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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > I always screw up at the very end. ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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I always screw up at the very end.
What am I doing wrong?
solveg
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solveg  Friend of PR
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MN USA
Member since 2/16/12
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Date: 2/24/13 3:03 PM

I spend a lot* of time on fabric prep and pattern drafting. I will adjust a seam 1/4" even if it means a half hour of seam ripping. I make as many muslins as it takes before I use my good fabric. Until the very end, I am proud. Everything is going beautifully. I think I may be making the best thing I've ever owned. Then, at the very end, I do something to screw it up.


Project 1: shirt. It was too long, I shortened it too much. Had only enough for a tiny hem, which I messed up with a horrible first attempt at the blind hem stitch.

Project 2: wrap skirt. Easy peasy. Last thing to do was a buttonhole, which got totally, fantastically messed up. Put fasteners on instead.

Project 3: short skirt. Decided to use decorative elastic as the waistband. Too wide. Cut it in half. Too wide. Cut it in half. Too narrow.

Project 4: Robe. This actually went OK.

Project 5: sleeveless shirt. Made an all-in-one facing even though the pattern called for separate facings. I thought it turned out OK. I trimmed the seams. Then I found out, as I was hand sewing the little gaps on the armhole, that I needed to turn the shoulder under in those spots. Ragged fabric, looks like the dog sewed it.
Hemmed it with seam tape (to avoid previous problem) but the seam tape had an almost unnoticeable amount of stretch to it, so now my hem is slightly puckered. On the bright side, my blind hem stitch didn't wander all over the shirt.

It is such a heartbreak to be doing so well until the very end (although you could certainly make the argument with the last shirt that I obviously DIDN'T do well from the point where I sewed and trimmed the shoulder seams.)

I do not sew when I'm tired. I am not in a hurry. I am reading instructions and trying my best. The patterns should be easy for me. The fabric is cotton or linen. Any advice?

-- Edited on 2/24/13 3:06 PM --

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/24/13 3:23 PM

We've all done those things, and most of us have done them really recently! Don't give up. Sometimes I put things aside before the last step and wait awhile until I've had some time to relax about it. I'll move on to another project and let the other thing sit on the shelf until I feel like I'm really ready to tackle it. There's something about the last step that brings on mental stress that is just hard to get over.

------
Debbie

jadamo00
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jadamo00
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Date: 2/24/13 3:36 PM

Take notes from your favorite clothes. WRITE them down! Your favorite shirt: write down how long it is from armpit to hem, etc.

It'll help!

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/24/13 4:40 PM

Keep notes of what you should have done:

Measure twice and cut once (length and width).

Test new techniques (blind hem and buttonhole). Each may be different depending on the fabric and interfacing).

Follow the pattern instructions (piece the facing if that is what is recommended).

Hopefully this will be a very short list that can soon be discarded.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/24/13 5:51 PM

I certainly have done most of those things.
So, even though you think these things are messed up, you learned something and it sounds like you were able to salvage most of those projects. Keep on sewing. Change the way you are thinking about your sewing by focusing on the successes. Stick with patterns that will help you perfect the basics. Most things go together in the same way or at least a similar way. What you learn in one project will help you in the next. Eventually you will find yourself putting something together with little effort but it will take awhile to get to that point. Of the 5 things you did, is there one that you really wanted to work? I would go back and do it again just to prove to myself that I can and maybe this time out of nice material.
Sewing is alot of trial and error but it does get easier with practice.

carry
carry
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Date: 2/24/13 6:01 PM

After many years of sewing I still will screw up something on just about everything.Either its messing up on the alterations to the pattern,a seam not quite straight,or just a really bad pattern.But this is how you learn. Painful after all your work but the next time you won't make that mistake.Until you can have more confidence you shouldn't innovate too much with the pattern design.Also develop your hand sewing skills,i.e. hemming, hand worked buttonholes,picked stitch zipper applications,tacking. I am of the theory that the smallest amount of time for a project is actually spent at the sewing machine,most of the time is spent in fabric and fitting prep,cutting and hand finish.I really am not trying to duplicate a factory made garment. When I sew something it is because I can make it with fine finishes and couture touches that fits my tastes and body measurements not just something that will have to do because I can't find something better. I have never had a a big clothing budget but the value of what I make easily could be tripled in a commercial setting because the materials are not synthetics and the workman,ship superior. I hope you patiently keep trying because that will increase your knowledge.

solveg
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solveg  Friend of PR
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MN USA
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Date: 2/24/13 6:06 PM

Yes, If I practice before I sew, I know it will be better. That seems to be the thing I have the least patience for, ironically. But I will do it.

And It's true. If I stick to the pattern, it will go better (but in my defense, I'm trying to make these Kwik-start patterns more wearable, or not quite so plain. I know I will not wear something I not only have to iron, but have to shove facings back into the shirt constantly.) But maybe I'll stick to the pattern the first time and once I've done it successfully, I will improvise.

I have to stop myself from cutting the bottom of my projects. I keep forgetting to allow enough to do the hem right. It's just one airhead hem after another. And the ironic thing is that I always allow a few extra inches!!!!!

I guess maybe I'll make the shirt again right away, while it's fresh in my mind.


-- Edited on 2/24/13 6:09 PM --

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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Date: 2/24/13 6:16 PM

This is how we learn. I have been sewing over fifty years now and can't tell you how many and how recently I have been at the cursing end of buttonhole. I get to the end of a garment and the anxiety sets in. Will I get that buttonhole right? Will my zip make a bubble? You are not alone. The best preventer of all this drama is to make samples as much as possible. You say you don't like this but are you enjoying your sewing when it comes out unsatisfactorily? I suspect not. Make samples for every buttonhole you plan to do out of the same fabrics and layers. Make samples of blind hem stitching, etc. Keep these samples in a box. Label them, the ones that look really good, with the needle used, stitch length, tension setting, etc. Use a sharpie to actually write on the sample. Every time a scary technique comes up, review your samples in the box, make a new one with the newest fabric and proceed. That sample box will build your confidence. It's also a fun way to work your way thru a rainy afternoon. Good luck. You are not first nor the last to experience this.

------
http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

PattyE
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PattyE  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/24/13 6:19 PM

Don't beat yourself up about it...we've all done all those things.
I think sometimes I get a little antsy when I'm close to finishing something, maybe excited about the next project, and then my hems end up not looking as good as they should.

sewme47
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sewme47
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Date: 2/24/13 7:19 PM

Solveg, I can't tell you how many failures and wadders I've had over the years, and it's heartbreaking when disaster strikes at the end. Buttonholes were the death of a lovely blouse I was trying to sew for DD for Christmas. It happens.

In addition to the excellent tips offered here by others, try making several garments from the same pattern. Cut and sew them one after another, not simultaneously. That way, everything you learn from the preceding project benefits the next.

We often learn by making mistakes, so your efforts are not in vain! Keep trying.

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

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