The Stress of SewingHave you ever worked so hard on a project only to make a terrible mistake that costs you the whole garment? Or maybe only enough of an error that you toss the project into your UFO (unfinished-object) bin? It seems inevitable that when working on a project I will mess something up. It changes the way I feel about the garment and I become less motivated to finish it or try to sew it again. When I begin, I am always filled with hope that this project will turn out perfectly and look like a million bucks. Then about half way through, or just before the project is completed, something awful happens; like the material snags, I make an accidental cut or I seam rip too far, or maybe the zipper doesn't sit right. You name it, I have made every kind of mistake. There is nothing more disappointing than losing interest in a project because you messed something up. I'm about to begin a dress that will be difficult to sew. It will be made out of a lightweight satin, a fussy material that can snag easily. It will have five meters of fabric in the skirt, which will be intense to put together, and it will have a lace overlay - something that I have never done before. There is a lot of work going into this project and I am terrified of messing it up!
What do you do when you make a terrible mistake on your sewing project? Do you give up completely? Do you put it aside and come back to it later? Or do you salvage it and make it into something else? Has making a mistake when sewing changed how you feel about the garment?
I think back to a few years ago, when my sewing skills weren't as good as they are today and I can recall messing up tons of projects. Even if someone couldn't see the flaws or the errors in the garment, it would still bother me because I would know the mistakes were there. Have you ever felt this way?
What to do?When dealing with sewing nightmares in the past, I would always call it quits. I didn't have the patience to see things through or I didn't believe anything could be done to fix things. These days, I try not to give up so easily. First, I take a breather. The best thing you can do is to walk away from it, for a day or even just a moment. If you attempt to correct an error when you're frustrated you will only make things worse. It's best to walk away and then reassess the situation later. The second thing is to look for a solution. People have been sewing for years and it's fair to say that someone has made the same mistake as you before. Try checking out the forums on Pattern Review, they have a wealth of knowledgeable and creative sewists who will be more than happy to help you out. If it's the kind of thing that cannot be corrected then you may have to look at alternatives. If it's no longer going to be the garment that I envisioned it to be, then it's time to salvage the material and turn it into something else! I will carefully remove the seams and stash the material until I can find a better use for it. I make a habit out of upcycling old clothing, so I can tell you that there is hope, you can salvage a sewing nightmare!
I'm interested in hearing what you have to say about sewing nightmares! What was your worst experience? How do you address big mistakes?