Member since 6/18/03
Date: 10/11/05 9:06 PM
Many people in the beginner's forum -- and elsewhere -- say it's difficult to start a project because they are worried that the project will be a failure. The biggest part of this problem is that lack of confidence is self-perpetuating: we don't sew because we're not confident, and we don't gain confidence because we don't sew!
Break out of this cycle! The only way to gain confidence is to practice, and we are all going to make mistakes as we learn. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. And when they happen, don't be hard on yourself and don't despair. Look at the mistake. Work out why it happened. Learn from it. Then pick out the stitches and stitch the seam again.
I consider myself an expert sew-er (although I have not yet promoted myself from intermediate on PR) and I personally have picked out many thousands of stitches. Sometimes I have immediately repeated the mistake and had to pick the stitches out again. Every sew-er has done this at some time. I guarantee it!
And, yes, sometimes a project will be a total failure. It's disappointing but that also is part of the learning process, and the world won't end just because my t-shirt didn't work out. Wad it up, stuff it into the bin, have a nice cup of tea, and plunge into your next project.
There are ways of improving your chances of success and they are often discussed on PR. Test patterns in cheap fabric, read good sewing books, ask for help from your friends on PR. Take advantage of these ideas: they really will make a difference!
Fabric is only fabric. Cut into it and have fun.
It's a custom-made designer original. I made it myself.
Member since 4/8/02
Date: 10/11/05 9:28 PM
And, yes, sometimes a project will be a total failure. It's disappointing but that also is part of the learning process,
A long time ago, a friend of mine explained very simply why a sewing disaster didn't keep her from trying again: "I've made just as many mistakes buying clothes as I've made sewing them, and I still shop. I guess I can keep on sewing, too."
I wish I had a dollar for every item I've tossed in the Goodwill bag after 1 or 2 wearings, or worse, with the tags still on. And shoes - are you going to stop buying shoes because you bought a pair that turned out to be instruments of torture?
If you are learning to sew, try to learn to enjoy the process, not just the finished garment. That way, when a project doesn't work out - and that's why we use the term wadder - you've still accomplished something. Learning what doesn't work is as important as learning what does.
Remember a couple of great reviews from experienced sewists in our midst: one included a picture of her setting the project on fire; another showed the almost-finished garment in the trash can. Laugh and move on - after you write that review, of course....
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.
Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Member since 3/28/04
Date: 10/12/05 0:08 AM
I try to remember something Marcy Tilton said to us during a seminar for our ASG chapter. On the subject of a sewing disaster, "You don't eat every waffle you make, either, do you?" Give yourself permission to analyze the mistake, learn from it & move on!
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "So much fabric, so little time!"
PVA (Pat) "A girl can't have too many scissors!"
If I don't have time to do it right, when will I have time to do it over?
Member since 3/25/02
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 10/12/05 5:38 AM
This is so true. Being 10-15 lbs more than I want to weight kept me from sewing. I didn't want to waste expensive fabric. But I love clothes and I love to shop.....so tell me the logic in wasting a $150 pair of pants that I could meke for considerably less than that.
I would worry that I wouldn't be able to find the same fabric again and it would be gone. Well...duh...if my expensive pants no longer fit, am I not wasting good money?
I am working very hard to get over this. Especially since I figure I'll probably drop the 10 lbs if I start sewing up the fabric...human nature you know.
Member since 11/19/04
Date: 10/12/05 9:03 AM
The only person who doesn't fail is the person who doesn't try; and that is the biggest failure of all.
Member since 2/26/05
Date: 10/12/05 9:05 AM
One thing I've learned about sewing mistakes is this: I pick out the stitches and then walk away. Once I've had time to relax and calm down - usually days later, I can then re-attempt the seam or zipper or whatever the mistake was. Usually it is met with success but not always. I agree that practice makes perfect and it is how we react to our mistakes that helps us to learn from them.
Member since 7/30/02
Date: 10/12/05 9:44 AM
This is a great topic. I occasionally find myself falling into this trap. But I won't learn if I don't try. I just finished a sweater that is a touch tight in the hips. I hadn't thought through the alteration I was making (making it longer) so I didn't remember to size up in the hips. But it's wearable (with slim pants). Or I could take out the side seams and put in vents.
So even if you make a mistake, you can sometimes recover from it. That's what is called on this site a "design opportunity". We have has some reviews where: skirt was too short so they added lace to the bottom; pants were too tight so they added side stripes for a sporty look; neckline was too low so they added a modesty insert; velvet nap going the wrong way so another one was flipped to match. On and on. No one else will know what you originally intended, so they will just compliment the great design.
Of course, sometimes it's just a wadder that you can't recover from. And as Karla said, that's OK also.
This is so true. Being 10-15 lbs more than I want to weight kept me from sewing. I didn't want to waste expensive fabric. But I love clothes and I love to shop.....so tell me the logic in wasting a $150 pair of pants that I could meke for considerably less than that. ...
And you will probably look slimmer in custom made clothing than in RTW. And yes, there will always be more wonderful fabric.
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.
Member since 11/6/03
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 10/12/05 10:02 AM
You can always make it in muslin first also. Work out all the sewing kinks on cheap fabric. I've got a project started right now that is more difficult that what I have done before. I've found someone with lots more experience that me to just guide me over my stuck parts. I don't need her to sew it for me, just give me more explaination that is in the instructions.
Member since 4/4/02
Date: 10/12/05 11:20 AM
I think every sewer has suffered from this ailment at one time or another. We all have failures. But with time, experience and persistence we make them less often every year. Learning to enjoy the process is half the battle. It's just fabric - what have you got to lose? If you think it's a waste of time to sew a wadder I would say that there is no such thing when something new has been learned or experience has been gained. :-) Go for it!
Member since 7/31/02
Date: 10/12/05 11:26 AM
There is some excellent advice here. When I first began sewing I didn't have a clue about good fit. I just wanted the finished garment and wore it no matter how I looked. Now I usually make at least one muslin before cutting into the good stuff. This has helped prevent many disasters. Sometimes, the muslin tells me that that a particular pattern was not meant for me. Certain styles look good on certain bodies. We all don't look good in everything.
I once read somewhere that even famous designers have frequent disasters, something like 25%. That sounded high to me, but that is why I remembered it.
We have to stop striving for perfection. When we relax we are better able to look at the whole picture. Taking our time and not trying to break a recond at speed sewing certainly helps with success. Once we enjoy the process, we are more likely to achieve success.
After all it is only a garment, not brain surgery.
Sewing and chocolate feed my soul