black and white dress and agree with Mr. C.

    Do you think you might have saved the top dress idea if you'd added darts?

  4. Crafter's Delights: Yes failure is a strong word but sometimes I feel the need to not sugar coat it especially since I associate failure as part of the learning curve.

    Mette: I've been thinking of making cup cakes or serve cake with ice-cream or something. As for the rest, I don't mind giving my best and failing, there's usually a lesson attached to the outcome. I only hate it when I know I've been hasty or sloppy with my sewing and expecting it will somehow result in a wonderful piece of clothing.

    Susan: Darts wouldn't have saved it. I started by tracing the top pattern and slowly flaring it out using french curve. The end result was a dress that was way too tight in the midsection from belly button to hips and then it sort of slung down lifelessly. I've been going over this and I was thinking that maybe I should have gone a size up in the original pattern and then redraft. As a top it looks fine, slightly figure hugging, as a dress I looked like I was on a bobsled team.

  5. I sometimes think we are so afraid of our image not being perfect - that we sometimes try to live up to our selves. Well, that´s terrible and I salute you. I loved this post - and your Erhart trousers really made me laugh. In a good way!!!! You have a lot of courage - and I would like a bite of that cake!!!

  6. Flowermouse: Thanks :-) I try to portrait a realistic picture of myself on my blog including goofy pics. I do have periods of time when I'm feeling vulnerable or lack self-confidence, not taking myself too seriously has helped tremendously.

  7. I saw you wearing the black/white dress in an early post as I said at the time you looked great in are too hard on yourself at times (smile)....

    You look slim in the top photo,but think the trousers do you no favours.Ida

  8. ida: Under Mr. C's kind and patient tutelage I'm learning to be more relaxed and not so strict. This post was a behind the scenes peek into the my sewing adventures. More people should do that, I think. The pants were definitely a disaster and they've immediately been consigned to the scrap pile. As always, love your profile photo!